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No 38 | December 2015 | FREE

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>> ARTS & CULTURE PAGE 16 >> RECIPE PAGE 18 >> WHAT’S ON PAGE 20 >> SPORT PAGE 24 >>

Brixton to buck the trend with help to save its historic barrows

Christmas is coming early to our much-loved market. Thanks to a grant of £5,000 from the Heritage of London Trust (HLT) historic barrows in the market are to be renovated. On top of the grant, an HLT star-studded gala dinner raised another £10,200. Stuart Harwood of the Market Traders Federation said: “This is brilliant news for the traders and for the historic look and feel to a market that has roots going back to the mid-nineteenth century. Some of our traders’ barrows have been in the family for 120 years. “The grant means we can start to restore five barrows which cost upwards of £4,000 each to renovate.” Lambeth council supported the traders’ application. Ellie Cook, who project manages the Brixton Townscape Heritage and is leading on the Heritage Lottery Fund £2m grant for the development of Electric Avenue, put the traders in touch with the HLT. The fundraising will continue in the New Year. The ambition is to raise another £40,000 for restoration work. Stuart added: “the project has received total support from the community. Traditional market barrows are a fast-fading fixture in street markets. Brixton intends to buck the trend.”

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INSPIRING BUTTERFLIES Pop Brixton hosts young women’s workshops PAGE 7

ARCHES tenants voice latest concerns PAGE 9

XMAS GIFTS galore in our Brixton guide PAGE 14

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CHRISTMAS TREAT FOR OUR TRADERS

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2 NEWS

brixtonblog.com

December 2015

Rec to benefit from £6m council spend

BRIXTON BUGLE brixtonblog.com Proudly edited in Brixton

Both website and newspaper are published by a not-for-profit community organisation run by a committed team of people from Brixton » 020 3730 1312 » @brixtonblog » @brixton_bugle » brixtonblog.com ADVERTISING Jenny Shramenko 07811 878394 jenny@brixtonblog.com Circulation 10,000 copies Readership: circa 15,000 EDITOR Linda Quinn linda@brixtonblog.com MANAGING EDITOR Lindsay Faller lindsay@brixtonblog.com NEWS EDITOR Anna McKie newsdesk@brixtonblog.com ARTS & FEATURES Barney Evison, Ruth Waters arts@brixtonblog.com FOOD Miss South food@brixtonblog.com SPORT Sandra Brobbey sport@brixtonblog.com David Gibson ISSUE 38 Writers: Nikki Griffiths Susan Sheehan Mark Wadie Helen Reid Tom Sasse Leonie Rousham Angus Peters Maddi Howell Chidi Ogundu Gargie Ahmad Sub-editor: Jamila Omar Designer: Agnes Graves Production: Alan Slingsby Crossword: Josie Gardiner A massive thank you to everybody involved in making this issue, and the Blog & Bugle project, a success. If you’d like to be a Bugle stockist please email distribution@brixtonblog.com

Library campaigners at a meeting of the full Lambeth council in November

Libraries: Council faces new accusation over consultation Lambeth library campaigners have accused the council of mounting another ‘fake’ consultation and called on respondents to mount a ‘write in’ campaign to thwart it. Edith Holtham, chair of the Friends of Tate South Lambeth Library (TSL) in Stockwell, said the exercise – launched on the day that a judge ruled the council’s Cressingham Gardens consultation unlawful (see page 5) – makes it “almost impossible” for residents to say what they want for the library. She said the issue was whether Tate South or the Durning in Kennington remained a “town centre” library. The “loser” would become “a gym with a small range of books and a few computers, with no library staff at all on site. That is: Not a library”. The questionnaire also asks: “What sort of revenue generating activities (ie. activities you or local organisations would pay for) would you like to see taking place at Tate South Lambeth – alongside a free neighbourhood

library service?” Edith Holtham said the questionnaire did not ask the “fundamental” question: “Which of the two libraries do you think should be the town centre library?”. Lambeth council wanted the Durning Library to be the “winner” of a battle we do not want to fight, she said. “Neither library should be turned into a gym – and certainly not Tate South Lambeth.”

FILM COMPANY SEEKS OVER-60S A local film company is looking for people over 60 to share their experiences in a documentary film project. Guildhall Pictures wants to harness the knowledge and preserve the memories of those who have lived through a period of global change. You can find all the details on their Indiegogo page. Filming starts in January. To get involved call 020 8696 6539 or email brian@sniop.co.uk

She asked why Lambeth was “in such a hurry” to allow only four weeks, running into the holiday period, for the consultation. Both TSL and Durning campaigners met Jane Edbrooke, the council cabinet member responsible for libraries who will make the final decision after the consultation process, and council officers earlier this month and told them that the suggested questions were slanted. Edith Holtham said their suggestions for fairer questions had been ignored. Lambeth council leader Lib Peck told a full council meeting earlier this month that the council was unable to spend as much money on its smaller libraries as on its designated “town centre” ones. “We have got to be honest about the fact that we cannot put so much money into our neighbourhood libraries. I regret that, but it is actually the truth, I am afraid” . Workers in all the council’s ten libraries staged an unofficial walk-out to coincide with the council meeting.

Brixton Rec Users (BRUG) say Lambeth council has “earmarked” up to £6 million to upgrade the Rec and ensure it meets current safety standards. The spending commitment would cover the estimated four to seven years needed for the council to develop detailed plans and secure funding for long-term refurbishment works. It plans to keep the building open while this initial work is done and has said BRUG will be consulted at each major stage. The council has also published a report exploring possible options and costs of major long-term reconfiguration. Three options are given. Options 2 and 3 include bringing the entrance(s) and main gym to street level, elimination of the bowling green, an outside climbing wall and much more. BRUG says that the need or value of these changes is not clear. Cllr Jane Edbrooke, Lambeth council cabinet member for culture and leisure, told the group that the council did not yet know how it might fund the £21m-£45m long-term costs. In response to questions from BRUG, Cllr Edbrooke said the Rec will not be included in the council/GLL scheme to govern three proposed library gyms (see left).

Pop and Pound to team up

Brixton Pound, working with Pop Brixton, is to coordinate a community initiative in the New Year. Pop’s ambition is to deliver the community give-back scheme set out in its initial agreement with Lambeth council. Tenants will engage with the surrounding community through training, skill-sharing and support. Tenants are expected to donate an hour a week. Brixton Pound has been brought in to coordinate the activity. Some 75 per cent of tenants are local businesses and the Pound’s Tom Shakhli said the project would be up and running by February. “Pop Brixton has been controversial from the launch,” he said. “It is seen as just food and retail, without the wider awareness of its social goals. Our focus is to get the word out – there’s something positive for the people of Lambeth”. ■■ Find out more at a presentation in the Impact Hub, Pop Brixton on 9 December. Free tickets via eventbrite.co.uk.


December 2015

brixtonblog.com

NEWS 3

Just awards for small businesses

Junior hospital doctors campaigning for a fair work contract took to the streets of Brixton in November to seek public support. Brixton resident Paola Rodriguez (left) set up a

stall to seek signatures for a petition to the government to change its position on the hours junior doctors must work. She was joined by Reshma Ghedia,who works at Charing Cross

Hospital (right), and Ruhe Chowdhury. who works at Guy’s and St Thomas’. Reshma Ghedia said junior doctors wanted to correct misleading information being spread by government. She

said that the issue was not money and that, while junior doctors had voted by 98 per cent on a ballot turnout of 76 per cent for industrial action, they wanted to do nothing that would harm patients.

November was quite a month for small businesses in Brixton. First, the winners of the Time Out Love London Awards were announced and Brixton showed its love for the classics with Franco Manca and the Ritzy topping their categories. Brixton Village and Market Row showed they are no trendy flash in the pan, winning the shopping category. Members of the public were asked to vote to show their support and appreciation for local businesses and close to 75,000 votes were cast. Four local traders are also featured in the Dot London Small Business Awards. In the running for Best Place to Eat is Khamsa on Acre Lane. The first Algerian restaurant in London, it opened in 2009 and has become a neighbourhood institution. Also up for Best Place to Eat is Kricket in Pop Brixton. It serves Indian small plates and sub continent-inspired cocktails, and usually has a queue out of the door every night of the week. Brixton stalwart Ms Cupcake and her vegan cupcakes are nominated for Best Independent Groceries Retailer. An honourable mention for a very different business in the same category goes to Cannon & Cannon and their British charcuterie available through Salon in Market Row. The fourth business in the competition is Aduna, who are in the Best Health, Beauty and Cosmetics category with their baobab nut and moringa-based energy bars and powders. Based in the area, but stocked in over 1000 stores throughout the UK, the company support small farmers in Africa. ■■ You can vote until 5pm on 8 January at awards.london/categories.php

Residents to get radar guns to education check on speeding motorists Windmill urges: Sign to save us Lambeth council is actively promoting a programme that will give local residents speed guns to monitor motorists. The Transport for London “Community Roadwatch” scheme was referred to by Cllr Jennifer Brathwaite while answering questions at a full council meeting in November. Working with the police, the scheme aims

to reduce speeding in residential areas. Local residents will have the opportunity to “work side by side” with police teams and use speed detection equipment to identify speeding vehicles in their communities. Police will issue warning letters where appropriate and the information captured by the equipment “may help to inform the future activity of local police teams”.

Boris blanks Lambeth on buses London mayor Boris Johnson has still not replied to a letter about pollution in Brixton sent to him on 6 November. In it, Lambeth council’s cabinet member for environment and sustainability, Jennifer Brathwaite, queried his promises of a “greener” fleet of London buses to reduce pollution. Brixton has some of the worst deadly air pollution in the UK. Its effects have led leading civil rights lawyer Jocelyn Cockburn to seek ways to challenge pollution on the Brixton Road in court. Cllr Brathwaite said reports had revealed that some hybrid buses are running solely on diesel so the promised reduction in emissions from London’s bus

fleet is not being met. Transport for London was supposed to upgrade London’s entire bus fleet to meet EU emission standards by 2015. Cllr Brathwaite asked the mayor for a list of buses travelling through Brixton and Streatham that have been modified to meet European Union (EU) directives on pollution or are new hybrid buses. Cllr Brathwaite also asked if any figures were available which indicated a downwards trend in emissions from buses in Brixton and Streatham. ■■ If you have been or think you may have been affected by air pollution in Brixton and want to contact Joceyln Cockburn, please email newsdesk@ brixtonblog.com.

It is intended that Community Roadwatch will begin working in all London boroughs by the end of March next year. Any Brixton resident who would like to take part in Community Roadwatch, or who wants to suggest a residential area where there are community concerns about speeding, should contact www.met.police.uk/ teams/transportse/lambeth.

BEARD WILL HAVE TO GO, BUT BC FIGHT IS STILL ON Brixton Cycles has exceeded a £60,000 crowdfunding target. The campaign had upped the ante in its bid to raise money for a new home in Brixton. Team member Jim Sullivan – famous for the bold ginger beard he has been growing for 10 years – had agreed to go under the razor if the crowdfunding campaign hit £60,000 before it ended (Wednesday 25 November). So, it’s off with Jim’s beard. Jim had said: “Although my beard is sacred, it’ll grow back. But, if we don’t raise the money to save Brixton Cycles, then it will be gone forever!” The Bugle hopes Jim’s beard grows as quickly as the campaign has! Brixton Cycles’ existing premises are to be turned into luxury flats early next year.

Friends of Windmill Gardens (FOWG) are appealing for support for an online petition to save the education programme at Brixton Windmill. The group is asking Lambeth council to reverse its decision to delay the new Windmill education building. Over 900 signatures have been collected so far. Brixton Windmill will be 200 years old in 2016 and was restored in 2011 with a grant of just under £400,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Over 2,800 children from local schools have found out about how the mill works, its history and how flour is produced. In January 2015 the council agreed to provide a new building in Windmill Gardens, to secure both the future of the Windmill and the education programme. But now Lambeth officers propose to delay the building for an unspecified period of time. The petition was presented to a full council meeting on 18 November by Cllr Adrian Garden and awaits a response. Jean Kerrigan, chair of FOWG, said, “Our education officer’s contract runs out at the end of December, so an urgent decision is needed.” ■■ Visit brixtonwindmill.org or sign the petition at http://chn.ge/1HjJ5Sf


4 NEWS

brixtonblog.com

December 2015

Brixton design student Leonie Rousham presents her latest ideas about gentrification in words and images

Saturday December 5th 12:30pm till late official opening of Brixton’s new International Food Market

Brixton Food Court

Come and join us for a day of beautiful food, excellent music and a fully licensed bar!

50% off selected food and drink, and a free welcome drink for everyone! what we have on offer: Ethiopian, Mexican, Chilean, Columbian, Ecuadorian, caribbean, oriental and Italian cuisine, plus Hot dogs, cupcakes and Proper British Burgers come and find us at

21a Atlantic Road SW9 8JA

Main Entrance just opposite Brixton OVERGROUND station on atlantic road. SIDE entrace on Electric Lane.

