Sunday, 16 December 2012

Brockley Christmas Market 2012

It was cold, a bit wet at times and tales of men running round Brockley with pitchforks but nothing dampened the spirit of another successful Christmas market on Coulgate Street. This year BXAG roped us in to help out on one of the two stalls selling mince pies and mulled wine and we sold out proving that Brockleyite's love a hot drink mixed with music, craft stalls and lots of people.

Thankyou to everyone who popped by to say hello and of course purchased our wares!

Transition Brockley stall manned by the lovely Valerie, Ruth and  Michelle

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Community Gardening in Action!

Saturday saw local groups (TTB/BXAG and Brockley Society) alongside members of the public help to tidy up various areas around Brockley Station and Brockley Rd that were in need of some work.

Brockley Common saw a big effort on the flower bed next to the new ticket barriers where bindweed had taken over and hidden or even started to kill off some plants. The edible garden was weeded and new plants put in. Currently there are tomatoes, artichokes, strawberries, blackcurrants, raspberries and lots of mint in the garden amongst many other plants.

Thanks to David the wildflower meadow had its annual cut and Nicola from the Brockley Society did a sterling job in cleaning out and weeding one of the tree pits for the new trees on Brockley Rd. Photos from the areas in question can be seen below but I would urge you to visit yourself and engage with your local environment!
Before - During - After - The bed adjacent to the new ticket barriers at the station

The wildflower meadow - post cut

The tidied up tree pit on Brockley Rd

The Edible Garden at Brockley Common
Some sad news to report is that British Transport Police appear to have taken it upon themselves to remove the recently constructed compost enclosures at Brockley Common presumably on the basis that someone could leap about 10ft off them over the fence and into the station grounds. Craziness! Another article on that particular issue to follow however not wishing to end on a sad note so thanks to the efforts of all the volunteers Brockley now looks cleaner, smarter and a happier place to be! 

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Goldsmiths Community Permaculture Event

Ruth recently posted this up on the Transition Lewisham email circular with details of a workshop children with the aim of looking at nature in a new way. Details below:

is hosting free fun-packed permaculture
 day for parents with children age 6 – 12

Saturday 15th September ~ 11am to 3pm


Learn about theWEOF LIFE
(how plants & animals are connected)

and help build a HERB SPIRAL!

Where: Room 3, Goldsmiths Community Centre, Castillon Road, SE6 1QD
Bring a packed lunch or lunch to share
Refreshments provided: Drinks, fruit and biscuits
Maximum 3 places per family (eg 1 parent + 2 children).
There are 15 places in total
 For more information / to book please email:

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Brockley Station Garden Update

Quick update on the Brockley Station garden which has suffered badly from slugs and snails meaning that there hasn't been much food to pick however there is some now! Val informs us that:

The strawberry plants have lots of fruit which should be ready in the next ten days. There is one globe artichoke ready to pick.Apart from that the garden has been mainly taken over by flowering
plants and mint.

There are also tomato plants which are looking healthy however the courgettes haven't done so well.

Please pop along and if you do pick please only take what you need and remember to tell others about the plot alongside helping out at gardening events!


Thursday, 21 June 2012

Big weekend of activities!

We have a big weekend for Brockley coming up!

Firstly, on Saturday 23rd June is the Hilly Fields Fayre which I'm sure many of you may have been planning to attend. We are participating again and sharing a space with the Brockley Cross Action Group. The Fayre takes place from 12-4pm.
Following the Hilly Fields Fayre there is a major community gardening day taking place on Sunday 24th June - please see above flyer for details. This is a joint event with BXAG. There's lots to do some please come along and make it a sucessful day!

Thanks in advance and look forward to seeing many of you!

