Staffing at Loughborough Junction Station

When I contacted Peter about the staffing issues at Loughborough Junction train station, he very kindly invited me to write a guest post. I am honoured to have the opportunity.

The ticket office at Loughborough Junction train station has recently been reviewed by First Capital Connect, who have decided to close the office after 12.45 noon and at the weekends. Their reason for this is reduced ticket sales in the afternoons. Unlike at other stations where the ticket offices are proposed for closure, Loughborough Junction will be left completely unmanned when the office is closed.

We are very concerned that this proposal will inevitably make the station attractive to criminal activity, affecting public safety and will lead to increased general vandalism. Users of the station including elderly and children should expect staff to be available to advise and provide support at all times the station is open. The station platform is also a very isolated place high above the streets below.

Please offer your support for the station and anyone that uses it by signing our petition.

As this affects so many locals, I would very grateful if you could inform your friends and neighbours too!

Thank you for your support

Nick and the Loughborough Junction Action Group

For more information please visit the Loughborough Junction Blog.

106 thoughts on “Staffing at Loughborough Junction Station”

  1. Oh the ups from the last blog and now the downs, I have signed the petition sent it to people on facebook.
    I will also email Tessa Jowell MP for my part of SE5 the Mayor and local councillors. You can find yours all here

  2. And to add to the woes, I hear that Cube hairdressers is likely to close shortly if the owner can’t find a buyer. I’ve been going there since its previous incarnation, and also to its once sister salon in Kentish Town; this is a real blow to me.

  3. Just read on SE5Forum that Woolies has been turned into a 99p store.
    Just what Camberwell was crying out for. Now if cube could be converted to a nail bar, we really will have wrapped up those long standing gaps in Camberwell’s shopping scene.

  4. argh indeed — i remember there was some discussion/hope about camberwell having a town centre management/manager, did some googling and the first thing i found was a report by councillor ian wingfield stating “What is required is a broad strategy that lays out a vision for what the Council
    would like Camberwell to become” — note that it’s ‘what the council would like’ rather than ‘what the people living in camberwell would like’.

  5. Roma Cafe near the Old Kent Road does good groundhog, slow-baked in clay. Woolies was originally a 3d and 6d store. It should have become a 99p store. It went wrong because it tried to become cheaper in quality, but more expensive in the money you paid. Woolies always rode shotgun to Marks & Spencer, who originally never sold anything over 5 shillings. Perhaps at one time Marks and Woolies should have married, like the Prince and Cinderella, become one, been fleshlily tied, sticked together — but the suture’s not ours to see, que sera sera.

  6. I had my hair cut at Cube the other day and my regular hairdresser told me that the buyer has told them all they have to find other jobs within 5 weeks. I’ve taken her phone number as she plans to offer hairdressing in peoples homes. If you want her number Peter let me know. I think she’s very good.

  7. Thanks Amanda, I’ll be in touch about that.

    Couple of things:

    1. I went to William Rose, the butcher in Lordship Lane, on Saturday. The queue was out of the door and round the corner — just to buy good quality meat! No-one can tell me there wouldn’t be demand for this in Camberwell.

    2. I’ve set up a Facebook page for readers of this blog if they feel like identifying themselves:

    I promise I’ll never post anything there that won’t be available here, so don’t feel that you’ll be missing out if you don’t sign up.

  8. The new 99p store in the old Woolies is the same chain as the Butterfly Walk one — good news, they are excellent. The new shop will be much better to navigate. There is a traditional Camberwell saying, “As slow, insensitive and bone-headed as the kine in the aisles of the 99p shop in Butterfly Walk.”

    Part of the old Woolworth’s sign was standing on the pavement outside today — OLWORT. It was taken away in a lorry from Gee’s of Wakefield, presumably working for shopfitters working for 99p Stores. A South London Gallery exhibit worth its salt would be the word WORTH made from an old Woolworths sign. That would get the asthetic post-modernist grey cells grinding.

    Nadir Lalani, the founder of 99p Stores in 2001, knows his stuff, having come from retail in Tanzania. He is accused of undercutting pound shops by a penny, but his spokesman told the Grocer magazine that for their customers, “Every penny counts.” They have taken over 15 Woolies recently.

    The new show, a film, in the South London Gallery, “Flooded McDonalds”, is very restful, calming, charming and numinative, reflectoral and ruminutory, a bit like watching paint dry.

