Friday, 11 December 2015

We've had the following message in relation to the plans for the former Ladywell Leisure Centre site from Anne Wilding, the Project Manager:
"We are working with LB Lewisham on the temporary build project going up on the former leisure site on Lewisham High Street. We will be managing 3/4 of the ground floor, which will contain retail, cafe and maker spaces.
"Rent will be approximately 1/2 market rate and we are looking for tenants who will bring something extra to what's on offer in the area, who will not compete with existing local businesses,who will benefit most from affordable rents, and preferably who are local, though this is less important than what they have to gain and offer.
"Would you be able to help us get the word out?"
Of course, Anne - happy to oblige!
Robert Sheppard

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Sign the Petition to help save the Ladywell 'Playtower', our crumbling Victorian gem

The Ladywell Baths in its heyday
Frustration has been building in Ladywell for years over Lewisham Council's shoddy custodianship of the Ladywell Baths (a.k.a.'The Playtower'), a fine Victorian building much valued and appreciated in Ladywell and far beyond (not least by the Victorian Society) but, sadly, in sorry decline over the last few decades.
Though the Council spent money a few years ago to weatherproof the building there is no real evidence that it is taking the urgent and concerted action required to safeguard the building in the long term.
The Ladywell Village Improvement Group has this week launched a petition in an attempt to demonstrate the level of public interest in this matter and to press the Council into more demonstrable and meaningful action.
Please sign this petition and give it maximum publicity by circulating this message/weblink to your friends (whether in Lewisham or beyond), posting it on Facebook, tweeting etc.
If we get 8,000 'signatures' by the time the petition closes in February we will be able to secure a debate in full Council.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Ladywell Christmas Market just over a week away!

More marshals are still needed on the day.  Please volunteer now to do a short shift and make this community event our most successful yet.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Ladywell Christmas Market - Sat 5 Dec 10am-4pm MARSHALS NEEDED

You’ll find more than the usual Christmas cheer at Ladywell Christmas Market, with the sights and sounds of a traditional Christmas fair offering beautiful gifts for all the family from local artists, makers, craftspeople.
With foodie treats, gourmet gifts, mulled wine and mince pies, there’ll be something for everyone in the whole community. And it will be more than a market – we will be keeping you entertained with carols, choirs, musicians and dancers!
But it can’t happen without marshals.  We need people to don a hi-viz jacket and help keep the public safe, marshal stallholders, give out information, sell raffle tickets and pick up litter. Marshals get a complimentary glass of mulled wine and a mince pie for their efforts! If you can offer even just one hour of your time, we would be eternally grateful.  Please email
Ladywell Christmas Market is organised by volunteers from the local community, and takes place along the shopping parade in the centre of Ladywell (Ladywell and Algernon Roads).  The market is sponsored by Sebastian Roche estate agents, and it couldn’t happen without their kind generosity.
Ladywell Christmas Market is going to be great, so come on down!
Robert Sheppard

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Ladywell just keeps getting better!

A busy life makes it hard to post to this blog as often one might like, and the three items below are a little late, but all demonstrate continued momentum in the improvement of Ladywell since the major streetworks brought the place to a grinding halt, and nearly bankrupted local businesses, in 2013.
Our excellent new 'mural' (presumably not really a mural unless its on a wall?) screening the
derelict garages site on the corner of Malyons Road (see blog item below).
 . . and there's evidence of work going on at 40 Ladywell Road
where we hope a new restaurant will open in 2016

. . . and 251 Algernon Road looks to be in the final stages of a major exterior refurb!
So lots of positives, even on a rainy November lunchtime, to add to anecdotal evidence that various of the newer local businesses seem to be going from strength to strength with clear evidence of loyal and appreciative clientele.
We very much hope for positive news in the coming months in relation to the neglected local asset that is the Ladywell Baths ('Playtower'), recently listed by the Victorian Society as one of the country's top 10 Victorian/Edwardian buildings at risk.  Come on Lewisham Council!
Robert Sheppard

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Ladywell 'Pre-loved' Sale this Weekend 3-4 October

There will be another of these previously successful co-ordinated front-garden sales this Saturday and Sunday between 11.00am and 4.00pm.
If you'd like to participate you will find fuller information at, and if you send an email to then MyLadywell will be able to add your address to the publicity material so that footfall past your house is maximised!
Robert Sheppard

Friday, 25 September 2015

Love Ladywell Fields?

