The Telegraph Hill Festival 2018

Sanjit writes:

The 2018 Telegraph Hill Festival is here, and takes place from 10 - 25 March 2018.  Telegraph Hill Festival is London's largest and best independent, self-funding, and volunteer driven festival, and one of the capital's best-kept secrets.

Athena Kugblenu at the 2017 Telegraph Hill Festival Comedy Night
The 24th Telegraph Hill Festival has more than 120 events, with 74 free of charge.  Events take place across Telegraph Hill, from St Catherine's Church to the Five Bells and Goldsmiths to The Telegraph pub.  There are lots of highlights, here are just a few...

  • West Side Story - a cast of 260 delivers one of musical theatre's most compelling story's across fours shows on 10/11 March 2018 at St Catherine's Church
  • On Sunday 11th March too, best-selling author and reluctant futurist Mark Stevenson puts our turbulent times into perspective with an accessible, funny and challenging talk and Q&A about the future of society and technology
  • Monday 12th March has - for the first time - a Comedy Impro Night featuring the Stephen Frost Impro All Stars in dazzling feats of inventive and surreal comedy, literally, making it up as they go along...
  • Moving Hearts: A Clay Workshop is on the afternoon of Tuesday 13th March and invites you to take part in an exploration of the issues of belonging and migration and help make some of the 1000 hearts needed for an installation piece in the Migration Museum in Spitalfields (free)... meanwhile in the evening we explore the Lost Island of New Cross, an illustrated talk exploring the history and mythology of the White Hart junction in New Cross Gate and its lost traffic island.
Open Mics, Poetry Slams, Caribbean Folksong, Quizzes, Music Jams, Disco Bingo, the welcome return of an uplifting evening of choirs at Telegraph Hill Sings, Exploring the Radical History of New Cross, Classics on the Hill (with the added pizzazz of an amazing light spectacular), experimental journeys in sound with Sonic Imperfections, Open Studios, a Woodland Folk Festival, A night of Jazz featuring world-class musicians... ever get the idea there might be something interesting here?

For tickets and full details, click here.

The Gape of Water

One Brockley man has been fighting an epic battle with the machine, trying to persuade Thames Water to properly fix the leaky water main near his house by Hilly Fields.

BCer Chris first reported the problem on January 4th and despite repeated visits and building works that have caused traffic disruption, the utility has merely been able to paper over the cracks.

To experience Chris' Kafkaesque nightmare in full, click here to read the month-long exchange.

Leatherwork at the Taproom

Ben writes:

I am doing a series of leather workshops, which are also an opportunity to check out the new Taproom in Deptford Market Yard.

I'll be teaching people how to make a simple leather glasses case or belt which you can take home. It's a beginner class - a good way to find out some basic techniques that may be the gateway to get you into a passion for making beautiful leather items.

The next class is 'how to make a belt' on Wednesday 28th February. The classes will alternate every two weeks from the 28th.

There are more details here.

Suffed at the Brockley Jack

by Lucy Joy Russell & Holly McFarlane
Tuesday 6 to Saturday 17 March 2018

A friend of mine has written a play running at the Brockley Jack in March, which aims to provoke a debate about infertility and IVF. The Stuffed team explains:

"There is a growing fertility crisis in the UK. Around 1 in 7 heterosexual couples, or 3.5 million people will have difficulty conceiving.  Since the 1970s male sperm counts are down nearly 60% across the western world and 20% of women born in the same decade reached 45 without having children.

"It’s not clear exactly what’s to blame. 20-30% of infertility cases are due to male factors, 20-35% are due to female, and 25-40% are due to combined problems in both parts. Up to 20% of cases remain 'unexplained'. But to try and cope, couples are increasingly looking for professional help to conceive and today 1 in 50 children born in the UK are the result of IVF, with many more receiving other fertility treatments.

"NICE guidelines suggest three IVF cycles for couples struggling with infertility. Yet few NHS trusts can afford to offer it and so people increasingly turn to the private sector – often with little understanding that expensive doesn’t mean effective. According to NICE, across the age range, 65-80% of IVF cycles will fail. These can cost anywhere from £3,000 to £15,000 and more.

"Yet discussion on the topic, while no longer taboo, is fraught with anxiety and superstition. People on both sides still don’t know how to talk about it openly. Those with children to those without, Doctors to patients, and people on the journey to each other. In a first for the topic in UK theatre, ‘STUFFED’ is a new comedy about IVF. It aims to demystify some of the challenges and offer a new perspective on an issue that is only growing.

"Playwright Lucy Russell said, “With Mother’s Day just around the corner, the world can often feel very much focussed on people having children. But the new reality is that most people will know someone who has difficulty conceiving - even if they haven't told them yet. Unfortunately, they may know nothing of the experience itself or be unsure how to ask. By showing there is a funny side to IVF we want to open up a conversation, not just about the trials and tribulations of IVF itself, but also of futures that don’t have children at their centre”

"Based on a true story, STUFFED the play opens at the Jack Studio theatre on Tuesday 6 March and there will be a post-show discussion involving the Fertility Network on Tuesday 13 March."

To buy tickets, click here.

Night tube ELL to run to Highbury & Islington from February 23

The East London Line night time service from New Cross Gate to Dalston is being extended two more stops. City AM reports:

The Night Overground service is set to be extended to Canonbury and Highbury & Islington from Friday 23 February after coming to the London Overground in December.

Since 15 December, there have been 24-hour services every Friday and Saturday between Dalston Junction and New Cross Gate. Whitechapel is still to be included as it waits until Crossrail works are completed.

Over 30,000 journeys have been made on the Night Overground since the service began in December [which is surprisingly few].

A Star Barbershop, 225 Lewisham Way

A post shared by A Star Barber Shop (@astarbarbershop) on
This new barbershop has just opened and is currently recruiting. Contact them here if you're interested in applying.

The Brockley Experiment

Barry Norris: Hey, listen up everybody, whoever's doing this, they're having a little fun at our expense.
- The Belko Experiment

The crazy cats at TfL have been freestyling around, throwing some stuff at the wall to see what sticks, and came up with the idea of making Brockley Station into a one-way access system, so that  people had longer journeys to reach their trains and fewer gates to pass through at rush hour.

Photo: Ruby Heera
Why this was thought to be an idea worth trying is known only to the imps at TfL but, one week in, the evidence is conclusive. It does not work.

As The News Shopper noted:

A “disastrous” new trial crowd management system at Brockley Station has left queues with hundreds of people outside the station. Introduced yesterday (February 5), the scheme means people can only enter the station via one of the entrances, with the exit being through the ticket hall. It has left queues snaking down the street at rush hours both mornings and has left commuters frustrated at a system many felt did not need fixing.

Out of interest, did anyone ever experience a peak time crowding problem at Brockley Station that they thought needed fixing (other than through the addition of more trains)?

The trial ends on February 16th.

Brockley Central Label Cloud