The anti-gentrification apron Despite the imaginative protest movements that have taken place during the past year (visually documented in these collages), Network Rail has stated it will push ahead with the “refurbishment” of the Brixton Arches. Maybe one of the first forms of visual demonstration which should make its way into the archive celebrating Brixton will be a tribute to Jose Cardoso of A&C Continental Deli, which left Brixton on 25 October. Introducing the Anti-Gentrification Apron: This creation is a layered tribute to the deli. Aprons have commonly been associated with the artisan-style coffee shop, emblemised by the likes of Starbucks and Costa. In order to retain

a sense of Brixton’s cultural identity we need to continue supporting small independent businesses. The collaged apron, as a wearable placard, fuses the franchise uniform with Brixton’s subsiding identity. Reusing supermarket shopping bags, fabric from the market and photographic imagery from the protests, the apron is not only an act of support for the community in its materiality, but is also a symbolic representation of the conflict (we were soon kicked out of Sainsbury’s for taking these photographs). This adornment transforms the everyday blanket uniform into a form of protest, an act of political performance. ■■ A number, not a person – Page 9

Now Angela has something she can be happy about Brixton-based fashion designer Angela Knowles, founder and designer at Baruch, has won the Time Out London award for Best Shop in Bow, east London, having beaten off competition from a number of well-established stores. Knowles, who grew up in and around Brixton, always knew that her future would entail “making things” and cites her mother, who was a seamstress, as inspiration. She launched the boutique just over a year ago shortly after returning to work from maternity leave following the birth of her first child. Baruch (which means blessed in Hebrew), fuses the designer’s love of Scandinavian design with African print – ‘Afro-Skandi’ – reflecting her Ghanaian heritage. Knowles, who lives in Brixton with her husband and daughter, said: “I was miserable and anxious in a job where I felt so under-appreciated. I quit because I wanted to be happy – for me and for my family” ■■ Story and image by Kemi Caroline Bamgbose


November 2015

brixtonblog.com

NEWS 5

Angry father says Lambeth College failing to pay back fees A pupil who paid an £845 enrolment fee in the summer for a computer games programming course at Lambeth College had the course cancelled at the last minute and over two months later the money has still not been refunded. Phil Swain, father of the student, said the day before his daughter was due to attend her first lecture she was notified by text that the course had been cancelled. She had already bought stationery and course books. Swain said: “You can imagine the disappointment. And to compound matters, she has been unable to enrol elsewhere because the money has still not been refunded.” The daughter is now working in the kitchens at a Weatherspoons to make ends meet. “When I rang the college myself because she was getting nowhere, I was told that there have been hundreds of these cases and refunds are delayed but they cannot tell me why,” said Swain The Bugle contacted Lambeth College press office for a comment. None has been received.

CHRISTMAS CARD-MAKING PARTY If you fancy trying your hand at making Christmas cards and decorations, then join the fun at the Dogstar on Wednesday 9 December 6–9.30pm. Kristina Glushkova, a member of Makerhood, a community-run collective of local makers, says: “We would love as many local people as possible to join this

free event. Basic materials are provided but please feel free to bring more – especially if you’d like to recycle something. We’ll ask for a small donation of £2 to cover materials if you can afford it.” There will be live music from Sarah Nade, a ukulele singer-songwriter whose hits cover the London housing bubble, online

Cressingham campaigner says council put ‘political agenda’ before residents Eva Bokrosova, the Cressingham Gardens resident who recently scored a stunning High Court victory over Lambeth council, has accused the council over being motivated by a political agenda rather than what is best for residents. Residents celebrated after Justice Elisabeth Laing ruled in the High Court that the council’s decision to demolish up to 300 homes was unlawful. Cllr Matthew Bennett, the council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “We are disappointed at this judgement, but we will fully comply with the judge’s decision”. But the council repeated that it could not afford repairs the estate needs. The council was said in court to have

ICY LIDO DIP FOR CRISIS CHARITY

Hundreds of swimmers in fancy dress will jump into the chilly water at Brockwell Lido at midday on 12 December in support of Crisis, the charity for single homeless people. Entry costs £22.29 and participants will receive a Crisis swimming cap for the occasion and be able to enjoy a warming drink after they brave the waters. ■■ To sign up visit: www.crisis.org.uk/swim

“nobbled” its own cabinet by calling off a consultation on refurbishment of the estate overlooking Brockwell Park without carrying out a proper financial analysis. The council has been granted leave to appeal the decision on a date to be confirmed. Residents contest the council’s claim that there is no cash for necessary work on its homes. They believe the proposed new development – close to the rapidly gentrifying Brixton – would drive up living costs, forcing them out of London and destroying a supportive community. Council tenants wishing to remain on the new estate would lose secure tenancies and other rights.

Ms Bokrosova said the council’s own equalities impact assessment said up to 60 per cent of the new homes for sale would go to buy-to-let landlords and be affordable only to the wealthy. In October the council set up Homes for Lambeth, a private development arm of the council that aims to build 1,000 homes, largely by redeveloping council estates. Ms Bokrosova said she believed the council “only ever had their eye on one goal – full demolition – and that they are motivated by a political agenda rather than what is best for residents. “This case will hopefully make Lambeth council think twice before mistreating people in this way.”

dating and Jeremy Corbyn. She will be joined by Brixton’s Jeremiah Sachs, the vocal and banjo sound behind The Green Rock River Band who played five stages at Glastonbury last year. ■■ Book on eventbrite to avoid disappointment: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/christmascard-making-party-tickets-19509817389

Brixton photo book is out in time for present-buyers By Brixton, for Brixton is the idea behind a colourful new photo book produced by local creative social enterprise The Champion Agency. Compiled from thousands of pictures received over the past year, it has 273 images, covering everything from headline events to the rituals of daily life. All are taken by the people of Brixton themselves, making the book a poignant and valuable pictorial record of Brixton past and present. From an uplifting photo of a father and daughter enjoying Brixton Splash, to a historic image from yesteryear on the corner of Atlantic Road, there’s something for everyone, young and old. A percentage of the sales will go towards the Brixton Fund micro-grant scheme. The book’s RRP is £15 and it is available from local outlets as well as greatbrixton.com

STATION ROAD MARKET TRADERS’ FAIR 12 DECEMBER 10am–6pm

Home-made vegetarian mince pies • cake bread • organic honey • live African music spiced mulled wine • Christmas gifts and food Proceeds to Railton Road Advice Centre


B£ Community Shop We love being on the high street and talking to so many people from the Brixton Pound shop. If you haven’t yet, come visit us at 3 Atlantic Road, SW9 8HX. We have already hosted some great initiatives like the Advocacy Academy and Makerhood, but we’re always looking for more collaborations and ideas on how to use the space – tell us what you would like to see happen here. As well as giving local makers and bakers a platform to test their ideas and products, we’ve got a free give & take shop where you can donate unwanted items in good condition and others can pick them up for free, and a one-of-akind custard tart pay-it-forward scheme where you can buy a custard tart for someone who might not be able to afford one. It’s all part of our mission to show what a social economy can be like in Brixton. A better high street is possible – come be a part of it!

#BrixtonBonus: Winners’ Stories We have another Brixton Bonus winner! Kam Nathan, a first time Bonus player, took home B£1,000 on 30th October, which happened to be the day before her birthday! Kam lives on the Angell Town estate in Brixton, and first heard of the Brixton Bonus when she came to the launch of It’s Your Local Market, a new weekly Saturday market ran by Angell Town. Kam came by the B£ stall, chatted to us, and bought a Bonus ticket – which she promptly forgot about… until she got the email from us. “It was my birthday on the 31st so I feel blessed. I will spend some in Morleys, at the make up counter, for sure! And buy some Christmas bits for my family. But most of it will go on me! I would like to go to Brixton Village to eat out – with the amount I won I could go every week to treat myself to a meal! That would be nice, I haven’t done that in a long time. The best part about winning is that I’m going to treat myself – I haven’t had much chance to do that so this is very exciting.”

This Saturday, 28th November, we are having a party – the B£ Shopwarming. It’s free and open to all, from 6pm to 10pm – we hope to see lots of you there.

Brixton Fund: featured community group Every month the Brixton Bonus provides revenue for the Brixton Fund, our new micro-grants scheme in Brixton for projects looking to create employment, challenge injustice and create community benefit. Applications are now closed and we will announce the results of the first round of funding next week – keep an eye on our various communications channels to find out. Each month we showcase a local group doing the kind of work that the Brixton Fund was set up

to support. This month it’s Hatch, who provide that crucial early stage support which is essential in enabling start-ups and small businesses to become financially sustainable. Hatch provides free support to entrepreneurs and has worked with fantastic Brixton initiatives like Brixton Soup Kitchen and Snact. They are currently looking for more groups and individuals to support: the next Hatch incubator scheme is due to start at the end of January 2016. Interested? Read more on our blog! brixtonpound.org/blog

Kam joins the small crowd of Bonus winners, some of whom are featured in our Winners Gallery – have a look at brixtonpound.org/winners

#BrixtonBonus Brixton Bonus is a monthly prize draw with two winners: you, and Brixton. It only costs £1 to enter, and every month someone wins B£1,000! To enter, go to brixtonpound.org/brixton-bonus If you’re a B£ member already, you can play-by -text. Simply text ‘pay bonus [amount between 1-10]’ to the B£ number (07754832867). Next draw: Friday 27th November – just in time to do some BriXmas shopping – get your tickets now! 3 Atlantic Rd | brixtonpound.org | @brixtonpound | info@brixtonpound.org


December 2015

NEWS FOCUS 7

brixtonblog.com

‘I didn’t wait for funding’ Maddi Howell meets the mum who champions vulnerable young women

Real-life fairy godmother Sherica Spence, 29, has launched a self-funded scheme to inspire and empower young women who have suffered neglect and abuse. Inspiring Butterflies is based at Pop Brixton and provides personal development workshops for women aged 14 to 30. Sherica’s journey began when she set about founding a semi-independent living service for girls leaving the care system, a project she named Skye Alexandra House after her little sister. She explains: “She reminds me so much of myself, and I wanted her to know she was loved.” But she’s not stopping there. Through the Inspiring Butterflies programme she is reaching out into the community with everything from performance therapy to discussions about gang awareness and female genital mutilation. When I spoke to her for the first time she was busy meeting deadlines and running around

Project partner Tony Swann enjoys meeting the group as they work on a creative project focusing on their aspirations

Sherica Spence: drive to mentor and support other young girls comes from her own experiences

after her own 11-year-old son. She tells me that her drive to mentor and support other young girls comes from her own experiences. She said: “Our main focus is tackling sexual abuse. I went through a lot growing up, and I struggled a lot because I kept blaming myself for abuse, and for being raped. “I had to realise it wasn’t my fault. I dealt with it through alcohol and drugs, but it’s better to identify the issue from a younger age.” Despite her troubled past, Sherica speaks about her positive experience of mentors and of mentoring others herself. “I had so much support from one teacher, Judy Riddell, who would say to me ‘you’re better than this, you can do so much more’. She gave me the time of day. When I fell pregnant, she said: ‘You having a baby will not stop you from succeeding.’ She even helped me to deliver my first workshop at Norwood School.” Sherica believes that social services lack

sufficient support for young girls. Her solution is to create a culture of support amongst women themselves, promoting the sharing of stories and creating activities for girls to get involved in. “It’s upsetting to see so many young girls with nothing to do. Enterprise is a way to empower, and the arts as well. Performing arts allows girls to find new ways of expressing themselves. “I believe gangs are becoming more of a problem. Young people lack the attention they need, and then go on to destruct their own environment.” She calls for more female mentors and sponsors to counter negative trends. “We as women need to talk to young girls more, and help them to realise that there is more to life.” When I ask her about the impact of government cuts and austerity, she explains that she doesn’t feel women can rely on social services: “I didn’t wait for funding to do this. I’ve had support from friends and the local community, and we hold regular fundraising events. We even put on a rave, and we’re thankful to Pop Brixton, because they provide us with space for free.” ■■ @SkyeAlexandra86

Dilys Sillah of Who Will Hear My Cry gives a talk. The charity raises awareness of child abuse and rape in ethnic minorities

Peace on the agenda in the aftermath of Paris Lambeth police, faith groups and local residents came together in Brixton during Inter Faith Week for a critical discussion on hate crime. Gargie Ahmad reports Faiths Together in Lambeth (FTiL), and Lambeth Police organised an event at Corpus Christi church hall on Brixton Hill in November as part of a Met police campaign to promote cohesion and counter hate. “We Stand Together” was launched last March in response to terrorist attacks across Europe. A community-led initiative, it encourages people to sign a pledge of solidarity in support of celebrating diversity, fighting intolerance and sharing British values. Speakers included Mark Healey, the Lambeth Hate crime prevention coordinator; Neil Paton, operations and partnership superintendent for Lambeth Police; and Toaha Qureshi MBE, chairman of the Forum for International Relations Development. The discussion was facilitated by FTiL’s Alan Gadd. Mark Healey said that after Islamist terror attacks in Europe, there was always a rise in anti-Muslim hate crime in the UK. Neil Paton led a minute’s silence to remember victims of the

Paris attacks and explained that policing such atrocities is not about “them and us”. The attacks affect everybody. “We should stand together, live together, work together,” he said, “as, despite our small differences in ways of life, we are all the same.” Toaha Qureshi recited a verse from the Quran, and explored Muslim teachings that God made people into different communities so that we could know, not fight, one another. He remarked that, although Muslim communities have been leading efforts in cohesion and anti-extremism, and police needed to reach out further, Muslims who were in self-imposed exclusion from society should attend events such as

these and engage more. The audience led the engaging debate that followed. Points included the fact that those from all different backgrounds commit atrocities; we need only look at far-right terrorist Anders Breivik who killed 77 people in Norway in 2011. People also challenged the argument that Muslims do not engage enough to prevent terrorism. The Hyderi Islamic Centre recently hosted people to pray for peace, remembrance, and to condemn hate and terrorism for example (as reported by Brixtonblog). Local residents also challenged changes to community policing, asserting that they negatively impacted service and safety. The issue of racism within the police

David Pinder of One Voice with Inspector Jack Rowlands

was raised, and people also took issue with the unidentified “British values” mentioned in the “We Stand Together” pledge campaign. Lambeth police agreed that it was critical they continue to reach out to places of worship, schools and community groups across the borough. Although they had no quick fix to race and diversity issues within the police, they were seeking to inspire more confidence with young people from black and minority ethnic communities by becoming more approachable. The Lambeth team is committed to reviewing and building on what it already does, despite increasingly limited resources. Participants agreed it was a timely meeting in the wake of the Paris terror attacks and, with cuts to police funding looming, attendees felt it to be a constructive conversation on how to tackle hate crime as a community. ■■ There are different ways of reporting hate crime: you can call the police, report through Lambeth council, or approach community organisations. To find out more about how to deal with hate crime – based on religion, race, sexuality, disability or otherwise – contact Mark Healey directly at mhealey1@ lambeth.gov.uk or on 020 7926 2733.

