Thursday, October 10, 2013

Volunteer Workday Sat 26 Oct at St.Mary's Church - please come!

St.Mary's Church, Ladywell
Anne from community gardening website Lewisham Gardens has arranged a community planting day on Sat 26 Oct at St Mary's Church, Ladywell, which is one of the most ancient buildings in the Borough and a major community hub.   This will be a one-off event to tidy up the main frontage which has become quite overgrown. There is also scope for some fresh planting.
Church members, parishioners, parents from St.Mary's School, LFUG members and others are expected to be taking part, so it should be a nice opportunity to do something useful, have some exercise and make friends. 15-20 people with trowels and fuelled by tea and cake could make a fantastic difference to this local treasure. There will also be tours of the Church and tower for volunteers!
Glendale have the contract to maintain the churchyard and will be planting £1,500 of shrubs in the main Ladywell churchyard this winter - so the area will be improving and this volunteer session will be the catalyst.
Please do come along, and do all you can to publicise the day.   The email contact is  Please email Anne or reply here if you're likely to come. I will try to find the start time and post it here once I have it.
Robert Sheppard

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Love Ladywell discount day - Support your local shops this Saturday

Ladywell traders have come together to help drive footfall back to the shopping parade by holding Ladywell Discount Day this Saturday 12 October. There will be special offers, great discounts and bargains galore in anticipation of Ladywell Road being reopened.  Get down and support your local businesses and bag yourselves a bargain – look out for the red posters at participating stores!
El from El's Kitchen says "Many thanks to BC readers who responded when they heard about the plight of the Ladywell traders – we really appreciate the show of support you have given us."

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Ladywell streetworks update

Conway had some staff working last Sunday and today, and there's some evidence that the pace of work is increasing.  I note, incidentally, that two of the four new trees on Algernon Road have been planted.
Robert Sheppard

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Big Gun enlisted to deliver Conway rocket

Following representations from LVIG and Ladywell traders, Mayor Sir Steve Bullock will on Friday meet representatives of the Ladywell business community - and has invited contractor Conway to attend.  In its recent letter to the Mayor, LVIG Chairman Tony Rich wrote:
" . . . the Ladywell Village Improvement Group has fought hard for, and is strongly supportive of, the Ladywell public realm improvements currently underway . . . We write to you now, however, because we've been notified of further major slippage on the scheme - in particular that Ladywell Road is unlikely to be reopened until the end of October.  This significantly prolongs the disruption to local businesses, residents and others for whom Ladywell Road is the obvious route to work.  Whilst the scheme has experienced some unforeseen disruption I do feel that some of the delays could have been anticipated, obviated and/or minimised by better management of the contract, and the application of greater pressure on Conways to adhere to agreed timescales and to bring in more staff as necessary.  Clearly Ladywell is going to be a better, brighter, place once the works are completed, but I urge you to do everything you can to expedite completion of this project, especially for the sake of the businesses who, if we're not careful, will be out of business before the scheme is completed so will never see the benefit - which would be cruel. Whilst I appreciate you would not normally intervene personally in matters such as this I wonder whether you'd consider, in this instance, meeting with the senior manager at Conwaysresponsible for this scheme to seek assurances in relation to early completion on-site.  The overrun of this scheme is causing a lot of bad feeling locally - which is shame as this is an excellent scheme - so LVIG urges you to do all you can to build bridges: in particular local business would, I am sure, welcome the Council's help in 're-launching' Ladywell, in the week the streetworks end, in the form of flyer, blog, twitter and website publicity so that nobody in SE13/SE4 in unaware that the brighter, better Ladywell is again "open for business".

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Ladywell Tavern refurb underway . . . or so it seems

Whilst there were signs today of refurbishment works underway (see photo above), there was no obvious evidence upstairs or downstairs of the squatting first suggested on the Brockley Central Blogspot in early August.
Robert Sheppard

Local Business Exasperated by Slippage on Streetscape Works

Ladywell Road, looking east (taken today, 5 Sept 2013)
The Council has this week published the following statement:
"The [Ladywell Public Realm Improvements] scheme was originally expected to finish in September 2013.  However, work has been delayed because of ongoing and unforeseeable problems with underground services being located at an unusually shallow depth.  This has proved to be particularly true between Malyons Road and Chudleigh Road.  The carriageway work is now expected to be completed in mid October when the road will be reopened, and the paving of the footways will continue with an expected completion of the work around the end of November.
"A further issue, relating to underground cellars in Algernon Road, is currently being resolved. The contractor has now deployed additional staff and undertaken some working on weekends and Bank Holidays to speed up progress overall.  Many of these extra workers will focus on completing the works in Algernon Road and on the carriageway and drainage works in the remainder of Ladywell Road, before moving onto the footway works in Ladywell Road.
"The buses will be diverted down Phoebeth Road and Francemary Road whilst Chudleigh Road is closed at its junction with Ladywell Road. In order to facilitate this the humps in Phoebeth Road and Francemary Road will be replaced temporarily with speed cushions."
The Ladywell Village Improvement Group, which fought hard for these improvements, continues to believe they'll transform Ladywell for the better and, ultimately, boost the local economy.  Whilst some unforeseen problems have been encountered by Conways (the contractors), local traders have been suffering unreasonably because of the protracted works.  The Council must ensure Conways get Ladywell Road open quickly (i.e. earlier than specified above) and meet Ladywell traders to develop an action plan to get businesses up and running again as quickly as possible.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Ladywell Tavern closes for refurb

