Dark clouds gathering

Last night I wanted to watch the Arsenal game. As I don’t have Sky at home, I decided to go to my local, the Cadeleigh Arms, to watch it. Unfortunately, they were showing the Man Utd‐Celtic game; so I decided to walk to the Bickleigh Arms. It started to rain. By the time I got to the Bickleigh I was quite wet already, and they weren’t showing the game because their subscription had lapsed.

As I was already wet, I decided to chance it and push on to the BRB/Grove, hoping that they had changed their policy about showing football. Nope. On I went to the Hermit’s Cave (passing the no‐football Dark Horse on the way); they were showing Man Utd. Pissed off but now determined, I walked to the Silver Buckle — no game. My jacket was soaked through and my t‐shirt following, but stubbornness took a hold and on I walked. Old Dispensary: no football. Jack Beard’s: no football. Up Station Road to Coldharbour Lane and the other Jack Beard’s: no signal on their Sky box, although they would be showing Arsenal if it was working.

Sun & Doves: no football. Joiner’s Arms: Man Utd. Funky Munky? No football. The rain hadn’t stopped for a moment, and by now I looked as if I’d been swimming fully clothed. A kindly barmaid in The Castle said they weren’t showing any games, but they couldn’t show the Arsenal game anyway as it wasn’t on the standard channels. 45 minutes and a thunderstorm after leaving home, I admitted defeat and went back to listen to the game on the radio.

The moral of this story: I’m not sure there is one. Don’t be so obsessive about football that you walk for 45 minutes in the pouring rain? London pubs should show London games? Buy Sky?

One thing I did notice on my walk is that the grubby Marbella hotel has closed, presumably to enter the chrysalis phase and emerge in weeks as the Butterfly which will be the Church Street Hotel. Fingers crossed.

In the news: even Camberwell isn’t safe from Terrism, as a local youth was arrested in recent raids. Two more locals were arrested in connection with a murder in Kent. Camberwell is still the second‐least affordable area for housing in London.

What a gloomy post.

Author: Peter

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

76 thoughts on “Dark clouds gathering”

  1. A Bloke’s Tale, indeed. Our resident aristo‐nihilist couldn’t trudge the existentialism beat better than that.

    Interesting that the “least affordable” quotient is based on local property prices against the income of the locals. The locals in Kensington & Chelsea can easily afford their local “house” prices.

    Valuations we’ve just had suggest Camberwell prices are upping more than the average in Greater London. Denmark Hill station is mentioned as a factor, plus the regeneration of Peckham. Anyway, the haves and have nots quotient must be going through the roof.

    Just as well that all is not as it seems, nor is it otherwise.

  2. You’re welcome to come and watch the match at our place next time, Peter — as long as you’re supporting the Gunners!! ;-D

  3. Well we all know how great Camberwell is and also how better it can be but it seems that Southwark Council are putting all their eggs into the Bankside/Elephant basket and the fact that a fair part of Camberwell is Lambeth means that no‐one communicates or co‐ordinates their plans in tandem — which is a great pity — maybe the Denmark Hill ELL Extension will slightly gentrify things but I suspect that it’s effect will be largely minimal — if they extended the Bakerloo Line from Elephant to Peckham then that would be a different matter or The Cross River Tram — It took me 1 hr 10 minutes to get home on the bus yesterday from London Bridge!!! It only used to take 40 minutes…that Walworth Road slow trudge is getting tiresome and depressing — My Dad came to visit me a few weeks ago and the bus was so overcrowded and unbearably hot that when he got to my house he almost passed out because he felt so hot and unwell on the bus…I’ve almost been there before — public transport is too slow to Camberwell — Lots of Buses but very narrow,overcrowded roads…

  4. Drew Mishmash — I may well pay a visit soon — I don’t know if you can help but would you know if you could get your hands on a copy of Nairn’s London (Penguin 1966) for me? It’s a very old book but I lost my copy and was extremely upset because it’s one of my favorites — It’s about London landscape changing in the 1960’s and the author Ian Nairn’s spookily accurate predictions of what were to become future kitchen sink estates…

  5. I only managed the Hermits and Grove before finally settling on the Canning for Man U v Celtic. Incidentally, the Arsenal game was on the Sky Channel that you have to pay even more money for and not all pubs, even ones that show football, have it.

