The Antenna Cafe, Crystal Palace, South London, Is Under New Management. At The Heart of The Community. And Very Much Needed!
An Open Door Policy As The Country Faces More Unprecedented Hardship
After Two Years of Lockdown And Only Opening On Saturdays The Antenna Studios, Bowyers Yard, Haynes Lane, Crystal Palace London, SE19 3AN Are Back To Full Opertional Hours And Under New Management. On The Evening of Their Official Re-Launch TheOrator.Press Rocked Up And Spoke To The New Managers Kelly Scott And Fay Davis @antennacafe.
They Are Friendly, Welcoming And Very Engaging. They Are Also Positive, Perceptive And Potentially Going To Do Great Things. However They Know Covid Has Been Deadly, Locally. Times Are Tough Now. And The Road Ahead Is Not Going To Be Easy. And They Are Unimpressed With The Government And How The People Are Being Treated.
In Equal Measure The Ladies Clearly Love The Locals And Their Celebrity Patrons, But It Soon Becomes Clear That Whilst The Government Is Keen To Act Like Covid Never Happened (Except To Say How Great Boris Was At Rolling Out The Vaccine, Which In Actual Fact Was Done By The Scientists, Doctors & Nurses And Frontline Workers) The Effects of Covid Have Fatally Impacted Some Neighbours (Which They Say Can Be Verified By Local Undertakers).
Very Sadly & Tragically Male Suicide Is Rife, At Both Ends of The Age Spectrum. And As The Cost of Living Crisis, Gas & Electricity Crisis, Water Shortage Crisis And Environmental Crisis, Rages On, Looming Large Is A Winter of Discontent. The Likes of Which Are Largely Unprecedented Considering It’s Been One Nightmare After Another Under Over A Decade of Tory Government.
There Was Austerity Under Cameron And George Osborne Where People Took Their Own Lives. The Divisive Brexit Referendum Under Cameron Where Famiy & Friends Were Divided. Theresa May Made To Step Down Following The Brexit Mess That Was The Brexit Negotiations. Not Much Better Was Boris With His £350, ooo, 000 Million To The NHS Dogs Dinner of A Lie And His Notion of “An Oven Ready Brexit” Being Exposed As Pie In The Sky. A Late Covid Lockdown, PPE Shortages And Cronysim. Mistreatment of Residents In Care Homes “Letting The Bodies Pile Up”.
And A Not So Socially Distanced Health Minister In The Form of Snogging Matt Hancock (Not Snogging The Wife), Trips To Dover Castle And A Refusal To Sack or Resign. And Then The Bombshell of Party Gate Come Gather Gate When It Was Discovered No.10 Was Living It Up, Boozing It Up And Mixing It Up All The Time. And Ultimatey No Pay Rise For The Doctors And Nurses Who Were Clapped Every Week But Couldn’t Pay Their Bills With Kindess. And In The Midst of It All Was Police Impropriety And Heavy Handedness.
And Now Strikes Are Everywhere And We Face The Underwhelming Prospect of Dishy Rishi Sunak or Limp Lettuce Liz Truss As The New Prime Minister, After ‘Pestminster’ & The MP Chris Pincher-Come-Grooper Finally Brought Boris Down [After It Was Discovered That Boris Lied, Yet Again, When He Denied He Knew About Pincher’s Past].
It’s A Lot For The Nation To Take. No Wonder The Tories Keep Trying To Get The Country To Live In La La Land And Ignore The Fact That The Nation Went Through All That By Just Not Acknowledging And Claiming That Boris Was (And In Some Cases Still Is) The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread. They Are Literally Trying To Rewrite History In Real Time Before Our Very Eyes.
But The Management Team At Antenna Cafe Say That Is Not The Way. Instead It’s Time To Keep It Real As Things Are Out of Control. They Want The Community To Know They Are Aware of What’s Out There, What Has Been And What Is To Come And The Impact It’s All Had. They Say Their Doors Are Open For Support And They Welcome Good Ideas On How The Community Can Get Through This. Indeed During The Interview A Community Leader, Ruth Bannister Drops By. She Runs A Popular Local Community Facebook Platform Called Crystal Palace Local @crystalpalacelocal.
The Antenna Cafe
Rock & Rolls
Does Rum Punch Too!
