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. Were there any outcomes we should know about? Some of us are more Online than Forum. I have my hands full running an urban piglet farm here.

  2. More advanced notice of teh meeting would have been helpful, although i would have been otherwise engaged regardless.. The reporting back from teh meetings via SE5 Forum site is very slow, and uninformative, though great for general discussion. Perhaps a more obviously posted and long-term timetabling of future meetings would be helpful?

    Dagmar — I have always enjoyed another saying which I, for some reason or other, have always believed to be Danish, although can’t remember quite why. “the higher up the tree the monkey climbs, the more you can see of its arse.”

    Is this a real saying (i hope so!). A reflection of the supposed Danish tall poppy syndrome i suspect..?

  3. i stand corrected. the provisional dates are up on the se5 forum site, i must be getting senile. I blame the illegal Vladivar wodka (50% methenol by volume). knocks that cheap gin of Lord H’s into a cocked hat.

  4. I love that monkey’s arse saying, whereber it came from. It’s just SOOOooo profound.

    I was tired the other night and hoped it would have been taken in good hukour. Mostly was glad to say.

    Minutes will be on the forum site soon. In meantime I can report it was mostly (all) putting admins and how we order / programme meetings and events, discussing means of better communication that don’t flood everyone on the committee with all the detail but don’t overburden a few and leave others twiddling text fingers.

    We’re still figuring out what our paramaters should be, how to get messages across to others and how to behave properly and how to get others engaged.

    Quite serious stuff altogether.

  5. I am drunk, however, I have to say that I am loosing faith with Camberwell. It’s almost genius, but it dances the fine line between the aforementioned genius, and insanity. I think, on the whole, it’s leaning towards the latter. I wish some people around here would just relax. I know not everyone has it easy, but getting uptight and aggressive doesn’t really help anyone.
    If one thing was to change camberwell for hte better, it would be the creation of some decent punlic transport. I know htere are a lot ofbuses, but on the whole they make the area less appealing. There is congestion the whole length of Cmaberwel road / Camberwell new Road. We nee d the tube, or else a good train line. Personally i cycle everywhere, but not evceyone can realistically do this so there should be a decent public transport alternative, and there isn;t. I’m going to bed to sleep off my drunkeness. this is chocaboy checking out. Good night.

  6. Has anyone been in Funky Munky lately? The beer is appalling and they’ve got the most arsey twat serving behind the bar.

    I fear the Dark Horse is not long for this world.

    The Castle is still nice. Hermit’s Cave still has the best beer. Haven’t been up to the Sun & Doves in a while as the tag on my leg starts buzzing when I go that far.

  7. Lord Henry — The Funkey Munkey had a very shabby,lived in,unpretentious feel to it and was popular with most of the Camberwell Community until a disastrous refit a couple of years ago — I have a friend who used to DJ for them on Sunday Nights playing Funk & Northern Soul and the owner asked him — “What do you think I should do with the decor” — my friend replied “It’s more or less perfect, all it needs is a sympathetic lick of paint and maybe it would be a good idea to refurbish the toilets” — The proprietor then embarked on a disastrous blond floorboards and pink decor scheme (trying too hard to be Upper Street) and it has never been the same since…everyone goes to Hermits Cave or Castle now…(I bet they are happy)

  8. I used to really like Funky Munky but it’s so so bad now. I remember the northern soul dj — he used to play good stuff. I’ve only been in a few times since it was refurbished, last time I had a burger which took my filling out when I bit into it.
    On the subject of food, anyone ate at that not so new cafe on Denmark Hill? I went in last Saturday lunch time and it was dead. One guy in there eating and the guy working there had one sandwich to sell. As I was with my partner, we wanted two so had to go elsewhere. Making the disastrous decision to eat at Seymour’s instead of Tadim’s. First time I’ve eaten there after passing it for years and wasn’t at all impressed. The food was rubbish and the staff unfriendly and pretentious. They are trying to charge £12.50 for an English breakfast! Tadim’s Tadim’s Tadim’s for me- if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Or get ripped off and eat badly.

  9. Stuart — I hope that today, Camberwell doesn’t look as bad as it did when you wrote your last posting. There is too much aggression out there, I’ll admit, but as far as public transport goes, we’ve really not got it too bad. Sometimes the roads do get clogged, particularly Camberwell New Road in the rush hour, but I make it into town in 35 minutes by bus all the way, most days. That’s not bad.