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Progress Update


Clearing has finally begun in a large and uncultivated back garden of a council-owned house in Breakspears Road by two local people who will be growing fruit and vegetables. We have been working for some time with the Brockley PFI (who manage the property) to facilitate a 'gardenshare' at the property. The aim is to match up local people on allotment waiting lists with nearby gardens which are neglected for various reasons (often attracting litter) and crying out to be put to a useful purpose!  With the full approval of the tenants, and support from the PFI, it is hoped that the scheme will be extended to other gardens and help those who are keen to 'get growing'. Two other 'gardenshares' in the area (at privately owned or rented properties) have been facilitated by Transition Brockley and if you would like to join this scheme, either as a gardener or to offer part of a garden, please email Fran (

Clearing one of the gardenshare properties



We have also put in a bid to the Council for funding to construct two raised beds at the community edible garden (next to Brockley Station) for growing soft fruit. Broad beans will have been picked before this is circulated but keep an eye out in June for the strawberries which are currently looking very healthy!


An energy group has been initiated to tackle the issues of reducing CO2 and energy costs, and several people recently took up the offer to Transition Brockley of having a free Home Energy Saving Survey carried out at their homes. 


The mini wildflower meadow at the orchard on Hilly Fields (next to the Stone Circle) has been extended, inspired by the brilliant patch of colour and extra habitat for pollinating insects it provided last year. Local residents care for the young apple and pear trees by weeding and mulching and by watering through the summer months. 

Last years meadow

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Hilly Fields Orchard Wassailing - an artistic view

Back in February we held our second wassailing event at the orchard on Hilly Fields. Amongst the group was a  local artist, John Kerry, who as I think you'll agree has managed to really capture the essence of the day, bounding around in snow and wishing the trees well!

Brockley Road Tree Planting Update

You may recall that last year we made a successful joint bid with the Brockley Society and Brockley Cross Action Group for Brockley Assembly funding for new trees along Brockley Road. I can now report that the installation of the trees happening as we speak! Rupert from the BXAG has provided an update on the works below:
Works have commenced on the tree planting project on Brockley Road, outside the main shopping parade.
Last year the Council widened the pavements outside the shops as part of a road safety project funded by TfL, but had no funds for any pavement enhancements. So BXAG teamed up with Transition Town Brockley, who submitted a successful bid to the Brockley Assembly for £4600 to cover the cost of new tree pits & trees along Brockley Road.
Following a series of meetings with Council officers we now have an agreed scheme to plant six trees, three on each of the pavement extensions. We would have liked to plant trees elsewhere on Brockley Road but there are underground services in most locations making the excavation of the tree pits impossible.
In a change from the usual single tree in a pit approach three trees will each be planted in a rectangular tree pit approx. 7 metres long by 1.2 metres wide, at 2 metre spacings. This will make a much greater impact and will create more of an “urban forest” effect. The bigger pits, with over 800mm depth of new topsoil, will provide more room for root growth and rainfall catchment so should give the trees a better chance of survival. The bigger pits will also enable the community to colonise them at a later date e.g. to plant spring flowering bulbs.
The tree species we have chosen is a lovely native tree Whitebeam (Sorbus aria), which has greyish green foliage, white flowers in early summer and red berries (much loved by birds) in autumn. They have an attractive shape and won’t grow too big, so there should be no worries about shade. They will be planted as large standard specimens up to 4 metres tall and will be protected against damage with ornamental tree guards. The overall appearance of the tree planting should really lift the public realm along Brockley Road and provide some much needed greenery.
We hope the Whitebeam tree will in time become Brockley’s main signature tree, planted e.g. around Brockley Cross and along Coulgate Street. This will help strengthen Brockley Cross’s identity.
The council have assured us the trees will be watered regularly as part of a contract. Watering may be something the community could also get involved in, to ensure our trees survive the inevitable droughts that will come our way.
The works should be completed by the end of March.
If you have any questions or comments please contact the BXAG via their website www.brockleycrossactiongroup.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Meeting notes 21.02.12

Working groups
Several potential working groups had been discussed at the last meeting and the idea of a visioning group had arisen at the film evening. At this meeting we divided into small groups to give some thought to three of these which were of particular interest to those at the meeting. Some groups were a combination of more than one of the earlier raised possible groups.

Headline messages from these groups were:

The remit of this group could vary enormously depending on the ambition of the group. Brixton would be a good group to learn from as it has a lot of work underway in this area. A separate Energy meeting is being set up.