STROKES: KNOW WHAT TO DO Brixton resident Charles Bosah (above) tells Chidi Ogundu how his morning routine took a turn for the worse when he suffered a stroke Charles Bosah, 55, was in his bathroom when he realised something was not right in his head, describing it “like an electric shock”. He says: “As I was walking towards my bedroom I noticed that I was dragging my left leg. “I looked into the mirror and noticed my face had changed – it had become drawn.” Despite being barely able to speak, he managed to call an ambulance by shouting his address down the phone. After four weeks of treatment at King’s College Hospital he managed to regain some mobility. “The doctors saved my life. I can’t thank them enough – even now when I go for a check-up I still thank those that helped me that day,” says Mr Bosah. Stroke is the fourth largest cause of death in England, with 110,000 happening each year. 85 per cent of people require physiotherapy afterwards. The Act F.A.S.T campaign says black people of African and Caribbean origin are more at risk and are urged to call 999 if they spot the following symptoms: ●● Facial weakness - has their face fallen on one side? ●● Arm weakness - can the person raise both arms and keep them there? ●● Speech problems - can the person speak clearly and is their speech slurred? Mr Bosah now spreads information about stroke through the Lambeth Stroke Association and supports Act F.A.S.T. “It’s so important that we know the signs of stroke and know what do if we suspect someone is having one, especially African and Caribbean people,” he says. “We are at a higher risk so we need to spread the word in our community.” ■■ For more information about the Stroke Association visit www.stroke.org.uk or call 0303 303 3100.


Pop Brixton community giveback scheme announced Asking tenants to volunteer their time and give back to the community is central to Pop’s ethos. Now almost all the tenants have moved in Brixton£ will be partnering with Pop and Lambeth Council to run this scheme. On 9 December from 6pm to 8pm a public meeting will be held to kick start this project and give local people the chance to register interest in forming the steering group. The scheme will look at getting the most out of tenant volunteering and the free community space at Pop. Part of the original tenant selection process focused on their ambitions to engage with the community through training, skill share and support. Tenants will donate an hour per week to local social initiatives. This is already under way through events such as Alexandra House’s “Inspiring Butterflies”, an initiative to help the development and personal wellbeing of young women, and Lambeth Working Team seeing tenants mentor advice and tutor on both personal and career development.

It will take around 3 months to get the project fully operational, with a steering group formed to determine which applications get to use the free space at Pop. Deadline for applications is 11 December and we expect the steering group to be formed before Christmas. By the end of February the scheme will have started If you want to attend the event register free on Eventbrite. To discuss the scheme contact: Tom@brixtonpound.org or call 07824 701849.

Lambeth Town Hall and You Lambeth Town Hall has been the focus of civic life in the borough since 1908 and is currently closed for refurbishment. We need your help for a new exhibition to celebrate the role of the town hall in our lives. With its distinctive tower and prominent position in the centre of Brixton, the town hall is an imposing presence. It may represent government and bureaucracy, pomp and ceremony; but it also represents us – Lambeth’s residents. The town hall is a place where our personal and public lives meet. What has taken place there reflects the spirit of the communities that live here and how they change. It also shows Lambeth leading the way in changing social attitudes.

a civic dance in the Assembly Room, known as the ‘No Colour Bar Dance’. The mayor welcomed immigrants from the West Indies and invited equal numbers of local residents to help new neighbours get to know each other. In 1975 the South Lambeth Gay Liberation Front held a ‘Tango’ at the Town Hall in support of the Gay Times Festival, which was the precursor to Gay Pride. Thirty-nine years later, Lambeth residents Ian Noonan and Thomas Alexander made history by becoming the first same-sex couple to marry in the borough.

In 1955 Lambeth hit the news for holding

For more information about the scheme go to www.futurebrixton.org

How you can help Have you celebrated a wedding, a National Citizenship Ceremony or another event? Or been to meetings, the election count or a political protest? We want to use some of your memories and experiences for an exhibition as part of the Your New Town Hall project. We’re looking for your photos or other memorabilia as well as your memories in text format (140 characters). You can: • Tweet @FutureBrixton • Email futurebrixton@lambeth.gov.uk • Post to: Freepost RTTG-SZLT-RCZJ, Communications and Policy, Olive Morris House, 18 Brixton Hill, LONDON SW2 1RD. For more information, visit www.futurebrixton.org


December 2015

O PINION 9

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BRIXTON BUGLE

WE SAY

We can learn from the unsung heroes The festive season is upon us but there aren’t many reasons to be cheerful. The council is caught between a rock and a hard place as it tries to weigh up the requirement to set a legal budget against the protection of existing services that residents have come to expect. But the council needs to get its act together. This month protests continued against its libraries proposals amid accusations of “fake” consultations and walkouts by library staff. Housing policy has been challenged in the High Court as Cressingham residents won a spectacular victory. Network Rail continues with its “revamp” of the arches. Poorer services seem inevitable after the government spending review confirmed the council’s fears for future services, with huge cuts in revenue to come. Protected services like children and social care may soon come under threat. The divide between those low earners dependent on tax credits and food banks and those who can still afford to buy a home in Brixton could not be more stark as gentrification continues apace. But there are glimmers of hope. Elsewhere on these pages there are heartwarming stories of Brixton people doing great things, being neighbourly, helping others, identifying problems and finding solutions. These are the unsung heroes whose stories deserve wider exposure. Brixton has also been making news for excellence. Its markets have been voted No 1 in a London-wide Time Out competition and a number of its food retailers are still in the running for best restaurants and food business in the London Dot London Small Business Awards. It should be a great place to live and work – and it is. And would it not be even better if the various public authorities and private companies that rule our lives took a leaf out of the book of the Brixton people whose aim is to help others, not private profit or public glory?

MOHAMMED AND SHAHIDA SHAFIQ: S&S textiles

LORNE MASH: Now they have the smell of money they can kick you out and that’s it

‘You are just a number now; an arch number, a figure of pounds per square foot. You’re not Mr Cardoso or Mr Mash’ After the Network Rail Brixton Arches exhibition, at which Our Brixton and Save Brixton Arches protested, Helen Reid spoke to Arches tenants Network Rail’s attitude to its current tenants in Brixton’s Arches is paradoxical. The company trumpets its commitment to the current tenants returning, but says that new businesses arriving will be paying “market rents” immediately upon moving in. Its financial incentives would appear to lie with getting in new businesses. Tenants fear the arches will turn into an area similar to any local high street. Even nearby Brixton Village is simply too expensive for the average Brixton resident, says Valerie Lindo, a community activist. One poster in the arches proclaims: “Network Rail and your local council proudly announce, Coming Soon: Atlantic Road Village – loads of bland, overpriced, soulless branded shops that nobody wants! So start saving. In order to improve a body you don’t remove the heart.” There is a great deal of mistrust on both sides of the negotiations. Jose Cardoso, the manager of famous A&C Continental Deli until recently, said of the two-day consultation exhibition on Brixton Rec: “On Friday they were fine with us filling in the feedback forms, and taking some away with us for friends who couldn’t be there. But on Saturday they were more suspicious of us taking forms away, they thought we’d doctor them. “Refurbishment doesn’t give them the right to terminate leases. They don’t want us there because it costs them money. “Refurbishing is not their responsibility, it’s ours. Theirs ends at the brickwork. I don’t see how they can – if they want to put a new frontage on then fine, it’s a two-day job. It doesn’t require me to leave my shop for a year. “Refurbishment is a very soft, very benign word for what they are doing,” Mr Cardoso added. Network Rail representatives at the consultation told the Bugle that rents would increase in a stepped way, reflecting 2015 market prices only in 2023. “The increase doesn’t sound like a lot,” said Mr Cardoso, “but then you have to

invest another £50,000 to be able to open your front door; and you’ve lost the people coming back in. It feels like they’ve just put a noose around our necks. “They’ve taken away our ability to hand down or sell our businesses on to others.” The ability of each business owner to deal with this change depends on their adaptability, current business value, and age. Lorne Mash, whose family has run the fishmongers on Atlantic Road since 1932, says his age prevents him from being able to adapt to the change. Younger tenants might be able to absorb the profit loss from the move, and plan to make up for it later. As he is approaching retirement age, this is unfeasible. He said: “We’re the oldest here and there’s no chance for us to go back. By the time it’s finished, we’d be at retirement

FERNANDA FERNANDES: Basically it doesn’t seem like we have a choice age. It’s going to cost too much money; we’d never be alive to recoup that amount again. “One minute I’ve got it sorted in my head, the next minute it’s something different. At the moment I’m swaying towards getting as much compensation as I can. This is where I would have been, would have retired, a year ago. “But it’s just about striking the deal that’s going to work for us. Everyone’s got a different take on this. “At the end of the day they’re very well-rehearsed in how they go about what they say. But mark my words, write this

down. ‘It’ll take more than a year’. I’ve been here all my life, and I see how they do things. I know it’s going to take more than a year. By that time I’ll be over 65 and will have lost all the customers I would have had anyways.” Fernanda Fernandes, of Cinco Quinas, the Portuguese butcher and deli on Atlantic Road, summarises the tenants’ mood: “Basically it doesn’t seem like we have a choice.” Mr Festa, of Baron Menswear, said: “They say they want us to return, so why do they want to increase the rent by 300 per cent in year seven?’ The question is: “Where have you been?” What is their incentive now? Why are they coming in only since Brixton has become yuppified? Soliman El Hamouti, who runs Moroccan Cafe on Brixton Station Road, said at the protest: “Our customers in Brixton are varied: we have high-earning, middle and low. If we have to put the prices up, it’ll be too expensive for the poorer customers. We want all kinds of people to come to our shops, not only the rich.” Mr Cardoso said: “The plans look really nice; they’re a bit like the arches in Clapham North.” The consultation by Network Rail focused on the design of the arches, and representatives there assured me that unique aspects such as the ironwork above Mash’s would be preserved. He added: “With the rents that they’re asking, we know that Brindisa are finding it very tough coming back. If a small chain like that is finding it hard, then what small independents are they going to attract? “It’s not the changes that are the problem, it’s taking away our livelihoods and not allowing us to benefit from them. “They first offered the statutory minimum, then gave us a second offer which they say takes more into consideration – about £43,000 compensation. The business is worth around £200,000. So the offer is still a little bit short of the value of a business that my family has worked 25 years to create. “Now they have the smell of money they can kick you out and that’s it. “That’s why we’re quite upset with Network Rail. They’re saying ‘You are just a number now; an arch number, a figure of pounds per square foot. You’re not Mr Cardoso or Mr Mash’.” Negotiations between individual tenants and Network Rail are ongoing.


10 INCREDIBLE EDIBLE

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December 2015

Susan Sheehan of Incredible Edible discovers food growing in the heart of the city Incredible Edible Lambeth (IEL) was privileged to be involved in recognising some of Lambeth’s best community gardens in this year’s Community Pride awards. Many of the projects are in central Brixton – notably the Cloisters sheltered housing scheme, just off Brixton Road; Edmundsbury Court on Ferndale Road; Arlington Lodge Estate right at the start of Brixton Hill and Solon New Road Estate a little bit further up. The awards recognise food growing projects separately: Canterbury Gardens, at the heart of Brixton, Edmundsbury Court again and the symbolic St Matthew’s Estate are all growing their own edibles as part of the 18 Lambeth estates participating in the Edible Living programme. Lambeth council organised the Community Pride Awards ceremony at the Kia Oval on 19 November, attended by 130 residents who were all finalists in

six categories. Best Community Garden award-winners were Cotton Gardens Estate, with their self-made oasis next to Kennington Lane, with Arlington Lodge and Edmundsbury Court in second and third places. Winners of the Best Food Growing Project were the Elmworth Grove Allotments in Rosendale Gardens, Lairdale were second and Woodvale Estate came third. All winners and runners up have received prizes and food growers received an IEL goody bag containing a copy of Incredible Edible’s Plant Veg, Grow a Revolution book. “We are fortunate to have some talented and experienced gardeners who are more than happy to share their knowledge and skills about cultivating, seed saving and cooking with others. Who’d have thought that cooking young broad beans in their pods would be so delicious. If you look amongst the vegetables you’ll see signs of childhood gardens, callaloo, New Zealand yams and Turkish rocket to name a few,” said Patrick McCabe of Elmworth Grove Allotments.

PICTURES: SAM MELLISH

Pride of Brixton’s secret gardeners

Sylvia Tejan-Cole of the Cloisters sheltered housing scheme off Brixton Road

Leebert Allison of the Cloisters has cultivated this piece of land for the past four years

Lucy Williams, chair of the Myatt’s Fields Tenants and Residents Association and runner-up for Resident of the Year award

Is the answer to food poverty to waste less food? Many food activists in Lambeth are concerned that so much food is wasted, while so many go hungry. Lambeth Food Partnership (LFP), a partnership of food activists including IEL with Lambeth council and Lambeth public health, has been working with food banks to look at how to address food poverty. It has found that there are many different levels of food poverty, from needing to buy cheap and convenient food that has little or no nutritional value, to being sanctioned by the Department for Work and Pensions and having literally no money to buy food. The Community Shop in West Norwood is one answer – it takes food that supermarkets no longer want from factories, for example broken biscuits, and sells it at a fraction of the usual price. But only members can shop there, and for a limited time only. Brixton Soup Kitchen (see opposite) also gets food that would be unsellable the next day donated from local shops at the end of the day. TV chef Hugh FearnleyWhittingstall has led a campaign (Hugh’s War on Waste) to reduce food waste. ■■ Lambeth Food Partnership will be debating the issues and looking for local solutions at its AGM on 8 December. LFP is also looking for new directors to help drive this work in 2016. Please contact lambethfood@gmail.com if you are interested. You can read more about the Lambeth Food Partnership at www. lambethfood.org.uk.


