Did Major Tom leave the needles in Lucas Gardens?

Been a couple of weeks since I last wrote a post, and there’s lots to talk about. So here’s a whistle-stop dash through what’s happening…

First a bit of a Burgess Park mini-special. Somewhat late, I watched the final episode of BBC series Ashes to Ashes. The location of the explosive key scenes looked familiar to me, and this photograph confirmed that it was, in fact, our very own Park that played host to the scenes of the car bomb. As I passed through the park recently I noticed that the old William the Fourth pub has been transformed, by the use of some meshing, into a work of art (low quality photograph here); also, the area around Chumleigh Gardens is to be landscaped, and there will be a public consultation this Saturday (19th) if you want to get involved.

I haven’t written anything about the informal meet-up a few weekends ago. I have to confess that my poor organisational skills and freakishly nice weather led to it being under-attended compared to previous meetings. So poor, in fact, were my skills, that I forgot to leave an identifier for the members of the Flickr group, which resulted in two disparate groups of people wondering where the others were! Still, thanks to everyone who made the effort, it’s always nice to meet new faces. If you still want to meet your fellow residents, there’s a proposal for a picnic in Burgess Park this Sunday (weather permitting). I may or may not make this one; waiting to hear about something else. There’s also an SE5Forum board meeting on Wednesday, but I’m not sure if that’s public or not.

My contacts at the Cadeleigh told me everything about the raid on the illegal DVD factory; apparently a rival gang phoned police and told them someone in the flat was armed, hence the heavy police presence. Shenley Road and arround was cordoned off for two hours or more. I was at the London Aquarium with my sister’s family, and missed it all. I did get to stroke a ray, however. Oh, the Cadeleigh lot also confirmed the location of the porn studio on McNeil Road. Louie, how did you know all this? Are you a local there too, along with D‑MAN and myself?

Lots of new & refurbed bars and cafes in the area now, as is traditional every spring. How many of them will last until next year? On the subject of development, Councillor Peter John has an update on the Camberwell Grove bridge changes.

I’m feeling a little flu-ey today, so forgive me if I wrap up for now.

Author: Peter

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

73 thoughts on “Did Major Tom leave the needles in Lucas Gardens?”

  1. Yep. I guess I count as a local. I’m the one that often leads the Sunderland contingent to the Cadeleigh whenever we’re on the telly. I can also be seen in there at other times, too! If it helps you place me, I’m the one who would have more interest in most than the recent appearance of Chinese “thugs” in blue and white tracksuits on the streets of London recently. Although I don’t think they had anything to do with the DVD operation in Shenley Rd.

  2. Picked up takeaway from Buddha Jazz last night having nipped into the Canning for a pint.

    Both places were busy and full of fun.

    Great food from Buddha Jazz — I love those fresh rolls. Also a decent pint of London Pride in the Canning.

  3. By the way — property was still selling well locally in February:

    • 117, Shenley Road, SE5 8NF — Sold for £497,500 on 08-02-2008
    • Flat 12, 72, Grove Lane, SE5 8TW — Sold for £285,000 on 08-02-2008
    • Flat 126, Ruskin Park House, Champion Hill, SE5 8TL — Sold for £194,000 on 01-02-2008
    • Flat 12, 4 Ruskin Court, Champion Hill, SE5 8AH — Sold for £205,000 on 31-01-2008
    • Flat 121, Fearnley House, Vestry Road, SE5 8JX — Sold for £140,000 on 31-01-2008
    • 32a, Sunset Road, SE5 8EA — Sold for £395,000 on 30-01-2008
    • 5, Grove Hill Road, SE5 8DF — Sold for £644,000 on 28-01-2008
    • Flat C, 69, Peckham Road, SE5 8UH — Sold for £263,000 on 18-01-2008
    • 28, Love Walk, SE5 8AD — Sold for £592,464 on 10-01-2008
    • Flat 203, Ruskin Park House, Champion Hill, SE5 8TN — Sold for £226,000 on 14-12-2007

  4. Did anyone see that marathon-man and fecund Camberwellian Buster Martin turns out to be a springer after all, at 94? Looks like the company he works for, the much derided and amusingly licenced plated Pimlico Plumbers, have been using him for PR purposes. I passed him going in the opposite direction just before Tower Bridge and he was surrounded by an entourage of fellow employees all bearing the PP legend and carrying a large company flag. He finished though, in around 10 hours; so well done Buster and keep stretching the ITB.