Engaging the community/skill share/ visioning
This group talked about developing a sentence which reflected what Transition Brockley is about and the possibility of a 'visioning group' to help do this. It also committed to engage with the new community centre based at the Crofton Park library.

encouraging sustainable consumption & recycling.
This group touched on the importance of developing a vision for the group, such that when people from the group are talking to members of the local community they can reasonably quickly and simply explain what the group is about and why it is doing the things it's doing. The group, could for example, go and talk to people at the new Brockley market. Possibilities included looking at helping people with composting, developing a community compost heap at the station plot, promoting recycling, up-cycling events, making things, reducing use of plastic bags, moving from sharing fruit in the local community (part of last year's fruit harvesting) to sharing other community resources e.g. via freecycle/freegle or toolshare websites. It was thought that it would be useful to ask the Council when they visited the group how it could support recycling efforts.

Discussions on these can continue at the next meeting and an energy meeting will be taking place before then.

Next meeting
Wednesday 21st March, 7.30pm. Venue: tbc

  • weeding hour, Sunday 11th March, 2-3pm, at Brockley station
  • Transition gardening: Sunday 22nd April, 10-12 at Brockley station
  • Sat 25th February Freecycle event at Syndenham Park
  • The bid for the fruit garden at the community garden at the station would be going in soon. It is under discussion with BXAG.
  • Collaboration with the scouts was under investigation.
  • Sunday 26th 12-4.30pm – Gardening with Brockley Cross action group
  • New pop up cinema at forest hill would be screening H2Oil. Date yet tbc. See:

Brixton Energy

More news from Brixton as they launch their first share issue on Brixton Energy. Duncan writes:

Dear Friends,

I am proud to inform you that the UK's first inner city community owned solar project 'Brixton Energy Solar 1' has now launched its share offer. Please seriously consider investing £250-£20,000 and tell all your friends and contacts.

Brixton Energy plan to put several hundred square metres of solar panels on the top of buildings on the Loughborough Estate, working with Lambeth Council, Brixton Low Carbon Zone, United Residents Housing and the Loughborough Estate Management Board. This will help generate clean green energy, reduce the estate's carbon emissions, generate a Community Energy Efficiency Fund for use in the community and provide a green investment opportunity. Brixton Energy is the first project of Repowering South London and will provide an exemplar model to be rolled to other parts of Lambeth and South London.

The share offer will help raise the capital cost of £75,000 needed for the solar PV installation on the roof of Elmore House on the Loughborough Estate. The share offer closes on 10th March and we are hoping that the funds will be raised before the deadline. For more information on Brixton Energy and the share offer please visit

Please find attached a press release from Brixton Energy. Please do pass on to your links and networks as a community led project Brixton Energy needs all the support it can get.

Warm regards

Duncan Law
(for Brixton Energy and Transition Town Brixton)

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Local Currency Action - Conference

Adrian from our transition neighbours in New Cross has recently posted up details on the yahoo group of an interesting and transition-related event happening at Utrophia on Deptford. Creating local currencies is one of the aspects of the transition town model which has attracted a lot of interest in recent years with areas such as Brixton, Totnes, Lewes, Stroud and recently Bristol all starting up their own local currency. There's a short video about the Brixton Pound below for your enjoyment and enlightenment.

Event details
Date: Saturday 18th February 2012
Time: 11am - 6pm
Venue: Utrophia, 120 Deptford High Street (opposite the train carriage)

The Local Currency Action-Conference will look at the role of money in
an economy, and how a local currency can be harnessed to promote small
businesses, entrepreneurship and a stronger local economy and identity.
The first part of the day will consist of three speakers, from different
community initiatives, who will introduce the participants to the
concepts of money, local currencies and credit unions - “community
banks” -, and the roles these play in building stronger communities
and engaged economies. The second part of the day will consist of
participants breaking out into smaller groups to look at particular
aspects of creating a local currency; these groups will discuss an
action plan for their respective topics, eventually coming back together
to feedback to the whole group (the plenary). The aim of the
action-conference is to provide an informative and lively introduction
to community finance to those interested in listening, and then
developing a concept of a local currency that could be rolled-out in
Deptford and New Cross for those interested in doing. At the end, it is
hoped that we will have a blue-print to start working on making a local
currency a reality.

