Getting out a bit more

A brief sojourn to Cube hairdressers today, for my biannual cut. On the way I noticed that the Church Street Hotel/Angels & Gypsies is coming along very well; the grey and white exterior and gold leaf lettering is classy. Hope the inside matches.

On the way back I noticed that it looks as if The Bickleigh on Vestry Road is up for demolition; a notice on the door seems to indicate so, although most of it has been torn off so you can’t read it all. Whether it’s only the interior or the whole building, I’ve no idea.

South London’s worst drivers are in Camberwell, Peckham and Catford, says a new report. So we have no tube, packed buses, and terrible roads; but there’s no need for investment here, apparently.

Betty the chihuahua has been stolen — and not even Paul O’Grady can help! There are a number of what seem like ‘Lost Dog’ posters up around here at the moment, but rather than being about lost dogs, they are advice on putting up ‘Lost Dog’ posters.

The former Wordsworth Books units in Butterfly Walk are still empty. My congratulations to the landlord.

Author: Peter

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

27 thoughts on “Getting out a bit more”

  1. Wordsworth Books was a capitalist enterprise.

    Amazon.com is a capitalist enterprise.

    Amazon.com undercut its rival capitalist enterprise.

    Wordsworth Books went bust.

    Why should I care about a capitalist enterprise going bust?

  2. Because it doesn’t ever look likely there will be an anarchist, communist or socialist replacement, because the staff there cared about the community they operated in, and because books make people smarter.

  3. Er. LH. Worsdworth vs Amazon.

    Peter has a very good point. That aside there was the small issue of the (offshore) capitalist enterprise that owns Butterfly Walk doubling rent and service charges due to the marvellous refurbishment we all love and admire, and to their desire for ‘cevenant’ — where large plc’s take over the units on long secure rent income leases and increase the value of the Freehold — so it can be sold on more easily to another arms length property speculator.

    When units are shut the general land value increases so there’s little issue with the Freeholder just sitting on empty space waiting for the right covenant to come along some time — and pay an even higher rent then because the land value has gone up while it was supposedly being marketed.

  4. How was you hair cut from there. I have stopped using it since the south american lady left (quite a while ago), the rest are pretty ropey I reckon. I go in town now, to a Mr Toppers type place near Cambridge Circus.

    A friend of mine works for the TfL, and she said she saw a presentation about the Bakerloo line being extended to Camberwell and beyond but it will be after Crossrail, and that is 2016 (if it ever happens), so think 2020 with a good chance of it never happening. Not sure how that works with the tram proposal…

    Yes, Angels and Gypsies looks cool. I really hope it has a great bar, as well as a great restaurant.

  5. Wordsworth books — But it all comes down to money. Most of the people in this area don’t have that much money, so if they are going to buy books they are going to buy them from Amazon, where books are cheaper. They are not going to pay over the odds to a bookstore just because the people who work in the store are nice. That’s cloud-cuckooland-thinking.

    Why not go to Alberto’s for your haircuts?

  6. Alberto’s is at No 6 (I think) Camberwell Green, directly opposite The Green itself. Alberto is a character and a half. He’s Italian by origin, but has lived in Britain most of his life. He’s been cutting hair in Camberwell since the late 50’s.
    If you like reclining backwards into a nice moulded sink to have your hair washed, forget it! In Alberto’s you have to lean forwards!

  7. and holds your head under the water no doubt…Alberto sounds like he hasn’t quite managed to forget his Mafia past, and still suffers from flashbacks whilst in charge of a cut throat razor, scissors and a sink full of water. Alberto ‘the hairdresser’, sounds like an assasin to me.

  8. @ Wordsworth: commercial rents in Southwark are artificially high for two main reasons:

    1. Local government encouraging speculation by regularly granting commercial to residential conversions, no questions asked.

    2. Central government ignores empty commercial properties, which should have a value of ZERO when contributing to the average values for an area and setting business rates.

    Obviously, this completely distorts the market. This, you will note, does not prevent local councillors from pronouncing that “the market should decide”.…

  9. @ St Giles
    Very good!
    He only charges £9 for a haircut though, so you should give it a go.
    Also, how come you’ve never noticed the shop? Have you got a long fringe or summat?

