On housing and squats

An article in one of the London freesheets (and remember, you get what you pay for) this week featured the tales of squatters, including an 11-bedroom Victorian pile here in Camberwell. Wha? Where’s the 11-bedroom house around here? Does anyone know about this? The other two featured were in Peckham, so our neck of the woods is now firmly fixed in the public conscious as populated by work-shy blaggers.

On the subject of housing, I took a pass through the St George development at Vauxhall last weekend; it was horrible. Empty and vapid, it seemed like there was maximal development on the allowed space and minimal planning; the blocks loomed over central courtyards and made them cold and dark on a sunny day. I hope the staunch opposition by the Camberwell Grove mob has been enough to ensure the same doesn’t happen here.

Been out for a bit of tennis up at Ruskin Park; they say you have to pay to reserve a court, but no-one enforces it so even if you do the right thing and make your booking, chances are that someone will be on the court already. Very unrewarding. Had to throw a father and child off last time; felt evil, but rules are rules. That didn’t seem to stop the boy from crying.

Goings-on: Last Saturday was Bonkersfest! on the Green; as is my annual tradition, I missed it. It’s not my fault that a lot of my friends were born in the summer. Lots of photos on Flickr if you want to see what it’s about. Carnaval del Pueblo is on in Burgess Park on August 3; I’ll be at a football match that day. Honestly, it’s kind of ridiculous.

I’m still looking for more people to contribute here; Drew’s post was excellent and highlighted (highlit?) events that may otherwise have gone unreported. That’s the kind of thing I’m after. If anyone wants to have a go, just let me know.

(Related: See here to know How To Paint Over Dark Colors — Brushwork Painters)

Author: Peter

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

97 thoughts on “On housing and squats”

  1. No, but I agree on the muggy-ness. I spent a period living in Hong Kong and it’s (almost) the same. I have to, unfortunately, take a tube later this evening, something I’ve more or less avoided this summer. I expect widespread personal hygiene issues. From the other passengers, I should stress; I remain as fragrant as Mary Archer.

  2. Has anyone been listening to the Woman’s Hour serial ‘Inside the Whale’ this week? I caught one episode which mentioned the Sunpat factory scenting the air as far as Camberwell, and later in the week the young lovers were off to swim at the Peckham Lido. Happy days!

  3. According to posters on Cambria windows it’s the opening party tonight with live jazzzzzzzz.

  4. Thanks SG but I found the site really awkward to use and gave up.

    Would you like me to submit a change request for you to prioritise for your next sprint?

    I am assuming that you are involved in the site’s development and that you are working ‘agile’…

  5. Clunck website sg but interesting once you figure it out. We’re covered in dark red!

    Heygate blog odd — does anyone really think they should stay? Though word is they’ll probably end up refurbing and staying, as Elephant regen is stalled. Again.

  6. What’s going to happen without barbarians?
    They were, those people, a kind of solution.
    — C.P. Cavafy

    Alan, if you hear any Charlie Parker recording, you too will like jazz.

  7. Thank you, that is marvellous, is he not absolutely brilliant? I agree with you that bebop can be bumble-bee-like and irritiatingly jaunty, but he even makes that sound smooth. His earlier stuff is worth seeking out — he takes pop tunes of the 1930s and turns them into something sublime. His smile on that clip is certainly that of a fellow who enjoys his heroin. Since he died at 34 anything by him is something to treasure. I do not think that Parker ever visited Camberwell, but well done for broadcasting him on this blog, Alan Dale, fertile soil indeed for growing new Charlie Parker fans.

  8. Just so Dagmar; did you get to see the re-release of Lets Get Lost last month? I missed it at the Ritzy, but have just ordered the DVD. Chet Baker, he had it all and threw it away, leaving only his music behind. Miles Davis used to say jazz was the classical music of the black man; being a big fan of african music I tend to think jazz is the classical music of America. Miles will probably kick my bony ass for arguing, right or wrong. What’s not to like, Alan? And BTW Merrick and I was in the Hermit last night, where’s you?

  9. When a landlord offers up Jazz for opening night my heart sinks.

    All you Howard moons should leave it to the the local Vince Noirs..

    ‘Science teachers and the menatlly ill. That’s all Jazz is for’ here’s the debate in full:

  10. just to clarify — I have nothing to do with londonprofiler.org

    I simply found it on google maps mania

    If you have any feedback on it, I’m sure the guys at UCL would love to hear it.

    I agree its not particularly user friendly at the moment but I think their main aim was to integrate loads of data first — I believe it may still be in beta

  11. Another “totally off topic” post -

    if anyone is on Facebook and would like to connect, my Facebook id is sg perry

    It would be nice to build our online community — maybe we could create our own set of Camberwell groups

  12. Forgot that Seymour bros doesn’t open on Sundays. Daft.

    Carnavale del Pueblo was a bit of a wash out but I did manage a couple of skewers of brazilian beef. Only a quid a throw.

    Bit of a dance then a leap on the inflatables followed by soft play at the Pulse.

  13. Carnavale was good but once that rain started again at 6pm my enjoyment of it was sapped. Shame as there was some interesting food going.
    Incredible that there’s such a huge S American community as I don’t feel they’re very visible. Some more restaurants would be very welcome!