    I personally blame everyone who pays for Sky Sports (sorry Amanda). You’re basically funding people like Robbie Savage to spend vast salaries on diamond earings, Ferraris and mock Jacobean houses while I get soaked looking for somewhere to watch a game. And don’t even mention Andy Gray’s commentating or for that matter that swooshing/sword being drawn sound that accompanies every graphic. *grimace*

    I guess that by patronising pubs that show games It’s my fault too. Damn.

    Has anyone noticed that you can hear the sound of players kicking/heading the ball? Why can’t you hear them telling the ref to fark off? Two theories:

    1) There’s a microphone that only picks up the specific tone of ball being kicked/headed. If this is the case why has no player worked on the replicating this particular tone in their voice to send out subliminal messages? Or is that why everyone now likes Peter Crouch?

    2) There’s someone whose job it is to press a button that makes the sound every time the ball is kicked/headed. If so how well paid is it and where do you apply?

    Other theories welcome.

    As for the Overground extension through Denmark Hill; my man at the Ministry of Transport says that this particular part of the line is dependent on the government agreeing to fund the line to the tune of £100 million. Somehow TfL have raised the rest of the £1.4 billion needed for the the new Overground system but not the £0.1 billion for the Surrey Quays — Clapham branch. The decision will be made next year.

  6. camberwell pubs are going through a bit of a pants time at the mo

    funky munkey — disastrous refit ruined the shabby charm of the place — and it now just looks and feels awful — locals have deserted them

    Bar Room Bar at C Grove — As Mark commented it is no longer part of BRB and is being run by some total incompetents who are now using cheap and nasty dough for the Pizza, Incompetent,Surly Barstaff,Furnishings Falling Apart At The Seams,Football Coverage Banned — very poor

    Redstar — A terrific site, a real potential goalmine, though they had cracked it initially but it went downhill pretty quickly, surprising considering that the owners have made a real sucess of The Dogstar in Brixton which was a much more difficult location to crack

    Castle — Still reliable but tends to shift and change on a constant basis — they need to learn if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, it has atmosphere at least

    Pheonix — Much better than the previous O’Neills but I’ve been there a couple of times and it has felt like a morgue, surprising that commuters don’t tend to stop off there much

    I’ll stick to my trusty Cambria and Sun & Doves which are both superb

  7. And by the way, three of the five arrested were from Camberwell — the third (Giblin) is listed as Commercial Way, which is SE5.

  8. “When the seagulls follow the trawler…” Shouldn’t we follow our local team? Millwall have had a rebrand and are now called Real Millwall. They offer “Real talent, real passion and real football.”

  9. Ah Peter, my heart bleeds! Was in same dilemna on Wednesday looking for the United game but accepted defeat after trying just 3 places (BRB, Hermit, Castle).

    I did notice the Miura bar on Church Street was showing the United game but they have a ‘members only‘ policy now 🙁

    Once the rain started I followed it on teletext 🙁

    You know what is even more annoying about Sky and Champions League? You cant even listen to it on Radio!! They ban radio coverage due to exclusivity. Grrrr, I hate Sky!

  10. “Last Friday night a cyclist was shot in the knee as he pedalled through the Myatt’s Field Estate, Brixton.” — Blimey… very worrying indeed and judging from the descriptions (er, men in hoodies) there isnt a lot of hope of catching them.

  11. “Kevin Arthur Dunstable, also known as Lord Henry, and Leonard George Carstairs, you are charged with wearing hoodie tops in order to incriminate others, and totally bungling the theft of a pedal cycle…”

  12. In the interests of full disclosure, Carstairs, Lady H and my bull mastiff, Dillinger, are still missing, but must be presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, shooting a blighter in the knee from cover and then scarpering is exactly the kind of irrelevant and yet dastardly act Carstairs was renowned for in the past.

    Dagmar — my real name is Spangler Arlington Brugh. Carstairs’ is Leonard HOWARD Carstairs, so you were close there.

  13. I’m still stunned by the idea that Miuro has a “members only” policy. Are you not allowed in unless your probation officer provides you with a reference? Methinks they didn’t like the cut of your jib, Mark B.

  14. Dagmar — I could never follow The Millwall as I’m a West Ham Fan but I do make the effort to go and watch Dulwich Hamlet now and again usually on a cold,wet,winter tuesday night…you can’t support more local than that!!!

