sydenham needs an uplifting

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conti16
Posts: 41
Joined: 30 May 2017 10:28
Location: london

sydenham needs an uplifting

Post by conti16 »

I have been in Sydenham since June 2009 and things have changed but I feel that the area still needs improvement.
we need better shops on the high street so that I can stop going to Beckenham High street or CP or East Dulwich.
I contacted caffe nero and asked to come and see the area as I have noticed a few empty shops like former acorn and eaton estate agent.
I am supporting local shops during the weekend ( fish monger, the animal charity and hoof coffea) but we need more and better shops on the high street. Tired of this betting shops and pound one and news agents selling phones on the high street.
so many professionals lives in the area, why the need of this kind of shops?
Anyone knows if something happening to the high street any more? The regeneration was done a couple of years back with new pavement but anything else to look forwards to?
What happened to coop?
thanks

parker
Posts: 558
Joined: 26 Mar 2009 21:15
Location: Sydenham Wells

Re: sydenham needs an uplifting

Post by parker »

True, there are lots of professionals in Sydenham, but perhaps 2/3 are not professionals and therefore the demand for change isn't quite there, and that's why we're left with the kinds of shops that have remained open, unfortunately. I don't know how many more decades have to pass before your Starbucks and Caffè Nero see Sydenham in the same light as Beckenham.

mosy
Posts: 3973
Joined: 21 Sep 2007 20:28
Location: London

Re: sydenham needs an uplifting

Post by mosy »

conti16: The question always comes back to What Works?

"Nice shops to look at" that people would/could only ever go to at the weekend, let alone buy anything from if they're in Beckenham, Bromley etc, is not really an incentive to set up a 6 or 7-day shop as a business plan. If you think it is, then I freely admit you have better knowledge of what works than I do.

Also, wanting to dilute existing custom by introducing a chain seems an odd desire, as most chains want outright domination. E.g. you want a Caffé Nero although you say you currently "support" On the Hoof, but presumably would desert them if your favoured chain replacement arrived. Is that damning with faint praise? Or who cares about other shops if you get the ones you want instead? I might be being thick, but I don't follow the wisdom of your thinking. Happy for it to be explained to me of course :)

KPR
Posts: 83
Joined: 4 Apr 2016 21:06
Location: Sydenham

Re: sydenham needs an uplifting

Post by KPR »

I agree that the High Street is still a bit tatty, but the new pavements and trees did quite a lot to sort things out, compared to what it used to be like.

Though the pawn shops and chicken shops aren't my cup of tea, I think it's worth considering what kind of bricks and mortar shop can actually make money in the age of internet shopping. You're basically talking food and stuff that is so cheap that it's not worth sending by courier - betting shops, currently the scourge of the high street, will soon surely disappear given that you can do the same thing with an app these days. Estate agents ditto. Can a high street sustain lots of basically similar cafes and restaurants - places like Crystal Palace suggest not. Charity shops only work because they get a massive discount on business rates. There are a lot of shops down at the lower end of Sydenham Road being converted into residential - not sure I'd want to live in a ground floor flat on the high street itself, but it might happen.

Despite the patchy service in Blue Mountain, On the Hoof and Brown and Green (hipster students don't make good cooks and waiters in cafes, but places like this keep on behaving as if they do) I'm personally not sure that Nero or Costa is what I want to see given the product. A lot of Sydenham is still working class and the shops do reflect this - the pound shops, pawn shops and chicken shops.

Personally I hope Co-op becomes a McDonalds - it can't sustain itself as a supermarket, that much is obvious. Mickey D's is the only other thing I can see working in a space that size - though whether it would cannibalise Bell Green's business I don't know (seems that many people drive through there, so maybe not). I grew up in CP, and still remember going to the McDonald's there as a kid with some fondness - last time I looked, now an estate agent. Creates worthwhile jobs, and the product is quick and reliable.

sydnami
Posts: 10
Joined: 11 Mar 2017 10:12
Location: Lower Sydenham

Re: sydenham needs an uplifting

Post by sydnami »

KPR wrote:Personally I hope Co-op becomes a McDonalds
This is next-level trolling - bravo! Only the suggestion of a Foxtons would push more middle-class liberal buttons in this context.

robbieduncan
Posts: 384
Joined: 28 Oct 2013 17:10
Location: Trewsbury Road

Re: sydenham needs an uplifting

Post by robbieduncan »

Surely if we are looking for chains to compete with existing high street offerings we should be asking for a KFC not McDs?