December 2015

B RIXTON PEOPLE 11

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As cold weather and Christmas turn minds as to how to help others, we met two Brixton people who show how to do it. Mark Wadie spoke to Brixton Soup Kitchen co-founder Solomon Smith about his passion for community work. Lucy Hook (below) met Claire Linacre who lets women know that there is someone who cares

Everyone has a basic need to eat – that’s it! “Brixton has always had a reputation for gang members, hoodies and drugs. A lot of people will play on it. But for me, it’s never been about that.” Solomon Smith, 30, from Moorlands Estate, is sitting in a quiet corner of Brixton Soup Kitchen, with staff worker and good friend, Micah, 26, from Angell Town, (“We go way back, back to when we were skinny!”). The two are reflecting on the negative press coverage the area regularly receives. “The media had a frenzy talking about girl gangs at one time,” says Solomon. “And what happens? Girl gangs start forming in response to get themselves on the news. “I felt like I needed to say: ‘No, let’s be real. We are caring. We do think about others.’ We have found a way to have it. For a guy from Brixton to have formed all this is astonishing. And I’m showing a lot of young people it could be done. Put the back work in and it could be done. “It’s all about that strong network, that strong connection. If it wasn’t for people like Micah, we wouldn’t be here today.” Solomon seems to have known where he was headed from the day

he sat down in his bedroom and drew a spidergram with all his interests on it, and concluded that youth and community work were where he belonged. Solomon’s parents were both in community work. He said: “My mum helped to open up a nursery. She was always caring for people. For me growing up and seeing that was important.” After leaving school at 16 with no qualifications, Solomon

Food is good. But that is the facilitator, to draw people in to chill. We ask people: ‘What put you in that situation, and how can we help you to help yourself?’ eventually secured a place at university on the basis of practical work experience, and graduated with a 2.1 degree in Youth Work. Brixton Soup Kitchen began in the winter of 2012 to 2013, a particularly cold year. “People died on the streets that year,” says Solomon. “I sat down and said, if people had clothes, something warm in their bellies,

they would have survived. That’s when I texted everyone I could think of and said, I can come and collect clothes. Within an hour my car was full.” Whilst dropping the donations around for those sleeping rough, a woman asked if they had any tea. “That’s when we bought the flask,” he says, pointing to a big flask on the table in front of us. “That flask is what started it all off.” They were serving 40 meals a day within a month, helped by donations from Greggs, Nando’s, Pret, and M&S. Today the soup kitchen sits at the Dominoes Community Centre on Coldharbour Lane, and offers more than just food. Solomon explains: “For us, food is good. But that is the facilitator, to draw people in to chill. We ask people: ‘What put you in that situation, and how can we help you to help yourself?’ We have computers and internet, allowing us to get people back into work. “We help people to claim housing benefit, to claim Job Seekers Allowance. We are a referral agency. We can refer people to the right services, like MIND for people with mental health issues. We facilitate things.” The soup kitchen has maintained its independence, without any support from government or other charities, relying instead on donations from private individuals and companies happy to let Solomon and his staff run things as they see fit. He believes this to be one of the secrets behind their success: “It’s good in a way that we have not had funding. We are not told how to spend our money. “When I look at other

organisations, I always see this is where you are going wrong. When I look at food banks, for example, I see that they are not engaging with people, all they are doing is giving out food. A lot of places say – what area are you from? Well, we can’t deal with you because it’s not in our jurisdiction. That is WRONG! “Our clients say, ‘why didn’t you ask us where we’re from, or for a referral?’ I say that’s not what we are about. Everyone has a basic need to eat. That’s it!” Solomon has a restless intelligence and is involved in many enterprises, including music, events, community work, and buying and selling cars. His charisma made him a critics’ favourite on ITVs BBQ Champ (“I just wanted to promote

my soup kitchen!”), and a strong marketing instinct has helped grow BSK’s Instagram and Twitter presence to over 30,000 followers. He featured in the Evening Standard’s Progress 1000 list of the capital’s most influential people, rubbing shoulders with luminaries from the world of politics, sport, film and music. Typically, Solomon and BSK don’t want to confine their work to Brixton alone. They are keen to spread it wider and regularly organise outreach expeditions to other areas of London, Brighton and Luton. ■■ BSK is raising money for a vehicle to make them more mobile. You can donate at gogetfunding.com/ mobile-soup-kitchen-van.

It won’t change their circumstances, but it might make their week For the women and children spending Christmas in domestic violence refuges, even basic essentials can be a luxury – they have often arrived with little more than the clothes they are standing in. One Brixton woman however, is determined to change that. Claire Linacre, a 26 year-old children’s charity worker, is collecting donations from the local community and turning them into care packages for women in refuges. The next collection day will be on Sunday 29 November in Brixton. To donate items, contact Claire on clairelinacre@hotmail. co.uk. More information can be found at www.facebook.com/shoeboxgiving The individual packages are filled with essential items such as shampoo, toothpaste

and body lotion and will be delivered to a women’s refuge in Brixton in time for Christmas. Claire, who lives in Acre Lane, first got involved with the community-giving initiative, called Project Shoebox, through

‘I hope the packages offer some hope and kindness, and show that people do care’ Facebook last year. The grassroots project, which was started by a mum of two from Bromley, sends care packages to domestic violence refuges across the country, and last Christmas donated almost 2,000 boxes.

This year, Claire offered to become a local ambassador for the Brixton area, using her spare room as a hub for collecting donations. She said: “Christmas is the time that for a lot of these women they’ll be feeling lonely and cut off from their families. It’s a chance to make them feel like someone cares. It’s not going to change their circumstances, but it might make their week.” So far, the response from the community has been overwhelmingly positive. On the first donation day Claire collected over 150 items, though more are needed to reach her target of 50 complete care packages. She says: “I hope the packages offer some hope and kindness, and show that people do care.”


LATE NIGHT BRIXTON The Night Tube is due to begin services in 2016 and will support London’s 24-hour lifestyle by offering a roundthe-clock service on Fridays and Saturdays. This will have an impact on many of Brixton’s businesses, especially those that are part of the strong and growing evening economy. Already we hear that several restaurants in Brixton’s indoor markets will be able to open until as late as 1am on Friday and Saturday evenings.

DIVERSE XMAS PROMOTION Looking for a unique gift? Help is at hand. Brixton gift shop, Diverse, is once again running its festive makers showcase in partnership with local makers’ network, Makerhood. 15 Makerhood members currently have work on display at Diverse. All are artists and designers from Lambeth. Their work includes handcrafted silver jewellery, upcycled accessories, homeware, knitwear, letterpress Xmas cards, artwork and craft kits. Diverse owner, Anita Thorpe, says ‘There are some great, original products in the showcase. We’re sure you’ll find something for even the most difficult to please people – and you’ll be supporting the local economy.’ The Makerhood Xmas Showcase runs daily until 4 January 2016. Enjoy drinks, nibbles and special offers at the Diverse ‘Sip n Shop’ event on Saturday 5 December (Small Business Saturday) 10am till 7pm at 390 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton. www.diversegifts.co.uk

020 3417 7373

@BrixtonBID

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Last month Brixton BID hosted a workshop where hospitality businesses met with key personnel from the Council, London Metropolitan Police and the Night Time Industry Association to discuss ways of working in partnership to tackle some of the issues associated with licensed businesses. Friday 20 November saw the first of Brixton’s Friday Night Briefings, held by Safer Lambeth at Phonox, where businesses will meet regularly with MET Police and other stakeholders to share information about what is happening in the area.


SUPPLY NINE ELMS – BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY Lambeth based businesses can now register for the next round of the Supply Nine Elms on the South Bank programme, which gives them access to millions of pounds worth of new contract opportunities. The launch event for this programme will be taking place on Tuesday 8th December at the Battersea Power Station marketing suite. Supported by Battersea Power Station, Thames Tideway Tunnel, Ferrovial Laing O Rourke Joint Venture (FLo) and Lambeth and Wandsworth Councils, attending delegates can expect to: • Sign up to the programme and be recommended when appropriate to Nine Elms buyers • Meet and hear from the representatives who are actively procuring and are looking for local companies • Find out about current and future contract opportunities • Be provided with development milestone plans and corresponding opportunities • Find out what Battersea Power Station and Thames Tideway Tunnel want from their suppliers

On Friday 4 December we celebrate the start of the festive season in Brixton by switching on the lights on the high street. Join Brixton’s business owners along with the Mayor of Lambeth and special guests from 4:45pm at the Christmas tree on Tunstall Road, between Morleys and Body Shop to hear some celestial singers and tunes from London All-stars steel band. The tree lights will come on at 5pm.

Businesses taking part in the programme are matched to forthcoming contract opportunities and given a package of FREE one-to-one training and support to help them develop the capabilities needed.

On the same evening you can take a break from shopping and sample the fabulous food stalls of Brixton Night Market on Windrush Square from 5pm on Friday 4 and Saturday 5 December.

Through the previous Supply Nine Elms on the South Bank programme almost £1.2 million worth of contracts were awarded to local businesses.

Saturday 5 December Brixton Community Base will hold their annual Winter Party at Talma Road, SW2 1AS from 3pm until late. There will be a Santa’s Grotto, workshops, cakes and a raffle plus lots of family fun.

Supply Nine Elms on the South Bank is the only programme of its kind in the area and is the buyerpreferred method of sourcing local companies. Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity and register for the event. For more information please contact Melanie Davies, Supply Nine Elms on the South Bank Project Manager, via e-mail melanie.davies@be-group.co.uk, by telephone on 020 7697 1979 or visit www.supplynineelms.co.uk

BRIXTON WINTER FESTIVAL


14 XMAS GIFTS

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The choice is yours There’s a reason Brixton has always been famous for shopping. It has one of the best collections of shops and independent businesses in the UK and with choice like this, you have no excuse not to do your Christmas shopping locally. Miss South rounds up some ideas for you ...

Just the ticket FOR HIM: Try Brixton Village to indulge his love of grooming with Mr Natty’s soaps and beard oils from CORNERCOPIA, the more metrosexual Barbearia scents and soap from CIRCUS or go old school with an old-fashioned set of shoe brushes from Cornercopia. Try BRIXI’s famous range of men’s jewellery with axes, anvils and pliers or UNITED 80’s selection of jackets, trainers and bags. T-shirts are just the ticket at HUSTLE AND BUCKS while the beautiful vaulted shoe room at ARTICLE on Atlantic

2016 calendars and delightfully kitsch vintage 60s teasets and vegetable-shaped serving dishes (right). Both Turpentine and Cornercopia stock plates and mugs from Gillian Kyle and other kitsch British labels. African Queen has wax print cushions and Brixton wouldn’t be Brixton without enamelware from the MARKET. OMNIS on Coldharbour Lane has recycled copper lighting and JOY on Acre Lane has all kinds of household items you didn’t know you needed.

VAULTED SHOE ROOM: Article on Atlantic Road Road is worth the trip alone. Or what about a watch from the BRIXTON WATCHMAN stall himself on Pope’s Road? Active guys will enjoy anything from BRIXTON CYCLES or maybe a season ticket to DULWICH HAMLET FC.

Don’t stop now FOR HER: You won’t know where to start or stop with women’s gifts with this amount of choice. Keep cosy this winter with yak wool shawls from Brixi or Mexican scarves from Circus. Give gorgeous hair with gift vouchers from LOVE HAIR on Acre Lane or products from Hairy Jayne at TURPENTINE on Coldharbour Lane. If that’s too shallow, why not try classes in life-drawing or silversmithing from Turpentine instead? Or, if you like your jewellery more costume, snap up One We Made Earlier necklaces from Circus, one

December 2015

of a kind pieces from Brixi or celebrate African wax fabric earrings (left) (and bags) from AFRICAN QUEEN FABRICS in Brixton Village. Also in Brixton Village try FULL MOON DESIGNS if fossils and crystals jewellery are your thing. And if that doesn’t cover everything, try the crafts from Makerhood in DIVERSE on Coldharbour Lane.

Can’t beat books FOR THEM: What do you buy for those couples who seem to have it all? Treat them to some unique Brixton-based art from STUDIO 73 in Brixton Village or one-off collages based around Savile Row tailoring by Hormazd Narielwalla in Circus. Go matchy matchy with denim aprons from Cornercopia or stunning Dutch delft Storytiles from Brixi. If ceramics are your thing, don’t miss the chic West German vases at Circus or the pottery at Cornercopia. And for a great gift you can’t beat books, either from 20 STOREY in Market Row or BOOKMONGERS of Coldharbour Lane.

You don’t know you need it FOR HOME: presents to make a house a home never go amiss. Cornercopia in Brixton Village has a wide choice of homewares from hand-carved screwdrivers from Herne Hill or old fashioned electric wire lighting from Peckham. Cosy up with Welsh woollen throws or go retro with an ostrich feather duster. There are hammered brass candlesticks and scented products from St Eval as well. Circus has framed

Stuff they must have FOR KIDS: don’t forget the littlest ones at Christmas in Brixton. Perfect party shoes for small feet can be found in JOJO SHOES on Brixton Road and there are clothes galore at BAMBINOS on Brixton Station Road. DIVERSE on Coldharbour Lane has a whole kids’ section from baby items to toys and includes the awesome Afro Super Santa range. Babies will be beautifully dressed with babygrows from THREE LITTLE BIRDS on Coldharbour Lane or This is Lullaby suits and knitwear from Omnis across the road. Big and small kids alike will love their take on taxidermy with stuffed soft shark and moose heads for bedroom walls.

