We Are Loughborough Junction

Portrait in the We Are Loughborough Junction Exhibition

Hello all, my name is Joe and I have previously written a post on this blog and am delighted that Peter considers me up to the job and has allowed me back to make a further contribute during his absence.

On Saturday I went to see  We Are Loughborough Junction, an exhibition of black and white portraits of Loughborough Junction residents taken by local photographer Conor Masterson. What made this particular exhibition different to most is that the images are displayed outdoors on the sides of houses, on railings and for sale sign boards around the local area.

There are a total of 169 portraits in all, I managed to see 167 as 2 of the photos had been removed by over zealous security guards from a derelict site on Coldharbour Lane who were unaware that the event was taking place. The size of the portraits vary from 16 inches (40cm) to around 8 feet (2.5 metres), some containing individuals and some containing families or groups.

I happen to know Conor but I don’t think I’m being biased in saying that the photographs in the show are fantastic and, for me at least, the project was a real success in terms of concept and execution. Viewing the portraits on the streets made them not only accessible but much more resonant than if they had been hung in a gallery.

I thought this was a really exciting community project  and thanks should be extended to all involved including Paul Adlam, Matt Matterson as well as Conor along with the Loughborough Junction Action Group and SE5 Forum and The Sun & Doves for providing the maps.

We Are Loughborough Junction Portraits

You can still see the photos which will remain on display until this Friday, 19th of February. I’d recommend printing out a map of the exhibition route although you may have to hurry as, according to Conor, 3 pictures have been removed or stolen.

It’s a busy week for the Arts in Loughborough Junction as Friday also sees the opening of the new Whirled Cinema which, according to their website, is a 60 seat cinema featuring HD projection and surround sound, along with a fully licensed bar and even an outdoor balcony.

The South London Press is also reporting that there is to be an investigation into the three huge fires in Camberwell and Peckham in the last 8 months. According to the BBC the investigation into the Lakanal House fire will not be complete for two years.

On a personal note I’m really looking forward to the opening of The Tiger (formerly the Silver Buckle) on the 25th. Having patronised The Sun & Doves, The Hermits Cave, The Joiners Arms and The Grand Union at the weekend as well as The Phoenix, The Castle, Le Petit Parisien and The George Canning in the last couple of weeks I’ll be well qualified to offer a comparison of local boozers.

112 thoughts on “We Are Loughborough Junction”

  1. Joe — a good start to your world of blog meister. And nice pics too. Is there a virtual tour in the offing? I wanted to photograph the walk but just did not have enough time over last weekend, scurrying around with lots of tugging priorities all days long and night.

    The LBJ weekend was great — I reckon well over 600 people must have done the walk… I hope it becomes a precursor to more such projects recording the community across Camberwell. It could be done particularly effctively in helping reinvigorate SE5 Traders’ Association…

    On SLP’s coverage of the fires: “Fires at Sumner Road in Peckham on November 26 and Camberwell Station Road on January 6 made hundreds homeless.” Oh No not at Camberwell it didn’t. It didn’t make make anyone homeless, all we evacuees were all released back into the wild about 7.30am the morning following the fire. Imagine — all those tonnes of timber whent up in just four hours. Amazing conflagration if you didn’t see at the time have alook now. It was rather impressive, as a friend of mine is prone to saying by way of gross understatement about the levels of luxury he endures in his second, or is it fourth, home in Majorca: http://www.flickr.com/photos/markdodds/sets/72157623150668836/

    A danger with the Tiger could be that it’ll be totally mobbed on its first night. A crush of enthusiasts from all over. Anyone at the opening of Pacific in 1996? I just found a load of prints from then: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thesunanddoves/4334777246/sizes/l/
    The opening night was exciting but terrifying. It was good that it was so busy because there was no furniture — we couldn’t afford it. So many bodies that no one noticed the lack of seating.

    Ah the memories — that was back at the start of the learning cliff that is the consequence of an underfunded ‘low cost entry’ into the pub trade with a tied lease.

  2. “We are Loughbourgh Junction” exhibition is great I did the whole tour, well done to Conor, Paul and everyone else who worked hard to get this project of the ground. It was great to see people you know or recognise from the ‘hood

    Coincidentally this weekend the road at LBJ has been closed for emergency gas works for six whole weeks. This means there are no buses running from Acre Lane to Denmark Hill along Coldharbour Lane. Okay it means 20 min walk to Brixton or 15 min to Camberwell Green not bad on a sunny day but that is not fun in the pouring rain, and adds 40 min commute on to an already long day. My journey is already hit by the Borough High Street closure for 6 months the lack of joined up thinking is typical of Boris administration

    I don’t believe that it is emergency works, just the usual TFL/ Local Authority planning. They new they had to do it this year got the money allocated and faffed around for 10 months then thought we better get this done before we loose the funding.
    Hence all the road works now, apparently including 5 Thames Crossings

    On the fires rumour is the Peckham and Camberwell building site fires are arson. Ban shops from selling matches locally will put a stop to that I say!!