  9. When I was in Eritrea in December, I very randomly ended up sharing a taxi to an obscure location with an Eritrean man who turned out to be from Camberwell. We spent a pleasant half hour contemplating the best replacement for Somerfield, and came to the conclusion of Morrisons: if it’s true, we’ll both be happy…

  10. Avoid the ridiculous queues at Wm Rose by buying much better meat, properly butchered and with lovely service from Mr Sparkes’ van on Northcross Street. He’s there Fridays and Saturdays…

  11. Know anyone looking for a room to rent?
    Bright double room available in 2 bed flat near to Myatt’s fields.
    Lovely flatmate!

  12. Morrisons would be really welcome but since the Peckham one would be equidistant it’d be nice to have another option — Asda would be good. They do some fun stuff.

    Can’t wait to get rid of Somerfield. Co-Op usually disappointing I find.

  13. I might have been in the queue with you on Saturday Peter! Nuff said. Did you buy some Rose of Roscoff onions from the French chap outside?

    They’re getting Welsh salt marsh lamb April/May. A true British delicacy. Please leave me some.

    Wm Rose has Moxton’s the Fish opposite and delis wine merchants and cafes within brick-throwing distance. Who cares if it’s a cliché, it makes a pleasant change.

    ED does very well by Camberwell, as does Ocado. But it’s not to the majority’s tastes.

    Will check out Mr Sparkes. Didn’t know about him. Thanks SpikeyD.

  14. @SpikeyD : Do you mean Northcross Rd in E Dulwich? Nice tip, thanks.

    @ Phil G : I don’t mind Morrisons, either; have a better selection of fresh stuff, and a very good range of beers (at least the Peckham one does).

    @ Copeywolf : I was there at about 4.30pm and yes, I did buy some onions from the onion man! He was selling at the Oval farmers market before Christmas and I bought some then, too. Lovely onions.

    I’m very jealous of Lordship Lane; a butcher, fishmonger, cheesemonger, and greengrocer, all within walking distance; a proper high street, IMHO. Mind you, there’s a lot of overpriced nonsense there too.

  15. Sad to hear about Cube.

    Hope Tadims reopens soon.

    Tried the new chinese place near Caravaggio — very popular and busy, but we weren’t impressed by either the menu selection or the food itself. It’s probably an acquired taste.

    Looking forward to trying the new noodle bar that will be opening (or is it already open?) in place of Mazzarella Pomadoro.

    And yet another rave for La Luna, it really is the best Italian within walking distance of the Green.

  16. Has anyone else tried Pasha apart from the helpful soul, perhaps Gay Camberwell related, who flagged it up recently?

    Pasha the restaurant that is, not the club.

  17. @Peter — sorry, I meant Rd of course. For some reason, I always think Northcross should go with St rather than Rd — perhaps ‘cos I don’t want it to be associated with Northcote Rd in Clapham, from whose apalling grasp I escaped a few years ago 🙂

    You’re right that there’s some nonsense there, but Sparkes and Pretty Traditional greengrocers are really worth frequenting. Better and cheaper fish than Moxons to be had at Sopers in Nunhead, btw — but it’s a bus ride away…

  18. We’ve been to Pasha a couple of times and really enjoyed both visists. The food is good as is the service but it’s really the bean bags and small stream running through the room that makes the evening.

  19. Excellent ptogramme on BBC Wals last night called ‘Over A Barrel’. David Morgan, one of the co founders (along with Camberwell’s very own licensees — Steve Corbett, Nicky Francey and me) of The Fair Pint Campaign figures highly in the programme. It is THE best programme aired so far on the realities and inequities of the tied pub system in Britain.

    Really worth watching:

    If anyone can tell me how to save the programme onto disc — I mean a cd that I can send to friends, then please tell me!


    Good to see you last night Drew.

  20. You can actually see Erin O’Connor, the 6‑foot beauty from Brownhills, West Midlands, in the alehouses and eateries of Camberwell, when she is not respresenting us all over the world. She has an original mind as well as look.

    “Doncaster PSB 1981–2002” is one of the Class 66s made in London, Canada, known as “Ying-yings” amongst gricers. Doncaster Power Signal Box was the third modern box to be built after King’s Cross and Peterborough and is very imporant for the London-Edinburgh line. The locomotive may not be romantically named, but it hauls with it tons of austere functionality through our dreaming-spire purlieus.

  21. You can also try Tudor Garage right next door to The Sun and Doves. Ian and Billy have been there for donkeys’ years and are leaving soon because their lease is uip. Kings are turning it into a wheelchair repair shop and admin offices, shame. The best mechanics I’ve ever had. Been using them since 1995.

    The end of an oily era.

  22. For those who didn’t read the Southwark News review of Pasha, linked above, can I recommend it, particularly the section in which our scribe gratuitously insults his long-suffering wife/girlfriend (“…and the missus didn’t even have a cross word, a rarity indeed.”)

