Loughborough Junction's Blog

A forum for Loughborough Junction


Loughborough Junction BIG LUNCH on 2nd June – get all knitted up!

Let’s get in the mood for the Loughborough Junction BIG LUNCH on this SUNDAY, 2nd JUNE.

The third ever LJ BIG LUNCH will be held on the Square next to the Hero of Switzerland on Loughborough Road.

There will be a BBQ a cake competition and lots of goodies plus entertainment and a CARNIVAL procession from Ray’s Sunshine International Arts C.A.F.E. (209a Coldharbour Lane) PLUS look out for Yarn Bombing (or dazzling knitting) organised by The House in the Junction.

Check it all out on this Sunday at the Hero of Switzerland pub at 148 Loughborough Rd, London, Greater London SW9 7LL, UK.


Yarn Bombing can transform an aread

How we’re hoping the Junction will look on Sunday 2 June – except for the trees of course!



Margherita's knitting from The House in the Junction

Margherita’s knitting from The House in the Junction

1 Comment

Levi Roots and the Loughborough Junction Big Lunchers prepare for 2 June

Local Loughborough Junction Big Lunchers sample Levi Roots' Five Recipes for a Fiver

Local Loughborough Junction Big Lunchers sample Levi Roots’ Five Recipes for a Fiver

Local Big Luncher Hazel Watson tucks in to Levi Roots' Roasted Treacle Toffee Bananas

Local Big Luncher Hazel Watson tucks in to Levi Roots’ Roasted Treacle Toffee Bananas


Yesterday I got to see Levi Roots in action at the Marcus Lipton Centre. The consummate entertainer and chef demonstrated how to BBQ, grill or bake five recipes at a cost of £5 each for the Loughborough Junction Big Lunchers who are holding our BIG LUNCH on Sunday 2 June on the corner of Loughborough and Barrington Road.

First he had to ‘de-bling’ all his rings – luckily he’d organised for a ‘bling bowl’ to be on the table. And then straight into the recipes and a few stories along the way.

After all as Levi said, cooking in the Caribbean is all about being social, having fun and chatting, listening to music while the BBQ splutters in the background and the sun shines.

We had a lovely British grey sky but were soon enjoying the banter and after his trademark ‘Lord a mercy’ Levi launched into his recipes.

Hot cheesy potato skins went down a treat with the local ‘tasters’ and the prebaked (20 mins) and scooped out potato skins were filled with chopped spring onions (scallion) and thyme and then drizzled with olive oil and baked at Gas Mark 6 till brown on the outside – and then they were filled with the ‘magic’ Reggae Reggae sauce and topped with cheese before being bunged back in the oven till the cheese had melted. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and an optional pinch of sea salt on top.

Carnival food got a look in too – with corn on the cob – but whereas most Caribbean cooks put the whole corn, leaves and all on the BBQ, these were de-skinned and pre-boiled on the stove. You put them on the BBQ with salt and oil and serve it once it’s got that BBQ tinge with flavoured butter. (Levi suggests premaking the flavoured butter and keeping in the fridge – you add spring onion and garlic to softened butter and then wrap it up in wax paper ready to cut when needed). Delicious.

To add some spirituality to the mix we got an I-tal dish – vegan and made from local produce. You need flakes of thyme, 2 big tomatoes (from your garden or Brixton Market) sliced in 3 thick slices and chopped up garlic with a bit of chilli.

First toast brown bread with the crusts cut off and then rub the pieces with a slice of garlic. Mix the thyme, garlic and chilli in a bowl with olive oil and then pour mixture onto the tomatoes before grilling toms until they are brown. Press into the pieces of toast and then cut up – superb.

Then a dish that Levi said he’s added to his repertoire ‘because Halloumi cheese is not typically Caribbean’. Halloumi and melon wrap.

You cut up pieces of sweet melon or watermelon or even mango and put them into a bowl, then add some chopped mint and red onions and pieces of cucumber. (Levi’s tip is to de-seed even the cucumber or it gets into the teeth especially of elderly relatives). Then add chopped up chilli (with seeds for hotter) and cover with the juice of a lime. For the Halloumi, you can cut pieces and BBQ straight onto grid or place the pieces on tinfoil, which Levi prefers. After it’s ready you place the combo into wraps (or roti) and cut up or eat whole.

Wonderful food and a great vibe.

For pudding: bananas. Slit them along their skins the natural way from top to bottom and then cover the banana inside with a mix of yummy muscovado sugar, softened butter and vanilla extract mashed up together. Then whip them onto the BBQ. Optional extras are nutmeg and a tot of rum!

