A vision for Camberwell

Note: This was sent to me just now by email.

For any of you who have struggled with the congestion and dirt of Camberwell Church Street, are fed up with traffic dominating our town centre, or have had to negotiate your way from one side of Denmark Hill to the other to do even basic shopping, this meeting should interest you.

Camberwell Community Council meeting
Town Hall
31 Peckham Road
Camberwell SE5 8UB

Monday July 27th 2009
7 to 9pm

The main item on the agenda will be ‘Transport and Highways Improvements’ and Jeremy Leach of Southwark Living Streets will present ‘Vision for Camberwell – Improving Streets and Public Spaces in SE5’. The report sets out in detail some ideas as to how to make Camberwell more pedestrian and cycle friendly and obviously at the same time make it economically more prosperous. It brings together many of the ideas that local people have had over the years into one document.

See the SE5 Forum website, or alternatively southwarklivingstreets.org.uk.

Author: Peter

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

63 thoughts on “A vision for Camberwell”

  1. JAZZ tonight at The Sun and Doves. Jim Bennet, our handsome bartender is really a handsome musician.

    He’s moving to Dorset next week and this is his benefir gig before he goes.

    Photographs will be taken of this historic moment, come along and see for yourself.

  2. Ambrosia. OK but unimpressive. Another disappointment on the curry front to follow the underwhelming JJs.

    Friendly family-run feel to the service and they’ve done their best with the decor, but our tablecloth was badly stained, which was offputting. With the mini poppadums, serving what must have been supermarket mint sauce meant for roast lamb instead of a proper raita, which is a simple thing to make, was criminal, insulting really.

    We had Goan fish and one of the chicken curries. Things picked up here as both sauces were really nice and moreish. We were happy with both and they were distinctive. Often you get the same tomatoey base spiced up differently and cast as different dishes, but not with these two.

    However they were too mean with the protein – 4, maybe 5 thin bits of fish, and a similar amount of chicken. It really was insufficient and, while the prices do initially look attractive at £4.95 or whatever, I’d rather pay a pound more and have twice as much meat.

    Add to that the fact they can’t serve booze yet and there’s no real reason to go. Make the walk to New Dewaniam which, though I have to check the spelling every time, is still the only curry place in SE5 worth bothering with in my opinion.

    Do check out Chatkhara near Elephant for superb curry canteen fare.

    ps Very excited about Morrisons.

  3. On the Indian restaurant front I think Spice of Life has gone bankrupt/ the owners have sold it/ something else. In the South London Press there was an advert for Camberwell Tandoori which stated underneath “formerly Spice of Life” and passing today I see that there is a sign on the window saying bring your own alcohol — I think this implies a change of licencee to someone without an alcohol licence as surely they would make the most profit on selling alcohol? I also remember the days 2004-05 ish when it was the Camberwell Tandoori and was byo

  4. Just got back from shiny new Morrisons — initial impression is that its a great improvement on Somerfield. It was very full of people this lunchtime and for the first time ever (that I have seen at least) the shop’s car park was full. Disappointed that they werent giving out ballooons!

  5. While opening day crowds are good, a possible downside of Morrisons is that it’ll be packed all the time.

    Somerfield may have been shocking but at least it could be relied on to be almost empty for those hungover days when the awfulness of yummy mummies and brats in Sainsburys or the end-of-the-world feel of the crowds in Peckham Morrisons was just too much.

  6. Well, Jim is moving to Somerst. Got that wrong. Got some pics last night — the music was great — not had time to process them yet. Dragged out by Barbara Pattinson, me with a lost voice and cold to go to the opening ceremony at Morrisons — I got there too late to see any ribbon cut but in time to get some early pics of the happy staff (seriously! Even those poor souls who had to put up with the decline of Somerfields were beaming) First impression. Well a supermarket is a supermarket after all, but this one sells a lot of things that seemed absent from the previous store. And it feels bright cheerful and, actually, like a local shop. The staff in the freeh food counters are cheerful, know their stuff and seem proud to be working there. Very refreshing. Here’s some evidence

  7. “Jim Morrison was a mentor of mine,” Sodium Laureth Sulphate tells Camberwell Online. “His spirit lives on in his muesli.”