  14. @Phil G: The heavy Latin American presence is around Elephant & (especially) Old Kent Rd; lots of cantinas down there. Also, Burgess Park on Sundays has the Latin American football league (I don’t know if that’s the real title).

    There used to be an excellent Brazilian restaurant in Camberwell, but that’s long gone. Would be nice if we had some of that back.

  15. Ah yes, I saw a cantina on Old Kent Rd once. Might have to give it a whorl.
    Some Peruvian restaurants would be great though. Save me flying out there.

    Just to recommend New Dewaniam. Very nice place with great service. Food very competent without being exceptional. It’s a sound option for a nice meal in Camberhell when you don’t fancy laying out for a gastropub.

  16. Did anyone buy the Mail on Sunday on Sunday? There is a page 49 hilariously paranoid investigative article by Simon McGee about the red man-and-van vans in our area with the hand-painted livery, “VAN AND DRIVER £20 PER HOUR”. The vans are multi-use including, according to the Mad on Sunday, accommodation for drug addicts. There is a Mal on Sunday hotline to call if you know more. “A man called Jack identified himself as the main van driver. But when Jack turned up to an arranged meeting, he claimed he knew nothing about the business, insisting the boss was called Henry and was away on holiday in Spain.” Henry! Spain! Jack! The piece is headlined “Red van invasion” and suggests that this is the beginning of the end…

  17. Sorry chaps, but does anyone know anyone who’s good at hanging doors? I’ve just realised I’m rubbish.

  18. For the love of God that’s a slim story. It really is the silly season. I imagine even leafy Dulwich has more pressing social problems than the odd ‘unsightly’ red ex-GPO van.

  19. Is our “man and van” van still there? I can’t remember noticing it recently. If so, why didn’t we make it into the Mail?

  20. I seem to remember seeing it on Camberwell New Road not that long ago. The Mail clearly believes we’re too hardened to urban deprivation to be offended by a van.

  21. I hate The Daily Nail — I immediately distrust anybody who reads it — they are dead to me — I have nothing to say to them…

  22. No, the red van on Camberwell New Road went when London Transport took over the site of the disused garage.

  23. I’ve seen it lurking around Denmakrk Road and Coldharbour lane only a few weeks ago. I also saw it in East Dulwich.

  24. No friend of the Mail, but as a former journalist I thought that was a good and quirky little story. A fleet of mystery vans. I did wonder how the same one kept popping up everywhere, and now I know.

  25. I spied a red van on the waste land in front of the huge housing estate on Coldharbour Lane yesterday. I think their prices may have gone up, I could have sworn it was £15 an hour and yesterday it was very definitely £20.

    In other news we went to the newly revamped Cambria for lunch on Sunday. A very nice refit indeed. Smartened up a touch with the requisite mismatching chairs (some definitely more comfortable than others!) and tables. A new swanky menu provided a fair amount of choice at reasonable(ish) prices. Being hungover and undecided I got a portion of chips, the chorizo and a pint of prawns and Anna plumped the nut roast. My prawns were nice but fiddley, the chorizo tasty and the chips ace. Anna loved her nut roast but that is basically a plate of stuffing with all the trimmings. First weekend nerves probably accounted for a surplus of staff but everyone was friendly and the place had a great atomosphere. Beer garden is much improved too.

    We liked it there but would go back un hungover for a proper try. I suspect we’ll be going to it a whoe bunch more than we did previously…

  26. @36

    eusebiovic Says:
    July 29th, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    Bunch of philistines — it will be a lowest common denominator butcher shop with no concept of aesthetic or presentation

    What was wrong with keeping the original fixtures and fittings of that shop?


    There are times when I hate being proved right…I so wish that somebody else had taken on that lovely shop, kept the fixtures and fittings and turned it into a fishmonger or top quality sausage,pie and pasty shop


  27. The meat hanging up there doesn’t look very happy. Even more sinister is the outbreak of blue vans, reported by the Mail, in Melton Mowbray — home of the porked pie, note, home of the porkie, oh yes.

    — Name?

    — Kilty.

    — Take him down.

  28. The other day I was on the top deck of the 45 bus and it stopped at the lights next to this place…

    I saw, I kid ye not one of the guys behind the counter wiping the meat down in the display cabinets with what looked like a heavily soiled tea towel

    I just shook my head and the lady in the seat in front of me kissed her teeth and muttered something in Nigerian which sounded extremely unpleasant…

  29. Alan Dale @94

    Sadly, It’s all true Alan, and it reminded me of my original post on here a few weeks ago…

    Psychic ability to read the future or is Camberwell becoming a bit too predictable?

  30. I went to watch Fisher beat Basingstoke at Dog Kennel Hill. Much better standard than Dul.Ham.

    Surprised by Basingstoke’s alcohol fueled away support effing and jeffing in the Hamlet’s bar.

    Had another excellent takeaway from Buddha Jazz.

  31. The other day I watched the Hamlet beat Corinthian Casuals 3–1 with an injury hit squad…they played well, kept the ball on the ground carved the other team apart…very impressive

    Some of the away support can be a bit boisterous at the bar sometimes — Sittingbourne last season springs to mind, they had some right yobs in…no doubt it kicked off when they got back home — good, best place for them to do it too…

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