Doing something to feed your soul.

Over the last few months something strange has been happening in Camberwell, and I’m not talking about bingo halls. You may never have heard of it, but there is a rather lovely council estate tucked away behind Camberwell Church Street. The neighbours are generally friendly and the houses are pretty well built, if a little warm, owing to the council’s insistence that 90°C. is a perfectly normal temperature for hot water.

Then again I would say that, I live there.

However, about a year ago we were given £25,000 from Southwark Council’s “Cleaner, Greener, Safer” fund to develop a community garden on some wasteland on the estate. After a lot of talking and discussion with residents we asked Walworth Garden Farm to put our plans into fruition.

The plan is for the garden to be a respite from our busy lives and to be able to grow fruit and veg for those on the estate. The raised beds are in, the path has been relaid. There is a new water supply, new entrance and there will even be a gazebo!

So where do you come in? Well we want others to enjoy it too. The feeling is that we were given much more money than we asked for and expected so the community should have a chance to enjoy the benefits. It is also a much bigger garden than the volunteers on the estate can manage alone.

We are having two planting and digging days. These will be to fill in the raised beds with compost and topsoil and to plant all the flowers, shrubs and so on that will make up the bulk of the garden.

We will provide tea, cakes and gloves.

There are two days:

Thursday 25th March 2pm-6pm.

Saturday 27th March 10am ‑4pm.

Please come along. Children are more than welcome and we will even have some kid sized gardening tools.

And if that isn’t enough for you there is also the We Love Camberwell campaign. This is an opportunity to get to do something that will benefit locally.

There are many ways you can help out, from becoming a Magistrate to volunteering with young people.

See this website for more information:

The People’s Republic of Southwark will be at some of the events. I am pretty sure Lili mentioned it somewhere on this blog.

And now back to the bingo…

85 thoughts on “Doing something to feed your soul.”

  1. Sounds good to me…

    I’d love to come along…hopefully (work permitting)

    Green things make me smile and feel more like a genuine human being 😀

  2. Like is it suitable for planting fruit trees? Is their a maintenance budget? Does anyone understand the ongoing husbandry of fruit trees and plants generally? Is there a reliable water supply for the plants?

  3. i’ll definitely be there on either thursday or saturday, just posted it on people’s republic site too — twitter it is unwell which is a nuisance

  4. Went to Royal Court theatre at Elephant. Watch out for the season this year.

    An admirable performance but the actual script didn’t engage me that much. Still, good value and a short event and then on to Dragon Castle.

    Great restaurant that, but it really suits big banquets. The dishes are a bit too big and if you order a meaty one and end up with a giant plate of meat it can be a bit overwhelming and samey if there are just two of you.

    Also recently tried Ambrosia again. Much better than it was when it 1st opened. Will definitely return.

  5. I’m sceptical that the new block of flats at Elephant is in anyway environmentally friendly. I don’t see how 40 floors of concrete and glass can be. The wind turbines look like tokenist greenwash.

    Edit: most of the commentards on that article seem to agree with me.

    @monkeytcat — nice one on the garden project.

  6. The turbines probably don’t do much but they are a good way of identifying the building on London’s skyline. Very distinctive.

    No construction is green. The amount of landfill from construction is massive — far greater than household waste etc. I wonder how long it’s going to be before we run out of land to hide this shit away.

  7. Yeah, distinctive for sure. I guess that’s the point.

    They coulda just stuck a pink elephant on top. Oh wait…

  8. I was told something rather interesting by a friend that works for the firm of architects that designed it.

    The turbines will be powered by electricity to go round. Don’t want to make too much noise for the occupier of the penthouse you see…

    However, I am not so sure that this isn’t just an urban myth… I am pretty confident the planning chappies are a bit cleverer than that.

  9. I have a friend who is an architect and also writes an architecture blog…

    According to him, the design for this huge tower is 20+ years out of date and is based on the buildings of another architect (can’t remember his name now) from South-East Asia who also designed simular buildings in Australia and New Zealand…

    Hmmmmmm…The mind boggles 😉

  10. Our kit car based on a duck skeleton (a duck for £4.93 from the small old Somerfield) crashed into a wall and was written off. The problem was the wishbone suspension — duck bones are just too bendy, so the whole chassis collapsed under the pressure of braking and the weight of the whole Dagmar family.

    Back to the drawing board!

    The spaceship we’re making from skip wood in our back yard is taking shape nicely and may yet be the next vessel to land on the moon after Obama’s shelving of NASA’s efforts.

    The only problem is the snooker table. The balls roll around on test flights over Peckham during a game and we just don’t know how to secure them. Any ideas?

    The planets seem to stick to their orbits in space so you’d think a rack of snooker balls would stay put, wouldn’t you?

  11. Don’t worry too much, it will either get knocked down in a few years or have a revamp.

    Carbon offsetting anyone?

  12. Oh the misinformed, hearsay negative comments are so depressing its like this blog has turned into the daily mail ‘have your say’. Strata is probably more energy efficient, per resident, than ALL of our houses… better insulation, smaller roof area (per resident), shared heating and wind turbines that provide 8% of the buildings energy needs. The turbines will have five blades reducing vibration. Construction landfill cannot be compared with household waste landfill for one it produced next to no greenhouse gases compared with the tonnes produced when household waste decomposes.

  13. NickW

    I hope you’re right…I can only quote what an architect has told me!