You stick them on the BBQ for about 20 mins until the sugar seeps around the banana and serve the hot insides with a dollop of cream. BOOM and it is ready, as Levi says.

The Big Lunch is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and led by the Eden Project and aims to encourage us to reach out to our neighbours, chat and eat together. This year’s event will be based around a carnival theme so keep your eyes and ears open and let’s get in the mood!

Angela Akinyemi, Events Coordinator, Loughborough Junction Community Action Group and organiser of the Loughborough Junction Big Lunch, says: “We can’t wait for our event on 2 June and we’ll definitely try out some of Levi’s recipes on the day.”

For more information about the BIG LUNCH visit www.thebiglunch.com












Leave a comment

Loughborough Junction: waiting for Waitrose?

Loughborough Junction has now got the Tesco store and we’re (still) waiting for Sainsbury’s to arrive – BUT Zoe Williams points out in her interesting Guardian piece, it’s when Waitrose chooses to arrive that you know your area is definitely on the UP.

Some things apparently just have to go together, so it is with rising high prices and gentrification and the arrival of Waitrose’s lovely cheese counters and extensive choices.

Williams also name checks the arrival of Foxtons – now just down the road from us in the Brixton High Road. Apparently the business is used to their windows being splashed with paint by disgruntled locals and those who fear being priced out of the area.

‘In March, Foxtons opened branches in Brixton and in Mare Street, Hackney. There was immediately graffiti (“yuck” and “yuppies out”), but that, said Ben, described in the article as having worked for the company for some time, always happens. “We got the same thing in Shoreditch.”

As Williams points out, in previous decades the protests were more pointed. ‘A decade ago, we used to use May Day to protest against globalisation, but I don’t remember thinking, Londoners are going to be in the eye of this; they’re going to see themselves priced out of their homes by international currency fluctuations, and all they’ll be able to do about it is throw some paint at Foxtons.’

With extensive new-builds going up in Camberwell and Peckham, the surrounding areas are gentrifying without question – but whether the intentions of the Loughborough Junction Action Group among others to  lift the area without pricing it out of the current residents’ range will be possible, remains to be seen.

As Brixton local Tracey says in the article, ‘we can’t save for a deposit because the rents keep going up.’ SM

Read the full article

Write to loughboroughjunctionblog@gmail.com if you want to blog about this topic or simply add your comment to this article.

Are Foxtons and Tesco and other big companies good for Loughborough Junction?


Leave a comment

Loughborough Junction: Takeaway Chicken and Fast Food Station

Site of one of the proposed chicken takeaways

Site of one of the proposed chicken takeaways

An issue that is worrying a lot of LJ residents is the over-abundance of fast food outlets – selling cheap, unhealthy meals – which often attract children.

Two planning applications before Lambeth Council at the moment have especially caused comments. The one is for the site next to the Hero of Switzerland Pub on Loughborough Road and the other is for the site on the corner of Coldharbour Lane and Flaxman Road.

Both have been proposed as sites for chicken takeaways.

We have a lot of takeaway joints already and not many shops selling healthy fruit and veg, healthy meals or even aspirational shops providing jobs or fun affordable clothes or funky fashions.

Anthea Massey co-chair of the Loughborough Junction Group points out in her well-written piece for belowtheriver.co.uk, that the group has researched the issue and found “seven existing takeaways within a two-minute walk of the two proposed new ventures”.

And borough-wide the picture is even more depressing with Lambeth hosting some 91 and 173 fast food takeaways for every 100,000 residents, which is one of the highest ratios in the country.

So it’s a big issue! BUT I wonder what alternatives there are at the moment as recession bites into families’ incomes? You can get a fairly big bucket of chicken for a small amount of money … when you are strapped for time and money it’s an answer.

Some of the objections lodged with the council veer towards the patronising – with worries that locals won’t be able to see past the new venue and walk the extra few metres to the veggie shop or Tesco (a whole other debate) for fruit, veg and other goodies.

There is support for a proposal to stop any new takeaways being approved within 400 metres of a school in Lambeth’s new Local Plan, which is out for consultation.

Again I agree in principle but again it’s more complex than it seems as many of the new proposed businesses are franchise-owned takeaways, often the cheapest way for people to get into the food industry and start their business.

Perhaps we are fighting this issue too narrowly. While people in our areas are struggling with bills, frozen benefits and rising food prices we can’t afford to be too high-minded.

And Save Our School Food Standards! makes another valid point – banning takeaways from nearby schools will be an exercise in futility if Michael Gove’s academies are not subject to the same mandatory nutritional standards as state schools.

