Let the bacchanalia commence

First, the bad news: A man was stabbed to death in Paulet Road on Sunday.

Second, the neutral news: I’ve installed a new comments system; it needs tweaking but should be working properly. Let me know how you get on with it.

Third, the good news: It’s party time! The Camberwell Arts Festival kicks off on Saturday with The Big Event in Myatt’s Fields Park, and continues through the week until the Sunday after. I’ve contrived to be away for launch weekend (every damned year; I swear I don’t plan it that way) but I’ll hopefully have somebody reporting on it for me soon.

You can download all the details here (PDF, 530KB).

Also this weekend, the Marlborough pub (67–69 Sedgmoor Place) are hosting Marlborough Fest, a three day festival of music. They have a “large beer garden with two sheds, benches, flora & fauna, bbq, the occasional squirrel”.

Enjoy yourselves

Author: Peter

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

101 thoughts on “Let the bacchanalia commence”

  1. There has been a lot of knife activity around the Paulet Road area. Carew Street has been taped of a couple of times in the past few months after stabbings.

    Myatt’s Fields Park is really nice, some way through its renovation, and on weekend afternoons the cafe is open and the bandstand is occupied by accomplished musicians playing accomplished and very accessible music.

    On matters Fair Pint your local Campaigners took the message to Blackpool and the GMB annual conference yesterday and met Gordon Brown in doing so. HE asked us to convey his best wishes to everyone in Camberwell and said ‘(please) Vote for ME’.

    Prime Minister tells publicans: Give me the evidence of pubco abuse<a/>

  2. Where is J‑Mart Dodds? Where is lili? What has happened to the flow? The narrative? Let the tweaking begin.

  3. Apparently Mark has commented recently (belied by the Recent Comments column on right) but I can’t see the full comment?

  4. I am struggling with this comment system. It looks better but I can’t click on comments in the sidebar and leap to them.

  5. oh dear what has happened I can’t seem to see the threads or even Dagmar’s prose. I can’t click on the comments sidebar either. I hope you get it tweaked soon Peter as this is a damn fine blog. The comments are what makes it, I love the randomness of the way it was. Keep up the good work Peter as it is much appreciated.

  6. I don’t fully understand the Fair Pint Campaign. We do seem to get far too much on only one side. Seems to me Dodds must always be in an epic struggle against the system. For years it was Camberwell but that dried up. Now it’s pubcos. All because he lives in poverty and is near financial collapse. He goes on more and better hols than I do, eats at finer restaurants, and can still afford an overpriced skeleton of an afternoon. Can’t be doing too badly.

  7. trueblue why should YOU fully understand the Fair Pint Campaign? Why would YOU want to? Why don’t you got to the Morning Advertiser or the Publican — or to the BBPA or some pubco and ask people to start posting the other side on Camberwell Online to give a better balance you nincompoop. I haven’t actually exactly hogged the airwaves about this campaign locally have I? Is it of no interest to Camberwell to know that several people who have lived in Camberwell for the better part of two decades set up a Campaign which is of national significance?

    Yea do I wonder who you are trueblue? Come on then, tell me/us? Other curious readers. I’m sensitive about stuff touted by anonymous people who evidence condescending arrogant piety — knocking out ‘angry; home counties’ keyboard clap trap like your insinuations.

    There’s nothing epic about my struggles, you arrogant prick. They just come out of reflection on what happens in daily life to people all around.

    And for your trueblue deep intellect, you know nothing about my personal and family finances so keep out unless you’re prepared to come forward, say who you are and tell us about what qualifies you to sit on the sidelines knocking other people while hiding behind anonimity.


    Apologies to others for a lack of diplomacy. I’ll take flak from anyone face to face but I’m not taking it from a shadow boxer.

  8. There have to be question marks about whether trueblue is local to Camberwell, and has involvement in the Brewery industry.

    My understanding of the Fair Pint campaign is that it highlights anti-competitive practices, such as rental arbitrators colluding with brewery landlords. e.g., they exploit ‘upwards-only’ rental review clauses which should not be legally enforceable in a balanced system with fair competition.

    Such market abuse, as well as restrictive covenants to prevent free-of-tie pubs appearing, deserves to be highlighted as it is part of a wider trend which is seeing the disappearance of our local shops, Post Offices, pubs and other amenities, for reasons other than consumer choice. The ability to reverse this trend lies completely in the hands of both central and local Government.

