Crime & property — our favourite obsessions

My wife was in the shop on Azenby Road yesterday when an armed youth robbed it at gunpoint. She walked out slowly and fled quickly, so is luckily unharmed other than being nervous. I must say she was remarkably reserved about it; I guess this comes from growing up in Sao Paulo. What’s made her more nervous is that our neighbours upstairs were burgled on Friday; being close to two crimes happening in a short period makes it seem like it’s becoming more dangerous.

On a light aside, I don’t think the guy who robbed it was a genius; that shop has almost nothing in stock, and can’t make much money selling cans of Tennants and newspapers.

I see work has begun on the Mary Datchelor School development; the big machines are in and the demolition process is under way. I wonder what impact this is going to have on the overall development of the area.

The squat centre on Warham Street have released their schedule of forthcoming events, including language and IT lessons, films and dancing, and what sounds like an interesting talk on subterranean Lambeth. If any of that appeals, get there soon; they could be evicted at any moment.

Author: Peter

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

78 thoughts on “Crime & property — our favourite obsessions”

  1. If it is part of the armed youths’ culture to have their brains circumcised then who are we criticise?

    Just because people who think that female multilation is OK have had their skulls trepanned, stirred with a long teaspoon and had their brains hosed out of their noses splashing their own takeaway food cartons, who are we to say that these complete lhoosa’s are less valuable than the knock-knock-who’s-there? aforementioned foreskinless-dick-heads?

    “Welcome to Camberwell” writes something calling itself SE5 in black marker on the pavement near St Giles churchyard where there is a big graffiti saying “SE5” in that Seventies graphics graffiti style copied so robotically by the slaves of street style.

    Well done, SE5, or should I say “There, there.” Advertising your graffiti on the pavements of Camberwell Grove — please go to St Giles churchyard to see my graffiti. How cool is that!

    Now wonder people think Camberwell is edgy!

  2. I can’t tell you what a thrill it is to be an armed robber. For a male of the species it is the ultimate pleasure. Freud-eventually you will be caught by your mummy H.M. the Queen and banged up with — oh, the dream — other men. Playing with your gun!

    Why don’t girls do armed robbery? What do they lack? Exactly. Mind you some dick heads would have girls mutilated and not even let them have what they’ve got. That is how small those men are!

    On a good note I am thrilled to see a Danish man is winning the Tour de France.

    I was on a situationist tour of Coldharbour Lane over to Myatts’s Fields today with my baby, now a strong walker in her way.

    Myatt’s Fields Park is great. The pool and the sandopity are great. A flood of kids came in from Crawford school, all very young, they were fantastic — their teachers make it that way.

    The kids from Goldsmiths school are the same. They are such great kids. They come in Luca Gardens and are brill at this time of year with their intelligent teachers.

    The worst toilet in the whole worls has to be at Heston Services’ petrol bit on the M4 coming home to Lumpdon.

    The one bog is for men, wom,en, babies and nematode worms — the lot. It stinks to hugh heaven.

    It is the worst kept bog in the world.

    You would think that the Sikh-staffed service station would be proud of their site — where Neville Chamberland once landed in 1938 with a piece of paper in his hand from Chancellor ‘itler givin’ peace in our time innit. Heston aerodrome.

    Why do they give us such a poo welcome to London — is it India? Pah! Heston Services take note! This critique will leach into Goggle then your poo empire will be flushed, you stinkers!

    The small shops are a target — near Coldharbour Lane, wherever. They provide a big service locally for people who can’t travel.

    Brixton is run by serious crime, Peckham by boys with no mums, all that. Camberwell is for everyone.

  3. Sorry to hear about Mrs G, that can’t have been pleasant; do keep an eye out, traumatic incidents like this can have a delayed shock.

    I’m from Dunblane originally, so if you’ll pardon me for not rehearsing the middle part of the argument, I think all armed criminals should go to prison for the term of their natural life.

    I popped into Warham Street Community Squat last Friday, and was told by one of the lovely people that they were having a leaving party that night, as they expected to be evicted the next day. Maybe that’s their reason to have a party every Friday!

    Have a good day everyone!


