Peckham. An area of diverse culture, from the roller-skating youths to the 90s-channelling hipsters to the Evangelical street proclaimers who have no qualms with bothering you (and God) every time you board the 436 bus. An area ripped apart by the 2011 riots which not only saw the clothes store “Loot” well, looted, but also left the people of Peckham ultimately Greggs-less.
A lot has been done to restore the peace of Peckham since 2011. They’ve not only got one replacement Greggs on Rye Lane, but their second one shines in full glory on Peckham High Street. Along with the clean ups organised by the community, a wall of post it notes grew from the remains of the smashed Poundland window. With messages of support, such as “People and Peace” and “My Home”, the temporary post its were preserved in the form of the “Peckham Peace Wall” now found in front of Peckham Library.
And artist, Josh Jeavons has started to transform the desolate hoardings of Peckham, giving it a face again. Starting with the boards surrounding the scaffolding skeleton of what once was, next to the burnt out Greggs, Jeavons has pasted facial features opposite a bus stop, reminding the people of Peckham of what happened two summers ago. It looks to me as if one of the eyes peeping out from the posters is definitely on you and it doesn’t look impressed. So please, no more rioting. And leave poor old Greggs alone.