Build it up, tear it down

I’ve been away for a little bit, so excuse me while I go back a week or so. Last Sunday was, of course, an important date in the Camberwell and South London calendar: the third annual ‘I had other plans on the day of the Carnaval del Pueblo’. Despite the fact that I couldn’t go — the wife and I were on a 30-mile round-trip by bicycle to Kingston — it seems that people enjoyed themselves anyway.

There are a few reports here, and a few hundred photos here. No mention of any trouble in the reports, although anecdotal evidence says there was later in the day. A shame, but where there’s 80,000 people, there’s 8,000 idiots.

Sunshine House, the new Child Development Centre on Peckham Road, is entering the final stages of its development and is starting to look quite lovely; huge blocks of bright yellow, orange and green make it look friendly and fun, and it’s a pleasure to cycle past there every day. The only shame is that it’s so hard to get to for parents.

I definitely had something else to mention, but it’s slipped my mind; this space is reserved for when I remember.

Yesterday I saw the aftermath of a nasty accident on Camberwell New Road; the back of a car was completely concave, and the fire brigade were there to cut the lady driver from the car. Do look after yourselves, won’t you?

Author: Peter

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

124 thoughts on “Build it up, tear it down”

  1. I also past that accident just after it had happened on my way home from work — at least 3 cars and a motorbike involved, 3 ambulances and the fire engine … struggle to understand how a multi-car pile up can have happened on the Camberwell New Road — there are some nutters on the road…

  2. Hi P

    Was the thing you forgot perhaps the call out for new committee members for Camberwell Arts?

  3. That was actually the second accident on that part of the road, where Camberwell New Road meets Medlar St. A couple of hours earlier a motorcyclist was knocked down and taken away in an ambulance.

    Redstar is being refurbished (sign painted over, etc.). Anybody know anything about it?

    The Bear is excellent. Great food and the best selection of beers in Camberwell (with the exception of Hermit’s Cave). Farewell to the Fosters/Kronenbourg dictatorship!

  4. Been away for a while so got some catching up to do… Came back from holiday to find our car-van’s hub caps have been stolen. Thought that kind of thing stopped about twenty years ago.

    Don’t forget Drew’s reminder that Camberwell Arts is looking for new committee members. Now is a good time to get involved and help set the direction of this organisation for the next decade or so, and to help get Camberwell on THE LONDON MAP.

    SE5 Forum will be having its agm in a month or so and there will be an opportunity for new members on that committee too. It’s remit is broader than Camberwell Arts and is looking at the regeneration of Camberwell and cross boundary communication with Southwark and Lambeth.

    Know nothing about Redstar will delve and come back.

    Have not had chance to Bear yet. Must make an effort.

  5. Oh I forgot to mention the rent review; it’s going up 11K a year. only a 20% rise, I’m relieved; the last one was a 68% increase… The arbitrator obviously understands the game and has applied a fair rise somewhere in the uncontentious middle (between 54K and 82.5K which is what S&N said was a fair rent), slightly favouring the underdog — me — while not really shaking the timbers of the Tied Pub Junket at all.

    I owe 21K or so back rent immediately while my day to day direct overheads have just gone up by £800 a month — more than I earn. I’m very angry.

  6. Welcome back, Mark and Peter (sounds like something out of the Gospel).

    On the contrary, tied contracts are a pub-lic issue.

    It’s just occurred to me that there’s nothing in the contract to prevent you gathering evidence from potential punters that they would drink at the S&D if there were guest beers, and then presenting this as evidence at the next review. That’s probably of no consolation now.

    CNR is still about 8 fatal accidents a month short of the acceptable price of human life sacrificed at the alter of the fallacy that the way we (ab)use our motor cars is crucial to the national economy.

    20mph all the way on this stretch, say I.

  7. Despite the harsh reality of the figures, Mark, it looks like you have got a pretty good deal from the arbitrator. At least you now know what your projections need to be.But it’s still sad that corporate greed has the upper hand. I’ll try to contribute towards your coffers a bit more often; now that there are fewer coughers [geddit?].