  15. My friend Mihaly Morath was once the only hooligan element at Dulwich Hamlet. Does anyone know this fellow? I haven’t spoken to him since he was expelled from our grammar school.

  16. Peter, or anyone else fancy meeting up for the United/Arsenal game in Camberwell today provided suitable place can be found? Short notice i know…

  17. What a lot’s been going on! Peter it’s not a gloomy post. It’s a Camberwell post.

    Least affordable I did find confusing. And do, despite Dagmar’s eloquent explanation, it soesn’t really make sense. Presumably it’s easily affordable to others?

    Sky’s far too expensive for pubs. Ludicrous. That’s main reason why footies not so obvious as it might have been.

    Buses – most of my experience (infrequent) of buses (infrequent) is that once a bus has arrived I get where I want quite quickly. But they don’t arrive. Often.

    Players’ head noise – I reckon it’s a special effect person. I once met a woman at a party. What do you do then? “I’m a ‘Footstepper’”. Guess, dear contributors, what a Footstepper is.

    eusebiovic – Red Star / Dog Star. Dog Star and S&D (and Bug Bar too actually) opened within a fortnight of each other in December 1995. One of the owners of DStar went on to do various other ventures. Including RStar. Original DStar went bust about 45 years ago (following a rent review by the way) and it has been under other ownership since, I don’t know how many different owners.

    Phoenix = Mitchell & Butler = The Commercial, Herne Hill, = Gipsy Moth, Greenwich, and several hundred others around the country. You get to recognise their deliberately non chain, chain feel after a while. Re commuters at Phoenix – if you look around it you’ll see that NO thought whatsoever has been put into attracting commuters in. Nothing. You can go in and out of the station and not really notice the pub. I really find that really weird. And encouraging for me.

    Thanks for the glowing comment as well. *grateful*.

    Millwall – the only football match I’ve ever seen live was Millwall v Gillingham about three years ago. I thought I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown and a good friend took me to the Den on his season ticket to cheer me up. The game was civil, polite and boring. We were expecting curses at least, if not blood. It worked. I was cheered.

    Miura. Perhaps we should all join. Any one know the criteria for membership? And by the way does any one know any one who’s been to FU’S? – Or any one who’s eaten a Subway?

    Shootings – definitely opposite, Hannah. A man got hit and run on a motorbike outside a couple of years ago. About 2am. I heard a bang, looked out of the window, saw a man making a call on a mobile phone craned my neck around to see what had happened. I couldn’t see anything, everything was I couldn’t see anything silent apart from this guy on a phone and went back to bed. 2 hours later knocking on our front door – police looking for witnesses to a hit and run (motorcyclist died). I cursed myself for days afterwards for not being nosier and, well, you know. Doing something more than I did.

    I wish I followed football.

    Please understand that together we can make Camberwell fantastic.

  18. I’m assuming a “footstepper” is a foley artist.

    I have actually played on the Millwall pitch in a 5‐a‐side competition. We got beat in the semi‐final. I still cry myself to sleep some nights thinking about how close I was to some form of glory.

  19. On Tuesday 19th September (tomorrow) between 11am and 7pm SUBWAY’s Grand Opening Offer.

    Two feet for the price of one(60cms for 30cms).

    Get a free offer flyer from the counter in Etc in Butterfly walk (see I do shop local) they probably have them flyers out all over the shoppe and indulge yourself; ‘eat fresh’.

    The flyer doesn’t elaborate on fresh what though.

    Flies like to eat fresh don’t they.

  20. Re. FUS

    I was in the Castle on Friday night. Headed home at around 11.30, leaving two friends in there and stopping off at Silver Lake on the way home for some noodles.

    One of said friends left to go home about an hour later. The other friend has limited memories of the following five and a half hours.

    Apparently he ended up in FUS. From the limited memories he has I managed to glean the following:

    1) Mainly West African clientele
    2) African music/rubbish R&B
    3) He fell asleep in there for some time and nothing happened to him
    4) He was the only white face there
    5) Despite obvious drunkenness people treated him kindly

    Interpret any of those points in any way you like.

