Lewisham Glass Mill centre and the battle of the silver chair

Mothers brawl at Lewisham pool during their children’s swimming lesson

Glass Mill Leisure Centre Lewisham (picture from Google Street View)
There were even more colourful scenes than usual at the Glass Mill Leisure Centre [pic: Google Street View]
There are 1001 ways to entertain yourself around Lewisham. One moment you could be watching a swing band inspiring Manor Park to move to its rhythm. Another you could be grinding up Hilly Fields with 250 others in the latest park run. And then you could be watching blood being spilled at the local pool between two mothers watching their children take a swimming lesson.

Such was my experience in the Glass Mill Leisure Centre this afternoon. As my four year-old kicked his legs on the other side of the glass and learned the finer points of clinging to ribbon float, a heated discussion broke out beside me between two mothers who were also spectating.

It was, as these things so often are, an incredibly worthwhile flashpoint … over a chair, and whether the recent arrival had asked politely enough to use that space. (One of those silver cube chairs if anyone who knows the poolside café is wondering).  There was more back and forth. A little bit of under-the-breath effing.

“Or you’ll what?” one of the women postured.

“There’s enough fighting in the world,” another watching mother told the pair. Children looked up and stared. And that, bar a bit of muttering and staring, seemed to be that.

But no. As the lessons drew to a close, the chair war flashed back into life. Two more women got involved. Voices were raised. Children got properly spooked. Punches were thrown. Big men rushed over to stand between the combatants. Blood was spilled. Security called. By the time my four-year-old was changed from his lesson, seven police officers were on the premises, hearing the whole sorry tale for themselves.

And those silver chairs aren’t even very comfortable…

Lewisham house prices rise by 601 per cent in 20 years, report suggests

Good news if you have already bought property in the borough – but troubling for those struggling to get on the ladder

A study released last week by Lloyds Bank shows a dramatic rise in house prices in Lewisham over the past two decades – outstripping most other London boroughs. Continue reading “Lewisham house prices rise by 601 per cent in 20 years, report suggests”

Lewisham Council and Millwall scheme unravels yet more

Lewisham Mayor resigns from charity, and millions of pounds of funding come into question

Millwall secured a two-nil win against Port Vale this evening.

But the real drama, as has so often been the case this season, happened off the pitch. Continue reading “Lewisham Council and Millwall scheme unravels yet more”

Fifty Shades of Valentine’s Day survey desperation

Some people will do anything for attention on Valentine’s Day

Two surveys out today timed to coincide with the day of love in London. The least shameless first: the London Fire Brigade released a study which at least contained some, erm, hard, facts.

Continue reading “Fifty Shades of Valentine’s Day survey desperation”

Lewisham solicitor shut down due to ‘suspected dishonesty’

Bilson Henaku on Lewisham High Street has been closed by the solicitors regulator

A Lewisham solicitor firm was forced to close indefinitely last week due to suspected dishonesty on the part of its founding partner.

Bilson Henaku Solicitors, based at 73a – 77a Lewisham High Street, was ordered to cease practising by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) on February 6. Continue reading “Lewisham solicitor shut down due to ‘suspected dishonesty’”

Who is the DLR’s mysterious ‘voice of Barry White’?

The mock seductive voice that has tickled commuters on the Docklands Light Railway was captured once again on social media yesterday – this time as the train pulled into Lewisham.

Thousands of commuters have been entertained by the conductor’s unusual announcements, which have also gained him the nickname of jazz voice. Continue reading “Who is the DLR’s mysterious ‘voice of Barry White’?”

The winter wonders of Sydenham Hill Wood

“If you really want to know your trees in winter, you have to get physical with them. In an appropriate way of course.”

Daniel Greenwood, a conservation officer for the London Wildlife Trust, smiled wryly as he gestured a gnarled trunk behind him.

It was an early gambit on a winter tree identification walk last Sunday, a bright, frosty afternoon in Sydenham Hill Wood.

Chuckles came from our cluster of fellow walkers standing on this large preserved stretch of the Great North Wood, one of the closest tracts of ancient woodland to central London.

“Run your hand across their bark,” he went on. “Even hug them if you want.” Continue reading “The winter wonders of Sydenham Hill Wood”