  5. Alan Dale @ 2

    I’m also fond of a good pint of London Pride…Sometimes it can taste a bit off though — I think the further away from Fuller’s in Chiswick it travels, the worse it gets

    Last year on a family holiday to Northern Spain, I was delighted to find it in a bar in the city of A Coruna (where the footie team Deportivo are from) — the bar owner said it was the only bar in the north of Spain which imports it and not only did he have it in bottles — it was on draft as well 🙂

    Aparently, Carlsberg-Heineken import it there

    But he was serving it cold, the locals didn’t understand a warm beer — I tried to explain but didn’t need to — he was well aware of how it was meant to be served…it was just that not many people understand warm beer

  6. Alan — i wonder how much longer these prices will continue thoguth — mortgages are increasingly difficult to get and i expect many city boys won’t be getting the big bonuses this year.

    As a non home owner who decided a couple of years ago i couldn’t afford to buy in the current climate (or rather was reluctant to take out the kind or mortgage i’d need to be able to buy) i’ve been watching the current situation unfold with detached interest — oh well i’m ok as long as my landlord can afford his mortgage!!

  7. Was it hand pulled or gravity pulled eusebiovic?

    I have never had hand pulled beer anywhere outside the UK but I’m told you can get it in Chicago.

    No idea where house prices will settle Hannah but Gordon Brown seems intent on protecting homeowners and the banking sector:


    One of the houses in my street has changed hands three times since October 2000

    1 08/06/2007 £365,000 Ter. F No Map 15, Allendale Close, Southwark, London, Greater London, SE5 8SG
    2 01/10/2004 £235,000 Ter. F No Map 15, Allendale Close, Southwark, London, Greater London, SE5 8SG
    3 26/10/2000 £174,000 Ter. F No Map 15, Allendale Close, Southwark, London, Greater London, SE5 8SG

    Even if prices drop I don’t expect them to fully reverse these gains.

    You never know though… fingers crossed.

  8. After the champagne, porridge, as Bertolt Brecht, who passed through Camberwell yesterday evening in the shape of a locomotive, might have said. “Poverty makes you sad as well as wise,” he actually said. Tesco and Asda are doing OK, but only they, are doing OK.

  9. Dagmar @10

    There is a Brecht play at The Young Vic starting next month — The good soul of Schezchan” (not sure that’s spelt correctly)

    Apparently it warns of the self-defeating nature of a society which only values unregulated free-market economics and nothing else — what a genius

    Alan @9

    It was a British Pump which the bar owner bought at an antiques place while he was a student at Richmond in London and took over there with him — He even had the London Pride badge/plaque attached to the pump as well!

    I had to give him some praise for his dedication to the cause…

  10. Actually, there’s business growth from the NDA, who are doing great, with a new nationwide network joining up a series of small local businesses all over the UK. Surely profits from this new venture will trickle out and prop up the services sector or something.

    It’s not all doom, gloam, clay and loam unsuited to tube construction.

  11. Regeneguru @ 12

    Yeah, but they can’t use the old clay and loam to excuse themselves for not stretching their expenditure to bring forward the minimal cosmetic cost of constructing the western extention of the East London Line to Clapham Junction…

  12. @9 The big difference between sales 2 and 3 was mostly because the loft was converted into a third bedroom — very well done by all accounts

    (almost a neighbour)

  13. Now we’re talking. The east wind may bring yeasty pongy beastie, but the Camberwellers are feisty. Gordon Brown’s gloaming, gloom, looming loan and clay, groan and loam… what was it? Anyway, well done John. Some logic behind the blogic.

  14. I want to make it clear to any one who was at The Sun and Doves tonight, and any customers who hadn’t a clue that there was supposed to be an ‘art’ event going on, that ‘We’ and I are totally pissed off by the behaviour of the closing performance of Live on Stage which, to be fair to the people curating it all, was clearly a hijacking by a bunch of stupid, idiotic, over privileged tiny minded ignorant and bored ex Camberwell College students who consider themselves to have some kind of anarchistic nihilist overview of life that can get away with anything anyway.

    The pub had to close two hours early, rozzers in attendance, swarfega, watermelon juice and chicken blood sprayed all over the place, several very understandably upset customers who have grounds for issuing personal assault proceedings, seven broken chairs, many broken glasses, a broken glass pane in the entrance doors and a whole lot of general disruption.

