Democracy inaction

Quick update to say thanks to the team for the last post (sorry I can’t attend your closing party tonight, but I’ll be in East Dulwich with the yummy mummies), and thanks in advance for the other guest post coming up next week.

Also: vote for Camberwell Green to get a makeover.

Author: Peter

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

47 thoughts on “Democracy inaction”

  1. Great find Peter.

    Voted and noted Genfink’s circulation note too.

    Please pass this on to everyone you know in the SE5 area and beyond, we deserve it.

  2. Have been out in Brixton a few nights recently.
    What is remarkable about a place you hear so much about is that there are so few places to eat and drink there, especially eating. Woeful.
    Brixton may edge it on clubbing, but I’d say Camberwell is better. And Phil G fans know that I don’t say that lightly.

    1. Not sure about that Phil. Brixton has a decent cinema, a good noodlehouse (Fujiyama), a good all rounder restaurant (The Hive on Station Road)and some good boozers (The Trinity, The Effra, Brixton Bar and Grill). More to the point it has the Academy, which has to be one of the best live music venues in the country. It also has a proper market with a decent fish stand. I think Brixton and Camberwell both have their charms to be honest but wouldn’t say Camberwell was better. I’d kill for a cinema and a gig venue!

    2. Yeah, I didn’t mean for clubbing / music. Clearly Brix is ahead there. I meant eating and drinking. Primarily eating. You’ve named the only places, though I did go to the Eritrean place, which was OK.

  3. All done!!!

    Hopefully the Green will get a lovely makeover — It’s such a shame that the Green can’t be extended across the road and form a green link from the New Road and take the place of the horrible job centre plus/bus depot/worktool warehouse and that shabby set of buildings with all the different “Blessed Evangelical Church of the Cynical Unscrupulous Eagle Eyed Capitalists” type enterprises…

    Does it never occur to these people that while they have to get the bus their honest Pastor is driving the latest Toyota Lexus for a very good reason?

    People eh? — What are we like?

  4. HERE’S a great chance to do something REALLY GOOD for Camberwell: Conor Masterson is a photographer based at Clockwork Studios, whose winter Open Day is this Saturday starting midday.

    Conor wants to recreate the scene of a photograph taken outside Clockwork Studios, then called ‘Fred Karno’s Fun Factory’ in 1907. Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel are among the 200 or so others gathered in the street to commemorate something or other.

    Conor’s idea is simple: let’s contrast the people of the two Camberwell’s 101 years apart. It’s a great idea; it could be a galvanising moment when a lot of people come together for a bit of a celebration of just how much they like being here, no matter how it might feel sometimes, and take it further over the next few years to put Camberwell where it deserves to be. Somewhere good.

    The location info below is from Conor’s incredibly impressive blog site about this 101 event. Come on: drop everything on Saturday and get along to Southwell Road and help Conor make a bit of history!

    Shoot Details: Timings & Location

    Here are the details for the shoot:

    It is happening on 7th December 2008 at 11.15am Please arrive near the location by 10.45. I aim to be completely finished by 11.30 am. That means if you are late you may miss it completely.

    The address is The Clockwork Studios, 38 Southwell Road, London, SE5 9PG.

    This is at the junction of Harbour Road and Southwell Road. There is parking in the area on many of the side streets nearby. We will be keeping the location free from parked cars so please try to avoid driving directly to the studios to park especially closer to the shoot time.

    What to wear I am not trying to copy the original photograph exactly. I intend to use the same composition as a starting point and then to see who is here now. With this in mind the dress code is optional. You can wear what you like but bear this in mind. Its a snapshot of a moment in time showing who is around now. I think if you are an artist or a professional with a uniform or recognisable garb or props then I would encourage you to wear them. Half the fun of the original is looking at how people used to dress. We know they were all perfomrmers but in this new image there will be a more varied group of people. I would encourage variety and individuality.

  5. Peter I just did a long informative post about Clockwork Studios on Southwell Street and Conor Masterson looking for people to have a large group photo on Saturda and it was marked as spam…

  6. hehehe would that be THE toyota lexus that is always parked on the pavement in front of the church at weekends because ‘god is in the house’?

    on a serious note though, there are some plans already to finally tackle the what i think used to be the anarchist garden, the one at the bottom of the green and turn part of it into a sensory garden.

    1. My computer seems to be picked up as spam. This is just a test to see if I’m wasting my time. Did a detailed post about Conor Masterson last night and another follow up and neither stuck on the blog.

  7. Sensible talk at last. The anarchist garden was great but a little anarchic, probably through not giving due reverence to nature. A cynic would say it was more anarcho-syndicalist. A sensory, perfumed garden will be fab especially in our hot, humid and fragrant summers — the mind boggles! Many a swain and his maid might venture there when the Buckle closes!

    The owner of the excellently engineered but neverthethless execrable Lexus may wish to know that he or she has been eclipsed and gas-guzzlingly auto-sodomisedly gazumped by a fantastic metallic gold Reliant Kitten on Mottingham Lane near the junction of William Barefoot Drive between Grove Park (SE9 not ours) and Chislehurst. The Kitten was totally unnecessary since it had four wheels not three like the Robin and required full road tax unlike its three-wheeled avian cousin. God may drive a Lexus but the metallic gold Kitten defies belief. William Barefoot (1872–1941) was a fine Labour local politician who died in the council chamber.

