A very pink November in Camberwell

We never really intended to have a Gay Camberwell Launch Month. We thought it was excitement enough to create the website ( www.gaycamberwell.com ). The idea had been growing in Roz’s head since she moved to Camberwell five years ago and found that a large number of gay people live here but tend to socialise elsewhere and don’t seem to know about the great venues just a five minute walk from home. When I moved in several months ago, we started socialising even more in Camberwell and realised that local gay people — not to mention some of our non-gay Camberwell friends — were missing out on what SE5 has to offer. People weren’t sure of the best bars and restaurants, and hadn’t heard of many of the events going on in the neighbourhood. Thus www.gaycamberwell.com was born.

Having spent an obscene amount of hours putting all the best local information onto the website: Events Calendar, Camberwell history, arts and culture organisations and venues in the area, sports and leisure, social groups, services, best shops, transport info, and photos, as well as partaking of quite a lot of dining and drinking for our Camberwell restaurant and bar reviews (it’s a hard life), setting up an interactive message board, and telling the world about our adventures in SE5 on our regular blog, we thought we’d quite like people to know about it all. And there was the idea. So innocent at first: “why don’t we hold a launch party?”

This launch party expanded into a full launch month of 9 events in 6 different Camberwell venues. Local venues were fantastically enthusiastic about hosting events. The Castle and the Cambria were so keen to hold parties that we had to have two. The Redstar had gay clubs. The Sun and Doves excelled itself by not only having a Pink November film season of a gay-themed films every Tuesday in November, also devising a full cocktail list of Pink November cocktails to celebrate the launch month. Mark, we applaud you! The Oval House was keen to participate and held a Gay Camberwell night at their current (excellent) gay-themed play, Muhammad Ali and Me. And even Camberwell Library took part, displaying a special LGBT book section.

So how did it all go? Well the lesbian club Soul Naturelle at Redstar was brilliant, full, and fun, and was to continue monthly. Though we’ve since heard tell that Redstar has suddenly closed — anyone have further information on that? The Pink November film season has been a great success, with numbers in the 40s and 50s for screenings and lots of enthusiasm, and 3 out of 4 films being Time Out Critics’ Choice. The launch party was an amazing success, with over 100 people squeezed into the upstairs room at the Castle, spilling onto the stairs, the downstairs bar and the street, drinking the bar almost out of alcohol, listening to the fantastic local gay writers (and a cappella group!) who came for free and put on really entertaining performances, and dancing into the night. I have rarely felt such a good atmosphere at an event anywhere. Frankly, Roz and I spent the whole night grinning (and drinking champagne…)

And so the month carries on apace. Major club, Club Wotever, is bringing its night south (Saturday at Sun and Doves), the Sun and Doves’ final film, My Summer of Love, screens on Tuesday, and we’re still taking bookings from more performers keen to get involved in the closing night party at the Cambria next Friday (do come!). Considering Roz and I are off on holiday to Eritrea on Saturday morning, I think I might have to limit my champagne intake (though the lovely owner Steve does plan to provide free pink martinis, which sounds dangerous… as well as creating a Gay Camberwell food menu for the night).

Gay Camberwell started off as a way to inspire and promote interesting local events, gay and otherwise, in Camberwell, and it’s great that the launch month seems to be inspiring lots of local venues to do more. We’re already working with people to develop a regular Camberwell comedy night. The Castle is planning to show gay films on Sunday afternoons. And have monthly cabaret (starting on 6th Dec). The South London Gallery is considering a gay media event. Club Wotever hopes to become a regular Camberwell feature. And there’s even more on the horizon. Another great perk has been uncovering the interesting gay events that are already happening in Camberwell, such as the gay book group (3rd Tuesday of the month at the Castle) and gay male naturist swimming (Fridays 8:15–9:15 at the Camberwell Leisure Centre). We’re having fun. Shame we have full time jobs…

This guest post was brought to you by Layla and Roz from www.gaycamberwell.com

83 thoughts on “A very pink November in Camberwell”

  1. general request to my friends on this blog — apparently I was on page 7 of the Evening Standard yesterday but I didn’t manage to get a copy of the paper.

