Faded glories and wild schemes

Hello, everyone. *Tut.* Politics, eh?

Right, I don’t want this to turn into the Le Petit Parisien blog, I just wanted to say that I went there for dinner on Saturday and had a delicious lamb shank, while the wife enjoyed a really good steak. Definitely worth a visit, even though I think they’ve set their price point a little high; but then, I think that of almost everywhere I eat.

If I could make one small suggestion to them: get some more typical French specials on. I’m a huge fan of hearty classics like boeuf bourguignon, so seeing something like that would have made my night.

On to other matters: I may just have come up with a plan to recapture the faded glories of SE5; let’s bottle and sell Camber Well water! The famous restorative nature of the waters would go down a treat with today’s health-conscious, work-hard play-hard middle classes.

By the way, those aforementioned faded glories may well be represented in the Lost Southwark exhibition at The Cuming Museum. If topic for debate should ever be required, try this: my contention is that no post-WWII building in SE5 has added positively to the area’s character; discuss.

Camberwell Library is Southwark Council’s Library of the Month! There’s a series of events on throughout June, although it’s almost the 10th already so you’ve missed some of them.

If I may move on to housekeeping matters briefly:

First, I may try out a new commenting system shortly. Nothing radical, but it should allow for more flexibility in discussion. I’m sure you won’t be timid in letting me know your feelings about it.

Second, I am still looking for contributors, no matter how occasional. Mail me (peter@​camberwellonline.​co.​uk) if interested.

Enjoy your days off, anyone who is using the tube strike as an excuse not to go to work.

Author: Peter

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

77 thoughts on “Faded glories and wild schemes”

  1. Post WWII — Ruskin Park House — a fetching, practical and architecturally stimulating piece of 1950s build. It’s in SE5. Quite like the Hamlets too. And the newish building on CCS is OK. And am trying to develop something brand new on Camberwell Road to add to the mix — watch this space…

  2. Sunshine House is nice. Julie Eclair’s house is good, the way her fella turned it from boring to IKEA.

    Henry Bellingham the Eton-educated Conservative MP for North-West Norfolk, who lives in Burnham Market, is not to be confused with the Bellingham Baronets of Northumberland- their name is pronounced Bellingjum. However, we must now get used to Eton slang and Boris Johnson bunkum. Come on, eat it up! Hooray! Yarroo!

  3. The Hamlet is a 1960’s gem with pretty darned good landscaping as well. Agree about Sunshine House too. JENNY’s a la Eclaire house is a very successful infill and there’s a red brick one on the other side of Dog Kennel Hill a bit further up towards the top which I really like.

    At the end of Grove Park there’s another sparkling modern infill and on D’Eynsford Road there’s a good example of a modern renovation of a bland warehouse type building which Eger Architects did — and live and office in.

    Then there’s Artichoke Mews. I’m struggling now.

  4. Ignoring the obvious Allendale Close and the Selborne Village enclave I would like to throw my support behind Ruskin Park House.

    There are also some great brand new houses and flats on Camberwell Grove/ Grove lane in Mary Datchelor Schoolville..

  5. The Lettsom Estate is a septic fissure in the @rse end of Camberwell. But the Spar on Vestry Road has some charm.

  6. on a totally different note, is anyone else shocked that bnp got 2,174 in southwark?

    slso, people or person calling themselves
    Christian Party “Proclaiming Christ‘s Lordship” got the whole of 2,047?

    did i miss the meeting when the world just went totally mad?

  7. Why have they just dug up Camberwell New Road — inserted two brick traffic islands then dug it up again and re-tar maced them again in the space of a week!? What a waste of public money — Tens of thousand flushed away. Its outrageous and they don’t give a shit.

  8. .. they have done the same in E.Dulwich all be it over a longer time frame (18 months) with the brick — then tarmac — then brick partitions between Lordship lane and the minor roads which join it. Is it just me or does anyone else find this an insane waste of taxes?

  9. Yeah, despite being LibDem our useless council still gives Labour a run for our money when it comes to wasting that money.

    That sounds mindless, NickW. And again, I’ll say what a mare the road narrowing is on Walworth Rd for anyone on 2 wheels.

