Highlights of 2015 in Lewisham.
2015 has been a pretty eventful year - there's been General elections, Fifa scandals, a Rugby World Cup, a human built spacecraft passing incomprehensibly far-away planets, and much more! As this busy year draws to a close, we thought it fitting to highlight a few memorable things that have happened a bit closer to home, in Lewisham.
Hilly Field’s Photo 100 years on.
The sense of community to be found in Lewisham has always been fairly strong. Evidence of this is no better shown than in this remarkable photograph taken in August 1918, after a procession commemorating the start of the First World War on 4 August 1914. A massive group of men, women, and children gathered on the slopes of Hilly Field’s for the photo, which followed a procession in Deptford observing the anniversary of the beginning of the war.
After digging out the photo from their archives, Brockley Society decided to recreate this historical event in July 2015, as a near 100 year anniversary of the photo. The result was spectacular, with a huge congregation of local resident’s gathering on the hilly slopes to offer their faces for the photo.
Whether this modern photo, with its bright colours and perfectly high-resolution, will have the same impact as the one taken in 1918, is unfortunately beyond our knowledge. But the event was none the less a landmark event in Lewisham this year, and lets hope it stands the test of time!
For more info on how to get your hands on a print of the photo, click here.
You can read an article about the first photograph, published on Friday August 9th, 1918 by The Brockley News here.
Lewisham is 50 years old!
2015 saw the London Borough of Lewisham officially blow out 50 candles. From 1900 to 1965 Lewisham formed part of the Metropolitan borough of Lewisham. The London Borough of Lewisham as it now stands was created in April 1965 after joining with Deptford. Despite going through numerous changes, it's still our favourite South-East borough providing great homes, parks, schools, libraries, businesses and more to residents.
Here's a photo of Deptford Bridge from 1968...
New and Great Small Businesses!
How could we possibly leave this one out? Small Businesses are the life-blood of local economies and help to build strong communities, whilst creating jobs and opportunities for local residents. In Lewisham this year we’ve seen a good growth in small businesses, with many new businesses being created and getting off their feet. Here’s some of the great new local businesses that were born in 2015!
Noak Bakehouse - Bespoke Bakehouse offering far more than just your average Bakery. Stone-fire pizzas with inventive toppings, whole-wheat sourdough, pastries, ciabatta, olive ciabatta, their own, personalised ‘The Noak’ (seeded sourdough) and much more…
Longhorn - Friendly Italian-American diner in Brockley offering classic meals such as Hot Dogs, burgers and more.
The Grey Shop - Independent designer clothes shop for men and women stocking unique up and coming brands.
The Rose Pub - Pub in New Cross offering extensive food and drinks, with a restaurant section and large beer garden.
Curve - Local BMX and Bike shop in Deptford. Also providing bike repair services, bike parts and clothing.
Wellness Rooms - Chiropractic care, pain management and wellbeing in Honor Oak, that helps you to maintain a healthy and pain free lifestyle. Also offers yoga classes.
Honeybourne’s - Gift shop in Ladywell stocking a multitude of gifts, gift cards, toys and more.
Body Silk Clinic - Aesthetic and health clinic in Hither Green.
Blackheath Fireworks 2015
Despite being an annual event, Blackheath Fireworks 2015 drew bigger crowds than ever, with approximately 100,000 people in attendance. The team behind the event delivered a fantastic, awe-inspiring display with a singular, explosive finale, shaking the Earth beneath the attendees feet (and probably those in neighbouring boroughs too, such was the magnitude!).
Here’s a decent photo of the display we managed to somehow capture at the prime moment:
Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir wins the UK's Christmas Number 1!
Topping this year's highlights has got to be this magnificent achievement by Lewisham and Greenwich's NHS Choir. Going head-to-head with the likes of Justin Bieber, and X-Factor's Louisa Johnson, the NHS Choir defeated both these titanic rivals to get to the UK Christmas Number 1 spot, with their Charity single, 'A Bridge Over You'. Finishing the race with 127,000 downloads and sales, they beat Bieber's total by nearly 31,000. On hearing of the momentum and support garnered for the Choir's single in the final stage of the race, Bieber turned around and supported their campaign via twitter, pledging his support and advising his 72 million followers to do the same. He tweeted:
“I’m hearing this UK Christmas race is close… but @Choir_NHS single is for charity … So for 1 week it’s ok not be #1. Let’s do the right thing & help them win. It’s Christmas. @Choir_NHS good luck. This is what it’s all about. Merry Christmas.”
Noble words and a kind gesture from the Canadian teenage heart-throb. Maybe Bieber isn't such a self-centred egomaniac after all...?
Without any money spent on marketing, the video for the Choir has amassed over 700,000 views on youtube already, highlighting the fantastic organic support given to them by the public. Simon Cowell’s X Factor winner Louisa Johnson could only manage 12th place...The win has placed Lewisham in the limelight for what is a brilliant cause and deserved of the attention and support it has been given.
Read more on the story here.
To buy the single, click here.
To watch the video, click here.
Things to look forward to in 2016...
Riverdale Hall Restaurant Complex.
Situated next to Lewisham’s Shopping Centre, Lewisham’s Riverdale Hall was, until now, an unused facility. Looking out across the Lewisham Gateway building site, the hall is going through a transformation that, when complete, will turn the place into a new complex of restaurants and bars. Construction is under way as we write these words, and the transformation is expected to take just 1 month to finish!
More info on the project can be read here:
“Temporary housing and community space units will being moving onto the site of the former Ladywell leisure centre in November 2015 to be ready for occupation in March 2016 to form the UK's first 'pop-up village’.” - Lewisham Council Website.
Ladywell PLACE is an innovative new project setup by Lewisham Council in collaboration with internationally-renowned architecture practice Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, in response to the growing high-demand for housing in the borough. The project aims to provide temporary housing and community space for enterprise and creative projects. As a community project, the council and the team behind it have made it very open to suggestions and ideas from local residents.
According to Lewisham Council, the project is going to be ready in March 2016! The project is open for everyone keen to get involved, whether you're looking to reside in the new space, set up a business, or just help with the building and planning. You can submit ideas or express interest in getting involved in the scheme by clicking here.
More general info here.
Well that's it for another year...We've had a cracking first year here at the Lewisham Card and are grateful for everyone who has signed up, supported and posted about this new initiative to help support the fantastic local businesses that our borough offers. We look forward to sharing more content and more local businesses with you in the New Year!
Order your Lewisham Card here.