  8. Went to the Community Council meeting tonight. Jeremy Leach’s presentation was, as always with Jeremy, excellent, clear and offered a pragmatic vision of what can / should happen to Camberwell. Dora Dixon Fyle chaired well too. I’m afraid I couldn’t stay to the end. Had nothing to eat all day and could not face the prospect of spending an hour thinking ‘this is all very well but why aren’t we all just getting on with the sort of detail that Jeremy offers and DOING it instead of talking about MORE research and possibilites?’

    Even the council is abandoning Camberwell — think of all the day to day economic activity that’s gone from SE5 with their departure.

    INstead went to Mangal and had a more than passable tasty and good value meal there. It was marred only by the bright light, tinny music, the overly attentive but charming waiter trying too hard, and the two glasses of awful house white and red. Stick to the Turkish wine is my recommendation.

    Bumped into Frank from Caravaggio’s as I left. Had a chat about Camberwell, the council leaving, and the Silver Buckle.

  9. I found the meeting very depressing. It’s clear what needs to be done in Camberwell in order for it to develop, but the council just don’t seem committed to it.

    Jeremy Leache’s presentation was excellent.

    The chap from the council who followed — presenting 4 options for improving spaces around camberwell (and they were all ‘around’ Camberwell — one involving improvements to E Dulwich station.. nice), was not so inspiring. I overheard him telling one person during the break, that it is not realistic to think that the town centre will become a great example of shared space, with a balance between cars and pedestrians, when there are necessarilly so many buses.

    The council might improve bit’s of space around the main routes into Camberwell, but the town centre, I fear, will remain untouched.

    Personally, I think it’s a disgrace that Southwark Council are leaving Camberwell and moving their offices to the northen tip (and most affluent part) of the borough. It’s an acknowledgment of the appalling transport here — apparently their constituents can live with it when they can’t. If you think Camberwell is neglected by the council now, just wait when our councillors rarely have a reason to come here.

  10. There is a lot of building work at Denny Hill at the moment. Are they making the new ELL station? Has anyone seen any plans?

    If it’s going to open up onto Windsor Walk then we really need to see King’s and SLAM get their Victorian terraced houses in order.

  11. yes, I guess people can dream and strategise and propose ideas all they like — without any serious money behind it, frankly what’s the point .….

  12. Good point about the wine in Mangals. My girlfriend had to send the house red back as it was absolutely dreadful. Undrinkable. The replacement wasn’t much better.

    Well done those who made the meeting. Hope it inspires change.

  13. I went to Mangal’s on Saturday to try them out and I must say I was not as impressed as most others have been — perhaps it was an off day. Yes, the food was fine but very average. I have had much better at other Turkish restaurants. Has anyone been to Hiba on Borough high street? I know it is Lebanese and not Turkish but you can get the same dishes and they are ten times better at roughly the same price and a much nicer environment…it is worth the extra 15 minutes to get there.

  14. I didnt go to the meeting last night — deliberately because I feel very ambivalent about these meetings where great plans are outlined but they never come to anything.

    Over the past three to four years that I have lived in Camberwell it seems there have been numeorus strategies, local residents have been consulted numerous times and ‘blue sky thinking’ and the like has been undertaken and it all comes to nothing because the authorities in the form of Transport for London, the Mayor of London and Southwak Borough Council do not have the political will to implement any improvements to the area. And the campaigners have not campaigned effectively to demand action and attention.

    I think the only hope is engagement with the Labour Party locally in the hope that they will bring benefits to the area if elected.

    I hope the SE5 Forum and other groups are working on their influencing strategy for the elections concentrating especially on Labour as they are most likely to be elected in Southwark and in Lambeth (especially if the general eleection is the same day as higher tunrouts mean higher Labour votes).

