A rich cultural heritage
Catford town centre is going through a cultural and creative revival. Last century, our town centre had a variety of cultural offerings now lost to history including Eros Cinema, Gaumont Cinema, the Lewisham Hippodrome, the Savoy Ballroom and more recently, the Catford Greyhound Stadium.
Catford is now on the brink of reclaiming its cultural crown. In line with the draft New London Plan (policy HC5, A4), the Council is using its vacant properties to support an active and viable town centre and is introducing some exciting leisure uses to the town centre including a three-screen cinema with a bar, cafe, events space and food court boasting some of our very own Catford Food Market traders who are moving onwards and upwards from serving at our monthly food market.
Catford food market
Catford Food Market is a monthly market set up run by Team Catford. It was developed as a direct result of feedback from Commonplace where the majority of comments about the retail in the town centre was for an improved offer, with many people stating that they would like to see a food market.
Launched in March 2018, it is already becoming one of south east London’s premier food markets. Boasting over 25 traders, most of whom are from Lewisham, it incubates new start business as well as hosting street food veterans.
As well food and craft traders, there are free children’s activities and live music. Traders and the free activities are all carefully selected to reflect Catford’s diversity and to complement the existing town centre offer.
Over the last year, Team Catford has enjoyed a temporary home at 17 Catford Broadway with a pop-up shop stocking Catford merchandise including bags, t-shirts and craft goods made by local artists and producers as well as providing a space for conversation and engagement on the framework plan.
It closed in April and the space is now being redeveloped to create new commercial space with homes above. Look out for Catford Cornucopia popping up in a new town centre location in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, visit our website to buy the Catford goodies.
Pop-up outdoor cinema
Catford’s annual outdoor pop up cinema returned in August in Catford Shopping Centre with a free screening of the 80s comedy classic - Coming to America.
Previous outdoor screenings include Flash Gordon, pedal-powered La La Land and Black Panther.
To support last year’s free screening of Black Panther, Team Catford put on a children’s craft activity day - Catwanda Forever - which featured local artists running Black Panther themed activities including local tech guru David Morley showing budding techies how to code, Ian Wiley helping children create a new currency for Catford and artist Charlotte Gainey from Catford arts collective 6arts helping children design their dream town centre. There was also be local traders showcasing original and ethical African fashion, accessories and homeware.
Catford Vegan festival
Following the success of the inaugural Catford Vegan Festival last year, Catford Broadway will once again went car free and meat free and welcomed south east London’s premier free all day vegan festival.
Created by Team Catford in collaboration with vegan events team Plant Bass LDN the festival featured vegan doner kebabs courtesy of The Hippie Turks, Scandinavian open sandwiches from Daun’s Deli, The Green Grill’s burgers, The Red Tent’s Ethiopian cuisine, Filipino street food from Oh My Gulay, Caribbean jerk chik’n from Renee’s Plant Powered Kitchen, vegan cheese from Palace Culture and Beats & Grind serving vegan coffee plus ice cream from Dappa and seriously hot sauce from Pat & Pinky.
There was live music in the urban picnic area from DJ Jey and local favourites DJ Da Lynne and Charisse Chikwiri aka Authentic Duplicate.
the Catford gin festival
A year since we welcomed award-winning distillers and gin-lovers to Catford for the neighbourhood’s first ever gin festival, the second year saw the event bigger and better than ever, taking place in one of our most celebrated venues– the Broadway Theatre. Whilst 2017’s event took place in an empty unit in Catford’s shopping centre, in 2018, guests enjoyed the ambience of the historic building.
No less than 20 new and established gin brands were available for sampling and guests were invited to relax in the gin cocktail bar, swot up on their gin facts at the gin masterclasses and, of course, take away a bottle of Catford’s very own Tom Cat Six, scotch bonnet infused gin from the on-site shop, Catford Cornucopia. There was also plenty to keep rumbling stomachs satisfied with mouth-watering street food from Catford Food Market traders including Jerk Off BBQ, Croquette Man and Renee’s Plant Based Kitchen