Tag Archives: summer

Take your Brixton Pounds on holiday! #lostandpound

Have you seen the 2001 French film Amélie? In it, a young woman comes up with creative ways of improving the lives of those around her. Among other projects, she sets out to shake her father out of depression and reawaken his dream of traveling the world, so she steals his garden gnome and has a flight attendant friend take pictures of it with various international landmarks. Apparently that’s a widely known thing: the travelling gnome prank.

photos of the travelling gnome from the film Amelie

What does that have to do with the Brixton Pound? Well, seeing as it’s the holiday season, we thought we’d invite you to play our own version of the Amélie game and take your Brixton Pounds to travel with you! It’s money that sticks to Brixton, and can only be spent there, but wouldn’t it be funny for B£s to see the world?


Brixton Pound at the Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt #lostandpound

Brixton Pound at Lake Zürich, Switzerland

Brixton Pound at Lake Zürich, Switzerland #lostandpound

Where will you take your B£s? Even if it’s just a different part of London, take a picture with a B£ in a place other than Brixton, and send it to us with hashtag #lostandpound! Post on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, other social media, or simply email us at info@brixtonpound.org. We’ll publish the best on our website, and throw some Brixton Bonus tickets in 🙂

First Brixton Bonus draw happening at Lambeth Country Show!

Lambeth Country Show is a FREE festival taking place in Brockwell Park, with attractions such as horticultural shows, home grown vegetable and flower competitions, numerous craft & food stalls and even an on site farm. Plus lots of great South London vibe music. And you know what? This year another great attraction is added to the bill: the first ever Brixton Bonus draw! We’ll announce the winner of the main prize: B£1,000 and the 12 runner-up prizes from the main stage at 6pm on Sunday 19th July.

Brixton Pound_Campaign_A3

Brixton Bonus is a community prize draw with two winners: you, and Brixton. You can buy tickets for as little as £1/B£1 and you have a chance to win a whole Brixton Grand – B£1,000! Whether it’s a new bike you’re after, some massage therapy or a year’s worth of yams – you won’t be left wanting, and the money you spend will support Brixton’s famous independent shops and strengthen the local economy. 

The inaugural draw also includes 12 excellent runners-up prizes to increase your chances of winning:

  • Massage, shiatsu and osteopathy sessions from Brixton Therapy Centre.
  • A £50 voucher to spend at Seven@Brixton.
  • A full day’s venue hire at Tulse Hill Estate worth £200.
  • A £50 voucher to spend at Lowie.
  • A £50 gift bag from 20 Storey.
  • 5 X B£20 cash prizes to spend however you like!

But that’s not the end of it! Whether you’re a lucky winner or not, Brixton wins every time. Funds generated by the Bonus will be split between the Brixton Fund – a local micro-grants scheme – and the Brixton Pound, enabling us to continue our work supporting Brixton’s businesses and local economy. It’s really a win-win situation!

In short: what are you waiting for?!


Tickets are on sale online (click here if you have a B£ account already, or here if you’re new to this whole thing) until noon on Sunday 19th July. You can buy up to 10 to help your luck.

They will also be on sale at Lambeth Country Show throughout the day on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th July, up until the big draw on the main stage at 6pm!

We hope you can join us there for the big moment – and good luck if you’re playing! (If you’re not, GET ON IT!)

Lambeth Country Show this weekend

Judging rhubarb in the Flower Zone

Judging rhubarb in the Flower Zone

This weekend the Lambeth Country Show is coming to town! A well-established annual event (this is its 36th year), the show brings a little taste of country life to the urban wilds of Brockwell Park. From 17-18 July the park will be taken over by an eclectic mix of musicians, fairground rides, farmers, artists and er… an alpaca. With a seemingly endless choice of activities spread across Saturday and Sunday the Lambeth Country Show promises fun for all the family. You can try your hand at something new with skills classes including building a scarecrow, baking bread, jousting and even sailing. Or go all doe-eyed over the animals in the petting zoo, on loan from Vauxhall City Farm. And with food stalls offering dishes from around the world you won’t need to bring a picnic. For a full list of events, including a map, download the Lambeth Country Show programme here.

The Brixton Pound team will be out in force on both days. Make sure you stop by our stall in the Charities Zone and get hold of some B£s, which many stalls will be accepting on the day. We will also have for sale a range of locally-sourced merchandise, including our Brixton Power T-shirts, with discounts for those paying in B£s. There’ll be badge-making and kids’ activities too. Just in Brixton for the day? Come and chat to our friendly volunteers for recommendations on what to see and do in the area.