    Its through engagement with decision makers that change happens not everyone sitting in a room agreeing with each other.

  15. Fear not Camberwell Comrades, the true fight is only beginning.

    We have just witnessed the most horrible atrocity of recent times in terms of the poor with the horrific fire in Camberwell. The working class poor were crammed in to substandard pig pens and expected to shut up and be grateful. When fire erupted, it engulfed the building in only seconds and left six for dead. They died because the rich of this nation refused to part with a very small amount of their mounds of cash.

    Camberwell people know that. You, like me, are outraged by this blatant slap in the face of the oppressed. Issues like restaurant reviews, pub events and the quality of shopping on the high street fade into insignificance. The true challenge for Camberwell now is to stand up for dramatically improved social housing. Nothing else matters. We must make this the campaign for Camberwell. It will take many years and much work, but it becomes the main priority.

    I’m certain most of you who gather in this place have read our most recent accounting of the fire. If not, you can read it here: http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=18421

    At the website, you can also find out how to contact our team and join the good fight. I would respectfully request the author of this blog, who has been such a good friend to the cause, to provide this post more prominence.

    I know the vast majority of people who write and gather here support the right cause. It is time to forget silly things like new pubs, supermarkets and dreams of perfectly manicured streets with botique shops. We must spend the next few years fighting for more and better quality housing for the least among us. Once strong working class areas like East Dulwich and Kennington have cleansed their roots in favour of the wealthy. Elephant and Castle is about to do the same. Camberwell must hold firm. Fight the good fight!

    Nothing else on the minds of Camberwellians matters more.

  16. lol @ streetfighter. You remind me of that tv show about the guy who lived in Tooting and road a scooter!

    Personally, I kinda like the restaurant reviews, comments about new shops and pubs and so on — practical stuff.

    Go for it, though — viva la revolution or whatever they say 🙂

    keep up the fighting!!

  17. I remember the Tooting chap, very funny. I like a good pub like the next guy, but this time it is serious. A nationwide movement is brewing in Camberwell. This tragic event should be our priority and could radically change the huge disparity between the few who have too much, and the masses who struggle to make it through each day. I fear your voice will be shouted down by the true believers here. Camberwell needs to change, but not to be another East Dulwich. It needs to be the community catering for the working classes who make it strong. More social housing. Better social housing. Now!

  18. I agree better social housing is required but question whether more overall is required in our area — the problem is that its too concentrated in Camberwell. If you look at the stats overall for the borough around 50% of housing is private (rented and owner occupied) and 50% of it is social housing (council and housing association) but I bet the figure for camberwell shows that in our area its more like 60%+ council housing. We should be arguing for council and other social housing to be built in other areas of the borough such as Dulwich etc — it is not good if all the poor people are overwhelmingly concentrated in one or two areas — what we need is mixed communities: a mixture of wealth, mixture of class, mixture of ethnicity: that way the community is stronger with a wider range of services available. Creating more of a council house ghetto in Camberwell is not a good idea

  19. Seems to me like our worthless council is trying to improve social housing. Witness the massive expenditure in Peckham and Elephant.

    OK, so it’s not Camberwell and if that’s the point of this call to class war then I would say that those areas have bigger estates and bigger problems.

    There are legal standards in social housing that have to be met already, and they compare favourably with many other countries. Streetfighter if you’re saying those need to be raised, then fine, and good on you, but there are many other issues in this bankrupt country too.

    Course, reading Socialist Worker you’d think that rich people don’t die in tragic accidents do they? I hear that they can dial a special number and a “working class” mug gets helicoptered in to die in their place.

    As for the model workers who abandoned Kennington and East Dulwich. Well, most of them sold up their terraced houses or council flats at vast profit and moved to Kent didn’t they?

    ps. I live in a housing association block. It’s appallingly run. That’s about laziness, idiocy and incompetence at the housing association, which gets ample government cash to waste. I don’t think anyone in my block is going to blame some prick in Chelsea working for a hedge fund for that.

