Bad news Monday

First bit of bad news: Network Rail are planning to drop the London Bridge to Victoria route, meaning Denmark Hill’s usefulness will be reduced by about a third. As a ‘consolation’, services that we can get to by changing trains will be increased; not actually that useful when the trains to get to those services are reduced by half.

I had a pretty strong feeling this would happen, as soon as they began the ‘public consultation’ — a sop to regulators when a decision has already been made. Network Rail accepts that the proposals contain “significant passenger disbenefits”, but doesn’t care.

Second bit of bad news: A report on the radio says that a woman has been stabbed to death in County Grove. Can’t find any details, or indeed any confirmation, of that yet, so know idea what’s involved. It’s far too early to draw any conclusions yet, or to make any connections with any other crimes in the area, but at the very least it’s an unneccessary loss of life, and more ammunition for those who’d like to paint the area as a crime‐ridden slum.

Update: Some more detail about this incident; seems to have been a domestic rather than street crime. Exactly why I was cautious about jumping to conclusions.

Anyway, do enjoy the rest of your day.

Author: Peter

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

119 thoughts on “Bad news Monday”

  1. Trying to wean myself off The Hermit so I went to the Munky last night. Fock me that place is awful, just awful.
    Looking for a quiet drink and we were affronted by a weird hyped up vibe with red‐faced blokes who looked like they’d been in the Buckle all day. Irritating, wired barmaid, overly loud music. Wasn’t even cheap. Never again. I think I said this last time I went in there on a Sunday. But really I mean it this time.
    Strange as from the outside it looks like a nice, independent, almost boho bar.
    Dark Horse next I think.

  2. Camberwell Station Road was closed off by the police on Sat night, about 12 — 1am, then no sign of anything on Sunday afternoon, anyone know what that was about? Maybe that was linked to the County Grove thing.
    That’s worrying, when I am out late
    that’s where I get off the bus from Victoria, I always felt it felt quite safe. Sadly not.

  3. @D-MAN: Yep, that’s what I understand as well: no more London Bridge train. You have to get a train to Peckham Rye and change there, but the service to Peckham Rye will be reduced by two trains per hour.

  4. @genfink & Peter — a senseless waste of life. Obviously, the parked cars along County Grove would have made it easier for an assailant to hide, and more difficult for a victim to escape. It is possible to “design out” crime, and where better to start than the streets?

    @D-MAN and Peter — The London Bridge link could have been saved as part of a campaign for local rail services in areas with deprived communities. However, with no interest from the rail service campaigners for reopening Camberwell Rail, it was revealed as a minority commuter campaign which could be easily ignored by the Kentish high rollers.

  5. Apparently Boris Johnson is also looking to scrap the tram… that would’ve been excellent for North Camberwell and North Peckham.

    This article cites Liberal Democrat London assembly member, Caroline Pidgeon, who lives locally.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7585558.stm

    I’m normally unimpressed with the Liberal Democrats in Southwark – what with the kid’s museum, etc – but I’ve met Caroline socially and as well as being fiercely ambitious, her heart seems in the right place.

  6. @5 designing out crime, perhaps we should get rid of front gardens as that is where 2 fleeing robbers hid on our street the other week in hot pursuit by the police the police dog got one but not the other.
    One was hiding behind a tree, maybe the police could demand the felling of those to design out crime. These tree lined streets obstruct the view and make it easy for people to hide, and block the street lights from the path. But I would rather live with them than demand they are removed for my safety.

  7. The tree in Lucas Gardens is due to be designed out today. At what time, I don’t know. Tree fellers are probably not contracted to make the event a happening, which is a pity. Health and safety. Stand clear, please.

    Bel Air Park is Southwark’s only Grade II listed landscape. Further on there is a fantastically wide road, Lancaster Avenue. On Saturday night a 15‐year‐old kid on a scooter was killed there in a police chase. This morning, three youths were arrested and handcuffed a few yards away. Time for term time to start.

  8. @5 Always with the cars. You should note that the stabbing took place in a house, next to a part of County Grove where parking is not even allowed. For your information at least 60% of County Grove never has cars parked a long it’s edges anyhow. While i believe you do often say things that make sense, your ability to blame cars for nearly every negative thing is unbelievable. Somehow parts of london with decent local shops, lower crime rates and nicer looking streets manage this despite having a significantly higher number of parked cars. I don’t even know why i am saying this as i know we will never agree.

  9. How about a dug‐out car made from a tree trunk, with all components carved from the same tree, running on refined squirrel piss? At first people laughed, but when they saw squirrel‐piss power in action, everyone wanted a dug‐out. “Gimme a squirrel‐piss dug‐out” were the words every forecourt salesman from Park Lane to Penge soon learned to dread from the dudes trading in their Cayennes.

  10. The notice on the tree says it is rotten. That tree that killed the van driver in Clapham Common a month ago was known to be rotten for a long time by the locals. A dead tree is a serious business. The notice does give you a helpline number to call if you are affected by any of the issues contained in the notice.

  11. Amazing to think that we’re getting the benefit of all these majestic trees in London’s parks and public spaces hundreds of years after they were planned.

