Feature in the Evening Standard

Journalist Alex Kasriel is looking for Camberwell homeowners to provide a few words about the area for a forthcoming homes and property guide in the Evening Standard. I don’t qualify as I’m just a tenant, unfortunately. If you’d like to speak to Alex and give ES readers the skinny on SE5, leave a comment here and I’ll put you in touch.

Light bloggage this week, but I’m sure you’ve all got better things to do anyway.

Author: Peter

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

73 thoughts on “Feature in the Evening Standard”

  1. I own a property but have no real inclination to talk to the Evening Standard property guide. I think you need to put him in touch with Alan Dale who you’ve banned from this site because of his gambling addiction or something but who likes discussing Camberwell house prices and is a big fan of Foxtons.

    Merry Christmas and a happy new year.

  2. We are architects and developers in SE5 with a bigon on at Dog Kennel Hill — architect designed throughout — see ‘DKH’ bespoke homes.com
    Evening Standard can cntact our office if of any interest-
    John smart — 0207 740 6000

  3. *sigh* For the last time… nobody has ever been banned from here. His posts were stopped by an automatic spam filter because of the affiliation with a gambling website. I’ve offered ways to get round this, but haven’t been taken up on them.

  4. I wonder whether either Lambeth (1/5th Camberwell) or Southwark (4/5ths Camberwell) are going to make the connection between the steady disappearance of shared community space, including pubs, and the increase in street drink-and-drug abuse in our area?

    In case no-one was aware of this, shared community space in SE5 including retail/leisure has more than halved since 1996 according to Southwark statistics.

  5. Same boat as William and Joe…

    I can’t wait to read about SE5 in Homes and Property — does anyone know the date of the issue at all?

  6. Looking at the Standard website it seems that Homes and Property comes out every Wednesday — its also available on http://www.thisislondon.co.uk if you would prefer not to buy the newspaper (but I think the site might require registration to access the content).

    Whats the reckoning that the article will describe the area as an ‘undiscovered gem’ or similar and remark on the fact that civilisation does exist in se postcodes and in fact Camberwell is actually quite near central London and really quite nice with a variety of ‘interesting shops’ and use phrases such as snap up the property bargains now, its the new clapham/ Dulwich/other, etc etc. Maybe we could have a competition on this website to predict the description!

  7. aaarrgghh!! can we not just tell him what a grotty lurk hole it is for fear of being bijou pigeon holed by the standard? Just think… Foxtons/Starbucks/Oliver Bonas might think about opening up round here and then bang goes the neighbourhood!


  8. I agree with Other Rich; I hope they mention the drop-in centre, the public toilet on the Green, the Foyer Homeless Centre, the psychiatric hospital and Rock Steady Eddie’s Cafe all in the first paragraph. Otherwise people from Clapham might start moving here en masse.

    Peter, is the machine hosting the site a HAL 9000? Now I’m no Sherlock Holmes but this could explain Alan’s disappearance from the blog.

  9. I don’t get it…? I don’t think I’ll EVER get it…

    Surely we WANT a good, positive and optimistic review of Camberwell in the ES? Don’t we want a bit of attention and interest for a change, instead of neglect?

    ?? Confused ??

  10. …Or have I completely missed the joke..? I have haven’t I?

    Shouldn’t have had that third glass of wine @ the pub next door to the office…I thought the screen looked a bit blurry…


    Merry Christmas though…

  11. I too am a little bit surprised by the generally hostile reaction. While I loathe the ES with a passion (Daily Mail-owned) and the Homes and Property section in particular with its hideous Foxtons-esque tone, it’s a bit short-sighted to think that change can happen in Camberwell, without, well, change. I think the fact that the ES is wanting to write an article on Camberwell is a good thing.

  12. The toilet on the Green will be cleaned by Jan 5th, apparently — see below…
    From: Environmental Customer Services [mailto:Environment@southwark.gov.uk]
    Sent: 19 December 2006 19:16
    Subject: RE: Camberwell Green toilet

    I have logged your request and it will be done by 05/01/07 and your ref: 1296085

    Thank You

    Environmental Contact Centre
    Southwark Council
    Sent: Fri 15/12/2006 17:38
    To: Environmental Customer Services
    Subject: Camberwell Green toilet
    Dear Southwark Council,

    The public toilet facility on the corner of Camberwell Road and Camberwell Church St, just inside the Green, is appalling. For several days now the door has been jammed open displaying faecal matter sprayed all over the interior. This is a public health hazard and quite frankly an obnoxious thing to have to walk past every day.