    I’m all in favour of local paper restaurant write-ups; they have a much more immediate impact for most outlets than a mention, good or scathing, in the national press. They’re usually much more fun to read, too. A friend who began his journalism career in York antagonised a number of the city’s restaurateurs, most notably one where he described a dish as “so dry I half expected to see Peter O’Toole galloping across it on a camel”.

  23. I worked in local papers as a journalist. They’re disgraceful employers, really awful.
    Their pennypinching and lack of vision has run the industry into the ground. The BBC’s neverending expansionism is partly to blame.
    It’s a terrible shame about local papers as they’re so great at building community fabric and identity.

  24. I always thought that the local papers (Southwark News, The South London Press, Bingley Advertiser — you get the picture) was where the trainee “journalist” honed their “skills” to become fully-fledged prostitutes of the written word. However, as they’ve alienated Phil G, I’m feeling a new warmth for them.

  25. Mush, I’ve just deleted my great response to your prod. I looked at it and thought — nah, there’s really no point. Plenty of animosity in SE London already, so why bring it here.

    Hi Dagmar — the South London Press is not bad and I read it now and then. I’d have to read it more regularly to give a proper opinion on it. I’d like to see more council and crime coverage. That it’s a biweekly is unusual in the local rag world. I’d prefer a weekly. Funnily enough two ex colleagues used to work there, though they’ve left now.

    Southwark News I’ve never really looked into. If it were good I’d be more minded to buy it as it’d be more local, in theory. I’m guessing it doesn’t have the budget or staff of the SLP.

  26. Silk Road.

    Yes, it’s very good and is the closest thing to Xinjiang food I have ever found in the West. Tripe kebabs were a revelation. Lamb kebabs a bit overseasoned but reminiscent of China. Big plate chicken enjoyable. I’ll go back and try the dumplings and noodle dishes another time.

    The owners aren’t Muslim Xinjiang Uighurs but are ethnic Han Chinese who come from the Xinjiang region.

    Every dish we had was excellent and they have totally transformed the way the Xinjiang stuff is marketed and laid out on the menu. This is in sharp contrast to six months or so ago when I went in and it was buried in the menu and there were fewer dishes.

    I discussed this with the owner who is aware that he’s onto a good thing with his rare offering, for now. To put this in context, Camberhell is probably the only place in the UK offering this cuisine. Foodies will travel from across London for it.

    Having said all that, it’s not an astounding cuisine so if you haven’t tried it don’t expect too much. Quite simple, hearty stuff. I just like it because it reminds me of travels in China, and is a nice change from the usual Cantonese fare. Tasty too.

    Anyway, I’d recommend it. Along with Caravaggio, Tadim when it reopens, Taste London, and the fish n chips place, there’s quite a strip of decent food there now!

  27. Being a regular reader of the South London Press and Southwark News I think Southwark News is far superior in every respect — it actually reports local news in a straightforward manner rather than the sensationsit tabloid style of the SLP. It also benefits from having a clearly defined area to cover — the SLP tries to cover all the boroughs ranging from Lewisham to Wandsworth and is too thinly spread. Incidentally I wouldnt be surprised if the SLP became once weekly soon given the doldrums of the newspaper industry and the lack of property adverts in the Tuesday supplement. I wish there was an equivalent Lambeth News for those of us in Lambeth

  28. Just been looking at SNews site. It’s an independent, which is q rare, and is to be applauded. Most have been sold to the handful of big groups, which are the ones that are shedding jobs.

    Will buy a SNews this week. They’ve got quite an easy website to get round, unlike SLP.

    SNews has a reporting team of 3. This is small, but adequate to cover our patch I think. We could offer up some pro Camberwell stories to our beat reporter. I speak his language.

    If anyone’s interested, the SNews circulation is around 9,660. SLP 22,582.

    I thought the difference between them would be greater. Both are quite small in regional newspaper terms.

  29. To Phil G:

    Tadims? a good place to eat?
    I went there twice on the recommendations of people on this site and the SE5 forum as well as people I met in the street.

    Inedible, rubbery tired shit. Both times. Wouldn’t eat there again if you begged me. And the 3 or 4 friends I have who have also been there agree…Is there another Tadims I don’t know about? And the croissants were awful too.

    Second point…Camberhell? Really.… Can we have some more positive thoughts please.… see previous post

    Finally: Liked the new 99p store. At least the shelves are well stocked and it’s clean and the staff are friendly and it actually has things I want to buy. Unlike Woolies which it took over. Got a Belkin i‑pod sleeve for carrying your i‑pod when running for…you guessed it…99p. Oh and a hip flask for the lady.

