Monthly Archives: September 2011

Brixton Pound e-currency

The Brixton Pound Community Interest Company launches an e-currency today called the ‘B£e’, which will allow people to pay by text or online using the local currency. Customers buying B£e will do so via an online bank transfer and can set up a standing order so that they always have money in their Brixton Pound accounts. As an incentive to use the e-currency, they will receive a 10% bonus when they sign up. They can then pay Brixton businesses via text message. The aim is to make it easier to spend Brixton pounds, thereby strengthening the network of local independent businesses signed up to the Pound.

How does it work exactly? If I wanted to pay with B£e at Mango Landin, for example, I would simply have to send a text to the e-bank with details of the payment included. The format of the text runs: ‘pay’ + customer pin + the business username + amount to pay. Both the customer and the business would then receive texts confirming the payment and their new account balances.

Alternatively, the business itself can send a text to the e-bank requesting a payment from the customer. The customer then receives a message asking them to confirm payment with a temporary password and their own pin number.

The online account is password protected and texts and payments are encrypted using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), with a transaction limit of B£e1000.

By introducing the paperless scheme, the Brixton Pound CIC hope to bolster the circulation of Brixton pounds. For businesses, it means a secure, low cost way of accepting electronic payment, especially if they don’t have a credit/debit card machine. And they can now accept higher transactions in Brixton pounds than might previously have been possible, since most people are unlikely to carry large amounts of the paper currency on their person.

Businesses can either change their B£e back to sterling for a 10% exchange fee or avoid the fee by re-spending their Brixton pound with other Brixton businesses, thus consolidating the network of local companies trading with each other.

The paper currency – which is 2 years old today – will continue to run in its usual way. Almost 200 business are now signed up to the Brixton Pound and B£35,000 are in circulation. The notes are being reissued at the launch party tonight with a new design.

The launch party is taking place tonight at Electric Brixton – you can get your free tickets here

Go here for more information and to register for the e-currency

For any local businesses interested in signing up to the Brixton Pound e-currency, there will be training days provided. Email for more information.

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The Lido Cafe: Winner of the Time Out Best Park Cafe

Congratulations to the Lido Cafe for their Time Out win and five star review in the Eating and Drinking Awards 2011.

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Thursday 29: Brazas Basement Bar

Brazas are launching a new monthly night at their basement bar this Thursday 29 September. Jazz vocalist Julia Biel curates the showcase, which this week features Jack Cheshire and Cara Sebastian. Entry is free and the restaurant offers Brazilian Feijoada and a Caipirinha for only £13.95 every Thursday too.

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Brixton Reel

Look out for the Brixton Reel Film Festival next week, dedicated to working with local Lambeth residents and showing films celebrating diverse communities. Events include screenings of ‘Attack the Block and ‘Today’s Special‘, starring Madhur Jaffrey and Naseruddin Shah (there’s a free Asian buffet too). And there will be a day of yoga and spoken word poetry on 9th October.

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Knitting Group

The fashion for craft events has come to Brixton. The Crafty Fox Market was launched last year with regular events at the Dogstar and now Brixton resident Sarah Jane Daly is trying to set up a Knitting Group at the White Horse (think book group, but with nattering over balls of wool instead of weighty tomes).

She’s a design teacher, so she’s happy to teach beginners for those who don’t know how to knit. “I’m not an expert, but am an addict now and would rather make it into something a bit more social than solitary”, she said.

If you’re interested, message her on Twitter at @sirajade or register your interest in the comments below.


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The Brixton Week Ahead (plus the weekend)

Tuesday 20: This one is for the film buffs only – it’s film quiz night at The Ritzy Upstairs bar. Tickets are on sale from 6pm. Competition is tough.

Thursday 22: Herne Hill’s live jazz bar, the Poet Bar on Railton Rd, plays host to the Collective Jazz Jam – listen along with a cocktail in hand and try to pretend the summer’s still here.

Friday 23: The Magic Tombolinos are playing live at The Hootananny. It’ll be a classic Hootananny night – gypsy, ska and Balkan music. And keep an eye out for Pete Doherty (though not in the Hootananny…), playing at the Brixton Academy tonight.

Saturday 24: The legendary Fridge closed earlier this year and today Electric Brixton opens in its place. For £15 with advance tickets, you can attend the Grand Opening and dance all night to music from Felix Da Housecat and Hannah Holland.

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