Fallout Boy — Take Two

Something like summer is here, and I’m writing this post for the second time. Annoying.

Let’s start with the news that our infamy grows ever stronger, with the report that we are a leading supplier of victims of the disgusting and barbaric practice of female genital mutilation. Of all the abuses carried out in the name of religion, this must be the most revolting; it makes me seethe that parents can make drastic decisions about their child’s health based on their own superstitions.

On to lighter subjects: there’s activity at the former Zara’s Kitchen (and, briefly, British Raj). At the moment the old signage which I remember from years ago is exposed, and I keep meaning to take a picture for the archives but always end up forgetting my camera or forgetting to take the picture. With the new building in Zara’s (I’m going to guess it’ll be a new food outlet; I could look it up, but where’s the fun in that?) and the promised Italian Cafe further down Camberwell Church Street, not to mention the opening of Angels & Gypsies in 2011, it looks like we’re about to get a few more culinary options.

Is there a nuclear bunker beneath Camberwell? I meant to mention this before, but it slipped my mind. I might start carrying a notebook. There’s a patch of land at the corner of Peckham Rd and Vestry Rd which has never been built on, and recently there’s been a placard up for a project called Words are not Enough, which says there’ll be a peace garden put there, and mentions the cold war nuclear bunker. I’ve got no reason to disbelieve them (except for their being artists, who are notorious liars), but the only mention I can find of this bunker is in connection with this project.

If there is a bunker, let’s open it up and go inside for 20 years, then come out to see what the place is like; I bet it’ll be exactly the same.

Author: Peter

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

60 thoughts on “Fallout Boy — Take Two”

  1. Couldn’t help but notice the above comments on streathers solicitors. We are in a similar position. In the end we had to effectivly sack the arrogant guy overseeing our house purchase to avoid it all falling through. I’d definitely advise never to use Streathers.

  2. I agree with Dagmar that Meaby & Co Solicitors are the most user friendly and professional conveyancing firm in the area. For Wills and Tax too.

  3. That’s great, Rusty; your testimonial would probably carry more weight if you hadn’t made it from a Meaby email address, however.

  4. Not a good sign if a so-called reliable solicitors makes such a gaffe as toe-curlingly embarrassing as that 😮

  5. I agree we need a Town Centre manager — would this be a role funded by the Council?

    Someone who can try and attract a good balance of businesses across the Camberwell shopping area (from Denmark Hill through the Green and east to the College, say) and improving the number of shops that passers by might actually shop in, rather than just letting the same sorts of pointless or unappealing shops pop up like mushrooms.

    I’ve always said there are too many businesses in Camberwell with “wasted” shopfronts. Either those that are permanently papered over (e.g. the hotel restaurant), boarded up or used for services that I think should really be “first floor” businesses. I don’t know of many places where solicitors have ground floor shopfronts for example.

    Hardly the sort of businesses that commuters would want to visit even if they had time to.

    I think we need to recognise Camberwell for what it is — a commuter junction — and get some of the sorts of businesses there that these people would visit. The only sorts of businesses we currently have that are probably relevant to these people are pubs, I’d guess. Which is why Friday nights are busier, as workers and commuters might stop off for a drink after work or on their way home.

    Think of other commuter junctions and the businesses they have / don’t have. I’m thinking of Vauxhall, for example.

  6. sg — outside the Green, it’s simply because the businesses who could give you those shop fronts have one hand tied behind their back by the Council (no on-street parking provided). That’s why Denmark Road lost its shopping community to a row of shop corpse residential conversions, and you can see the same pattern continuing with Post Office closures removing the fulcrum of local shopping communities.

    There is also a culture at the Councils of rubber-stamping retrospective planning applications. I can see the logic of this where an extension has been built and it would be environmentally wasteful to knock it down. However, with shop conversions, each new business occupant tends to strip down the interior and customise it for their tenure in any case. It is wrong for planners to lazily approach a change of use just because someone has installed a shower and net curtains. Because commercial property away from the Green is generally less viable, landlords gun straight away for the conversion and only solicitors and estate agents can make it worth their while. The Councils can stop this any time they like.

    I have seen no sign of serious concern from Council leaders on this issue, but Southwark Labour in opposition do not even mention the subject, so any debate will need to be cultivated directly with the Lambeth Cabinet and Southwark Executive.

    We can have quality and a full range of choice, but need to get our priorities straight.

  7. Again I don’t think it is parking. I know a fine couple who gave a fruit and veg business a go in East Camberwell but they just couldn’t make money. It was replaced by a fried chicken joint that does a booming business. Locals did use them but not enough and it wasn’t because they couldn’t park. Short of propping them up, it simply wasn’t viable.

    SG I recall you are quite positive about the area and I like that. A few tweaks but not all bad. Didn’t you all start a neighbourhood group with the Council? Is that working? I think that sort of voice can help.

  8. Fish bring luck. That’s not the name of a new restaurant, it’s a fact. The chap who drives the Zampa Fish van is the luckiest man in Camberwell. “London’s Freshest fish to your local chippy,” is their strapline, with that emphatic capital “F”. London fish may be a bit urban, but they do the job.

    Off to the Art College degree show. As ever, the challenging part is negotiating the corridors — it is this that makes us question… everything.

  9. Newroad, it is difficult to take your arguments seriously because you reject on principle the concept of a community of shops collectively operating a range of services that can compete with supermarket shopping. You do so based on your own shopping habits which no doubt involve regular car runs to the supermarket.

    Contrast this with my own approach, which is that people should have a fair free market choice of how they shop.

    In your grocery example, you claim that a business should be able to rely entirely on local patronage. Could Tesco on Old Kent, Sainsbury on Dog Kennel Hill or any of the Lordship Lane quality shops subsist on local patronage alone? Hardly. But all have different parking rules, enabling customers to visit with ease.

    That they went out of business proves nothing, as most businesses go under inside 2–3 years. It doesn’t even prove they can’t cut it, as failure is simply a business rite of passage. They got something wrong with the location, frontage, selection of goods or how they targeted their clients. Most shop owners would disagree strongly with you, with experience of pavement parkers and resident drivers blocking off their suppliers and clients so that the latter get fined.

    I reiterate — any claim that a small, large or medium sized retail business should rely purely on local patronage is open to ridicule from anyone with any business experience.

  10. @57 newroad -

    Yes, I helped to establish the Brunswick Park Tenants and Residents Association, and I believe it is working well. (Well, it’s still surviving beyond the initial rush of enthusiasm, which is promising!)

    But the group is focused on the immediate area around the park, rather than the Green and its shops.

    I must say, Ian Wingfield and Kevin from the Council have both been wonderful with helping the association work their way through bureaucracy and so on, from what I gather. And Ian seems to attend many of its meetings, which is nice — nice to see support for the group from the council at a senior, councillor level.

    I only attend the open meetings due to time commitments but the last one I attended we had a Council man in charge of area housing talk to us about things that are going on in that area. And a couple of ladies talking about the Camberwell Baths campaign.

    All positive stuff, which we probably wouldn’t have heard about otherwise.

    We are also planning a festival in Brunswick Park in August, I think.

    The idea of the association isn’t just for it to be a forum for people to moan at, and a vehicle for channelling community complaints to the council and such, but to help build and support our community in simple ways, doing fun things, arranging interesting speakers, sharing information and I guess really just providing a little bit of support for the less vocal among us.

    Seems to be working well, from what I can see, and I’d encourage anyone who lives in the catchment area to at least give it their support, if not attend some of the meetings.

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