  30. Monkeycat:

    I do know what you mean about the Tadims rubber stuff — lasagne or whatever it was.

    However, I’ve had a few dishes there and it was usually good. So no, it’s not a standout place, but at least it’s an option. Also the lahmacun makes a good and cheap walkaround snack.

    More positive thoughts? The whole post was about how great it is to have something unique in our area. Spelling it out that SE5 is a UK first. Or did you miss that bit? Jeezus, why bother, honestly.

    Woolies? I’m confused. I couldn’t give a stuff that Woolies closed. It should’ve failed years ago. It was rubbish. While I don’t hate the 99p store and I would like a cheap hipflask, we have a 99p store already and it’s a shame that something — dare I say it — more aspirational hasn’t moved in.

    Too many posts from me today, I’ll watch awhile…


  31. I’m not really allowed to make comment on other eating places because I own an eating place and loads of people assume I just make comment to try to get more business for my own.

    I’m really very objective and have terrible problems at times about what comes out of The Sun and Doves food-wise (that’s my place although I don’t own the freehold by the way) but what I can say about S&D is that I’ve had some of the best uncomplicated unmessed around food ever there — as well as some scary moments which have REALLY freaked me out even when as owner the staff have known they were sending food out to the owner and they all know what I want is to get what any regular customer wants — good and consistent…

    I don’t get out much any more and that’s the way it is but I can say that catering is my life and I lived with a Raymond Blanc trained chef (the first woman to ever work in his kitchen) for five years and worked front of house in some of the best popular restaurants in Britain for ten years.

    That said. I’ve had many awful food experiences in Camberwell. I’d rate Tadim near the top of the worst — for hard inedible cardboard pastries particularly but say that visually it promises way more than it delivers. Their food is big though and takes ages to eat so I suppose that represents good value as long as you can get your teeth out of the first bite.

    Hoa Viet has been good and alternately awful. Seymours has gone and that’s no surprise, I tried to buy into Becky a few years ago but she wouldn’t go for it. And Johanssens I’ve not had a chance to try.

    Caravaggio I;ve been to twice and I think it;s revolting but then I know loads of people who think it;s good and they always say how cheap it is and how big the portions are. I know Frank and admire his steely uncompromisingly basic attitude to food and business but that doesn;t stop me from wanting to spit out the stuff I get on a plate there. Cheap or not. There is a difference between cheap and good value and Caravaggio does it very well.

    Woolworths should have got their act together a decade ago

    Curtailed post due to unexpected arrival of best friend at door.

  32. the one thing that i saw in S&D a while back was the chef came out of the pub into the front garden to pick some rosemary. i really liked that.
    haven’t eaten anything in s&d though, apart from a friend’s chip or two as i’m not sure how much vegan stuff there is on the menu?

  33. Tadims. I’ve got fond memories of that joint, Eaten there often enough. Always looked at it as a cheap, unpretentious eat. Unfortunately, the last two times I ate there I practically got sawed in half by the malignant eye-beams from the ultra-surly waitress who handled our orders. Sigh.

    Carravaggio: Nice to sit out front, coffee’s alright, and cheap, and I remember my pasta dish being not bad for the price. They serve vinegary piss for wine, though.

    Fair play to the man like Mark for attempting to ‘switch up the game’.

    Incidentally, I have been reading Gregor Muir’s account of rolling with the YBA pack in the 90s (Lucky Kunst), and his evocation of Camberwell under Thatcher makes its current incarnation sound relatively benign. Take heart, friends.

    Man, chilling here, smoking rollups, listening to Steely Dan. Life aint so bad.

  34. Does the Sun and Doves serve pigeon? That would be a good addition to a new austerity menu: Greene King IPA at 99p a pint and as much pigeon as you can eat for £2.99.

  35. I had pigeon in The Bear in December. It was superb. £12 or so though.

    Tadims. “visually it promises way more than it delivers” — very well put. It’s been a while since I ate a full meal there. Maybe they’ll improve it when they reopen.

    S+D offers good fare and I look on it as a reliable standby for when I want to sink a few pints and eat in one go.

  36. @Mark, we ate lunch at S & D a few weeks ago and have to say it was excellent. Large portions, very tasty and you got exactly what you ordered.

    Agree that Tadims is probably overrated, lukewarm coffee, stale croissants — but the cheese and spinach pastries are nice even if microwaved.

    Caravaggio does excellent paninis, great for lunch.

    Hoe Viet has to be the friendliest place in Camberwell though!

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