Love is in the air this Valentine’s Day – and more importantly, all over our social media timelines! So, in honour of the most romantic day of the year worldwide, here’s a list of 14 things to love about Catford. Have a look at our list and see if there’s anything you love about Catford that made it.
1. It’s well connected
With 24 minutes being the average train journey time between Catford and London, Catford’s small station holds a relatively speedy journey to the city. Destinations for the line include London Blackfriars, Sevenoaks, Orpington, Kentish Town and pretty much everywhere in between. With an expansive bus service, a number of other destinations like Lewisham, Croydon and Woolwich are easily accessible too.
2. Great parks
For those who love a lazy park day in the summertime, Catford is home to the perfect parks to meet your needs. With views overlooking Catford and Crystal Palace, features of Mountsfield Park include tennis courts, a football pitch, a bandstand and a play area. It plays host to our annual Lewisham People’s Day which attracts thousands of local residents and talent. Other great parks include Ladywell Fields, Riverview Walk and the nearby Forster Memorial Park.
3. Independent Talent
Catford celebrates a great and growing number of local entrepreneurs who are bringing new life to the local area. A great way to stay on top of the independent vendors and creatives popping up to make their mark would be to follow @CatCornucopia and @CatfordFoodMkt on Twitter. We will also be putting a shine on some local entrepreneurs and their stories, but until then, keep a close eye on Twitter.
South London is home a wide range of wildlife, which as you would expect, hosts a large number of urban foxes. However, in Catford, you can expect more than just the vulpine visitors to be passing through your gardens and local parks. Wildlife sightings in the area include vibrant green parakeets, herons, a goldfinch, and of course, squirrels. If you’re a bird lover in the area, we’re sure it wouldn’t go amiss to invest in a birdhouse!
Catford is home to the River Pool, a tributary of the River Ravensbourne that flows through South East London. It’s cleanup and restoration has been well-documented over the years by the Quaggy Waterways Action Group, otherwise known as QWAG, with updates available via their Twitter page.
With a diverse community of over 15,000 residents, Catford natives are not shy about throwing a party. We have many festivals that run throughout the year, with our most popular being Lewisham People’s Day. Other festivals include the annual Phoenix Festival, the Vegan Festival, Gin Festival, and Beer Festival.
7. Planned Regeneration
Catford is currently undergoing a £500million regeneration that promises to transform the town. Plans for doing this include:
- The redevelopment of Catford Shopping Centre to create new retail space
- Major infrastructure work to the road network (which is mostly owned by TFL) which would create a more joined up town centre and could also free up additional space for development
- Demolition of Milford Towers and the provision of several hundred new homes across the town centre
- New community facilities, pedestrianised areas and open spaces
- A possible re-location of Council services which would provide further development space on the existing site
You can read more about the planned regeneration here.
8. The Broadway Theatre
Located in the very heart of Catford, the Broadway Theatre has two auditoriums that play host to a number of different genres like dance, drama, musical and comedy. The theatre is showing The Last Five Years by Jason Robert Brown today and into Saturday, with showtimes available on their website.
9. Local Artwork
It should come as no surprise that Catford is home to many artists who exhibit work in all thinkable mediums. It won’t take long to stumble onto artwork strolling around the local area, but if you like taking the time to stop and marvel, you’ll love Catford Arts Trail. It features over 100 artists who open the doors to their houses, showing their work to the public over 2 Autumn weekends. Catford Arts Trail is back this year for it’s 4th annual showcase, taking place this year on 28th/29th September and 5th/6th October. Keep a close eye on @CatfordArts for regular updates.
10. Something Old, Something New
In the midst of our planned regeneration, Catford’s old favourites are not forgotten. Last week, one of our oldest pubs, The Black Horse and Harrow reopened under a new name, Ninth Life Pub. The new owners wrote:
“The LainePub Company is restoring what is one of the oldest and most celebrated pubs in the borough of Lewisham to become ‘Ninth Life’. Its new name takes inspiration from legendary local cat themes and the idea that if humans had nine lives – the ninth really needs to be the one that counts.”
Another relic being restored to it’s former glory is The Fellowship Inn, a Grade II listed building in Bellingham which celebrates it’s soft reopening tomorrow, February 15th with Jam Tomorrow – a community play which promises to transport you back to the era of mods and rockers – and when Bowie lived in Bellingham.
11. Catford Food Market
A prominent fixture in the lives of many local Catford residents, the local food market, held on the last Sunday of the month, is celebrated by many with a love of good food and local independent vendors. All information can be found on their website and their Twitter page.
12. Community Fairs
Arts, crafts, all things vintage, if Catford loves it, there’s probably a fair or competition for it too. From cake to comic books, there’s something going on for everyone, a handy tip for seeing what’s going on in the local area is typing “Catford Fair” into your Twitter Search bar and seeing what pops up there. This weekend, So Last Century Vintage & Retro Fair returns to St Dunstan’s College, and for only £2 entry if you follow them on Twitter, it looks like you’re in for a bargain!
13. The People
It would be impossible to post this list without mentioning the dedicated residents of Catford who show passion, love and commitment for their neighbourhood every day. Wherever you go in Catford, you will never be more than a stone’s throw away from someone who cares about their community, and is using their voice to affect change and improvement, and that’s what makes us who we are.
14. Our Beloved Cat
Finally, the one you’ve all been waiting for! Our infamous Cat that sits perched above the center of Catford Broadway, peering down at us from it’s eternal spot. Playful, yet pensive, wondering which wonderful change awaits it next.
Drop a comment down below or mention @Catfordcentral on Twitter to share what you love about Catford this Valentine’s Day!