  21. re :Subway — To quote the words of the great Bill Hicks

    “They say that they are providing jobs with this stuff — Hmmm that’s right 20 ortodontists and another 20 dieticians right there — don’t eat it it’s shit”

  22. From reading this post I’m very glad I decided not to bother looking for a pub to watch the Hamburg‐Arsenal game and resigned myself to listening to it on the radio.
    Were you in the Cadeleigh yesterday for ManU Peter? Great atmosphere …
    Good to know there are other online Camberwell Gooners around …

  23. Update on SKY t.v. prices.

    This morning I got a promotion from Sky: (delivered by TNT of course) ‘gunning for glory’ Uefa Champions League — Be A Part Of The Action — ‘free equipment and standard installation could cost you from £945 (ex vat) per month*’ terms and conditions apply. minumum contract 12 months etc etc…

    There you are. £400K for 40 pubs as I reported a week or go or so.

    There’s no way we could afford that. Well not unless we totally changed the Sun and Doves.

  24. FU’s I’m impressed. All round. Did he have to pay to get in I wonder?

    Subway. Still can’t wait for their special offer tomorrow. To prove something to myself.

    Footstepper = a person who does the audible special effects of the noise of feet and hands on films — horses treading through snow, bare feet on sand/gravel/mud and so on.

    I said what an amazing job. ‘I think it’s quite boring actually, not special at all’. How many other people in Britain do that kind of thing? ‘I’ve never thought of it like that, well now you ask, I think I’ve heard of one other person who does it’.

  25. I’m confused about the Redstar!! I thought it was closed but on Saturday night my housemate and i came past Camberwell Green at about 11pm (after a visit to Dragon Castle on the Walworth road — hightly recommended!!) and it was open and rammed to the rafters with clubbers — has it been taken over or is it being squatted??

    Declining to join them we then spent a very pleasant couple of hours taking advantage of the balmy weather sitting outside the Hermits Cave with our pints talking to a very friendly Bull dog (and his owner) that had apparently been barred from the pub (the Bulldog not the owner!!)

  26. I think FUs cost a fiver. But we had to work this out from cash left in pocket the morning after.

    I have a flyer for FUs at home for something called ‘The End Of Fast Month’

    Is September fast?

  27. So a “footstepper” is a foley artist, then, as I said.

    Hoa Viet was packed on Saturday night. Very friendly in there, but I’d still put Buddha Jazz and Thai Cottage ahead of it, foodwise.

  28. Lord H — you got the better of me there, I missed foley artist altogether *mild shame*.

    Foley Artist
    By Benjamin Craig , filmmaking.net

    A Foley Artist is a person who creates sound effects for the post‐production of the film. They beat drums, throw themselves on the floor, walk on gravel, break vegetables etc to record the right sound effect as required by the director and sound supervisor.

    Although I think she drew the line at throwing herself on the floor for anyone.

  29. The Red Star on Saturday night seemed to be packed full of PUNKS. With proper hair‐do.

    Well, at least there were lots of them standing outside of it… maybe it was just yuppies inside.

    Did they migrate south after the closure of the Intrepid Fox I ask?

  30. If Camberwell were badly dubbed, it would feel so much better, like a French film with subtitles, so much more apparent depth.

    In Brunswick Park this afternoon, a young woman with short, black, gamine hair was roller‐blading on the volleyball pitch, wearing headphones. It could have been Paris.

    I therefore had the “this could be Paris” argument with the partner who thinks this is an inauthentic way to approach SE5. But in parts of south Camberwell there are so many French‐speakers, you really could be in the banlieus.

    So maybe we should lobby Southwark to get a foostepper or foley artist on the case. There’d be more tourists come to Camberwell than Portobello Road if, say, when you walked into the Buckle, your feet were going “Crunch! crunch! crunch!”

  31. Red*

    Open only when booked for private party or promotion by named DJ — so it’s never very quiet when open and it’s not losing money hand over fist when there’s no punters in — no staff — no outgoings. I presume the rent from the flats above covers the rent paid to the Freeholder. Their days are numbered I’ll warrant. Without guarantee of course.

    It’s a weird world. And yes this could be Paris. Ruskin Park = Tuileries. Burgess Park = Bois de Boulogne. Peckham Pulse = La Defense. St Giles = Notre Dame. Surrey Canal = Le Seine. Butterfly Walk = Galeries Lafayette. Denmark Hill = Gare Du Nord. Ho Hum.

