Wild swimming comes to Lewisham

Our new Lewisham Mayor has pulled a rabbit out of the hat in first weeks in post.

Beckenham Place Park will receive £440,000 of funding from the Mayor of London to create a wild swimming pool, as part of a major development project, which will be overseen by Brockley Councillor Sophie McGeevor. Lewisham Council explains:

The award is part of the mayor of London’s push to make London the world’s first National Park City. Beckenham Place Park was one of six winning projects to get a share of the £2m funding pot from the mayor’s Greener City Fund.

We will use the funding to:
  • plant thousands of new trees
  • support the restoration of the park’s Georgian lake, which will create a new wildlife habitat and be used for open water swimming
It's great to see such an ambitious and imaginative project in the borough. More please.

Budgie, regard!

Labour chooses Daby to fight Lewisham East election

Lewisham East has dodged a Momentum bullet. Janet Daby - the sensible, moderate, serious candidate on the Labour shortlist for the upcoming by-election - has been selected as their prospective MP.

Daby likes talking about housing, health and education rather than lurking in chatrooms muttering about Zionists. Her analysis of political problems extends beyond personal anecdote and posture. She cares about Lewisham more than she does about re-writing Venezuelan history. Needless to say, she was a local choice rather than a national plant.

Given Labour is a shoo-in in this election, this is an important outcome and a signal that Labour's Lewisham grassroots are resilient.

Full list of candidates coming up.

New timetable and more trains for Crofton Park

New trains come into service soon
A completely new timetable will apply to Crofton Park trains from Sunday, May 20th.

And since there is nothing harder and more confusing than trying to write about train timetables for a service you don't use, the Cinderella Line campaign for better rail services through Crofton Park has summarised it instead. They say:

Thanks to everyone, from 21st May we will be enjoying our well-deserved 4 trains an hour on the Cinderella Line, doubling current capacity and giving us vital new services across London.

Here are the key changes:

Our core service

4 trains an hour all day every day Monday – Saturday. Sunday will initially have 2 trains an hour increasing to 4 once Network Rail have completed some engineering works that will allow Thameslink to run the full service on Sundays too.

You can read more about the engineering works here.

Two of our services will terminate at Blackfriars and two will go beyond to Kentish Town, linking us up to Farringdon for Crossrail and Kings Cross St Pancras.

Weekday mornings into London

On weekday mornings we will have 4 trains an hour and Crofton Park and Bellingham will also have some direct services to London Victoria:

The 4 Thameslink services will be spaced at 10 and 20 minute gaps. This is to pave the way for eventually increasing our service to 6 trains an hour and we're going to be pushing for this to happen.

Just imagine: a train every 10 minutes!

But there is a catch if you want to go to Victoria

From Crofton Park there are currently three direct services to London Victoria on weekday mornings departing at 7:36, 8:23 and 8:43. In the new timetable from May, these times have been amended to depart at 7:46, 8:15 and 9:21, so our third service will be more than 30 minutes after it currently is.

We have raised this with Southeastern Railway and the reason for this is that under the new timetable with all of our core services through Blackfriars, it is not currently possible to have a train that stops at Crofton Park at around 8:45 to Victoria as this could cause a knock-on delay to other services.

And the new services won't be fully operational straight away

From 11th June the initial phasing will be complete and our services will run as planned. During the phasing in period, some of our services will either start from Blackfriars or Terminate there, but after 11th June they will run the full length of the route.

For the full rundown of changes, click here.

Waiting in the wings for the show to begin

Labour, as expected, has chosen an all-female, all-BAME shortlist for the Lewisham East by-election. They are: Janet Daby, Brenda Dacres, Sakina Sheikh and Claudia Webbe.

Daby and Dacres have years of local service with the Council under their belts. The Labour leadership and Lewisham Momentum prefer Webbe and Sheikh.

Islington Councillor, friend of Jez and NEC member Claudia Webbe has attracted criticism for her previous defence of Ken Livingstone's antisemitism and her appearances on Iranian and Russian state TV. On the other hand, she is related to Simon Webbe, singer of No Worries, one of the most perfect pop songs of all time.

Worth noting that there are nominally other contenders from other parties involved in this election. More on them soon.

Brockley Max 2018 - June 1-9

Not long now until the Brockey Max festival. The full programme is now available to download. Organiser Moira writes:

Brockley Max 2018 features an amazing mix of art, music, comedy, film and photography events alongside the hugely popular Opening Night, Brockleywood Nights and Art In The Park.

We also have our very own radio station. Brockley Max FM will be broadcasting live from The Fox & Firkin during festival week. And once again we’re delighted that the Brockley Street Art Festival is happening alongside us.

Highlights this year include:

- Eyeball Pleasers - an eccentric collection of work at the Lewisham ArtHouse
- Jerk n Jam - Jerk cooking and good music at Jam Circus
- Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes - performed by local theatre group Join the Dots
- Whisky & Wax Featuring Beatnik - hip hop and electronica at Brickfields
- Kumo and Sweet Machine - like Jean Michelle Jarre playing a theramin inside The Honor Oak pub

The traditional opening night party is on June 1, on Foxberry Road.

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