Introducing www.catfordchronicle.com The Digital Home of Catford Stories Told by the Community

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We think Catford is deserving of its very own news, so this week we’ve launched catfordchronicle.com a blog site for Catfordians to share memories and perspectives that have shaped their relationship with the local area. Founded by Team Catford’s Charisse Chikwiri, catfordchronicle.com is a hub where you can discover the untold stories of Catford, told by those who know it best. 

From nostalgic musings on Catford’s unique history to photo essays by local creatives, catfordchronicle.com is a platform where people who live, work, shop or run a business in Catford can write about topics that they may feel are overlooked and give a voice to the seldom-heard.

Charisse Chikwiri, editor, said:

“Whilst having hundreds of conversations with local people about the future of Catford town centre, it was clear that there are lots of unique perspectives on Catford. These perspectives reflect our diversity and bring together views across ages, experiences and cultures. catfordchronicle.com is an opportunity to have these conversations and learn about some of the undiscovered features of the past and present of our neighbourhood.”

Must reads from catfordchronicle.com

-       Long-time resident David Dunn remembers Catford in the 1950s and tracks the changes in the decades since.

-       Adam Abdullah, the Young Mayor for Lewisham, speaks to editor Charisse Chikwiri

-       Henry J Kamara’s photo series Humans of Catford.

  

We’d love to hear from local people who would like to contribute to this new project. If you would like to contribute get in touch by emailing charisse@teamcatford.com

 

Catford Cornucopia

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After six hugely successful months and over 400 hours of trading, Catford Cornucopia will be opening its doors for the last time on Sunday 27th January making way for an exciting refurbishment of the building that will bring a new food outlet with homes above. If you haven’t already visited, these are the last few weeks that you can pop into 17 The Broadway to support local traders and browse our collection of locally-sourced goods.

As a meanwhile-use project, Catford Cornucopia has also been an invaluable space where Team Catford has held hundreds of conversations with Catford locals about the emerging vision for the neighbourhood.

Catford Cornucopia is a unique outlet for the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of Catfordians and by supporting local suppliers ensures that more of your money stays in the local economy. It isn’t for profit and the money made will be distributed between Team Catford to host family-focused events, 999 Club and Sickle Cell Society.

The good news is that you haven’t heard the last of Catford Cornucopia. Whilst we make plans to close down we’ll also be popping up. You can find us at So Last Century at St Dunstan’s College on 16 th and 17 th Feb and we’ll be at Catford Food Market which will be returning from a well-earned hibernation from the last Sunday - 24th February.

Does the Catford feedback reflect your views?

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With almost 1,800 comments and counting, local people have been joining the conversation and having their say about what they like and don’t like about Catford town centre. Top concerns include the variety of retail options in the shopping centre and a desire to see more green spaces in the area. All of these comments are helping to shape a masterplan for the future of Catford.

Take a look at our snapshot of feedback above and tell us what you think.

If you have more to add, feel free to pop back onto the map and share your thoughts about your area. There's no limit to how many comments individuals can add so do keep sharing ideas. All of the comments have been shared with the architects appointed to develop the masterplan on behalf of the Council.

Catford Drone School - Saturday 3rd & Sunday 4th November

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Urban Flyers launches the Drone Taster Days — a brand new drone event for the residents of Catford

 

Team Catford is leading a programme of meanwhile use to ensure we make the most of vacant spaces as the long-term process of regeneration takes place. As part of this programme and to celebrate their launch in Catford, Urban Flyers are holding free ‘Drone Taster Days’ which offer local residents the opportunity to access, learn and create with drone technologies.

 

The event will be held between 10am-5pm on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th November 2018 at Store Twenty-One (opposite Poundland) in Catford Shopping Centre SE6 4JU.

 

Urban Flyers organises workshops, training and drone experiences that help young people and adults get to grips with drone technology. Their workshops are an opportunity to learn new skills and they’ve been visiting schools, youth clubs and inclusion centres to deliver their drone clubs throughout local communities.

 

The Drone Taster weekend will consist of hands-on flying experience by manoeuvring the drones through different obstacle courses. All flying activities are indoors and 30 minutes slots will be allocated on a first come first served basis.   Everyone aged 7+ is welcome to come along, meet the Urban Flyers team and ask questions. Under 7’s can attend but will not be able to fly.

 

Simon Melbourne, Project Manager, said:

‘I am proud that we are able to offer this exciting and free event for the local residents of Catford. We are confident that people will enjoy themselves, connect with others from the local area, and learn new skills. If you are interested in joining us for these taster sessions, don’t worry if you have never piloted a drone before. The Urban Flyers team are on hand to help you develop your skills, no matter the level or experience you have of flying.’

