News, People

The Last Word: Nygel Packett and Sue Whitehead, The Goose Is Out!

Nygel Packett and Sue Whitehead are The Goose Is Out! They run regular folk music concerts, club nights and singarounds, plus stages at various local community events including the Dulwich Festival Fair on Goose Green. The Goose celebrates its tenth birthday in March.

How long have you lived in the area?

Sue moved to East Dulwich in 1991. Nygel is an honorary East Dulwichian based at Packett Mansions (not really) in Surrey Quays.

What brought you here?

(Sue): A new job. East Dulwich was a reasonably easy commute, houses were affordable (!) and the woods and parks were a major attraction.

(Nyge): Sue.

What has changed most during that time?

Obviously there’s been huge gentrification. The pubs are no longer rough and there’s a wider choice of places to eat. The average car size seems to have quadrupled!

What do you most value about the area you live in?

The trees and green spaces. Also, there’s still a sense of community despite all the changes – it’s rare that we don’t meet people we know when we’re out and about.

Describe your perfect weekend

A sold out Goose gig with great music on Friday night. A lie-in on Saturday. A wander down Lordship Lane followed by brunch somewhere local, then a pint or several – Sue reads the Guardian while Nyge watches the world go by. A day out on Sunday to a free festival like Rochester Sweeps or Leigh Folk Festival.

Where’s your favourite place for a night out?

Anywhere with a good music gig that somebody else has had to book, promote and run, so it’s completely stress free (for us, that is J )

What is your favourite place to eat?

Franco Manca has really yummy pizzas and is fantastic value for money. Franklins front bar for Saturday brunch – a relaxed vibe, delicious food and well-kept Guinness!

What’s your favourite place to go for a drink?

It has to be The Ivy House, London’s first community-owned pub. We’re really proud to have community shares in it and to run our regular gigs there. It has a lovely welcoming atmosphere, there’s lots going on and it’s fantastic to see it doing so well.

When you want to relax…

A takeaway and a good nature or music programme on the telly; a daytrip to the sea or countryside; a walk in Peckham Rye Park or Sydenham Hill Woods; growing things.

What is your favourite shop?

Chener’s Bookshop – an enormous range of books in such a small space. Postmark in North Cross Road for great cards and stationery. A J Farmers for just about anything. Celestial for interesting and well-priced clothes.

Best bargain you’ve ever landed

Sue’s beautiful hand made embroidered Zandra Rhodes jacket in the photo (she’s only dared wear it once) which was around £20 from a charity shop.