Here’s a fun little toy… some of the photos of the Camberwell SE5 Flickr group superimposed onto a map showing where they were taken.

Also: this is not a firm offer just yet, but does anybody have a garage/lockup/shed where I could store a bicycle in return for a small rent? I have space for one bike outside my flat, but there’s a possibility my wife could get one too and we’d need storage. The lockup would have to be accessible from the street (unless you want to let me have keys and access to your home) and would preferably be in the region to the east of Denmark Hill.

Author: Peter

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

61 thoughts on “Community-minded”

  1. That’s a coincidence. I have a Raleigh gent’s Sturmer Archer 3‑speed bicycle for sale, complete with cranks, pedals, sprung saddle and front wheel. I have dated the cycle to 1979. This is one of the very last Raleigh All-Steel bicycles ever built.

    There was a time when every single component was made right there at the Raleigh factory in Nottingham. The people who worked in the factory cycled there on the same all-steel machines they had built.

    This is not so much a bicycle as a time machine. £9 19/6d will secure it.

  2. The back wheel needs attention. It is currently hanging from the ceiling in the bike shop in Peckham near Persepolis. It has been there for many months. It is a steel wheel of an ancient size, therefore the rim is a component that is hard to find.

    I myself think that it’s possible to ride a bike with no back wheel if you lean a long way forwards and pedal with a running motion, exclaiming “Ha-ha! Ha-ha!” to breathe better.

  3. Have you thought about using one of the indoor bike storage arrangements such as those sold by Cycle Store? See

    I have a friend who has bought a hanging one and she is very satisfied (although I think you need a string wall to attch it to)

    On a slightly related note there is a reinventing the bike shed initiative on at present to come up with new bike shed ‘solutions’ for inner London — see

  4. I love the idea of a string wall… do you wrap the bike up in it, or just break threads off and tie it tightly? and how do you stop your neighbours slipping through?

  5. Love those photos…I must take some pictures of the tree in my back garden in Shenley rd. It is a peach tree grown form a pip from Sainsbury’s, tossed optimistically in the ground 20 years ago, which is laden with lovely peaches every summer. My neighboour has a 20 foot avocado pear tree in his back garden, also planted from a pip…and although it never produces fruit I find that amazing…a sure sign of global warming I am afraid, but still a sight to behold.

  6. I definitely don’t have space for a bike inside my flat, string wall or not.

    Re: the maps; It seems that implementation is a little buggy; some photos are definitely not appearing yet. I’m sure they will soon.

    Realme: You’re on Shenley Rd, like me; I wonder how many times I’ve passed you or your son in the street?

  7. As I’m sure you realised I meant strong wall — when she first installed it it gradually came out out again. Another option is to buy a folding bike such as a Brompton, I guess it depends on what you need it for.

  8. A tandem is the best fun yet least practical item for a one-bed. I’ve got used to sucking my stomach in every time I need something from the kitchen.

  9. Peter — You are welcome to use our shed — Dagmar Road — entrance from the street — no charge.

    Contact me if you’re interested.

  10. Hi Folks

    Some additional points

    I recommend all steel bikes for global touring — if you have a serious spill you are far more likely to find someone who can weld steeel than aluminium in ougadougou or samarkand.

    Tandems are fantastic but make sure they have good brakes, and be aware you can’t split up and rendezvous even for a day when on tour.

    Tenement life in Scotland meant all flats had a pulley lifted clothes rack — known as a pulley — usually hanging from the kitchen ceiling. People generally kept their bikes on them; and when the bike was out at work it dried the washing. Regenereguru would be so proud of you. I saw someone chucking one in a skip last week — you fool I thought i bet you have just bought a tumble drier wose SPECIFIC job is to pump hot air out of your flat.

    Have a cheery day

    Drew MishMash

  11. A cyclist has been badly injured or worse on the north side of Blackfriars Bridge this morning and that’s after the council has spent the last 3 months supposedly carrying out improvement works – essentially paving over the bus lane which was heading into the city and widening the pavement for pedestrians. I am at a loss to understand why they have done this as the pavement was wide enough to cope with the commuter footfall as it was.
    I love cycling myself, but I don’t feel safe cycling from Camberwell down the Walworth Road to work. All the cyclists I know have at one stage been knocked off there bikes by cars or pedestrians who don’t see them coming or don’t look.
    I wish Ken Livingstone would realise that taxing the rich for their gas guzzling cars is not really the answer to congestion in London. Improving the cycle lanes throughout London is. Case in point – Amsterdam. There are good-sized cycle lanes throughout the city and on the busier roads there are separate lanes with a concrete divider, preventing cars from veering into the cycle lanes. If you look at the cyclists in Amsterdam, they are all calmly and greenly getting from A to B without the feeling that a car or bus is breathing down their neck.