  4. Dagmar sorry to report that Rasmussen’s lies have caught up with him and he’s been booted out the Tour; at least the Danish Cycling management can say they booted him out the national squad first.

    It’s sad really. I really wanted a good clean fight this year, but yet again it’s the favourites and the champions who have let us down, cf Basso, Ullrich, and Floyd last year.

    What’s the best we can hope for now? A clean rider finishing and hanging onto his jersey for a year? Say it isn’t so, Joe?


  5. I’m pretty sure Charlie Wegelius is english [although he lives in Germany], so there’s him, lanky scotsman David Millar, and welsh youngster Geraint Thomas.

    I think if all three make it to Paris I’ll be happy, but I don’t think I’ll bother looking in next year.

  6. Wegelius half English half Dutch I think but rides for GB.

    Wiggins out because of a cheating team-mate but is a well known anti-doping campaigner and clean as a whistle. Shame to see him out of the tour.

  7. I believe Wegelius is half British, half Finnish, and has lived around continental Europe for most of his adult life.

    In an interview just before the Tour he confessed rather poignantly that there is no country in the world where he is not treated as a foreigner.

    As for Rasmussen: as a Danish colleague noted, the fact a Dane proved so good at climbing should have caused suspicion straight away given that Denmark’s hightest point, the wistfully named Himmelbjerget (‘heaven mountain’) is all of 150m high.

  8. So sorry to hear about your experience, Ana. What a good thing you were able to keep your head, and leave the shop.

    bonbohue — loved the clip from Not the 9 o’clock News.

  9. on the subject of drugs- perfomance enhancing or otherwise — a drinking buddy of mine confessed to his worst snorting experience — Parmesan Cheese no less!! burnt the inside of his eyes etc worse than the nastiest sulphate/cut horse could!
    Being a foodie kinda guy, I had to ask
    ” Reggiano or Gran Padano ? ”
    much to his amusement.
    It turned out to be the puke flavoured crap in the round cardboard box, so no wonder it was a shit rush!

    Met some people who snorted Tequila
    ‑rough or what? Anyone elso got any good snorting stories?

  10. Tequila is a breeze. Pernod is not.

    I have also drunk a whole bottle of WKD blue through my nose. Not as bad as it sounds.

  11. Hug a foodie, Bonbohue. A fellow once said to me, out of the blue, that he’d killed a walker whilst riding a motorbike illegally on a country path. “Oh,” I said, trying to act relaxed and buy time while I digested this information, “what kind of motorbike was it?”

    Aren’t some people fond of red wine enemas? They were the talk of the Tour in the 1920s.

  12. Bradley Wiggins is the one thing that could keep me intereseted in Pro Tour cycling; provided he gets rid of that appaling Rod Stewart barnet!

    As for enemas, dagmar, I understand cold coffee is the [legal] shot to go for.

  13. guys
    my name isn’t “BONBOHUE”
    but ‘Bun Bo Hue’ the famous Central Vietnamese Beef soup !!!”!!

    check it out

    would make an unpleasant enema i should guess!!!

  14. Today I drove past Lap Hing Fish & Chips in South Norwood. Do you know it, Bun Bo Hue? Lap Hing. The waves Lap Hing against the trawler as the men haul in the chips.

    Your soup sounds pungent: marinated beef shank, chunks of well-cooked oxtails, pig’s knuckles, congealed pig blood, shrimp paste. They squeeze the shrimps, shrimp paste comes out on ’em.

    I learned at Homebase, Croydon, today that ball cocks are no long called that, but ball floats. Thus it is that our language is bowdlerised and our lives disembowelled.

    For instance, the outdoor play area at Croydon Ikea has a see-saw that has no see-saw; the slide is so short the poor child can only sit on it then get up again.

  15. Dagmar — the floats on the end of the metal rod were always called that. The cock is the valve on the other end, that is controlled by the movement of the float.

    Cock is another word for a manually controlled valve; interestingly a nipple is a valve that doesn’t need manual control, it will go along working by itself once it is topped up.

    Fnar Fnar


  16. Last night both the Phoenix and the Canning closed at eleven. Seems like a wasted opportunity, especially as the Phoenix was rammed with hospital folk and lesbians.

