The ‘BS’ consensus

So where’s the revolution?  About what does this blog plan to revolt?  Good questions and ones which are over-due an answer.

Well, as self-declared Radicals you can imagine it’s not the size of onion bhajis in the Village Deli (the size of tennis balls if anyone’s interested – and nice with it); nor, even, the brightly lit facia of a particular village estate agent (though it does give the impression of being a bar – a disappointment every time one passes the place).   No – the revolt is about something far bigger.  It’s about the prevailing consensus view about how best to ‘protect’ the area known as Blackheath.

It goes without saying that all who live/work in the area must like it and therefore want it to be as pleasant and vibrant as possible.  And to those who devote their own time and effort to help achieve this there should be nothing but praise (plus, perhaps, preferential access to the public loos by the post office?).

However, the consensus view appears to be that the best way to achieve this is to object to all and every form of change/development/innovation that is proposed – or even hinted at.  What might be referred to as the Blackheath Society – or ‘BS’ – consensus.  As they put it“If we hadn’t spoken up over the years against the ideas, plans and proposals that have been directed towards Blackheath Village, it wouldn’t be the place it is today – one of the most popular residential areas of London!” 

No doubt the heath would now be covered in high-rise flats strewn with nappies and burnt-out Vauxhall Astras – and the village demolished to make way for a petro-chemical factory-  had it not been for the BS.  Or – perish the thought – that Number 4 Kidbrooke Grove might have a flat rather than a pitched roof extension.


Perhaps the best (or worst) example as far as we Radicals are concerned is the continued opposition to the heath being used for concerts and events – such as the Good Hope Festival, which this blog is very excited about.  But the consensus would disagree, and have in the past gone to the courts to argue its case.

This is despite the fact that such events would undoubtedly generate more footfall and custom for village businesses.  Businesses – like our lovely pubs  – that make the village what it is.  And whose absence the self-same residents bemoan when they’re forced to close.  Due to, er, lack of custom.  Just think of the additional sales of onion bhajis!

Now we’re not proposing a thrash-metal concert every Friday night; but that’s just the point – there’s a danger in extremes.  The BS consensus represents just such an extreme.  And so maybe it’s time for a little nudge in the other direction.  Radical?  You tell us.

9 thoughts on “The ‘BS’ consensus

  1. Ohh the wailing and gnashing of teeth when the Olympic big screen was announced for the Heath last year! The late night noise and yobbery! The litter! The light pollution! As it passed off, it was well marshalled, most Olympic big events ended by 9pm and on the 3 occasions I attended for the bigger “Team GB events” (and on one evening the Jamaican 1-2-3) it was throbbing, packed and the atmosphere was convivial. I do wonder whether the BS is – much like the comments pages on Daily newspaper websites, majority filled with people needing to complain about stuff. Oh hang, I’m complaining here aren’t I. B*gger.

    • As you sat there enjoying your “free” entertainment [paid for by council tax] did you ever glance up and wonder how close you were to dozens of homes? Did you wonder why the screen was moved away from the agreed spot in the middle of the field to be slap-bang next to those homes? Were you one of the many who demanded the sound be turned up beyond the agreed [legal] limit to enhance the excitement? Do you speculate on the activities of BS without bothering to check stats which show it objects to a tiny fraction of developments? Would you [and Blackheathrevolt] carry more weight if you checked and found that it fully supports the Mizzen frestival? Have you considered joining BS to influence actions [and improve your accuracy] rather than whining?

      • Thanks for the comments – much appreciated. Quite right to highlight the views of local residents. Not sure who’s ‘whining’ – we didn’t make any comment about who paid for the ‘free entertainment’ -but would say (a) it was undoubtedly a much better use of council tax payers’ money than the normal use of those funds; and (b) the claim that the BS complains about a fraction of applications is, er, ‘BS’.

  2. Great to have a revolt if not a revolution. Village is desperate for a voice other than the Blackheath Society’s. One with wit and wonder and to stand up to the status quo. Hope you haven’t. Was it the BS that stopped Starbucks having less than one chair? Mind you, I haven’t been in one since their tax evasion was exposed. Had a diabolical curry in Taj Mahal the other week and need a card to buy crisps in the Railway. On a positive note, I’ve heard that Brad Tips, the wonderfully feted manager of Jennings Bet (“Oh dear, he even mentioned a turf accountant!”), will be retiring before 2015. Brad previously worked for E. Coomes Limited in the same building since the war. A few of us will be organising a few drinks for him in O’Neills (he’s not a great traveller) nearer the time and hope that everyone who’s ever had a bet in the village (“Oh, this really is too much!”) will join us. Come on, Barca!!

  3. So bad I couldn’t even get the name right! There was also a mistaken juxtaposition of a sentence re Starbucks. Age, mate, age! Otherwise not bad for a first effort. Oh, and how nice the Age Exchange cafe/staff?! All volunteers, you know. Best place in the village. ‘Terence the Hat’ different class as well. You don’t find characters like him by accident! That Cameron might be Old Etonian excuse for a human being but you gotta admit that Bigger Society – or whatever he called it – was a con and a half!

  4. Just a point of fact – you say ‘and the village demolished to make way for a petro-chemical factory’ – in fact it’s a lot down to the BS that a motorway wasn’t run straight across the heath and through the village in the 70’s… so they’re not all bad! Also, the BS supports the GoodHope festival.. 😉

    • Slow to respond here, but what is needed is a decent road across the Heath of (at least) two lanes in either direction, segregated.

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