  12. I agree, Walworth Road is a nightmare to cycle up. A much better route is to go up Benhil Road, Wells Way and Portland Street. You’ll end up at the top near Elephant.

    There are no busses and fewer traffic lights so it’s both more safe and faster! The only thing to look out for is the shoppers as you cross East Street Market.

    There’s a cool route around the back streets of Elephant as well which avoids the horrible roundabouts…check out a cycle route map for details.

  13. Carole: That’s so kind! Thanks very much, I will certainly be in touch!

    I cycle to work (not at the moment, since I had my bike stolen) along the Walworth Rd and across Blackfriars Bridge, and of the two I fear the bridge the most.

    It’s worth remembering that you’re under no obligation to ride tucked in to the kerb; it’s often much more dangerous, as the surface isn’t smooth, there’s broken glass and cars don’t see you as easily. Ride confidently in the left-hand lane, give cars space to overtake but don’t feel you have to kow-tow to them.

    Also: we don’t have a tumble-dryer in our flat, we hang all our clothes on a clothes-horse; not as quick, but much more economical.

  14. I have had two bikes nicked this year, both of them were securely locked. But I persevere with cycling to work. It’s brilliant.

    Peter — I actually go a step further in particularly dangerous areas and ride in the middle of the lane. Vehicle traffic is often not really going any quicker than you, and it’s only for the length of the bridge, so they can lump it. It stops them overtaking and I can cope with th odd person hitting their horn or shouting abuse.

    On the Walworth Road I go down the white line in the middle — drivers check their offside mirrors more than their nearside mirrors so are less liely to swerve into your path when overtaking, and oncoming traffic can see you clearly if you keep your lights on.

  15. One tip I would add about cycling in London is to always be on the defensive. Even when you are in the right many motorists seem to refuse to respect you as a fellow road user. So, dont expect them to give you way when they should.

    Walworth road is particularly dangerous actually, but as people have pointed out get a good cycle map and you can stick to the backstreets (although this can be dangerous too as you become a target for chavs to try to throw things/attack you)

    The blackfriars bridge situation — originally the cycle path was in the middle of traffic and people died.

    So sad that cyclists in London are often villainized as public enemies.

  16. Also be super careful if you have to overtake on the left, especially if its a large vehicle or you’re near a junction where the vehicle could be turning left (it may not have indicated).

    I love cycling, its the easiest way to get around London and keeps you fit and alert.

  17. I agree that they haven’t got a clue how to do cycle lanes in this country — Take Baylis Road in Waterloo for instance — It has a very wide pavement but a negligible number of pedestrians use it at any one time (ie — it’s never even remotely crowded) — So instead of using some of the pavement for the cycle route leaving space for a concrete divider — the cycle lane ate up part of the existing road and on the other side too!!! Plus they decided to incorporate a Bus Stand in the middle of the road, you just couldn’t make it up!!! — An astounding lack of good common sense on the part of the council and contractor…

  18. As I and my cycle emerged from the private access road leading to my humble storage facility, I was labelled a “t**t” for not emerging into the road fast enough for a red volvo estate containing four dodgy types to turn in that crucial two seconds earlier.

    I observed them continuing to the end of the private road, and parking in the car park of the old people’s home, where I doubt they have any legitimate business for the next 30 years or so.

    On the way to work I mused on this base imposition, and enjoyed weaving between stationery one-person cars even more than usual.

  19. I could write a lot about this kind of thing. Is there a website for cyclists who’ve been hard done by to let off steam? Yesterday I was told by a driver that she was going to f***ing slap me b*tch- because I waited before putting my bike onto the pavement to let her pass, after she clearly saw me yet nevertheless turned into Mead Row which is currently one lane. Did she expect me to ‘reverse’ the entire road when she disregarded my right of way and swung on in? Even though I was in the right, and had two witnesses (who gave her what for) road rage always upsets. Plus, if cyclists answer back without a gridlock to protect them there’s the fear of being mowed over.

  20. I suspect anyone who cycles in london could write a lot about “this sort of thing”, especially those in camberwell where, I have learned, there are some of the worst drivers. I echo everything that’s been said about being alert and driving, sorry cycling [have a car too!] defensively. in my experience, even once you’ve made eye contact with a driver pulling out from a side road as you’re going along a main road, this doesn’t mean that they’ve “seen” you — in the full sense of message being received in cerebral cortex, and motor neurones activated to prevent the foot lifiting up on the clutch and pressing down on the accelerator to zoom out with you in front of the bonnet. expect the worst type of driving — it helps.
    maybe us cyclists should start clogging up the papers’ letters pages with diatribes against drivers — would make a nice change!

