Doing Good, Getting Involved, and Getting Coffee

Two new cafés are joining the burgeoning Camberwell scene, and both offer a social benefit as well as liquid refreshment.

The first is Brewbird, in the former Sun Pizza premises on Havil St. It’s a lovely venue, bright and airy and plenty of seating. I dropped in this week, and can confirm that the coffee is good. Brewbird is the social enterprise arm of the amazing St Giles Trust, and helps ex-offenders and at-risk young people with skills and a vocation, so is worth your support even if you’re not a coffee-lover.

This Saturday (16th January) we’ll be joined by Lumberjack, opening in the former House premises (70 Church St.). Lumberjack are the trading arm of the London Reclaimed employment charity, and train young people in crafting furniture from reclaimed wood and materials. They also sell cakes, and coffee from the Old Spike roastery in Peckham—itself a social enterprise helping local homeless people.

All in all, coffee’s never done so much good for everyone. We should feel proud to have them.

Further changes coming soon: there’s some work underway in the former Safa (22 Church St.), no idea what’s going in there (update: two commenters say that Oregano Leaf pizza are moving there); across the road, the former library is now two vacant units which I’m sure will be snapped up; and The Bear (on New Road) is under new management, which if I’m not mistaken is the team from The Fox in Haggerston. Look forward to seeing that lovely freehouse back on its feet.

If you’d like to be more involved in broader changes to the area, Southwark have a page on their site dedicated to public consultations (here are the currently open consultations for SE5). One that they’re keen to get opinion on at the moment is updates to the play area in Brunswick Park. If you have children and live in the area, they’d like you and your family to fill out a very brief survey to help them plan the changes.

Public transport changes

The latest TfL Commissioner’s Report [PDF] has been published, and it contains mixed news for our manor. The bad (depending on your point of view, I suppose) news is that the proposed Bakerloo Line extension through Camberwell is off the table:

We undertook an initial consultation in autumn 2014 on route options for a Bakerloo line extension to the south of Elephant and Castle. Since then we have undertaken further work on a number of alternative routes proposed during the initial consultation. The results of that work demonstrate that the preferred route option for a first phase is from Elephant and Castle to Lewisham via Old Kent Road.

However, there is the promise of compensation for not getting the tube:

Any extension would also be supported by significant improvements to the national rail network in southeast London, including the possibility of a new Thameslink station at Camberwell.

Presumably this would be on the site of the old station, on Station Road — this area has previously been flagged for major development. It’s been mentioned that this would ‘reopen’ the station, but I think it would be a complete rebuild / new build — I can’t see how there’s enough left of the old station (closed to passengers in 1916, to freight in 1964) to be viable.

In other transport news, TfL is consulting on changes to the 436 bus route. It’s proposed that the bus will no longer go on to Paddington after Vauxhall, but will instead go to Battersea (to serve the new developments there). The bus would also reduce in frequency between Lewisham and Vauxhall. To compensate for the reduced service of the 436, the 36 would increase in frequency.

The consultation on this change closes on the 10th of January.

Thanks to London SE1 for the heads-up on the tube story.

This weekend: Get ready for Camberwell Arts Winter Open Studios.

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Working on Camberwell Arts is like painting the Severn Bridge: The work is never over!

No sooner has the summer festival been put to bed, then planning for Winter Open Studios took over.

Open Studios is nothing new, however this is the third collaborative event coordinated by Camberwell Arts on behalf of studios of Camberwell, and this winter it is bigger than ever, with over 120 artists, makers and creators across 11 locations simultaneously throwing open their doors to art-lovers and gift-seekers.

With hand crafted jewellery, textiles, fashion, ceramics, homewares, accessories, as well as a wealth of visual art from the internationally renowned to the up and coming creatives of Camberwell, there has never been a better reason to visit and shop local this Christmas for something truly unique and support the creative arts.

