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The Ragged School Blog Deptford

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Cockpit Arts

During September I visited many venues in the London Design Festival but it was a treat to look inside Cockpit Arts on Creekside. Having been to the RSVP Deptford event at Spitalfields to launch the Festival I had already glimpsed a piece by Becky Oldfield (whose studio is pictured). This charming young designer creates original pieces of textile based furniture (lampshades, cushions, blinds etc) using British memorabilia. We had a lovely chat about 'good old Deptford' and Becky kindly allowed me to take this picture.


At 5:02 pm, Blogger bob said...

Just got sent this by the Creekside Forum:

From: Simon Cowderoy
Sent: Tue 10/10/2006 22:03
Subject: Love Over Gold

Dear All,
If you know the backstory, feel free to skip the next few paragraphs...

If you don't:
Once upon a time (way back in the early 80s?) there was a brick wall in Creekside, just opposite the Crossfields Estate, and one day (or night, more probably) someone went out with a pot of white paint and adorned the wall with the slogan 'Love Over Gold'.
As it happened, a certain Mr Knopfler - later to find fame with a hitherto unknown band called Dire Straits - happened to be living on the estate at the time. The rest, as they say, is history.
Until - in the late 80s, Lewisham Council's anti-graffiti squad came along one day and painted over this small piece of Deptford's history. The resulting uproar in the local community was such that Lewisham Council and Dire Straits jointly funded a project to create a mural on the site, to be designed by local schoolchildren and produced by a local artist.
Fast forward to Crossfields Festival 2006, when word gets out that Cockpit Arts, the new owners of the building in question, plan to paint over the mural and replace it with - well, something else.
A few hardy souls were outside Drake House at sparrow's-fart the following morning to make sure that no painting took place, and by lunchtime had spoken with Vanessa Swann, Chief Executive of Cockpit Arts, who assured us that no further work would take place until the community had been properly consulted.

And the next phase is:
Vanessa Swann will be attending the next meeting of Crossfields Tenants' and Residents' Association on Thursday October 26th. Non-residents will be allowed to attend the meeting, but not necessarily allowed to speak.

I am guessing (hoping?) that there are enough current residents of Crossfields who will attend to give Cockpit serious pause for thought - but:
if there are enough former residents (like me) or people who have never lived on the estate but care about the mural, or - and this would be brilliant - any of the young people who were actually involved in producing the mural in the first place, I think we could reasonably ask Vanessa Swann to attend another meeting. With all due respect to Crossfields T&RA, I think Cockpit Arts need to recognise that there is a wider community interest at stake here.

I think that's probably enough from me for now. PLEASE circulate this email to anyone you think might be interested. If anyone has an in to Mark Knopfler, please use it (I've tried going through his management company, but I don't really think they got it...).
If anyone has any more ideas, please let me know...

Love Over Gold,


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