Starting 11am
11:30 - 12:00 James - Understanding Money
12:00 -13:00 Simon Woolf - Brixton
13:30 - 14:30 - Lunchtime Band
[DNX video]
14:30 - 15:00 - Maria Drury - Credit Unions
15:00 - 17:00 - Breakout Session Discussions
17:00 - 18:00 - Plenary Feedback
18:00 - 19:00 - Core Group Action Discussion

The Speakers:
James - Understanding Money
James, an economist, will provide a light-hearted start to the
conference with a number of anecdotal stories and games to demonstrate
just what money is and how it works. He will cover the function and
development of money - the exchange commodity, what it has become, the
feelings it evokes in us and why an alternative currency may be preferable.

Simon Woolf - The Brixton Pound
William is the Managing Director of the Brixton Pound, a successful
local currency initiative which is in its 3rd year of existence. He will
provide the real-life story of how they set up the Brixton �, the
pit-falls they hit and the successes they achieved, as well as telling
us just what it takes to develop one of our own.

Maria Drury - Deptford-New Cross Credit Union (branch of the Lewisham
Plus CU)
Maria is the credit union branch manager in Deptford-New Cross, who has
been a long-time community activist, setting up numerous initiatives to
improve the quality of life for those living in New Cross and Deptford.
She will talk about the role of credit unions in strengthening community
bonds, providing accessible and responsible finance, and building
democratic and sustainable local services.

As the financial crisis starts to hit, local communities need to build
their resilience in the face of cuts, inflation and exploitative big
business. New Cross and Deptford are two communities that will be hit by
the recession, especially the poorest, and therefore the community need
to start finding ways of tackling the effects of gentrification, the
invasion of multinational supermarkets and retail chains and high levels
of unemployment and poverty. One means to meet the challenge is the
implementation of a local currency, which will support small,
independent businesses, work opportunities and entrepreneurship, as the
money flows within the area, enabling more transactions and exchanges of
value locally. Another is to support community-based banks, such as
credit unions, which encourage saving and provide responsible loans, as
well as being locally controlled and accountable.

Local finance can assist in the following ways:

1] Provide a medium of exchange which can only be used locally, thus
encouraging trade in the locality, develop a constant recycling of value
within the community, and preventing the community's wealth from leaving
the area.

2] Provide a means to pay for local services - eg caring, gardening,
repairs - thus encouraging members of the community to provide
employment, work opportunities and skill-share to other members.

3] Strengthen a sense of local identity with a currency which celebrates
local heroes, events and landmarks.

4] Encourage a responsible attitude to savings, lending and purchasing,
with supportive local financial institutions, which are democratic,
accountable and transparent.

Brockley Common Community Gardening Day - Sunday 21st February

Rupert from the Brockley Cross Action Group has been in touch to tell us of an upcoming gardening event down at Brockley Station. Details below:


A date for your diaries! Yes the time has come for our first - and much needed  - community gardening event of 2012!

Come and join us for an afternoon of gardening on Brockley Common on SUNDAY 26th FEBRUARY, 12.00 - 4.30pm! Meet outside the Broca Cafe.

We are planning to give the community gardening beds a good clear out and pruning to prepare the planting for Spring! We will also be venturing into the wildlife area for our once a year rubbish removal and cutting back of shrubs, before we hand it back to the birds that nest in there and all the other creatures that live there throughout the year.

So come along for some community action! Please bring warm clothing and stout footwear. BXAG will provide tools, gloves and refreshments on the day.

Hope to see you all there - if you can make it!




Monday, 13 February 2012

2011 Wassail at Hilly Fields

Let the wassailing begin!