 

For further details of the taster days, please email info@urbanflyers.co.uk

The Catford Gin Festival Makes A Triumphant Return

Due to popular demand, South London’s premier gin event returns from Friday 5th – Sunday 8th October 2018 at the Broadway Theatre in Catford.

Hosted by the Forest Hill Gin Club and Team Catford, and sponsored by Fever Tree Premium Tonic Water, the three day festival in the main auditorium of the theatre will showcase local distillers such as Dulwich based Fatty’s Organic Gin alongside those from further afield like Colonsay Gin from the Hebrides in Scotland.

Other distillers in attendance include HMS Spirits, Hidden Curiosities, Tappers, Griffiths Brothers, Hayman's, Old Bakery, Sherlock & Sons, Brentingby and our very own Tom Cat Six. The Old Tom gin distilled in conjunction with Foxdenton is a smooth slightly sweeter style gin that has six botanicals including the unique hint of Scotch bonnet pepper for a real kick

Tickets for the event cost £25 which gets you entry to a session, a commemorative copa balon gin glass, a tote bag, a brochure to guide you through your gin festival journey and tasters from each of the distillers. Full gin and tonics will be available from each stand who’ll take cash and card.

It’s not just about the drinks, there’ll also be food from Catford Food Market traders including Raastawala, Renee’s Plant Powered Kitchen and Croquette Man.

There’ll also be a gin shop selling gin to take home and pop up shop Catford Cornucopia selling Catford Pride Pale Ale and their range of soft drinks including cola, lemonade, ginger beer and cream soda.

Sessions at the festival:

Friday 5th October 2018 - Evening Session – 6pm - 11pm

Saturday 6th October 2018 – Afternoon Session – 12pm – 5pm

Saturday 6th October 2018 - Evening Session - 6pm - 11pm

Sunday 7th October 2018 - Afternoon Session – 12pm – 5pm

For more information go to Catford Gin Festival

Tickets are available now here.

 

Films, footpaths and free events!

A masterplan for Catford Town Centre

Studio Egret West and Carl Turner Architects have been appointed by the Council to develop a masterplan for the town centre. Throughout autumn, their team will work alongside Team Catford sharing their ideas and seeking input from the local community. The Council has tasked the team with developing a creative vision for how strategic sites across the town centre could help deliver new homes, shops, pedestrian-friendly areas, open spaces and community facilities over the next 10 to 15 years.  Find out more about the masterplan here and look out for even more dates to be added to our upcoming events.

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A pedestrian lane

The Thomas Lane car park is often used by pedestrians as a short cut between the Catford Shopping Centre and the Catford Broadway. We have painted butterflies, greyhounds and wildlife in the underpass and along the bridge so isn’t it about time we showed this informal footpath a little bit of love? With permission to allocate a car-free area, the architect team propose to brighten up this route by pruning overgrown shrubs, clearing litter and more than a generous splash of paint. There’s colourful things in store for this part of town. Come and find out more at 17 Catford Broadway this Sunday.

Catwanda Forever

Saturday saw the return of open-air cinema to Catford with a free screening of Black Panther. During the day, we hosted a kids craft fair in a vacant unit in the Catford Shopping Centre giving local children an opportunity to get creative. The free event, called Catwanda Forever took inspiration from the fictional country Wakanda, home of the Black Panther in the Marvel universe.

Black Panther-themed activities saw 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. Local traders, including Eve, showcased original and ethical African fashion, accessories and homeware.

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The Catford Free Film Festival is back for its third year with a bumper line up of films at venues across town. No tickets required, it’s first come first served so get there early!

Catford Food Market

Come and join us for a local carnival this weekend.  From 10am- 4pm there’ll be live music, food from around the world and free children’s activities.  Team Catford will also be there to hear your views on plans for the town centre. More information can be found at www.catfordfoodmarket.com

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Catwanda Forever!

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Local children will have another chance to get creative at the second Catford Kids Craft Fair on Saturday 18 August, followed by an outdoor screening of the Marvel blockbuster Black Panther. The free event, called Catwanda Forever will take inspiration from the fictional country Wakanda home of the Black Panther in the Marvel universe.

 

From 11am-4pm in a vacant unit in Catford Shopping Centre, Catwanda Forever will feature 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.