  8. Quick change of topic: does anybody have any experience, good or bad, of using lettings agencies in the area to let out a property? Are there any you would recommend, or any you would advise against using? Any thoughts gratefully received.

    Many thanks,


    1. I don’t have anything specific about letting agencies, but my mother used to rent out her property to students through Camberwell Arts College. The money was good and the students kept the house in good nick, surprisingly.

  9. Know nothing about lettings.

    This saturday outside Clockwork Studios on Southwell Road (off Coldharbour Lane) Conor Masterson is recreating a photograph of a piece of Camberwell history taken in 1907. It’s of people outside Fred Karno’s Fun Factory (now Clockwork Studios) included in teh amassed are Charle Chaplin and Stan Laurel. Conor needs people to come along to be in his mass portrait record of the community in 2008.

    It’s part of Clockwork Studios’ open day so there’s a reason to be there anyway — have alook around the studios, meet some artists, enjoy the work and maybe find a unique present for your neaest and dearest.

    Have a loof here: Conor’s excellent blog explains it all very well and I think you’d be cray not to want to join in this rather exciting chance to bring a whole lot of people together and then go en masse to the the Sun and Doves for Sunday lunch. Actually I’ll even buy everyone a drink as long as it’s not beer. Be there or be square!

    Here’s Conor’s invitation:

    Its Open Studios time again at the Clockwork Studios and I’d like to invite you to come an enjoy the art on show. There is a good vibe during this weekend as the whole studio is open for browsing and last minute Xmas shopping. I’ll be there with my new Photographic Lightworks on display with prints for sale as well as the usual suspects.. painters,
    ceramists, a milliner, a tie maker, T‑shirt designer etc …more on the site:

    It starts off on Friday evening with a glass of wine at 6–9pm and then goes on all weekend from noon until 6pm on Saturday and Sunday.

    This year there is a special event as I am also producing a very exciting shoot on Sunday morning at 11.15am. Its a recreation or homage to an original photograph taken at the studios in 1907 with Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel as part of the Fred Karno group of performers. If you come on Sunday morning you can be in the photograph too as its a celebration of who is here now, 101 years later, and that includes visitors and patrons like you. Come along and help us celebrate the Clockwork Studios as ‘The Fun Factory 101’, and feel free to bring along friends or forward this to anyone who likes fine art photography or mince pies, mmmm!

  10. 37259 and 37606 passed through this morning in what was a nuclear flask train or possibly a sandite unit. This latter spreads sand, alumunium and a special adhesive onto the rails to counteract the leaves on the line. The diesels are old English Electric Class 37s dating back to the 1950s and early 1960s, refurbished in the 1980s for British Nuclear Fuels, now the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority who own DRS (the name on the livery) which is Direct Rail Services. They were also sold and liveried for work in high speed railway buidling in France and Spain. These old “tractors” as gricers call ’em because of their distinctive sound are the only remaining locomotives owned by the state. The flask trains have trompe l’oeil windows on the “carriages” depicting old colonels reading the Telegraph as their wives sit wearing hats.

    1. We already have one channel open (this blog), so I’ll decline your very kind offer, but thanks.

  11. Britten passed through today. A few days ago James Nightall G.C. passed through, like a ghost, the hero of Soham.

    On the night of 2 June 1944 an ammunition train was passing through Soham. The train was 390 yards long and had 51 wagons carrying 400 tons of bombs to support the D‑Day Landings. The driver noticed flames coming from beneath the first wagon right behind him. What happened next is told at under history, Soham rail disaster.

    It stunningly different from the Soham story that most people know today and would make an excellent subject for a Benjamin Britten opera.

  12. “Tiny fragments of glass were still tinkling down from the church windows” when the thanksgiving service was held the first Sunday after the Soham train disaster. (Just trying to get us back on track.)

  13. Thatcher, eh? Some of the till girls at Somerfield are just the nicest people you could meet in the whole wide world. My favourite is Salome. Her till receipt reads, TODAY YOU WERE SERVED BY SALOME. Tina is also great, very calm. We should think of these people at this time. Especially the folks who work at Woolworths — they are a very cheery team. They are local, they are us, they are family. Camberwell is not primarily about alternative comedy, langoustines and flippin’ hip-hop and daft pop music. It is first and foremost about the naked, basic people who live here.

    1. oh that’s priceless! my partner was asking how much do you have to spend to get a free head of john the baptist and/or the dance of the seven veils.

      we don’t go out much 🙂

  14. Snagged some cracking Christmas bargains at some of the open studios off Kenbury Street this afternoon. Got some lovely scented candles for mother and a bunch of Secret Santa tyoe goodies. Followed by a Sun & Doves late lunch, yummy chips, and a pleasant stroll to and from Sainsburys.