  10. I go to Alberto hes great should check him out, the african hairdresser next to the Afican takeout on church street does good hair, If your white dont be scared they do all colours.
    Miss the bookshop.
    The Hotel is looking really cool, looks so different to everything else in Camberwell, love the signage. What food and when are they opening?

  11. I’d agree about Wordsworth v Amazon if it were just the peoples choice, but as has been pointed out — and by the owners themselves — they could still have managed — just about — had it not been for a bungling landlord who kept works going on for a year more than promised and increased the rents at the same time.

    As for Cube, I rate them very highly; certainly a 1,000 times better than the one and only time I went to a Mr Toppers type establishment, whose hairdressers get a weeks intensive training; I’d rather pay a tenner extra for someone who’s studied properly.

  12. On a totally unrelated subject, has anyone ever used the services of George the Tailor at the top of the Walworth Road? I’m getting him to make me a suit. Very reasonable price on the face of it.

  13. @Shadsy

    I had a suit made by George a few years ago, and have no regrets — dark blue with very thin electric blue stripes (my choice). It is regularly wheeled out for weddings.

    The stitching quality, weight, made-to-measure fitting, choice of fabric combinations, and talks with George during fittings all contributed to the experience. It makes you realise that the majority of your clothes don’t actually fit!

    Interesting that there are people paying the same price or more for off-the-peg major label suits made of artificial fabrics, but they may not know about this South London gem.

  14. I love Cube hairdressers — why bother going clubbing when you can go there? Prices are reasonable as well, though I wish they’d display them out the front. Angels & Gypsies/Church Street Hotel is looking very promising — am pleased by “cerveceria” on the signage, as I suspect this may be Spanish for “we sell a lot of beer”. Also on a food-related note, I tried Rumeli (next to A&G) for fish & chips last night as the Flying Fish was closed — not bad at all, good crispy chips, fish a bit disappointng as it had been sitting there for a while and the batter had gone chewy, but would definitely try it again.

  15. It’s very easy to miss.It’s on the Walworth Road (right hand side as you’re heading up towards Elephant) North of East St but South of the Southwark Council buildings. Just a very small, half shop front with a suited mannequin in the window. He’s been there since the 60s and is very patient and helpful. He charges a basic £550 and then you can pay extra for any details you want to add — fancy linings, waistcoat etc. I’ve been measured and am due for a fitting this week. I’ll try to remember to post with my feelings about the final result.

  16. Any chance of tempting TLON Books of Elephant and Castle to take the Wordsworth Vacancy when the shopping centre gets demolished?

  17. I have a Nigerian friend called Olu and I’m always ribbing him by saying that Nigerians are appalling drivers — He says to me “Mr Victor you are a nice man but sometimes you talk a lot of bullshit” — He may have a point…but I still think that a lot of Nigerians can’t drive…I hope nobody accuses me of any nastiness, my comments are merely a light hearted observation…

  18. Cube hairdressers are great! I’ve been going there since I got my long, long hair cut supershort about 12 yrs ago. My locks have been entrusted to Darren for several years now, who has been most accommodating. he knows when to chat and when to stay schtum. he has indulged me in incorporating as much of a fringe as my curliness will allow. he appreciates the fact that I will have no truck with straightening my hair on a daily basis [tho he did do a lovely job blowdrying it straight once. he has also forgiven me my DIY colouring and sorted out overbleaching due to a difficulty with the instructions on a japanese product. currently I am sporting some beautiful high- and lowlights, courtesy of him. top man

  19. Had many a suit from George the Tailor. Pure Gent, from the old skool, with many a story and boy, can he cut a suit!

  20. I miss Worsdworth badly, lovely fella Eugene.

    Onto new(ish) books.

    I found a little cracker recently.

    Namely The Mumper, from where I have nicked my screen name

    It’s a great little book by Camberwell lad Mark Baxter and well known author Paolo Hewitt.I picked up my copy at the bookshop Crockatt and Powell on Lower Marsh. The book is really funny and also sad in parts, it’s starts life in The Flying Dutchman pub on Southampton Way and involves a group of local fellas buying a horse.

    Highly recommended, terrific story and nice to see someone from the ‘Well getting a book published

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