Rising sap

I’ve been trying to ignore the fact that the weather is freakishly unusual, and trying to just enjoy it. The trees are in full blossom and Grove Lane is an explosion of pink and white. A walk is a pleasant experience (that is, until you come across all the detritus of the weekend’s post‐pub sessions). Then, of course, idiots with guns bring you back to Earth.

Dropped into the Funky Munky last weekend for a pint and some chips; well, that was the idea, anyway, but the rather harassed barmaid told me they stop serving food at 5pm. Weird. Had just the pint, then, and tried to ignore the group of noisy Aussies at the bar.

Afterwards we went to the Castle for a couple. They had table service there; after ordering and bringing our change, the waiter returned and semi‐mock‐complained that we hadn’t left a tip; I had to explain to him that I’d ordered 10 minutes ago and he hadn’t actually brought my drink to me yet.

The Post Office at the foot of my street (on Peckham Road) faces closure. Not sure what that means for the owners; they’ve only recently taken it on, and had forked out to extend it through the back of the shop. I’ve rarely had cause to use it myself, but Post Offices are valuable resources to a lot of people.

Finally, did you know Camberwell hosts six of Southwark’s 38 Conservation Areas? Addington Square, Camberwell Green, Camberwell Grove, Camberwell New Road, Grosvenor Park (never been there) and Sceaux Gardens are all protected. That just makes it even more of a shame that the area around the Green is being allowed to fester.

Author: Peter

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

75 thoughts on “Rising sap”

  1. (maybe if thats what drinking in the Fox on the Hill does for you we should all consider it! And such amazing value too)

  2. Peter

    Never been to Grosvenor Park? — A little gem which remains intact just off Walworth Road

    It’s rather strange though because it leads right into the Brandon Estate at the Kennington Park end of Camberwell New Road

    They probably demolished 20 roads like that and left just the one for posterity!

  3. Post Offices closing down yet another degradation of community.

    Meanwhile, on Camberwell Church Street, the Lebanese cuisine place has opened. Further comment from me when and if I ever manage to get past the front door to sample the fare.

  4. woo hoo we won the quiz at the Bear last night! just wanted to tell you all that.
    Anyone else in attendance?
    We will be returning to the S&D quiz soon too, although I think that one is harder.

  5. The Bickleigh has been sold. Some student types are living there on low rents to keep it aired in the meantime. They may soon be replaced by salarypeople in flats.

    The film in the back room of the SLG is worth seeing just for the soundtrack. The film is melancholy and a bit mannered, but you get a good sense of what a poor country, Angola, really is — skinny kids, rusty ships and the telltale big oil terminals.

    It’s a pity the art college doesn’t have a large bar. Many hopefuls were here today for foundation year interviews. Camberwell needs a big student bar. Colleges seem to be poor places these days relying heavily on rich students from abroad. It may be that the days of cultivating British creative edge are waning, the bland leading the bland, dulling traditional British fighting spirit in case it upsets the corporations.

    I bung this in the pot and stir.

  6. I hope they don’t get their own bar. It’s their presence in the Hermit’s and the Munky that keeps Church St special.

    Saw Amaryllis. Looks thorough. Seems optimistic setting up opposite the Doves though.

    Well done on getting published Mark.

    Looking forward to seeing Selborne Village added to the list of conservation areas. Perfect example of a mid‐eighties housing estate. Just hope I can get a loft conversion first.

  7. True, Alan. I forget my own opinions. The William IV on Albany Road has been turned into art. The paper says it will be turned into a youth facility. I hope they have a large staff.

  8. I went to The Bear the other night with a friend, just to investigate.

    They have done a fine, sympathetic job and the food menu looks very tasty — lots of game and other roasted meats

    Amaryllis looks inviting…not sure that they needed to print the dictionary definition of the word on the window though…

  9. Camberwell a‐z Amaryllis, Bear, Caravaggio, Doves, E.…, Fox‐on‐the Hill…

    What’s the E?

  10. k..?, Lip Smacking African Cuisine, McDonalds, Nandos, O.…, Patty Island, Q.….., Red Star (food? no), Seymour Brothers, Taste London, U.…

  11. Hmmm. Wasn’t Amaryllis the name of the high end british eclectic resto that Gordon Ramsay opened in St James’s Street a copuple of years back, promptly lost its one Michelin star and nearly busted him? Been a while since I cruised St J on the look for eateries y’see.

  12. There are a lot of great places and things about in Camberwell

    If we can get the local government to improve the traffic management and get some more reliable rail transport down here, then the transformation will follow…

    Like I said, we need to reclaim Camberwell Town Hall, now that Southwark don’t want it

    Maybe there is a case for many London Councils to downsize and split into smaller, more manageable concerns — just because it seemed like a good idea in 1966 to create larger boroughs does not mean that it is still valid now…

    Bring on the revolution!

  13. 95% of arisings are recycled.

    This is the slogan on their tipper trucks and that’s what Conways of Dartford do. As ever, they are doing an absolutely totally excellent job of resurfacing the top of Camberwell Grove and fitting the new traffic lights, whilst Railtrack investors lie gasping with acid reflux on their daybeds in the Home Counties or inside their villas further afield in France, Spain, Italy or Tuscaninnit, boring each other to death.

    Still, me and numerous daytime toddlers have fallen in love with Conway’s fabulous mechanical Jurassic equipment which has been shattering, grinding, scoffing, regurgitating and replacing the Grove roadwear.

    Maybe it is profoundly a matter of pride to us that Camberwell is not a dead end, but by definition on the road to somewhere else, like all true life always is.