    Anyway, interesting stuff. Let’s see if the Sceaux disaster changes anything.

  20. @Mumu — good point about Dulwich. The Council are introducing minimum quotas of 35% private housing on new builds to address slums. The real concern is increasing residential density in NEW Camberwell while reducing quantities of amenities, with only posh Denmark Hillers receiving transport improvements in the vicinity.

    @streetfighter — it’s a fine sentiment, but in my experience socialist initiatives tend to be narrowly defined in terms of class, geography and ethnicity. So brother workers in far East sweatshops somehow fall off the radar. The right to store a car locally — taking valuable potential living space away from the income-deprived — is somehow seen as a socialist right because there are people even richer who just cab it everywhere.

    Another problem is pseudo-socialism characterising the improvement of streetscapes and trading conditions as a middle class conceit in inner city areas. These things increase employment and improve the local economy, so benefit low income groups the most.

    Camberwell New Road has just lost its Post Office (closed for some time), destroying two livelihoods, with attached families. If you asked Tony the reasons for this, you would be astonished. Local representatives have been informed and furnished with full contact details of the relevant PO decision-maker, but there is little sign of awareness on high how bad things are with the economy. Some might read here a similar contempt for the high rises local to this PO to that attributed to the planners of Sceaux Gardens.

  21. Mumu, I see a glass half full where yours appears nearly empty. I think we should aim for 100% social housing and start it here. It is the greed of property ownership that led us to this great mess.

    I suppose you moved here buying cheap and hoping to change locals to your way of thinking. Then either ship them out, or sell up and go to the land of milk and branded fashion.

    Meanwhile six people are dead because of that greed.

  22. Ignore this tit, he / she’s obviously just here to troll people…

    Mate, some might find the way you’re pegging your facile cant to human tragedy quite offensive.

    At least the lady pretending to be from the Camberwell Society was funny. Where is she? Come back luv you were awesome!

  23. Street Fighter, Or are you just another leftie with his head up his arse?

    Good post MuMu.

    Where does money for social housing actually come from?

    Taxes and private enterprise.

    If streetfighter had his/her way we would rely totally on the state and where would that get us?

    What would you do streetfighter to relieve the ‘rich’ of their money, go round and steal it?

    If you up taxes to an unacceptable percentage the ‘rich’ will just go somewhere they won’t come accross the likes of you. That’ll make the tax grab a bag of crap won’t it?

    I agree there should be more social housing, but as has been already said it should not be all in one place, just look at Glasgow in the sixties, gathered all one social class into one place, and that won’t do.

    That said if social housing is added to all developments, is there a likelyhood of the rest of the estate being boycoted by the more well off?

    Just my two cents worth.

  24. The first thing one notices about the new Morrisons is how shiny the wire baskets are! There is a sign at the entrance saying many £1 items for sale as a tilt against the 99p shop. Then there are many people there one has not seen before at the old Somerfield, or Safeway as many of us once knew it. Anyway, it is quite exciting and the staff are great.

    The cheapest red wine is called Sol dos Dios or something, meaning soil of the gods, or Sol of Spurs then the Arsenal, at 11% with a screwcap. It si remarkably good. Si, it si good, itsy bitsy yellow polka dot bikini, baikal, bopal, corby… Kalinikta!

  25. Taking a close look at the education system and changing it would be a start on the route towards arranging a better society for all. Without education being sorted the class system sill never end. Politically as a nation we do not put enough value on education and we are what we are because of it.

    I believe housing in Paris in all the grand Louis’ years was generally organised along mixed class lines where the poorest lived at the top of the building and all other classes at different levels up the stairs according to their wealth or porfessional status.

    Kept the neighbourhoods mixed. Perhaps it helped lead to revolution because living cheek by jowl with the super privileged didn’t allow their not so pecadilloes and the basic unfairness of the class system to go unnoticed.

    After that we all ALL need a better environment to live in and the whole needs to be looked at, not just social housing.

