Nothing without industry

The building on the corner of Brownhill road and Plassy road had been derelict for many years, until work started on it’s redevelopment in the spring of last year. It was built in 1911 for the Bromley & Crays Co-operative Society (later merged into the South Suburban Co-operative Society), but subsequently the upstairs of the building was put to use as a children’s playgroup, a night club, and a Kingdom’s Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses.


Above the first floor corner window is a stone detail of a beehive with a inscribed motto “Nothing without Industry” (although, at the time of writing, this is obscured by scaffolding).


The building must have been in a pretty poor state, as it appears that the internal structure has almost entirely been replaced, but it’s external facade has been retained. When completed, the building will be divided into a mixture of residential & commercial units. It will be interesting to see how quickly the commercial units are let, and what sort of businesses move in, particularly in the context of Catford’s future regeneration plans.

I actually started work on this track before the scaffolding went up, and it has proved particularly difficult to get finished. For months, I had nothing much more than the melodica and bass parts that appear at the beginning of the track. Things only really started to progress when, on a drizzly sunday afternoon, I recorded the sound of traffic in gridlock on my mobile phone, whilst stood outside the building. I incorporated the recording into the track, and eventually a structure began to emerge, although it has still taken many months to finish. Despite these frustrations, this has still been a useful lesson in persisting with such a track until it’s completion (as opposed to just leaving it unfinished and abandoned on the hard drive of my laptop).

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