Tucked away between Brixton, Camberwell and Herne Hill is an area with an emerging identity of its own – Loughborough Junction. Bearing the name of its very convenient railway station (5 mins to Elephant, 10-12 mins Blackfriars/City), it’s an area criss-crossed by railway tracks and of course railway arches, which are fast becoming an agent of regeneration in south London. Some of the arches have now been earmarked for re-development, along with a large site at the bottom of Herne Hill Rd, formerly occupied by industrial units.
Lambeth Council are involved in the process of re-generating this area, along with a community group called the Loughborough Junction Action Group (LJAG). One of the projects currently underway is building a ‘town square’ close to the main railway bridge and at the entrance to the Wyck Gardens Estate. As we’ve noted before in these columns, it’s amazing what a bit of pavement can do for an area (see Herne Hill Station Square), so no doubt the aim is to give the area a focal point cum meeting place.
Another project has been the installation of street banners which give details of the history of the area including notable events and people. This idea has been used with great success in nearby Herne Hill and more recently, West Dulwich – they look attractive and give an area an identity. One banner highlights that Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel studied and rehearsed at Fred Karno’s ‘Fun Factory’ on Southwell Road, while another recounts that the area was pounded by more than thirty high explosive bombs during the WW2 Blitz. A number of local schools are credited with producing the artwork for the banners, a great way of encouraging more community involvement in the project.
Street art is another favoured way of brightening up an area and Loughborough Junction is getting on this bandwagon too. The main railway bridge is now attractively painted and illuminated at night, while there are other street art works dotted around. If you’re a regular reader of these columns and follow us on social media, you’ll know we love our street art, believing this is one of the best and cheapest ways to make an area more visually attractive, as well as being a showcase for artistic talent.
We wish the council and the LJAG every success in continuing the regeneration of this once neglected area.