For more information on the likely discussion topics see
Robert Sheppard

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Wine tasting at the Larder next Weds 30 september

On this blog we are always keen to promote local businesses and events.  So we are happy to pass on a message from Katherine and Cynthia at The Larder, Ladywell, who write:
"We're very excited to announce that our next wine tasting will be with Neil Grayshon of L'Atypique Wines.
Neil sources from small producers across Europe who focus on organic, unfiltered and biodynamically produced wine.  He'll be talking us through - and tasting! - eight autumnal wines to see us merrily though the next few months.  We'll also be showcasing some fantastic new cheeses as well as providing tasty nibbles to accompany the wine.
Date and time: Wednesday 30 September at 7.00pm
Venue: The Larder, Ladywell
Price: Tickets cost £15 each and include all cheese and wine tastings plus snacks
Extras: Discounts of 10% off bottles and 15% off cases (incl. mixed cases) will be available on the night
Please pop in or email us at if you'd like to find out more or to buy a ticket.
We look forward to seeing you soon!"
[In the interests of openness please note that Robert Sheppard, author of this blog post, is the partner of Cynthia, co-owner of the Larder.]

Friday, 18 September 2015

Malyons/Ladywell Road derelict garages site (UPDATE)

Ladywell residents will be aware of the sorry saga of this site, where two people sadly lost their lives in a fire this Summer.
Cllr. Liz Franklin-Johnson, one of our three Ladywell Ward Councillors has confirmed that the Council's Executive Director of Customer Services (Kevin Sheehan) has agreed to put up a strong temporary hoarding to block the debris from the public view.  Apparently this will be erected very soon.
We gather that some months ago an enforcement notice was served under S.59 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 against the registered landowner, a company registered in the British Virgin Islands.  However various legal issues have arisen and are being addressed with necessary care and attention by the Council's Legal Dept.  The primary objective is of course to get the landlord to clear the site.
Cllr. Franklin-Johnson says "I am very concerned about the health and safety implications and have argued, and am still arguing, for the clearance of the space but was informed that this is dependant on the case against the landlord.   The alternative is to block off the debris, which is not what we had requested.  It is has been very frustrating but we are continually pursuing this as Ladywell residents deserve to have a clean and safe environment."

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Got views on the future of the former Ladywell Leisure Centre site? So have your say!

Residents will be aware that Lewisham Council has earmarked the former Ladywell Leisure Centre site for temporary housing (‘pop-up’ in modern parlance) to meet high housing demand – though in the longer term the site is earmarked for permanent/wider development.
'PLACE/Ladywell'   will provide temporary homes for 24 families plus  ground floor space for community/ business use.
STUDIO RAW are undertaking the consultation/feasibility work and are giving local people the opportunity to voice their opinions and thoughts about the future of the area.  They say on the PLACE/Ladywell website:
“From the 17th until the 22nd of September, between 10am and 5pm, we are inviting our local community to come along and understand more about the developments taking place at the site of the former Ladywell Leisure Centre.  We have created a little nook where you are welcome to stay to enjoy a fresh coffee, learn about the future and also contribute with your thoughts and ideas.”
Robert Sheppard

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Ladywell Baths on 'Top 10 At-Risk Buildings'

The sorry saga of the Ladywell Baths was mentioned on the BBC 'Today Programme' this morning and is included in the Victorian Society's Top 10 At-Risk Victorian and Edwardian Buildings in England and Wales'.
Residents may remember that The Lewisham Building Preservation Trust, established a few years back, came up with a viable scheme for the building.  The Trust has for months now been trying to get a response from the Council to its proposal, developed with a well-respected development company specialising in listed buildings, for the refurbishment and re-use of the building for leisure and residential use.
The Trust - and Ladywell residents in general - remain hopeful that this fresh publicity will give the proposals new impetus.
The Ladywell Village Improvement Group

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Do you use and love Ladywell Fields?