It seems the Ladywell Tavern is taking the disruption caused by the current streetscape improvement works as a convenient opportunity to close, from today, for a welcome refurbishment.  The pub expects to reopen sometime in September.  If we can find out more on the refurb and the re-opening date we'll post it here.
Robert Sheppard

Monday, June 3, 2013

Ladywell streetscape improvements - latest timetable

Leaflets have now been circulated detailing the latest timetable.  This information has also been published here on the Council website.
The project is expected to be completed by the end of September this year.
Robert Sheppard

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Cinema plans for Ladywell?

Brockley Central reports that Curzon Cinemas are in discussion with the Council about the potential for a cinema development on the site of the soon-to-be-closed Ladywell Leisure Centre.
Robert Sheppard

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Church Grove site in Ladywell identified for new self-build scheme

Self-build Scheme at Walters Way, Honor Oak Park
The Council has identified the Watergate School site on Church Grove (only a few years ago the proposed location for a traveller site) for 16 self-build homes.
The Council says it's re-introducing its self-build scheme as a further step towards meeting the growing demand for social housing in the borough and to provide new skills for unemployed local people.
The scheme has been designed for people on Lewisham’s housing waiting list who want to develop their skills in house building trades such as electrical, carpentry, plumbing and bricklaying – and who also want to build their own home.
The initiative will be supported by the National Self-Build Association and run in partnership with an experienced house builder.
Another self-build scheme in Honor Oak Park (see photo), completed in the 1980s, was the first project of its kind in the UKand gave rise to similar projects around the country.
Applicants need to be a Lewisham resident and be on the Lewisham housing waiting list. For more information and to register your interest email call 020 8314 9163.
Robert Sheppard

Monday, April 8, 2013

Tennis coaching in Ladywell Fields - Open Day this Saturday

South East London Community Tennis' coaching programme in Ladywell Fields will start on Saturday 20 April and there will be an Open Day, with free taster sessions, this coming Saturday 13 April.
Robert Sheppard

Le Delice opens

Le Delice opened today, just as Spring arrived, in the former Mason's building close to Ladywell Station.  Early signs are promising, and free hot drinks today was a nice gesture, as was the patron's genuine concern that I enjoyed my coffee.  The place was packed for the whole of the hour I was there, with people I didn't recognise from Ladywell, so maybe Le Delice will be able to pull in punters from further afield which, if so, could be good for other local businesses.
Robert Sheppard

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Ladywell Public Realm Improvements begin in earnest

Some photos taken on the afternoon of Thursday 4 April 2013.
Looking north into Algernon Road

Looking south from Algernon Road


Deep excavations to sort out the levels

There used to be a road here . . .

Some early paving improvements visible at the bottom of Vicar's Hill



Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Ladywell Public Realm Improvements - Latest Timetable

The Council will, during the next week, be distributing an update on the Ladywell Public Realm Improvements.  The letter will say "As a result of necessary diversions to utilities plant and changes to road levels, we need to amend the previously-published programme for these works.
To recap on progress to date - from 18 February, work began on surface water drainage in Algernon Road and Gillian Street.  Additionally, BT Openreach have started to divert their plant away from the proposed parking areas.  This work is also being carried out by Virgin Media in Ladywell Roadopposite Chudleigh Road.
The remainder of the works will still be carried out in a number of stages in order to minimise disruption.  However, the programme now looks as follows:
  • From 2 April, for a period of at least three weeks, it will be necessary to close Algernon Road to traffic between Gillian St and Ladywell Road, thus allowing the contractor to reconstruct the existing carriageway, install new drainage and construct the new paving for the footway, parking bays and junction works.
  • Southern Gas Network will then need to lower their service valves in the mouth of the junction of Ladywell Road and Railway Terrace.
  • The intention is to then commence work to reduce the road level in Ladywell Road, between the railway bridge and up to the Pelican crossing, from 15 April. This will be carried out with temporary traffic light control whilst Algernon Road is closed.
  • Having completed the work to the carriageway in Algernon Road and Ladywell Road up to the Pelican crossing, the carriageway in Algernon Road will reopen. This will allow for Ladywell Road to be closed between the Pelican crossing and the westbound bus stop from 20 May, to commence the reconstruction of Ladywell Road to the new levels.
  • On completion of this section of Ladywell Road, we expect to commence the final reconstruction of Ladywell Road (from the westbound bus stop to Adelaide Avenue) from 29 May. This is expected to last until 7 June.
  • Whilst the western section of Ladywell Road carriageway is being reconstructed, work will be carried out to the footways of the section of Ladywell Road carriageway previously completed to minimise disruption to pedestrians.
The expected completion date of the major work is on or around 24 August.
During the closure of Algernon Road, the 484 bus will be rerouted along Ladywell Road, into Adelaide Avenue, Montague Avenue, Hilly fields Crescent, Cliffview Road onto Vicars Hill where it will be back on route.  We are currently finalising the details for the diversion of the other bus routes when Ladywell Road is closed and will provide a further update on the rerouting of the affected buses.
As the work progresses, this initial programme may change due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control. However, we will provide updates on the Council website.
As with all construction work, we anticipate there may be some disruption to traffic, but we will try to keep this to a minimum.
Les Senior
Project Engineer
Transport Division
Lewisham Council
(T) 020 8314 2025