    Please can it be cleaned up?

  13. Well, I don’t wanna sound like a stick in the mud commie or something but I actually LIKE Camberwell as it is.

    Or I could migrate around London in perpetuity for the next 40 years chasing the property pound, moving from the place I live in that is there and arrived to somewhere that is up and coming, going on at dinner parties about how much I made selling my old property and how much potential the new area I live in has. Eventually I’ll retire in Marbella.

    *Yawn, scratches head then falls asleep, snore*

  14. I like many things about Camberwell as it is right now, but I would also argue that there is definite room for improvement, particularly in the area where I live, the Southampton Way Camberwell/Peckham borders, which has its share of derelict buildings, crime and street disorder.

    I would hope that the ES coverage would encourage property development and that investment in the neglected areas would result, benefiting the residents there.

    I also think that it’s a shame we never hear Camberwell’s praises sung or even any kind of mention of it in the popular press, it IS a great place to live in many ways and SHOULD get more attention. I think that people are put off by the poor transport links, but they would improve with enough interest too.

  15. This is an ongoing debate, but what from all I’ve read I think this is what everyone more or less agrees on:

    Camberwell is overlooked by Southwark Council. Traders are being driven out and housing is replacing them, but transport and schools are not being invested in to match the population growth.

    There are more issues than this, obviously, but I think that’s distilled the essence of the debate.

  16. I have an incination to want to contribute to the article but don’t, quite frankly, know where to start.

    Wnet out last night, social — av very rarre occurrence for me — started in Dark Horse then Funky Munky and finally Castle. Will not be doing that again for a while even cisrcumstances allowing.

  17. They can contact me. Although my flatmate just got mugged for the second time and I spent two days shitting and vomiting after eating oysters and mussels in the Castle. I don’t think I will bring that up in interview.

  18. Camberwell is an excellent place to live — It’s like a representation of the whole of London in microcosm — Georgian,Victorian,Edwardian,Art Deco remants of the Socialist Era everywhere and of course some of the very worse examples of 60’s Social Housing Architecture — I think there is a greater diversity of people here than possibly anywhere else in London if not the entire country, which I enjoy but there are many who may find this difficult — There is only one problem Southwark Council seems to have a great apathy towards Camberwell prefering to concentrate on regenerating Elephant & Castle and Peckham and leaving Camberwell in many instances to unsuitable free-market forces. They seem happy to approve an endless number of 24 hour off licenses without thought. What we need is the Bakerloo Line extended from Elephant to Camberwell Green because the much trumpeted proposed Cross River Tram doesn’t even have courtesy to pass through the Green! — Rumour has it that tunnelling started in the 1930’s and that they got half way up Walworth Road but the project was abandoned due to WW2 — There were even map’s printed at the time indicating the extension as “under construction” with stations at Walworth and Camberwell Green — Please mention this in your report!!!

  19. They can contact me to talk about Camberwell if they like. I am surprised at the negative responses from some contributors. One of the most common complaints on this forum is that Camberwell has such a low profile and that the little news that there is tends to the negative. This is an ideal opportunity for contributors to speak up for the area that they clearly love on a widely read platform. I understand the desire to avoid Camberwell turning into East Dulwich or Clapham and don’t have a solution, but closing ranks and trying to shoo away anyone trying to invest or show an interest in the area can only be counterproductive.

  20. Peter’s put it succinctly. I would add that Southwark has a great opportunity in a rising housing market to demand far higher standards from residential developers, including zero car, better-insulated, energy-generating, waste-water-recycling, and better architecture. Someone will build, even if all of these demands are insisted on, because it will still be worth their while.

    After the Botes Building/National Builders Merchants scandal it is becoming apparent that Southwark’s problem is not corruption; it is simply too soft and naive to deal with professional consultants and developers in a hard-nosed negotiating position. Its departments, also, are too fragmented, with parking and planning alternately preaching the gospel of small shops and implementing policies which make it impossible for them to survive.