  3. Look at that; you wait a month for a blog post and then along come two at once.

    Thanks very much for this, Joe; look forward to seeing more from you, I hope.

  4. Unlike the buses on Coldharbour Lane for the next 6 weeks!

    @Gnomee there was a a petition against the bus diversion going round at the “We are LBJ” exhibition hopefully it might change some minds at TfL / Lambeth. People from the SE5 forum had organised it.

  5. Robbie it would be good if it was online somewhere, meanwhile I have spoken to TFL London streets they say Lambeth made the decision. So I have emailed Jim Dickson and Kirsty McHugh labour councillors for this bit of SE5 to see if they can help!

  6. @Gnomee & @Southmark I don’t have anything to do with the petition other than signing it. Mark Dodds posted this in the previous blog entries comments which you may not have seen……

    A lady called Veronica dropped this in at the Sun and Doves yesterday:

    “As a result of the emergency gas repairs on Coldharbour lane there is a small diversion of all transport near Loughborough Junction Station but as this involves going under two bridges which are not high enough for double decker buses to go under, Transport of London has stopped all buses going from Brixton to Camberwell via Coldharbour Lane/Gresham road (they are on diversion via Herne Hill).

    We are petitioning the London assembly to get Transport for London to provide
    A shuttle service of single decker buses between Brixton and Camberwell
    until the road works are completed (expected repair time six weeks).
    The petition has been registered and will be presented next Wednesday 25th February.

    WE need more signatures on the petition so please sign

    Look for them in bus shelters, some shops and carried by odd bods with clip boards.”

    There is a petition form at the Sun and Doves’ bar. Feel free to come in and sign any time before next Tuesday…

  7. Great photos!

    We must not allow the Gala Bingo Hall to become an Evangelical Christian Church (surely the vilest of all religious strains)- it needs to be converted back into a cinema/mixed arts space and it can be done…

    Here are a list of communities who have or are in the process of saving their purpose built cinemas to help regenerate the local area — Evangelical Religion doesn’t do this…

    The Gala bingo in Crystal Palace closed down and residents had The Picture House Group interested in taking it over but were appalled when the council and landlord rented to an Evangelical Church…

    Crystal Palace residents are making excellent progress


    Walthamstow END Cinema


    Hither Green Hall


    And the final result and end game of what a local cinema/arts space can do for a community

    The East Finchley Phoenix


    We need to tap into all the intelligence of the people who have given time to preserve these spaces…

    It can be done in Camberwell…This is one of the original jewels in South London’s crown and we need to do something that will make a positive difference

    Engage local businesses in campaign…restaurants and pubs

    Get Kings College Hospital on board
    Get Camberwell College of Arts on board
    Get Camberwell Bus Garage on board (Abellio)
    Get Salvation Army on board
    Get St.Giles Church on board
    Get Sacred Heart Church on board

    Speak to local councillors and even Harriet Harman and Tessa Jowell and if they don’t care then engage Green,Liberal and shock horror even a Tory Councillor if they are willing to lend their support…

    Speak to Gala Bingo head office

    It can be done…I will attend any meetings and contribute my time — I’m deadly serious…

  8. I have just spoken to the head of bg building acquisitions and purchases at the Gala Coral group.

    The building is under offer and completion is due to happen on the 1st of March.

    Until then he cannot say who is buying the building nor could he give any clue as to the future use of it.

    Obviously after the 1st I can call him and find out since it will be in the public domain.

    The worry I have is that, if it has been sold to someone that is not going to make it into a cinema or community based centre then it would be more difficult to stop them after that.

    Contacting the local press might not be a bad start. Anyone know people there?
    Asking around on facebook and twitter. Anyone signed up to these?

  9. On a campaign note,
    There are tons of actors and media types who have connections with Camberwell (Michael Caine, Kenneth Brannagh, Emma Thompson, Jenny Eclair, etc.. Get them involved.

    Also, and not jumping the gun at all, somewhere with some Prince Charles (www.princecharlescinema.com)tendencies may have success instead of trying to compete with the new releases only.