  14. Mark @24

    Yeah, that would be the really intelligent town planning that was perpetuated from the 1960’s onwards…

    The way I see it is -

    A high street/town centre is like a heart and all the streets surrounding it are the arteries which feed blood (life) into it and thus keeping it healthy and vibrant

    When a large number of those streets are turned into cul‐de‐sacs or into one‐way systems or are simply obliterated then the heart starts to malfunction and the community is dead

  15. The 99p shop has Zest soap made in Mexico, smells great, contains limonene, used as paint stripper. The shop’s Colgate herb toothpaste made in Zimbabwe was great, sold out quick at two for 99p.

  16. Well the Ho Lok in Ivanhoe Road is back in Camberwell. They do very good Ho Fun including Plain Ho Fun, Singapore Style Squid (beaten into submission) and Spare Ribs with Honey, lovely, mm…

    Africa will not be the next big thing. I have had this argument with Nigerians over and over again, they who should be leading the way but never do. Blimey, just watch the film at the SLG about poor Angola, which is a rich in resources. Zimbabwe — what a waste, basket case, car crash.

    Don’t you mean Chile not Peru? Once they dumped the generals and colonels, they’ve did well.

    I am proud to wear my uniform in the street in Camberwell, even if it is a confusing mix of blue hair, lingerie, denim, leather and God knows what — what a look!

    It may be all split ends, but welcome to me endz.

  17. Hope you enjoyed the sunshine when we had it. Seems like half the polar ice cap is raining down on us today.

    Ultra‐fast getting to work on the bike this morning, thou. Wind‐assisted riding. Love it.

  18. I left the bike at home this morning and joined the gently steaming, rain soaked passengers on the bus. I’ve suffered one too many sudden gusts around E&C, London’s most unpredictable wind tunnel. I’m only light and get buffeted easily.

  19. I decided to cycle in today, and it was fine until the hailstorm when I was at E&C. On Blackfriars Bridge the storm passed and the clouds parted. I was soaked, but it was still quite nice.

  20. On my weekly excursion to Camberwell Green yesterday I noticed that the pavements had been cleaned. Looked quite nice for a change.

  21. Mr Dale — is it true that you’re joining the cast of Spamalot as King Arthur? The telephone boxes around SE5 are plastered with advertising hoardings announcing the fact?

  22. Off on a tangent, sorry. Wanted to mention this on the Forum site but my login no longer works and it won’t let me regiser. Ah well.

    Anyone remember The The? They’ve joined the campaign to stop the proposed development of Shoreditch and knocked up this little video http://www.youtube.com/user/saveshoreditch

    Different objectives, but interesting to see how another close‐knit part of town is rallying against the big guns.

  23. Oh so its not just me — its a general problem with the forum website then. Who do we contact to right it?

  24. Thanks for posting the problems with the Forum site here. Will try to get something done about it asap…

    It’s odd actually, in the last fortnight my home internet service stopped entirely for three days, BT admitted fault at exchange and repaired it; the Sun and Doves’ free wireless broadband has been completely down, which is serious and affecting business — ISP for the line (186K) say nothing wrong at their server end and BT at fault although the telephone service on that line is working fine, and now this for the last few days.

    I wonder. Any one else experiencing problems with connection?

    COOL we can edit posts for five minutes! At last a chance to get correct those embarrassing typos.

  25. alot of my emails are going missing, and not arriving either, or taking a few days.…I might have to ring people instead.

  26. Mark, please post when Wi‐Fi up and running. At the moment I am unable to ‘work from home’ because of this!

  27. copeywolf — the the played our student union in the late 80’s — round about their soul bomb time iirc — and pretty good they were too.

    friend of mine wrote her undergrad diss on the lyrics of matt johnson. them was the days, eh?

  28. Quick word on The Bear. Had my first meal there. Breakfast on Sunday.

    Bit of free advice to the staff: when a youngish couple walk in, one of whom is carrying a broadsheet paper, neither of whom are obviously high / drunk / on glue, or leading a dog on a bit of string, then you don’t really need to make them leave a credit card behind the bar before they’ve even sat down.

    Because that doesn’t look very good. In fact, I’ve never had it happen before.

    The barmaid who asked me this then looked like I’d shat in her mouth when I refused to leave a card behind the bar. Last bloke I know who did that in London saw £1,200 lifted out of his account.

    She then insisted on a cash deposit.

    If we hadn’t just left the Munky after waiting 15 minutes for any sort of breakfast service (this at noon), then we’d have walked, but we gave it a go.

    The food was very good, and the service was fine. The money up front policy was not fine. Who knows, maybe it was that one Polish barmaid. Maybe it was us.

  29. Yes I have seen similar happen — is it because the Bear is split between its two roles of pub and restaurant, each traditionally with different systems of paying, not sure which one it is.

    Or else is it just the lowest paid member of staff applying company policy too harshly — maybe the demanding credit card/ money up front is essential if it is very busy (or was a large pub like the Doves) but not really appropriate in the small well controlled space of the Bear.

  30. It would be a shame if anyone thought discourtesy is the norm in the Bear. Every time I’ve been there they’ve been charm itself.

    Last time I was there, on a Monday, they had some sort of pie‐and‐ale special menu going and the barman fetched samples of the various ales to our table so a beer‐wary friend could decide if she liked any of them.

  31. It is the policy at the Bear to leave your credit card behind the bar, which I’ve done without thinking about it. But I wouldn’t do it anywhere else these days having been defrauded recently. It’s not the eastern European barmaid’s fault — it’s the pub policy. That said, it was crammed with people on quiz night, Tuesday, and we do need a decent pub in the area. On balance, I’m pleased it’s there. I mean, it’s not like Camberwell is blessed with many good boozers.

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