KPR
Posts: 83
Joined: 4 Apr 2016 21:06
Location: Sydenham

Re: sydenham needs an uplifting

Post by KPR »

Alright, I was trolling a little bit, but filling that shop is going to be a problem in my view - it's very close to both Tesco and Lidl (and PFC) and clearly neither Co-op nor Budgens made enough money to make it worth keeping open. There's a hell of a lot of snobbery about Mickey D's but when you have kids you realise how good it is from the perspective of the staff actually being helpful (they'll get you a baby chair, etc), the food arriving quickly and to a consistent quality, and the price being very reasonable. Contrast say Blue Mountain or On the Hoof where the food is very inconsistent, the service very slow, and the price pretty high for what you get. Sure, if McD's did open then Chef's Delight might see a drop off in custom, but McD's don't do cooked breakfasts or pie and mash, so they'd probably be OK.

Ditto the jobs - lots of snobbery there too, but where else can someone with literally no qualifications work their way up a management chain? The police?

So, an element of trolling, yes, but if that place is still empty in a year (see numerous other Sydenham properties) then I'd rather Mickey D's than nothing - or demolish it and build flats with smaller units underneath (like the new development further up).

robbieduncan
Posts: 384
Joined: 28 Oct 2013 17:10
Location: Trewsbury Road

Re: sydenham needs an uplifting

Post by robbieduncan »

I think the best thing would be demolishing it and starting again. It's a massively ugly building that as noted does not really fit with current usage patterns. We need more housing. Demolish and build 2-3 units of a size that work on the ground floor and some flats above. Preferably in a style that works with the rest of the high street

MagmaTimes
Posts: 83
Joined: 24 Nov 2015 10:56
Location: Sydenham

Re: sydenham needs an uplifting

Post by MagmaTimes »

Caffe Nero? Starbucks? MCDONALDS?!!

I think the high street is pretty cool! I like a few of the cafes and there are some nice food shops. I've lived all over London and this is the first place where I've had a well-stocked bookshop within a short walk of a really nice place for lunch and a health-food store so I'm definitely not complaining. It's a bit sorry-looking further down and I think it'd be nicer if there were fewer places selling junk food to kids but what are you gonna do?

My only complaint is the lack of a decent pub!

parker
Posts: 558
Joined: 26 Mar 2009 21:15
Location: Sydenham Wells

Re: sydenham needs an uplifting

Post by parker »

sydnami wrote:
KPR wrote:Personally I hope Co-op becomes a McDonalds
This is next-level trolling - bravo! Only the suggestion of a Foxtons would push more middle-class liberal buttons in this context.
Suggesting a McDonald's is trolling because you don't agree with it? I'm not sure I get it. Am I troll then if I say I'd rather see London's largest Foxtons in that spot? Because that would only happen in Sydenham's dreams. At the moment the place depicts the things of nightmares. But all this BS I read on this forum is probably why Sydenham looks the mess it's always looked and doesn't have the oomph of even Penge.

Nigel
Posts: 2385
Joined: 22 May 2005 16:12
Location: Laurie Park

Re: sydenham needs an uplifting

Post by Nigel »

I remember a Jewish wit that once described " optimism " in Israel thus :" things can't get worse " - " yes they can ".

The discussion about McDonalds makes me feel a tad like that . At the risk of being thought an out of touch, foodie, elitist ponce , I hate McDonalds and I hope , even with no grounds or reason , that we get something better . It feels like the death of hope in a bun .

