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…

London Assembly Transport Committee

The London Assembly Transport Committee held a seminar on 9th September about the cross river tram (CRT) and how it could be progressed. Peckham Vision submitted comments which highlighted three points:

  1. TfL’s plan to locate the CRT depot in Peckham town centre will destroy self-generating renewal. There needs to be a full public review now of all the potential CRT depot sites to examine the full regeneration impacts.
  2. Mid-Southwark needs improved transport. There should be an early new dedicated Express Bus or Shuttle service which follows the CRT route. This would help the planning for the CRT and other improved transport for Peckham and surrounding area.
  3. The CRT must continue to be a cross river tram and get across the river in its first phase to Euston and Kings X.

At the seminar Tfl revealed that the cost of the tram had increased to £1.3bn, and that there had been no money in the budget anyway for the previous cost of £800m, and that even if there were the money the date for the operation of the new tram would now be 2018. The committee resolved to push for the examination of all sources of funding to ensure that the tram project is not shelved, and will discuss this at the next meeting on 16th October.

In the meantime, as there are 10 years before there could be a tram even if TfL had the money to build it, why don’t they install a new express shuttle bus NOW on the tram route to improve our transport across the river to central London, and use it as an excellent test and demonstration of the case for the tram?

20/21 Sep Open House Weekend – Peckham central walk

For the second year, Peckham Central features in the walks in the London Open House Weekend 20/21 September – see details from Peckham Vision and the Peckham Society below.
For an account of last year’s successful walks see Open House 2007

London Open House Weekend
Peckham Central walks
Led by The Peckham Society

See some usually hidden parts of central Peckham: a walk between and around the recently listed Peckham Rye Station, the Bussey former cricket bat factory, the Hannah Barry Gallery, the Old Mill building, and more, all demonstrating the potential for re-using historic industrial buildings.
This is an excellent opportunity to enjoy the spectacular views from the roof of the Bussey building, see how that building and some of the adjacent buildings on the site are significant Peckham assets and have great potential for the emergent Copeland Cultural Quarter (CCQ). Visit the Peckham Vision exhibition and see the growing collection of images and plans illustrating ways in which the CCQ and the other areas around Rye Lane can become a more integrated collection of linked public spaces and
Saturday & Sunday
20th & 21st September 2008
From 1.30pm assemble & Peckham Vision exhibition
Meet: 3rd floor, Bussey Building
Entrance through 133 Rye Lane, SE15 4ST

Bussey Building colonised by artists

From The Londonist:
Art Preview: Catastrophe at the Hannah Barry Gallery, SE15

Artists and Peckham seem to go together like, well, cuckoos and nests, or hermit crabs and shells: they move in and customize the place to suit. First there was Area 10, and then the squat at Lyndhurst Way. And now there is the Bussey Building, a magnificent, echoing Victorian warehouse which has been colonized by up to 100 artists. Peckham residents are getting kind of attached to them, and the town centre is fighting to keep them in place rather than lose it to the TfL and a tram depot. A fact which Londonist finds both heartwarming and interesting. Anyway, head round the back to Copeland Road, and you will find that the ‘colony’ has its very own exhibition space, the Hannah Barry Gallery. And Ms. Barry is just about to co-host a new show. Called Catastrophe, it features the art of Bobby Dowler, who at the grand old age of 20 something is in fact a veteran of the new wave SE15 art scene, having been one of the founders of the Lyndhurst squat.

We haven’t been yet, but we’ve seen some of the artist’s former works: expect the unexpected, a few rough edges and an enormous amount of fun. If you like your art modern and splodgy, unrestrained and unfussy, this is a must for you.

By the way, even if you can’t get to this expo, you can at least get a flavour for the building by visiting it during Open House Weekend on the 20th/21st September. Londonist likes to share and we reckon that both the artist and the venue are ones to watch.

The exhibition opens 4th September and runs ‘til the 11th September. The gallery is open from 12 noon ‘til 6pm. You can call Hannah on 07850 639 570 for more details.

Bussey Building from nakwoodford’s flickr stream under the Creative Commons Licence.

