London in the Snow: Photos of Brockley and New Cross


Exotic Brockley in the snowSt. Margaret's Road, looking southSt. Margaret's Road, looking westLondon phone boxCrossroads in the snowThe approach to Brockley station
Brockley stationCoulgate Street in the snowSnowy landscapeSnowy junctionMillmark Grove in deep snowVesta Road
St. Donatt's Road, looking south eastSt. Donatt's Road, looking north eastHouses on Lewisham WayLewisham Way in the snowSnowy tree in New CrossFlorence Road in the snow
Snowy fenceSnow on the tracks

London in the Snow: Brockley and New Cross, a set on Flickr.

On January 20, 2013, as London became enveloped in snow — the second snowfall in two days, and this time much heavier than the first — I visited Hilly Fields, the hill-top park on Brockley, in south east london, where I have lived for the last 13 years, to take my son Tyler sledging, and to capture some photos of Londoners at play, which I published here.

I then walked with Tyler down to Brockley station, where we parted ways. He went round to a friend’s, and, after a quick coffee and a muffin at the Broca coffee shop, I cycled north, through Brockley, and on to New Cross and Deptford, as the snow grew heavier and heavier, and the cars and pedestrians began to disappear.

It was quite a wild experience, as the snow was driving into my face the whole time, and I had very little time to take photos before my camera was covered in wet snow, an ordeal which, I’m glad to say, it managed to survive — as, of course, did I.

This photo set — the 74th in my ongoing project to photograph the whole of London by bike — covers the first part of that journey from Brockley to New Cross, and in the sets to follow I’ll cover the last part of the journey — down Deptford High Street, past the splendour of St. Paul’s Deptford (a Baroque masterpiece) and down to Deptford Creek, the tidal stretch of the River Ravensbourne, near where it meets the River Thames on the border with Greenwich.

I hope you enjoy this journey with me. You were probably either in sunnier, or at least less snowy climes, or, if you were in London, staying warm somewhere out of the driving snow on Sunday. Certainly, I could count the numbers of pedestrians and drivers I saw throughout most of this journey — except in Deptford High Street, which is only ever quiet at night — and this suggests to me that most people, except those with extremely durable toddlers and toboggans, and teenagers like my son and his friends, who spent all afternoon in Telegraph Hill Park, may appreciate the driving snow from a distance, as photographed by bike, while the snow was busy transforming the streets of London with a magical, albeit temporary blanket.

Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed — and I can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Flickr (my photos) and YouTube. Also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, updated in April 2012, “The Complete Guantánamo Files,” a 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011, and details about the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, and available on DVD here — or here for the US). Also see my definitive Guantánamo habeas list and the chronological list of all my articles, and please also consider joining the new “Close Guantánamo campaign,” and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.

27 Responses

  1. Jonathan Birchall says...

    Dear Andy,

    As a former resident briefly of both Brockley and Deptford, I am delighted to encounter these excellent photos. One small point, though, is that St Paul’s Deptford is in fact by Thomas Archer, who was also responsible for St John’s Smith Square. St Paul’s is a lovely church though; when I knew it, it was headed by the very remarkable Fr David Diamond…check out his obit from 1992 here:

    Cheers, Jonathan Birchall

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, you’re right, of course, Jonathan. A wave of Hawksmoormania must have swept me up, even though it should have been obvious that St. Paul’s Deptford lacks the coldness of Hawksmoor.

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    On Facebook, Rita Pal wrote:

    You found a phone box! Wow…. very rare in this neck of the woods!

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, Rita. I can only think of a handful of locations where they still exist in London, although I suspect that, like this one, there are still many examples tucked away in side streets.

  5. Andy Worthington says...

    Kathleen Kelly wrote:

    Sharing, of course.

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Kathleen! How’s the weather in Wisconsin?

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    Kathleen Kelly wrote:

    Freeeeeeeeeezing! (actually it’s way below freezing.)

  8. Andy Worthington says...

    I thought it might be. Stay warm!

  9. Andy Worthington says...

    Rupert Williams wrote:

    did you say “I may be some time” before your depature?

  10. Andy Worthington says...

    I really should have said that, shouldn’t I, Rupert? Good to hear from you, my friend. I hope all is well with you – beyond the endless horrors of living in a country run by the Tory scum, of course!