    Obviously the ES angle will be on house price opportunities. As far as investment is concerned, be assured that if Camberwell got its fair share of Southwark’s Capital Fund, the increase would dwarf any imaginable “investment” contribution from the shoddy new builds. I believe the ghettoisation of SE5 will accelerate with a flood of ES reader-investors, without a serious policy rethink from Southwark.

  21. I dont mind you forwarding my details — we moved to the area six months ago as first time buyers (although I have history having lived in Canning Cross a few years ago) and are happily living near Myatts Fields. And for all my cynicism about the property supplements’ descriptions and motives I want to see this area develop and grow.

  22. I just wish there was a Starbucks in Camberwell. Or ANYWHERE that sold decent coffee and cakes — and don’t tell me Tadim’s, please don’t tell me Tadim’s. I keep having to drive to Dog Kennel Hill Sainsbury’s and that can’t be good for the planet.

    Have owned a house in Camberwell near the Town Hall for 12 years and love it here. I don’t care what its worth — its my home and that’s that.

    To me, Camberwell represents “urban grittiness”. As opposed to urban yuppiness, which is probably what Clapham has. I like living in a place that has a soul, and a mixture of social and ethnic groups. It keeps me real.

    I have to go into work in Canary Wharf twice a week and I hate it. Soulless, almost totally “white” and full of “city” types. Like Richmond and those areas. Still, it could be worse — they could live in Camberwell amongst us .……

  23. On the evening standard point, I own a property in SE5 and feel we all ought to give our help. Do we or do we want create positive factors about Camberwell? Several comments left here are so disappointing of some people.
    I recently started reading this blog and found many contradictions in what the group think and acts as a group, (for those who just have time to be negative)..
    If we want something REALLY to happen in Camberwell we go and get it…otherwise let’s all go in our living room and read our favourite book and leave the rest to those who really care about Camberwell becoming as a whole a great people to live. Not even the taxis want to take us home as they are afraid of Camberwell..Have I made a point now???

  24. Hi SP, and welcome. I think everyone wants to see Camberwell improve, but of course there are differing viewpoints as to how that improvement could happen. It’s my opinion that ignoring the press (even the Standard, which is not a friend to the less well-off areas, IMHO) isn’t a good way to go about it, but of course I accept that some people feel differently. There’s definitely no group voice, however — for which I’m thankful.

    BTW, in six years (on and off) living here, I’ve only ever had one cab refuse to bring me here — and that’s because it was a busy night in central London and he didn’t want to lose the chance of picking up a fare on the way back.

  25. I’ve never had a cab not want to bring me to Camberwell either. In 12 years. Not that I wish to tempt fate, of course.……

  26. sg:

    Decent Cakes? The Portugese deli up the road from the Sun and Doves do excellent cakes. And chorizo. Not tried the coffee but my spidey sense tells me it might be alright.

  27. Boy oh boy — what a plethora of remarks about an up-coming feature in the Evening Standard!
    @SP — I suspect that even if the Standard does a wholly positive piece on the merits of Camberwell, this is likely to have little effect on the average cab-driver’s willingness to drive you home. I’m welling up, I really am!
    Camberwell has an authenticity about it, which I don’t think Clapham shares. It has a smallish transient population that is dwarfed by those who come here and stay for much longer. It is already quite expensive to buy in SE5, but not as expensive as Clapham/Dulwich etc, which means that not as many of the old ladies sell up and move to Mitcham. That gives it some of its authenticity.

  28. I’ve never had trouble coming home to Camberwell in a cab – though when I tried to get a black cab to take me to a friend’s house in Nunhead from central London I was refused by about 4 black cabbies.

    I think as proud Camberwellians we want pretty much the same things: more investment from Southwark Council and higher standards for schools, housing etc as Peter outlined above.

    What we don’t want is another Nappy Valley Clarrm with a high street full of estate agents and City Mum shops – you know the type that clutter Lordship Lane and Abbeville Road (Clapham) and sell baby clothes, toys, smelly soaps and pointless gifts.