    Carols next Sunday 2pm at the bandstand in Ruskin Park should bring some festive cheer. Especially as refreshments are provided free! Mulled wine ahoy (I hope)

  15. I refused to buy the Guardian yesterday because it contained wrapping paper “designed” by Victoria Beckham. I have never boycotted the Guardian before, epecially the Saturday edition. Now I see on their website that its is full of things I want to read. Darn.

    1. Dagmar I bought it and discovered Vicki’s crapping paper and was not pleased. Design? Looks like an x‑ray of a tagliatelle ball repeated ad nauseam. Lifeless and dull. She’s not a designer that’s for sure.

    2. It should be available in the library for reading — ours was picked up by lambeth recycling this morning and thus will not be used to wrap any presents

      There was a letter in yesterdays Observer which suggested that the famous people’s wrapping paper designs give away was “either a superb piece of satire on the culture of celebrity fetishism — in which anyone famous for one thing can be good at anything — or a sad indictment of the depths that now have to be plumbed in order to sell newspapers.”

    3. Today, Yoko Ono, tomorrow, Sienna Miller. Where are the true heroines of yesteryear, like Richmal Crompton and Siouxsie Sioux, for instance? They both lived in Chislehurst down the road, I discovered recently on a trip there. Jimi played in the caves, which are 22 miles in length.

  16. Why does JJ’s have a mural depicting an indian guy squeezing the last remaining breath from a lifeless Michael Jackson?

    Great food there again recently. Thanks to the lady lesbians for reviewing it back to my attention.

    Is it a royal ‘we’ that reviews things for Gaycamberwell? Or perhaps one partner documents what is consistently shared opinion. As I read I imagine the passive partner nodding furiously in agreement for fear of reprimand..

    Am I stereotyping? Maybe, but please explain the constant use of the first person plural..

  17. So that would imply that the editor is the voice of a body of opinion.

    I suppose the reason it jars is that some of the opinions expressed are clearly personal:

    Have all the GC review team really tasted the same things in India for example? Furthermore the ‘we’ expressing collective opinion of JJ’s is a subset of the bigger ‘we all’ who ‘left feeling satisfied…’

    To that end I am still drawing the inference that GayCamberwell is headed up by a couple who fit the stereotypical assertive/submissive lesbian partner roles.

    Inate ignorance bordering on homophobia or genuinely something in the text? You decide.

    All very interesting but more importantly thanks again GC. You might not be feeling it but I really appreciate the renaissance in Camberwell culinary culture which I attribute to your world wide web work..

    1. Alan — your posting above is very friendly in tone, but please give GC a break. The people concerned (who I don’t know, by the way) are trying to get the website and an active local gay community spirit going. From the reports of Pink November, they’ve achieved some of that already in many ways. The use of “we” is a way of expressing that spirit of community, I think. In their shoes, I’m not sure I’d be too keen to enter into a debate about whether my relationship conformed or bucked the trend of a stereotype that you’ve encountered at some stage in the past.I think you’re being a bit too literal. Are you an English teacher? It’s just that I’ve generally found English teachers to be a bit tight-assed.….…

    2. Mush, there are no gay people up north. It’s Grimsby up north. Down south it’s all soft. You know. Down south.

    3. lolz. I wuz gonna ask r u a copy editor? They the type that gets uptight about english usage (technically you have a point, mind).

      The thing i dont get is the “gay friendly” ranking. wots that based on?

    4. I’m sure you can tell from Dagmar’s regular spelling corrections that I am not an English teacher. Furthermore it was Peter who enlightened me to the use of the editorial ‘we’.

      I guess I’m just bitter because Emma left me for her sociology teacher from night school. Put loads of radical marxist-feminist nonsense in her head then swept her off to Lesbos.

      GC is doing a really good job. But no one is perfect.. I’m sure ‘they’ can take it. If not then ignoring me is a pretty good tactic. Works for Peter..

  18. Innate, innit. Alan, the old boiler fellow you recommended didn’t ring back but thanks anyway, his reputation is good. The chap we had round was excellent in the end, worked 13 hours nonstop for a previously agreed price, was genuine i.e. had grown up on the Aylesbury and in Peckham though now lives in north Kent. I would recommend him to anyone needing gas boiler work, he is excellent. We no longer live inuit, init.

  19. Boilers – can’t live without them. Ours went one winter. Had to replace it. Hard to find a good boiler engineer.

    I stopped and talked to the guy in Camberwell with a wind turbine the other day. He says they are not worth the hassle and you’re better off with photovoltaic roof panels to generate electricity.

    To heat your house, the best bet is to get a wood burner and fuel it with the mountains of free timber people leave lying about the place. Kindly locals have started leaving wood in his front yard.

    I’d guess it wouldn’t scale well, however. You need a house, not a flat. And we’d all be out scavenging for wood.

  20. Alan — to lose a loved-one to a sociology teacher (whatever the gender) is indeed a stab in the back. If it helps, I once “went out” (??) with someone who dumped me and then became a Catholic priest! So, whilst you drove Emma into the arms of a woman, I appear to have turned someone off sex altogether (if the hype is to be believed!). Now THAT hurt! I’m over it now.

Comments are closed.