Summer is finally here, and even though the British weather has not yet reached its full potential many students are now either on holiday or choosing to write their course work or dissertations in areas other than New Cross. Summer term commenced on 28 April, and for many lucky students that means several months without classes until autumn term starts on 22 September. Not everyone has fled campus, as some students are either enrolled in courses during the summer term, and a large number are simply sticking around to spend the summer months working in the library. But no one can deny that there is a much smaller amount of students around now than during the autumn or spring terms. East London Lines headed out into New Cross and asked local businesses that are popular among students what their plans are for the summer months.
Akmen Sitki, 62, Owner Goldsmith’s Garden Bar & Café “We’ve been here for 31 years, so we know what happens during summer when many students leave. It gets quieter during the summer months of course, between June and September, but at the same time more people are moving to New Cross and the area is becoming more vibrant. We see a lot of regular faces here that used to be students and that have now moved back to the area. We are a good option for students who want to buy fresh and healthy food, as everything here is made with natural ingredients. We also provide great value for students since we always include a free drink with any meal. The fact that we now have several Sainsbury’s and a Costa Coffee in the area is making it harder for us small businesses, and that poses a bigger threat than the fact that many students leave during summer.”
Sevjan Melissa, 28, Owner of Birdie Num Nums Restaurant “We will definitely stay open during summer, even if it is getting a bit quieter now that many students are leaving or going home for a while. Many people think that all people in this area are students, but this is actually a very vibrant area with a nice community vibe all year around. We have many creative ideas and plans for this summer, which we have timed to coincide with the summer holidays. We are getting a drinks license in four weeks, and we will have local bands playing here in the evenings, and other fun events happening as well. As we get the drinks license, we will also extend our opening hours and stay open until midnight.”
Chris Boddington, 46, Owner of Café Crema “We’ve been here for 10 years and we know that it does get quieter during summer. We are the only food place in the area that offers mainly vegetarian and vegan food, which helps to make us unique even as more places are opening in the area and the competition is getting tougher. We can definitely notice that there are less students here during summer, but we still get both students and local people from the area coming in for our food and coffee.”
Monica Winiarska, 29, Assistant Manager at New Cross House “We will still be open as usual during the summer months, and we have different events planned for every month of the summer. For example, we will be showing England games during the world cup, and there will be many live music gigs and other things happening that will attract people. We are a very nice place to go during summer, with many food and drinks options and a large garden to sit in which is also heated in the evenings. We are always busy here and we’re not worried about the summer, even if many of our regular customers are students at Goldsmiths.”