  10. Lucas is still a tropical gardens today. Two police officers asked me and my 3‑year-old girl what we were doing playing by the far wall. “We are playing,” I said, expecting to be arrested for disrespect. “We do not want your daughter picking up the syringes,” they said. “There are none here,” I said. “No, that’s because they are cleared up on a daily basis,” they said. I bought some diced beef for 40p at the petrol station. We went to see the impeccably restored 1920s Los Angeles cast-iron lamp posts erected in the South London Gallery, unusal, elegant. Then we played on the steps outside making “mosh” with leaves and twigs in a Perfect Chicken container. “Let’s stay here and talk to each other,” said my girl. All manner of people passed on the Peckham Road, on foot, bicycle, bus or car. It was a great afternoon and a far cry from the uniform grid of affluent East Dullwich.

    Was there some incident that upset you, Stuart? It can’t have been the punlic transport, was it some drink-related thing? My sister lived in Maida Vale and saw a gang of kids chase another across the road — the kid was knocked down by a black cab and killed, looked like a “bundle of rags” in the gutter. The local primary headmaster was stabbed to death. She moved to Ealing.

  11. “Diced beef for 40p”? What is this, London during the Blitz? I actually lived through the Blitz. Myself and Carstairs got up to all sorts of sexual shenanigans, some of which are illegal in ceratin states of the US.

    Eusebiovic — was your DJ friend called Darren? There was a great DJ in the Funky Munky called Darren who played terrific stuff on Sunday nights. After he left, and after the beer got worse and worse, I stopped going. Just on the basis of the supercilious berk behind the bar, I hope they close down quick sharpish.

    Can I get a vote in for the Dispensary? The owner, Ross, gave me a bag full of ice for my vodka the other week when none of the local shops were selling any. They also have all the papers on a Saturday and Sunday, and the chicken roast is delicious. Plus, as I’ve noted before, they have the best coke toilets I have ever seen.

  12. Lord Henry — Yes, I did know Darren but my friend was Dan who used to share duties with Darren on most Sunday Nights too…I know what you mean about the supercilious berk behind the bar…and to think they also used to employ some really attractive looking female barstaff…

  13. Ross at Diepensary is one of the most open and forthright, decent and generous spirited people I’ve met running a bar. Ever. Apart from me of course. I wish we’d met and had a chat before he opened Dispensary though.

    What Camberwell needs is a long look at what makes people leave the area — why the population changes so much — and then some answers and action to lay in some long term population stability.

    It starts with Nursery and early years childcare provision, Sure Start level upwards, moves to Primary and Junior schooling. Get a thoroughly good spread of parent and child support across SE5 would be a strong beginning for a stable footing that would encourage people — of all walks — to stay at least as long as children are getting past the HARD stage. And it’s doable and it fits in with all government aspirations. Get round to senior schooling in a couple of years. Mary Datchelor anyone?

    Must dash.

    Off to S&D (with my latent ‘flu) to see a great line up of musicians. ta ta.

  14. Here, here Mark.

    Ross is a great chap who has worked wonders with a tricky location. Thanks to his flair for design he’s created a fab, original venue (many of whose features have already been ripped off) for us thirsty Camberwellians. And with the best staff of any bar round here. And he’s Welsh.

    As for schooling. I am wholly unqualified to comment, but have to say that I would not be at all happy sending my kids (if I had any) to our local schools. Therefore, given my preference for state schooling, I’d be one of those who feel compelled to leave the area.

  15. Schools are the big issue here, it’s true. Not just here, either. The Labour conference starts today with its strings of upbeat cliches. What Blair, Brown and the Babes have done is grade people according to their financial worth in every aspect of their lives. Their slogan “Education, education, education” was based on the estate agent’s “Location, location, location,” significantly.

    Schools should reflect their catchment areas and they do in SE5. So schools have high staff turnover, a larger than average number of very young children who don’t speak English at home and older children who are dominantly unruly — a new elite. Their parents’ idea of bring them up is to shout at them.

