‘It’s a genuine community’
Helen, an executive director in the public sector, has lived on St John’s Road for 16 years. She’s the interim chair of the Penge Cycle Club.
My favourite thing about Penge is all the new initiatives that are happening at the moment. I’m especially excited about the Bridge House Theatre – I’m on the advisory board and I’m helping them engage with the community and link in with the local councillors.
My least favourite thing about Penge is the missed opportunity for keeping that amazing market going in Maple Road. We’ve let something precious go there – it’d be great to recreate it.
You should move to Penge because it’s a genuine community. There’s a really interesting mix of people. It’s child friendly – my kids have done really well at the local schools. And there’s a very vibrant creative arts scene developing, too.
I wish Penge had more support from public authorities, including the Council and the NHS. It’s been a neglected part of the London Borough of Bromley for a long time, and there just hasn’t been the investment that other parts of the borough have had. The dynamism we’re seeing at the moment is coming from within Penge, from local people and local businesses.
When I fancy a night out in Penge, I go to Bluebelle Café in Maple Road. My friend Erica runs it, and every six weeks or so they have music nights with amazing live blues and jazz.
On a typical Sunday morning in Penge you’ll find me out on my bike with the Penge Cycle Club.
The best thing in Penge for keeping kids entertained is Go Ride Penge, run by Penge Cycle Club. It’s on Saturday mornings at Alexandra Junior School. We run fun skills sessions and group rides for kids aged 4 and up.
My favourite bit of Penge trivia is that there used to be a button factory on Maple Road that made 300 million buttons a year.
The thing I wish people knew about Penge is that there was a really vibrant creative community here back in the day – and now there is again, with the Bridge House Theatre. More and more people are finding out about it, but I want it to become much better known.