A very good afternoon
Nigel

sydnami
Posts: 10
Joined: 11 Mar 2017 10:12
Location: Lower Sydenham

Re: sydenham needs an uplifting

Post by sydnami »

parker wrote:Suggesting a McDonald's is trolling because you don't agree with it?
Not at all - trolling as a provocative art form is a passtime worth celebrating on its own merits. And was admitted as such by its very author.

FWIW though, I do think a McD's of that scale would be a shame on our local councillors - an acceptance that they're not prepared to think creatively about what our high street could offer, and that it's not going to feature as an investment priority. I would refute that it would be good for jobs, as it would likely spell the end of other independents on that stretch. Look at what Southwark (also Labour-run) have done with their area plans, and it is frankly embarrassing how far behind Lewisham are. There is no 'vision' for Sydenham, and the general dissatisfaction on this thread is the consequence.

admin
Site Admin
Posts: 2549
Joined: 20 Sep 2004 21:49

Re: sydenham needs an uplifting

Post by admin »

I notice Costa is coming to our neighbours in Penge - maybe Sydenham next?

KPR
Posts: 83
Joined: 4 Apr 2016 21:06
Location: Sydenham

Re: sydenham needs an uplifting

Post by KPR »

It seems like knock it down and start again is the best option for Co-op.

Penge, mentioned above, does have a McDonald's - it's odd that Penge used to be the butt of jokes as a notorious dump, but now seems to have leapfrogged above Sydenham in the 'cool' stakes, despite being further out from the centre.

I'm not against foodies, but I'd question whether Sydenham genuinely offers anything to them - hipster cafes offering identikit avocado and halloumi based meals, chicken shops and other takeaways. Would McDonald's really make this any worse? It's affordable for ordinary people, which On the Hoof isn't, and at least offers healthy options which the chicken and kebab shops don't. It would be a net job creator - often missed in the small high street shop versus chain debate is that chains create a lot more employment with more adherence to employment and other law than you'll find in your average takeaway. Anyway I don't think McDonald's would kill all the takeaways - my favourite chip shop (Supreme) would be safe given the excellence of the chips.

P.S - I know that Trattoria Raffaele and Calabash of Culture might be raised as evidence of Sydenham's excellence in foodiness but both have been massively overhyped on Trip Advisor in my opinion. Trattoria is OK but Lorenzo in CP beats it into a cocked hat for both quality and value. Calabash is clearly an 'acquired taste' - nice for its vegan fans perhaps, used to eating tasteless bland food, but pretty odd for the rest of us. I have visions of the owners pissing their pants at what they manage to charge for almost inedible dust.

Mayowthorpe
Posts: 109
Joined: 30 Jul 2014 07:16
Location: Sydenham

Re: sydenham needs an uplifting

Post by Mayowthorpe »

admin wrote:I notice Costa is coming to our neighbours in Penge - maybe Sydenham next?
Sydenham already had a Costa. And a McDonalds.

We don't need anymore.

Syddersisters
Posts: 16
Joined: 22 Feb 2017 07:30
Location: Sydenham

Re: sydenham needs an uplifting

Post by Syddersisters »

This is why I'm organising my first Jumble Trail on Sunday 11th June 10am - 4pm as a social experiment to see how many Sydenham people I can get involved & for a bit of community spirit. You can take part by buying or selling old treasures.

A Jumble Trail is a yard sale, the whole thing is coordinated online at jumbletrail.com providing visitors with a colour coded map to explore the treasure on sale in your neighbourhood.

Sit on your front lawn, play some tunes, chat to some locals, make some pocket money, get rid of some junk. It's £4 per stall (to cover printing costs & Jumble Trail to run their website).

http://www.jumbletrail.com/event/SE26
Twitter: @syddersisters

From my observations, an uplift is about spending local, a close knit community & a few active locals getting together helps get funding & encourages small businesses to invest in new ventures! See: West Norwood Picturehouse / Feast and Penge Station

JRobinson
Posts: 1102
Joined: 5 Jan 2010 12:40
Location: De Frene Rd

Re: sydenham needs an uplifting

Post by JRobinson »

Mcdonald's good for children?
http://www.care2.com/causes/5-reasons-t ... nalds.html

Fast food chains being better at employment laws? There's plenty of evidence against this, just look at zero hours contracts, which are not illegal but certainly not good for employees. Look at how no Mcdonald's in the US are unionised, and ask why that is? Why are they all franchises? So that McD's isn't liable but the franchisee owner is. Plenty of reasons to boycott McD's, even more than there were for boycotting Tesco!