  9. Sort of post I might have written. Certainly got a rise out of Doddsy.

    Winding people up is fun when it works.

    The reason it worked, Mark, is because there is a disparity between your lifestyle as witnessed by anyone who cares to peruse Flickr and your salary details as published by your self on these very pages.

    I also feel that I have to defend the right honourable anonymous wind up merchant.

    You live a very public life Mark. With fame comes scrutiny. People choosing to shy away form the local limelight will avoid questions about the consistency of their disclosures with regard to personal finance.

    I am all for the campaign, and I am fond of the campaigner but I have always suspected that you enjoy the notoriety associated with your high profile campaigning. And why not?

    Ultimately I think you should be judged by your actions rather than your perceived motivations and in that I applaud your endeavours, but you can surely understand that like any public figure you are open to a wind up.

  10. Am I, yet again, missing the point?

    Mark has every right to spend and do with his money what he wants. That includes going on holiday, eating in restaurants and sticking pictures on flickr.

    However, being in the public eye, does not automatically allow us to make public judgements and does not, as Alan Dale says, allow us to scrutinise him.

    What makes you think that you have to do that?

    Also, what has holidays, and complaining about the cost of living, and so on, got to do with campaigning for a better deal for Pub co leaseholders?

    Two separate issues, connected by one person, but still separate.

  11. I guess it’ up to Peter to define whether it’s ‘allowed’ on this site.

    Sharing the information ‘allows’ the scrutiny. In this context ‘allows’ means ‘enables’ rather than giving any explicit moral permission.

    I see my relationship with Mark as like that of a celebrity and an anonymous fan. Whilst I am a loyal fan I do question whether he is really as hard up as he has claimed given that he’s always off on fancy holidays. I secretly think (and hope) that he’s loaded. That way I can justify my lack of moral fibre and entrepreneurial spirit by implying they are luxuries only available to the rich.

    Trueblue may have been a bit nasty but he’s basically saying the same thing..

    What makes me think that I have to do that? The same thing that makes me think I have to watch Neighbours..

  12. While I don’t think anyone should use anonymity to make a personal attack (and I have been on the end of a few myself), I don’t censor comments. Even the horrid ones.

    But if you wouldn’t say something to someone’s face, you shouldn’t say it here.

  13. I think you have missed the point I am making. So what if he is rich or poor? That should not detract or change the arguement about the Pub Co issue.

    I agree with you re allows v’s enables and moral permission. Even Piers Morgan admits that the “in the public interest” actually means in the media owner’s interest ie make money. I do NOT beleive we have a “right” to delve into people’s lives, even when they have shared some personal information with us (e.g. flickr). For this reason, I find “trueblue“ ‘s comments distasteful and misguided at best.

  14. I agree. The question is whether Trueblue is trying to surpress the debate or just winding Mark up.

    I wouldn’t say boo to a goose in person as they’d just call me a fat cripple and tell me to bugger off but I love sticking it to folks online. So Peter if you’re against anonymous posters why don’t you man up and block us out?

  15. So where’s my Christmas card then?

    Whilst that may count as manning up you’re actually avoiding the question. You say that people should not post things they wouldn’t say face to face but you do not enforce this rule because you allow all sorts of anonymous insults to fly.

    Is this because you’re a whore for site traffic or is it some sort of free speech ethic overriding your social sensibilities?

    1. I say you shouldn’t insult people in the same way I’ll say you shouldn’t smoke; it’s advice, not a rule.

      I don’t censor opinion for the simple reason that I don’t want to get started down that slippery slope.

      If the day comes that I get fed up of it all, I’ll just switch off comments and wait for entropy.

  16. Thanks chaps. You know this morning I actually had the ‘if that was Alan Dale making the comment I wouldn’t have been so riled’ moment. But anyhow. I don’t have secret stashes but do have generous relatives… and all I’ve said about impecuniosity still stands.

    trueblue’s tone reminded me of someone who’s been doing virtual stalking of me and Steve Corbett on pub trade forums and it got my back up.


    Anyone fancy a Day at the Races on Wednesday 29 July with boys and girls from The Sun and Doves, The Bear and the Red Lion in Kennington? And any other local hostelry is welcome to join in too — it’s £50 all in, food and certain refreshments and return coach trip.