The previous day's heavy snow could not prevent the second annual wassail at Hilly Fields orchard on Sunday 5th February. Details of last years inaugural event can be found here. This year's event was attended by around 15 people made up of orchard leaders, carers and others who just wanted to join in the fun! Accompanying the  traditional wassailing equipment of cider and toast was some hot spiced apple which was very welcome as we made our way through the snow whilst night began to descend. We also took the opportunity to check up on other new fruit and nut varieties including Quince, Walnut and Greengage which have been planted in the park in recent times and are happy to report that all our doing well.

Warding off the spirits and wishing them well with a drop of ale

January meeting minutes

Minutes of our meeting held on 19th Jan 2011 at Mr Lawrence Wine Bar, Crofton Park.

*Please note names of members against specific minutes/actions have been omitted from public version.

Transition London Network Meeting Feedback

  • Good opportunity to network with other London groups
  • Possible London Transition co-ordinator post to be created
  • TT Brixton offered potential meeting space for south London groups
  • Low carbon communities
  • Project Dirt are launching a new website
  • Good for sharing ideas with other groups

Celebrating our achievements

A number of toasts to all the things we have done up to now:

  • Film nights (awareness raising)
  • Participation in local events (Hilly Fields Fayre, BXAG events)
  • Fruit harvesting
  • Brockley Gardenshare
  • Brockley Station Community Garden
  • Draughtbusting training
  • Collaboration with other local groups (BrocSoc, BXAG, Friends of Hilly Fields)
  • River of Flowers project
  • Successful funding applications
  • Promotion of beekeeping
  • Planting of new orchard at Hilly Fields
  • ‘Flux’ club night

Transition Discussion Cards

We introduced something which has formed part of the latest book by Rob Hopkins ‘The Transition Companion’ which is about using ‘ingredients’ cards to stimulate conversation in groups under particular headings. The group broke into pairs using the topics on the cards as the drivers for conversation in relation to what we do and could do locally. Topics discussed included:

‘Outreach / skill sharing’

Becoming more inclusive
Tapping into local clubs
Engaging local businesses
Brockley Station garden > good way of getting more people involved. Potential to attach meeting to an event at the garden events.

‘Starting Out’

Lewisham Green Drinks
Engaging young people > how we communicate


Education > Prendergast (Hilly Fields Orchard) / Developing links with schools and how to sustain them. Noted that the head of John Stainer is a trustee of BXAG and this could be a possible link. Lots of potential issues such as child protection which make it difficult to access these sectors.
St Andrews Church Hilly Fields groups > possible involvement in meetings?
Could we do a talk about bees?
Brockley Market seem to be happy to have people there handing out leaflets.
Linking up with local scout groups – could even help them get their badges! To be followed up.


What could the area look like?
What would be the best way of having an effect on the local area?
LEAF > community grants for things like insulation.
Approaching the council: ownership of spaces.
Lewisham Council - Community & Environment manager > happy to meet up and talk to members of the group.

‘Local food initiatives’

Brockley Station plot – could we grow enough to sell in the future?
Possible collaboration with Erin from the Broca on a Brockley preserve (tied into fruit harvesting)

Philip Grainger from Rushey Green timebank is trying to set up a community café in Crofton Park library. Meet up with him to discuss further how we might become involved.
Tool swap / gardening events
Energy meters – if we could get hold of some we could loan them out to people to use. Noted that Lewisham library had a similar scheme. Check if this is still running.
Post meeting note: checked and the library still do this.
Even if Lewisham do already run this scheme it would be worth promoting.
Re-skilling: – re-establish links with Frendsbury Gardens?
Sharing resources in the community – Freecycle type of thing.


Meet with council
Look into selling produce
Re-skilling – how can we facilitate this?
Contact local scout group


Online – Blog, Facebook, Twitter – Facebook site needs to be utilised more.
South east central forum needs to be used more. All our events need to be posted on here. We should start discussions on there too.

Actions: Check on Facebook group. South east central to be utilised more (all).

Forming working groups:

It was noted that other Transition groups have formed working groups dealing with particular aspects of transition such as Recycling, Energy, Money, Food etc. We haven’t done this and it was agreed that it should be something we should work towards. Attendees noted down areas of that they were particularly interested in with a view to joining up with each other forming working groups.