  10. Saw that, NickW. The pedestrian traffic island was quite a nice addition at a point which is very intimidating to cross.

    I believe TfL’s contractors panicked, as no-one local had been consulted, and it meant the loss of a loading bay and potential implications for cyclists going straight. But they should have asked after the fact. It was an improvement for cyclists turning into either side road.

    The area is an accident blackspot as Cllr St and Flodden Rd are major rat runs, and the traffic island was a response to this. Drivers absolutely floor it through Cllr St, as due to residents’ cars the road is only wide enough to accommodate vehicles travelling one way at a time. But we can’t expect our parking managers to take safety or anything else into account when obsessively protecting middle class conveniences.

    What a waste, what a mess, but at least TfL are thinking about Southwark’s pedestrians; hopefully it will inspire the Council.

  11. Mark Dodds — moneyspinning idea for you. Put a pizza oven in.

    The Gowlett (Peckham/ED borders for those who don’t know it) seems to be raking it in. £8 for one of the thinnest topped pizzas I’ve ever seen! Easy money.

    In fairness my American Hot last weekend was quite good, but remained thin upstairs. If that’s how they are in Italy then fine, but I’ll pay £5 or £6 for it.

    Indeed, they were nice thin bases but my dining partner’s Fiorentino was rubbish really. Few scraps of spinach and an egg. The rest of it really dry. It was a struggle to finish it. Like eating a giant water biscuit.

    Apparently the more expensive Gowlettini is good.

    Anyway, lots of these things being ordered by Londoners desperate to part with their cash. Ker-ching!

    I’m sure the S+D ones would be a lot better, and we need pizza in SE5.

  12. My dinner date said that the Gowlett looked exactly like the BRB. Though her pizza wasn’t up to it.

  13. Getting rid of the pizza oven was a huge mistake, IMHO. Tuesday nights at BRB were always packed.

    Gowlett pizza is quite thin, but I like my pizza that way.

  14. re. roadworks/wasting money

    Why did they dig up the speed bumps on Camberwell Grove, only to replace them with slightly more shallow speed bumps? And who payed for that?

    I agree that removing the pizza oven in BRB was a mistake. But then so was everything else they did there. Surely it makes less money now?

    Architecture — I would pick any one of our splendid neobrutalist inspired tower blocks, replete with dealers, piss stains and puddles of vomit.

  15. Pizza, piss, puddles… I think Peter meant how about raising ourselves above grumpy grub gripes and moving on, going forward, to lift ourselves out of that recessive pizza-based, pizza-faced, gripeological hole and brightly think about the target market for, branding and distribution of, Camberwell Water. What an excellent idea. Come on, a cripple could do it!

    Our built environment: the Town hall itself is an excellent workeristic “Bourgeois Nouveau” palace of pen-pushing and paper-shuffling, staffed, to be serious, by splendid folks who not only bring fine cars to our daily for us to gawp at and envy — mobile architecture as Barthes quipped — but who keep the economy, national and local, going with their regular salaries.

    Whom has not yet been to the South London Gallery to see the mesmerising performance show there? Come on!

    All food ends in fundament, as the philosopher said. Let us aspire, like St Giles’s, let us burgeon from the ground like the trees in Lucas Gardens and the Aylesbury itself. Rise up, ye starvelings, from your slumbers! We may be poor, we may be huddled, but sing in our chains like the sea!

  16. Hi, a regular lurker but rarely post — I hope you don’t mind me doing a bit of advertising for the arts College:

    The Foundation and BA degree show Private View will be happening on Monday 22nd June 2009 (following the PV the students take to the bars of Camberwell to drink them dry).

    The shows will then be open to the public from Tuesday 23 — Friday 26 June, 10am — 8pm and Saturday 27 June, 11am — 4pm.

    Hope you can make it!

  17. Adding my vote for a pizza oven in Camberwell. La Luna is good but not quite local enough to pick up a take away from.

    I miss Pizzeria Castello.

