Under the bad weather

I fully intended to write a post over the weekend about the launch of Camberwell Arts Festival, with pictures and a report from the Parade and Live! concert in Lucas Gardens. Unfortunately, my wife was taken ill on Saturday and I wasn’t able to leave the house to attend. If anyone did go, how about leaving a brief report in the comments?

On a related note, if you ever need to see a doctor outside of Practice hours, you should first contact NHS Direct (0845 4647) and then, if necessary, SELDOC (call your local practice and get the number from their answering service). Hopefully you won’t have to make the trip down to Dulwich Hospital, as we did, with a moody cab driver who charges you extra for stopping at a cashpoint.

I did manage to get out on Sunday morning (before the weather turned bad) and take some new pictures of the area which I’ve added to the Camberwell SE5 pool. Again, if you have a Flickr.com account please feel free to add more.

In other news, Southwark Council is still in trouble with the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) over the closure of the Imperial Gardens nightclub in 2003. I confess that this story had passed me by; I’d seen a few leaflets pasted to bus stops, but didn’t really know what it was about. The linked story (from the South London Press) gives a good rundown of the whole affair. But was Imperial Gardens really known as the Motown of South London?

Author: Peter

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

6 thoughts on “Under the bad weather”

  1. I didn’t go to the Arts Festival, but I did make a visit to Addington Square open day on Sunday, which is part of a London wide garden/square opening weekend. It is a annual thing which has been going on for a few years as far as I can tell. It had a good turn out and a few stalls, plus a history of the square displayed in the tennis centre. It included some great old photographs of the area like the filling in of the old canal in Burgess park.

  2. No pictures from me unfortunately… but a few words about the festival…

    Watching the parade pass Camberwell Green was rather surreal due to the police stopping the traffic (and the traffic roar!). For a moment there was silence at the green, then the bands on the parade starting playing. Pretty impressive stuff from the tin bands, brass bands and dancing troupes on the parade. Think a mini-Notting Hill (er, very mini…)

    The Green hosted a craft fair with stalls etc, some of the local establishments had stalls offering food (eg Esperanza, Munky)

    Down at Lucas Gardens, it all felt a bit more festivally… Plenty of activities to keep the kids occupied, and a pretty loud soundsystem. A couple of DJs kept the crowd happy inbetween the bands. Of the bands I saw (only 2), Precision Cuts were pretty good dance stuff, managed to get a few people dancing and the sun out shining… Missed Acoustic Ladyland… unfortunately The Castle called before they came on…

    Anyone else catch them?

  3. Imperial Gardens is a murky old story. What started as mere incompetence in the Planning Dept — they simply didn’t send a consultation letter to Imperial Gardens because it’s entrance is on the other side of the railway arches from the new (appallingly bad) housing development — has become a major issue.

    As I heard it, the club was actually refused a new licence because it would be unacceptable for the new housing next door. Oops. Anyway, to cut to the chase, the Head of Planning was identified as a suitable scapegoat and forced to resign by others trying to save their skins. Then came the inquiries and reports.

    It has certainly been expedient for the owners to make the most of their ‘involvement in the community’ in all the subsequent fuss. So I don’t know about “Motown of South London”. I went there once upon a time, to a techno/trance night, and it was just a couple of filthy railway arches.

    Southwark are certainly guilty of bureaucratic incompetence, but institutional racism? I can’t see it myself.

  4. Don’t believe everything you read in the papers… even the Guardian.

    Imperial Gardens was just a grungy old venue in some railway arches that hosted any night that brought in some cash, from dub reggae to hardcore fetish (http://www.eros-london.com/articles/2002–11-05/fist/) to poetry readings. The claim that it was somehow a not-for-profit cultural organisation that ploughed all funds back into “the community” is ludicrous.

    The real issue is that our planning system is so hopelessly under-funded that it is falling apart at the seams, and incompetence of this magnitude is inevitable. Sadly, Lambeth is even worse.

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