Peckham Resident’s Group launches Cross River Tram petition

Evolution Quarter Residents’ Association (EQRA) has launched a petition in partnership with the South London Press, calling on London Mayor Boris Johnson to fully support the proposed Cross River Tram (CRT) scheme. The petition highlights the economic benefits that the Tram will bring to some of the capital’s largest regeneration projects. Supporters of the Cross River Tram can add their names to the petition at The petition will be presented to the London Assembly Transport Committee at a meeting about the tram open to the public on Tuesday 9th September 10.00am at City Hall, see

Bussey Building: In 21st Century Action

Saturday 19th July saw the first ever South City Radio broadcast from the Bussey Building.

The broadcast programme, with a panel and a participating public audience had a lively debate on Peckham’s contribution to London’s cultural life, and the natural organic growth of the cultural life in that part of the town centre in and around the Bussey building. The event took place on the third floor in the international exhibition featuring potential alternative architectural visions of ‘Future Peckham’, in particular for the central Rye Lane area of Peckham town centre. The exhibitors were from Cottbus College Berlin, Jeffrey Gale Eco Architecture, and Peckham Vision. On the first floor was an exhibition of work from leading Peckham based artists, painters and photographers. Both exhibitions were curated by Alice White.

South City Radio is the new name for Radio Peckham, reflecting its success in having a much wider listening audience. Saturday’s programme will be broadcast on their website at  The whole event was organised by the Chronic Art Foundation, based in the Bussey Building, bringing the artistic life on the site to the public:

Further information from
The Panel
Ben Perry (Presenter, South City Radio’s ‘The Primer’)
Emily Druiff (Director, Peckham Space)
Dr Paul Goodwin (Centre for Urban & Community Research, Goldsmiths College / Curator of Cross-Cultural Programmes, Tate Britain)
Adam Khan (Adam Khan Architects / winner of a RIBA silver medal for Building Stories, an alternative masterplan for Peckham)
Russell Profitt ( Head of Council’s Peckham Programme)
Michael Stickland (South City Radio station manager, & Peckham resident)
Alice White (Curator, Chronic Art Foundation / Bussey Building resident artist)

Peckham’s Cultural Heart Thriving in Spite of Tram Depot Threat

The Chronic Art Foundation, the CLF (Chronic Love Foundation), the Hannah Barry Gallery, and Peckham Vision, this week burst out into the public arena from their bases in and around the historic Bussey Building behind 133 Rye Lane. They are making a major contribution in many forms of art, music, architecture and urban planning in the ‘I Love Peckham Festival’.

All of this could be wiped out by TfL’s (Transport for London) plans to demolish the Bussey Building and the 7 acre site around it for the Cross River Tram Depot. TfL promised to do a thorough review and exploration of other sites for the several depots needed across the whole proposed network from Camden to Peckham & Brixton. But they have said nothing for two years. Meanwhile, in spite of the blight this has caused, the site they declared incorrectly as ‘derelict’ continues to go from strength to strength contributing magnificently to Peckham’s cultural, economic and social renaissance.

Art, Culture & Planning Burst Out From The Bussey Building Site

Modern Music & Art blends with Historic Peckham.

Dates for the diary during the I Love Peckham Festival this week: a visible expression of the burgeoning cultural creativity in and around the historic Bussey Building behind 133 Rye Lane.

  • Monday 14th  to Sunday 20th July, daily 1pm to 5pm: art, architecture, & town centre plans. Chronic Art Foundation exhibitions, 1st & 3rd floors, Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane entrance.
  • Monday 14th to Sunday 20th July, daily midday to 6pm: monumental outdoor sculpture. Hannah Barry Gallery, outdoor exhibition 10th Floor Multi-Storey Car Park. [note: this roof is an excellent place to see the decorative architectural side of the Bussey Building, that faces the railway line, and the car park.]
  • Wednesday 16th July, meet 6.30pm at Peckham Town Square. town centre architectural walk including historic Bussey Building & newly listed station.
  • Saturday 19th July, 2pm  Public Debate: Peckham’s cultural renaissance. live with South City Radio, 3rd floor in Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane entrance.
  • Saturday 19th to Sunday 20th July, 11am – 7pm, CLF Weekender (Chronic Love Foundation) I Love Peckham Live Music Finale, several stages across town centre.>
  • Sunday 20th July, 8pm to midnight, Closing Live Music Celebration of Festival. 1st floor Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane entrance.