  10. Monkeycat

    Excellent Suggestions…I am sure we could get Michael Caine interested…Also Terry Jones from Monty Python and Florence Welch from Florence and the Machine would be a great coup

    We could get Jenny Eclair to announce it on her LBC Radio show…

    I hope we can do something positive…a mixed use space can of course be rented out to religious groups as well…If it’s an evangelical church they won’t have the funds to restore and maintain the building…it will just get more run down and derelict…

  11. That’s is an enlightened house in a small space, Julian, well spotted. We live in a pig sty.

    Perhaps the creative contingent could appear at our new cinema, on stage. Michael Caine, Jenny Eclair, Richard Bondage the inventor of the computer… We could hire Stephen Sondheim to write a musical about Camberwell. They could all play themselves. The town would be made!

  12. A function hall would of course be availiable to any community group to rent out as and when needed — I don’t think that a church will be able to do any maintanance or restoration of such a large building because they will need every penny they can get to pay the mortgage…It would be better if the space was a mixed use arts/community which could get a grant to run and maintain the space

    I’m thinking…

    Music Gigs
    Art Exibitions
    Community Hall
    Education facilities for Local Youth Groups

    Good eh?

  13. As an arts space / 1 or 2 screen cinema it certainly has more chance. Also it being on the main road from East Dul and Herne Hill (unlike Peckham) also helps. Content would be key.

  14. Bit worried that a sale was agreed before GB’s closure was announced.

    Good on you eusebiovic for the call to arms. I’ll do my bit.

    You could have a nice big roof terrace on that place.

  15. I know Castlemead Estate need a community space too — we could ask them and maybe even Kids Co and Camille who runs it…

    There are still so many options we could explore…but need to get together to discuss them all — providing we can get the whole campaign up and running of course…

    Facebook page is set up and ready — I need to take a few photos so it will remain unpublished for now

  16. sorry, but of a side issue… I’m looking for recommendations for a good delivery service… JJs has come to mind, Ganapati don’t deliver, nor do Dragon Castle from what I can tell.

    Needs to be a bit more impressive than standard fare, if that doesn’t sound odd. Any cuisine, any suggestions welcome…

  17. I don’t think they deliver, but Ambrosia, the Indian at the New Dome Hotel, are brilliant and need our custom.

    Food is flavourful and not your typical Indian slop.

  18. Britt Ekland would be a fantastic poster girl…

    As would Florence from The Machine…she’s a Camberwell girl

  19. Ahem. The flurry of activity on this thread since I last looked is impressive. Stimulated by the LOSS of a bingo hall I bet none of us ever went into and the fear that it will become a church.

    There is one organisation in Camberwell already well set up to take up the Gala Bingo FIASCO and it’s SE5 Forum. The Forum is an umbrella organisation which aims to represent the views of the people who live and work and play in the SE5 area.

    The Forum has a considerable amount of access to the ear of both Southwark and Lambeth. If all you lot actually GOT involved with the Forum instead of pointing out that no one ever posts on the SE5 Forum website it would be a lot further ahead than it is.

    IN addition to the list of organisations that might be interested in working together on this one, as posted by eusebiovic above, there is:

    SE5 Forum for Camberwell
    CoolTan Arts
    Camberwell Arts Festival
    Blue Elephant Theatre
    Whirled Arts
    Scena might have a point of view here

    And there’s more I cannot drag out of the recesses immediately.

    IF this change of use is about to happen there ought to have been a planning application put to Southwark which should have gone to consultation (at least it makes sense to consult the community when a den of gambling is about to be turned into a den of worship, I mean if a church was to become a gambling hall or a lap dancing club the council would want us to know about it. Wouldn’t they? Or maybe I’m just being naive?).

    Anyone had wind of that?

  20. I would suspect that if someone has bought it, they likely already have a pretty firm plan re what they want to do with it… though who knows. In the meantime we at Gay Camberwell carry on with our film screenings every Sunday at 5 upstairs at The Castle. Granted that the gay theme of most of the films may not appeal to all, but we get about 15 people a week (max 55, min 1). Mark, how many are going to your Tuesday screenings these days? Would really love a cinema at Gala Bingo… but suspect it may just be a dream…

  21. We have around 10–20 film goer people usually on Tuesdays, up to forty/fifty when a film’s really popular. Problem is it’s hard to predict which films will be that popular.

    Got to get a suggestions box or something going like that.

  22. They should have a bingo night once a week, whoever they are.

    I did go there once. Had a great time, but not great enough to go again it must be said. There were loads of folk though for whom it was clearly a regular fixture.