    But yeah, wouldn’t want a dead one falling on my van.

  12. What do you all think of the standard of policing in our area? When Andrew Pratt was knifed in my street (right outside my flat, heaven help us), we were visited and interviewed the following day while the road was sealed off as a crime scene and a seemingly highly professional forensics search was undertaken. Despite this interview we’ve had a letter this week saying the police have ‘identified our house as useful in their enquiry’ and that they’ve been frustrated in their attempts to contact us. We have of course already been interviewed at length… and by the way told them we couldn’t be much help as we were both out that night. A case of the one hand not knowing what the other is doing, or just typical incompetence?

  13. How come none of the SE5 gangs have links to YouTube films or other web pages? Come on, you’re an embarrassment to Southwark. Try and keep up. Take some tips from Hackney.

    In an ideal world, I suppose, they’d take all their activities online and do nothing more dangerous than put out ever more ludicrously macho (and, it has to be noted, surprisingly camp) mini‐films posing with guns and big dogs to a thumping soundtrack.

  14. Thanks — many — to those kind enough to say they have had good experiences at The Sun and Doves recently. Much appreciated and passed on to the people responsible for getting the comments — the staff; Thanks.

    Substantially losing the Denmark Hill train service is yet another typical bad joke for SE5.

    The stabbings and shootings in this area surely put it ahead of Peckham and Brixton in the violent crime stakes?

    Donnachadh McCarthy consulted S&D on environmental stuff for a couple of years and has a wind turbine.

    Rotten trees are dangerous to life in urban settings and should be removed but replaced by new trees to carry on the good work.

    Gangs, I’ve seen quite a bit of tagging with SE5 in it. Struggled to get the gang side of it though. In an ideal world they’d all be avid street and graffiti cleaners, outdoing each other in their plentiful spare time to clean harder and longer than the other gang.

  15. The tree of heaven in Lucas Gardens has come down. It is an aggressive, invasive tree, like the knotweed or rhododendrons. It was called tree of heaven by Indonesian islanders, because it reached for the sky quick. Used in Chinese medicine, including for spermatorrhea.

  16. Dagmar — thanks for keeping us informed. We look forward to its imminent replacement by a more pacific cultivar in the red route pollution hotspot that is Lucas Gardens.

    Gnomee, interesting to see the felling of a long‐lived broadleaf offered as a direct comparator for the “loss” of an on‐street residents‐only car parking space. The approach you satirically advocate — to fell healthy mature trees with a girth greater than the average lurker’s, was in fact adopted wholesale in the Myatt’s Fields “regeneration” to make it safe innit.

  17. I spoke to a tree feller, well, there was only one of him, who was very informative. They were also taking away the big log, as we call it in the Dagmar family, which was also a tree of heaven, I think, a species which suckers strongly — there were soon great shoots sprouting from the base when the tree was cut down after the night‐time people had set fire to it. The feller said they had cut steps into a similar fallen tree in Sunray Gardens — kids play on them, he has seen, to this day. The big log was great, but not from a health and safety point of view. These are the days we live in, where danger and difference are eliminated, kind of rightly, sort of not. There is a plan for the area where the trees have gone. Quadron and Gristwood & Toms were the contractors, though I don’t know who were responsible for which bit. The trees of heaven were big, but maybe not that old, because they grow so rapidly. They quickly “escaped cultivation” once brought here from China. The book “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” features a tree of heaven which grows through concrete and is an urban thriver — classed as a pest or weed or whatever the word is, here and in the US. The Wikipedia entry is as big and weird as the tree itself.

  18. I defer to your greater knowledge of logs in Lucas Gardens.. But can vouch for the one in Sunray. Shame they couldn’t do similar in Lucas. Wasn’t Lucas orginally designed to give solace and succour to the inhabitants of the adjoining asylum? Not much changes.

  19. Camberwell House asylum, yes, across the road from the gardens, which are now named after the mayor who died in office just after the war, when the gardens were given to Camberwell. The tree of heaven’s uses in Chinese medicine include for mental illness, where the bark is steeped in young boy’s piss. Or maybe alkie and junkie piss. Yes, that is where some challenged people go, but also children, it is usually fine.

  20. There’s was an interesting anthropological study done in New York in the 90s on how park space is informally divided up between dog walkers, drug abusers, families, joggers, homeless, sun bathers, teenage lovebirds, etc.

    Turned out there’s room for everyone, and like attracts like (cosmic law No. 1) to specific areas of the park.

    Was the Lucas Gardens festival on this year? Must of missed it. That’s my favourite local event.

  21. There are some nicely thin‐cut slabs of tree of heaven timber in Lucas Gardens suitable for cabinet work. The wood is pale yellow and satiny, hard when seasoned properly. The leaves of the tree of heaven are used to cultivate shantung or pongee silk, a raw silk that is less lustrous but stronger than mulberry silk and which is hard to dye but will take a print well. The caterpillars spin a mile of silk each. The blossom of the tree really pongs and has given rise to various names for the tree. So it wasn’t the alkies and junkies that were ponging, it was the tree of heaven blossom. Maybe that’s what they told people and, though rebuffed and rejected, avoided and abhorred, were absolutely right.

