Like a great big onion

I am cogitating and deliberating upon a response to this article about the ‘murderous Tower of Babel’ we live in, and the reports of a Rastafarian rally in Lucas Gardens which preached racial hatred.

In the meantime, here’s an article on life on the Aylesbury estate, and the news that the 176 bus has the most emergency code red calls of any route in London.

It’s all grim news at the moment, isn’t it? I blame the miserable August weather.

Author: Peter

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

31 thoughts on “Like a great big onion”

  1. The food at the Dark Horse is pretty good, but might be a little on the expensive side for the dirt-under-the-collar denizens of Camberwell.

    I don’t think we need to read too much into the 176 have the most emergency code red calls. A major factor is its destination — Oxford Circus. The minute tourists get onto a bus everything descends into chaos, in my opinion.

    Also, the 176 has reached near-mythical status in its attempt to give truth to the cliche “you’re waiting for a bus for half-an-hour and then three turn up at once”. I once waited for half an hour for a 176 and FOUR arrived at the same time, three of which sped right past the stop as if they were in a race. This kind of thing engenders feelings of resentment.

    I now take my trusty charabanc everywhere, driven quite haphazardly by my man Carstairs. We may not arrive at our destination sober, nor in one piece, but we have a jolly good time on the journey, and isn’t that what life’s all about?

  2. Having read the two pieces that your opener draws attention to, could I make a few points. On the Aylesbury article, please don’t forget that there are alot of vested interests at play here. The South London Press want a story and I’m picking up from the quotes from Tara wasserface that she doesn’t really want to live in Braddenham (having lived there previously) and disagrees with Southwark’s policy of making x number of suitable offers and no more. I think she wants to be able to identify a property that she deems suitable and move in (presumably also determining how many bedrooms and gardens it has and how much rent they charge as well). For obvious reasons, the Council’s housing allocations policy doesn’t work like that!
    And by the way, I don’t work for this (or any) Council and never have, and am not an elected representative or a member of any of the political parties with an axe to grind on this issue. I am, however, a Council tenant. And, believe me, it aint as bad as Tara or the SLP make out and we’re not all living with bare electrical wires hanging out of the wall, being burgled (or burgling)every 36 hours!
    The Aylesbury is not pretty, granted, but it’s coming down soon anyway. Perhaps Tara would like to tell them when to knock it down, how and what should go up in its place. She seems to have alot to say on how the Council should work, whilst omitting to tell the SLP that they had already agreed to re-decorate it.

  3. .….….And on the 176 story — I think I’ve been on all 300 and whatever of those buses where incidents have been reported by the driver to the central control office. What’s the chances of that?

  4. I was wondering myself why Tara Wood, who is seven months pregnant, as the article repeatedly states, was no longer living with her “friend” in Braddenham or her family in Haringey? What hijinks has Ms Wood been getting up to, I wonder?

    Also, why did she move all her things into a flat she had already described as having absolutely no security?

    Mushtimushta — it seems that you are the common denominator in all those incidents of antisocial behaviour. Hoist by your own petard, sir! I shall have you flogged if I see you on my grounds, and that’s after I’ll have set the dogs on you. Although knowing you you’d probably enjoy such manhandling.

    Mmm, this port’s lovely.

  5. If I had a petard, I’d let you hoist it, Lord H, but alas, I had to pawn it to buy some more polyfilla to cover the loose live wires hanging out of my walls and a dustpan and brush to sweep the broken glass away.

    Mmm, this White Lightening is gorge.

  6. And by the way, was your man Carstairs in that TV series in the 70’s? I think it was called Upstairs Carstairs?

  7. Puns are the work of the devil, sir!

    Coincidentally, Carstairs has just informed me that he served in the war alongside Gordon Jackson of Mr Hudson fame. This was before Carstairs was court-martialled, of course.

    Poor Carstairs, he’s always letting his little peccadilloes get the better of him!

  8. I thought I might be wrong about the 70’s series — because Upstairs Carstairs sounds like an order with distressing undertones, Lord H.
    Anyhoo — Dagmar’s gone suspiciously quiet since she was obliged to give her name and address when lodging her online complaint with Southwark. I’m beginning to worry about her, Lord H. Perhaps she’s been whisked off and doused in flouride infected water and been subjected to multiple vaccinations for her troubles!

