Evening Standard ventures to New Cross, gets confused again

London’s only evening newspaper may now be in rude financial health, but it still struggles when it comes south of the river. Last summer, its music critic whined online about the supposedly arduous journey from Walthamstow to Greenwich to review a gig.

For yesterday’s paper, Kieran Long bravely ventured all the way to, er, New Cross, taking with him extra oxygen, a phrase book and food rations to visit the swish new health centre next to New Cross station.

Does anyone know quite what that opening paragraph’s meant to mean? I mean, it could just as easily sum up Shepherd’s Bush (whose one way system is bigger), or parts of Camden Town and Kentish Town, but somehow I daren’t imagine that our fine west and north London cousins would get the same treatment. After all, they’re “proper London” in Standard-world.

But hey – what’s that? Apparently the new East London rail line has linked New Cross to “the rest of the capital” in a “newly convenient way”. Unlike the other set of trains or the defunct Tube line which linked it to “the rest of the capital” in the first place, of course.

But remember, the Standard has form in SE14 – remember this classic from 2004?

New Cross is a flyblown, two-mile square collection of Victorian tenements, suburban streets and takeaway restaurants at the bottom of the Old Kent Road.

It sits anonymously between the council estates and warehouses of Deptford to the north, and leafy, prosperous East Dulwich and Blackheath to the south and east. And yet, Saatchi – and other voracious collectors like him – are increasingly regular visitors to this forgotten corner of Lewisham

Yes, our old friend, the hilarious Welcome to the new Hoxton, waxing lyrical about “smoggy Victorian lanes of New Cross” (eh?) and the surprising fact that an art college leads to a lot of artists living in the area.

Six years on, and the Evening Standard’s attitude to south-east London doesn’t seem to have changed much. At least now the paper’s back on an even keel again, maybe the next time it returns (spring 2017?) it’ll have a clue what it’s talking about…

Oh, and what exactly is a “swarthy pub” again?

(Thanks to Transpontine for the spot, see also the Deptford Dame.)

PS. Speaking of New Cross, I’ve just found out where the area gets its name from – head for the comments


  1. As ever with press articles about local buildings, I wonder if the author has actually been here. He fails to spot that a vast proportion of the ground floor of the Waldron is taken up by a cafe that has never opened (and probably never will) and that the Amersham Road (west) side of the building has a car park (designed to look like a prison) facing the road. Either that, or he simply is not very observant.

  2. You can follow him on twitter if you so wish @kieranlong

    Or maybe just thrw some comments his way …

  3. @bill reluctant as I am to be fair to him, I have to admit I didn’t realise that there was a cafe in the ground floor of the building. I presume you mean the low level part of the building with the glass front?

  4. There are a couple of empty shop units on Amersham Vale (not road, whoops) as well the pharmacy, but when you go in the main entrance there is a large space with the main reception counter opposite what was supposed to be a cafe counter.

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