An Intriguing Universal Soft Management Style That Seems To Work Very Well
Kelly And Fay Go Back A Long Way. For Thirteen Years Kelly Has Been In The Beauty Industry Offering A Professional Mobile Spray Tan Service Working For One of The Most Prestigious Companies In The Business. Working For A Company Which Operated On An App Booking Platform, Kelly Would Quickly Be Booked Up Whenever She Was Available. “Everyone From Travellers To Millionaires” She Says. Some of Her Clients Were Amongst The Great And The Good, The Rich And Famous, And The Well To Do. Indeed Fay Was One of Her First Clients Thirteen Years Ago. The Ladies Hit It off Because Fay Is Infact Also Local, Humble And Approachable.
A Few Months Before Lockdown Was Lifted In 2021, Darren, Who Works For Universal And Is Also The Manager of The Antenna Studios, And Who Runs The Whole Building, Which Encompasses A Number of Going Concerns, Mentioned To A Mutual Friend That He Needed Somebody To Revive The Cafe Post Covid. The Mutual Friend Mentioned Kelly And That Was That. She Describes Darren’s Management Style As “A Soft Managment Style.” One Might Interpret That As Not Being Very Hands On. And Neither Apparently Is The Owner, The Identity of Whom Remains Something of A Mystery. But The Enterprise Has Been Going For Decades So Whatever They’re Doing It Appears To Be Working.
But Kelly Knew She Couldn’t Do It Alone So She Asked Fay, Who Eventually Agreed To The New Venture. The Lease Was Eventually Signed Four Weeks Ago.
The Two Have Alot In Common. They Are Both Single Mothers. Their Children Are Similar Ages With Similar Concerns. They Are Both Local To The Area And They Both Enjoy Working Within The Service Industry. And They Had Known And Liked Each Other For Years, With Fay Having Met Kelly As A Former Client.
Unable To Continue The Spray Tanning Business Due To Covid Kelly Had Started A Mobile Cooking And Delivering Vegetarian & Vegan Food Service And Fay Was Working For A Cafe She Was Not Particuarly Happy With. So It Was Quite Timely That They Started This New Gig At The Antenna Studios Cafe When They Did.
They Officially Launched Saturday September 3rd 2022 As It Was Their First Free Saturday Night Since Opening Up Four Weeks Ago. The New Business Partners Have The Lease For The Foreseeable Future And A Late Licence Permission If They Need It On Special Occassions.
There Was A Party Vibe, A Live DJ, Lee Valentine74, Who Was Playing Some Quality House & Garage Music And At One Stage Joined Us For A Chat During A Break. There Were Snacks & Nibbles, A Busy Outside Seating Area And An Irrestible Offering of Rum Punch. Suffice To Say The Latter Tasted Very Good Indeed & We’d Highly Recommend It (…And We Are Very Particular About Our Rum Punch!).
For Now They Are Opening Through The Week From 8.30 am Until Early Evening (6.00pm Tuesday To Friday And 5.00pm On Saturday). On Sunday It’s 9.00 – 3.00pm. And Closed Monday. It’s Simple But Tasty Fare. Quality Cakes & Pastries With Tea & Coffees. And Toasties And Salads. There’s A Licence For Alcohol. And So They Can Host Parties And Events. Afterall This Is Rock n Rolls!
The Ladies Are Proud of Their Patrons And Antenna Cafe’s Rock n’ Roll Connections. Many of Their Clients Seem To Have Creative Tendancies And The Cafe Is A Hub For Musicians, Producers, Dancers And People From Stage And Screen. As Well As Regular Folk Who Live & Work Locally.
For Instance Perfect Circle Dance School & Talent Agency Is Run From The Upstairs Dance Studio By The Adorable April @perfectdanceschool. John Dickinson Runs Dickinson’s Amps Who Have Provided Technical Equipment Services For Many A Musician Including For South London Born Jazz & Blues Legend & Devotee Jools Holland. Ethereal Music Group Florence And The Machine Have Used The Studios And Actually Performed In The Cafe. And Normanski The DJ, Rapper, Photographer, And TV Presenter (Norman Anderson Media Personality) Has Been In Since Kelly & Fay Have Reopened The Place. He Was With A Crew Making A Documentary About Music And Woman In Hip Hop. It’s All Happening At This Media Hub!
During Our Interview, Andy, A Local Promoter, Passes By With A Model-esque Handsome Male Friend Who Apparently Is Not In The Business But “Just A Mate” Along With A Bubbly Lady Friend Too. The Intriguing Trio Soon Leave Again. Andy Was The Promoter For A Live Music Event Held At The Cafe Last Saturday (August 27th 2022 Which Was Carnival Weekend) And He Will Be Promoting Another Live Music Event For The Coming Weekend (September 10th 2022). And The Week After That Will Be The Crystal Palace Festival Weekend of Live Music (September 17 & 18 2022) crystalpalacefestival.org
The Cost of Living Crisis, Covid & Mental Health
Fay Says “We Are All For The Community And This Space Is Anyone’s Space And We Are Open To Ideas.
