Loughborough Junction's Blog

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Eleven FREE two-hour workshops and activities for LJ women starting 20 JUNE

Yarn courtesy of vitasamb2001

Arts and Crafts – get your business started

Head to the C.A.F.E at Studio5 209A Coldhabour Lane SW9 8RU (C.A.F.E. is opposite Loughborough Station) if you want to train and develop your arts and craft skills with the intention of becoming self employed.

With funding from The London Community Foundation the C.A.F.E will be hosting workshops on Thursdays 18.30-20.30 and some Saturdays 14.00-16.30.

Fixed dates to be confirmed.

So join Janice Francis and Ray Mahabir for a cup of tea and a bit of cake @ C.A.F.E. tomorrow (on Thursday 20th June) to learn more about this project.

Bring an idea that you would like to work on or just go to the C.A.F.E and learn more.

 On offer 11 free 2hr workshops!

1. Market and product research

2. Designing and specialising in your product

3. How to set up production

4. Material sourcing, pricing and product testing

5. Making workshop

6. Product display, packaging, labelling and sales pitch

7. Setting up market or craft stalls

Image courtesy of vitasamb2001 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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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?


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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

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Greening LJ – this Sunday 8 November!!!

There is a plan afoot to green – or perhaps colour – Loughborough Junction next spring by planting bulbs around the place this weekend. Some local businesses have agreed to have their plots bulbed and there are spaces here and there….

To get the bulbs we need donations! Donations of bulbs would be great, but donations of money are also acceptable if you prefer to contribute that way, as we can make a quick visit to a garden centre.

If you can provide either bulbs or money, please come to the Cambria this Sunday 8 November 1-2 pm where the gardeners will be there to collect them for planting Sunday afternoon.

Volunteers to plant the bulbs are also very welcome, probably best if you bring your own trowel, fork, whatever.

See you there!

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May Poll – Is Loughborough Junction Improving?

When we moved here six years ago, friends thought we were crazy, Loughborough Junction was a place to pass through but not stop. It had a reputation which it probably deserved, regardless of this having walked around and seen the sites including the Green Man which was still open, and people smoking weed at the Ruskin park playground, we took the plunge. Why did we move here again?

It was quite a shock having moved from Pimlico. “Home James” was a notorious gambling and drug dealing taxi company who supplied the local area including groups of dealers who loitered around on Coldharbour lane, Local prostitutes worked the streets and would just use people’s gardens (including ours).

Something had to be done, the community demanded better, an increased police presence, the closure of Home James, the betting shop, a crack down on the street dealers, the closure of a brothel on Coldharbour Lane and the closure of the Warrior, the Green Man and the demolition of a pub on the Herne Hill Road (The Anchor?) all contributed to a sharp turn for the better.

Since then Loughborough Junction has in our view got significantly better, none of the above are now an issue. New shops and refurbished housing are replacing the old Loughborough Junction haunts. The area is improving quickly and needs recognising as a valuable location in the centre of Camberwell, Herne Hill and Brixton.

Without question Loughborough Junction has further to go but for the time being it is a safe and well serviced neighbourhood.

The May Poll recorded 20 Votes – 80% voted Yes and 20% voted No.

Why not let us know your experience of Loughborough Junction.