  9. DISTRESSING UNDERTONES is actually the title of Volume One of my autobiography. Volume Two is entitled A LIFE IN PAJAMAS. I have a few signed copies somewhere, if Lady Henry hasn’t already pawned them for ketamine, the delusional trollop.

    Dagmar could always seek refuge at my country estate. I have a trusty old Gatling Gun I use on all unauthorised personnel, a well-stocked liquor cabinet, a funambulist for my own personal amusement (it’s not what you think), two cocker spaniels I purchased off the film director Michael Powell in the 1950s (they’re quite dead, but calming), the always-entertaining Lady H (although she’s usually in an drug-induced stupor by tea-time), and the largest collection of Victorian pornography in private hands.

    Dagmar would have to bunk down with Carstairs, of course, but that’s a small price to pay to escape the Stasi-like clutches of Southwark Council.

  10. 176 is such a crap service, it is jousting with the 343 for the most unreliable in South London — I have learnt my lesson though and now use the 68 or 68X which are far more reliable…I hope the Aylesbury Estate goes and soon — I grew up in it’s environs and it has never worked — since day one it was a folly or white elephant — This is a 60’s/70’s development with no reedeeming features whatsoever…As that chap who wrote “Fight Blight” commented

  11. Maybe we should have a crap bus league table in Camberwell!

    Most pointless bus — 42
    Most overcrowded bus — 436
    Most unreliable bus — 176
    Most disappointing bus — the new bendy 12’s
    Undiscovered but actiually very useful bus -
    Most annoying nightbus — a tie between the N36 and the 176

    on a more postive note:
    Most enjoyable bus route — 345
    Most useful bus route — 43612
    Favourite night bus — N35

    Just realised that makes me sound a bit geeky!! Honestly it’s just cos i don’t drive and am too tight to pay to use the tube so i use a lot of buses!

  12. Quick amendment — due to idiocy i seem to have left out one:

    I actually meant to say

    Undiscovered but actually quite useful bus — 45

    Will learn to type in future.

  13. Most enjoyable bus route — 345? Perhaps if you’re under no time constraints. I once used it to travel to Clapham Junction for my first day in a new job; I was almost one hour late.

  14. I have some aches and pains due to working in August. Does anyone know the name of the masseuse who produced the TfL statistics? She has expert hands.

    I’m fairly sure the 436 has the 176’s number, in terms of serious incidents. There was a full scale riot on CNR which took two hours to disperse before the bus could go on, involving thrown bricks, a couple of months ago. Some of the Michael Ramsay pupils make a school time journey quite an experience.

  15. Well there are many reasons why i love the 345.

    1. it’s a great journey through the changing areas of London — Peckham to South Ken — it’s got it all

    2. It takes me most of the enjoyable paces i need to go

    Peckham for the Library
    Brixton for nights out and the market
    Clapham for the common and the Bread and Roses pub
    Battersea to visit my other half
    Chelsea to gawp jealosly at things i can’t afford
    Kensington for museums and culture

    3. the fact it does take so long means that it’s full of leisurly dreamers like me rather than harrased people trying to get to work etc..

    Admittedly it takes its time and i wouldn’t use it to get anywhere in a hurry!! But i still love it.

  16. Hannah, I see you rarely need to get to the City or envirosn, as the 042 is a God send, Tower bridge, Houndsditch, Liverpool St., and it’s nearly alaways empty. In fact it’s my favourite bus, not least becuase they have the same drivers doing the same shifts (or they used to) so you can actually get on more than “1.50 please” terms with your driver if you regularly catch the same bus.

    My favourite route has to be the no. 12, it takes in masses of the main tourist attractions, in fact I have been known to recomend it to friends visiting London, instead of one of those tourbus thingies!

  17. the 35 and 45 bus — are very useful, both go via Elephant one to Kings Cross the other through the city to Liverpool St/Shoreditch — excellent…

  18. First post on this blog, so hi to everyone. I’ve been in Camberwell a year, before that I stayed in Bradenham on the Aylesbury. Never had that bad a time but there were some eye-openers. That description of the third floor is reasonably accurate in my opinion, the 8th was ok… I think Bradenham is one of the better ones…

    Thanks for the 345 tip, I need to go to Clapham Common tonight, so I may try it if I don’t finish work too late.

  19. Lisa — i do got to the city and environs a lot — i just tend to use the 35 or the 40.

    My problem with the 42 is it’s slight insanity — they run a really piddly little short bus at rush hour and the a double decker at say 3pm on a Sunday — it’s just odd.