    Streetfighter’s being naive to think even for a moment that concentrating solely on housing (even if that were somehow miraculously possible — it simply IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN is it) will make adequate improvements to our society. And is also extraordinarily patronising about people who currently live in social housing. Pig pens huh? The ones I#ve been in are not pig pens.

  26. I freely admit focussing solely on housing is ill conceived, but it must be the first priority for now and may take years. I apologise if my passion and frankness is hurtful, but we’ve little time to worry about feelings when so much is at stake.

    The People’s Republic of Moldova has now folded to the wiles of ‘markets’ and now the fight gets even harder. Private property ownership is at the root of all evils. Has none of you seen the obscenity caused by banks? Withdraw your funds, stop using banks and demand social co-operative, state-run community banks.

    Phil, as a social housing tenant, I cannot understand your lack of support. Surely you see the pain caused by private ownership. Surely.

  27. Spain in bottle. I found the empty this morning, in fact slipped on it and landed on my ample Danish derriere, cursing the children with their peals of merry laughter, the little sods. Sitting on the lino quite happily and somewhat vaguely, I read the labels again, fore and aft. The Morrison’s Spanish wine — I will swig it at Jim’s grave in the Pere Lachaise when I next go home to Europe for the Monsters of Grot festival in Copenhagen — is actually called Sol de Espana, which means Soil of Spain, which is nice. Most vinos de mesa taste agreeably earthy but this one is also “fresh, modern, vibrant and approachable… an elegant wine with personality.” Not bad for £2.49 even at 11% abv which, after all, is 2% stronger than Special Brew, but not as head-banging as the 14 per-centers sold so avidly at fall-down prices by the supermarkets and which make one even more intolerant of “partners” — ha! — and small children first thing in the morning, not to mention neglectful the night before — does everyone know Hogarth’s famous print “Dagmar Road” depicting babies falling through basement-flat grilles as strawberry-nosed mums guffaw on the front steps swigging cheap Aussie gutrot?

    Anyway, the “new style” of wine, one always knows by that description, benefits from the addition, as estate agents might say, of fruit sugars or grape juice to make it seem “New World”, mate. These rotters sledge the palate and clean-bowl the brain. But at least they’re not bulked up with anti-freeze like the Austrian wines are, presumably to keep the blood pulsing round whilst one is fathering a large family in the basement from one’s eldest daughter or planning an entire national resurgence based on equally incestuous notions.

    The Morrison’s plonk is “Elaborated & Embottled” for a fellow called “Felix Solis”, which translates from Latin, at least, as “Happy of the Sun”.

    Is that you, Mark?

    Come on, let’s loosen up a little.

    I bet they talk oenology on the East Dulwich website and not just about prawn sandwiches. I wonder if the sunglasses-on-heads-as-Alice-band Philistines there know that there is Radio 4 announcer called Prawn Sandwich? I particularly like Sarah More Peach on Radio 3, she’s a very fruity girl. Good God, they may have the organic meat queues to network in over in SE22 and SE23 — they talk to the chap in front on their mobiles! — but are they as cultured as us Camberwellians? No, they are nouveau riche upstarts whom believe that Petroc Trelawney is a Serbian war criminal.

    But back to the Spanish red. The label has a nice picture of a blinding light caused by migraine, the sort that doesn’t go away when you close your eyes. Readers of Oliver Sacks’s “imaginative neurology” books will know that such cranial aberrations have been described and illustrated as sacred visions by divines over the centuries. Suffice to say — and I am aware of the time — suffice to say that the “wine is divine” and a welcome addition to the intoxicational instruments available to we philosophically deep Either-Orwellians as we slide towards oblivion (Stockwell).

    The boast of Jim’s shop — Morrison’s — that they have many-many-many pound items (or however they put it, shaking their heads from side to side in a decidedly bazaar way) does not convince me that it will outvalue the 99p store.

