Guns, Jesus, pizza, beer

Around 1,000 people marched through Camberwell from Peckham to Brixton as a protest against the recent spate of gun crimes in the area. Organised by local churches, the move wasn’t met with 100% approval:

“Jesus ain’t coming to Peckham,” said one [onlooker], who runs a community project for single mothers. “The churches all down Peckham Road are businesses, filling their coffers with black people’s money, the minister’s BMW parked outside. They’re using gun crime for a recruitment drive.” Her friend, another community worker, chimed in: “Why don’t the churches open their doors to young men, teach them skills, keep them out of prison, take our young girls to the STD clinics, instead of shoving Jesus down their throats?”

Fairly pertinent points, I think.

On a lighter — and completely unrelated — note, following recommendations in previous comments, I tried pizza from Firezza this week. Very nice, but could have been hotter. Still, the best delivery pizza I’ve tried yet.

The new Grove has opened, and first impressions are not positive from some readers. I’ll give it a try this week, and deliver the official Camberwell opinion. Ha ha.

Author: Peter

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

65 thoughts on “Guns, Jesus, pizza, beer”

  1. The march came past Sun and Doves — lot of people.

    Peter, call Firezza and tell them it wasn’t hot enough. Funny, I forgot that about the two pizza’s I’ve had from them. I didn’t tell them. I should have.

  2. A, href, man. When you said the peace march was going past the Doves, that was ambiguous in an interesting way. There are two types of peace match it could’ve been and it wasn’t clear which: anti-Iraq-war, or anti-gun-crime.

    I first thought, great, anti-gun crime. When Jamail Newton was shot there were some really interesting interchanges about this on this, Pete’s site, and a lot of enthusiasm — A LOT — for a peace march.

    Today there was an anti-Iraq-war march in central London.

    My question is, if there’s gun-shootin’ from the country against the Iraq folks, does it kinda sanction the gun-shootin’ here or say gun-shootin’ is OK?

    France has more problems than us, but is there gun-shootin and stabbing? Serious question.

  3. Why buy a take away pizza anyway?
    what a scam — a few pence worth of flour & water
    with filthy salty toppings.Why not make your own?
    cut a Sophocles pide in two horizontally as a base if you are lazy. Paul’s Olive Shop and Cruson have real mozzeralla, real vegetables and other toppings — not shite chicken tonite/dolmio stuff from Summerfield. Only a few minutes to make a cheap & healthy meal.

  4. Because its convenient.

    And not everyone in Camberwell is so obsessed with money (either saving it or making it) as many people on this blog seem to be!

    Must try Firenze, wasn’t sure if they delivered to Camberwell. I live near Brunswick Park, will they deliver to that area?

  5. sg
    I don’t think that wanting to eat good food, and avoiding being ripped off for crap, constitutes
    a money obsession — perhaps a food obsession & what’s wrong with that?

  6. I went to the Grove over the weekend and was dissapointed. They need to turn the lights down a bit. Has anyone ever visited an “Ember Inn”? It reminded me of them and was equally bad.

    sg — Do you really have no feelings about money whatsoever? You must be loaded…

  7. Money’s just not important to me. And I’m not loaded.

    I also want to eat good food and not be ripped off. For anything.

    “Not being ripped off” and helping others not to be ripped off is at the heart of why I have run my not-for-profit website on London for the past 10 years.

    But I thought Firezza was decent pizza?

  8. Firezza is decent pizza; could be hotter, though. And yes, making a pizza would be better, but in the real world it’s easier to order a pizza when you only have one hour before you have to go out; otherwise most of that hour would be taken up by walking to and from the shops.

  9. I think the new people at the grove must be reading here cos it was positively dark when I went in last night (lots of candles everywhere and very nice) and the service was great — lots of checking we were alright (but not oppressively so) and the carve your own chicken was fab (with lashings of gravey) mmmmmm! (and they do do a roast for one if you read the menu!)
    Only real downside was the flashing games machine in the corner — why??? Overall I’ll definitely be back if only for the fact that it’s the only pub in the area where I don’t come out stinking of cigarette smoke!

