Love Over Gold

Local Stories

Love Over Gold

The Love Over Gold mural on Creekside dates back nearly 50 years and is an important part of Crossfield’s cultural history. The ‘Love Over Gold’ graffiti is thought to have originally been painted by a Crossfields resident art student in 1975 on the brick wall at the front of what was then a council-owned building, Drake House.

In 1977, Mark Knopfler and other members of Dire Straits (then Cafe Racers) performed an early gig on the estate and in 1982, released the album, Love Over Gold, inspired by the graffiti.

The Love Over Gold Mural, 1989

In 1989, South London-born artist, Gary Drostle, was commissioned by Dire Straits along with Lewisham Leisure, Outset UK and ILEA to create the mural, titled Love Over Gold.  
At the time Drake House was occupied by Outset UK an organisation dedicated to the training and personal development of people with disabilities. Gary Drostle worked with primary school children to create a mural that depicts “the local area, issues of wealth distribution and the environment as well as disability and equality of opportunity.” 

2023, a new chapter

In 2023, to mark the 21st birthday of Cockpit Deptford, our building is being transformed to be more open and welcoming for the whole community. A new cafe and learning space will host workshops and activities, so people can come and have a go at crafts like weaving, marbling or pottery.

Part of this project is to provide a more accessible and welcoming entrance for all, and that means making a wider opening in the Creekside wall.  So it was decided, in close conversation with the artist Gary Drostle, that if the mural could not survive in its entirety, it should be replaced with a new artwork to reflect the sentiment of Love Over Gold.

In 2022 a public art brief was put out and Cockpit-based artist, Amber Khokhar was selected to create the new artwork for Creekside. Amber, a local Deptford resident for over 20 years, celebrates the sentiment of Love Over Gold in this new piece.

She says: “Love over Gold celebrates the superiority of human kindness over material wealth. My design celebrates the achievement of the peoples of this place – beautifully diverse Deptford. The combination of Deptford’s unique blend of cultures and its historical inheritance provides the community with a common ‘prosperity’ which money can’t buy. The design aims to celebrate and connect our common cultural and historic wealth.”  

The legacy of Love Over Gold

The new artwork by Amber Khokhar is being created in close collaboration with the Deptford community of today. Workshops are taking place with local community groups and in schools including Tidemill Academy, St Joseph’s and Drumbeat SEN school. Their creative work will feed directly into the new artwork for Creekside, featuring motifs from the Love Over Gold mural.
Cockpit is working closely with the creators of the Love Over Gold mural, to create documentation of this story, which will be kept in local archives and publicly available. The aim is to add to this a collection of photos and personal stories collected from those involved in creating the mural in 1989.
The mural is to be carefully dismantled as part of the building work taking place at Cockpit during the spring and summer of 2023. Pieces of the mural wall will be retained so that they can be displayed and incorporated into the new Craft Garden that is being created on the site — a new public space for all to enjoy.


  • 1975 Crossfields-resident art student painted graffiti Love Over Gold on the brick wall of what was then the council-owned Drake House.
  • 1977 Mark Knopfler and other members of Dire Straits performed an early gig on Crossfields Estate.
  • 1982 Dire Straits album ‘Love Over Gold’ was released inspired by the graffiti.
  • 1989 South London-born artist, Gary Drostle, was commissioned to create the mural, titled Love Over Gold.
  • 2001 Cockpit Deptford opens affordable studio space for craft and makers.
  • 2011 Rotting timber doors in wall removed and replaced with steel doors.
  • 2021 32 years later, the wall and mural are in a poor state of repair with structural cracks and crumbling brickwork.
  • 2022 Amber Khokhar is chosen to create the new artwork, in collaboration with  the local community.
  • 2023 Work starts on site, community and schools workshops taking place, which will feed into the new artwork on Creekside.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via email or post: Cockpit Deptford, 18-22 Creekside, London SE8 3DZ.