Beer, art and history

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.

Author: Peter

Long-time resident of Camberwell, author of this blog since July 2004.

7 thoughts on “Beer, art and history”

  1. Try the Townley Road Dental Practice in East Dulwich (just up form the Library at the end of the No 12 bus route. They’re good and getting you quick appointments, i had to phone the from Prague to get an appointment to deal with a lost filling aand they booked me to come in literaly hours after i stepped off the plane at Stanstead

  2. “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.”

    920 years later, and still no tube station.

  3. There was almost a tube station…

    The Bakerloo Line never went as far as Camberwell, but it is true that there were plans to do so as part of the New Works scheme shortly prior to the Second World War. These plans were revived shortly after the War, and for a short time the extension even appeared on the Underground map.

    Because of this appearance on the map, many people, even today, believe that an extension was made — or that the lines extend beyond Elephant & Castle all the way to Camberwell. While it’s true that the lines do run beyond the station, they are merely reversing sidings — and there are no secret government bases down the tunnels there either!

    No building work took place for a surface building at Camberwell, though a location had been established for the building, should it have been etected.

  4. We won’t even be graced with a tram. Maybe the East London is on its way to Denmark Hill though.

  5. I too bought a copy of The Camberwell Tales from Wordsworths. I can,t recommend it enough and urge you to order a copy. When I was in the shop I got the last one.
    On the subject of a tube station at Camberwell, the lack of one is what gives the area its unique atmosphere, as opposed to Brixton.

  6. I am 72 and was born in Camberwell,in Lomond Grove next door to the Salvation Army.I was evacuated to Wales in 1941 and am still here.Is there anyone about who is roughly my age who can give me some info. on how the place has changed during the years that I have missed.

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