Stock up FOR THE KITCHEN: Christmas is all about food and drink and there’s a lot of choice in Brixton. Cornercopia stocks its famous Brixton Market Ketchup and Pickles along with the unique Netherton cast iron cookware and baking tins. You might want a sourdough starter to go with the latter. Why not skip the cooking and order one of their hampers or stock up on British cheeses, cold cuts and charcuterie from SALON in Market Row. Also good for ham-lovers is a voucher to BRINDISA’s Ham School at the Atlantic Road shop. If that’s not enough cheese, try CHAMPAGNE AND FROMAGE in Brixton Village. Meat-lovers will enjoy ordering Christmas dinner from capons to triplesmoked gammons from Dombey’s in Market Row. Wines come from NEW ZEALAND WINE CELLAR at Pop Brixton or MARKET ROW WINES.

HAM SCHOOL: Make a pig of yourself at Brindisa


December 2015

DRESS TO GRILL: Denim apron from Cornercopia

BAGS OF STYLE: Bargains at African Queen

Wrap it up

Just the ticket

FOR THE SEASON: Christmas needs Christmas-specific items. Reinvent the stocking with Himalayan wool socks from Brixi or pick up a wool mistletoe brooch to smooch the season away. They also have Greek and Mexican Christmas decorations. Cornercopia sell recycled book and newspaper decorations. Omnis, 20 Storey and Joy offer stylish gift wrap while cards are great from Studio 73 and Diverse. Visit the new CHOCOLATE SHOP next to Full Moon Designs in Brixton Market – so new when we visited that it hadn’t even got a name – and sample its truffles; the chilli ones are hot stuff in every respect.

FROM US: Obviously you’ll be giving copies of the BRIXTON BUGLE over the festive season so people can keep up with news and events, but we’ve got some team members who can help with Christmas shopping. Our own illustrator Kaylene Alder’s work can be found at the CRAFTY FOX CHRISTMAS MARKET on 6 December as well as her Etsy shop and Studio 73 via www. kaylenealder.com. Also selling through Etsy and south London markets is our graphic designer THAT AGNES who has all your Carry On, RuPaul’s Drag Race and Dot Cotton needs. And for those who like their greeting cards salty, photographer Tom Jordan stocks his Badly Drawn Animal cards at the Turpentine on Coldharbour Lane. Oh and a certain Brixton Bugle food writer wrote Recipes From Brixton Village ...

Brixton honey exclusive FROM LONDON: If you’re leaving Brixton for the festive season, take a little bit of it with you with these London gifts. You can’t get more local than Brixton honey from Cornercopia (who pipped Fortnum and Mason to the whole crop this year) or what about BRIXTON BREWERY beer either from the brewery itself on Brixton Station Road or MARKET ROW WINES? Mix and match it with CANOPY beers from Herne Hill. Cornercopia are doing books on Hidden London sights from food shops (including the NOUR) to parks and galleries. OMNIS have sets of London landmark coffee cups while Diverse have stylish Travelcard holders. Snap up an IBrixton mug from 20 Storey or simply go for BRIXTON POUNDS.

XMAS GIFTS 15

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HAIR TODAY: Gone tomorrow. Don’t miss Hairy Jayne products at Turpentine

BE A STAR AMONGST GIFT GIVERS: Afro Supa Star range at Diverse

CAP IT ALL: Camo bag from United 80


16 ARTS & CULTURE

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December 2015

‘They’ve donated their words, their life stories’ Where Will We Live? is a play that showcased the diverse stories of Brixton people reacting to council estate demolition and social change. It opened at Southwark Playhouse earlier in the month. Helen Reid spoke to director Lucy Curtis, of the Changing Face Collective, and writer Elisabeth Winkler about the original piece It’s not often that the voices of ordinary people are heard on stage. Where Will We Live is verbatim – constructed strictly from transcripts of people interviewed – and features 30 different characters, based on hundreds of hours of interviews conducted over several months with Brixton community figures. The characters represent a range of views on gentrification and housing: from Lambeth council cabinet member for jobs and growth Jack Hopkins, cabinet member for housing Matthew Bennett, and other pro-regeneration actors, to those experiencing eviction from their homes and businesses. Director Lucy Curtis, 24, was inspired to create the play when she started finding out about the Arches evictions and estate demolitions. She says: “Even in the Arches where everyone is next door to each other, it can feel quite disconnected, like everyone’s battling their own struggles separately. I realised there wasn’t one space where everyone could sit down and listen to each other in a relaxed environment. So the play is about getting people to come together in a really accessible space.” The play deals with the threatened demolition of Cressingham Gardens, Loughborough Park and other estates. Lucy says: “It was challenging because the play was continuously in development as was the situation itself.” “It will continue to develop as a piece because it’s not over yet. It’s something to look at next year as well.” For Elisabeth Winkler, journalist and writer who condensed the interview transcripts into a script, this was a labour of love. “The play’s gone through at least 25 redrafts,” she says. Recent research by University of London Birkbeck

GIVING A VOICE TO THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN DENIED ONE: Brixton Arches shopkeepers protest outside a presentation at Brixton Rec by their landlord Network Rail

professor Dr Paul Watt found that 90 council estates in London are facing the possibility of demolition. “This is a huge devastation of the social fabric. We’re talking about communities, people’s relationships to each other. “I personally think demolition is the last resort, from an economic and environmental point of view.” Stella, who runs a hairdressing salon in the Arches, is one of the characters, talking about the shock of getting the notice to leave her business. “She’s invested so much and what she’s being offered might let her buy a new hairdressing chair and that’s it,” says Elisabeth. How will the characters experience their portrayal by actors on stage? “The short answer is they’ll see the play, that will be the litmus test!” says Elisabeth. “I appreciate it’s very strange when you watch someone else playing you. But they’ve donated their words, their life story to this, and I’m very grateful that people do that.” Lucy tells me some actors – who are all from the community – met the person they were to portray to learn more about them. “For me it was about getting people who resembled the characters,” she says. Many have faced eviction themselves, and have never acted in a theatre before. The only fictional character is a town crier who shouts out headlines, putting the Brixton situation in its broader context. “Hopefully the play will allow people to understand that pretty much everyone is in the same cycle, suffering from a very similar crisis and hopefully it will be able to wipe out people’s stereotypes about estates,” Lucy says. Elisabeth emphasises the value of the original interviews, and says the collective aims to keep the raw material and make it publicly accessible. “The least you can do is record what is happening.” ■■The Changing Face Collective was created in 2014 by a group of filmmakers, photographers, illustrators and theatre-makers who specialise in verbatim and documentary theatre. It is a young, multilingual collective with roots in eight different countries, which seeks to work with the community and create opportunities for young artists.

Start your festive countdown at Black Cultural Archives.

Craft Nights: Festive Decorations – Make Your Own & Some for Us Thursdays 3, 10 & 17 December 6.00pm - 8.00pm

Christmas Gift Fair Saturday 12 & Sunday 13 December, 10.00am – 5.00pm

Join Ugandan Sisters, Anna and Lilly in a festive explosion of crafting, UpCyling and making – Uganglish style! Create a colourful array of festive decorations from 3 dimensional fabric stars to fabric paper chains and much, much, more. In these fun workshops we combine your creativity with a little seasonal sparkle to guide you through UpCycling beautiful festive decorations out of the old and unloved.

Black Cultural Archives are teaming up with Afridiziak to present our first Christmas Gift Fair offering a selection of irresistible treats and beautifully crafted gifts for all ages. Enjoy a glass of mulled wine and find a treasure in at the archive this Christmas.

AfroRetro are an ethical fashion and make brand creating fashion, jewellery and accessories inspired by their London and Ugandan heritage.

1 Windrush Sqaure, Brixton, SW2 1EF bcaheritage.org.uk 020 3757 8500 @bcaheritage facebook.com/bcaheritage

Tickets are £10.00. Discounts for group bookings.

Free, just drop by!


December 2015

A chat with Bird of many talents

Twelve days of a Brixton Christmas Festive cheer needn’t cost the earth or require a trip to Oxford Street. Arts Co-Editors Ruth Waters and Barney Evison suggest how to spread goodwill in the community this Christmas

On the first day of Christmas

Forget a partridge in a pear tree. But, thinking along the lines of giving the gift of luxury food, why not support the Brixton Food Bank and help other people to stock up on festive treats? Drop your donations off at St Paul’s Church on Tuesdays and Saturdays, 10am – 1pm or Sundays, 10am – 11pm.

We caught up with Bird, aka Janie Price, a local singer-songwriter whose new album Figments Of Our Imagination has just been released. She plays every instrument on the record, which was produced by Chris Kimsey, notable for his collaboration with The Rolling Stones

On the second day of Christmas

Two turtle doves sound great, but they’re not the best of companions, especially when it comes to the art of conversation. With nearly half of elderly people saying that pets or TV are their main form of company, there’s no better time to get chatting to the elderly in the community. Visit www.ageuk.org.uk/lambeth to find out how you can help.

Why the name Bird? It’s one of those unGoogleable artist names... I chose it a long time ago so I didn’t want to change it just because it’s now a bit tricky to Google. I chose the name because it’s a real south London word, but it also signifies freedom for me. I’m a bit of a nomad at heart so it suits me. It’s also a great, short, easy to remember word. Plus if you want to Google me you can always type in my real name [Janie Price]!

On the third day of Christmas

Three French hens could be a useful gift in Brixton, but only for the few who have a garden. Supporting sustainable food production, however, is something everyone can get involved in. At Loughborough Farm, food is grown by the community for the community (and is available on the menu at the nearby Camberwell Arms). Find out more www.loughboroughjunction.org.

How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard it? Modern pop music. Who are your musical heroes? The Police, Suzanne Vega, Beck, Prince, Roberta Flack. What was it like working with Chris Kimsey? I’ve worked with him before as a session musician, so it was like being with an old friend. In fact we actually grew up two streets away from each other (at different times!) He’s a great producer and taught me an enormous amount over the course of making this album. You play every instrument on your album – why did you choose to do that? Honestly, it seemed easier! I could put the ideas in my head down exactly the way I wanted to without having to explain it to anyone. In the end, it wasn’t that easy – I play some instruments much better than others! I’m a pretty good drummer but a bad pianist. So I had to be creative with how I used the instruments and how I recorded them. What does Brixton mean to you? A lot! I grew up next to Morden – my Mum (although Irish) grew up in Brixton and my Nan lived in Stockwell when she got older, first on the council estate then just off Albert Square. I saw my first big gig at the Brixton Academy, it was Pearl Jam. Do you think south London has a particular vibe in terms of music, art and culture? It’s really multicultural which means we have a really rich and diverse music scene in south

ARTS & CULTURE 17

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On the fourth day of Christmas

London which I love and I think you can hear that influence on this album. The tracks are quite diverse, from jazz roots on Lucky to rock on The Dare. Have you played in Brixton before? Did you enjoy it? I’ve played the Windmill a few times, it’s a great little venue. It’s one of a sadly dying breed of smaller pub venues. They used to be everywhere but not anymore, so it’s great to see this one surviving. What are your plans for the future? Do you have any gigs coming up? Hopefully I’ll get to come back to Brixton playing the Academy! In the meantime I’ll be playing at the Groucho Club in Soho in the New Year and touring the USA next spring, which will coincide with the worldwide vinyl release. ■■ Discover Bird’s music by visiting www.birdofficial.com.

Four calling birds would be an unnecessary gift here, with our parks and green spaces attracting lots of wildlife for everyone to enjoy. Support your local park this festive season and litter pick any rubbish you see around.

On the fifth day of Christmas

Five gold rings is a lot more than most of us can afford, but rather than feeling bad every time a homeless person asks for change, support Brixton Soup Kitchen by donating a small amount every month in 2016 or donate your time and use your skills to help eradicate homelessness. Contact info@brixtonsoupkitchen.com.

On the sixth day of Christmas

Six geese a-laying, especially if you already have three French hens, is a little wasteful. With so much thrown out over Christmas, whether it’s outdated electronics or passé Christmas jumpers, there’s no better time to make sure you’re not wasting anything. Take a break from buying to drop off good

quality items to our local charity shops or learn how to mend items at Brixton’s Remakery. Find out more at http://remakery.org.

On the seventh day of Christmas

Seven swans a-swimming. Sticking with the theme of swimming here, but bypassing the swans, why not take a midwinter plunge in Brockwell Lido? Whether you set up a sponsored swim or just splash about and meet people, it’s something everyone should try at least once and it’s even open on Christmas Day. Visit www.brockwellswimmers.com to find out more.

On the eighth day of Christmas

Eight maids a-milking. Where to go with this one in 2015’s Brixton? Today a lot of the milk we consume is in coffee and Brixton is full of superb coffee shops. Next time you go in, offer to buy the next person in the queue one too or buy one for someone at the bus stop.

On the ninth day of Christmas

Nine ladies dancing is a brilliant gift. Make sure you’re a signed up supporter of culture in your community this festive period and find out more about events (often free) at Brixton East, Photofusion, and Block 336, as well as great comedy nights at the Dogstar, Effra Social and gigs at The Windmill and Hootananny.

On the tenth day of Christmas Ten lords a-leaping is not something which many of us need. What we do need is a fair democracy. Take the opportunity to make sure your voice is being heard on local issues which affect you and that you’re registered to vote in next year’s mayoral elections. Visit gov.uk/register-to-vote.

On the eleventh day of Christmas Eleven pipers piping would certainly help to drown out some of the traffic din in the centre of Brixton. Make a pact with yourself to walk or cycle wherever you can this festive period and help to improve pollution.

On the twelfth day of Christmas

Twelve drummers drumming would be a fantastic gift from Brixton to itself. Our community has so much talent and there are opportunities to start new things around every corner. Why not find out more about African Drumming and Carnival Arts at Loughborough Junction’s C.A.F.E., sign up for a photography workshop at Photofusion, find out more about local history with Brixton Society or discover new books and local authors with Lambeth Libraries or the Brixton Book Jam?