    There, they sell excellent tinned food made by Westlers of Amotherby. Now you — or the voyeurs from East Dulwich who visit this site hoping to gain some depth below their superficial love of brands and labels — may think that Amotherby is a sort of social services name for an orphan — an amorphous newbie, so to speak — (I can hear the Dullers shrieking to each other in their Endermol way “OMG have you SEEN what they post there?”), but Amotherby is a charming village 3 miles from Malton in North Yorkshire, once the land of one Hugh, Son of Baldrick. It is, furthermore, the home of Westlers Foods, a large factory set up to manufacture canned frankfurters in brine. In the rusting stadia of lower and non-league football clubs, the Westler frankfurter has been king since 1960. Indeed, Westlers’ strapline is “Satisfying Britain’s appetite since 1960”. On their website, you will see pictures nubile girls and handsome lads straight out of Emmerdale playing red-bloodedly with brine-wrinkled frankfurters which would not look out of place on the Viagrara website, which has similar smiling pictures of Pele, Nelson Mandela and Gary Glitter joyfully messing around with their hot dogs and mayonnaise, I think. Any road upwards — the B1257 to be precise — Westlers once bought Ostlers of Hull and also the famous Tyne brand. I will not here impugn that the word “Ostler” may put off people in their search for the perfect ‘furter — “Look no further, ‘oist an Ostler ‘furter!” — an ostler being one who looks after horses — or that Tyne Brand does not inspire, with its suggestion of meat riveted into tins by sweaty shipwrights, from the butchered remains of rival tribes in Wearside. Notwithstanding, Westlers make not ony “bean meals”, they say — imagine the little pellets burbling away in one’s bowel to produce a volume of pungent expelled gas worthy of the mighty Drax itself! — but also “pouched meals” for our boys in Afghanistan and Iraqistan. Yes, one of their brands is literally called “MILITARY rations”. Not only do our boys batten on scran from the mother country and eschew the spicy fare of the mountains, but the grub comes from the gentle and nurturing village of Amothersby, the very home of the long pork prong, the pork bayonet itself, the awesome porker! Ostlers would be proud to have their ‘furters wrested from them by Westlers. The ‘furter men of Hull were surely only too well aware — one’s wine-eased morning mind unwinds thus along the hills of misty cognisance on the way to the Whitby or Scarborough of elevenses — that the trade of ostler is preserved — not in old-tech, rust-prone, seamed cans — but in the word “hostlero”, meaning inkeeper, one who looks after the horses of travellers overnight, in the language of none other than — strange but true, uncannily so, too — than that of the sun-drenched land of Spain.

  28. The education system is a shocker. And Labour to its credit has spent so much on it. I think there’s a cultural problem that goes way beyond the political.

    Announced today: one in four boys still struggle to write their own name by the age of five, according to new government figures… Think about that 1 in 4 cannot write their name. Astonishing.

    And that’s probably nothing to do with some of the absurd names getting farmed out these days. 🙂

    I’ve yet to go into Morrisons but am looking forward to doing so. They may be a capitalist corporate running dog, but they’ve got northern, working roots.

    Teamwork hairdressers now called Headnizm2 the remix or something. £11 for a gent’s cut n wash not bad and the service is quite good. When I pay £7 at Toppers and it can all go wrong then £11 for a LOCAL business is worth doing.

  29. Well said Mark Dodds about the ‘pigpens’ remark. Both rude and wrong.

    You should see my neighbour’s pad. It’s really, really nice. He’s paid for most of the decorations himself, I might add. And another neighbour has had a new £2.5K boiler fitted at no cost to her. Not bad going is it.

    To clarify to other longrunning members of this forum before someone accuses me of being a fraud — I am a leaseholder in a housing association block. I guess that makes me the ultimate enemy of The Worker.

  30. Muriel Spark lived in a bedsit in Camberwell. Her new biography is out today, 15 years in the making, by Martin Stannard the English prof at Leicester. Let us march on Review Books in Bellenden and buy it!

  31. Streetfighter — a lot of people in Camberwell work exceptionally hard to buy their modest flat — many of which fall way below the legal standards of social housing. Their motivations for doing so are entirely honourable and they make many sacrifices to purchase their property.