    If anyone has a copy of yesterday’s (ie. Thurs 20th Nov) Standard, mid or late edition, and would like to give it to me, I will buy you a beer.

    Its to send to my mum, you see 🙂

  2. The Cambria pink gay closing do will be the do of do’s in my view, with people spilling onto the stars, as you say, gaycamberwell. Why is it that gay do’s are always fun? Considering that gay folk all live alone in damp bedsits listening to transistor radios playing “Downtown” by Petula Clark, they are a merry lot and aptly named.

    In these new times of austerity, mah fellow Aliens, we will all benefit hugely from the free-spending pinky-pound, sparklingly, startlingly, spankingly gay ways of the cheery queers, m’dear. Just because there are bleak times ahead does not mean that we cannot have a snog and some lager, is what they bring to the party. After all, we are all there somewhere on the dartboard of sexuality. Spin the wheel! We have nothing to lose and everything to feel!

  3. off topic… Local cafes… Dropped into Petitou yesterday, lots of pre-crunch iPhones and saturday Guardians. Mellow enough vibe thou.

    Sitting in Tadims right now. Someone left a copy of yesterdays Guardian and not an iPhone in sight. Friendly, local vibe.

  4. Fisher Athletic are playing Havant & Waterlooville today at 2pm in the FA Trophy at Dulwich Hamlet’s Champion Hill stadium by Sainsbury’s. It will be a keen game, the ball slicing through the sleet.

  5. By 2pm the sleet had cleared up and there were Neopolitan ice cream clouds towering high. I wonder who won. Eusebiovic?

    The Dagmar family went to Tate Britain to warm up. The runners have gone, which is a pity. They ran down the main atrium. That should be a permanent piece.

  6. Fisher lost 0–2 to Havant

    But who cares about that? Dulwich are 4th after 5 wins in a row!

    There have been rumours that Fisher are going to merge with the Hamlet creating “Dulwich Fisher FC” — I wouldn’t mind as long as a shiny new community stadium with improved facilities was built on the current or ajoining site — That would be spiffing!

    As long as the team colours remained Navy Blue and Corinthian Pink — Totally Unique — Maybe some of the Gay Community in Camberwell will see fit to come and watch the Hamlet 😉

    It’s our local community club, let’s support it fully!!!

  7. Hamlet is gay, they say. Interesting rumour, Eus. Fisher Dulwich makes sense in the slump, but they’d lose an awful lot of capacity to train players from young, which is what clubs like that are good at. Both Fisher and Hamlet are famous in their way. Still, a lot of people from Camberwell and Dulwich would go if they were in the Conference.

  8. Does anyone know what is happening at Seymor Brothers? It appears to have been taken over, given a shocking coat of white paint inside with bright lights and the old tables taken out and replaced with standard café tables. So much of its character and charm has been lost. Then this morning I noticed a new name ablaze in stainless steel with winebar, restaurant and deli beneath it (the old signage and black frontage was so much nicer). Does this mean the best Thai in Camberwell is to be closed? Have they now got a liquor licence so no more BYO wine and beer? What restaurant food are they planning to serve? Although I never made it to the café in day as I work in town, I’ve spent many a lovely evening there with friends who are even prepared to travel from the North for the Thai food!

    See you all at the Cambria on Friday for closing of Gay Camberwell, I cannot say what a fantastic job Steve has done with the Cambria — the food is simply the best for many miles…and the welcome makes the walk from Church Street totally worthwhile!

  9. We were in Seymour’s on Saturday and much to our distress, were told that it has been bought over by a franchise called Johanson’s. They’ll be having a restaurant and wine bar in the evening. Apparently the cafe menu won’t change much, but the Thai will be gone, and I’m guessing so will the BYOB. We’re really quite upset about this, but hopefully the new place will be decent. Seymour’s is relocating to Peckham High St.