    We will be issuing civil and criminal proceedings for compensation for recovery of loss of trade, damaged property and reputation.

    Apologies to anyone who got caught up in it.

  15. mark it’s a real shame that your thirty days of performance art has ended badly.

    it was a really innovative idea; what i saw was good, or challenging, or funny; and i heard there was much i missed that was similar.

    it sounds like youve been steamed by the art equivalent of a footie casual crew — don’t let it stop you from doing the same next year.

    the sun and doves is one of the principal arts venues in our beloved camberwell, mate!

  16. Thanks Drew. There is only one four letter word to describe these juvenile little ****s. I’m struggling to find which one. I have a feeling that someone involved in the planning of the night had an idea that something disruptive was going to happen. Whatever, if I can finds grounds to support this notion I will pursue them as well.

    In the name of performance art of course.

    The main child responsible for the actual damage last night is appearing at Synergy Centre on 2 May. I might just go along and crush his middle class bollocks on stage and push his head up his backside and say ‘it’s a civil matter’ when the police turn up.

  17. Mark @17

    Sorry to hear about what happened at S&D

    I know many artists but there is a small minority of them who are very priviliged,very pretentious and very stupid.

    The pathetic thing is that they think that they are making some very relevant, post modern statement on anarchy when it’s nothing of the sort…

    They don’t have any belief or conviction about anything, least of all their art —

    Art students are now taught how to market themselves like a product, the quality of the product is irrelevant — they are just proles which are there to sustain an ever expanding industry, for the benefit of the shareholder beast — a bit like any other endeavour

    Architecture,Cinema,Gastronomy,Music,even Football — it’s all being compromised

    As Woody Guthrie once sang

    “This Cancer Will Kill Us All”

    He was spot on

  18. It was a strange evening indeed. I got a head full of swarfega from jabba the hut. I was relieved it wasn’t one of my guests who came over from Hackney — at least I was able to get home and wash it off within the hour. Still, despite that incident it was good to have an art event in Camberwell that brings people over from ‘the east’ (of London) and it would be a shame if these baby actionists put a stop to that.

  19. The bleak mist that hangs over Camberwell is the Oedipal shame caused by Millwall losing to Leeds today at home. A bit of Swarfega tossed by some art student pratts from a Viz magazine cartoon is nothing. Take no action, Mark. There are bigger fish to fry, including that jammed into the top of Alan Dale’s bowler hat — so surreal is the weather, so uncertain and unnerving the current climate.

  20. Take no action. I’m inclined not to disagree but estimated losses 2.5K and I want a lesson of sorts to be taught about respect for other people.

    I found THIS today. We are amazing things, us humans.

  21. Nice, open it up as a pub, Mark. The Matts and Tarquins from the art scene can throw their toys out of their prams there with no harm done to the fabric.

    You have suffered damage and it must have been frustrating not to have thumped a couple of artists, so precious are the times we live in. This what the traditional Camberwell landlord would have done and the police would’ve turned a philistine eye, rightly. I have witnessed a senior host at the Hermits arrange the most inescapable and painful headlock you’ve ever seen on a really aggressive customer who I don’t think ever came back. That certainly eliminated the paperwork, apart from a quantity of toilet tissue used by the aggressor, I am sure. Aren’t these skills taught in the hospitality industry these days?

    Your actionists were lucky not to be handed out a lesson in aggression if that was what they were dabbling in. Many of us remember not so long ago in Camberwell, Walworth and Peckham, before the posturing gun-shootin’, bling and aftershave, there was a lot of violence and it was not very nice. We are lucky to live in better times, but the Pete Doherty and Blake Civil pseudo-geezers, egged on by that daft Guy Ritchie, are getting the wrong end of the stick about the violence of the past.

    When the foul fog has gone, all will be well in Camberwell again very soon. The general people here are great, when you think about it. The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on.

  22. Mark,

    Good work getting the photos out. Why not write a full account and appeal for witnesses and post it here, on the forum and on the ED forum?

    Based on what we’ve seen in the past the SLP and maybe even the Times will run with it.

    Great publicity can be gleaned from this senseless act. Maybe you can get Swarfega to sponsor next year’s event.