    Can you appeal against your back rent on the grounds that they were dragging their heels and not you? I have heard of success with that in retail — chat about it sometime if you like.

    Otherwise talk to you soon


  8. I’ve been away, so I don’t know if this has been mentioned before, but…

    Rumeli’s fish & chips has closed down! I am shocked!!! The best fish & chips in Camberwell! Has the world gone crazy?!!!

  9. There has been a small earthquake in Camberwell, shown by a faint flicker, a fibrillation, of the needlometer in the darkness of the ground floor of Pharoahs, once the Walmer Castle pub, on the Peckham Road — it is one of the last needlometers remaining in London, and very few people know it is there, covered in cobwebs, but still picking up the subterranean signals and relaying them telegraphically to Jodrell Bank.

  10. I heave a sigh of relief with regard to Rumeli’s.

    Maybe the Redstar is being developed for other purposes?

    Why is The Bear in a shite location? Since Dispensary closed down there’s nothing at that end of Camberwell New Road. I can now watch the football in Black Sheep and then just have a short walk up the road for great food and great beer! All I need now is a decent Mexican restaurant and Camberwell will be like Paradise to me!

  11. Hi Norman

    I bet back in the day when the buses were a major employer of working class folks, demobbed soldiers, and newly arrived caribbeans, the pub now known as bear would be a cracking location!

    The dispensary would of course have been just that — hence why it provided a poor location and layout for a pub, methinks. Too many steps, door too narrow; these things matter a lot.

    Is a Camberwellonline beer meet brewing?


  12. Any idea what’s going on at elephant outside the shopping centre entrance? Went past last night — there was an ambulance and the road was closed off (it still was this morning)…

    I appreciate this is only vaguely Camberwell related (as we couldn’t get a bus we got the excellent train to Denmark Hill — takes about 4 mins).

  13. TOP TIP

    Whenever I walk back to Selborne from the piano seller’s flat in Loughborough Junction I always buy a beer to drink en route.

    Second time I did this it dawned on me that people seemed much more inclined to stay out of my way and even the stooping “10 pence! 10 pence!” beggar passed me over as a pointless target.

    I have now taken to carrying an empty Super T can with me wherever I go and I haven’t been mugged once.

  14. Gradually, Alan, we are ascertaining more details of your MO and appearance. it’s only a matter of time you know…

    BTW I saw the frat metal boy with the prosthetic left arm the other day, again.

    Are there different manufacturers of such things? Are there ‘datsuns’ and ‘ferraris’? Pardon my forward nature!

    Mark D is back from his hols — shall we all go to his pub for a chilled one?


  15. There is no greater pleasure, in my view, than drinking while walking through Camberwell, especially at night. The plod plod of the feet brings the left lobe and right lobe of the brain together and the drink makes them break into song.

    It is often more interesting than sitting in an alehouse.

    I am interested to see that Tuborg is being relaunched in this country as a drink for the middle of the road. It is big at monster rock festivals in Denmark and Serbia.

    I wonder if it is Hell’s Angels’ preferred tipple?

    The Dagmar family went to the fake beach in the Dome yesterday where children play in the day and where Heart FM has middle of the road raves in the evening.

    I also went for a walk downstream past the huge aggregate processing yards where the fake sand comes from. I went on a real beach by the Greenwich Yacht Club. There is a big wetland area full of deep water, reeds and fabulous lilies. Then the Barrier.

    A recycling yard by the aggregates had great mountains of cullet — ground, crunched, recycled glass. I brought some home in a jamjar for further examination. It is fascinating, like jewel-gravel, with the occasional glint of blue glass. I must tell you that there are many traces of paper and plastic in cullet, which float to the top of the jar under hot running water and can then be decanted.

    The whole situationist day was a meditation on raw reality versus synthetic leisure, both of which have their merits. Lack of drink meant my brain did not come to a conclusion.

  16. I’m not going to elaborate about my limb in the vain hope of adding credence to my online alter ego.

    Do you drive a Golf Drew?

    How are the books?

