Claire, Jodie and Erica all live in Peckham. As the area has inspired our rickshaw’s paintjob, our team name and most importantly, our choice of charity, we thought we’d better let you in on the not-so-secret secrets of SE15.
Cool never stays in one place for long. By its very nature, it’s always looking for the next place to hang out, to drink, to try not to dance too zealously to the freshest tunes. It’s an amorphous beast, permanently on the run from high-street mediocrity, always looking for a new place to bed down and do its thing before the mainstream knows what it looks like. Cool is a nomadic idea, a culture that can never rest for too long.
In London it seems that, over the past year or so, cool waved goodbye to Kingsland High Street, once the clatter of stilettos and kebab-shop brawls began to arrive from Old Street roundabout, and quietly slipped on to the East London Line, heading south towards the new promised land — Peckham.
Peckham has always had a bit of a reputation. For Londoners it was associated with brutal high-rises, gun crime and the murder of Damilola Taylor. In the words of long-term resident Mickey Smith, founder of the Bussey Building (Peckham’s answer to the Hacienda), the common perception was that visitors would be ‘stabbed or robbed, which wasn’t true, but was the impression the media gave out’. For the rest of the country, it was Only Fools and Horses. However, the secret among the bohemians taking advantage of its off-the-radar status was that Peckham was actually quite laid-back, with an incredible community spirit and cheap Victorian houses.
So, things have changed. Rye Lane and its nearby streets in particular have become inundated with classy cocktail joints such as Bar Story, Evie Wyld’s Review bookshop, the Sterling Prize-winning Peckham Library, galleries such as Hannah Barry’s, and the Dye House, a multi-use gallery space and filming location run by Nicky Chambers and Guy Forrester. There’s also a slew of decent eateries and low-key club nights such as The South London Soul Train (at the Bussey) and Rhythm Section at Canavan’s. Like it or not, Peckham is on a fearsome ascent.
Excerpt taken from a London Evening Standard Article, ‘Peckhamania: out on the town in London’s newest hotspot’.