    NB Much as Seymour’s was our favourite Thai in Camberwell, the best in terms of food is surely Su Thai? Hopefully some of the Seymour’s Thai clientele will give Su Thai some much-needed custom…

    As for the Gay Camberwell closing party, it’s going to be really great. We’ve only just finished booking the acts but there will be cabaret from the excellent and rather popular Claire Benjamin, and Michael Twaits, and music sets from the impressive Marcus Reeves and local folk acoustic troubadour Yeah Sparrow. Not to mention DJ Sina on the decks. And free pink martinis. It’s going to be a great night — hope you can make it!

  10. The Cambria is my local — literally a 1 minute walk from my door…

    They have done a fine job and the food is really fantastic too

  11. “Forest City” passed through our environs yesterday, a strange name, a bit like Albion Stanley. However, more movingly, so to speak, James Nightall D.C. passed through like a ghost from the past last week. The tale of Nightall and Soham must not go untold.

  12. I was in Johanssens or whatever it is called on Saturday morning, had a lovely breakfast and a coffee, I thought it was delightful! I had only ever been to Seymour Bros once for a coffee in the window and it was very nice but I don’t think the new place is too much of a divergence, they still have old chairs and tables, and I was thrilled to discover an open fire ablaze in the second room round. I will be back there for another breakfat on Saturday!
    I had never actually been there in the evening, although always wanted to. I have lived in Camberwell for 18 months now and there are still a huge number of places I haven’t been to, Safa, Hermits Cave, 4t4 african cuisine, Su Thai to name a few. I will make it my mission to try a different Camberwell venue at least once a month, I need to start supporting local small businesses, although the Bear and the S&D see quite a lot of me :o)

  13. Johanssons [sic]- I reported the absence of an apostrophe to the sign writer but he said that he had to follow the drawing. I asked him to escalate my complaint but to no avail..

  14. I agree that the food in Su Thai is better than Seymours Bros. In fact I had extremely wide ranging experiences of Seymour, from pretty good to absolutely atrocious. I mean, how does a Thai restaurant run out of rice!
    Has anyone tried Refill, the new West Indian take away on Denmark Hill?

  15. Johansson’s (or Johanssons) is not a franchise. It is a new venture by Peter Johansson who is a Swede by birth, but has since become a Camberwell resident of many years standing. Having long regretted the fact that Camberwell had a limited range of delis (pace Paul’s Olive), he decided to take things into his own hands and hence we have Johansson’s. He is refitting the place gradually, but it will in time (he hopes) become a deli to match the best that East Dulwich can offer.

  16. We will of course visit Su Thai, it just never seems to have any customers which doesn’t make for the best atmosphere. To be honest it was the food mixed with the quirky character of Seymour’s that made it so good…. Spice of Life is another restaurant that is unlikely to tempt us in due to overuse of white paint, white table cloths and strip lights, have any of you tried eating there as we have yet to see anyone in there?

    As we love cooking a restaurant has to have more than just good food to make us leave home and part with our hard earned cash in the current economic climate! It would be great to see all the Camberwell Restaurants and Pubs doing something a little more enduring in terms of style and eating experience to match their often superb food.

    Of course we all have different expectations but mine is just to love Camberwell a little more than I already do!

    P.S. Sorry to hear of bad experiences in the Thai at Seymour’s, I have known them to run out of Prawns and Duck as everything is brought in fresh each day but I guess there is no excuse for running out of rice 😉

  17. I have to jump in to defend Spice of Life. I notice a few people have slated it on this site without actually visiting it.

    It is very good. I prefer it to Safa where the surly staff there seem to have become so used to being the only Indian on Church St that they dont give a toss one way or the other over service.

    Spice of Life does not have strip lights it has mellow lighting with mellow music. It is a classy location with top service and a really good menu.

    Yes it is pricier than some of its neighbours — but in this case you really do pay for quality.

    You should try it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

    1. Surly staff? you must have had a bad day — whenever we go in to Safa they are very friendly. I dont mind paying more for food than the £20 or so per head (starter+main+wine) that we pay in Mozarella, Su Thai, Caravaggio or Safa its just I resent the £10+ per head more in Spice of Life for food that is at best on a par with Safa, nothing better, and less choice of dishes and when you add in the lack of atmosphere (caused largely by there being so few other diners in the restaurant) it really doesnt seem worth crossing the road for Spice. If we want another Indian there is Indiahh and New Dewanian in Camberwell or places in Kennington that I much prefer to go to than Spice of Life. I just dont see the need for another Indian in Camberwell. If you were to convert it to a Mexican/ American style restaurant i think that would go down very well, appealing to a large family demographic resident in Camberwell who currently go to Nandos.

