I don’t recognise it

Just been reading a story in The Scotsman about a rehabilitation programme in Skye, Scotland:

[These children’s] lives have been anything but straightforward. Drugs, crime, bullying, broken families and the grim reality of racial prejudice are just some of the difficulties they have had to contend with, sapping their self-esteem, offering little prospect in the future of a job, a home, a settled family life.

It sounds tragic. Where do these poor children live?

These children are from Camberwell, one of London’s most deprived areas.


Author: Peter

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

12 thoughts on “I don’t recognise it”

  1. The question is, do some Skye children come to Camberwell in return? If so, I haven’t seen them wearing kilts, drinking whisky, or living in houses with turf roofs.

  2. I don’t know which part of Camberwell you live in, but it sounds pretty familiar to me. I know there are nice bits, but there are some pretty shit bits as well, wouldn’t you agree? Southwark as a whole was ranked 17th out of 354 local authorities in England & Wales in terms of average deprivation in 2004 (there are 37 indicators which are combined into the following domains: income; employment; health & disability; education, skills and training; barriers to housing and services; crime & disorder; and the living environment). Some of the things listed in The Scotsman article are causes of deprivation, and some are effects.

  3. Yes, I agree with Karen. I have heard parts of Camberwell are the 5th most deprived areas in the UK. Pretty shocking stuff. I know Southwark have been putting a lot of investment into this so whether things have improved i‘m not sure.

  4. Camberwell has some of the finest examples of georgian architecture in london. Between Camberwell and Elephant there are also examples of complete architectural failure — most notably the aylesbury estate.

    People and their behaviour patterns are generally influenced to a large extend by the quality of their environemnt. Bad environments breed bad behavioural and social patterns.

    It seems lessons have actually been learnt from the post war reconstruction failings — the new apartments between camberwell and peckham and those surrounding burgess park. Create a good quality of accomodation and environment and local residents will VALUE their environment which in turn will positively influence their lives and behaviours.

    The tennis courts in Burgess Park are another fine example to illustrate this point.

    i live in se5 just off the walworth road and let me tell you it is true to say it is certainly an impoverished area with its share of social problems and to a large extend i attribute this to poor high volume low cost estate architecture.

  5. There has been a lot of new building work on what I think were the old North Peckham estates, along from Walworth Road to Peckham, which includes the current building work in Elmington Estate.

    I havent lived in this area long enough to say what they were like years ago, but I have noticed that the Elmington Estate in particular has been winning National awards for its redesign — here is one link — http://society.guardian.co.uk/gallery/image/0,9731,-10505145128,00.html

  6. Some of the new buildings on the Elmington Estate regeneration project look awful. Some are very good, like the oval block on Southampton Way, but some of the others .… green bricks, biscuit tin roofs, all that wood stuck on the outsides of the houses .… eyesores.

    As for prizes, plenty of 60s and 70s planning disasters won prizes in their day.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like a lot of modern styles, but architects often use social housing to experiment on, and then they give each other prizes. Looks good on their CVs, and all that. There seems to be a recent trent for re-creating 60s style planning disasters. The proposal for the Heygate Estate looks to me like replacing one planning disaster with another. Social problems won’t go away because a few vain architects slap each other on the back and give each other prizes.

  7. I live on the new Elmington development and as soon as I moved in I wanted out. These places are so badly designed. There is no soundproofing. You can even make our what your neighbour is saying. These places don’t deserve any kind of prize.

  8. I agree this new Elmington Estate is a nightmare to live in. Talk about bad design. The houses are infested with mice. The mice are even colonising the flats now. The houses are so badly built that there are gaps under the houses and that is where all the mice get in. There are mice behind the walls and in the ceilings. You can here them running about.

    The sound proofing is a disaster. What sound proofing? You hear every footstep and every voice from above and below. Talk about biscuit tins. Those flats are like living inside a biscuit tin, the noise is so bad.

    I am applying for a transfer or a mutual exchange. If I could move out tomorrow I would.

  9. I agree with Skippy. I might as well be living with my neighbours since I can already hear everything that goes on. And these are prize-winning flats!

  10. I agree with you too i live there too. Also what is happening with the rest of the estate? the land that is being built on has been empty for 3 years now !!!!

  11. Hello everybody

    My name is Dante Obregon,a postgraduate student of the Bartlett School of Architecture. As part of my thesis research, I am evaluating the performance of the Elmington Estate redevelopment.

    Since I consider really important residents’ opinions as they are the ones who eventually occupy buildings, i would be very grateful if some of you who live in the Elmington Estate would be willing to answer a brief questionnaire via e‑mail or any communication means that might suit you best.

    My e‑mail address is danteobregon@​hotmail.​com

    Thanks a lot in advance for your help.


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