Over the past three years, Peckham Levels has been home to more than 170 local enterprises, artists and makers, welcomed countless local community groups and partners into the space, and seen many of London’s residents pop in to socialise and celebrate together. Last year we celebrated our birthday in style, with help from Focus Africa as well as lots of our neighbours and friends.
Whilst 2020 may have robbed us of a physical birthday party, we’d like to take the opportunity to take you down memory lane, by bringing you some of the highlights along our journey together so far.
Conor O’Hart, our wonderful Membership Manager here at Peckham Levels, has been part of the team since our doors officially opened back in Dec 2017. Reflecting over the last 3 years, here, Conor shares his top three warm and inspiring memories from the Peckham Levels archives…
BEFORE: A MULTI-STOREY STORY
Everyone you speak to in Peckham has a different memory of the car park… Some people knew it as Franks Café, some as the car park that their mum used to park up in on a Saturday afternoon before popping to the shops on Rye Lane, and some remember back to the early 80s, when it was home to a Sainsbury’s!
Having been a landmark on Rye Lane for many years, it’s no surprise that many people came together in 2014 to fight against the potential redevelopment of the car park into a block of flats, and to save both Peckham Plex and Bold Tendencies.
The fight was led by Peckham Vision. An organisation initially formed when the Bussey Building was at threat, they are now local champions that protect significant sites within the community, by mobilising the local community to oppose redevelopment plans. Without community groups such as Peckham Vision leading the way, Peckham Levels would not be alive today. We must say a huge thank you to Eileen Conn, founder of Peckham Vision.
DURING: THE LAUNCH OF PECKHAM LEVELS
In December 2017, after a year of grappling with concrete ramps, new wiring and the complicated plumbing in a brutal seven storey car park, Peckham Levels finally opened its doors to the public with a line up of almost 80 exciting local Members ranging from artists, musicians, makers, food vendors and more!
Our launch night was a celebration of all those who had played a part in the saving of this Rye Lane landmark, and to mark the beginning of a creative new chapter as Peckham Levels.
OPEN STUDIOS THROUGH THE YEARS
It goes without saying that Open Studios is always one of the highlights in our annual calendar of events. We’re waiting impatiently for 2021 to be able to host our fourth Open Studios event. Where our Members can once again throw open their doors and showcase their work, skills and talent to neighbours, local residents, businesses and visitors.
2020 hasn’t quite gone the way any of us expected it to. We imagined we would be celebrating our third birthday with a big bang – socials, events, live music, street food, drinks, markets and more… But this year we’re all having to do things a little differently.
Our doors may be closed for now, but we’ll be back in 2021 with more energy than ever. We have some exciting new Members to introduce to you, and are hoping to get our events programme back up and running so we can welcome the local community into the project once again.
Until then, we hope you’ve enjoyed this trip down memory lane as much as we did… watch this space for the return of Peckham Levels!