  10. Good news about the lighting. Looking at the yellow alcove ceiling beforehad was like staring into the sun! Also, the air con made the whole place freezing. Not the most relaxing atmosephere. The fruit machine was completely out of place, I agree.

    I also didn’t like the fact that there was more staff than customers but this could be down to them expcting a first weekend rush. The staff uniforms were tacky as well.

    Did anyone else think it smelt of paint and carpets?

  11. In the interests of research I went to the Grove last night and after the strong smell of paint and carpets thought it was an ok pub. Its obviously had lots and lots of money invested in it and wants to gain market share by taking customers from (nost obviously) the George Canning, Phoenix, Castle and Dark Horse in the local area.

    I wasnt very impressed with the overall setting — as someone else said it looked a bit like a classy wetherspoons. There were also more staff than customers last night. It did make me fear for the Dark Horse’s continued existence as this place seems to have much more money available and was offering gimmicks such as weekend holidays to Dublin as prizes in its pub quiz. After one drink we departed the Grove to go to the Dark Horse which is a much more welcoming and compact venue.

  12. …In the continued interests of research (and to show a Clapham resident the diversity of good pubs available in central Camberwell) we went after the Dark Horse to the Castle and then finally on to the Old Dispensary last night.

    It is interesting to compare prices: in each pub we ordered approximately the same thing: 1 pint of real ale, 1 half of lager and 1 large glass of white wine (generally house).

    The price for our order in each of the four central Camberwell pubs were:
    The Grove £9.60
    Dark Horse £8.75
    Castle £9.20
    Old Dispensary £7.75

    I dont think I will be heading back to the Grove in a hurry

  13. Firezza are based up by Loughborough Junction, and seem to cover a fairly wide area. They’ve just introduced an internet ordering service too — tried it last week and it worked really well, so kudos to them for that — agree it could have been hotter though.

    And for the poster above, Firezza isnt yer normal takeaway pizza, lots of fresh ingredients and much better than a ready made one from the shops (and much easier than making one from scratch).

  14. just paid a visit to the Grove. I think the smell is the most offputting thing- it is like a cheap new car/ikea/varnish thing, perhaps needs some fag butt/vomit character to make it seem real.
    You also notice the deliberate mismatching of furniture — to make it into an instant Castle
    and the rough hewn table tops — unfortantly all brand new and shiny. It obviously has aspirations
    to be a trendy bar so why the contradictory mishmash of design? eclectic it aint..

    There was one customer there this lunchtime
    & about 5 staff, none of whom made any effort to be welcoming or friendly — a far cry from the Dead Horse or Castle.
    It was fun trying to guess which one was the manager of earlier bloggs.
    have you spotted her?


  15. Err yes actually thinking about it may have been Kronenburg rather than a real ale — by that stage of the evening I was perhaps not so aware of what I was ordering than earlier on in the evening.

    The Old Dispensary is always a good choice as it is open to 2 and a good half way point on the journey from central Camberwell to the Myatts Fields area

  16. I for one really like the OD, and it rarely gets a mention here. Friendly, not too expensive and as Lord Henry is so fond of pointing out, has the best mirror-topped toilet surfaces in the world! errr..

    it does get smokey, but then i smoke so who am i to complain. i like it (but there is also the fact it’s damn close to me). Only one closer is teh nag’s head, just past the gala bingo. now THAT’s old skool. A stable door, a daily cast of old men propping up the bar, what seems like 24hr racing coverage on the world’s smallest TV, and dead friendly to boot (and cheese sandwiches handed out one evening i was there. a sure sign of working class quality!)

  17. Bejeez! That article by Janice Turner in TimesOnLine is so many things. It patronises like the best of them and simultaneously “quotes” (not sure if I believe they are quotes, if I’m honest) some of the most ignorant views from onlookers to the march. Now, I’m neither religious, nor a best buddy of Lee Jasper, but telling the churches that organised the March that they should be escorting young women to STD clinics instead of “recruiting” on the backs of the dead really takes the biscuit. And Lee Jasper gets called a plastic black person for turning up!
    Journalists! (and I’m sure that there are some out there reading this!)