  21. Eva and locallocal: I agree cyclists need a higher media presence.

    Some may puzzle over how it is that the car driving lobby is so organised and media savvy when regular cyclists tend to be more dynamic.

    That’s because the car lobby is back by the oil lobby, a professionalised and slick system with tentacles at the heart of government.

  22. Have you considered joining the London Cycling Campaign? ( LCC has over 10,000 members in London and offers many benefits such as third party insurance, regular magazines, 10% discount in cycle shops and campaigning to increase cycling and improve cycle facilities in London.

    The two relevant local borough branches of LCC to the SE5 area ( and are some of the most influential and with the most members within LCC — they work with the relevant borough councils and with Transport for London (which is responsible for the major roads — red routes such as Camberwell New/ Walworth Road etc) to improve local facilities for cyclists — commenting on plans, influencing the council etc etc.

    Ultimately though the thing that will improve the situation for all cyclists is having more cyclists on the road — then motorists will have to take account of us. I forget the exact figures but something like 2% of journeys to work in London are by bike (similar to Paris) as compared to 10% in Berlin, 20% in Copenhagen and 30% in Amsterdam — these latter cities all deliberately made it a policy aim in the 1960s and 70s to encourage bike use. Whilst London has far to go it has made a good start and only with continued pressure and campaigning can the situation be improved.

    This needs to be allied with cycle training for school children and other cyclists so that they know the correct road behaviour — hopefully then we will not get the ranting from motorists along the lines of ‘all cyclists jump red lights/ go the wrong way up one way streets/ cycle on the pavement’ which I’m sure any cyclists are familiar with.

    Lambeth has a very good scheme whereby it offers up to 4 hours one on one training to residents who want to learn to ride or increase their confidence in London traffic all for the price of one day’s congestion charge — £8. Further information at

  23. And another thing (I’m on a pro-cycling rant today) maybe we could criticise drivers who bang on about cyclists jumping red lights for not stopping at green — that is the green advanced stop areas that have been installed before the traffic lights on many of the roads in South London.

    Many cyclists will be familiar with these motorists who do not seem to recognise the ASL area or who creep gently forward into them in preparation for the lights change. It is actually a road traffic offence if a car driver or motorcyclist (apart from where otherwise stated by a roadsign) enters the green ASL box as they have crossed the first stop line. The Police need to carry out some high profile enforcement on this.

  24. I lived in Berlin for five months and the difference there is that people don’t travel as far to get to work as they do in London. We must surely spend longer getting to work than any other city’s populace!? The best cycle routes are in what used to be east Berlin. Downtown former west Berlin is a nightmare. Roads were widened post war in east Berlin and cycle routes were considered when the roads were built, rather than being a later addition. Buildings were demolished to create the wider roads — so not something we can realistically do in London now.

    What confuses me is why TFL’s cycle maps regularly recommend routes that are one way (the wrong way) and why there’s often the green ‘bike’ light next to the green man at crossings, when there’s no cycle lane there?

  25. The London Cycling Action Plan produced by Transport for London has good information on the types of journeys undertaken by people in London.

    The plan can be accessed at

    According to figures quoted in the plan almost 85% of journeys made by people in London are under five miles in length which is the ideal length to cycle — max 30 mins and generally quickest by bike door to door.

    On a related note the Liberal Democrat Peer Lord Avebury who lives in Flodden Road, SE5 has mentioned on several occasions that it takes him 17 minutes to cycle from Camberwell to the House of Lords.

  26. When I was a junior school, we were doing shapes and I said, “If a square has 4 sides, a pentagon 5 sides, a hexagon 6 sides and so on, then a circle must have AN INFINITE NUMBER OF SIDES.”

    This is best thing I have ever thought and I still wonder at it as I roll along by bike, except at Camberwell Green where people run across the road like turkeys.

    I wonder what Lord Henry rides?

  27. Ok folks — went to have a look at the proposals for the St George development on Grove Lane. They have set-up a stand just outside Somerfield in Butterfly Walk.