    Last year was great fun (by all accounts that is — I don’t know because of course I was on a very expensive holiday staying with my in laws who live in the Algarve) and this year will be even better because we done it before innit.

    If you want to come book early by coming into any of the above pubs — and sling a couple of ponies (half a ton if you like) over the bar and your place is guaranteed.

    If you want to make it complicated with other pubs’ involvement then ask your local hosts to get in touch at mark@​sunanddoves.​co.​uk — if you’re too busy to come in but want to reserve a place do the same.

  17. By the way the skeleton cost £160 straight out of the till. Retail it’s £207 including delivery.

    So. That’s overpriced in trueblue’s empirically informed haughty view.

    How much does five minutes on prime time television cost an advertiser? I don’t know but it’s a bit over a monkey I reckon. And we got repeats and flashbacks and morning GMTV and loads of other coverage — got messages from people having seen it in Australia, Canada, Spain, Portugal, US and Switzerland .

    That skeleton was a bargain.

    P.S. Watch out for S&D on Channel 4 soon.

  18. well said @Mark, monkeycat and Peter.

    Trueblue and Alan — just because you think you can post “anonymously” here, please don’t abuse it by using it to abuse others. It’s not what the rest of the readers of this blog want to see, I’m sure.

    And just because Mark posts parts of his life on the web, it doesn’t give any of us the right to use it to give him a hard time about his other activities. Frankly, its none of our business where he goes on holiday, how he lives and so on.

    Personally, I think Mark provides a great service to Camberwell — his pub is one of the best. We should remember that and support him in his struggles with the Pub people because we don’t want to lose yet another pub.

  19. Here’s one for you Mark. Thoughts?

    Weekly pub closures in the UK

    2005: 2

    2006: 4

    2007: 27

    2008: 39

    2009: 52

    See if you can guess which year the smoking ban came in…

  20. Scrutiny, entropy, skeleton… thank goodness we are back in business again, butting in on each other like in a proper pub conversation, with ringing words forged on the anvil of English.

    Let there be no more progress.

    Mankind has reached its acme, apogee, apex, apothegm, peak, pinnacle, summit, synechodoche, zenith. There is nothing she cannot do with a simple HB pencil, a good heart and a pair of to sigh for nutcracker thighs.

    1. nutcracker thighs.

      I Think you are right. We have reached our level. I Just read a book about that — Spirit Level — Why more equal societies do better — A Proper right-on piece of analysis you cant argue with.

  21. Thank you so very much for your consideration, sg particularly.

    The beauty of the word soars above the brutality of mankind. As Dagmar proves almost hourly.

    The post I was trying to make before the kerfuffle was about Myatt’s Field Park this weekend and the start of Camberwell Arts Festival — it starts there in the new park. If the weather’s half decent there are fewer parks nicer to spend a large part of the day in. If you get caught short you have to use the loos in the Prince of Wales by the roundabout at the end of Denmark Road — the park toilets won’t be ready for inspection until 2010. Although maybe there will be portas for the special day. http://www.homeliveart.com/current-projects/23-the-big-event

    The event is being organised by Home Live Arts, based in Flodden Road, yet another Camberwell gem. They are ten years old this year. Happy Birthday Laura, Mimi, Jane and Janet.

    Ther was something else. Oh. Stabbings.

    More stabbings locally recently — two on Carew street and on in Flaxman. IN about the last three months. Hey Ho.

  22. @Chunters: There is no doubt that the smoking ban has affected the ‘hospitality’ industry but it is NOT the smoking ban alone which is closing pubs down.

    The issue is that the tied pub industry has become so financially fragile because pubcos have taken all the profit from the pubs and syphoned it into their own coffers. It really is not complicated, if you knew what I know you would be SHOCKED, but is a bit long winded to explain. And clearly I should not be giving only one side of the argument — for the sake of editorial balance I should be promoting the pubco hardlin which, until Fair Pint came along, was that there is nothing wrong — the pubs closing are free trade and nothing to do with them, and their TIED pubs are robust and far more sustainable BECAUSE the pubcos give them so much support. THIS IS A TOTAL LIE — go into ANY of the tied pubs in Camberwell and ask the landlord and you will be put on the right track.

    Pubs close because they have no reserves to reinvest in the business and no financial flexibility to ride out a recession.

