Catch a musical star of the Paralympic closing ceremony perform in SE7 this Sunday

This Sunday sees one of the semi-regular acoustic sessions run by Gus Glen at Catttleya’s on Charlton Church Lane, and this week promises a very special guest. Local musician Lyn Levett, most recently seen playing with the Paraorchestra and Coldplay at the Paralympic Closing Ceremony, will perform an improvised set amongst other regular performers.

From The Paraorchestra’s website:

It all began in the late 80’s. Lyn bought a Commodore 64 inch computer from Boots that had a music package and was hooked instantly. She then went on to have music lessons from Community Music Wales and become a music tutor in Cardiff. Lyn has also released a single and a twelve inch.

Lyn has cerebral palsy and produces music on a Mac using Logic Pro. She uses a trackball to input notes and other actions. Lyn also has an iPad with several music apps and operates the pad with her nose.

Today, Lyn’s aim is ‘to produce the highest possible music in my studio. I’m currently exploring performance programs for the iPad and hope this will improve interaction with other musicians’.

Lyn is highly creative and has been described as producing the ‘most dizzyingly brilliant electronic music.’ (Charles Hazlewood). Watch this space.

The entertainment starts around 8.30pm; why not go a long to watch, try Cattleya’s Thai-Tapas, or just have a drink?

Cattleya at Chu & Cho’s, 52 Charlton Church Lane, London, SE7 7AB



Can you help make Woolwich Road safer?

Greenwich Council is currently consulting on plans to make some changes to part of the Charlton stretch of Woolwich Road – between Felltram Way and Charlton Church Lane – following a number of accidents over the years.

They also take into account changes that’ll need to be made for the proposed new Sainsbury’s/M&S store is built on the corner of Gallions Road.

Well, I say it’s consulting, but there’s nothing on its website and there’s no mention of this in Greenwich Time. Indeed, only a handful of households, either on or immediately adjacent to Woolwich Road, have been invited to take part.

However, the Charlton Champion has been passed the documents, so you too can see what’s planned and respond. See if you can spot the glaring error in one of them.

Woolwich Road Consultation Document (PDF)
Woolwich Road Consultation Questionnaire (PDF)

The council’s desire to involve as few people as possible in its decisions aside, what’s planned includes:

– A central refuge on the Victoria Way zebra crossing
– Installing a pedestrian refuge near to Ramac Way
– Widening the markings in the middle of the road to separate traffic flows
– Renewing anti-skid surfaces
– Moving the zebra crossing and bus stop at Victoria Way (part of the Sainsbury’s scheme)

Of course, the biggest thing that could be done on that stretch of road would be to reduce the amount of traffic, particularly HGVs, on the Woolwich Road. This would require Woolwich-bound traffic at the Blackwall Tunnel to be funnelled towards Bugsby’s Way, rather than the A206 as now. Unfortunately, there’s nothing in that document proposing this quick win, neither is there a proposal to deal with the “dance of death” at the foot of Charlton Church Lane.

But there’s nothing stopping you suggesting those, or anything else. As ever with these consultations, there isn’t long to respond, and it’s by post only, to get to the council by 5 October – that’s a week on Friday. Tell ’em we sent you.

Free wifi: Moca on Old Dover Road

As part of a semi-regular series reviewing venues in Charlton and nearby with free wifi, I worked last Wednesday morning at Moca, the Italian deli/cafe in old Dover Road, which advertises free wifi.

At 9am, the place was quite full, with quite a strong showing of young, but admittedly well-behaved children. I was certainly able to get my head down and do a good hour of work without any concentration problems, and it wasn’t so full that people resented someone on her own sitting at a table for 4. However, there did only seem to be a very few powerpoints and these were not at the proper tables which are better for working.

The free wifi was not a service like BT Openzone or the Cloud, but rather proper wifi with password protection. It was necessary to ask at the till for the wifi and the code was an alphanumeric key, not an easily remembered word. There was no registration required, or conditions to accept. Everything seemed to work quite well. One item with lots of photo needed two goes to download, but it went quickly the second time. I seemed to be the only one using it, so I’m not sure what level of usage it can withstand.

As I started my day here, I had breakfast, a latte and smoked salmon with scrambled egg and both were perfectly acceptable. The woman serving was a little sharp at first, but I think this was to do with the fact that she was on her own with a rush on. A man came out to help and things seemed to settle down. I did appreciate that nobody made any efforts to move me out, or make me buy more, even though I was there, clearly working, for more than an hour.

Moca has a toilet with baby-changing facilities. There is a small terrrace that takes 4 or 5 people. The radio was on when I arrived, but they later put music on, a decent mid noughties playlist with Morcheeba, Moloko and Primal Scream. Well, it worked for me.

Wifi service: 9/10 (due to unknown service levels at times of high demand)
Work environment: 7/10 (as long as you can work with music and chatting around you)
Food and drink: 7/10

Total: 23/30

Open houses and a closing lido

This weekend is Open House weekend across London (but not Croydon); has taken a look at what’s open across the Borough, but on a more hyperlocal level the nearest attractions included in the Open House programme are:
tours of Charlton House on Sunday, 10am-4pm
Thames Barrier (though it’s a bit unclear what’s different from a normal weekend there, apart from the ‘special display’; if you can work it out, let us know in the comments below).
So, slightly slim-pickings for SE7; but where else would you like to see involved in Open House in our neighbourhood?

Also, there’s only two more weekends of swimming at Charlton Lido before it closes for further refurbishment. It’s worth noting that as of this week they’re running a reduced programme: closed Tuesdays and Thursdays, and shortened evening hours on other days. The full timetable is here: The second phase of redevelopment should see the addition of gym facilities, a new cafe, and indoor changing rooms, and is schedule to be ready for Easter 2012.

The re-opened lido seems to have been a great success to date, witth queues out of the door on sunny days. Have you been using the lido? If so, let us know where you plan to swim once it closes.