    Personally I think the new drawings are an improvement on previous plans however the materials that they choose to use in the construction are key to its success. One gripe — I would have liked to see them open up the tennis courts replacing the current brick wall with possibly railings giving a feeling of space. I do like what they have done with the 1920’s building by adding a glass top and I am happy they have hidden the reduced number of parking spaces underground. There are now less buildings on the proposed site and it is less concentrated. The new houses appear better proportioned and they have retained more trees replacing any that are lost during construction. I snapped a couple of photos on my phone, as it was all I had, but it gives you some idea though a little blurred. They didn’t seem to mind so you could probably take a proper camera and better these:

  28. I actually ride a penny farthing, like off THE PRISONER, but you were close, Mark. It plays havoc with my haemorrhoids. Which is why I inject ketamine into my arse every Friday night.

    “He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.” Dr Johnson.

  29. Too true, unlike the front wheel of my Raleigh 3‑speed for sale. A bit of beasting leveneth the boringness of being.

    The St George’s plans look OK so far. The Dark Horse would be rocking if all the new residents attended. The sanguine/bile balance would be restored a little in Camberwell. Maybe even the Bickleigh would reopen.

  30. Lord Henry. You have my sympathy. And of course my Empathy.

    This may be of some succour (and it is a proper quote so please excuse the “”:


    “It is usually best, with haemorrhoids, to get by with the least treatment possible, especially without the use of ketamine, as even after the most extensive treatments they may still return.

    Many times they will settle down over a matter of days without any treatment.
    Cream or suppositories (bullet-shaped tablets to be inserted into the anus) may be bought over the counter, or your doctor may prescribe one. These soothe itching and pain, and cause swelling and bleeding to diminish.
    Cold compresses, even ice can be helpful.
    If you do not get better with these approaches, your doctor may ask a specialist to see you who may:

    Put little rubber bands round the haemorrhoids, which will cause them to shrivel and wither away.
    Inject a substance into the haemorrhoids which causes them to wither away (sclerotherapy) but definitely not ketamine.
    Cut away the problem, usually under a general anaesthetic.
    Haemorrhoids are very common, and will occur anyway, but, as implied above, useful aspects of prevention are:

    Avoid becoming overweight, and lose weight if you are.
    Eat a high fibre diet.
    Exercise regularly.

  31. I was quite interested to discover that the BRB pub has actually been bought out by Youngs now. Hence the ending of football and as from January the end of pizza’s and BrB as we know it.

    Interesting to note there is a Youngs pub (extremely overpriced) near the St George development in Vauxhall, so maybe Youngs follow these developments around looking to feed from their residents.

    Anyone know much about Youngs? From my experience they seem to do good ales and good food (excluding the rip-off in Vauxhall that is).

  32. U ever notice going past the Save the Children building just how many lights are left on in there all the time? St George could save a bundle if they switched those lights off!

  33. Youngs merged with Charles Wells and are closing the 1581 Ram Brewery in Wandsworth, oldest in Britain, moving production of beer to Charles Wells, Bedford, which is a modern efficient brewery that makes also Cobra under license.

    However, Youngs Ordinary is probably the best session bitter there is and will be preserved for posterity by this rationalisation or rather until bitter goes out of fashion. It’s similar to the closing down of Park Royal and shifting Guinness production to Dublin, where fortunately people traditionally think magic is used to make the stout.

    Interbew have just launched an advertising campaign about the genuineness of the Stella family of beers brewed under license in the UK by 6 generations of a Belgian family.

    Many rural pubs would have closed down if it weren’t for the attentions of Pubmaster, then Punch Taverns. But then they did close down, rural property values going up as they have.

    The new Datchelor residents will probably find the new Young St George Tavern to their taste, with the Dark Horse and other genuine independents also available to them in the rainbow.

    Maybe someone could start brewing Camberwell beer from the original well. If all went well, folk would find it brewed under license in Thailand.

    Mark Dodds is the one to pour forth about all this, when he is not too busy helping to keep the Camberwell theme in Camberwell.

  34. Thanks for opening the door Dagmar. Call me old fashioned.

    I’m afraid I’m very jaded about pub companies and brewers. They all cop out and reduce character and individuality to pastiched themed rolled out crap that conceptually revolves around some imaginary past we never had — you know — like where Hovis never came from.

    Anyhow. I had some time for Youngs — still a family brewery — until they sold their, um, brewery. 12 million quid or so; and I don’t think anyone in the family needed the bread; the following is from the Caterer earlier this year:

    “Brewing has taken place at the Ram brewery since the sixteenth century, with Young’s taking over in 1831. The relocation will result in 95 brewing and production redundancies at Young’s, although 35 new posts will be created at the Eagle Brewery.

