I loved Lewisham as soon as I moved here.
Then, 6 years ago, this part of South East London looked like a bomb had hit it and torn the centre out, leaving in it’s wake a lazy copy of Brutalist architecture that was dated as soon as it was finished. I later found out that’s exactly what happened, many bombs in fact, as the Germans tried to hit Greenwich docks nearby.
I still loved it.
The everyday bustle, literally every day, not just during the weekend. The market stalls, which mostly sold food I'd never seen before; and still to this day am scared to ask what they are. The Turkish cafes and barbers where the owners and friends stand and smoke rolled up cigarettes with course, noxious tobacco - malevolence in the gathering, but you soon realise it's simply fraternity, of problems solved in the old way. The occasional Irish cafe or pub, staffed by someone who remembers when it was unpopular to be Irish. Especially the sturdy older Jamaican women on the way back from church, resplendent in colour and motherly decorum. This has been my home all the time I have been in London, and for the last 3 years that of my now wife. All of this is home. Yes the chicken shops too. The butchers who, of course, don’t stock pork, the mobile phone unlockers. The traffic, the noise, the occasional feeling of dread late at night.
It's more mixed. Eastern European communities and those priced out of east London, or those spawning are all blending with the English, Turkish, Indian and and West Indian communities that represent this wonderful arrondissement.
Little by little it’s changing and I don't mind. Change happens; no one holds it back. But it is changing and I wanted to record some of it: my little spaces, memories, the nooks and crannies that will unlikely survive what's to come.
These are some photos of how it is.