Carnival dancers at last year's show

Carnival dancers at last year's show

Photos ©2009 Lambeth Council.

The Brixton Pound's got rhythm

Idris Rahman and Robin Hopcraft

Idris Rahman and Robin Hopcraft of the Soothsayers

The Soothsayers are a Brixton-based band whose music fuses dub, afrobeat, jazz, funk and West African rhythms to produce a distinctly urban sound. Uncut magazine called them “one of the finest slices of a Anglo Caribbean fusion since The Specials in their prime”. At the core of the Soothsayers are Robin Hopcraft and Idris Rahman who started playing together twelve years ago, on trumpet and sax respectively. They collaborate and perform with a wide range of talented musicians, including Johnny Clarke and Maxi Jazz, who are jointly known as the Red Earth Collective. Their latest album, Red Earth Dub, includes an instrumental track called ‘The Brixton Pound’ that was inspired by the launch of Brixton’s local currency.

The Brixton Pound interviewed Robin Hopcraft of the Soothsayers about the band and their attachment to Brixton.

Brixton Pound: How has your music been influenced by Brixton?

Robin Hopcraft: I’m not originally from London, but I moved to Brixton in 1983 from Worcester to study at Goldsmiths University. I used to go to Brixton Library a lot to borrow records. I was influenced by the people and cultures of Brixton and seeing Jamaican and African music at gigs. I was also influenced by the general atmosphere of Brixton in the Eighties, a time usually remembered less positively in the history books, but when the music scene was really buzzing.

B£: Why did you make a record about the Brixton Pound?

RH: The Brixton Pound song is really trying to encapsulate the atmosphere of Brixton and people moving around the streets. The beat is frantic at times, maybe evoking Brixton Road on a Saturday. It’s a little bit dark in places to convey the different elements of Brixton, both the positive and more edgy. The strong reggae rhythm has a dub undertone, giving it a more urban feel. It seemed to make sense to call it The Brixton Pound. It’s really a double entendre that also refers to the pounding beat on the track. I love the idea of the Brixton Pound. Local people spending money locally just makes sense.  In Brixton you can always find something different. In the market there are things you won’t find anywhere else. I’m sick of the Tesco domination. High streets nowadays just look like they’ve been bought out of a catalogue.

B£: Do you make a conscious effort to ‘keep it local’?

RH: The Soothsayers play in lots of local venues. We have sessions in The Effra [Hall Tavern] and Mango Landin’. The local music scene is really picking up with things like Plan B reopening. There weren’t many venues a few years ago but now it’s becoming reminiscent of the Eighties when venues like the Hootenanny were a real draw. Our latest album was also produced in Brixton in Sonica Studios on Acre Lane.

B£: What’s next for the Soothsayers?

RH: We’ll be touring around Europe this summer. Our first stop is the Czech republic – not so local! But our next gig in The UK will be at Rich Mix in Bethnal Green on 11th July. We’ll be playing as part of their Afro Cup Festival to celebrate the South African World Cup. The Soothsayers will also be performing at a few festivals around the UK. And no doubt we’ll be back in Brixton soon.

The Soothsayers’ latest album ‘Red Earth Dub’ featuring ‘The Brixton Pound’ will be available at from the Brixton Pound stall at various events this Summer including Lambeth Country Show and Brixton Splash.

Volunteer with the Brixton Pound

The Community Shop in Granville Arcade

The Community Shop in Granville Arcade

There are loads of ways that you can help the B£ as well as spending it. We are hosting a very informal meeting on Thursday 3rd June for anyone keen to join the team. We will talk a little about the B£’s plans and activities and then there will be an opportunity to have a chat and discuss ways of getting involved.

Over the summer There are loads of festivals and community events which we are looking to participate in, to help spread the word, increase B£ circulation, and generally make the B£ louder and more visible. Perhaps you could help us with this?

Here are a few different ways that we need help. Get in touch if you think you’re the one for the job!

1) Processing collectors’ packs – online and Ebay orders
2) Saturday outreach – visiting business supporters ensuring they have all necessary communication material; also help with staffing an info stall outside KFC between 11:00-15:00hrs
3) Thursdays drop-in session at the community shop – to help with visitors’ enquiries between 18:00-22:00hrs
4) Producing communication material e.g. A4 posters for businesses
5) Translation of our user guide into community languages e.g. Yoruba, French, Polish
6) Helping during events such as the Lambeth County Show, Brixton Splash, etc.

The Community Shop is in Granville Arcade (entrance from Coldharbour Lane, past the Dogstar and immediately on the left past the railway bridge). The shop is the third unit on the left hand side.

Come for a cup of tea and to find out in more detail how you can get involved.