    It’s also a slightly strange route into the city (although admittedly good for getting to Bermondsey)

  20. I love both the No 12 and the 176 bus…especially coming back from the West End at night in a slightly inebriated state, over Waterloo/Westminster Bridge, with all the twinkly lights and the lovely view across London…Who needs the tube? 🙂

    By the way I tried the Dark Horse on Monday evening and had two lovely and very well made cocktails, a white chocolate and raspberry daquiri and a vodka espresso. I really like the look of the place, I hope it does well. It seemed quite busy for a Monday evening so that’s a good sign. Afterwards went on to a lovely meal at Mozzarella e Pomodoro (it was our wedding anniversary). It’s my favourite Camberwell eaterie and it didn’t disappoint.

  21. I like the fact that we hadn’t been for nearly a year but the waiters recognised and enthusiastically welcomed us and gave us a complimentary glass of wine with our meal and a liqueur at the end…And I loved my dolcelatte mushrooms and venison steak (specials). Our bottle of chianti was the best red wine I’ve had all year and the white chocolate gateau we shared at the end was totally worth giving up my diet for…

    All I can say is every time we’ve eaten there we’ve had a wonderful meal and a wonderful time. I absolutely love the place.

  22. The Dark Horse was probably busy Monday due to people using their £10 for three courses deal.They’ve got to be used up by the end of August and are valid Mon — Wed . Tried it last week and it was very good, and fortunate to get home last Friday and find they’d put another voucher through my door. Yum Yum !

  23. The Dark Horse looks alright though I haven’t yet been in..

    Awful signage mind. Looks a bit like Comic Sans.

    I heard Camberwell nearly got another decent boozer/venue in the form of the Redstar getting bought by the people who own The Lock Tavern in Camden.

    I hear the deal’s off though, so it’s peeling paint, cracked windows and bins there for the forseeable future.

  24. The people behind the Lock Tavern have recently (couple of weeks ago) opened a major new bar in Bournemouth, so not sure they’d have the capacity to be branching out further at the mo. I like the Lock Tavern, and the new Bournemouth place is apparently very good, so if they were it might be a good addition.

  25. I wish Basement Jaxx would do something with the Redstar. Turn it into a cutting edge urban music venue.

    As for the buses. I REALLY miss the Routemasters. They were perfect (except perhaps when the poor conductors had to fend off grumpy hordes of workers first thing in the morning). Unlike the bendy road trains that replaced them they were safer to ride on (and ride around), more fun, nicer to look at, more sociable, enabled you to get on and off (with great care of course) when it suited and they didn’t make random, explosive farty noises. Oh, and they got you into town about 30% quicker on average.

    I keep hearing that they’re going to get rid of the bendy buses. Can anyone make my day by confirming this?

  26. Given that so-called “urban music venues” are bloody everywhere these days, and a blight on every neighbourhood within which they exist, I assume that what you mean by “cutting edge” would be an old-time dancehall with skiffle bands and variety acts compered by Val Doonican and Vera Lynn? If that’s what you had in mind for the Redstar I, for one, would propose such a move.

  27. No, I mean HARD BOOM BOOM stuff. With adequate sound proofing, and maybe a skiffle alley.

    I don’t go to such places often. Not my cup of tea. But there aren’t many of them — I’m not talking Annabella’s discotheques with spacious car parks for scrapping here. Or the kind of place that hosts gun battles.

    The Redstar looks v.grotty. And I’m assuming it will one day reopen as a drinking hole of sorts. So why not a special drinking hole that will get known for all the right reasons across London? Maybe until something gets done with it Lord H could use some of his inherited wealth to transform it into stabling? Local youths could do the mucking out.

  28. Signs are that the Redstar is sort of open — well there were posters up saying it was now open most nights ‑However i’m not sure who owns it or how it is run. I am assuming it must have a license as often i go past there late at night and they seem to be running some events.

    However people are right it is a shame if it goes to waste — it’s a great venue — it could become a venue/nightclub for local bands, DJ’s etc .… — sor of like the barfly in Camden but more Urban (isn’t that the catch all term these days for hiphop, grime, drum and bass, etc.. etc..?)

  29. Copeywolf — I have a plan for the local youth and it does involve a form of mucking out. Haw haw!

    The whiskey sours in the Dark Horse are quite lovely.

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