Good-bye Woolworths Peckham

Excerpt from “Wild Tyme: A Blog about Film, Music, Literature and all the finer things in life” Monday, 29 December 2008 :
“I walked past the Woolworths Peckham branch on Rye Lane today. It only has two days left until it closes on the 30th. Decided to check it out, and take some photos of the carnage. For those who aren’t UK-based, Woolworths is a long-standing high-street shop that first opened in Liverpool in 1909. Originally a spin-off of the American F. W. Woolworth company (now Foot Locker), Woolworths UK became its own entity and enjoyed a familiarity until it collapsed under the recent, harsh economic climate. ” Read more…

The Emerging Copeland Cultural Quarter

“… The Bussey building is still buzzing with lively commercial activity, as part of Copeland Industrial Park. This is tucked away behind Bournemouth Road and Rye Lane, and hosts many small businesses, including some 100 artists, several faith groups, and arts, music and exhibition spaces. These contribute to the emerging Copeland Cultural Quarter. It is part of the large seven acre site, stretching from Rye Lane to Brayards Road, designated for demolition for the Cross River Tram depot.

However, it is a strategic site in the heart of the town centre, and could have a different and better future. The historic buildings could be integrated in new developments, for modern businesses and social uses. This, together with opening up the site, by creating small squares, courtyards and passage ways, would include the Quarter in the town centre. A range of ideas about how this might be done has been developed… ” (from SE15 The Independent Magazine for Peckham and Nunhead November 2008) Read more… (image file, PDF file)

Sun shines again on Open House walks

Following the successful Open House Weekend last year (see last year’s blog) people flocked again to take the Open House weekend walks led by The Peckham Society on Saturday and Sunday 20th and 21st September 2008 (see photos). This time there were around 100 on two walks. Again everyone enjoyed the magnificent views of Peckham and central London from the roof of the Bussey building. They enjoyed the refreshments in the CLF Arts Café and the Peckham Vision exhibition of the latest information about the tram & tram depot plans, and the ideas for that central area of Peckham town centre if the tram depot is not located there. The new images and plans for the emerging Copeland Cultural Quarter were included in the displays. They heard how the huge size and good solid condition of the historic Bussey building is providing spaces for new creative arts and music businesses.

The tours also looked at

  • the behind-the-scenes preparation for the next twice monthly exhibition at the new (since last year) innovative Hannah Barry Gallery which is next door to the Bussey building. This demonstrates the scope for creative development of the whole business site which would otherwise be demolished for the proposed tram depot;
  • the historic gems of Holdron’s Victorian arcades which, currently hidden by shop fittings, might be restored for commercial town centre use;
  • the way all that would complement the opening up of the piazza in front of the fabulous gem of Peckham Rye station (listed finally this year to protect it for the future).

Bussey building broadcast

Cascade, the news journal of Community Action Southwark, writes in the August/September 2008 issue: “The first-ever South City Radio broadcast from the Bussey building took place on Saturday 19 July. The broadcast programme with a panel and a paricipating public audience had a lively debate on Peckham’s contribution to London’s cultural life, and the natural organic growth of cultural life in the part of the town centre in and around the Bussey building… ” Read more…

An alternative vision for Rye Lane Central

Peckham Vision has submitted initial comments for the PAAP (Peckham Area Action Plan): “It often appears that the town centre is conceived only as a long narrow linear shopping street, with relatively isolated opportunity/development sites. But there is the potential for viewing this area around Rye Lane Central in a very different way – as an integrated matrix with old and new buildings interlinked with open pedestrian spaces.” Read more and…