  18. Bull’s pizzle pizza, scrumptious, jellyfish pizza, hot! CAMBERWELL STUDENTS SHOW 22–27 JUNE.

  19. Mark — the public has spoken. We look to you.

    I should clarify that my beef at Gowlett, though it was not a serious one, was that there was too little topping, not that the bases were thin. The bases were good.

  20. It would seem to me that the amount of comments on here about food makes me think you are all really fat and obese.

  21. I’ve lost a few kg recently, despite the beer and babs.

    Chunters, food unites people. People like food.

    Course in a few more years it’ll divide people. Maybe the police state’ll be handy then…

  22. Can I go back to work yet? I’ve been out in sympathy with the tube workers all week, even though I ride a bike.

  23. @regen — on accident blackspots… I’ve been thinking of a Google maps mash-up to show this kind of thing.

    Mainly I wanted to create something to show the council/TFL/whoever where are the lethal parts of if my cycle ride to work are. Could add pedestrian danger spost as well.

  24. @post-WWII building in SE5… this doesn’t count, but you get a good view of that new tower at Elephant, and the Gherkin has come into view in recent years.

    Ruskin Park House is a good to look at from the outside for what it is. But in spirit it’s a 30s inspired art-deco piece.

  25. @Peter…, new comment system, yay, if you can do it as elegantly as the rest of your site. Then I can spend more time talking to people I don’t know in Camberwell.

    Beats tweeting to people I don’t know in Banglore, California, China, etc, about my day job.

  26. Eating-wise this weekend I will try out the new vegetarian cafe on Bellenden Road, which is now open, acording to my vegan mate Spud.

    If I can fit through the door that is.

  27. I believe it was Jo Brand, one of Camberwell’s daughters, who quipped:

    “They say that inside every fat person, there is a thin person trying to get out.

    I know.

    I ate them.”

  28. SG — I miss Castello’s too. I used to sit in awe, eating my delicious frutti di mare, watching Lorenzo work the room. Beautiful.

    I used to know someone — and IIRC it may have been MP blogger Tom Watson, tho don’t quote me please — who admitted to spending £10,000 in Castellos while working as an aparatchik in Labour Party HQ. All gone now…

    I lost a lot of weight [and I’ll save you the trouble by admitting I used to be a big fatty] when I started eating with my four year old son, better ingredients, smaller portions, earlier in the day etc. Recommend it, and your kids get to know who you are , too.

    Have a nice weekend, BTW; Midsummer Nights Dream is on in Myatts Field park at 2 pm and again at 5 pm. The new kiosk cafe in MFP is now open, but taking it’s early days easy; please be kind to the volunteer staff running it!

    And it’s Camberwell Open Gardens on Sunday too.

  29. we ate at FM Mangal last night — new Turkish place opposite Tadims.

    Very very good — excellent tasty food, inexpensive and massive portions.

    Well worth a try.

  30. Have spent a lovely Camberwell based day so far.

    Sorting out wedding flowers in Pesh, birthday cards and presents from Cowling & Wilcox, a spot of lunch in House (excellent cheese, bacon and pineapple sandwich), walk back through Ruskin Park followed by a restorative pint in the Cambria. Then off to Myatts Fields for some Shakespeare in the park, a thankfully very abridged version of Midsummer Night’s Dream. And tonight it’s dinner at JJs or FM Mangel.

    Camberwell can be lovely in the sunshine!

    Looking forward to next weekend’s events in Ruskin Park and Myatt’s Fields too.

  31. You might be interested in this —

    From Monday to Friday next week, Camberwell’s newest choir — the Scratch Singers — will be rehearsing around the piano on Camberwell Green from 7–8pm, leading to a final performance on Friday 26 June at 8pm, again on Camberwell Green. They will be rehearsing and performing songs with a connection with Camberwell, from Jarvis Cocker and Syd Barrett to classical pieces by famous London composers. Singers of all and any standards are welcome and encouraged for the rehearsals, or come and support London’s newest choir in their debut performance.

    Camberwell Green SE5
    Rehearsals 7–8pm Monday 22 to Friday 26 June 2009
    Performance 8pm Friday 26 June 2009


  32. oh im liking the sound of that! jarvis cocker though? hopefully they will be singing the ‘***** are still running the world’ which is very much a global one 🙂 x

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