Actions: Circulate list of attendees areas of interest to kickstart formation of working groups.

Brockley Station Community Garden

Bid for sign/ Fruit trees – didn’t go in however another bid is in progress (community food bid) £750 available. We have had Groundworks visit the site to advise on how we could maximise the space at the site and suggested that a couple of apple trees and fruit bushes alongside raised beds.
TTB will need to provide the labour to build any raised bids / planting. Around 12 people required. Possible workday in March.

Actions: Put together bid for community food funding.

Film evening

Hosting a night of transition related films at her members’ house. Circulate ideas for films. Attendees noted whether they would be interested in attending. Limited space available.

Actions: Member to circulate list of possible films and dates to interested members.


  • Next meeting date: Tuesday 21st February 7:30pm Venue: Mr Lawrence Wine Bar
  • Next garden event: Sunday 22nd April 10-12pm at Brockley Station


  • New orchard being planted in Mayow Park, Sydenham on Saturday 28th January 12-3pm.
  • London orchard project are carrying out a session trimming down the cages around the apple trees at Lilac House.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Orchard Planting in Mayow Park

Hilly Fields Orchard - June 2011

Alona has written to tell us of a new orchard being planted in Mayow Park at the end of January. Many of you will recall that we planted our orchard in Hilly Fields around the same time last year and had a fantastic turn out. This orchard will be the third one in our borough planted in partnership with London Orchard Project Details below:

Come along and help plant 10 fruit trees in Mayow Park, Sydenham, with the London Orchard Project.
DATE: Saturday 28th January 2012 .
Time 12 - 3pm.
The orchard will be on the southern side of the park, very near the tennis courts. The London Orchard Project will bring the trees, stakes, tree guards and tools. Their staff will guide volunteers on how to plant and look after the trees. 

If you live near the park, you could be involved with the care of the orchard. The trees will need regular watering, weeds removed from around the trees plus occasional mulching. In time they will need some pruning. Training will be given on care of the orchard. For more information about tree planting or becoming an orchard carer email:  

Sunday, 15 January 2012

It's time to wassail again!

Wassailing on Hilly Fields - January 2010

It's time to wassail (wish good health to) our fruit trees on Hilly Fields  for 2012, so with this in mind, we are meeting at the orchard site next to the Stone Circle on
Sunday 5 February from 4.00 to 5.00pm
(earlier this year to make it more child-friendly). 

Each tree will be wassailed with our Hilly Fields Wassail Song, a sprinkling of cider or ale and a piece of toast.  We then need to make lots of noise to make the evil spirits go away.  Please bring the necessary goodies for your tree. The words for the Wassail Song are copied below for you to print and bring along, and whistles, rattles or pots and pans will do a great job for despatching any tree-unfriendly spirits!

A bowl of warm mulled apple-juice has been promised as per last year - very welcome, thanks!

Although this is addressed to the orchard carer group, everyone is welcome to come along and celebrate the first successful year of growth (thanks to their committed 'carers') of our very young fruit trees.

Words to the Wassail Song - to the tune of 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas':

We wish you much bud and blossom,
We wish you much bud and blossom,
We wish you much bud and blossom,
And a healthy root growth.

We wassail to you, may you prosper and thrive,
We wassail and toast thee, our fair young apple tree.  (You have to say fair and young quite quickly together)

See you there!

Friday, 6 January 2012

'appy New Year!

So as we enter the new year we have plenty to discuss and do for the forthcoming year. The first event coming up is our next meeting which will be on Thursday 19th January. Please note the venue is Mr Lawrence Wine Bar in Crofton Park. Meeting starts prompt at 7:30pm. This is a change from the previously advertised date of Wednesday 11th Jan.

As a reminder of some of the things we get up to one of our members kindly sent us some images of her granddaughters picking apples from last Autumn at one of our fruit harvesting events. With so many apples there was more than enough to be able to offer some free to passers by which brings us nicely onto something related which will be happening soon...wassailing! Following last years successful 'wassail' at the new orchard on Hilly Fields we are planning a repeat of the event sometime towards the end of January. More details soon.