    Camberwell is London’s second least affordable area to buy property, we remember. It’s OK for single people, generally speaking. Pre-school, there are some good schemes, but one way or another after that it’s a rat race. Blair has made it plain what to do for a long time — move a long way out and have the commuting “life”, or go private. So it is, graded citizens make finer market economy fodder.

  16. Schooling:

    Ditto preference for state education. At primary there is some very good provision locally, as well as some not so good, but there is hope at young age.

    Nursery provision is very patchy and very under resourced and needs a lot of attention. Working parents here have a really ahrd time finding anything they can feel comfortable leaving their children with and appropriate private care can be VERY expensive. Cripplingly so.

    Safe, viable higher education locally scandalously scarce here and in Lambeth. An outrage. But that is the way it is. It can be changed but only with a monumental amount of effort on the part of the communities that are not being provided for and not getting what is their RIGHT.

    I heard in the school playground this morning that there’s been threats of a drive by shooting at Peckham Academy taking place today as retribution for a shooting last week — honest. Alarming isn’t it?

  17. Dagmar you were posting as I was. You’re spot on. But if local education provision can be made good all round until age 11 then there would be a lot of reason for many people to stay put and not get out — even if getting out is into private sector. And setting that as a goal and making it happen is achievable. All the nurseries and primaries locally would welcome proper community support to abck them in making what they’re doing better — they all experience a different part of the pressure and struggle with raising standards…

  18. What are the good primaries in SE5, Mark? You seem to have your ear to the pulse. I believe Lyndhurst OKish and everyone oversubscribes to Dog Kennel, best primary in Southwark, they say. I know that some people tell porkies about where they live to get nippers into Dog Kennel.

  19. Yes, Dagmar, as you say, Lyndhurst and Dog Kenne. Good nurseries there’s a few, I think there’s another nursery just over the hill in the estate in SE22 that’s undersubscribed just because no one knows it’s there — will find out its name today if I can.

    There’s a private nursery on Lyndhurst way — name escapes me as usual with private but is good.

    Lilford Daycare on my side (in Lambeth) is good full time care but is underresourced and needs injection of funds, the Nest in Myatts fields is good but half day only. There’s Brunswick I think where they’ve begun inside catering fresh organic ingredients every day.

    A few local schools do good quality nursery but only half day — so absolutely no use to full time working parents.

    There’s no where near enough provision overall — not enough after school clubs or breakfast ckubs. It all needs a shake up.

    What I like about the idea of making it all join up (this is my partner’s idea really) is that it’s a specific, containable project that can be needs assessed relatively easily and have provision made for relatively straight line — funds are out there — income is achievable for a business plan ergo it’s possible.

    Must do some research here. At leat someone should.

  20. Um, don’t know anything about nurseries but the Funky Munky is wack. That DJ is pretty good (that said I never heard him play any Northern Soul bar Gloria Jones’s ‘Tainted Love’ once, I think)

    Me and my friend Dunc were putting on a night there upstairs and the owner explicitly stated the reason he had refurbished the place was to try and get a ‘less studenty’ crowd in, so he could charge more for drinks. Proving I suppose, that students have taste.

    Nowadays of course the Funky Munky charges more for everything, including getting in, and hiring the room upstairs, for which they charged my friend Julia £200 February gone, for a medium sized, unheated (read ‘frigid’) room with a duff soundsystem – then proceeded to charge guests to come in at the main door.

    Haven’t been back since.

  21. Let’s initiate a Camberwell blog boycott of the Funky Munky! As my man Chuck D once said, “Shut ’em down! Shut ’em, shut ’em down!”

  22. In Funky Munky’s favour they have been really cool and helpful to the people from Creative Routes (local mental health system survivors network who put on Bonkersfest on the green in june etc). Creative Routes use the place quite a lot in the daytime for meetings etc. A lot of places locally aren’t as welcoming considering the group members are all “mental”, most of them don’t drink booze and they have a wonderful knack of causing chaos wherever they go!
    funky munky even let them store a LOAD of stuff in their cellar for a bit in a crisis…
    …so, unattractive refit aside maybe they’re not ALL bad!

  23. St John the Divine primary (just off Camberwell New Road towards Oval tube station, in Lambeth is also pretty good I think — certainly well thought of by OFSTED inspectors

  24. I sent my kids to local schools.They are still alive and thriving. Daughter just completed degree and son at college. Have faith, my dears. Have faith.

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