18 FOOD & DRINK

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December 2015

R ECI PE • POTATO CHOUX PU FFS

R ECI PE • B R IXTON B LACK CAKE

In double carb heaven

Long prep for cake with a short life

When you think of things for Christmas, what do you ask for? Because I’m a massive Irish stereotype, I wish for more potatoes. There’s literally no such thing as “too many potatoes” in my world, but because I’m nice like that, I’ll share some of my spuds with the good folk of Brixton. And because it’s Christmas I’m going to give them to you in the form of an easy, yet impressive party snack and I’m going to combine them with choux pastry for a little luxury. Usually known as pommes Dauphin, these are double carb heaven. I know you are panicking about choux pastry being tricky and I’m here to tell you that it will all be fine. Choux has a bad reputation but is just as misunderstood as the average teenager. It just likes to feel like you are paying it attention. You can make it up to 8 hours in advance and simply cook the puffs when needed. Pommes Dauphin are traditionally deep fried but I baked these and preferred them as they were lighter, fluffier and easier to eat more of.

POTATO CHOUX PUFFS (makes up to 30 depending on size) ¡¡500g potatoes, peeled and mashed ¡¡50g butter (not margarine) ¡¡50ml milk ¡¡75ml water ¡¡1/2 teaspoon sea salt

¡¡1/2 teaspoon white pepper ¡¡1/2 teaspoon mustard powder ¡¡125g plain flour ¡¡4 eggs

Start with your mashed potatoes. Peel your spuds and cut each one into eight pieces, cover with cold water and bring to the boil and cook until just soft enough to mash. Drain well and return to the hot pan and allow any excess water to evaporate. Mash well without adding milk or butter as you want a drier mash for this recipe. Set aside until needed as it’s best to work with it cold. To make the choux pastry, put the butter, milk and water in a heavy saucepan along with the salt, pepper and mustard powder and heat it all until it comes to the boil and the butter is totally melted. As soon as it hits boiling point, add the flour and beat well with a spatula until you have a ball of dough that pulls away from the side of the pan. It’ll need a bit of elbow grease but stick with it. Take the pan off the heat and tip the dough into a large bowl to cool for a few minutes. At this point, put the ready made mashed potato into the pan you used and beat one of the eggs into it. After 5 minutes, beat the remaining three eggs into the cooled choux pastry one at a time. I usually use an electric whisk for this, but frankly I’m feeble. The first egg will make it look like a curdled mess to begin with. Be brave and keep beating until it combines. By the third one, your choux will look glossy and elastic. Now beat your potatoes into the choux until completely combined. I added half at a time to beat it well and keep the air in. Either set the choux aside until needed or start spooning it onto a baking tray you’ve lined with greaseproof paper straightaway. I used a dessertspoon and got about 30 puffs. They will spread slightly as they cook so don’t pack them too tightly together. Bake the puffs for 25 minutes in a preheated oven at 180°. Usually when you bake choux pastry you want to dry it out to be able to fill, but here you want to get the outside crisp and golden and keep the middles soft and melting so don’t overbake. Serve as soon as possible as they are best warm, but are still pretty irresistible after they’ve sat for a while. They’ll flatten out a bit as they cool but don’t worry. I snaffled the last two the next day alongside a bowl of soup for lunch and they were great. I did think they’d be excellent with a bit of parmesan added to the potatoes if you were being decadent. It is Christmas after all...

By Miss South Fruitcake is traditional at Christmas throughout Europe and West Africa, but the most famous versions come from the Caribbean in the form of black cakes. These cakes are special because you soak the dried fruit in rum for up to a year and then the fruit is mashed up to make a cake that is very moist and sticky in texture. You can make it just before Christmas or a few weeks before and age it with more booze depending on your schedule. The blackness of the name comes from making a “black” or burnt sugar syrup to add flavour and colour. It’s a very easy cake to make but you will need to set an entire afternoon aside for it. Make a virtue of spending time round the house close to Christmas and reinvent the British tradition of Stir Up Sunday by getting everyone in the house to stir the cake and make a wish as they do. You could also add some rum cocktails into the mix and have an impromptu party, but I suggest lining the cake tins first … I started soaking my fruit for the cake in the summer because I quite genuinely had a spare bottle of rum. A minimum of a week will be fine if you aren’t quite as smug or organised as me. If you are soaking for a short period of time, use tinned prunes to add moisture. Put the fruit, except the cherries, into a large Tupperware container and cover with the bottle of rum. Yes, you read that right. Put the entire bottle of rum in there, put the lid on and leave to infuse for as long as possible. When you are ready to bake your cake, take about 300g of the rum-soaked fruit out of the Tupperware, add the halved glacé cherries and set aside. Use a stick blender or potato masher to turn the rest of the fruit into a cross between a pulp and a puree. You don’t want mush, so leave a bit of texture rather than making a smoothie. Add the port or sherry at this point. Set aside while you preheat your oven to 180° and line your tin. Fruitcakes are dense and need long, slow baking, so lining and preparing your tin is not a step you can skip unless you want to burn the edges of your cake. Grease the whole tin with some softened butter and then cut a strip of greaseproof paper that is about 2 inches longer than the circumference of the tin and about 3 inches

taller than it. Fold the base of the strip up about 3 inches so it is double thickness and with the full depth of your scissors, snip into it at angles about an inch apart. Put the whole thing into your tin with the snipped bits at the base so you can line the inside ring of the tin. Then use the tin’s base to draw a circle on another piece of greaseproof paper and cut it out, placing it into the base of the tin. Take some brown paper or triple thickness greaseproof paper and cut a strip that will go round the whole circumference of the outside of the tin and be high enough to cover the sides completely, plus about 5 inches. Set this crown of brown paper aside until needed, but check your oven shelves

BRIXTON BLACK CAKE (makes one 23 cm or 9 inch cake) Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s recipe ¡¡500g raisins ¡¡250g currants ¡¡250g sultanas ¡¡200g prunes ¡¡150g candied peel ¡¡750ml dark rum ¡¡100ml port or sherry ¡¡150g glace cherries, halved ¡¡250g butter, soft ¡¡250g brown sugar ¡¡1 tablespoon vanilla extract ¡¡1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ¡¡1 teaspoon ground ginger ¡¡1/2 teaspoon ground allspice ¡¡1/2 teaspoon ground cloves ¡¡1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg or mace ¡¡6 large eggs ¡¡275g plain flour, sifted ¡¡2 teaspoons baking powder ¡¡125ml burnt sugar syrup (see below) ¡¡75 ml ginger wine (or rum or brandy or sherry)

to make sure it will all fit. Make your burnt sugar syrup at this stage. Put 200g of brown sugar in the biggest deepest saucepan you have that isn’t non-stick and melt on a high heat, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick. Once it is completely melted and starting to bubble, stand well back and add 250ml of hot water. The syrup will boil furiously and spit and splash so make sure no one is standing close to it. Stir frantically and return to the heat to make sure any sugar crystals are melted and then take off the heat and allow to cool. Put the soft butter and the brown sugar in a large mixing bowl and use an electric mixer to cream them together until they are as light and fluffy as possible and almost white in colour. This took about 5 minutes for me. Add the pureed dried fruit along with any remaining liquid from the rum and mix in well along with the spices and the vanilla extract. Add each egg one at a time and beat it in well (I had a dodgy batch of eggs recently so it’s wise to crack each egg into a ramekin to check first so you don’t spoil the batter). Once the eggs are fully combined, add the flour and the baking powder and the burnt sugar syrup. Just before they are all fully combined, add in the whole dried fruit and halved cherries you set aside and mix in completely without overworking the batter. Spoon the batter into your prepared cake tin. It will fill it right to the very brim and you’ll think it won’t all fit, but it will. Smooth the top of the batter neatly and wrap the brown paper round the tin and tie it tightly with some string. Set it into the oven and bake for 1 hour, before turning the temperature down to 160° and cook for another 2 hours. Check the centre with a skewer which should slide in easily but come out clean. Cool on a wire rack for about 2-3 hours and then take the cake out of the tin carefully. Brush with the ginger wine several times to help give a glossy top to the cake. Once the cake is completely cooled, brush again with the ginger wine and store in a tin until needed. I like to feed mine a little more booze every day or so like an inappropriate pet owner. The cake is very moist and almost squishy like a malt loaf in the centre, so use a very sharp knife to cut it. It doesn’t need any icing for serving (especially as everyone I served it to asked for seconds so it didn’t last long) but I do enjoy some kitsch Christmas decorations to enhance mine. You may be more able to restrain yourself!


December 2015

FOOD & DRINK 19

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FOOD NEWS

Christmas is coming and it’s a great time to eat and drink in Brixton to get in the mood

NNBink’s Gin Shop in Brixton Village is going cosy and chic for winter with a new food menu featuring salt beef and homemade pies along with gorgeous gin cocktails and a range of vermouths.

NNCornercopia are in their seventh year of selling Brixton hampers in the Village, making them a proper Christmas tradition (if you are fast enough to grab one). Limited to a run of 75, they can be ordered online now at brixtoncornercopia.co.uk and collected from their Brixton Village store through December.

NNEtta’s Seafood Kitchen is doing a seafood

platter featuring half a crab, half a lobster and either three king prawns or three oysters plus a glass of prosecco to start your evening in style or see you through your Christmas shopping.

NNTake the opportunity to call in at Fish, Wings

and Tings and see if Brian is serving up his famous festive eggnog this year again. It has enough rum to insulate against a blizzard.

NNThe Florence in Herne Hill has been refurbished

and relaunched. Still aiming to welcome people after a long walk in Brockwell Park, they’ve revamped the private room to seat up to 25 people, so snap up a Christmas or New Year booking quickly. They are still selling their famous Sunday lunches as well as salami by the inch and a range of gluten-free beers.

NNDombey’s Meats in Market Row start taking

Christmas orders from the first week in December. Famous for their triple-smoked gammons, they are also the place to get the right size of turkey for any occasion. They are also stocking duck and capons this year.

NNThere’s a new bar in town and you have to go underground to find it. Based in the old tunnels of the Bon Marché building, the Caipirinha Bar is underneath the new Cabana restaurant and specialises in Brazil’s favourite cocktail til 2am at weekends.

NNAnd if you like to combine your people-watching with good food, Blue Jay at Cornercopia are creating a little bit of a Christmas nook where you can enjoy the fruit-infused gins, a pie to share or a weekend brunch and watch the world go by (open from Wednesday to Sunday.)

NNWith Christmas coming, this is the time to

remember those who aren’t able to plan such enjoyable things but are under pressure just getting by and donate to the Brixton and Norwood Food Bank. You can drop off donations at Tesco, Acre Lane 3-5 December, Sainsbury’s, Brixton Water Lane 11-13 December or at St Paul’s church at weekends. Non-perishable food, Christmas items and toiletries are gratefully accepted. You can also volunteer to help collect donations at the supermarket points via their website: norwoodbrixton.foodbank.org.uk.

CURRIED GOAT: Slow cooked for several hours

R EVI EW • TU RTLE BAY

Caribbean one pot wonder for winter By Nikki Griffiths With over 20 branches now across the UK, the latest popping up on Brixton Road, Caribbean food chain Turtle Bay is making its mark. Following recent controversy over a less-than-smart social media campaign, you’d be forgiven for having already made your mind up about this one. But their superfriendly vibe could very quickly change your view. The way I see it – going out to dinner is not all about food. Sure, that part has to be good. But if every car was a Ferrari, where would the thrill be when you actually got to drive one? Turtle Bay is to the Brixton food scene what the Suzuki Swift is to the car world – you get what you pay for. But what it lacks in finesse, it makes up for in fun. Walking in from the busy street, you’re immediately transported to a tropical island, mid-carnival. It’s a much bigger space than you imagine from the outside but the dim lighting and candles on tables make it feel as cosy and intimate as Tinder’s serialdater training academy. Joking aside, the interior is spot on. On the walls, graffiti-style murals and old sound clash speakers frame the centrally situated bar, which itself

CALAMARI: Variety of textures

looks like it’s just washed up on a shore – all driftwood and shabby paint. Sticking with the theme, they serve Jamaican lager Red Stripe on tap, bottles of deliciously subtle homemade ginger beer and Rum n Ting cocktails to whet your appetite. We lounged at a table in the bar area – and although we were told this space is order-at-the-counter only, we were very well looked after by a number of infectiously happy and smiley waiting staff. By the looks of it, both of those traits are on-the-job specification as all the staff at Turtle Bay Brixton are quite lovely. I have to mention at this point that I don’t proclaim to be an expert on Caribbean food. I love eating it and have had a fair few curried goats and even made a saltfish and ackee or two at home, but I’ve never been to the Caribbean and I wouldn’t be someone to judge what is authentic or not – although I suspect this really isn’t. What I can judge is the flavour and the menu which, by the way, has something for everyone – big or small, meat or veggie, spicy or sweet, sharing or solo. We ordered a couple of small plates from the “cutters” menu – an odd name given that in Barbados, this refers to sandwiches and none of the dishes come between bread. They all arrived together – the lack-lustre calamari looking like a bowl of deep fried wiggly-worms and cooked to a variety of textures, suggesting it wasn’t made exclusively for us. The jerk chicken wings and overcooked pit ribs lacked imagin­ ation and were, in both taste and appearance, basically the same. One side dish in particular caught my eye and took me on a walk down memory lane to a time in my early twenties, stood outside a chippy on

JERK CHEESY FRIES: Gooooood a freezing cold night in the north of England. That dish was jerk cheesy fries. I know that inherently, it’s wrong and that this cannot possibly be authentic; but I don’t care. Without wanting to sound too much like Joey from Friends here: jerk – good, cheese – good, fries – gooood. Where Turtle Bay really saved itself was with the one thing I’d go back for and strongly recommend that you try this winter – the “one pot” of curried goat, which had been generously slow cooked over several hours. It comes served in a huge enamel pot which warms you up just by looking at it. The spice on the goat infuses the rest of the stew and gives the whole thing a welcome heat. The potatoes, carrots, rice n peas are packed with buttery flavour too and make this £9.65 pot a fair deal in comparison to the rest of the menu. I’ve also had the pleasure of visiting Turtle Bay later in the evening when it transforms into a lively night-spot. The music (live reggae on occasion) and a bar accessible on four sides make this a fun new destination for night-time socialising and the aforementioned staff really bring it to life. Would I go back? Definitely. But only for their generous one pots, pints of Red Stripe and a late-night dutty wine dance.