    Maybe it’s has been tweaked to provide better enviromental credentials (which is a good thing) but the actual aesthetic of the building is most probably based on an older design

    I don’t read the Daily Nail either…or as the late Michael Foot referred to it “The Forger’s Gazette” 😉

  14. NickW — nice point on the gases but that doesn’t mean construction landfill cannot be compared to household. It still takes up far more space, which is part of the problem with landfill, a finite resource.

    Given the age and type of most SE5 housing stock I’d be astounded if Strata weren’t more efficient. Christ, a cardboard box packed with straw would be better and more imaginative than some of the flat conversions round here.

    A single storey extension to Chatkhara would’ve been far more welcome. We can manage the methane emissions caused by the dhal.

    All that said, I quite like the look of the three turbine holes. Gives me something to recognise and point at and tell people about, as if Elephant were anything to be proud of.

  15. Hi, a friendly neighbourly pointer: The Bear is running a beer festival from Mar 22 to 28. Various events (quiz, music) and promotions. 10 guest ales on.

    Let’s not forget The Bear. It was looking pretty empty last time I saw it. We’re spoiled with some great pubs in SE5 so let’s keep it that way.

  16. The Bear had one of the finest ales I’ve ever drunk, Trade Winds, so fingers crossed their quality is up to that one.

    Walked past Le Petit Parisien at 7.30 last night, and it was closed. No sign on the door so no idea what was going on.

  17. Love the map. South London Rules OK!

    Now, been driving myself crazy for a couple weeks trying to recall the name of TV prog which appeared late night (Friday?) on Channel 4 in the early 90’s. Quite radical for its time: an adult (not in the pornographic sense) cartoon featuring a young bickering couple (hopeless male and harassed female) and a dog prone to vomiting. It was all set in a fictitious south London district not unlike our own dear Camberwell (“SE99”, I think appeared on the road sign in the opening credits). Not having had a TV for over a decade it may still be running for all I know but please can someone put me out of my misery?

  18. which reminds me, there’s another tv programme ive been trying to remember the name of, comedy, channel4 too i think, with a guy in a wheelchair & a seaside resort somewhere dreary & they’re trying to revive this club/pub, there’s a lot of karaokeing going on, i never really watched it for more than minutes at a time, officially it went under ‘cult comedy series’… it’s a newish thing, as in ‘last 10 years’?

  19. @ Liliana

    Not Pondlife but so close that it by googling around it I found what I was looking for: Crapston Villas! Thanks. Now off to Youtube to see if it’s as good as I remember it to be…

  20. Lili you are thinking of Phoenix nights. And what a programme it was. Set in Wigan I believe. Took me a while to get into it as I had been living a while in Spain at the time but very very funny.

  21. I dont know if anyone else has seen this (or mentioned it on the site yet — a quick scan suggests not) but this could be a good sign that things are on the up…

    Clothing retailer Peacocks looks set to open a store in Camberwell — they are advertising for staff in the latest South London Press.

    Peacocks is at the lower end of the clothing market but it is interesting that a multiple is looking to set up in Camberwell — wonder where they will go?

  22. oh re peacocks, dont know if it was this thread or another, but isn’t anyone else really sick of ‘nobody’ knowing anything about any of the empty properties, soon-to-become empty properties, existing owners, prospective developers etc
    we seem to keep having these outbursts of ‘such and such bought/took over some place or other’ without anyone knowing anything beforehand? or caring to share with anyone actually living in the area?!

  23. Speaking of gardening I see that there is a planting day in the greenhouses of Myatts Fields tomorrow — its running 10–1 and will involve planting produce which will be sold in the cafe in Myatts — there is information at — the Myatts Field website ( doesnt seem to have much recent content

    Also in Kennginton there is a Roots and Shoots open day on Sunday which looks interesting — Roots and Shoots ( is a great local organisation.

  24. Speaking of gardening I see that there is a planting day in the greenhouses of Myatts Fields tomorrow — its running 10–1 and will involve planting produce which will be sold in the cafe in Myatts — there is information at — the Myatts Field website ( doesnt seem to have much recent content

    Also in Kennginton there is a Roots and Shoots open day on Sunday which looks interesting — Roots and Shoots ( is a great local organisation.

  25. Two 40-tonne trucks from the mighty Boom Logistics of Holland coming down the New Camberwell Road tonight on the way to Nine Elms Lane, full of flowers, fruit and veg.



    they read as they thunder past. We John Lee Hooker fans always hope on Sunday nights to see four of ’em in succession. Surely Boom bv of Veldray nl, can arrange it? What a great video that would make with the soundtrack. Thunderin’ trucks filled with flowers.

    Tessa Jowell’s SE5 Forum badge is great. Is the Forum as cool as its badge?

  26. For the first time in a few years living in SE5, I got a train from Denmark Hill. Took a matter of minutes to get to Blackfriars. A world away from the crawling buses. Wish I could use the train more often, though I’m sure it has its drawbacks.

  27. @PhilG
    I used to travel to work on the train (DH->Blackfriars) when I started at 7am. But now I start at 9am it’s pretty much impossible to get on. It comes from Sevenoaks — DH is but two stops from Blackfriars — so frighteningly overcrowded. Ok on the way home though around 5ish.
    Incidentally I signed up to ‘streetcar’ last weekend. Amazing — can book by the hour — cars all over the place, and unlocked via iPhone. Lovin’ it as I cannot justify owning a car in London.

  28. Yeah, overcrowding can be an issue. Depends on your timing; I go from Peckham Rye and the train that arrives 5 mins before mine is absolutely packed, but I always get a seat on mine.

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