Every landslide begins with a single pebble

Change is in the air. Work continues apace on Walworth Road, and the traffic there has approved considerably; not sure how it’s impacted the surrounding streets, however. Big news in Camberwell is that St George have had their plans for the Mary Datchelor school approved (pending legal issues), and a big development at the top of Camberwell Road has had the go-ahead as well (see here for details — look at me, reduced to stealing scraps from the SE5Forum table).

I’ve no doubt this is good news for some people, and perhaps for Camberwell in general — depending on what you want from the area. Speaking from a purely selfish point of view, it could mean trouble; if property prices continue to go up I won’t be able to buy here, and if they have a knock-on effect on rents, I may not be able to rent here either. I could be writing the WoolwichOnline Blog soon.

While I am still here, I notice that work is taking place on the exterior of Cube, the seldom-open club and trouble-magnet. They’re getting rid of the deep red exterior; fingers crossed they’ll open the place up a bit and let some light in, too. It could be a nice little venue on that corner. I remember when it used to be a Greek restaurant, with a club downstairs that was one of the few after-hours drinking venues in the area. I went there a few times, always the worse for wear.

The Chinese takeaway on Vestry Road has been renamed Chop Chop. That cheered me up a bit.

Author: Peter

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

35 thoughts on “Every landslide begins with a single pebble”

  1. Believe it or not I can empathise with your plight re houseprices. We have an expanding brood so our ‘cottage in the village’ (1980’s two bed house) may be short lived but anything bigger locally is usually a period property and consequently extremely expensive.

    The plan is to hang on in the village for as long as possible then move to North Camberwell or Queens Road Peckham. Or maybe Woolwich…

    Chop chop is the term that the BBC whistleblower exposed as Foxtons-speak for forging signatures on internal documents. Small world.

  2. I saw that programme and have to say that if any company wants to forge documents purely for internal purposes, that is entirely their on business. It is very strange to say the least but not newsworthy. I am sure they are very good at what they do, that said.

    I reckon that a good place to buy is the Peckham end of Grove Park. Have you seen how many houses are derilict round there? This won’t last long and soon it will be a very nice area. Get in quick!

  3. What about you? Your last posts said that you live in Clapham Old Town.. take your own advice perhaps…

  4. I am currently waiting to complete on a property in exactly that area. I am taking the “Alan Dale” approach to property investment but talking it up on this site.

    You are pro Camberwell, I am street specific!

  5. Sorry, I am terrible typist. It should read:

    I am currently waiting to complete on a property in exactly that area. I am taking the “Alan Dale” approach to property investment by talking it up on this site.

    You are pro Camberwell, I am street specific!

  6. Congratulations.

    My own price inflating behaviour has now extended to the East Dulwich Forum.

    I am now even less area specific then I was previously. I think that by talking up the surrounding areas and regularly mentioning Camberwell I can create further houseprice inflation throughout the region.

    I also have been driven there by all this talk of cycle shops and punctures and stuff… It’s not that it’s boring rather that I have nothing to contribute…

  7. Unless you are downsizing or own a few properties, rising values are useless. I was quite happy to realize that I have a made around 50% in 2 years until I tried to move. If you’re upwardly mobile then you want a house price crash (so long as you don’t lose your job)

  8. Anyone bought a decent pump recently? I got a double barrelled footpump with pressure gauge from Halfords. £15.

  9. I have bought a pump but it was not recently so that will have to be another story for another time.

    How do people in East Dulwich react to your pro Camberwell attitude? Are they competitve?

  10. Surprisingly positive about Camberwell if perhaps a little indifferent and also slightly superior.

    Check out their site. There is a thread entitled what our neighbours in SE5 think of us…

    I think that you’d fit in on their site. They hate tramps and crackheads and use more inflammatory language than that which earnt you your reputation as an extremist…

  11. Peter — I sincerely hope that you will be able to remain in Camberwell — I still don’t know how I managed to buy my own place and then refurbish it…Hardest task I’ve ever embarked upon that was and I’ve still got the scars to prove it too!!!

    Anyway…like you say I hope that Cube becomes something a little more accessible…maybe replacing that aggressive and harsh red exterior paint with something like a fushia pink or turquoise will help improve the mood phyche of everyone who passes it (heh,heh,heh)

    …after all we’re still closer to beasts than we like to think (yes, even us on the camberwellblog!) and if a lick of paint helps to prevent some skullduggery every month around the time of the full moon…then all is well and good…

  12. There’s a film on at the Barbican from 27th April called “This is England” directed by Shane Meadows in 2006, set amongst the skinheads of Grimbsy.

  13. @ dagmar. Amazing! I’ve been waiting to see this film for months. very exciting stuff.

    The barbican’s a strange area of London. it’s just a mind bending labyrinth as far as I can tell.