    We strongly agree that good housing must be provided for those who are unable to work, but to generalise that all property owners are complicit in some kind of conspiracy against the poor seems very confused.

    Perhaps you could make your position on this a little more clear. If you are angry about buy-to-let landlords, for instance, it is bitterly ironic that it’s a labour government which has made it hugely tax efficient to invest in property rather than a pension.

    The sophistication of a society should always be judged on how it looks after it’s most needy. Not by how it incentivises people not to get a job. We also need to create the wealth in the first place. And the end to the class system can ONLY ever come about by creating decent state education to compete with private schools.

  32. A 13-year-old kid was stabbed on Foxley Road (off Camberwell New Road) last night, about 10pm. Probably gang-related, according to the police. A quick web search today suggests the kid is alive but in critical condition. There doesn’t seem to be much news coven rage of it so far though — Sky’s website had the longest article I could find through Google, but mainly it offers a picture of a “Foxley Road” that clearly isn’t Foxley Road, and mentions a takeaway that doesn’t seem to exist (Foxley is close to my house and is almost completely residential except for the Black Sheep pub). They reckon it is a turf war between two Peckham gangs but then they probably reckon Camberwell is in Peckham.

    Sad, pointless and a bit scary… I don’t have much more to say about it than that but wondered if anyone else had heard anything.

  33. and back to far more important matters —

    I see that Camberwell has been blessed with yet another beauty and nail bar, not far from the Castle pub.

    There I was, starting to worry about us facing a nail bar shortage.

  34. Sol de España.

    Means Spanish Sun.

    Tierra de España would be Spanish Soil or Soil of Spain if you want to sound a bit more poetic.

    I go away for a week and ¡coño! ¿Habeís escrito tanto, no? ¿Que pasa? ¿No vies a viajar a algún playa este verano, o el crisis lo impede?

  35. When I promenade these streets as a solitary, I see the anguish of people from all over the world caught in the machinery and machinations of mechanical automation in this corner of civilisation’s corruption, this crossroads where the suicides of the system are buried even as they walk. And yet the eyes of the people are bright with their delicate, spiritual fire, day and night seeking the soul’s salvation in sensuality and solid satisfactions.

  36. Lorca always had a turgid literary style, as your excerpt shows.

    “Where the suicides of the system are buried even as they walk”????


  37. You try and make up a Lorca quote, mate. It may be gibberish but it’s quality gibberish. “Where the suicides of the system are buried even as they walk.” Quality! This is a reference to suicides traditonally being buried at the crossroads (Camberwell is a crossroads) so that their souls will never rest. Quality!

    Coming soon: Dame Muriel Spark revisits Camberwell 3 years after her death to comment on the ambience from her perch in the ambulance.

  38. I heard on the BBC London local news this morning that there are enough empty houses in London to accomodate the entire population of Brighton.

    If this is so surely there is enough social housing if offered at a reasonable cost?

  39. The UK’s many empty houses are often owned by landlords who are unable or unwilling to bring them up to habitable standard. It’s a problem. Council powers in this area have been increased in recent years to force empty homes back into use.

  40. Morrisons. They’ve crammed an extra aisle or two in I think as it feels less roomy than Somerfields. It’s easy to forget what a small footprint that shop has. If that carpark ever fills up and the many trolleys get used then it’s going to be mental inside. It was a job getting round the other day and it wasn’t busy. Anyway, thank God it’s there. A small fish counter and butchers bar too.

    Bought some chilli nuts. They actually are quite hot. Try some. Bought some haslet to support bad northern cheap meat products.

  41. Regarding the gang incident, why are the press saying Foxley Road’s in Camberwell? Reinforcing stereotypes maybe?

  42. I guess its hard to say where it is really — is it Brixton, Kennington or Camberwell? Camberwell is probably the nearest place and its off Camberwell New Road so lazy journalists term it camberwell

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