If so, do you want to get more involved and join the small team that stands up for the interests of Ladywell Fields and all those that use it?  See more at

The LVIG Team

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Butchers opens in Ladywell

Heckstall & Smith are now open in Ladywell Village - an exciting addition to what's available locally and another tatty/empty unit brought back into use.
All good!


Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Honeybourne's - coming soon to Ladywell

Hannah, the new owner of the Ladywell business hitherto known as 'Slater & King' has made the following statement about her plans for the premises.

"I’m taking over everyone’s favourite gift-shop, Slater & King on Ladywell Road. I’ve lived in Ladywell all my life, so I was delighted when Jason brought a new lease of life to the village by opening his lovely shop four years ago.

I’ve been popping in for cards, gifts and gossip ever since! I want to keep the spirit of Slater & King that I loved. But, when we re-open in early August, expect tweaks inside and out, and new lines next to existing favourites – along with a new name, Honeybourne’s.

I won’t be a replacement for Jason but I will build on the fabulous legacy he’s left behind. I hope to do Ladywell, and Jason, proud. To keep up to date with progress, you can Like us on
Facebook, or follow us on Twitter, or Instagram."
Robert Sheppard

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Refurbishment of 107 Ladywell Road reveals . . .

The old 'United Dairies' shopfront, which I'm told will be carefully preserved under the new fascia.

Robert Sheppard

Friday, 17 July 2015

Cafe Oscars and Slater & King change hands

The arrival of Oscars (in 2008) and Slater & King (in 2011) were key steps in the regeneration of Ladywell and the owners of both have remained active in the local community, ensuring that Ladywell goes from strength to strength.
Both businessess battled bravely through the chaotic Summer of 2013 when the overunning streetworks nearly shut Ladywell down altogether.
So it is with sadness we report that S&K have sold-up and will leave the area.  We wish them well and will miss them.  The premises will reopen, still as a gift shop but under a new name.
Oscars will be taken over shortly by Saner Gursel, a Brockley resident and baker who has given a public statement on the 'Brockley Central' blog.

Robert Sheppard

Monday, 6 July 2015

Two die in Ladywell Fire

The London Fire Brigade reports that two people have died in a fire this morning at the disused garages site at the corner of Malyons/Ladywell Roads.  The LFB website says:

Firefighters attended a fire at a row of eight garages on Malyons Road in Ladywell, this morning.
One man left before the arrival of the Brigade and was treated for smoke inhalation by London Ambulance Service, before being taken to hospital. Sadly two other people were pronounced dead at the scene.
Most of the garage was damaged in the blaze and a gas cylinder that was inside the garage was cooled down by crews.
Firefighters from Greenwich and Lewisham fire stations attended the incident.
The Brigade was called at 08.28 and the fire was quickly under control.  The incident was over at 10.29.
Robert Sheppard

Peabody consults on Carpet Corner Plans

Peabody Housing Association is currently consulting on its plans for the Carpet Corner site at the junction of Ladywell Road and Wearside Road.

Robert Sheppard

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Butcher to open in Ladywell

The word on the street is that Heckstall & Smith Butchers will open in due course at 107 Ladywell Road - on the corner of Gillian Street (see photo below).  Judging by the state of the building, however, and presumably the need to adapt it considerably inside (its last obvious and active use being as a launderette for many years) it's likely to be a while 'til the shop actually opens - so expect to have to have to wait 'til late 2015 or early 2016.
It will be good to have another premises neatened up and in use, providing a service to the local (carnivorous) community.  LVIG hopes the improvements that'll be made to the premises will include full redecoration of the exterior so that this prominent building contributes to, rather than detracts from, the streetscape.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

What future for the Ladywell Baths (aka 'The Playtower')?