    I’ve been buying more little workmates. I’m going to corner the market for Truckdriver Tom- he’s £24 on Amazon right now and I have two copies. What do you think?

  17. As I was saying, on the north bank opposite the Dome is a new factory building with a strange name, Akzo Nobel. This Dutch company is about to buy the rump of ICI, almost the last remaining British company, who coined the term “plastics” in 1927.

    Tizer and White’s have long gone from Camberwell. How fine it is that Kennedy’s still fly the flag… sausage.

  18. i have come to the (somewhat sad) conclusion that the character on this site are entirely the alteregos of two, possibly three people, sitting in your camberwell/east dulwich border studio flats, bathed in the milky light of your laptops and custard cream complexions.

  19. Mrs Dotcom will be helping towards Mark’s rent payments tobnight with a couple of friends, I would be joining them only I’m delayed in town by the Arsenal Sparta Prague game …

  20. Anyone know how to go about setting up a residents association?

    We want to set one up in the street I live in (Elmington Road) so we can work with the Council to address some local issues.

  21. I just looked up on the BBC site for the score of that game and it said they were 0–0 in 1945. Talk about boring boring Arsenal!

    wookie, that milky light and custard cream scenario was good. Are you sure we’re not you or the other way round?

    Let us remember, though, that this is the silly season. Most Camberwell people are in Cannes or whatever for the whole of August, innit.

    The Dagmar family is holidaying in Camberwell and places within reach of a toddling but not yet talking girl, pourquoi pas!

  22. Did anyone else have trouble finding a local drinking establishment with Setanta for the Arsenal game. I eventually found the Cambria was showing it. Also on Wednesday evenings their main courses are only £3. Bargain !

  23. I like the way the Cadleigh keeps old-fashioned pub hours. It is an intimate, proper local frequented by real people. Strange.

  24. Guiness eh? Well they ae good adverts I suppose bu tI thought the ad mass had moved on to Magners…

    IPa is good. I will check out the Cadleigh in the not too distant future.

  25. Re message 29 The Poo

    Published 16 August 2007 at 11:33
    Falling glass panel lends weight to Elephant and Castle demolition plans

    A glass panel from the Elephant and Castle shopping centre in south-east London has fallen and shattered on the pavement – bringing the major transport hub to a standstill.
    The incident, yesterday, adds more credence to bringing forward the demolition of the ageing 10-storey Hannibal House office building, already earmarked for the wrecking ball under the Rogers, Stirk, Harbour + Partners (RSHP) masterplan.
    The shopping centre, originally designed by Boissevain and Osmond Architects, was taped off by police, and pedestrians were prohibited from using the subways. The underground station and a nearby road were also closed.
    Shopping centre manager Mike Knell said: ‘A glass panel from the curtain walling high up on Hannibal House was broken, causing the glass to shatter.
    ‘For health and safety reasons the borough surveyor asked police to close the road while maintenance teams abseiled over the top of the building to ensure that the remaining glass was safe.’
    The site lies at the centre of the planned £1.5 billion transformation of Elephant and Castle, by a consortium led by developer Lend Lease, which, as well as RSHP, will also include Allies and Morrison and Glenn Howells Architects.
    The building, which sits opposite Ernö Goldfinger’s Alexander Fleming House, was described by Pevsner as ‘an early depressing example of the species [of shopping centres], unsuccessful, no doubt partly because of the uncivilised access’.

  26. A dad of 2 was killed during the demolition of Castle House on 2nd August. Beam fell on him, killed instantly.

  27. Con woman alert!

    No, not the junkie-looking white woman from last year. This is a black woman, aged around thirty, well dressed. She had her keys and her mobile phone in her hand. (Why do they all do that?)

    She began by saying, “Hi, I’m one of your neighbours. I live at the end of the street.” (They always live “at the end of the street”. Never at a number.) She continued, “I know this is a bit cheeky, but could I–”

    At which point I laughed and said, “Now you’re not going to ask me for money, are you?”

    At which point she paused, and half-smiled.

    At which point I slowly closed the door in her face.

    Hope this warning comes in handy to all you good people.

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