20 WHAT’S ON

brixtonblog.com

December 2015

TUES 1 @ BRIXTON BLOC

and others, plus a cheap bar! 7pm–11pm. Tickets: £11.

a Tuesday night? £?–5 donation for the drawing (6.30pm–8.30pm), £1 for the film (8.30pm onwards).

THURS 10 @ PHOTOFUSION

Life drawing followed by an art-house film . What more could one ask for on

The Forty Elephants is a comedic, yet thought-provoking play about a girl gang which has won multiple awards and is being adapted for screen. It is showing twice at 7.15 and 9.15pm. Tickets £12.

Photofusion Salon is a highlight in the gallery’s calendar, showcasing an impressive range and quality of work produced by members throughout the year. Exhibited salon-style, the photographic and video work of 100 artists will be installed in the gallery from floor to ceiling. Exhibition runs 10 December–29 January. (Launch Party 9 December).

THURS 3 @ DOGSTAR

FRI 11 @ HOOTANANNY

WEDS 2 @ POP BRIXTON

Gypsy Hill, billed as an “eight-piece Balkan surf-rock world wide fusion ”, return with able support and there’s live comedy for those arriving early. FREE before 10pm, £4 after. 8.45pm–3am.

The playlist changes but the party stays the same! Come As You Are is a night that doesn’t judge. Brixton’s Mr Freeman on the decks. FREE. 9pm–late.

FRI 4 @ MARKET HOUSE

SAT 12 @ BRIXTON BLOC

Simply Salacious Parties are back

celebrating their third year at Market House. Peter Borg is joined by DJ/ producer Sarah Favouritizm and Chris Fearon, both of whom celebrate their birthdays on the night, so expect triple the usual fun!

SAT 5 @ SUNSHINE C.A.F.E.

longest-running live reggae night! FREE 8pm–12am.

Already feeling Christmassy? Loughborough Junction's Sunshine C.A.F.E. is showcasing local artists and designer-makers. Expect crafts, delicious food and live music from Brixton-based steel drum band Divine Steel. 11am–5pm

MON 7 @ WHIRLED CINEMA

SUN 6 @ UPSTAIRS AT RITZY

TUES 8 @ VALENTIA PLACE

Catch A Fire: The Powers Band feat. Tasha Thompson. Get down to south London’s

The story of the Soviet Union’s famed Red Army hockey team through the eyes of its players, unsurprisingly linking the sport and politics from the 1950s to the 1990s. £5. 8–10pm. South Pole Saloon is a themed pop-up offering festive cocktails, Brooklyn beers,

Brixton Bloc brings together artists, musicians, local food stalls and creatives. Its busy events calendar includes Acid House pioneer Danny Rampling & The Woodentops with support. Tickets £5–15. DJs, and street food options. Open until 19 December. On 2 and 9 December it will open in aid of four charities : the Love Support Unite Foundation; Brixton Soup Kitchen; Mind; and Remember. FREE before 7pm, £3 after.

WEDS 9 @ BRIXTON EAST

Refugees Are Welcome Here. Stand Up To Racism organise a comedy fundraiser in aid of refugees in Calais . The evening will include comedy from Mark Steel, Andy Zaltzman, Nish Kumar, Chris Coltrane

BRIXTON COURTYARD 20A ATLANTIC ROAD LONDON SW9 8JA THIS WILL AUTHORISE THE FOLLOWING LICENSABLE ACTIVITIES: SUPPLY OF ALCOHOL MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, SUNDAY: 09:00-23:00 THURSDAY, FRIDAY, SATURDAY: 09:00 – 00:00 PROVISION OF LIVE MUSIC MONDAY – SUNDAY: 13:00-15:00 and 20:00-22:00 PROVISION OF RECORDED MUSIC FRIDAY, SATURDAY: 20:00-00:00 The record of this application may be inspected during normal office hours by an appointment at the Licensing Section, London Borough of Lambeth, 6th Floor, International House, Canterbury Crescent, London, SW9 7QE, or via the licensing authority’s website, at www.lambeth.gov.uk/licensing. A responsible authority or any other person may make representation to the licensing authority in respect of this application. Representations must be made in writing, either by post to the above address, or by email to licensing@lambeth.gov.uk and must be received no later than 15.12. 2015. It is an offence to knowingly or recklessly make a false statement in connection with a licensing application, and the maximum fine for which a person is liable on summary conviction for that offence shall not exceed level 5 on the standard scale (£5,000).

Christmas Gift Fair. BCA has picked lots of traders with wonderful wares for sale. Also running Sat 12 (with different traders). FREE. 10am–5pm.

MON 14 @ CARNEGIE LIBRARY

An experienced, registered therapist is running a free art therapy class every Monday that can help people to communicate through a creative medium. 2.30–4pm.

MUSIC NEWS

PUBLIC NOTICE LICENSING ACT 2003 APPLICATION FOR GRANT OF PREMISES LICENCE JASON HOFFMAN HAS APPLIED TO THE LONDON BOROUGH OF LAMBETH FOR THE GRANT OF A PREMISES LICENCE, IN RESPECT OF THE FOLLOWING PREMISES:

SUN 13 @ BLACK CULTURAL ARCHIVES

Arts Co-Editor Barney Evison rounds up the latest music news from our corner of south London STREET BUSKING SELLS 8,000 CDs

Remember we told you that local band The Thirst were busking around London to promote their O2 Islington gig on 10 December? Well, they’ve sold 8,000 CDs and have been able to become full-time musicians as a result! An inspiration! Don’t miss their new EP True which is out now – it’s electro-groove-tastic.

BIRD RELEASES THIRD ALBUM

South London singersongwriter Bird has released her third album, Figments Of Our Imagination. She plays every instrument on the record and produced it with legendary rock producer Chris Kimsey, whose previous work includes The Rolling Stones and Duran Duran. Check out our interview with Bird on page17.

NEW ORDER PARIS ATTACKS TRIBUTE

Manchester post-punk legends New Order paid tribute to victims of the Paris

MUSIC INSPIRED BY BRIXTON WRITER

attacks at a comeback gig at Brixton Academy last month. “I’d like to dedicate this song – in fact the whole set – to the victims of the appalling, senseless violence,” said frontman Bernard Sumner, founding member of both New Order and predecessor band Joy Division.

FESTIVAL CELEBRATES BRIXTON’S DIVERSITY

Carnival of Colours, a new London music festival celebrating our area’s diversity, kicked off in late November at Brixton Bloc – promising a month of live electronic music, art installations, food stalls and a Christmas market. “We want to give as much back to Brixton as possible,” says organiser and former housing association worker Wesley Evans.

London-based singersongwriter Tom Murray has written a song inspired by the novel Island Songs by local author Alex Wheatle, otherwise known as the Brixton Bard, about a Jamaican immigrant to Brixton in the 1960s. “There was a beauty in his writing, the way in which he described the area and the love he had for his characters that I found compelling,” says Tom. Listen to it at www.soundcloud.com/ tom-murray-49.

IYATRA QUARTET RELEASE DEBUT ALBUM Local group iyatra Quartet have released their debut album This World Alone in a series of concerts across London. The group fuses Indian raga, jazz and plainchant to create enchanting, melancholic sounds quite unlike anything you’ve heard before. Visit www.iyatraquartet.com to find out more.


December 2015

WHAT’S ON 21

brixtonblog.com

TUES 15 @ THE CAVENDISH ARMS

SAT 26 @ JAMM

Think you’re funny? Comedy Virgins was voted London’s top comedy open mic night. It welcomes first-timers as well as up-and-coming performers every week. FREE. 8–10.30pm.

If you miss out on jungle at Christmas, don’t fear: Jamm hosts drum and bass/ jungle DJ Kenny Ken and friends for a Boxing Day Special. 10pm–6am. £8–10 adv.

SUN 27 @ BRIXTON FARMERS’ MARKET

WEDS 16 @ ROYAL VAUXHALL TAVERN

If you still have the stamina and bank account to shop, get some healthy greens from the Farmers’ Market. 10am to 2pm on Brixton Station Road.

Royal Vauxhall Tavern present Charming Dick, a panto for adults , starring the Eurovision 2010 entry for Poland! 7pm. Tickets: £15.

MON 28 @ UPSTAIRS AT THE RITZY

THURS 17 @ PRINCE OF WALES

You can enjoy one of the highlights of the year at Tagara’s annual end-of-year Ritzy jam –inviting all the musicians and audiences to have graced the venue in 2015. Bring instruments, voices and dancing shoes. 8pm–11.30pm. Free.

Brixton Boogaloo present the All Star Annual Soul and Funk Review , starring Imaani supported by her band, funky afrobeat from Nubyian Twist DJs (with live percussion and sax support) and DJ Marcia Carr. Tickets: £5–£10. 7pm–3am.

PANTO FOR ADULTS: Charming Dick at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern

FRI 18 @ EFFRA SOCIAL

Groovestone charity fundraiser. Expect the biggest Christmas hits alongside the usual pop, funk and disco classics from everyone’s favourite seven-piece band. Fancy dress ENCOURAGED! 9pm–1am. Donations.

SAT 19 @ RAILWAY TAVERN

Brixton Dub Collective invites you to a

colossal wall of space-reggae with added Santa hats. 7 Station Rise, Tulse Hill. 2pm.

SUN 20 @ 02 ACADEMY BRIXTON

Two reggae legends, UB40 and Steel Pulse , are playing together in Brixton for the first time. 7pm–11pm. Tickets: £40.

MON 21 @ GIGALUM

Have a crack at Clapham Common institution Gigalum’s innovative quiz of the week, including taste rounds, puzzles, trivia music and cryptic clues. Prizes available. FREE. 8pm.

TUES 22 @ RUSKIN PARK

Lambeth Public Health has commissioned a new service – Our Parks – to provide free group-based supervised exercise classes to the residents of Lambeth. Try a beginner’s yoga class from 11am.

WEDS 23 @ HOOTANANNY

The Chris Corcoran Trio have a tight, rocking, subtle and funky sound; firm

TUES 29 @ FOUNDLING MUSEUM

favourites at the International Guitar Festival of Great Britain and the UK Boogie Woogie Festival. Blues player Raleigh Rye supports. FREE. 9pm–12am.

Another quiet day, so why not venture into town to catch one of the last days of The Fallen Woman exhibition at the Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, WC1 while you ponder your New Year resolutions. 10am–5pm. £8.25.

THURS 24 @ ST PAUL’S

WEDS 30 @ BLUES KITCHEN

It’s Christmas, so why not try the Christmas Eve service at St Paul’s on Ferndale Road. 11.30pm.

FRI 25 @ TRINITY ARMS

It’s still Christmas. If you’ve already seen too much of family and friends, try a quiet pre-blow-out pint, or two, in the Trinity Arms – open from noon to 3pm.

It’s Swing Night! Limber up for NYE with an electrifying night of dance or just listen to big band classics performed live. Ends 12am. Free entry. Book a table for drinks online at theblueskitchen.com.

THURS 31 @ PHONOX

Phonox bring in the new year with Joy Orbison, a pioneering electronic artist, and friends. Tickets £20+. 6pm–5am. Tom Sasse

RITZY ROUNDUP

Christmas time … mistletoe and wine … and films. Film contributor Adam Marshall lays his mince pies on this year’s Christmas presents from the Ritzy I SPY OSCARS

There’s a steady downward curve to the catalogue of previous Spielberg and Hanks collaborations. But BRIDGE OF SPIES (from 27 Nov) looks set to buck that declining trend. All the classic tropes of oldschool Cold War thrillers are present and English actors putting on Russian accents. Plus, the Coen brothers are among the writing credits. Is that the sweet scent of Oscars I’m detecting?

SALT AND GOLD

The smell of gold mantelpiece fodder grows even more overwhelming with CAROL (from 27 Nov). Cate Blanchett’s practically a shoo-in (again) for her role in the adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel The Price of Salt. The ever-splendid Blanchett is the object of sexual affection of a young female photographer (played by the formerly Dragon Tattooed Rooney Mara), in this stylish 50s-set drama which tells the story of their taboo-bending love affair.

LOOK AT THE NICE DINO

Need to distract the littl’uns? Enter Pixar’s THE GOOD DINOSAUR (from 18 Dec). Almost Philip K. Dickian in plot, it asks the question: “What would the world be like had that darned asteroid not obliterated the dinos from the face of the earth?” They would start befriending cave boys, of course. This is the first year that two Pixar films have been released in the same 12 months – we truly are a blessed generation.

DREAM AND MENACE

The daughter of a Scottish farmer comes of age in the early 1900s. I know that plot summary will have you running to the nearest telephone to book front row tickets for the first screening possible, but just wait one

moment. SUNSET SONG (from 4 Dec), based on the 1932 novel by Lewis Grassic Gibbon, is the great auteur Terence Davies’ romantic drama set in Scottish rural splendour. If Davies’ dreamy nostalgia doesn’t capture your interest, then Peter Mullan’s typically menacing performance probably will.

OBI THE WAY

Horniman Christmas Fair Saturday 5 & Sunday 6 December 10.30am–4.30pm

Did you really think I’d go the whole article without mentioning them … those five magic words – STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (from 17 Dec). Nothing I can say will help to add anything to the expectation and excitement for the seventh instalment in the seminal sci-fi movie franchise.