Kelly Is Keen To Point Out That One of The Community Programmes They Are Interested In Developing Is A ‘Grow Your Own Food’ Initiative. “We Are Hopefully Goign To Be Doing Some Self-Sufficiency Programmes Teaching People To Grow Their Own Because We Know It’s Going To Get Really Tough With The Cost of Living. We Are Currently Selling These Tomatoe Plants As A Little Start.
Fay Concurrs “That’s The Way We Want To Go. Untampered With Food.”
TO.P: How Do You Feel About The Cost of Living Crisis?
Fay Terrified. I’m Not Putting On My Washing Machine As Much And Things Like That. You Literally Watch Money Going Up Into The Air. It’s Terrifying. Really Bad. It’s Treble What I’d Been Putting On Four Months Ago Maybe In A Week.
Where Is The Funding For Mental Health And Where Is The Funding The Children’s Mental Health. The Next Generation of Children Who Are Going To Be Ruling Our Country? If Everyone’s All – You Know – If They Haven’t Got The Support Where Are They Going To Be?
Boris, The Modern Day Marie Antoinette. Not Let Them Eat Cake. But Instead – Let Them Get A New Kettle!
Kelly: We Know An Undertaker And He Did More Suicides Than Covid In The Covid. And He Has A Brother Who Has A Funeral Parlour In West Norwood And He Said Male Suicide Just Flew Through The Roof. A Lady I Know Who Had A Son In His Twenties As Well As A Younger Son And She Came Home To Find Him Hanging. And One of My Clients Was Married And Her Husband’s Business Failed During Covid And She Came Home To Find Him Hanging.
Lee (DJ): I Started A Painting And Decorating Business In The First Year of Covid But I Couldn’t Survive. No One Wanted Me To Come In To Their House.
TO.P: What Will You Do If Engery Prices Get Even More Ridiculous, Given That They Are Already Ridiculous?
Kelly: Thankfully We Don’t Pay Bills Here, We Just Pay The Rent. Thank God We Took On A Lease Where We Don’t Pay Business Rates, As The Cafe Is Part of The Building As A Functioning Studio. I Think Come Winter Every Table In Here Is Going To Be Choc-a’. It’s Going To Be Easier To Pay For A Coffee In Here Than It Is To Be At Home Paying Gas And Electricity Bills.
Fay: They Don’t Care About Us. The Advice From Boris Yesterday Today [His Final Day] Buy A New Kettle [To Save £10.00 A Year In The Long Run If You Currently Have An Old One] Is Pathetic And Just Proves It.
Fay’s Point Is Powerful Because Once Again These So Called Leaders Prove Themselves To Be Out of Touch. By Talking About “A Tenner” And “The Long Run” Illustrates They Have No Regard For The Immediate Urgency And Desparation For The Need To Try And Survive The Short Term. Once Again They Endeavour To Block Out Reality And Live In La La Land Conveniently. Despite His Eton & Oxbridge Education And Subsequent Downfall, Boris Has Clearly Learnt Nothing.
Suffice To Say Everyone Was In Agreement That There’s An Air of Revolution In The Air. Working Just To Give Money To Gas And Electric Executives Who Are Already Rolling In Trillions Would Be Tantamount To A Form of Slavery And That Is Totally Unacceptable. They Have The Resources To Take The Hit of The Crisis. The Burden Should Fall On Them As A Business Loss, Not On The People Who Simply Have Nothing or Would Be Reduced To Nothing. That Is The Common Consensus.
In Cuba They Have Regular Power Outages And In Modern Day Britian In 2022 It Feels Like That Is Coming Here To One of The Richest Countries In The World. The Government Is Meant To Be Made Up of Some of The Best Business Brains In The Country, Who Went To Some of The Best Schools And Education Centres In The Country.
So It Begs The Question What On Earth Have They Been Doing? Clearly Not Planning For Emergencies. Any Government Packages of Relief For The Public Will Inevitably Be Too Little To Late. The Boris Kettle Advice Smacks of Let Them Eat Cake. And That Did Not End Up Too Great.
As The Coming Months Unfold Kelly And Fay And The Antenna Studio Cafe Are There To Provide The Community With A Supportive Hub And Some Tasty Grub. And No Doubt They And The Antenna Community Will Help Each Other Along.
NB: Just As We Complete This Article Liz Truss Is Declared The New Leader of Conservative Party (The Following Tuesday (September 6 2022).
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