Monthly Archives: December 2010

New Year’s Day fun

Lost for how to fill the first day of the year? Here are some Brixton-based ideas:

– The Ritzy is screening ‘The Hangover’ at 2pm especially for New Year’s Day . This is actually a good film.

– FOOD. If the Market’s open, get to Nour Cash and Carry and buy the goods to cook up a feast. Or just grab some plantain, jerk chicken and curry from Take Two.

– A walk in Brockwell Park. Or a swim at the Brixton Rec, in preparation for Brockwell Lido’s outdoor swim (brrr) on 8 January.

– For those who saved themselves for partying on New Years’ Day (gah), Plan B is hosting the afterparty for the Together 10th anniversary, with two rooms of electro-bass, breaks and house including the Stanton Warriors and Jurassik. And Brixton Jamm is hosting an all-day event – the Kerfuffle New Years Day/Wiggle After Party.

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2010 – the year in Brixton

Kaye Wiggins reports on 2010 in Brixton – a year of elections, closed leisure centres, happy lido days, rising market rents and a jerk chicken festival.


2010 has been a year of change for Brixton. It has said hello to Windrush Square, Starbucks, Chuka Umunna and the co-op council. Here’s a quick round-up of the bigger stories of the year.

The renamed and re-landscaped Windrush Square opened in February. Lambeth Council said it would “create a safe, high-quality public space reflecting our unique and diverse community.” But critics questioned whether an “expanse of concrete” could really reflect Brixton’s character.

Also in February, the council announced its plans to “go co-op”. It has spent much of the year trying to explain to residents what this means, and gather our thoughts about it, sometimes in unorthodox ways. Asking us to put coloured balls in different bucket and stickers on bits of paper was a memorable example.

But what the council claims is a worse-than-expected budget settlement from central government, announced in October, has brought a sense of urgency to the plans. They are due to come into force from spring 2011.

Sticking with politics, the general election in May saw Labour hold its Streatham, Vauxhall and Dulwich and West Norwood seats. Chuka Umunna replaced Keith Hill in Streatham, Kate Hoey kept her Vauxhall seat and Tessa Jowell held onto Dulwich and West Norwood.

In the local elections, there was a strong showing for Labour, which gained seven seats. The Lib Dems and the Tories each lost three seats.

A plan to temporarily move Streatham’s ice skating rink to the site of the Pope’s Road car park in Brixton caused unrest this year. In October, more than 100 demonstrators marched to Lambeth town hall to protest about it.

The plan also angered traders on Brixton market, who said using the closed car park as an ice rink, rather than reopening it for parking, could cause them to lose more trade. They had been arguing since February that the closure of the car park in December 2009 had affected their trade, and a Freedom of Information request in October added weight to their argument.

Market traders have had a difficult year, warning in September that rent rises could force more of their shops to close. But there was good news in April, when Brixton’s indoor markets were given listed status.

Shopping in Brixton changed a lot in 2010. Whilst several market stalls have closed down, and independent shops like Lori’s Frothy Coffee have struggled, big brands including StarbucksH&MT-Mobile and, most recently, Holland and Barrett, have arrived in the town centre.

But Brixton’s local businesses have had some causes for celebration. The Brixton Pound marked its first birthday in September. And who could forget Charles and Camilla’s surprise visit to the market in July?

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Holland and Barrett

Another shop has popped up on the Brixton high street – and it’s not a pop up. It’s a Holland & Barrett. But don’t forget about Brixton Wholefoods on Atlantic Rd.


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Brockwell Park in the snow

Guest blogger Kaye Wiggins sent in some photos from this week’s snow in Brixton:

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Christmas and New Year – the weeks ahead in Brixton

Yo-ho-ho and all that. Here are some tips to help you recover from a mountain of work parties or carry on the fun into 2011. Brixton style.

To be updated as the week goes on…

Tuesday 21: It’s the end-of-the-year film quiz at The Ritzy Upstairs – if you think you might have the answers to their notoriously hard questions, then go along for a 7.30pm start.

Wednesday 22: Feeling fat on mince pies and thin on culture? The new Viewfinder gallery invited Brixtonites to submit their photos for an exhibition, the Brixton Salon, and it has just opened at 52 Granville Arcade.

Thursday 23: There’s the Christmas Spectacular party at the Prince Albert on Coldharbour Lane (recommended by @memespring) – a charity fundraiser for Hill Mead Primary School. After that, you can head over to Plan b’s ‘Plan A Xmas Party’ to see the brilliant Illersapiens perform.

New Year’s Eve: For once, there’s a NYE offering that’s not ridicouloulsy expensive – the Sambalanca Three Pound Disco at The Rest Is Noise. See what you think with this taster first.

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Lambeth Primary Schools and cuts

Primary school league tables for Lambeth were published yesterday. The BBC explains how to read the tables here. It’s interesting to note that 15 Lambeth schools boycotted Sats this year in opposition to the way the data is compiled into league tables, with many claiming that the focus on Sats is to the expense of teaching the broader curriculum. Nationally, faith schools have performed the best and that’s the case in Lambeth too, with Corpus Christi and St John the Divine schools showing the highest average point scores.

And it was announced this week that Lambeth council will have 8.72% cut from its budget, exluding NHS funding for 2011/12. See here for Londonist’s very useful map. And here for Cllr Pete Robbins’ explanation of how the cuts will affect Lambeth.

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Brixton in the snow

Freezing temperatures, flu, broken trains, and delayed planes – there are lots of bad things about the snow, but here are some good ones:

cfd0.jpg(Photo: @katenightingale)

Plato Rd

(Photo: @wayneodell)

(Photo: Amy Walters)

(Photo: Freya Hobbs)

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