    On approaching SE5 with inauthenticity (what a lovely way of putting it Dagmar!)…

    A friend who lived here for years and years before I came here (worked in phlobotomy at Kings) once told me:

    “if any one ever arks you if you’ve ever suffered from stress just tell ‘em this:

    ‘Stress? Of course I’ve suffered stress mate, I’m always stressed because I live here, in Camberwell mate. Just living here’s enough to put you over the edge, I’m a severely deprived person, I should be getting compensation from the government mate, like everyone else does mate. I should be getting a rebate just for being here’ Me? I’d prefer St Juan‐Les‐Pins myself.” She said. The French dream lives forever.

    Know what I mean?

  32. I went past the Redstar the other day and there was a sign saying “now open Thursday, Friday and Saturday”. It didn’t mention punks though as far as I recall.

  33. I thought that redstar was being semi‐officially ran by some punky / anarcho types. it seems to be trying to do Sound System nights (dub, drum & bass, ska etc). from the posters / flyers etc i’ve seen it looks like good honest revolutionary stuff. i shall endeavour to check it out this week.

    When it was redstar proper a couple of years back i vowed never to set foor in the place again after one too many mornings spent with a can of beer and some morley’s chicken on camberwell green after leaving there at 5am!! A time in my life that i now fondly refer to as the “Wasteland Years”!

  34. There is someone attached to the Forum site whose testimonial is that s/he is “56 and open”, is that right? I saw on the Forum site, which is really for serious localists not globally warmed‐up Camberwell Beauties like me, someone touting the cheapest drugs online. There is a Forum meeting on Wednesday is there? I then went to the Civic Trust site but got lost on it, found myself on the h2G2 site which I wasn’t sure what was. And back here.

  35. There’s an SE5 Forum meeting tomorrow night at The Maudsley Boardroom. I don’t know where that is exactly although roughly, clearly it’s not at Kings. So every one welcome.

    I’ll be chairing this meeting (in a state of semi paralysis through massive and direct fear of public speaking) while not knowing where it’s going to go yet and trying to push the whole Camberwell thing further.

    All welcome. Please do try and sorry for the lateness of the invitation.

  36. Please push for a massive new school programme for Camberwell. The pubs and restaurants are a rainbow of lush consumption choices. The edgy art students, alehouse philosophers and louche aristocrats are the zaniest in London. However, have spent time today looking at Ofsted reports on primaries here. Same problems everywhere. Would be eased if there were more places and if half the schools weren’t “oversubscribed” in the 1984 language of the day. (“Key workers”. If they’re so key, why not pay ‘em better?) Schools is a boring subject, but not as boring as East Dullwich.

  37. I’m growing a handlebar moustache at the moment, whilst simultaneously reading Patricia Highsmith. She was a citizen of the island of Lesbos, apparently, although I didn’t realise this when I bought the book.

    Similarly, I was most impressed by Lionel Shriver’s WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN, until I discovered that the ruddy author was, in fact, a personage of the non‐penis variety. I demand a refund!

  38. Lionel Shriver? In a previous post, Brugh, you mentioned Billie‐Jean Shriver the tennis player, when you must have meant Billie‐Jean King (there was a Pam Shriver, too) who as you know is a friend of Patricia Highsmith, so to speak, and an adopted one (as a reference in a song) of Michael Jackson, who is neither fish nore flesh nor good red herring…

    I’ll follow any meandering thread rather than learn, as I have done today, that one’s infants virtually have to be born in the stationery cupboard at Dog Kennel Hill Primary to get in there. And that a dog kennel in the catchment area costs £750,000.

  39. I stand corrected, and by a woman, blast it! I did mean the sapphic Billie‐Jean King. For some reason I thought she had married a blighter called Shriver, but as you pointed out, I must have confused her with the gargantuan Pam Shriver.

    More gin!

  40. The heat today of 82 degrees centigrade that has addled all our brains was predicted by the Daily Express earlier this week in their front‐page headline. I have been giddy in the heat, myself, but we have a saying in Denmark, the shorter the miniskirt, the higher the intellect.

    Meanwhile the big issue that escapes the Express is that citizens of this country are centrifuged in the maelstrom of the market economy and hung out to dry in the gusty wind of interest rates.

    I saw a house for sale today, perched on a hill near here, that is about to move to another street, so dried out is the London Clay.

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