  17. “Rammed with lesbians” is the phrase officially sanctioned by the SESappho Chapter and they do not mess about. Actually, they do mess about, what am I talking about? It is not the first time I have opened my legs to ridicule, what’s that phrase?

    Thanks Drew, good work. Next time I am topless in the hotel swimming pool, I will tell my fellow guests in my blunt English, “These not cock, they float!”

    I have discovered the smallest and most charming park in Camberwell, wedged between Elm Grove and Bellend Road. There is one bench, roses and a new silver birch. Does anyone else know it?

    Not far away is the Holly Grove Shrubbery, a long, thin park which, if cycled past slowly,is like watching an art film about Peckham parklife at the South London Galery.

    That current show finishes on Sunday — it is far and away the most watchable show for years at the SLG, more moving than the lamposts and they were huge.

  18. I do know it, but it’s in Peckham; as is the Shrubbery, whose fence is always being painted by community service types. There are quite a few small green spaces around there: Lyndhurst Square, and McDermott Grove (in which Charlie Dimmock had a hand). All speak of former glories. None though as mysterious as Lettsom Gardens; Camberwell’s members only public space.

  19. Potentially I’m at the Hermits too although there might be pressure to go to the dark horse or george canning as these are more wine drinkers’ pubs, of course a visit to the Sex and Drugs (=Sun and Doves — arent we witty!) on the way home is also likely.

    Maybe we need a special blog handshake or sign to make to identify fellow Camberwell onliners!

  20. I’ll be in The Bear…to see if it’s as good as the rumours suggest.

    If not The Sex & Drugs (Hey, they could stick!)

  21. I have a prosthetic arm. That’s pretty recognisable.

    I went to the Grove and the Dark Horse instead on Friday.

    Went to the Hermitt’s Cave last night though. The smoking ban has made it much easier to get a seat but it is freezing cold with all those doors open.

  22. Well on Friday after dinner at Mozzarella e Pomodores we went to the Grove — mainly to see how its bedding in six months or so after it opened.

    I was slightly more impressed than my last visit but not so much that I would rush back. We sat in the very pleasant outside area at the back which has been covered over. The pub was at most half full which was pleasant but probably not good for Youngs’ balance sheet.

    We then went on to the George Canning which seems to have gone downhill a bit since my last visit (and certainly worse than when I used to live in Canning Cross in 2003 when we went to the GC several times a week it being 10 metres from our front door)

  23. Had Sunday lunch at the Canning and it was excellent. What don’t you like about it? I am a real fan.

    The Grove, The Dark Horse, The Canning, The Phoenix and The Hermit’s Cave.

    They are Selborne Villager’s local CAMRA pubs but I also go to the Sun and Doves a fair bit to meet up with the piano seller from Loogabarooga Junction.

  24. I like the Canning too; my wife is a fan of their bistro-style food.

    We have a selection of pubs depending on our moods and activities;

    The Cadeleigh Arms for football
    The George Canning for hearty eating
    The Sun & Doves for summer days or post-Ritzy film discussion
    The Dark Horse for a quiet drink or food

    We take the occasional trip to The Castle or The Phoenix for convenience.

  25. I was in the Joiners Arms last night. It’s good if you want to go to a pub and feel as though you’re in a pub. It’s a pub-themed pub.

  26. Friday night ’twas The Bear (see post 24). Edgy & Loud but not intolerably so even for a sad old geezer like me. Give it a try. At least three real ales on draft all seemed in reasonable condition. Drew Mishmash and my mate Martin-the-journo were in tow. Conversation turned to Gilbert Scott (of Wiliam Booth College fame). Mishmash pointed out there are/were 4 Gilbert Scotts. Subsequent Wikipedia search confirms this. One of which died destitute and mad in the Great Midland hotel which his dad designed. Sad that.

    Saturday ’twas The Phoenix. Rain pelting down. Was this the reason it was all but empty? Or smoking ban…? This establishment seems to go undermentioned on the blog. Why is this so ? Have there been bad experiences there? Quite a stunning little venue to my mind. Missus near instantly addicted to the strawberry wheat bear which at nearly £4 a pint (£32 a gallon!).…

    Sunday ’twas S & D, jazz trio and as cool and chaotic as ever.