All of us are keen to see this semi-derelict local landmark brought back into use.
It remains in Council ownership but since the dissolution of the Trust, established about 5 years back (by the local voluntary sector and a church), and £500k+ works by the Council to weatherproof the building, little clear progress has been made towards finding a viable plan, not least because works costing upwards of £3m will be required before the building can be used.
The Council continues to look at options for raising funds to bring the building back into productive use, but there are significant challenges to overcome.  There have been ongoing discussions with the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) about schemes, which could help overcome the investment hurdle (Heritage Enterprise and Heritage Grants being the two obvious funding streams).  The Council is also in contact with a ‘heritage consultant’ who has previously developed a number of successful HLF proposals.
The Council has indicated only this week that it is open to viable community proposals for the building’s future but, inevitably, everything will hang on securing the significant investment required.
The last full assessment of refurbishment cost was undertaken over 7yrs ago.  Then the estimated cost of restoring the building to basic productive use as offices was £2.3m, but since then costs will have risen significantly, and there is asbestos to remove which will make refurbishment even more complicated.
The Council could yet decide to dispose of the site, though the building’s condition and Grade II listed status, plus the site constraints, may make it unattractive to developers.  The only area where new build would be possible is a rectangular area at the rear of the site, adjacent to St.Mary's Churchyard. 
Anyone interested in joining potential discussions, later in the Summer, on developing viable community proposals for the site - which will need to include significant public and/or private investment and some sort of income generation plan plan - should contact
Robert Sheppard 

Thursday, 30 April 2015

59 Ladywell Road 'arches' space up for sale

Those beady-eyed bloggers at Brockley Central have spotted that this space, facing onto Ladywell Fields, which to outward appearance has been vacant for years, is currently being marketed by Hindwoods commercial estate agents.
The premises has the following permitted planning uses - A3 Restaurants Cafes Snack Bars, B1 Offices and Light Industrial, B8 Storage and Distribution and/or B8 Warehouse and Trade counter.  It comprises four adjoining vaults underneath Ladywell Road and "has the potential for an opening adjacent to Ladywell station platform" (though I'm not quite sure how that would work).
The marketing bumph says of the area "has benefited from significant investment and redevelopment including the construction of several hundred homes, major infrastructure works, new community facilities, pedestrian areas, cycle routes and open spaces which has increased the appeal of the area.  The University Hospital Lewisham, Lewisham Council and Ladywell Fields College occupy landmark offices nearby with Ladywell Fields and the Ravensbourne River providing an attractive local environment."
A CGI in the marketing pack shows the premises as a restaurant, which in principle would be a welcome addition to the area.   Rumours persist however of a possible microbrewery, also something that would be welcomed I think.

Robert Sheppard

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

10-14 Mercy Terrace Planning Application Lodged

This scheme, which has been the subject of considerable advance consultation over recent months, has now come forward formally as a planning application (which can be viewed on the Council website).
Robert Sheppard

Friday, 17 April 2015

Ladywell fire causes traffic chaos

A fire yesterday afternoon at the disused garages site at the corner of Ladywell Road and Malyons Road was put out by two fire tenders.  Ladywell Road was closed for several hours causing traffic chaos.  Planning permission for a mixed commercial/residential development was given some years ago but has now expired.  In the meantime the site has become a dump, something reported to the Council and posted on this blog in July 2014
Robert Sheppard

The Larder is One Year Old!

The Larder at 71 Ladywell Road is celebrating it's 1st Birthday this weekend!  Katherine & Cynthia say:
"Huge thanks to all our wonderful customers and friends who have supported us over the past 12 months; we couldn't have done it without you! We feel very lucky to be part of such a welcoming community.
We will continue to champion our great local producers such as Brockley Brewery, LKB, Coopers Bakehouse, Blackwoods Cheese, Ladle & Larder and Wild Brockley to name but a few. Big thanks to you all for continuing to deliver such delicious food!
To celebrate, we'll be offering 10% off all purchases on Saturday 18th April and 20% to the first 5 customers who come in and wish us a Happy Birthday!"
Cynthia Lamptey

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Goldcrest outlines modified scheme for 10-14 Mercy Terrace

Daniel Francis of PR Company 'Your Shout' writes:

"As you know Goldcrest Architects propose to redevelop the redundant warehouse building at 10-14 Mercy Terrace. The proposals include flexible office space for small and medium businesses on the ground floor with high quality student accommodation above and will contribute to a wider mix of accommodation that is compatible with and will support local businesses in the existing shopping parade.