  11. Andy Worthington says...

    Lorna Watson wrote:

    The Campaign for Better Transport are bringing down the Chief Executives of Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, the Wildlife Trust and the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England to Combe Haven Valley the site of the first of hundreds of new roads costing billions of pounds many that were written off in the 90s. This weekend. If 20 people can sign up to come this weekend a free bus is being put on.

  12. Andy Worthington says...

    Lorna Watson wrote:

    “Come to Camp Decoy this weekend for singing, supper and CEOs (26-27 Jan)”

  13. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Lorna, for reminding me of this. I really do have to show my support in Lewisham this weekend, to try and persuade Jeremy Hunt not to accept plans to close Lewisham Hospital’s A&E Department, or I’d consider trying to get down there.
    The plans for this road are disgraceful. There’s no excuse for the environmental destruction the plans entail, and it strikes me as bitterly ironic that Osborne, who generally has a vice-like grip on the public purse, is happy to splash the cash on unnecessary projects like this. I’d say it’s going to be difficult mobilising people at this time of the year, but if there’s the option it seems to me that this could become something in the spring – maybe a return to the kind of communal environmental action that was such a big thing in the 90s is just what is needed …

  14. Andy Worthington says...

    John Burgan wrote:

    lived on tressillian rd between approx 1987-1992, close to lewisham way / loampit hill. made me quite nostalgic!

  15. Andy Worthington says...

    Well, that’s a strange coincidence, John, isn’t it? Perhaps I’ll end up in Bristol! Hope all is well with you. Would like to find some excuse to get out your way again, see a bit more of you and Lucy.

  16. Andy Worthington says...

    Beth Bailey-Kingdon wrote:

    LOVE your photos. Keep ’em comin’, Andy!

  17. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Beth. That’s the kind of response I like! Very glad you’re enjoying the photos so much.

  18. Andy Worthington says...

    Lorna Watson wrote, in response to 13, above:

    I think you’re right that the action will step up in spring when more people realise what is going on and when the road and housing builds start to affect more areas all over the country. Conditions at camp are not great as you can imagine, very cold and muddy. Lots of people are coming and going so there is always a group there at the last camp and there will be a lot more this weekend. Good luck in Lewisham. I’m sure a lot of people are motivated not just because of the threat to the countryside but because the austerity cuts are affecting vital services in this country, like you say makes the huge spend on these developments all the more sickening. At a time when people are being pushed into poverty and homelessness. I found your web site after staying with Sid Rawle shortly before he died. I learned an awful lot from him and you so thanks for the work you do.

  19. Andy Worthington says...

    Lorna Watson wrote:

    “the green lady: Sid Rawle’s garden”

  20. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks again, Lorna. I’m going to try and find some time to do some proper research into these horrible road proposals.

  21. Andy Worthington says...

    Lorna Watson wrote:

    Just saw this, ugh:
    “What can Londoners expect from new Thames tunnel? Lethal pollution”

  22. Andy Worthington says...

    Good article, Lorna. I hadn’t even heard of this monstrosity, although there seem to be very good grounds for believing that it can be successfully opposed in Tower Hamlets and also south of the river. Then again, perhaps I’m just having an optimistic turn …

  23. Andy Worthington says...

    Lorna Watson wrote:

    I really do hope so.

  24. Andy Worthington says...

    Rachel’s Page wrote:

    we have a new road being built here, Newton Abbot to Torquay it saddens me to see such beautiful countryside being butchered

  25. Andy Worthington says...

    I’m sorry to hear that, Rachel. I really don’t see any excuse for new roads, as we should be starting to work out how to move beyond the road, car and lorry dominated model that has been so destructive and that now looks like the dying flailing of a dinosaur mentality. Unfortunately, only the truly mediocre rise to positions of power and authority, where they can make their idiotic projections of a future based on more logistics and trade routes and leisure. Reclaim the land! I really do think it may be time to start waging war for the countryside again. I hope young people are reading all about the road protest movement of the 1990s. My book The Battle of the Beanfield provides a good primer:

  26. Andy Worthington says...

    Here’s an article about the Devon plans, from the Campaign for Better Transport (worth bookmarking). The article’s entitled, “Road to nowhere: Kingskerswell Bypass”:

  27. Andy Worthington says...

    Good news from Sussex. Via the BBC, “Bexhill-to-Hastings road protesters ’caused year’s delay'”:

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
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