  27. The Thai place on Camberwell Church Street is being refurbished AGAIN! That’s like five times this year or something.

    Will somone tell them to stop painting it different colours and start making some nice food.

  28. The Joiners Arms is my favourite pub in Camberwell. I’ve only been in it once. I like what they’ve done with the place.

  29. The Eyechild
    you are right the place is desperate, the previous owners changed the name & signs twice to no avail. Good food would indeed be a better start.
    Perhaps the location/premises are blighted?
    how about something different from pretend asian food — like a real Brazilian restaurant for instance?
    no doubt the HK chinese could attempt their version of S American food, like they bastardise the food of all other Asian countries.

  30. There used to be a Brazilian restaurant in Camberwell, it was great. But Mark stole the chef for his ill-fated Pacific venture, and he left the country soon afterwards. Mark may tell that story differently.

    A Brazilian cafe/restaurant would be nice, as would a Japanese.

  31. Please can you explain the comment about Hong Kong Chinese? I don’t understand the inference.. unless you mean you don’t like Chinese takeaways that sell fish and chips…

  32. Merrick 32 above — I’d forgotten about the ironic death of the middle Gilbert Scott; I’ll try to dig out my photos of the pre-restoiration Midland Hotel sometime and post some. And BTW we aren’t old geezers, we are a seriously sought after demographic for new non-smoking pubs.

    On a cycling note — anybody know anything about fixing shimano gear levers?

  33. Bike shop next to Persepolis best in area — same day fixing, good prices. Was in Dalston yesterday Peruvian and Cameroonian restaurants there, makes Camberwell look like Ambridge.

  34. Drew — I am sure Dagmar is right, but just in case you are stuck in one gear and don’t want to run the Peckham Gauntlet, consider Bob’s Bikes too, on John Ruskin Street.

    A true local (whose dad is also a Camberwell trader of long standing) that has never let me down.

  35. The heavy plant is making light work of Mary Datchelor School.

    Won’t be long now until we’re awash with young professionals.

    It seems the Dark Horse has weathered the tough trading conditions and come out of the other side. There are always a handful of people in there. Once MDS is complete then it’s going to be very successful. As is the Grove. And that area can’t throng with middle class activity without spilling over onto the strip.

    Once Camberwell Church St is thriving then the Camberwell I moved to in 2003 will be history.

    North Camberwell will follow reaching towards the constantly improving Burgess Park where Camberwell’s gentrification will marry up with Elephant’s regeneration.

    No news on Windsor Walk though. Surely that is exactly the type of site that Prime Minister Brown should be eyeing up to tackle the housing ‘crisis’.

  36. The funfair has been setting up in Burgess Park for the Vibrations Caribbean/African festival on Saturday and the Carnaval del Pueblo on Sunday, biggest Latin American Festival in UK.

  37. I say good luck to Camberwell Green with the civilising effect of this new influx, although I don’t think we can say Camberwell is being regenerated until local interests take priority over motoring interests and we are not just an important traffic junction for Borough and TfL chiefs, where pavement parking is given a nod and a wink by our rulers.

    But bridging the Elephant and Camberwell Green? That hope rests entirely with the tram. I think unless there are some policy changes (not investment, but policy changes on motoring and planning enforcement), the area between John Ruskin Street, Southampton Way and Flodden and Denmark Road will remain a dead zone for some time to come.

  38. Loughbourough Junction is expensive now — 1 bed flats selling for £225k.

    I think that North Camberwell is the last ‘affordable’ patch of SE5. For that reason alone it too will be saved.
    Just might take ten more years. The tram would speed that up of course.

    Looking forward to the Carnaval. Always an excellent event and usually good weather. Can’t make the Carribean festival so I hope to see plenty of coverage on Flickr…

  39. I was cycling through the Aylesbury estate recently and saw a poster with an excellent Southwark Council graphic reading SHOW HOME. Even the flats are being turned into flats.

  40. IIRC Paulet Arms’ application was for seven flats and was rejected but slightly more conducive one for six was passed. Its in the Minet conservation area.Lambeth planning dept would know if you really wannt to know.

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