    Reports of the number of people who will miss it are not an exaggeration.

    Can’t believe we don’t know who “they” are. There’s some well-connected people on here. We should have a prize for the first person to find out which church it is.

    I’d like Mark D to sublet the S&D and run the place.

  23. My sources tell me there’s an article on the We Are Loughborough Junction exhibition today, it’s also the last chance to see the show, the photos will be taken down tonight.

  24. SLP have given the exhibition a full page spread and it’s a very positive write-up, includes several photos but doesn’t mention that there are no buses connecting LOughborough Junction to the outside world!

    Elsewhere in today’s wonderful SLP there’s a feature on “Let’s all love Camberwell”, featuring Jonathan Dunbar, very good. Shame that some of the impact is spoilt by Councillor Dora Dixon-Fyle’s declaration of love for Butterfly Walk: “I love the little shops in Butterfly Walk. You can get some real bargains.” I’ve read that several times but can’t spot the irony; anyone?

  25. I have completed FACEBOOK page under the heading “Cinema for Camberwell Green”

    I hope it will start to look more impressive in due course as people join as fans and add their own posts,photos and links…

  26. That’s a fab little snide remark John: “But by all means maintain the fight against black churches”

    No in fact I wouldn’t feel foolish at all John. I’ve got black churches cuckooing illegally all around me John. I can’t park outside my own home for half the week John because of their cars John and they don’t have permits John and I do have a permit John John and they piss me off John. OK John? Other John? OK?

    AND YES I’d have a problem about Troxy getting in on it too because it would still be blocked off from use by the community when being used as an events operation.

    Maybe you ought to consider feeling foolish yourself for coming over all high and mighty as you do. John. And exactly when is a ‘rumour slightly more substantiated’? When it’s NOT a rumour? Why not elaborate on your superior insider knowledge?

    ‘My rumour’s more substantiated than yours’.

    I’m off to take photographs:


  27. @Mark Dodds, 9.10 today “Dora D‑Fyle is not strong on irony John. She means it” I was afraid so.

    To avoid confusion with the other John I am now SouthLondonJohn. (I took one of my West London Polish friends on a guided tour of illegal churches in C’well; there were even more than I remembered from the last time. We hesitated about trying out the Night Service at one of them — starts at 11 something, goes on to 3 something — but made at our excuses at the door. Commiserations to anyone who lives remotely near any of these churches.)

  28. in no particular order…

    I agree with Gay Camberwell, given the swift nature of the sale it looks like its a done deal. Opposition of any planning application for a change of use by the new owners is probably the best plan.

    Mark i share your frustration on the parking front round here. Pay your money and not get a parking space if you arrive 1 min after 6.30 in the evening.

    Popped in to the Camberwell Grove housing show home office today while i was out taking photos’… Townhouses available for £1.45 million

    and Khan’s on Brixton Water Lane is good for curry delivery.

  29. Mark, you are an Exile on Coldharbour Lane. “Let’s go back to church,” sing Alabama 3. “I go to my local tabernacle an’ I SING -” they sing, “I ain’t goin’ to Goa.” They are ever so good. They are God’s good sleaze.

    We were sitting in the Pizza Express in Bexleyheath this lunchtime watching the shadows of pigeons on wintry bare tree branches play in the sun on the stone church opposite.

    Then we headed for the coast, the playful sand and the lethal sea.

    We have stumbled on a character called Hugo “Camb” Camberwell in the work of J.T. Edson, the master of Western cowboy literature.

  30. John

    I have never been against Black People or their churches…

    It’s just that I have lived in this part of London for most of my life and have seen many core community buildings and impressive examples of architecture demolished due to lack of coherent long term vision…

    I don’t think a fly-by-night Evangelical Church is going to help anybody who is struggling to make ends meet — especially if they are being encouraged to give what little they have to a rapacious capitalist pastor…I am a pro-people person, always have been, always will be…

    I believe a purpose built facility — especially the last surviving example of it’s kind in Camberwell deserves to be an arts centre/cinema/live music community hub for the benefit of everybody who lives in the area…a religious group would be free to hire the space as and when needed…just like anybody else — I have said in the past it would be an excellent venue for annual film festivals (African and Latin American) as well as for everything else…Camberwell needs a venue that makes it a destination that London travels to — rather than just through.

    If the venue hasn’t been sold to a church and indeed stands an excellent chance of becoming a cinema/venue once again — then I’d be more than happy to put on my dunces hat and feel really stupid…

    Hope that clears it up where I’m coming from for you…



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