A new estate agent business with a social enterprise twist is launching this month.

Urban Patchwork is an estate agent social enterprise for residential property sales and lettings. It will use the majority of its profits for homeless housing and support in London, and aims to provide a better deal for tenants.

Based by Greenland Dock on the border of SE16 and SE8, it will serve the surrounding areas.

The organisation is being founded by brother and sister team Toby and Tessa Gooding. Tessa said, “We are setting up Urban Patchwork with three key objectives:

  • to meet demand for professional estate agent services
  • to improve working practices and customer service standards within the industry
  • to provide a way for the profits made through the sale and letting of London’s property to contribute towards homeless housing and support in the city.”

They are seeking volunteers for their board of housing, homelessness, social enterprise, finance and management experts who will advise on the direction of the organisation and have voting rights on how grants are allocated to homelessness initiatives.

During Urban Patchwork’s first year the organisation is unlikely to accrue any profits while it’s being established. However, the team will support people who have become homeless from the start by backing local charity the 999 Club (based on Deptford Broadway) with their awareness raising and fundraising efforts.

The 999 Club provides advice and support for people who are homeless to equip them with the ability and confidence to learn new skills, gain employment and find sustainable housing solutions.

The vision is for Urban Patchwork to be a hybrid between a traditional agent and an online broker and the go-to organisation for those wanting to buy, sell, let or rent residential property in London and the South East, while making a meaningful difference to people through funding homelessness and housing projects.

From Southwark Council:

“We want to hear from you about your experience of broadband in your home.

“Your feedback will help us develop a solution that works for local residents, and build a strong case for central government funding for broadband improvements in both the Rotherhithe area and the borough as a whole.”

Follow this link to the survey – closing date 1 November.

Hawker House Canada Water

Hawker House – the street food emporium in the former WHAT!!! stores building at Canada Water – successfully retained its licence after a hearing at Southwark’s licensing sub-committee on Monday. Read all the committee documents – including neighbour objections – here.

Hawker House is part of Street Feast, whose founder Jonathan Downey has made outspoken comments about the local residents who objected to the licence being renewed.

A Rotherhithe pub has re-opened with a fresh new look following a major refurbishment project.

Around £100,000 has been invested in The Brunel on the corner of Brunel Road Swan Road as part of a joint venture between  pub company Punch and new publicans Ed Clifton and Lukasz Adamczyk.

Lukasz is no stranger to the hospitality trade having worked in restaurants for the past 15 years. He moved to England from Poland five years ago and during that time has worked in high profile restaurants including Gordon Ramsay’s Pétrus and the  Bel and the Dragon, Windsor.

Ed, who worked as a sound engineer in the TV industry prior to taking over at The Brunel, said: “This is an exciting new venture for us. Every time Lukasz and I visit a pub we talk about what we would change and do differently if we were running it and so we decided it was high time to practise what we preach.

“As soon as we saw The Brunel we knew it had great potential. It’s an attractive river-side pub in a great location and this investment has given it a stunning new look. We’re really looking forward to welcoming customers and showing them the improvements that have been made.”

Ed and Lukasz have ambitious plans for The Brunel and will be offering a range of activities from book lovers’ mornings through to chess clubs, comedy nights, quizzes, live music and even English classes.


Stanley Arms

Southwark Council planning officers have rejected a proposal to demolish and redevelop the Stanley Arms pub in Southwark Park Road.

Pub landlord Roy Nicholls had applied for outline planning permission to knock down the Victorian building and replace it with a new four-storey block of nine flats with commercial space on the ground level.

Southwark planning officers rejected the application last month under delegated powers on the grounds that “the proposal would result in the loss of a community use to serve local people” and the pub’s status as an “undesignated heritage asset of special architectural and historic significance”.

Objectors to the planning application included the Victorian Society as well as the Greater London region and South East London branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

A letter from Tangram Architects submitted to the council in December 2014 noted that despite the landlord’s best efforts, “demographical changes” [sic] meant that “the business is nevertheless failing; it will not continue and the pub will inevitably close”.

See all the related documents at 14/AP/4668

Newly launched social enterprise Bermondsey Community Kitchen (above Dunn’s Deli at The Blue) is now ready to enrol its first batch of students.

The age group they are looking for currently is 16-24, interested in cookery and would like to gain a City and Guilds qualification.

The contact details are:  info@bermondseycommunitykitchen.co.uk or call 020 7232 5111.

More details available on the Bermondsey Community Kitchen website.



The former Hilton hotel at Nelson Dock is now trading under its less-than-catchy new name: ‘DoubleTree by Hilton London Docklands Riverside’.

John Greenleaf, global head of DoubleTree by Hilton, said, “The DoubleTree by Hilton London Docklands Riverside is just a two minute ferry ride across the River Thames to Canary Wharf, one of the world’s major global business districts, and near to international exhibition and event centres such as the O2 Arena and ExCel London. We are delighted to warmly welcome both business and leisure guests to this thriving London neighbourhood.”

The hotel’s general manager Howard Lewis added: “With views of the River Thames from the hotel’s restaurant and bar and a majority of guestrooms, the DoubleTree by Hilton London Docklands Riverside offers a sanctuary for both business and leisure guests in London. The hotel is ideal to unwind after a long day and soak in the ambience created by Canary Wharf’s lights sparkling across the river. We are extremely excited to welcome guests to the newly refurbished hotel.”

There are 10 DoubleTree hotels already in London and each guest is given a warm chocolate chip cookie when they check in.

The hotel is on Twitter @DoubleTreeDock and its associated restaurant is @ColumbiaRest

Barry Albin-Dyer – Bermondsey funeral director and well-known local personality – has died after a long illness. He was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2013.

Barry worked long-established family firm of FA Albin & Sons for 45 years and been its proprietor since 1985.

He had also served as a magistrate and a deputy lieutenant of Greater London.

His sons Simon and Jon posted this message on the company website on Saturday:

It is with much sadness that we have to inform you that Dad passed away today.
He fought to the end.
We are so proud of him and we offer our sincere thanks for all the many prayers and messages of support that we have received.
You will appreciate that this is a very difficult time for our family and all the staff at Albins.
We will issue a further update in the coming days.
Love to you all
Simon & Jon

His autobiography Don’t Drop the Coffin was turned into an ITV series.

* Read Barry’s 2006 interview with The Observer.