  18. re. Johanssons lack of apostrophe.

    Before we decide not to eat shoots and leaves from the promising new deli, it’s worth pointing out that other shops don’t bother with it either. Have a look at Sainsburys.

    I think Safa has gone way down hill. Last two times I ate there the chicken was bone dry and stringy. So I’m determined to be one of the people who give Spice of Life a go.

  19. What was frustrating about JoHa’s is that I caught them in the act. You are right though — it is a common problem. It certainly won’t stop me from frequenting.

    All this talk of Safa and Spice of Life is moot given that both are within a fifteen minute walk of JJ’s.

    Big shout to the Grove — it’s not at all crap any more! Really good meal there recently.

    Well done to Hoopers (again no apostrophe) for getting in the real ale guide.

    Agree with you GC- Su Thai definitely merits better attendance.

    Well done geighbours! The blogs are buzzing with your thoughts and chat.. being a Camberwellian has never been so normal.

  20. We were also shocked to have a really rather good meal in the Grove recently, lets hope they keep it up!

    On another chatty note has anyone taken a recent wander through butterfly walk and had a look at the two new stores opening….gosh I know where I’m doing my Christmas shopping!?! It really is a delight to see a range of shops offering such a varied shopping experience for the Camberwell consumer!

  21. Another shock Camberwell shoppping expereince. I got a lovely organic unbleached cotton double duvet set from Camberwell Woolies for under £20 — it’s really soft and very good (althoguh i’ve yet to see how it stands up to washing — cheap bed linen does have a tendancy to bobble).

    Get them before woolies goes out of business!

  22. On another note, I’m hoping the techy minded of you could help me, anyone know of a company who can do e-christmas cards? We specifically want one which comes in the body of an email, rather than a link which recipients have to follow, animated would be preferable.
    Thanks!

    1. Without being too boringly techie, it’s quite hard (and not good practice) to embed animations in emails; it isn’t supported by a lot of email applications, and users don’t tend to like it. Pretty much any digital agency (or freelancer) will do it, but they’ll give you the same advice I am.

    2. Thank you Peter, I do really appreciate any advice. I thought this might be the case with an animation, along with the fact that a lot of spam filters are triggered by it. I’ll concentrate my efforts on a nice picture instead!
      Thanks

  23. Hello Everyone…I haven’t posted for a while as I’ve been busy growing and producing a small being! My little daughter Rowan is now two and a half weeks old and I’m looking for local mother and baby or other baby related groups to join, does anyone know of any? I am loving being a new mum but think I may start feeling a bit isolated if I don’t make the effort to get out and about and I don’t know any other mums in the local area.

    Had a fantastic home waterbirth experience BTW — I thoroughly recommend both home and pool birth !

    Amanda

  24. Congratulations, well done! Little Fishes playgroup, every Wednesday 10.15–11.45am at the Methodist Chapel, Camberwell Grove, is a good place to start. Baby & Toddler Gym, Camberwell Baths, Thursday 10am, £3, is another good place to start. At both places, mums have much experience of where else to go. There is also the Salvation Army playgroup in a hall near the Green — I’m not sure when and where that is — details may be online or available at the Baths. Pretty much the same mums go to all three. The local NCT may have ideas.

  25. We’re bringing in some special recession busting food offers at The Sun and Doves to help ease the pain of what we’re all going through.

    Every day of the week there will be one hearty, really good value dish available all day long. This is a genuine discount on our normal food. Yummy.

    The first available is WALL STREET MASH all day on Mondays

    1. Cor luv a duck Mumu thanks for the link. Someone told me about that but I hadn’t seen the article. Not sure I want to eat a meal for three pounds a head. How they can make chicken and chips for 30p I cannot get my head round. Even if they grew the chicken and potatoes themselves. Scary but nevertheless a pioneering business model. I can only hope to trail modestly in Mr Rabbit’s trail blazing wake.