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Download the PDF brochure from our website

The event kicks off Friday 27th Nov 6-9pm with private views at:

And then will continue 11-6pm on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th, with all studios open*

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Follow our social media feeds for introductions to everyone taking part:

We also delighted to have a classic Italian coffee machine mounted on a vintage Russian motorcycle driving around the studios on Saturday and Sunday keeping all artists and art loving public fresh hot beverages. We shall get them to tweet their locations so keep your eyes peeled on Twitter: @Sidecar_coffee

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If you have any ideas of how we can make the event even bigger and better, or if you have any queries, do not hesitate to contact me: camberwellartsfestival@?gmail.?com

Cheers, and see you there!
Jordana Leighton, Camberwell Arts.

CAMBERWELL ARTS: PROMOTING THE ARTS IN CAMBERWELL AND CAMBERWELL THROUGH THE ARTS — REGISTERED CHARITY NUMBER: 1138225

*Please note there will be a mini pop up at Clockwork Studios, however their main event is the 11–13 Dec.

The new Camberwell Library has landed…

…and what a lovely space it is too!

Whatever you thought about the demolition of the old orchard and the total lack of real consultation about the library (Bad. There wasn’t one.) now that it is here, I think it’s well worth enjoying it.

Camberwell Library

Something that surprised me somewhat was that all the books in there are new. Apparently this is not unusual, and eventually a few of the books will be brought over from old library, but the rest will be distributed to other libraries, or sold. [Update (12th Nov): I’ve now been told this may not be the case. Will check and get to the bottom of this on Friday.]

The selection books is much wider than before, I got rather excited by the selection of art books that I otherwise could not afford.

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There are a lot of events on both during the day, and in the evening, including some talks from well known authors at one end like Lionel Shriver this evening and Stella Duffy in a few weeks time, and (ahem) me somewhere beneath that!

I went to the talk by Dorothy Koomson which was well attended and very interesting but you must email southwark.?libraries@?southwark.?gov.?uk to book most of the talks. Having said that, the Dorothy Koomson one was theoretically fully booked but not everyone turned up, so you may be able to wing it!

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Dorothy Koomson Talk

Talks and events over the next month or so. Click on the photos to get full size images.

A full list of events is on the library website here: Camberwell Library Website.

The Children’s section of the library seems to be very, very popular. There were about 50 kids and parents there the other day for a storytelling session.

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A very well attended storytelling club for toddlers.

The library itself is mostly on one floor, but upstairs there is a long bench where you can work and study, with sockets for laptops.

Upstairs Study area

There librarians have also brought in exhibits from the Cuming Museum relating to Camberwell, and also pictures of Camberwell are being put up from the Southwark Art Collection.

A real (not live) Camberwell Beauty, A Samuel Jones jigsaw and old map of Camberwell.
The Camberwell Palace, which used to be on Denmark Hill where Butterfly Walk is now.
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Who knew Camberwell had a toll gate once?
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A tablet to commemorate men signing up to fight in WW1?in Camberwell.

Some thought has also gone into the outside areas. The trees in front of the Magistrates Court now sport some really nice little bird boxes!

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I also love the welcome to Camberwell vinyl at the entrance to the library. If you look carefully, you’ll find a lot of Camberwell institutions, including the Art School, St Giles, and even Sophocles and Crusons!

The Camberwell Cartoon.

Which brings me nicely to a plug for a talk I’m doing this Friday 13th November at 7.30pm. [Updated 13?11 to correct the time)].

I was rather chuffed to be invited to do a talk on my photography series 36 Reasons To Love Camberwell. Unlike the other talks you don’t need to book, just turn up.

There will be a short question and answer session about the original project by the Head Librarian, Mark, and me. Then we’ll be opening up the floor to everyone and discussing the changes around Camberwell in the last few years, and those changes coming.

I’m going to update the series, and the discussion will form the basis for new photos and eventually a new book some time next year.

So please come along. It would be lovely to see you all, and while you are at it, you can have a look around this fantastic new edition to Camberwell.

36 Reasons