Well, that’s perhaps going a little far, but it’s certainly an area I like. Peckham, for those who don’t know London, is “south of the river”, one of those parts that many – including taxi-drivers – like to avoid. At it’s heart is the bustling, colourful shopping centre of Rye Lane, but increasingly Peckham is also becoming one of the artistic ‘quarters’ of London, home to artists including Antony Gormley and Tom Phillips.
But there are still areas and estates where I would probably not choose to go at night, and places where it pays to be streetwise. One shadow still over Peckham is that of the young Damilola Taylor, murdered on his way home in 2000.
‘I Love Peckham’ is an annual festival organised by Southwark Council to celebrate the more positive aspects of Peckham, with a week of artistic events, music, dance, street performances, food stalls, markets and more. I only spent a few hours there on the Saturday afternoon, mainly in Peckham Square and Rye Lane, though I took a walk again down Bellenden Road, the centre of one of the more successful regeneration projects of recent years. As you can see, I was not the only visitor:
Astronauts in Rye Lane
I think this was also the first show of ‘sofa art’ I’ve photographed, and there were also some interesting shop window displays. But then Rye Lane is always full of interesting windows.
One of the 20 decorated sofas in use in Peckham Square
You can see more pictures from ‘I Love Peckham’ on My London Diary.