Ruskin Park revisited

Owing to the need for a plumber and boiler repairman*, I had to miss yesterday’s Ruskin Park fete (regular readers will be unsurprised).

Today my wife and I were determined to get out and enjoy some of the summer, so on our way to the Sun & Doves (for their very tasty fishcakes) we decided to take a look around the newly-renovated park.

The last time I went there, just over a year ago, I was less than impressed. This time, I’m happy to say, it’s much improved. The grass is neater, the restored bandstand looks lovely, the flowerbeds were nicely maintained and the pond in the middle was clean and pleasant. It’s a lovely addition to the area.

You can see my photos here; I’d advise you to go along and take a look for yourself.

* For items in my flat, not for myself.

Author: Peter

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

35 thoughts on “Ruskin Park revisited”

  1. I live 2–3 minutes around the corner from Ruskin Park and have watched with great satisfaction it’s improvement over the past year — there is still some work to be done though, the children’s play area will be refurbished and the football,basketball and tennis courts are going to be given an overhaul some time in the future — not too sure whether the money is there to restore the bowling green but you never know — not that I play the game but it would just encourage more folk to use the park and therefore that helps to police it without having to hire staff, something the council always bleat on about endlessly…

  2. I play tennis there sometimes, but the courts are very uneven and it makes for rubbish tennis. The ones that you have to pay for on Burgess park are much better. I also run around Ruskin Park, which is great. It’s almost exactly a mile around, so very handy for keeping track of distance jogged. If you can be bothered with that sort of thing.

  3. Hi,

    I’m going to put this on the SE5 forum website too. Time Out have started a campaign to get London’s public swimming pools up to scratch and are asking readers to send in stories and pictures of the neglect of swimming baths in their local area — this is a good opportunity to publicise the shocking state of our “leisure centre” anecdotes, opinions and pictures to be sent to news@​timeout.​co.​uk

    please send everything you can in as the state of our swimming pool is an absolute disgrace!

  4. For those who want to stray into SE15, the regeneration of Peckham Rye Park is also worth a visit. Very pleasant for a Sunday afternoon stroll — and with good watering holes nearby.

    Whilst I’m on SE5/15 crossovers, Camberwell Arts Festival is supporting “Portrait Peckham”, an exhibition of photographs of local people taken by local school students. It’s on at Peckham Library; I stuck my head in yesterday and it’s worth 10 minutes if you’re passing by. More at

  5. Me and the 3‑year-old girl always look out for the White Duck on Ruskin pond. The public toilet is still frequented by exotic fowl making courtship displays, but we are broad-minded in Camberwell, and the rhododendron bushes nearby are a perfectly respectable place for a wazz.

  6. Maybe it’s possible to get a grant from Sport England or the LTA/F.A to upgrade some of the tennis courts/footie pitches, after all it’s the least they can do — the Burgess Park ones were paid for by Sport England…

  7. I like watching the Colombians and other South Americans playing on the pitches in Ruskin Park. Their passion for football overrides the pitch conditions. The bowling green is fascinating to watch, too, as a wild grass and flower area. The green was very English and vulnerable, the shed was burnt down. Ah, old England. When people used to play in their pukka white kit, it was like watching ghosts.

    I signed the anti-3G mast petition at the bandstand village fete. That was because a large chap was waving around his anti-3G poster on a stick and I admired his enthusiasm. Another chap on the stall said that 3G was banned in some countries. I just don’t like mobile phones. I haven’t got one, I talk to people instead.

  8. There’s an unofficial South American football league that plays on Burgess Park during the summer. They’re always down there in full kit, with barbecues and beer and music on the sidelines. Quite a sight.

    That area of wild pampas grass in the middle of Ruskin is a bowling green? Wow, I thought it was a haven for butterflies and sleeping drunks.

  9. There are also courting couples of the boy/girl variety. I say to my 3‑year-old, “Don’t worry, they’re courting couples, Rosie.” We ourselves are passing through dicsreetly, looking for the Robin that lives under one of the benches.

