Refurbishment of Maddock Way

For far too long Maddock Way has been the most neglected part of the Brandon. It has continually fallen between two stools, residing on Housing land, yet the units are managed by Southwark Property Services. The ground underfoot is a patchwork of different tarmac repairs, all the drains have been blocked for years, causing severe flooding when it rains, and the whole space has taken on quite a dilapidated appearance.

Flooding, blocked drains & fly-tipping

Empty & dilapidated shop units

What was originally designed to be the ‘High Street of the Brandon’ which originally contained a Post Office, Greengrocers, Butchers, Doctors Surgery, Pharmacy, Dry Cleaners and a pub, is now a broken space with at least three unused retail units. We have approximately 1,750 housing units and a total estate population of over 5,000 residents, yet Maddock Way is shabby, run-down, and has the air of a space being run down awaiting eventual demolition. We believe that Maddock Way needs some investment to bring it back to its former glory, and have applied to the ‘High Street Recovery Fund‘ to get some funding to improve the space. We want retail units that will expand the retail opportunities and want to be able to ‘shop local’. This is especially relevant with the recent introduction of the Walworth LTN restrictions, which cut many of our elderly residents off from the traditional shops on the Walworth Road.

We have the support of all our TRA committee members, all the local businesses, the Walworth Society, the 20th Century Society and local counsellors to try and unite the various Southwark departments to try and take a joined up approach to addressing the various issues facing Maddock Way.

‘Parklet’ concept & design

We are looking to change this. We have been working with the Great Estates pilot to look at how we can revive Maddock Way, with suggestions of having a Sunday Farmers Market, installing seating & planting and maybe a ‘Parklet’ opposite the library, where residents could use the space socially, rather than it continue to be a ‘pass through’ space as it currently is. Please take a look at a separate article about this ‘Parklet’ idea using this link.

Murals and Public Art on the Brandon

Probably best known for the Henry Moore, Reclining Figure No. 3,  The shopping parade had a (now lost) mural celebrating the Chartists Kennington connection by Anthony Holloway, there were other works by Holloway and Lynn Easthope, some of which have now been lost. Edward Hollamby the original estate architect was very much a fan of using public art to enhance the communal and open  spaces, and there are a few of these that still exist. In particular there us some very ornate tiling at the top of Napier House, and a fibreglass mural, by an unknown artist, in the reception of the Jack Hobbs centre. Some of the original art works can be seen in the gallery below.

We are looking to replace some of these missing art pieces, and have applied ti the Getting Involved Grant fund to engage with a local artist who would lead workshops with our residents to develop some design ideas for new pieces to be commissioned. During the recent filming of the popular Netflix series ‘The Crown’, their set designers needed to recreate a period look to the shopping precinct, and created some murals inspired by the piece in the Jack Hobbs club. They kindly agreed to donate these pieces to us when the filming had finished. While temporary, this is an addition to a space that was previously a white wall with a ‘2 years out of date’ major works sign on it.

We are very much hoping that our ward counsellors, Alice MacDonald, James Coldwell, and Eleanor Kerslake will actively support the above initiatives and use what influence they have to ensure some joined up thinking by the various LB Southwark departments to work together to help make these plans a reality. We have asked all three counsellors for a comment, and will post them here when we receive them.