Christmas markets ❅❄❆❅❄❆❅❄❆❅❄❆❅❄ Festive food & drink ❅❄❆❅❄❆❅❄❆❅❄❆❅❄ Family activities ❅❄❆❅❄❆❅❄❆❅❄❆ Community choirs (Sunday only)

SEASONAL FARE

Free entry

Still want shelter from the frost? Try odd couple road comedy GRANDMA (from 11 Dec), the long overdue THE PEANUTS MOVIE (from 18 Dec) or the second finest Christmas movie of all time, DIE HARD (11 & 12 Dec) – I’ll let you figure out the best …

horniman.ac.uk/christmas Forest Hill


22 COLUMNS

brixtonblog.com

GEMMA SINCLAIR

December 2015

FRANKIE HOLAH

Garden-wise

Festive fitness tips

If you are lucky enough to have found yourself in a house with a garden in London, then I am sure you want to make the most of your personal oasis. High or low, shared or private, low-maintenance or award-winning, south-facing or shady – it is worth investing time and money into creating, and keeping, a usable space. No doubt, you are looking into your garden at the moment and think it is a wet, muddy, damp wasteland not to be ventured into until spring arrives next year. Well, think again … This is the best time of year to assess your shrubs and plants, and to take steps to manage your space better. Here are a few handy tips to maximise your garden. 1  This time of year is the perfect time to be brutal … Get rid of overgrown, unruly, woody shrubs. Free up some pots or soil for planting next spring. 2  Once shrubs have lost their leaves (deciduous) it reveals their structure. Use this to your advantage and cut back any over-growing and overhanging branches, or simply cut the plant back to give yourself more space and light. 3  Cutting back a plant will help to

Ahh Christmas, a time for being merry, dodgy jumpers and maybe over indulging slightly … OK, a LOT. I am not here to be a Scrooge and tell you to avoid all the delicious things. Instead, I thought I’d give you some ideas for staying fit and healthy during the festivities in five simple steps … 1  AVOID THOSE FESTIVE LATTES – This is the only thing I’m going to be Scrooge about … sorry, not sorry! That double gingerbread latte with added whipped cream contains a hell of a lot of sugar – roughly 10-16% of your daily allowance if you’re female. Stick to a more modest americano, cappucino or macchiato … and if you’re in Brixton make sure it’s from somewhere decent … My faves are Rosie’s and Federation Coffee. 2  ONLINE CHALLENGES – Follow me @frankieholah on Instagram and Facebook in order to take part in my #StopAndDropXmas challenge – daily bite-size workouts as a great balance for your chocolate advent calendar. Everyone can do it – no gym required! 3  KEEP IT SIMPLE – Christmas is a busy time for everyone, with family to visit, presents to buy and, I’m sure, just a few parties to attend. If you think your normal training regime could take a bit of a hit, make sure that you have a simple alternative just in case this happens. Skipping all training is just silly and doing something is always better than doing nothing. If all else fails my fave moves are press-ups and burpees – simple,

keep it healthy – make sure you check instructions on “how to cut back/prune”, as plant species need cutting back at different times and in different ways. 4  With natural light at a premium at the moment, take a look at what plants have become too big and are stealing the natural light from your house. 5  Once all the cutting back and removing has been done, you will clearly see what spaces you have to plant next year. 6  And before you plant … consider the size of your garden and the size potential of your desired plants … Less is more! This is a crucial time to get things organised for a healthy garden next year. 66 If this all seems a little daunting then help is at hand … call Gardening Girl for advice or help: 07826 551353 or thegardeninggirlat82@Gmail.com.

effective and requiring minimal space … If you’re in a rush do 100 … 10 press ups, 10 burpees, 10 press ups etc … Beginners can halve that and for advanced, add jumps to those burpees and vary your press-up style … Nice little blast! 4  Walk – With your shopping bags … yes, it counts as cardio and, apart from the money you spend on presents, it’s FREE! 5  #JOINTHETRIBE– Last but not least, join my female-only bodyweight and calisthenics classes, every Monday at Studio B on Brixton Hill (7pm). The last session before Christmas will be 21 December, so you can put that festive work in. If you are looking for personal training, I am offering 15 per cent off to anyone who signs up to a block of 10 during December – finish the year strong and kick off 2016 with a bang and maybe a burpee or two!! Contact frankie@frankieholah.com. 66 Actually … last but not least is HAVE FUN … Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas full of love, health and happiness! See you in 2016!! Fa-la-la-la-lala-la-la-la …

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Hill Mead HERALD DECEMBER 2015

Hill Mead’s stance against gangs By Simeon and Semijida (6 Red) Hill Mead’s Year 6 had a very special visitor (4 November) from the GAGV (Growing Against Gang Violence) for a 90-minute workshop. This group sent Andre (right) to explain to us the importance of not joining gangs. Firstly, he spoke to us about the differences between gangs and friendship groups and we explored what both groups could offer, which led to his next question: “Do gangs offer protection?” The class quickly reached the conclusion that gangs didn’t

offer protection or security, but instead exploited us, attracted trouble and put us in danger. We learnt to read the signs of gang membership, recognise how gangs recruit and understand the manipulative and

intimidating nature of gangs and gang members. But more importantly, we learnt several refusal skills through drama, engaging discussions and roleplay. After this, Andre told us about different members in gangs

and what their roles were. The highest authority in a gang was the general, next was the right hand man then the elder, younger, tiny and the girl (who was just used for keeping drugs,weapons and other supplies). It was shocking to find out what the new recruits had to do. Overall, the session provided us with the confidence necessary to collectively reject gangs. We learnt so much from this very important workshop and we are more sure than ever that we do not want to be in a gang.

Fun-filled fitness By Theresa and Caoimhe

Bring on the Baddies! By Brandon and Jayshauna (6 Blue)

Who knew there were so many baddies in year 6? We were lucky enough to welcome actors from the Unicorn Theatre to Hill Mead on 6 November. They came to run a workshop based on Baddies: The Musical, which we are studying in English this term and will be going to see at the theatre in December. We turned into villains for the afternoon! We began the session with a warm-up, moving in different ways. This helped us to think about how our movements can help us get into role. We then listened to some different pieces of music and discussed which villains we would create to associate with each piece. After, we got into groups and created a short scene with our chosen villains at the centre of the action. We thought carefully about our characters and settings. One group became pirates and acted a memorable scene, with Rodiat playing a particularly fierce baddie. We discovered that Mohammed is a talented actor and was able to take on various roles. In one scene Mohammed became a wave which used its evil powers to destroy a peaceful island! The workshop helped us to think about the different baddies that exist in different stories and how we could adapt typical fairy tales to different settings. This will help us when we begin to plan and write our own stories in our English lessons. We can’t wait to go the Unicorn to see the full show!

Rachael Latham (a Paralympic swimmer) and Paul (a Sports for Schools worker) came to Hill Mead on Thursday 12 November to give a Sports for Schools workshop. Rachael told us her amazing story and did a fabulous fitness circuit with us. For our circuit we had to do four different exercises, each for one minute. The first was called ‘spotty dogs’. This was one of the least popular as only seven out of 89 children said it was their favourite. The second exercise was leg drives, this was the least popular, as only five out of 89 children voted it as the best. The third exercise was push-ups. It was one of the most popular, as 24 out of 89 children said that it was their favourite. The final exercise was star jumps. This was by far the most popular as 41 out of 89 children said it was the best. The remainder of the children said they enjoyed all of the exercises equally. The teacher’s feedback was that the experience was fantastic and it was brilliant to see the children really enjoying themselves. Furthermore, they said that it was very good fun and the atmosphere was electric. The circuit was very hard work but really good fun all the same. It was wonderful watching everyone participate (even the reception children!) and cheer on their peers. One of the sports coaches said that it

was great and was showing people that they could get fit while having fun. Rachael Latham is a Paralympic swimmer, who has a disability with her left arm. In 2002, she went to the world championships in South Africa and won two medals, achieving a bronze in her 500m butterfly and a silver medal in her relay swimming race. In 2008 she went to the Beijing (China) Paralympics and came fifth in her race. After the 2008 Olympics she had a problem with her right arm, which unfortunately led to her being unable to participate in the 2012 Paralympics. She found out that she needed an operation on her right arm because she overworked it swimming. She was told she had to stop competing in the Paralympics and may end up with limitations to her right arm. This was very hard for Rachel to cope with because one simple injury had destroyed her whole career. Despite this, Rachael still wanted to be a part of the 2012 Paralympics. The way she achieved this was by contacting Channel 4 news and becoming a news reporter at the London Paralympics. Rachael Latham is very determined, she did not allow any obstacles to get in the way of her dream to be a Paralympic swimmer. She is a true inspiration for us all and she encourages us to reach for our goals in life. We raised over £300 for the event which will go towards new sports equipment for our school and for charity.

BLACK GEORGIANS By Selisa and Gavin

Recently Year 5 were lucky enough to go to the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton to visit the Black Georgians exhibition! The staff read us an extract of Equiano’s writing, who was a famous writer and abolitionist. An abolitionist is someone who wants to get rid of something completely, for example slavery. Another significant Georgian was Mary Prince. Mary Prince was a woman who was born on a slave ship and was sold to four different masters. She was the first black woman to write an autobiography. We discovered that Tom Molineaux was a famous Georgian boxer. He had to buy his freedom. He became the world champion but was not allowed to triumph because of racism. They gave the championship to Tom Cribb (a white man) instead. Year 5 have also been working with Adisa (a famous poet). So far he has taught us about Billy Waters, a man who served in the Royal Navy, and lost his leg but then became a well-known performer. We wrote poems about Billy Waters and shared them with the class. Adisa also taught us about Ignatius Sancho. Sancho was born on a slave ship and then was taken to the house of the second Duke of Montagu. You can visit where he lived in Greenwich today. We wrote poems about Billy Waters’ mask; below are two extracts: Billy’s Mask is made of Confidence and Passion, To prevent sadness, To stop things that are wrong, To hide his true pain that will hit you like a thunderstorm. Billy’s Mask is made of Happiness and Power, To protect his people, To trick someone else to believe in his self, To hide his jealousy inside.


BRIXTON

Lady TopCats lose to Leicester

Bugle SPORT

Brixton TopCats suffered a defeat at the hands of Leicester Riders despite mounting a late comeback in round five of the new WBBL Championship. The home team began the game brightly at the Brixton Rec and entered the second period with a seven-point advantage before the Riders rallied to take the lead. Despite a storming fourth quarter fightback by the TopCats, capped by a 13-0 run over a

TABLE-TOPPERS DULWICH CRUSH THE ROCKS AT BOGNOR GAME Dulwich Hamlet maintained their impressive league form throughout November to end the month in pole position in the Ryman Premier Division. The south Londoners were able to extend their lead at the top of the table thanks to a crucial away win over promotion rivals Bognor Regis last Saturday. Goals from Nyren Clunis, Ryan Moss and Rhys Murrell-Williamson were enough to help Hamlet beat The Rocks 3-2 at Nyewood Lane. The result saw the Pink and Blues open up a five-point lead over Bognor Regis, who currently occupy second place in the Ryman Premier. Dulwich boss Gavin Rose described the win as an important one for his side’s promotion efforts. “We’ve been on a decent run of late and we always enjoy coming here although it doesn’t always work in our favour in terms of results”, said Rose in a post-match Football

Exclusives interview. “I think with the signings we made in the summer, it’s not that they are better players but just a little bit older. When you come away to places like Bognor that little bit of experience is what you need and that helped us to see the game out. “We showed that we are able to work hard, dig in as a group and muck in for each other and that was the most pleasing thing for us. We came prepared knowing that they (Bognor Regis) were going to have opportunities, as they are a good team with good players, but I felt that we looked good on the counter-attack with our pace. “With our front three boys we had the chance to cause them problems.” In a rearranged midweek match, Dulwich lost 1-0 away to Harrow. ■■ Needham Market will be next up for Hamlet in the Ryman Premier Division with a match scheduled on Saturday 5 December at Champion Hill.

WOMEN’S BRITISH BASKETBALL LEAGUE

By Sandra Brobbey

TopCats forward Vanessa Da Silva

Midfielder Ashley Carew in action for Dulwich Hamlet Photo: Brixton Bugle

Quick Crossword Across 1. Graveyard (4) 5. and 14. Bringer of death (4, 6) 9. Toadstools (5) 10. Small dog (7) 11. Halloween decoration (4,1,7) 13. Declare (6) 14. see 5 across 17. Hardest areas (anag) (6,6) 2 0. Twister (7) 2 1. Terminated (5) 22. Compass point (4) 23. Art of bewitchment (8)

D own 1. — cuff, links for prisoners (4) 2. Madmen (7) 3. Terror act kit (anag (5,2,5) 4. Unnerve (6) 6. — from the dead (5) 7. Sailors (8) 8. Monster-making doctor (11) 12. Tape (8) 15. Marches (7) 16. Stupidity 18. Devil’s headwear (5) 19. Totals (4)

Answers on brixtonblog.com from Monday 7 December

six-minute spell, Leicester managed to maintain their grip and win the game by 61 points to 53. TopCats coach Steve Vear praised the intensity of his team’s display and the performance of captain Amber Charles who scored 14 points. “I really felt we matched Leicester for three quarters causing them a lot of problems in the final quarter by only allowing them to score three points”, said Vear. “I always take the positives from the game, where our captain Amber Charles had her best game of the season as well as Paige Robinson also putting in her best performance. “I also liked Brenda Kipewu’s defensive intensity which helped us when pushing to get back into the game. “We have no games until December 5 so it’s time to refocus at practice and keep moving forward on getting better.” ■■ Report from the TopCats

Profile for Brixton Bugle

Brixton Bugle December 2015  

News and views of the people, by the people and for the people of Brixton, London, UK

Brixton Bugle December 2015  

News and views of the people, by the people and for the people of Brixton, London, UK

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