  18. They are definitely capitalising on a terrible situation with the aim of getting folks on pews. But better on a pew than pulling a trigger.

    That said I think that article was nonsense and I definitely believe the quote from the ‘fast talking black women’ was made up.

    On the bus last night I overheard a well spoken white gentleman say “I am a journalist for the Times and I make up all of my quotes in order to press my agenda.” Small world eh?

  19. I didn’t know what to think of the article either. I liked some of the points it was making, but it does read rather too cliched. It was shamelessly over-dramatic. How many teenagers have been shot — South London has lost count. Yeah, right. And it winds me up when people exaggerate the ‘danger’ of being out on the streets after dark.

  20. I think we should do a camberwell-online night out. we could do a pub crawl. one drink in each of the following pubs, starting at 6pm.

    joiners arms
    silver buckle
    hermits cave
    dark horse
    the grove
    then a stagger over to the sun and doves for a classy burger and more grog.

    i’d really like to meet the regulars here and get to know folks. me and alan dale could have an arm wrestle while buk333 and foxyal throw poo at each other (in the garden of course Mark).

    i’m serious.

  21. Excellent suggestion Squidder — count me in for a blog-crawl.

    Mrs Dotcom went on the peace march, partly out of interest and came back with an interesting leaflet which sugegsted, among other things, that the British Gvernment was putting crack on the streets of London to deliberately harm the black population … an intersting perspective I thought …

  22. @ dickdotcom…I guess the argument is, that if you’re out of your head on drugs you’re sitting on a sofa watching the telly not throwing bricks through the job centre’s windows cos they’re c*nts etc.

    that’s two votes of encouragement!

    i’ll be in the joiners arms next saturday at 6 wearing my hat and with a beer in hand.

    welcome one, welcome all!


  23. I would love to come and throw poo at Buk333 but I am afraid that I will be busy sacrificing a tramp at the altar of tougher sentences for young offenders. Seriously, I am afraid that I have plans but enjoy the evening.

    Where is the Joiners Arms?

  24. I’d be curious to come along to a meet-up. It would be interesting to put real people to the names on here. But it might shatter a few illusions too! Who else thinks that Dagmar has a beard? I’d be upset if he didn’t.

    I went to the London in Maps exhibition at the British Library on Sunday. It was quite busy and I don’t have the patience for peering over people’s heads, but I did manage to get a look at the few maps on which you could trace the development of Camberwell. I was particularly interested in Peckham Road, since that’s where I live. The road existed in 1747, connecting the villages of Camberwell and Peckham, but the only thing along there was a ‘Brewe House’. By 1851 the Terrace had been built, that is now part of the Council offices, and there was a Work House roughly where the garage and Spar shop are now. Southampton Road was called ‘Rosemary Branch Lane’ and there was some small development along the bottom of it — Camden Chapel, Camden Row, and a few other places named after Camden. A local benefactor perhaps? By 1898 Peckham Road and all the side streets off it existed as we know them now. Rosemary Branch Lane had changed its name to ‘Southampton Street’.

    The exhibition closes this weekend coming, so hurry if you want to see it.

  25. GASP! See — illusions potentially shattered. (Although having a beard doesn’t necessarily mean Dagmar can’t be female — you should see my Auntie Winnie.)

  26. Dagmar also the pub in Eastenders that burned down in the 1980s … there’s a local link in that Mrs Dotcom and I bought our house off someone who was in Eastenders at the time …

  27. what about Lord Henry ?
    Do you think he is really a toff, or merely a common oik with delusions of grandeur?

  28. Lord Henry’s posts are of a lapidary, cut-glass quality, heavy lead glass at that, which rings to the touch.

    I hope a lady may wear a nether beard and it not be broadcast all over the Camberwell wireless!!!

