In the words of long-term resident Mickey Smith, founder of the Bussey Building (Peckham’s answer to the Hacienda), the common perception was that visitors would be ‘stabbed or robbed, which wasn’t true, but was the impression the media gave out’.
For the rest of the country, it was So, things have changed.
The South London neighbourhood is fast becoming a bohemian hotspot, buzzing with go-to galleries, rooftop bars and foodie night markets that make East London look positively parochial.
Clive Martin goes out on the scene in SE15 Cool never stays in one place for long.
‘I mostly had studios in Hackney for the past ten years, and walking down Rye Lane definitely reminds me of Kingsland Road at that time.
I love that vibrancy and gentle chaos.’ If you really want to see the epicentre of new Peckham, you could do worse than head to Frank’s Café, SE15’s answer to Harry’s Bar, a small slice of Riviera cool located on the roof of a multi-storey car park.
Cool is a nomadic idea, a culture that can never rest for too long.In London it seems that, over the past year or so, cool waved goodbye to Kingsland High Street, once the clatter of stilettos and kebab-shop brawls began to arrive from Old Street roundabout, and quietly slipped on to the East London Line, heading south towards the new promised land — Peckham. For Londoners it was associated with brutal high-rises, gun crime and the murder of Damilola Taylor.