      Genfink thank you. The potato was a little under seasoned but the sausages pretty perfect.

      We’re pushing the kitchen very hard to up the ante and front to get sharper on service. We’ve lost trade to Cambria and Bear we seriously cannot afford. BUT I’m appreciative of the fact that competition is raising the game in Camberwell… and admire what they are doing.

      Times may be hard but this competition augers (sp?) well for Camberwell’s future. I just hope we can all ride out being here in a recession and make it through to seeing Camberwell be what it can be.

  26. Amanda — There’s a playgroup at All Saints in Peckham (opposite Bar Story, near the station); on a wednesday i think. Plus the playground at Warwick Gardens provides a constant source of dazed and confused parents, looking for solace in the experiences of their peer group. Check out the parent and child bit of the EastDulwich Forum too for top tips.

    1. Thank you Florian — will check those out! Not exactly sure where Warwick gardens is though — I’m based just off Southampton Way, so Brunswick Park and Burgess Park are my nearest.

  27. Warwick, Lucas and Brunswick Gardens, exactly. Also the swings in Ruskin, near the Finsent Road entrance. The playgroup baby & toddler gym tomorrow at the Baths in Artichoke Place at 10am tomorrow is an immediate place to start. It is warm in the playroom.

    1. Thanks Dagmar, unfortunately we had a pretty disturbed night with madam last night and I have only just got her settled this morning so I have missed the baby and toddler gym. Will definitely aim to make it next week though. And will try the other suggestions too — have also been told about a mums group at Brunswick Park nursery this afternoon so might pop along to that.

  28. Peter Bennison [edit: telephone number removed]

    *[I don’t allow telephone numbers without the express permission of the owner, or unless it is available elsewhere on the web. Leave me a comment if you want the number.]

    1. Camberwell IS a huge pound store.

      I’ve just remembered what Manchester city centre was like in the early eighties. It WAS a pound store. At least the shops that weren’t boarded up were. Actually it was 50p then. And there was a Safeway that sold very cheap pink mince. And there was a covered market where mince was even cheaper and when it was cooked it tasted and smelled and looked like gravel. I hope you don’t know — grey and crunchy. A friend loved to buy this evil stuff and say he could feed us all (five strapping young dudes) at 20p a head.

      Come to think of it when looking at Mumu’s link to the £1 per course pub in Staffs or wherever what they are doing now is scary especially if they are actually making a profit out of the food at those prices.

      Gah. No wonder I feel at home in Camberwell.

  29. I really hope that it is not a Tesco simply because we already have enough rubbish supermarkets here. Besides, the local shops sell the same stuff for cheaper and better quality anyway.

    I think I really would prefer the pound store at least going into them is an adventure. You never know what you are going to get for you money!

    How about a factory outlet store like TK Maxx? That would be the good.

    1. Well found Mumu… I got a little shock there on following the link. Yes The Sun and Doves is for sale and it has been since February. But then so is Funky Munky; The Castle; Dark Horse; Black Sheep; George Canning (notionally). The Cambria is new and so not on the market — their time will come because it’s a Punch lease and although I’ve not had time to introduce myself to them and find out how they are faring I certainly know from experience is that they are working very hard and not earning anywhere near enough and hoping for a bright future — such is the pubco model. The Bear is free of tie and so their overheads are lower and they can stock whatever products they want and buy them at competitive prices but its out on a limb geographically and Olly has a hard climb ahead of him. Red Star is shut (possibly having been sold on to someone foolish enough to take it) Hermits I keep missing the chance to speak with Brendan properly so never know what he’s up to, and Silver Buckle — well who knows what is going on there? Perhaps Alan Dale does? The Grove is owned by Youngs and is a managed pub — i.e. the brewery owns the building and pays the people who work there. And you could place a safe bet they are losing money. If they weren’t a big company it would be on the market as well. That leaves pretty much the Joiners Arms. Oh and The Old Dispensary. Both have changed hands a couple of times fairly recently and I can guarantee — without knowing anything of detail about their business — that they are struggling.

