The village I grew up in had (still has, I think) a local magazine. It would cover ‘news’ and dates of important events, such as the times of the next bell ringing session in the local church (BAN IT, I SAY – those bells woke me up every week as a teenager and I still harbour resentment) and, my personal favourite, dates for the next meetings of the budgerigar society. For some reason, I would always feel a little spike of anticipation when it flopped through the letterbox. I always thought, despite a vast amount of evidence to the contrary, that it would contain something actually worth reading. Twelve years of living in that house and I never learned my lesson. I longed for an article, a story about some local person, a subset of the community, a business, an event, an eyewitness account of someone taking their cat for walks on a lead. But no. The writing was never there, just lots and lots of ads for double glazing.
So now Peckham has a local newspaper, and – no pressure – it will be everything I never had. The food bit *cough* will be particularly special *cough*. Yeah I’m writing that bit. It’s called The Peckham Peculiar, it launched on Saturday, and you know what, it has stuff to actually read inside it. The first issue has a glimpse inside Peckham’s famous hair salons, a piece about the legendary Peckham Liberal Club and loads of other local stories.
The first issue is available from stockists listed here – more to come. If you’re lucky you might get one of the limited edition covers designed by brilliant local artist Jake Tilson. If you pick up a copy, do comment to let us know what you think!
We’ll also be on BBC Breakfast at 6.50, 7.50 and 8.50 am tomorrow having a bleary eyed editorial meeting so tune in to hear us bitching about redevelopment and planning stuff to go into the next issue. I think. It was kind of early.