My apologies for the lack of writing in the last 10 days, and also for my piss-poor coverage of Camberwell Arts Festival. That wasn’t my intention, but I’m afraid I’ve been a little under the weather myself lately. I’ve barely left the house since Saturday, which means I’ve missed all this fantastic sunshine. Still, I’m better now (more or less). On a related note, if anyone knows of a decent dentist in Camberwell who doesn’t make you wait two weeks for an appointment, please do leave a comment.
So, the fantastically sunny weather necessitated a trip to the fantastically sunny beer garden of the Sun & Doves on Saturday, for a seabreeze and some excellent fish cakes. The Sun & Doves has the only decent beer garden in SE5 (anyone care to dispute that) and it’s special glory is that it attracts a crowd of local students and so, in Summer when they have all gone home, isn’t always massively busy.
It also has it’s art, of course; at the moment they have the Blue Plaques exhibition which mimics the commemorative plaques seen across London, only with the subject of artists in Camberwell. That will run until the end of the Arts Festival (Saturday 25 June) so hurry along if you want to see it.
Still on the subject of the Arts Festival, I dropped into Wordsworth Books at the weekend and bought a copy of The Camberwell Tales, a CD with stories of the area as told by local pensioners and long-time residents. The idea is you listen to it on a walkman or mp3 player while walking around; I’ve yet to do so, but if the weather holds I’ll do so soon.
From reading the sleeve notes I’ve already learned that Camberwell was mentioned in the Domesday Book:
There is land enough for 5 ploughs, there are 22 villagers and 7 small-holders with land for 6 ploughs. There is a church, 63 acres of meadow, and woodland providing 60 pigs.
And that the name comes from a well which was reputed to have powers to heal the sick; ‘camber’ is an Old English word meaning ‘crooked’. Further evidence for this is provided by the church of St Giles, patron saint of cripples.