    John Young, managing director of Young’s, said: “The decision to sell the Ram Brewery site in our 175th year was taken with some reluctance, but as I promised when we first announced that we were launching the brewing review in 2003, MY HEAD HAS RULED MY HEART.”

    Make me want to seep. Sod it. Weep. “My head has ruled my heart”. What about his wallet and pocket have ruled his approach. Go on, think about it; just wiping sixty salaries a year off the payroll without the property jackpot coming is saving him a million quid annually. A million is a lot of quid. I’m sure there’ll be other cost benefits we don’t get to know about as well.

    Still, I’m doing a refurb next week and we’ll be getting another real ale in (that’ll make three cask conditioned then) specifically because I wanted Youngs on tap — because it’s not easy to find over this part of London. They steal my advantage.

    Youngs used to own the Wickwood on Flaxman Road but didn’t know how to make money out of it as a tied pub so they sold it to become residential.

    And when it comes to St George, it’s patently clear that anything they do will fall into the same vacuous bland soulless hole alongside major pubco’s and breweries, inspite of Camberwell Society doing a fairly brilliant job at making St George begin to think their plans through before submission…

    People underestimate Camberwell Society. Hopefully we can at some point soon all be working together improving our local environment and wellbeing.

    Come to think of it Dagmar. We could just sell the licence to make Camberwell Cask to a Thai company and then import it as the traditional ale supped by the pilgrims on their way to and from Canterbury.

    The YOungs thing brings to mind another Youngs — they of the frozen fish. Did you hear that Youngs Seafoods are shutting a Scottish langoustine processing plant (all done by hand), laying off all the staff (many) and shipping the langoustines to Thailand where people there will process (shell and tail and so on) the Scottich crustacea before shipping them back to — yes. Scotland. An 8 or 12 thousand mile round trip depending on who you read.

    Now all of this makes a lot of sense if you ask me. If only I had 5.5 acres of prime development land or a highly profitable business whose production staff I could lay off (and get the government — i.e. you and me, tax payers, to pick up the bill) “shame but not making enough profit really, so we have to lay people off, rationalise, so to speak, so the Company (and its owners, shareholders and senior board) does not suffer. Our head has to rule our heart when we lay people off”. I’d love to be in that position. So I could Eat My Hat.

  35. Has anyone here tried Meantime beer ( from the micro-brewery in Greenwich? Delicious!

    I wonder what happened to the Camber Well? Is it still there, do you think, or has it been incorporated into the drains? In the Zetter hotel in Clerkenwell they draw their water from their own well. I’ve yet to try it. I did drink water from the Roman spa in Bath (well, from the water source, not directly from the spa); very coppery and tasty.

  36. The Riverside Young’s pub at Vauxhall is ghastly — full of ‘rah rah’ people who think there really good and speak very loudly.

    Being a former Vauxhall resident I went on the first weekend they opened and was not impressed — it was full of punters going ‘rah rah rah arent we rich and smug’ etc, the worst thing though was the prices — high for pub standards and 12.5% ‘optional’ service charge on food. I suppose it will provide good competition for the Fetiman Arms on Fentiman Road but apart from that it seems sad that this is the way the pub business is going.

  37. In the middle of the Camberwell Green playground there is a thing that continually spouts water. I’d like to think it was from the old well but it’s probably just a tap.

  38. They sell Meantime at the excellent Ganapati south Indian restaurant in Holly Grove in Peckham.
    It’s wonderful but at 7.5% abv needs to be handled with care!

  39. Mark — ever thought of getting Shepherd Neame Spitfire in? Haven’t seen it around for a while and I used to love a drop

  40. You’ve hit the nail on the head first time — Adnams Bitter (3.7%) is a fantastic pint. It would be great if you could get it.

  41. Hi Mark

    I’d be very wary of announcing yourself as a non ale drinker in your biz.But i suppose I say the same thing about abuse-lit in the bookshop.

    Beer strength has been creeping up but recently there seems to have been efforts by major beers to offer lower alcohol options ie becks’s Vier Bier [thats german for four, lager drinkers…]

    In this week running up to st Andrews day [patron saint of scots, little englanders] I have to say you should try some of the prestige heavy beers from perthshire or clackmannan like Lia Fail and Rampant Nationalist.

    Best wishes,

    Drew Mishmash

  42. Hi Again

    Harking back to dagmars comment about Guinness —

    Magic is indeed used in the brewing and coopering process in dublin.

    But it’s the Liffey water that makes the slow dark velvet taste so fine.

    Talk to ya…

    Drew Mishmash [is good for you.]

Comments are closed.