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)

Memories of Bussey – Southwark News Letter of the Week

Letter of the Week in Southwark News on 9th October was from Peckham Vision reporting on the popular and successful Open House weekend walks led by The Peckham Society on Saturday & Sunday 20th & 21st September 2008.The main feature was the emerging Copeland Cultural Quarter, where the centre piece is the historic Bussey building. Some of the visitors had come because of their old family links with the Bussey building. One lady, from Swanley in Kent, said that her father often talked to her when she was a child of his time working in the Bussey building just before he went off as a very young soldier to the first World War. She came to see this place so connected with her memories of her father. Another lady, a current resident of Peckham, told how she had many memories of visits to the Bussey building, as a little girl, with her mother who was a seamstress in one of the businesses there. The Letter asked readers to contact Peckham Vision if they had any personal stories about the Bussey building, or Holdron’s department store that was right next to it on that site, so that they could be added to the local history archives of Peckham town centre. Read more …

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 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’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 <PRN@nutbrook.demon.co.uk>
Information about the overall Festival: www.southwark.gov.uk/ilovepeckham

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.

www.chronicartfoundation.org
www.peckhamvision.org

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: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/7b175bfc-4fb4-11dd-b050-000077b07658.html?nclick_check=1
www.hannahbarry.com

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.

http://www.peckhamsociety.org.uk/

*****************************************************
SPECIAL EVENT on SATURDAY 19th JULY 2pm:
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.

www.chronicartfoundation.org
www.peckhamvision.org
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 …” http://www.southcityradio.org/culturefix/

******************************************************
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.

www.myspace.com/CLFplanet

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.

www.myspace.com/CLFplanet
www.chronicartfoundation.org

_____________________________________________
Websites

www.peckhamvision.org
www.chronicartfoundation.org
www.hannahbarry.com
www.myspace.com/CLFplanet
www.southcityradio.org/culturefix
www.southwark.gov.uk/ilovepeckham

Tram Depot could be located off Old Kent Road

Southwark News reports: ‘A Freedom of Information request has revealed that the depot for the Cross River Tram could end up just off the Old Kent Road.

Transport for London (TfL) had been reluctant to release the alternative sites which could park up to 48 trams, after an inspection of the favoured Peckham site stated that it should not house all the trams and that inspectors “..were not convinced that the site is the only feasible option for a single or principal tram depot.”.

The response to campaign group Peckham Vision showed that a site on Ilderton Road, near Millwall’s ground The Den, could be an alternative to the Peckham site and is so large it could house all the trams.

This week Brian Paddick, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor, has also released plans to place an alternative tram route along Old Kent Road which will roughly follow the route of the current 453 bus to Deptford, and will connect with the Cross River Tram at Waterloo. Read more …

The Peckham Tram Loop needs discussion with TfL

It has been reported (SLP 7th December) that TfL are rejecting the idea of a tram loop round Peckham town centre. Peckham Vision has asked Val Shawcross, the London Assembly Member for Southwark & Lambeth, to press the Mayor, Ken Livingstone, to intervene to get TfL to discuss the idea with the local community.

We are astonished that TfL appear to reject the idea without any discussion. During the TfL consultation on the route last December/January, TfL promised to come back to the local community to discuss particular details. Now they appear to be saying they will take decisions without any further discussions.

They are reported as saying they reject it because it would cross the High St in two places, it is longer than the TfL route, and it would share more road space with other vehicles. But:

  • The number of tram crossings would be the same with the TfL and the loop proposals – two crossings of the High St. The impact on traffic might even be less with the loop as the number of tram movements in one place would be halved.
  • The relatively small extra route length would bring the tram in walking distance of thousands more people in Nunhead, Peckham Rye & East Dulwich, and bring it directly outside Peckham Rye station.
  • The benefits of the single-track compared with the double-track might outweigh the greater road sharing – half the number of trams on more roads might have less impact on traffic.
  • Southwark Council have asked TfL to investigate it. TfL can’t do that properly without discussions on the ground with local people who are familiar with the streets concerned, and with the proposal. Even better variations on the idea might emerge from such constructive local discussions.
  • This idea really deserves thorough discussion with TfL on the ground.

Call for tram depot review

This week there are three letters in the South London Press about the tram crossing the river. One suggests also extending the tram to Streatham, and one urges that in the excitement about the tram route, the proposed site for the tram depot in Peckham must not be forgotten. TfL have still not done the  comprehensive review of all possible depot sites, and this needs to be done “to allow the centre of Peckham to be developed in a way that enhances the area as opposed to closing it off for a depot.”

Read more…

Tram Working Group goes walkabout

Several residents and council officers assembled outside Oliver Goldsmith’s School on Southampton Way at 3pm Thursday 14 June for the walk along the route of the tram as it might enter Peckham town centre. We traced the route along Peckham Road in front of St James’s school and along Jocelyn St to the town square, Peckham Pulse and Peckham Library, across Peckham Hill St and Peckham High St through Morrison’s car park, along Cerise Rd to the multi-storey car park area, which is TfL’s terminus option 2.

We walked under the railway bridge past 133 Rye Lane the entrance to the Peckham Business Park which would be decimated by the depot, along Bournemouth Rd, to Copeland Rd, past the bus garage depot, around the back of BuildBase along Brayard’s Rd, past St Mary Magdalene primary school, and back along Consort Rd to the railway bridge, where one tram would enter or exit the depot every two minutes, stopping the main flow of north/south road traffic. From 133 Rye Lane to the railway bridge we had walked the boundary of site 63P/71P, designated for the tram depot. Most there were surprised at how very large the area is that would be closed off for the depot, even though they had seen the maps.

Afterwards we adjourned to the Peckham Programme office to review our findings. We put together a very useful detailed list of all the issues and questions raised by the options we had explored on the ground, including several not mentioned by TfL. We compiled a good list of points to take to the next Tram Working Group meeting on Monday 16th July 6.30pm. For further information on this meeting contact Liza on liza.morshead@southwark.gov.uk.