    The pub industry was investigated by the Trade and INdustry Select Committee in 2004. It is no coincidence that the escalation of closures began after then. The recommendations set out were clear and firm: ‘get your house in order or we will do it for you’…

    The pubcos sensed the tie gravy train was coming to an end; their block exemption from European competition law is due for review in 2010 and if it expires, as it should, there will be no juice left to squeeze out of the fruit anyway — so they’ve all ignored the recommendations, got even greedier than they were to start with and whacked up rents and wholesale prices many times faster than inflation.

    THAT, Chunters, is why pubs are closing.

  23. The reply system — progress — is like a couple of bloggers having a chat in the pub bog, coming back into the bar and trying to reconnect with the others who have themselves dissolved further into entropy, limbo and plain oblivion.

    What is good about the simple narrative system whereby a tribal member simply picks up the story from the previous speaker, is that there could be a telling comment made by the change of subject.

    “Seven Types of Ambiguity” by the often sozzled William Empson is a good book, quite old, but nevertheless very penetrating and perspicacious about the strong subtleties of narrative technique.

    Choice, choice, chirp the tekkies. And before long, every man is an island.

  24. Agreed Dagmar.

    Please can you restore the old format Peter? We know you’re good at computers don’t feel you have to prove it.

    Ok SG- no more fun. Let’s just list restaurants and compliment one another.

    Lip Smacking African Cuisine, Noodels, nice photos Mark. They have banned flickr here but I’ll go to the internet cafe and check at the weekend. Can’t log on from home now as Peter might come looking. Hello, hello- Grimsby agro..

  25. OK, I give in; normal commenting is resumed.

    BTW, I can’t see your street addresses in the logs of who visits; I can guess Alan’s because of his name.

  26. Mark wrote “THAT, Chunters, is why pubs are closing.”

    Thank you Mark, very enlightening.

  27. I gather he nearly walked away from being PM.

    Maybe become a teacher.

    Let’s hope he doesn’t teach maths.

    Mind you I wouldn’t let my kids near him, if I had any.

  28. Myatt’s Fields Yesterday. Great day. Loads of people, really friendly, dancing (not me) music, procession, great acts, drumming. And, even though it threatened all day, it didn’t rain.

    Thanks Home Live Arts, Laura, team and everyone who made it so good.

  29. The piano is painted with little crazy pictures. A small child was plonking on it when we went past today. There were some artists showing their work on the Green railings and there was a nice competition to design a roadmap for a better Camberwell. Daniel Lehan was there as ever, he does a lot for art in the community round these parts.

    Artsweek are supplying free and excellent poster-frames for people to draw their art on and show in their windows.

    The girl in the van — the small caravan outside the art college — has made an fascinating show and will be open all week.

    The Myatt’s Field do yesterday was great — the procession at the end was fab. You’re right, Mark, it’s a good vibe in the Field these days at do’s like that.

    The Minet Conservative Association had a little stall amongst the homo-opathy, pilates, fellatio and crystal-listening stalls plus the mermaid in a tub and insect zoo. It deserved a look just for being there. Their little logo is ever so nice — an M makes the ears, a C and A make up the head and body of a sweet little cat. On closer inspection, the stall was the Minet Conservation Association and nothing to do with the Eton Rifles at all.

  30. Yep, I had a tinkle of the old ivories this afternoon. It’s in tune and in pretty good nick. There’s a waterproof cover if it’s wet. So come on down and play!

    The choir rehearsals start tomorrow from 7 — anyone else up for this?

  31. Absolutely. If anyone from Mars was passing through during Arts Week, they would think that, er, erm…

  32. The Myatt’s Fields thing left me rather queasy. It was a bit like being in that Hammer film with Roy Castle and Peter Cushing, only with social workers and crusties as the leads. Insect zoo was good though.

  33. Peter wrote @Chunters: “Mind you I wouldn’t let my kids near him” – what’s that supposed to mean?

    It would mean my kids, if I had any would be taught that it is quite acceptable to lie, because he does.

    It would mean that my kids, if I had any would be dragged into the world of Browns maths which are clearly cobblers, the man cannot add or subtract.

    I would have taught my kids to have a good moral compass, and then he would shoot theirs to pieces.

    Also I would teach them that picking your nose in public, see You Tube is a totally discusding thing to do.

    This post could go on and on and on…

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