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.


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…

Successful Music Event in the Threatened Bussey Building.

Peckham Society News Winter 2007/2008 reports on the successful CLF music event in the threatened Bussey Building last summer.

“A three day music event was held on the Copeland Industrial Park off Rye Lane. This is the area Southwark Council wants to demolish so a tram depot can be built there. The music event’s security guard wrote a remarkable email, published below, after the event. [He praised the audience – all ages, races and backgrounds – and their good organisation, communication and co-operation, with no security issues for the whole weekend.] This shows the potential which this site has for the future of Peckham if campaigners succeed in getting Transport for London to find alternative sites for tram depots and if Southwark Council understands the important role this site has for the future of Peckham town centre.. “

More ….

A visitor’s experience of the CLF Weekender

The Bussey building, the largest building on the proposed tram depot site, was host to one of the most enjoyable events seen in Peckham in many years. Over the weekend of the I Love Peckham festival, the Chronic Love Foundation (CLF) transformed two of the wonderfully large rooms of this late Victorian/Edwardian building into a live music venue, an art gallery and a cinema.

The roof was open to the public, and during the day, people lounged around eating, drinking, looking at fascinating views of the city, and catching the only sun of the summer so far. The mood was reminiscent of the best summer festivals as acoustic acts, poets and rappers performed under a small marquee while the sun set.

As the sky darkened a small cinema was starting in the gallery space on the third floor. Fascinating short films from amateurs and professionals played on a large screen. Around the room some of the artists with studios in the building had displayed examples of their work. On one side three huge photographs highlighting the geometric monotony of unimaginative modern architecture were flanked by superb portraits and other images. As the night descended spotlights were turned on, throwing long shadows across the industrial gallery space, as people wandered in to look at the displays and watch the films.

Peckham Vision had used a large, room sized alcove on this floor to display their visions for an integrated Peckham town centre, a town centre that was both well connected to the centre of London, and featured creative spaces in the very heart of run down Peckham. Computer generated images illustrated the potential realised by opening up the front of the station to make a light vibrant piazza, instead of the dirty and dimly lit enclosed pavements there at the moment. Whilst a plethora of maps showed how Peckham could be opened up by the tram, without destroying its heart by demolishing the building, and many others, we were currently in, just to replace them with a desolate array of railway tracks to house the trams overnight. Lastly there were artistic interpretations of how the Bussey building, and a very large adjacent area, could look, and examples of how it could be used by Peckham creative industries, and for the benefit of the whole community.

Downstairs the first of the night’s bands had started. Although dominated by bass and drums the style was hard to classify. The female singer’s luminous voice danced over the energetic beat, and was occasionally joined by a rapper, on the other side of the performance area. A kaleidoscope of psychedelic visuals projected on to two screens behind the performers announced the arrival of the Chronic Love Foundation to Peckham. The dancing crowd were laid back and friendly. A mixture of locals, artists, and people from around London drawn to the hub of Peckham by an article in that week’s Time Out.

We eventually left in the early hours and after saying good night to the genial security guards, began the short walk home.

See also: CLF Weekender

CLF event a huge success

Congratulations to Chronic Love Foundation (CLF), and Mickey Smith its creative director, for the CLF Weekender. Hundreds of people came each day and enjoyed the fabulous quality eclectic music on three floors of the Bussey building over last weekend. The event throughout each day was well patronised by people of all ages, races, and backgrounds – from babes in arms to grannies and everything in between. Wonderful food and refreshments as well. And on the roof, all against the breathtaking views of the whole of London from the middle of Peckham town centre! Click here for some photos.

There were many visitors to the exhibition of work from the artists on site, and also the Peckham Vision exhibition with the latest news about the tram and depot. As one visitor emailed to say:

“I wanted to write and congratulate you on the SUPER-GREAT event at the Bussey building last weekend. What a wonderful thing to have done. I hope there will be more of the same in the not-too-distant future.”

See also: CLF Weekender

3 day music & cultural event in famous Bussey Building at 133 Rye Lane

If you are in Peckham during next weekend Friday 10 August to Sunday 12 August, you are invited to visit 133 Rye Lane, entrance opposite Peckham Rye station and Blenheim Grove.

For most of three days, the magnificent 6 storey factory, built for George Bussey the famous Victorian entrepreneur, will host the pre-launch of the Commercial Humanitarian Chronic Love Foundation (CLF) and its CLF Art Cafe, with an extravaganza of global eclectic music and other cultural events. Further details are below.

This is an event for you if you want to do any or all of the following:

  • come and listen to eclectic 21st century music,
  • see and buy the work of local artists,
  • find out about exciting new visions for Peckham town centre and latest info on the tram plans,
  • refresh body and soul on different levels of the building, but especially on the top with magnificent views of the whole of London,
  • and more.

This will all take place in just a part of the land the Council and TfL want to turn into a tram depot. Come and experience the potential this site has for Peckham. Just drop in for a visit, or stay longer and chill out with your friends and others.

See also: Details and programme for more information.

an eclectic music & arts extravaganza@ The CLF ART CAFE
G/F, 1/F, 3/F, 5/F – CIP House
133 Rye Lane, London SE15 3STEVENT DATES AND TIMESFri Aug 10th – 5pm – 2am
Sat Aug 11th – 12 midday – 2am
Sun Aug 12th – 12 midday – 12 midnightTHE CLF ART CAFE is a brand new venue set over several 3000 Sq ft warehouse spaces inside the 100+ year old Bussey Warehouse named CIP House, 133 Rye Lane (Opposite Peckham Rye Station & Blenheim Grove).This pre launch CLF WEEKENDER event is set to have over 100 CUTTING EDGE LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL ARTISTS, BANDS AND DJS performing over the THREE DAY EVENT on all 4 LEVELS alongside INTERACTIVE ART EXHIBITS, 3 DAY LOCAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL, GLOBALISTIC FOODS, DRINK SPECIALS + so much more.The CLF EVENT will be Hosted by Pioneering DJ / Producer / Promoter JAZZHEADCHRONIC MICKEY SMITH [JAZZHEADCHRONIC] and CLF Co-Founder, the Internationally renowned Drummer, Arranger, Producer MARQUE GILMORE of DRUM.

For more Information on The 100% FREE ADMISSION CLF WEEKENDER, THE CLF and/or its current projects, please contact CLF Executive Creative Director, Mickey Smith on 07941 429 374. Or Email him at <>

working for the future of the planet


The CLF WEEKENDER will take place opposite Peckham Rye Station and
Blenheim Grove, at CIP House, located at the end of 133 Rye Lane

See also: CLF Weekender