    In order to do this we need to support our local small businesses and support those who are campaigning on our behalf with SE5 Forum and other lobbying groups to ensure the right sort of investment takes place. It would be wonderful if businesses such as fishmongers, cheesemongers, excellent butchers (similar to the ones in Nunhead and E Dulwich) and independent cafes selling really good coffee opened up in Camberwell. I would certainly support them – can you tell that I’m hungry and need to eat some lunch!
    Happy New Year all!

  29. We’ve already got a “City Mum” shop called something like Odie and Amanda’s. It’s on Grove Lane near The George Canning and Budda Jazz.

    I think they make a welcome addition to the area but that’s because her indoors is a “City Mum” so I am regularly dragged along Lordship Lane in search of similar.

  30. Alan Dale – I like Odie and Amanda as I think the couple that own it and another shop of the same name in the Oxo Tower sell things which are not trinkety and useless, ie they have a good range of female clothes, accessories and jewellery – many men would beg to differ, I’m sure!

    I guess it’s a fine line, in my opinion but, in any case, these shop wouldn’t exist if there wasn’t the clientiele to keep them profitable. Sometimes, though, there are some of these gift shops around which are keep afloat by fat City bonuses rather than profitability.

  31. There is a lot of negative talk of City bonuses at the moment.

    I think it is important to note that 40% of a each individual’s bonus is deducted in tax.

    That’s a lot of tax revenue for schools, health and Surestart schemes.

  32. Keep us out of Homes and Property I say-there’s too many 4 by 4.s in this little street of mine already.

  33. Alan — ignoring the fact that the recipients of huge city bonuses can employ the best accountants who exploit tax loopholes and avoid paying it, that means the other 60% is spent on BMW X5s, Louis Vuitton and cocaine. I realise that in a free market there is a place for parasitic hedge fund managers, etc. Good luck to them I suppose, but I won’t start praising them just yet for their (entirely involuntary) contribution towards schools and healthcare.

  34. Butterball — your comments about tax avoidancce and financial waste seem intentionally stereotypical and are in reality a long way from the truth.

    The problem is that City bonuses are reported irresponsibly and anyone who receives a bonus and works in town is made to feel guilty.

    A person on £60k p.a. working in Newcastle isn’t singled out whereas one on £40k +£20k discretionary bonus in London is.

    Whilst there may be a debate about offshore status of British company executives and current tax avoidance schemes, any complaints are undermined by the indiscriminate assault on ‘City Bonuses’.

  35. Yes, all affluent people are ignorant, coke-snorting parasites, why would we want their kind around here when we can have all the drunks and gun-toting maniacs instead??

  36. Lulu — just on the subject of luxury clothing items at Oxo, I believe these couture shops usually have a very wide social range of clients, some of whom spend more than a month’s wages on a single piece.

    Conversely, there are many city bonusees (for want of a better word) who won’t spend more than £150 on a suit on principle, whilst they don’t even look at the receipt for their first class full cabin ticket to Vancouver (“Hello global warming World!”, to paraphrase Alan Whicker).

    The above is not necessarily a criticism of bonusees, just to say it’s more about clients’ value systems than affordability for these niche outlets.

    PS to frame this debate, I tend to assume that when we are critiquing city bonusees we are dealing with the £six figure plus variety, whether we approve or not…

  37. I think the operative word here was HUGE city bonuses and not as you call it, Alan, ‘a discretionary £20K bonus’. If that’s what you got last year, then I am sure you worked hard for it and deserved the extra money. I think what people get riled about is City workers who are on six-figure base salary who are then awarded £3 million bonuses. It’s just ostentatious and unnecessary.

  38. That’s not what I got last year Lulu. I am a professional gambler.

    Even in your example of £100k plus £3million bonus I can’t pass judgement without knowing what the ‘bonusee’ did and I don’t think anyone else should either.

    It is my opinion that private institutions wouldn’t willfully overpay their employees if there were a cheaper alternative.

  39. I totally agree, Regeneguru. The value of a commodity is relative to what you think it is worth. I wouldn’t think twice about spending £400 on a flight somewhere warm and exotic, whereas I would struggle to part with the same amount for a pair of designer boots.

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