  23. There is only one solution to this problem: ban art.

    We’ve just (an hour or so ago) had a policeman at our door informing us that someone’s been stabbed in Shenley Rd, and appealing for witnesses.

    Armed raids, porno movies and now a knifing; and this is a quiet street.

  24. Off to the S&D tonight to witness the aftermath of the Great Camberwell Art Riot of 2008. Will this turn out to be one of those (seminal?) events that years afterwards people who were nowhere around will claim to have been present at?

    Perhaps, Mark, you should start selling T‑shirts behind the bar with a ” I was there…” theme.

    Dagmar — resident ingredientologist — is there anything in Swarfega that can make you happy or sad?

  25. That’s the problem, Merrick.

    There were riots at the premiere of The Rite of Spring, and at the first London gig by The Jesus and Mary Chain; looking back at the artistic influence of both Stravinsky and JAMC, one sees clearly that their iconoclasticism was pertinent and timely.

    Can the same be said of today’s art school kids? Aren’t these precisely the wastrels that Jarvis Cocker gave such a pasting in Common People?

  26. Swarfega imparts feelings of wellbeing and even arousal in some people by association — the green jelly reminds us of the primal Martian visitor stepping out of his aloominum flying saucer to bring enlightenment and popcorn.

    This thixotropic mix of detergents and oil solvents in an emulsifier was the vision of Audley Bowdler Williamson, of Heanor in Derbyshire, who, from the bowels of his brain, brought forth a concoction that was “eager” to clean the “swarf” from oily hands.

    Similarly, the manic energy of hedge funds and private equity casts a grey-skyed hangover by proxy amongst the lower and middle ground of people, removing every last scrap of spare cash, leaving them clinging to the bones of their basic outgoings.

    I hope this is clear, Merrick.

  27. Sorry to hear that mark. 2 grand is a lot of money – even for an art riot.

    I’d guess you have to pursue that. I would.

    Riots and activism for social purposes – poverty, discrimination, ecology, etc, – can be good. Trashing a local and accessible arts venue isn’t in this category.

    If it was the Saatchi gallery that’d be different.

  28. Hi Dagmar, No need to feel oppressed by hedge fund managers, even by proxy, and even if you’re skint. Best not to let them get away with that “rule from above” concept.

  29. I was in the Sun and Doves last night and had a chat with a couple of the bar staff about the previous nights debacle.

    Frankly from what they told me it doesn’t have the dignity or focus of an art riot at all, just some nasty sorts taking out some perceived slight. A couple having a quiet dinner assaulted, lots of expensive damage, loss of trade to mark d. Swarfega is one thing, but throwing chicken blood has some very frightening religious and racial aspects to it too. Get your brief onto it, Mark.

    I’m peripherally involved in the Creative Camberwell launch on May 2, looking forward to an interesting, innovative, and optimistic event.

  30. @ 43 southmark. He is sorry, I believe, so far but as he left as the police arrived I have yet to speak to him. I got there shortly after. Mark McGowan seemed genuinely disappointed that it had gone so.

    My boys have an inset day so we’re going to the Science Museum and Natural History Museum — to the butterfly exhibition.

    A refresher and not during holiday time. Should be great. Prolly find they’re all shut outside of hols.

  31. Really sorry to hear about the roisterous last night Mark. Have to agree with Alan Dale and Dagmar (except for the Millwall result, I was at the other end).

    Reckon the aftermath’s worth more than £2.5k to Saatchi. Promise to spend more at the S&D to help you recoup. And if you want a hand getting Tarquin’s head past his buttocks give me a shout.

  32. iirc dagmar some cultures use chicken blood for augury, and for cursing.

    whether you believe in it or not, such things can be genuinely terrifying for many people.

    that said, i can imagine few things that would enrage me more than someone throwing any kind of blood at me…

    on a ligther note mark — wasn’t the butterfly show just amazing?

  33. “As it drifts along, it traps tiny animals to eat in the slime coating its bell-shaped body.” This caption from the moon jellyfish tank at the Horniman reminds me of hedge funds or private equity companies, except they are both more actively managed and predatory.

  34. The problem is, Dagmar, that there aren’t enough tiny animals in their tank to eat (at least not to their taste). The moon jelly fish are dropping like, er…, jelly fish? Go see soon everyone if you if you aint already as soon they will be no more.

    Probably a stupid idea to attempt to keep these peculiar beasties in captivity. Marine biologists out there please comment…

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