The School Food Trust’s 2012 survey of academies found nine out of every ten surveyed were “selling at least one of the snack foods high in sugar, salt or fat that had been banned from vending machines in other state schools”.

While the government refuses to apply the standards to all schools – including academies and free schools – a chicken takeaway or two might be rather beside the point?

There are excellent community projects in and around LJ already for instance Myatt’s Fields Park is growing fruit and veg in its community garden and holds cooking classes.

But without the luxury of time and money, people will use takeaways and surely that is their right unless we can all think of how we can support viable alternatives! SM

* Please feel free to blog about or comment on the situation



The Loughborough Junction Action Group (LJAG)is thrilled to have launched the 7 Bridges  – an arts-led regeneration  project – at an event held on 18 November at the Cambria pub.  The launch was very well attended by Lambeth councillors and officers and representatives from Transport for London, the Cross River Partnership and environmental charity Groundwork, and as a result we are now actively working on the project with councillors and officers.

The project’s objective is to improve the appearance and lighting of the 7 bridges which define the Loughborough Junction area.  The ultimate aim of the project is the regeneration of Loughborough Junction.  A pilot project is proposed for the spring of 2011 when the small bridge across Cambria Road will become the focus of “The Cambrian explosion” involving local schools, artists and arts organisations.

LJAG has recently been awarded a grant of £4,800 from the Capital Community Foundation which will allow us to employ a part-time project officer for three months. 

Attached please find the 7 Bridges proposal which we hope you will feel able to read and if you need further information or want to get involved please contact either Walter Graham Reed 020 7733 7272 or 07967 651 994 or Anthea Masey 020 7733 1744 or 07799 621 582

We look forward to hearing from you and sign up as a friend on the 7 Bridges facebook page.

Leave a comment

Charity Art Auction at The Sun & Doves 28-10-10 @ 7

Fair warning, in the room, to the lady at the back, selling, selling, sold

SE5’s famous gastro pub, the Sun and Doves is hosting a charity auction on the 28th October.

Please come along! It will be a really fun night with lots of art to bid on, a short film by walter and hopefully music after too! To preview the work please visit:  : http://artauction4charity.blogspot.com/ or place a bid if you can’t make it!
Hope to see you there! carolynn

About ICT

International Childcare Trust
ICT is a small charity that partners with local organisations, in Africa and Asia, to rehabilitate troubled children back into their community. As well as providing basic healthcare and education, they help re-integrate those children caught up in prostitution, labour exploitation and child warfare. Like all charities, ICT depends on voluntary contributions by individuals to sustain the projects longterm. This year I am dedicating time and effort to help raise funds for these worthwhile causes. I have signed up to Cycle Cambodia 2010 to focus my fund raising efforts in order to make a substantial difference. Together, with your help,we can achieve this.

Leave a comment

LJAG volunteers are meeting on 4th October

Hi everyone,
After a long Summer, LJAG is back to try and improve Loughborough Junction and bring neighbours together.
The LJAG volunteers are meeting on 4th October for a drink and to decide what to do next.
If you have  ideas for project/campaign that you’d like to run with other people in LJ please let me know. There is a lot that we could do to improve LJ.
Unfortunately, last year we had to refuse some funding because we didn’t have enough volunteers to run projects, so hopefully this year we won’t have that problem.
There are 4 main areas that we need help with:
– Arts
– Community events
– Greening LJ
– General lobbying and information around planning and future schemes in LJ
Looking forward to hearing from you all!
Send us an email to join LJAG and help improve Loughborough Junction


Loughborough Junction in Bloom! 2010

Hook up a hanging basket bursting with flowers,

grow herbs and vegetables on your windowsill

turn your front garden into a green haven.

Meet your neighbours and invite them to help you garden
Volunteer to help others or “adopt”a green space

Free compost and Rubbish clearance.

Celebrate on Saturday 10th July 2010 with festivities and prizes!

join in and find helpful gardening tips and advice at Carnegie library, 188 Herne Hill Road

Important documents!!!!!

Entry Form Download (Please return to Loughborough Junction in Bloom, 144 Lowden Road, SE24 0BQ)

Some resources to get you started

The Flier to email far and wide (well, in Loughborough Junction)

1 Comment

LJAG at the BBC with Robert Elms

Elise from the Loughborough Junction Action group was invited for an interview on the Robert Elms lunchtime radio show.

Fantastic work Elise!

For those that missed the show, you can listen again here


1h 38 minutes in.


Loughborough Junction and the exhibition was also on the BBC London News,

click here to view it