 

The films fictional capital Birnin Zana has been lauded as an exemplar in urban design with a rich mix of architectural styles, building densities, and transportation systems and will be used to encourage children to think about how they would like to see Catford change in the future.  It will also tackle other themes around people’s perceptions of Catford and explore the realities of living here.

 

Local food traders Jerk Off BBQ and Bear’s Doughnuts will be serving from 7pm and the film starts at 8pm. There will also be local traders showcasing original and ethical African fashion, accessories and homeware.

 

The event has been organised by Team Catford, a team of specialists leading on community engagement and place-making on behalf of Lewisham Council. They’re inviting everyone who lives, works, socialises, commutes or runs a business to have their say as Catford goes through its biggest change in decades. 

 

Team Catford has already held numerous face-to-face engagement events and will also be there speaking with locals about the transformation that their neighbourhood is going through.

 

As part of the regeneration plans, and with agreement from Transport for London (TfL), Lewisham Council is preparing plans to reroute the south circular road, which divides the town centre, unlocking a significant area for several hundred new homes across the town centre; new retail and work space; as well as creating pedestrian-friendly areas, open spaces and new community facilities.

 

So far over 1600 people have participated in lively debate about the future of Catford town centre via an interactive map tool that encourages local people to share their ideas, browse comments from others and agree or disagree with suggestions.  Comments will soon be given to the recently appointed architects Studio Egret West who will develop a masterplan that will allocate areas of the town centre for new public space, shops, homes and office space.  This will be shared with the community for feedback, and once agreed, will be the vision for Catford - a blue print to guide planning applications from developers and investors.

 

Both events are free and everyone is welcome to attend. A video of the last craft event in December can be seen here below:

 

 

Catford Kids Craft Fair

Date: Saturday 18 August 2018 
Time: 11am-4pm

Location: Store, Twenty One, 2-3 Winslade Way, Catford Shopping Centre, Catford SE6 4JU

Admission: Free

 

Outdoor Pop Up Cinema

Date: Saturday 18 August 2018
Time: 7pm-8pm Food and music

Time 8pm-10.30pm Black Panther (12a) (bring your own seating)

Location: Outside Tesco, 16-21  Winslade Way, Catford Shopping Centre, Catford SE6 4JU

Admission: Free

Catford's home team

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You may have noticed some activity in one of the vacant units on Catford Broadway recently and we can now reveal that this is Team Catford’s hew home. Seventeen Catford Broadway will be dedicated space to host engagement events and workshops on the town centre regeneration and shop at Catford Cornucopia – Catford's very own gift shop.

The unit that has been vacant for some time now and as owners, the Council have decided to put the space to good use whilst a planning application to rennovate the shop units and flats above is being considered.

This month you’ve been mostly saying

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The number of comments shared on Commonplace is almost at 1,600 and we’d love a final push to reach a round figure before we hand them over to the soon-to-be-appointed architects who will develop the masterplan for the town centre. Tell your friends and neighbours to visit the map and add their thoughts.

Traffic issues continue to be a dominant theme with pedestrian safety being flagged in comments this month:

“The traffic speed on the road needs to be controlled, cars race along, jumping over speed bumps as do buses at the end of their route. Dangerous for pedestrians, there is no safe crossing.”

Rerouting the south circular road will open up opportunities for improving road safety for everyone as we look at dedicated cycle lanes and new pedestrian crossings.

Comedy, music, drama and beer

We’re still buzzing after one of Catford’s liveliest weeks. Not since the town’s heyday of dance, music and theatre in the fifties and sixties has there been quite so much culture right on our doorstep.

The Broadway Theatre’s Catford Fringe Festival pulled in a crowd for its eclectic range of headliners, local theatre companies, stand-up comedians and curiosities. Highlights included Straight Outta Catford (Work in Progress) by local Scarlett Dobson. With some thought provoking views, she tackled some of the most pressing issues of the changing face of Catford.

The Catford Beer Festival made a welcome return to the Catford Bridge Tavern over a sunny weekend with over a thousand pints pulled on the first evening alone. Don’t worry if you missed out – visit the Catford Food Market this Sunday to get your hands on the limited-edition festival glasses, t-shirts, tote bags and Catford Pride Pale Ale.

People’s Day

Save Saturday 7th July in your diaries for Lewisham’s 34th annual People’s Day in Catford’s Mountsfield Park. Team Catford will be there to answer any questions about the regeneration and the masterplan for the town centre and Catford Cornucopia will have a stand selling a variety of treats from the small specialist merchants of Catford. Our very own, Charisse Chikwiri is busy making preparations to launch a new stage for Young & Vocal showcasing the very best up-and coming local young talent. If you missed the Young & Vocal debut earlier in the year, check out this video of the event.