"Since last summer’s drop in session, we have carefully analysed all the feedback received, met with council officers and the Council’s Design Review Panel on three occasions. In addition, we have also met with Ladywell Councillors and the Ladywell Society to update them on our emerging proposals. This process has allowed us to amend our proposals and develop the design in line with the feedback we have received.

"As a result, the following changes have been made to the proposals since last summer’s consultation:

  • The scheme is one and a half storeys lower at the bridge end (south of site) and two storeys lower at the Mercy Terrace end (north of site) than the scheme consulted upon last summer. As a result, the scheme now steps down from part five storeys to three storeys.
  • The scheme continues to provide modern flexible B1 space suitable for start-up businesses that will help bring life to Mercy Terrace. We are working with our local commercial agents to ensure that these are as attractive as possible to future occupiers to ensure that they don’t sit empty in the future.
  • The student reception area is located on Mercy Terrace helping to improve safety through passive surveillance of the street.
  • We have identified to the council the potential for creating a greatly improved public realm along Mercy Terrace with a wider footpath, tree planting, hard landscaping, public space and the potential for a level access route to the station through one of the existing council-owned arches.
  • The material palette has been revised to reflect the conservation area context with stock brick used throughout, as opposed to the previously predominately render above ground.
    "We are currently making some minor revisions to the elevations and plan to submit a planning application during March."
    Please contact Daniel on 0800 458 6976 if you have any further queries regarding the application.
    Robert Sheppard, LVIG Secretary

    Friday, 27 February 2015

    A little humanity in a crazy world

    On Monday local resident Cath Miller wrote "Hello. I am currently in a Lewisham Hospital ward overlooking Ladywell Fields and enjoying looking out onto the Park each day. In the bed next to me is a woman who has terminal cancer and keeps looking out for signs of Spring bulbs. I wonder if it might be possible to make her happy and put some e.g. crocuses in pots along the river so they can be seen from the Hospital ward?  She only has a few days left in here and our window is 5 down on the right from the bridge between the Park and the Hospital. Thank you."

    A number of kind residents responded within hours and now there are blooms aplenty visible from the Hospital.  Thank you to all those people, and to Glendale for facilitating this.  See the full story on the Ladywell Fields Facebook page.
    Robert Sheppard

    Friday, 13 February 2015

    New enterprise hub to open on Ladywell Leisure Centre site

    The proposed 'pop-up' development on the Ladywell Leisure Centre site
    One of three new business enterprise hubs will open on the site of the former Ladywell Leisure Centre (at the junction of Lewisham High Street with Ladywell Road) in October 2015.  The Council website says:
    "The enterprise hubs will “create high quality, fully furnished and serviced co-working spaces in Catford, Deptford and Lewisham town centres”;
    “All three hubs will provide affordable, co-working spaces for rent which will help to create a new vibrancy and buzz for enterprise in the heart of Lewisham’s main town centres”; and
    “Local entrepreneurs and businesses will be able to access space and facilities across the network including advice and support for start-ups; intensive mentoring and practical advice; fixed working for larger organizations; co-working space; events and workshops; meeting rooms; and touchdown working.”
    Robert Sheppard

    Monday, 9 February 2015

    LVIG lodges objection to 59 Ladywell Road planning application

    The Ladywell Village Improvement Group has lodged an objection to the application to add a further storey to the 'Rivoli apartments' building on Ladywell bridge.  It's understood that both the Ladywell Society and the Ladywell Fields User Group have also lodged objections on similar grounds.
    The LVIG Committee

    Tuesday, 3 February 2015

    Goldcrest to present their Mercy Terrace plans

    Goldcrest Architects have undertaken to attend this evening's meeting of the Ladywell Society to answer questions about their development proposal, for a new block of student accommodation at 10-14 Mercy Terrace - part of the small industrial estate between Ladywell Post Office and the railway line. 

    The meeting will take place at 7.45p.m. at the Ladywell Society's usual meeting venue - the Ladywell Fields Environmental Education Centre (the building backing onto the southbound platform of Ladywell Station, near the entrance to the Park from Ladywell Road).

    Robert Sheppard