  22. Friends of Peckham Rye Park Fair is tomorrow 12–5pm, tea tent, food tent, beer tent, stalls, children’s fun.

    Lottie Child was excellent talking at the SLG last night about inventive use of the urban environment for play. She can talk the critical theory, create ideas and just do it, awesome.

  23. Just a quick reminder before we all disappear off for the weekend, the Camberwell Leisure Centre meeting is on Monday evening at 7pm at the St Giles Church Hall, Benhill Road.
    Please come along and lend your support!
    Thanks

  24. Please see this notice by Paulet on SE5 Forum about a forthcoming public seminar on the cross river tram next Tuesday.

    Amongst others, Richard De Cani, Head of Major Projects at TfL will be there to discuss “overcrowding on the transport network in the north‐south corridor”, a phrase which should appear underneath Camberwell’s entry in the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

    This is a heavyweight meeting with all the local government powers necessary to solve SE5’s main problems — stemming from transport and planning — gathered under one roof. It dwarfs all recent opportunities for input from the public and community organisations in Camberwell, including anything organised for the Baths.

    I recommend that all local community activists and those professing a “love” for Camberwell take an interest.

  25. http://www.virtualnorwood.com has no unpleasantnesses on it, just normal things, none of this urban Camberwell grit. Last Saturday night a 15‐year‐old youth was killed on his scooter in a police chase, but the blog will not talk about it. There is a large shrine by a lampost on Lancaster Avenue where it happened. One of the messages reads, “You Partied so hard you Deserve the Rest.” That was a great thing to say.

  26. If I really loved Camberwell I’d become a cycle riding, tree hugging, shopkeeper vigilante and wage a war on motorists.

    Even though I agree with most of what you say Reg I find myself hoping you fail. Where are you going wrong?

    Maybe you need to go public. Put a face to the irksome online persona. Might back fire though. We’re not all as handsome as Mark ‘is that my reflection in the shop window? Crash bang wallop what a picture!’ Dodds.

  27. Funny that I was thinking yesterday I miss Alan Dale (rather than Allendale which is near where I was brought up, where the biggest habitation is Alston which used to have more pubs per head than any other town in Britain) and came to make a post saying “Alan where are you?” and there you are being so eloquent about meself. Odder things do happen rarely.

    This is about to be a genuine invitation to everyone reading, posting and lurking on Peter Gasston’s wonderful site to come to the Sun and Doves and have a good time.

    I met my half century on 7 August when I was with family abroad. This apparently major event in my life passed without much ado other than a rather good lunch in a rather impressively cheap (as in good value) restaurant called Casa Chico near Lagos in the Algarve. And subsequently a Microlight flight along the whole southern coast back across land which was one of the most energising things that’s happened to me for a very long time.

    SO on Saturday 13 September I am having a surprise 50th birthday celebration at The Sun and Doves.

    This is being organised by my girlfriend and my business partner and I don’t know about it, so keep it quiet please. You definitely didn’t hear about it from me. OK? But it would be nice to meet then if you’re around next weekend and can make it.

    Apparently there’s going to be a DJ and wine and things and everything for a good party.

    Oh yes, here’s a link to the invitation: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thesunanddoves/2830769504/sizes/o/

  28. @34 — Reg, it’s funny, but I agree with Alan on your last posting. Loftiness is truly your natural state. If you really are trying to get people to attend the tram meeting(& I remain to be convinced),get off the soapbox, please.

  29. Many happy returns Mark. 50 years old? Shit the bed!

    I thought it was odd that you holiday in the Algarve every year‐ should have realised.

    Still got it though.. Enjoy your surprise.

  30. Thanks Alan, my own bed was shat a long time ago, and the Algarve has perennially beckoned because my in‐laws live there which is a bonus and a minus depending on how I approach it. So far it’s been approached from my point as a very good value get away from the pressures of tied pub life but latterly I have been considering whether the downside really outweighs the up. On balance I’ve had way more than enough of the Algarve, as I am allowed to see it, and will not be doing such summery sojourns there in future unless far briefer or on terms more equitable to me.

    My invitation to all to come to the surprise party is genuine and open. No pressure to introduce yourselves to me — or to say thanks for the invite — just come along and have a good time if you’re available. It will be fun and the wine, certainly will be good and the beer I provide will not be bought through the tie, bottled and of quality.

    It would be particularly nice to see Reg there if he can make it.

  31. Well a small positive camberwell story. A friend of mine, a self professed life long north Lononder has, through various circumstances found herself living in Camberwell.

    We hosted her 30th birthday/welcome to South London party in the Sun and Doves on Saturday and all went very well — Camberwell behaved itself and even the most fearful north lonond/out of town guest had a lovely time and uneventful journeys and very very impressed with both the S&D and camberwell in general (well except for the Americans who got off the 35 so early they were sill in Elephant and Castle!!)

    Mark — re: the 50th birthday party — i would love to coem but i am expected in Kent on the same day for my Uncles surprise 70th birthday party!

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