  14. Barbican is a really strange complex — it’s obvious that those who live there are wealthy, it’s well maintained and even pretty in a wierd kind of way. BUT, it has absolutely no soul at all and even the ducks that inhabit the lake there look as though they’ve been forcibly set afloat and had their wings clipped so that they cannot get away.

  15. Do you realise the ‘greek’ restaurant opposite the ‘Vinyard’, that was called ‘Lemon Grove’ (I think) — i.e. Cube now, was owned and run by Kemal, he who owns and runs Flying Fish now?

    Barbican’s a 60’s planners’ dream that didn’t quite go quite as wrong as it might have if it had been somehwere less central and cerebral.

  16. I bet it would not be successful if it had been built and maintained by Lambeth or Southwark… Its successful because the Corporation of London is the richest local authority in the country (maybe the world — with all the wealth of the city of London)and so is able to invest lots of money in its public buildings and housing.

  17. I rode to the Barbican on Sunday as I was determined to know what borders it. I know the rough geography and know how most places here connect but it has no connection with its surroundings. St Paul’s to the South, Smithfield market to the West. What North? What East?
    I can see it both from my work and my home windows but it seems lost in time and space.
    How do you walk there from Moorgate? Old St?

    On another note — what’s this with the junkies,oh ye, thee I have vorher gelesen? Is that on Camberwell Grove?

  18. I think you may find that Woolwich is not the bargain you think it is anymore. The DLR is due to open there anytime soon, and any real bargains were snapped up there long ago I’m afraid.

  19. Interesting you say the Barbican seems lost in time and space, Bukowski333. Every time I cycle in the City of London I lose my way because the street pattern is so old. Maybe a time influence also comes into play, and I become lost in that plane, too. I am still studying Heidegger’s “Being and Time”. I have read that “the book was left unfinished”. Thus it is that I further lose my way.

  20. Aland Dale — were you wearing light grey trousers and jacket and dark glasses yesterday?

    This isn’t a trick/joke question, I just read your description of yourself somewhere on here recently, and then saw someone yesterday that might have matched.

  21. @Mumu — The Barbican is not just another housing estate, by the way — it was built by The Corporation of London for owner-occupation and some of the flats sell for in excess of £1.5m — they’re huge, Frasier-like apartments. It’s no accident that the development didn’t go the same way as, say, the Heygate. The people who live there are there because they want to, can sell up and move when they don’t, have fewer social problems (unless you count poodle poo, cocaine usage, perhaps the odd alcoholic!). I’m straying into the stereotype, aren’t I? I’ll just shut up.

  22. Went in Chop Chop takeway the other night — the food has gone down hill considerably since it changed owners… not recommended any more. Beef & Ginger tasted like it had Fairy liquid in it.…

  23. I used to work in the Barbican as an usher … fantastic job at £1.84 an hour … I got sacked for falling asleep on a sofa while allegedly revising for my resit of “statistics for social scientists” (which I failed — but then again so did everyone else … )

    Co-incidentally I went back there to look at the Alvaar Aalto exhibition yesterday, and it hasn’t changed a bit since I worked there except what little soul it once had has seeped away. It was as dead as a dodo — one of the exhibits in the exhibition referenced the Pompidou centre and I found myself musing on the contrast; The Pompidou centre is throbbing, eclectic and vibrant … the Barbican centre, er, isn’t …
    I was quite excited as a v old friend of mine has finally found a boyfriend after years of being single and bending my ear about it. He lives in the Barbican so I thought I’d give her a ring and we could pop up and meet him … the phone rang, was answered, and my friend asked her b/f if we could pop up and I heard this grumpy voice go: “we’re eating our tea” Today she’s emailed me and apologies and asked if we want to set a date to meet him, but points out that:

    “you might find his politics a bit astounding!!! I expect a rather interesting political debate — he’s also very naughty and likes baiting left wingers with green political views…”

    So, at least one Barbican resident is a grumpy right-wing git …

  24. ‘Ello. This is my first post — been lurking around camberwellonline for a while since moving to the area in October so i hope you dont mine my butting in. I’ve just bought a flat off the burgess park end of Camberwell Rd (very near Edwards in fact). Penthouse of a big ol’ Council block (not destined for demolition i believe) and i was wondering if this technically counts as Camberwell or is it ‘Walworth’ or is ‘Burgess Park’ an area? Perhaps it’s the first rumblings of a utopian Walworthian / Burgessque high-rise community a la Barbican (but not grumpy right-wing git style of course)? or does that already exist — any insider, local knowledge much appreciated…

  25. Pompidou Centre ought to be a bit ocf inspiration for what could happen in the middle of Camberwell if we set up a Development Trust to take on the regeneration of the town centre…

    What? eh?

  26. Yes, I’m not surprised that Barbican flats sell at £1M+…
    From your car straight to the lift at the parking up to your flat…

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