    Once, we saw a dogging-type couple near the toilets who may just have been inspired by the heat. I didn’t say, “They’re doggers, Rosie,” but, I mean, I’ve seen worse things in public places. Thinking about it, they probably weren’t doggers, who seem to need the fetish of… a car.

  10. Um… what are doggers please? Where have I been?

    Hannah did you put that Time Out pools link on the se5forum site?

    Ruskin has improved, no doubt, but it still should be MUCH better than it is.

    The Authorites thow crumbs and we’re grateful because crumbs seem like riches by comparison with the emptiness of the past.

  11. Mark, try a search for ‘doggers’ in Google; but please do so when your children are not nearby and your sensibilities are less open to offence…

  12. I’ll put the Time Out pools thing on the Forum website today — is it best to start it as a discussion?

  13. There is an amusingly designed website called The Dog Inn that conveys well the somewhat grubby nature of the hobby.

    To up the tone a bit. We took our 3‑year-old daughter to Tate Modern recently where amongst the chic art lovers in a quiet room bedecked with genius, she suddenly starts singing tunelessly: “Cat’s in the bog, so — is — dog.” Over & over again. Born in Camberwell, that girl.

  14. Dagmar, the girl should be given a place automatically at the art college. genius!

    On the subject of ruskin park, I’ve never seen any of these courting couples, doggers, or anything risque. I have however seen 3 varieties of Bee, a Woodpecker, Jays, great tits, robins, rats, field mice, and of course squirrels.

  15. That must be the woodpecker that made its way to our back garden yesterday, and ate the fat we put out for blue tits.

  16. I cycled past the town hall yesterday evening, there was a demo outside with “No lapdancing” placards. Southwark have given a licence to a club in the aptly named Tooley Street. The demonstrators’ leaflet lists the supporters which include various religious groups, but also HMS Belfast. Blimey, you wouldn’t want to annoy HMS Belfast. Good for them, I say, that’s where I’m coming from.

    I read in my Daily-Mailised, soggy-brained, scare’em with “Asylum Seekers Cause Cancer” Evening Standard that Critical Mass, the loose collective of cyclists who cycle slowly en masse every last Friday of the month blocking major traffic routes, have won a court hearing against the police, to continue their rather irritating demos. I’ve often passed them on my bike and they cry, “Join us! Join us!” but I have no appetite for constipating the streets thus.

    Let us now sing Hymn SE5, “Pedal Pubwards, Ye Committed Individuals of Camberwell.”

  17. Lisa — Subway is opening opposite Nando’s on the corner of Coldharbour Lane/Denmark Hill — It will be a success because society is in regression and accepts these establishments as a force for good in maintaining the golden rule…

  18. On the nature front — I saw a rat running across Camberwell Green at about 10.30pm last night!

  19. That’s funny, Rachel, you beat me by seconds to slot No.28, but me quip sits much better at No.29, Eusebiovic!

  20. Dagmar — That’s it!!! — cancer,diabetes,gastroenteritis all in a bun to keep the filthy lucre rolling in — the ad campaigns merely brainwash the proles into not fully appreciating this fact…“If they advertise it all the time there can’t be anything wrong with it can there?”…dark world

  21. I wrote a long one last night about Subway and its impact. Then erased it before posting because I’m sick of ranting and I want people to think I’m not a ranter and to like me.

    However I regret not posting it now.

    Elsewhere here I think I mention the rent of the Subway site being 22K. That is a lot of money for local, no independent can afford that kind of rent.

    If we don’t do something to take Camberwell by the scruff of the neck…

    Look at it:

    Wordsworth closes —

    Subway arrives.


  22. Forget it Mark — it’s Chinatown. Meaning it’s the world markets that sap every community. I wished you’d posted it. Your rants are incredibly well constructed and well informed, in my view, and we need them because you know what you’re talking about and run one of real Camberwell’s best and favourite businesses.

    Forgive me, I am in a sunny mood today. First there’s the Art College Open Day today, then the Irish festival in Peckham Rye Park where I may wear my Celtic top, then England v. Portugal on the box, in front of which I’ll wear my England top.

Comments are closed.