Thursday, February 28, 2013

It's all happening in Ladywell!

With a new patisserie/creperie opening in a few weeks in the former 'Masons' unit, the streetscape improvements now underway and the eyesore Snack Bar building up for sale at last, 2013 looks like being a very positive year for Ladywell Village.
Robert Sheppard

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Masons to reopen as Patisserie

Redecoration carrying on apace today
Local businesses in Ladywell confirm that the former Masons bar/restaurant has new tenants and will open, probably in mid-March, as French patisserie and fresh food store, which will be open every day until 8.00pm.
It seems the new business will not sell booze for consumption on the premises, something that will disappoint those who point out this site is an ideal place for a drink, esp. during the Summer, on the way back from the Station.
Empty business units are a blight on the Ladywell streetscape so LVIG is very pleased that these premises will soon be back in use.
We wish the new venture every success.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Work on Coral flats now underway

The Council has withdrawn its application for an Empty Dwelling Management Order (EDMO) in relation to the flats above Coral because works on-site are progressing well.  Had it not done this, the Council's application was likely to have been struck out by the Tribunal.
The Council has indicated that, should the works stall, it is prepared to resubmit the case for hearing - and any failure on Coomes part to progress these works to a satisfactory conclusion will strengthen the Council's hand against them in future.
There is no evidence yet of improvements to the exterior of the building, though these would be considered necessary if the flats are to be fully pigeon-proof and fit for human habitation.
Reports of apparent progress on this case are welcomed.  Any queries should be directed to
Robert Sheppard

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Ladywell improvements - Streetworks now imminent

The Council has indicated that the streetscape work will be completed this Spring in five phases, starting at Algernon Road, then progressing into Ladywell Road east by the railway bridge then working west towards the mini-roundabout at the junction of Adelaide Avenue. The provisional schedule (which has yet to be signed-off with the contactor, London Buses and various underground service providers) is as follows - but may change during the course of the works:
1. Works at the Algernon Road (eastern) end of the scheme will start within the next week or so, probably on 11 or 18 February, with drainage works incl. the moving of gullies to new kerb alignment positions.
2. Footpath and kerbing works in Algernon Road will commence from 26 February. All property owners at 251-259 Algernon Road (incl. the Post Office and Barbers) have given permission for their forecourts to be repaved so the whole of this pavement from kerb to buildings will be one neat stretch of paving rather than the current hotch-potch. This is splendid news and will look great when completed!
3. On 1 March there will be road closure on Algernon Road to enable sewer works, and drainage works will continue to 8 March.
4. 8-26 March - lowering of Algernon Road carriageway and construction of speed tables at Gillian Street, Mercy Terrace and Algernon Road
5. 18 March - work on Ladywell Road will commence, with two way lights for the most part, but complete closure for periods of time if necessary.
For a reminder about the project see the item on the Council website.  Should you have any detailed questions/issues you can email
Robert Sheppard

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Hunt confirms Hospital downgrade

The Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, confirmed to the Commons today that the A&E Department at Lewisham Hospital will be downgraded as part of cost-cutting measures within the South East London sector of the NHS.  Furthermore the maternity unit at Lewisham is to be replaced with a midwife-led facility.  You can find more on this at
Mr. Hunt only parted from the Special Administrator, Matthew Kershaw's recommendations in one respect, by deciding that up to threequarters of those currently attending Lewisham A&E would (he said) continue to attend a new, smaller service at the Hospital, with only patients with more serious conditions taken to other hospitals.  It remains to be seen, of course, what happens in practice!