Team Catford Roadshow meets the Diamond Club
The Team Catford Roadshow is in full swing and our latest stop took us to Holy Cross Church where we met members of the Diamond Club, a lively social group for Catford pensioners. Catford’s longest-standing residents reminisced of when Catford was the cultural hub of the borough, boasting two cinemas, the Hippodrome, and three dancehalls.

There were also fond memories of when the Catford Cat was first placed on its now famous perch in 1974.

While they were keen to see what they regeneration proposals would bring for the future of Catford they also felt it was important to preserve key elements of the neighbourhood’s past.

If you’re part of a community group, residents association, place of worship or know of a group that we could meet then get in touch with us by emailing hello@teamcatford.com

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Another step forward for the Catford Town Centre Masterplan
Last month Lewisham Council launched the tender process to find the architects that will draw up the masterplan for Catford Town Centre.

The masterplan will guide growth and development over the next 10-15 years and is based on public input, planning initiatives, physical characteristics and social and economic conditions.

It will be both aspirational and deliverable, commercially based, and informed by a thorough understanding of the retail, residential and leisure market in Catford Town Centre.

The tender process is now closed and a decision on the successful team will be announced next month.

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We are Catford and proud!
There was hardly room to swing a free Catford Food Market tote bag last month as Catfordians came out in force to support the first Catford Food Market.

The 20 strong line up featured the plant based street food crew The Nooch, cake stall Brett & Bailey, North East Indian street food vendors Raastawala and the purveyors of South London’s best pizzas Van Dough who sold out in record time.

Catford Cornucopia which sells Catford related goodies also sold out of everything including its bespoke pale ale Catford Pride and exclusive Catford and Proud tea towels produced by local artist Hazel Nichols.

Many people decamped to local businesses after the market to continue their Catford day out. We spotted plants, paintings and tote bags in Bar & Bottle Shop, Catford Constitutional Club and Little Nan’s Bar as well as at bus stops and the train stations demonstrating that the market achieved its aim of complementing the existing offer and supporting the local economy.

The Catford Food Market is back this Sunday and on the last Sunday of the month on Catford Broadway from 10am to 4pm. New traders this month include Black Mylk offering vegan ice cream, Route 66 and there take on Californian style burritos and Agua Na Boca, bringing the flavour of Brazil to the broadway.

If you’re not feeling hungry, there’s plenty to keep you busy, occupied including free children’s activities from 6Arts and live jazz and Team Catford who’ll be listening to your views about the regeneration of Catford Town Centre.

Catford Food Market pulls a crowd

Wow, what a turnout! We couldn’t have wished for a better start for the Catford Food Market. The first market took place on Sunday 25th March and attracted hundreds of people from Catford and beyond.

They feasted on a delicious range of cakes, breads and pastries plus freshly-cooked delicious street food from small independent businesses and food producers including Caribbean fayre from Jerk Off BBQ, north-eastern Indian delights from Raastawala and Japanese delicacies from Fuse Love.

Hot food at Catford Food Market

It wasn’t all about making people’s bellies happy at Catford Food Market. There were all kinds of fabulous products and activities - from kids’ arts and crafts to house and home items including Hazel Nicholls’ wonderful collection of mugs, jugs and tea towels.
The Catford Food Market takes place on the last Sunday of every month, 10am–4pm, on Catford Broadway so come along to the next market on Sunday 29th April.

Team Catford Roadshow

If you haven’t spoken to us about the big changes for Catford yet, what are you waiting for?! Take a look at our forthcoming engagement events here and come and share your views on our town centre.

As well as these events, we’re also inviting ourselves along to other meetings. In March alone, we popped along to the Rushey Green, Catford South and Whitefoot local assemblies, the Neighbourhood Community Development Partnership (NCDP) meeting at the Irish Centre and the age-friendly city event organised by the Lewisham Pensioners’ Forum.

If you’re a member of a residents’ association, community or amenity group; a regular at a place of worship; or you know of an event where you’d like to see Team Catford please let us know. Email hello@teamcatford.com with details. Here's a video of us at the NCDP event.

Countdown to Catford's masterplan

In March, Lewisham Council launched the tender process to find the very best architects to draw up the masterplan for Catford town centre. Prospective bidders have a month to submit their proposals and it is anticipated a decision on the winning team will be made in May. If you’d like to learn more about the masterplan process take a look at here.