      So where does that put The Sun and Doves and me and Nicky — my long term business partner?

      The pub is on the market because of a rent review which is more than three years overdue. The case has been through review, arbitration, to High Court, back to arbitration and is now in some surreal Pirates of the Caribbean limbo awaiting a final decision by the arbitrator who strangely is called ‘Solomon’. If at any time in the last three years the review had been set at what my freeholder (the pubco) wants to get we would have been bankrupted very quickly because the business cannot afford the rent they want. And, by the way, Nicky and I are on subsistence wages. We don’t drive Jags. We are no hair shirt masochists either.

      The pub has been on the market since before the bottom completely fell out of the market because selling it is the only possible way I can afford to pay the back rent owed, and S&NPE’s fees, if the arbitrator finds in S&NPE’s favour. Of course the back rent owed and the potential fees liability is increasing every day. It feels quite stressful at times. Like the potential combined bill if I don’t win the rent review is well over 100K.

      If I ‘win’ the rent review it will have cost 45K the business can’t afford — money we could have spent improving what we do — and in the end it all seems like a monumental waste of time and enercy. And this explanation isn’t half of the reality.

      No one is going to buy the lease and its being on the market is academic.

      If, though, a lot of people in Camberwell fancy being part owners of The Sun and Doves, making it into a Social Enterprise and investing in a scheme to buy the Freehold. Well that might, possibly, make sense of the current situation — but only if S&NPE were prepared to sell it. And I suspect they won’t ever do that because I’m such a thorn in their side: http://www.fairpint.org.uk

      Please excuie the typos

  30. Mark? Say it ain’t so!

    On another note, if anyone’s wondering why (Labour-voting) Peckham isn’t getting the tram anymore, it’s in no small part due to (Conservative-voting) Kensington not being subject to the Congestion Charge anymore.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7752046.stm

    So while the affluent West is let off the C-Charge and the affluent suburbs get the Crossrail, poor old South East gets no tram and less rail services. That’s a big ‘fuck you’ to us who live here.

  31. Umm Peter as soemone with contacts in TfL i’ll try to amnswer all three:

    1. Removing the West End Extension was one of Boris’s election pledges — he did do a London wide consultation however i suspect the only people who bothered to reply were those in favour of removing it.

    2. Crossrail has to happen for various reasons and many wealthy parties — including BAA have a stake in ensuring it does happen.

    3. The tram project never had any money attached to it and unfortunatly Boris is about making spending cuts (Tories ususally are!) and so that was one of the first things to go.

    i agree it’s very unfair however many people in SE London didn’t get out on May 1st and vote in their own interests — those in the Tory suburbs did so they get what they want.

    1. Not entirely relevant, but I was chatting to a contractor last night who is working on the cross-rail project. According to him phase two of the East London Line Extension (going through Denmark Hill and Peckhams Rye and Queens Road on the way to Clapham Junction) is going ahead — there has been no announcement but he claims the job is out to tender and that doesn’t happen unless funding is secured.

      Might be a load of old crap but you never know.

  32. Of course the greatest environmental and revenue benefits would have come from introducing an Eastern Congestion Charge, at least as far as Poplar. I just can’t seem to work out why Ken didn’t do this first.

    Shame about the Western, but let’s face it one could just drive through it on Grosvenor Road or Vauxhall Bridge along Piccadilly from one’s subsidised Zone 2 street storage space or megashed freight distribution centre. So key red routes — accident and pollution hotspots — were always excluded anyway. At least now the Chelsea tractors have to pay full whack to drive into the centre.

    I think the tram could be easily resurrected on the back of a pledge by Councils to significantly reduce car ownership along its proposed route. Tough choices, people, in a world with finite resources.

  33. Today I bought a pack of Woolworths own brand 12 x HB and 12 x coloured pencils for 50p down from 97p at Woolies. There were “Luxury faux fur throws” reduced — I think if you could say that, after a couple of drinks, you’d get ‘em free. The massed pipers were playing Amazing Grace on the store radio. It was all a bit too poignant.