    How many men here boast of their lad’s Brazilian? Lady’s, that should have been, but lad’s is better. This is Camberwell, after all, where such things happen.

    Ineffable things, sometimes. I have just been in the dismal Somerfield — winter ditch, it should be called, not summer field. I was was served on the till by a fabulous black lady maybe in her fifties called Salome, with incredibly, beautifully, finely, braided hair and gold-rimmed glasses, who was so knowing, witty and glowing that I left as though in a 1930s American musical.

    That is quite a gift, to send ’em away singing when you’re just on the checkout, in Somerfield, in Camberwell.

  29. Isn’t Lord Henry really Dagmar’s alter ego? I’m sure that came out a while ago.

    I’m fully in favour of the Sunday plan.

    As enthusiastic as I was about the saturday pub crawl plan, no blog outing would be complete without the man himself; Peter.

  30. @Mel R — I apologise if I’m telling you something you already know, but the Camden name continued until relatively recently. There was a Camden Estate on the corner of Southampton Way and Peckham Rd (& to the rear of the petrol garage) until about 5–6 years ago, its centerpiece being Camden Square. It was 70’s- build & demolished as part of the project to regenerate Peckham. The neighbouring red-brick ex-GLC Sumner Estate was also demolished along with most of the Gloucester Grove estate. North Peckham estate was thinned out and given street access, rather than access via walkways. I confess to not knowing what the Camden name signified — I always assumed it was some twinning arrangement with the borough of Camden and that somewhere in NW!, there is a Southwark Tower or Peckham Close.

  31. I have never doubted that Lord Henry is ever to be seen except in a top hat, shadowing his bulging red nose, thin but determined lips and glassy-eyed insistent stare.

    The Camden-related news is indeed news to me. I am relatively new to the area, so never knew the previous incarnations of the name around the bottom of Southampton Way. There was a Camden Grove, Camden Terrace, Camden Terrace, and many more carrying the name on the 1851 map. I still wonder about a benefactor or local land-owner. Hhmm. More research is required methinks.

    Have we resolved the issue of whether Dagmar carries a beard?

  32. Well as always I’m up for it. I’ll be wearing a wig, a beard, a top hat and wielding a cane. Just so you’ll know me from Dagmar and Lord Henry. Sunday in one location is fine but if it were to be a crawl I’d suggest:
    buddha jazz
    dark horse
    hermits cave
    funky munky
    silver buckle
    joiners arms
    sun and doves

    That’s a gallon and a half of anyone’s money.

  33. By the way there’s the monthly appearance, soon to be bi-weekly, of Brian the pubquizmaster at The Sun and Doves, tomorrow night. 8pm. The Other Wednesdays’ quizzes are much improved after takign count of feedback here. So thanks to all concerned.

  34. Returning to the Camden issue I always assumed it was to do with the Earl of Camden who was Lord Chancellor in the 18th century who I assumed had had an estate in the area when it was still farmland.

    If you look into the names of many of the older areas/roads there is usually an aristocratic link — Lords Knatchbull and Paulet for example give their names to se5 roads

  35. According to the London Encyclopaedia, Camden Church on Peckham Road “was once the only 18th century church in Camberwell, built as a chapel for the followers of Selina, Countess of Huntingdon, the vigorous promoter of Evangelical Rivivalism among the wealthier and more powerful classes. It was enlarged in 1814 and in 1854 Sir George Gilbert Scott built the chancel in the Byzantine style.” We’re not told why the vigorous Selina had a chapel here, or indeed when the chapel dissapeared, or why it was called ‘Camden’.

    I wonder if the ‘Cam’ of Camden is connected to the ‘Cam’ of Camberwell? The Encylclopaedia’s listing for Camberwell notes that “the name ‘Cam’ may have come from an Old Celtic word meaning crooked”, the name Camberwell meaning ‘the well for the crippled or crooked’. Perhaps not, if the Camden Chapel was for the wealthy and powerful. Perhaps the 18th century Chancellor is the namesake afterall.

    Although, I’m far more curious about the vigorous Countess Selina and her followers now!

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