Nigel
Posts: 2385
Joined: 22 May 2005 16:12
Location: Laurie Park

Re: sydenham needs an uplifting

Post by Nigel »

KPR
Certainly would include Calabash as part of any burgeoning foodie culture . As you say it must be a godsend for vegans but that is hardcore eat-to-live in my view .
From limited experience I found the coffee very poor , prices pretty high for entirely vegetable based food and the service friendly but a bit chaotic .

I don't think we have or need particularly need full on foodie establishments but we do have at least 5 very respectable eating places including the dolphin , golden city ,,on the Hoof , the fish place opposite Kirkdale books , trattoria Raffaele , and several decent cafes .
I think the issue is us all making more use of them so they don't wither away .
I'd extend that to other services like DIY - I got caught out one evening in some little angle brackets to finish some shelving - ended up paying in Wickes exactly four times what the excellent Sydenham DIY charge ...

A very good morning
Nigel

monkeyarms
Posts: 273
Joined: 28 Jul 2015 14:54
Location: Tredown

Re: sydenham needs an uplifting

Post by monkeyarms »

Feel obliged to speak up in defence of Calabash of Culture! I'm not a vegan but I think its food is very good. Reminds me a lot of the much-missed institution Food For Thought in Covent Garden. Yes, perhaps a quid or two overpriced, but it appears to be getting busier and busier at lunchtimes when I've been in, so clearly not so much that it's putting anyone off. How anyone could taste their fiery sweet potato curry and call it 'indelible dust' is beyond me.

Hibagon does the best and most interesting food in Sydenham in my humble opinion, but Calabash, On the Hoof and Trattoria Raffaella all do perfectly good grub. The worst thing I can say about food in Sydenham is the rather unknowable opening hours of some places – and the fact that we're still two or three restaurants short. I'm constantly surprised at the absence on the high street of something like Franco Manca or Forest Hill's Bona, or a noodle bar, in Sydenham. It'd do a roaring trade. That's partly why I'm looking forward to Nando's opening. At last there'll be somewhere where I'll know I can go and take the kid for an evening meal, and I'll know it'll be open.

KPR
Posts: 83
Joined: 4 Apr 2016 21:06
Location: Sydenham

Re: sydenham needs an uplifting

Post by KPR »

Fair points, to some extent - I'm not down on Sydenham (in my opinion we have the best set of green spaces of any outer London area that I've been to) and the cafes and restaurants aren't awful, they're just not as good as some of the online hype would suggest (though Calabash we'll have to agree to disagree on - I can cook better than that).

I think the people on this thread are (me included) all clearly middle class and so have an interest in gentrification to make our houses worth more. Going back way up to the top, most of Sydenham lives in social housing or at the bottom of the PRS and if they eat out it won't be in On the Hoof - the high street serves them more than it serves us, and expecting it to become Clapham is ultimately wishing for a different social mix in this area. That will happen over time I reckon - when I was a kid Brixton, Balham, Tooting and CP were not the aspirational zones they are now - but I'm not sure that's objectively a good thing. I made this point when B&G got the Park cafe, which annoyed people online, but if you go in there you'll see only the affluent end of Sydenham munching on overpriced sandwiches and drinking overpriced coffee - it's everyone's park after all and something more like the cafe in CP park (currently closed while Bromley knock it down and build something bigger and possibly more expensive, unfortunately) would have been more inclusive.

Fair play to people who want to get 'community' going - sorry, but I have my hands full with work and kids, and my community efforts are limited to supporting events at school, which is where I interact with the denizens of Chef's Delight and so it is the whole community in a pretty broad way, tattoos and all. No issues with the jumble trail idea per se, but if you get a single participant on the local estates I'd be very surprised.

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