  34. Do pop along to the Gay Camberwell closing night party at the Cambria tomorrow (friday 28th) from 7pm. Free entry gets you live music from Yeah Sparrow, musical cabaret from Marcus Reeves, drag cabaret from Michael Twaits, laughs from comedy duo Aliens ate my Schnitzel, and music from DJ Sina and hopefully the boys from Nag Nag Nag (Soho gay club), All this AND free pink martinis… and a specially created Gay Camberwell food menu, apparently. It’s going to be good. Come toast Gay Camberwell’s launch month in style!

    PS It’s just the closing of the launch month; http://www.gaycamberwell.com will of course be continuing and encouraging more events in SE5. Notably in December there will be gay-run cabaret at the Castle on the 6th and rather famous and popular queer cabaret club Wotever at the Sun and Doves on the 20th.

  35. Long time since I’ve been here. Know I’ve been missed. Know I haven’t missed much.

    The tram — of course, it’s all a terrible Boris conspiracy cooked up by those rich folk who don’t want to pay the C-charge.

    Or has it been shelved simply because the scheme NEVER had any money in the first place? And now, as an economy, and spent into the ground by Labour, we have no money to allocate to such projects.

    So how can that be a cut, Peter?

    Sorry it’s all Thatcher’s fault of course.

    Let’s give even more money to thick teenaged mums so they can spawn more scum. Hey ho!

    1. Come on Phil G being sarcastic about Thatcher is sooo last week. We all know it’s all her fault and when it comes to spending into the ground — what did London get when the Tories were in? Bugger all. All the improvements to the capital have been since Labour ascended and they even had to carry out the Tory instigated dome and get the blame for it. And when Thatcher was around how about the oil that the nation burned on unemployment and the selling off and destruction of all practical industry, services and utilities at rock bottom prices. We’re still paying for all that now but you can’t see it can you.

  36. Hmmm… On the one hand, the C-Charge would have raised £50-£70m per year; on the other, the tram didn’t have enough funding — yet apparently there is no relationship between the two?

    Aware that I am simplifying somewhat, but am pretty hacked off with reduced train services, no tram, and reduced bus capacity (around Waterloo, although not directly affecting us — yet), I feel somewhat pessimistic about transport lately.

  37. Ken was playing politics with the Tram. He’s been giving false hope for it for about 8 years. Of course the small print said it wouldn’t even begin construction until something like 2018 or so, if funded. (And I believe funding comes from Central Government not from TfL revenues, though Hannah can set me straight).

    And Peckham wasn’t too keen on the tram anyway. They fought quite hard against it.

    Besides, no community in London has gotten more money for regeneration than Peckham. No one.

    Boris has promised better bus services, which arguably is the sensible solution for these parts.

    1. Amazing that fact about Peckham. Because despite all the money for regeneration it’s still rubbish for the most part. The bit near Dulwich is alright, but North of Peckham High Street/Queens Road is still woeful, worse than most of Camberwell. It still needs lots of help!

  38. Newroad — is that true about Peckham? Wow! V interesting… Don’t dispute it but it’s hard to see. Guess it’s all in the tearing down of those old estates.

    You got a top 10 list or anything?

  39. Lest we spiral into politics, in other news:

    Going up:
    The Cambria (1st visit the other week, v good)
    Oval Theatre (good prices, close and interesting)
    Taste London (top babs)

    Going down:
    No. 12 and 436 buses (smell worse than ever for some reason)
    New Loong Kee Viet restaurant (not impressed this month)
    Christine’s Meat + Fish (have you been in there? Seriously!)

    Awaiting test:
    Portuguese place opposite the STD clinic. Sounds like a great location for a date.

    1. Backing up what Phil says re Oval Theatre — I went last night to see “Muhammad Ali and Me” and was completely thrilled by this excellent show. It’s an absolute tour de force from the players, skilled and energetic, and funny too. I think it’s only on tonight and tomorrow so if you are at a loose end go and see it, and get a view of where contemporary theatre is at. A real jewel, I’ll be back for sure…

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