Further information & details about these events

Queries: Peckham Residents’ Network <>
Information about the overall Festival:

Details of events

Exhibitions: MONDAY 14th JULY to SUNDAY 20th JULY:
Monday to Sunday 1pm-5pm daily.
Chronic Art Foundation Exhibition:
Venue: Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane entrance.
1st floor art gallery – paintings, sculpture, print, drawing …
3rd floor  Peckham Futures – visions and ideas for developments in central Rye Lane in and around Bussey building and adjacent sites.

Exhibition: MONDAY 14th JULY to SUNDAY 20th JULY:
Monday to Sunday midday to 6pm daily.
Hannah Barry Gallery: [the Gallery is in warehouse next to Bussey Building]
Venue for the outdoor exhibition: 10th Floor Multi-Storey Car Park, behind Multiplex Cinema: lift to Level 6. Follow signs to Level 10.
monumental outdoor sculpture specially made for the show ‘Bold Tendencies’.

Financial Times preview:

Town Centre Walk: WEDNESDAY 16th JULY  6.30pm to 8.30pm.
Walk begins at Peckham Square. Highlights include historic Victorian warehouse factory the Bussey Building & recently listed Peckham Rye station.
Led by local architect Benedict O’Looney.

Chronic Art Foundation with South City Radio (formerly Radio Peckham).
Venue: 3rd floor Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane entrance.
PUBLIC DEBATE live on The Primer radio programme with – ‘How Do We build the Culture Capital of London?’     Afternoon refreshments.
The Peckham Futures exhibition: plans, visions, ideas for exciting, sustainable regeneration in this heart of the town centre, nurturing creative businesses that have taken root in the Bussey Building and surrounding area.
Radio Preview: you can listen to a preview of the debate in the recent special edition of the monthly show ‘The Primer’ –  “Ben and Alice are joined by Benedict O’Looney for a special version of his ‘The Architecture Spot’. Benny looks at the famous Bussey Building and discusses plans for the future of the area …”

Music: ALL WEEKEND 19th & 20th JULY:
Saturday 11am to 7pm; Sunday 12 noon to 7pm.
Chronic Love Foundation presents a CLF Weekender:
The I Love Peckham Festival Finale 2008.
Cutting edge Live Music, Food, Art and Life.
Venues: across the heart of Peckham from Peckham Rye station to
Peckham Square and beyond – 2 days, 6 stages of over 250 artists.

Celebration: SUNDAY 20th JULY 8pm to midnight.
Chronic Art Foundation & Chronic Love Foundation present:
Festival Closing Event with live music & refreshments .
Venue: 1st floor, Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane entrance.


“… the original fairy glade” in the middle of Peckham

A blogs-eye view of the little bits of London that Nature left behind, from The Londonist:

Londonist Takes A Walk On The Wilder Side

What is it? The London Wildlife Gardening Centre seedling plantation. (We didn’t actually know this: we had to ring the council, who put us in touch with their ecology officer, who was extraordinarily helpful. How cool is that, to have an ecology officer just waiting to answer inane blogger questions?! Of course he does lots of good ecological stuff as well.)

Where is it? Bellenden Road, in Peckham SE15. Opposite Highshore Road School. And snuggled behind Peckham Job Centre, and behind Peckham High Street, right in the midst of Peckham Town Centre.

Why has it tickled our fancy? Well, it could be the original fairy glade. A little pocket of (apparently) random greenery, dappled with sunshine, dotted with wild flowers, and always mysteriously locked. Tended by a gardener that no-one ever sees. Its existence makes Londonist happy. Read more…

There’s definitely something about Peckham.

From Telegraph blogs: “The other week I travelled to Peckham in South London for the first time. I hadn’t avoided it for any particular reason, apart from the usual problem, natural to North Londoners and cab drivers alike, with goin’sarf of the river.
It was my friend Richard’s birthday and I was to meet him at the Ivy House pub for an open mic there. On my way I walked through Peckham Rye Common, the place where Blake saw visions of angels. It was a beautiful dusk. The air was warm. My imagination unlocked itself from the constraints of city life. I fell into a waking dream, of Blake, of life, of music, and of an evening that lay out in front of me…” Read more…

Telegraph Blog 27th May 2008