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. St George — the developers doing the Camberwell Grove development — have sold all five of the houses that they have built. They are going to start building the rest of the terrace on Camberwell Grove after Easter.

  2. Hello. I’m an occasional lurker on here but haven’t posted before. I’d like to join in the gardening project on Saturday, but can’t find any info about where exactly it is beyond ‘behind Camberwell Church Street’. And clues? Thanks

  3. Hello Rhubarb, and welcome. I’ve just realised that the big image at the head of the post wasn’t visible, so I’ve changed that.

    In case you still can’t see it, it says:

    The Secret Garden is located off Kimpton Road behind the KFC. Look for the new black metal entrance gate on the D’Eynsford Estate.

  4. A Sex Garden sounds an excellent idea. Good idea, Rhubarb. Very springy!

    turn the clouds’ grey light
    bright yellow.

  5. If you are walking down Camberwell Church Street from the Green KFC and Kimpton Road is on your left. The entrance to the estate is about 15 metres down the road on the right.

    The gate may still be grey, they are repainting it at the moment.

    See you on Saturday Rhubarb.

  6. I had a look out for the garden, but couldn’t really tell where it was. Is it that strip right behind KFC?

    Edit: the new climbing gear in Lucas Gardens looks good. All very clean-cut, mind.

  7. I just spotted in Southwark Life that Chumleigh Gardens has had a big makeover and reopened with an array of children’s playthings. Please tell me it still has its charm, serenity and cupcakes?

  8. So, Monkeycat, what do you have to say for yourself.

    The papers are saying that mephedrone = meow meow = “MCat”.

    And here you are talking about ‘gardening’, doubtless trying to entice young SE5 folk into your allotment of shame.

    Got some ‘plant food’ for this garden? If so put me down for a bag. Thanks.

  9. @Gay Camberwell, it’s not the gardens at Chumleigh Gardens that have had a make over. The gardens are untouched. The new landscaping and play area is where there used to be a council depot on the north side of the alms houses. A new cafe will open in the north building of the alms houses opening onto the new play area, but probably not before the Autumn. This will actually be an improvement to the building as it is now as that northern wall is currently very ugly; the windows are uPVC and there are breeze blocks filling in the old door ways. Previously this wall was hidden by the depot, but now it’s exposed you can see how it would benefit from some work.

    The playground and landscaping is obviously an improvement on the old depot, but it would be nice if the new grass mounds could have been part of a much larger play area as was originally the plan. The budget wasn’t very well handled and this resulted in significant changes. This playground and landscaping alone has cost £800,000 which puts into perspective the £4.5 million that there is currently available to spend on the masterplan for the rest of the park.

  10. I really like the gardens part of Chumleigh Gardens. £800K for a playground. Wuh?

    @Peter — ah yes, cunning.

  11. There is a sign on one of the buildings in Ruskin Park predicting a cafe but the sign looks really old.

    Anyone know if there is going to be one?

    Would save us the hassle getting to PRP Cafe.

  12. @Gay Camberwell re Chumleigh gardens. God forbid if these recent landscape developments are in any way a harbinger of what is going to happen to the park overall.

  13. 800k for the playground! (The old playground being left to disintegrate and fall apart as no one really used it) Great!!
    Whats next hmmmm let me think.…how about a cafe?Yes I know there is one already,which is great,but lets have another one anyway.….
    How about a water based nature reserve?
    I know we used to have a canal, but that was filled in because of its misuse and the tragic deaths of local kids.
    I am sure it will all be different,but if we have already spent close to a million quid on playgrounds,then there aint much left is there!!!
    Southwark are classic on promises and then running out of cash to finish projects,like the Elmington Estate Project,that 5 yrs down the line,has resulted in a small number of new houses to be built around Edmund Street,but if you go and take a look,Edmund St has become a derilict wasteland,a graffitti artists dream,and drug dealer/prostitute hide out in the evenings..
    So what which part of the park are they going to work on next?Any ideas?


  14. @rodengland
    You are right that it’s disgraceful the way the old playground was allowed to disintegrate. The new playground is not even a replacement as it is an enclosed playground designed for very young children, whereas the one on the other side of Wells Way was for older children.

    The new cafe at Chumleigh Gardens will replace the current cafe. It’s actually more of a move as it’s only 20m away and will be run by the same people I believe.

    I’d like to invite you and others to send comments on the new plans to the Friends of Burgess Park. We’re also having a consultation event with the designers on 6 April. There’s more information available here:

    Unfortunately, the links to the new designs on Southwark Council’s website haven’t worked since their new website was launched in the last couple of days. We’ve asked Southwark Council to fix this. In the meantime if you email secretary (at) I can send you a pdf document with the latest plans.

  15. *Topic change* I just took this survey to help you make voting decisions based on policies:

    Very interesting. I’m mostly Green, apparently, although Lib Dem on democracy and immigration and Conservative on welfare(!).

    I think everyone should have a go at it; don’t feel any obligation to share your results afterwards, although it would be interesting.

  16. yay for cakes. cakes good. i like cakes. 🙂
    (as long as at least some are vegan?)
    i’ll pop over definitely not sure i’ll stay for the duration though

  17. I’ve come across some interesting information about Val Shawcross, who represents Southwark and Lambeth on the London Assembly.

    Val Shawcross became a fan of the the Cinema for Camberwell Green Facebook page very soon after the page was set up. A few day’s later she quietly stopped being a fan without any explanation. First she thought a community and cultural facility would be a good thing for Camberwell, then she didn’t. Now I think I know why.

    On the register of member’s interests on the London Assembly website, Val Shawcross is listed as having office space at the Redeemed Christian Church of God’s premises near Brick Layers Arms. More info here:

    We don’t know the details of Val Shawcross’s agreement with the RCCG, but there is certainly the potential to influence politicians through the provision (or subsequent removal) of free or cheap office space. This is why this information is required on the declaration of interests.

    Val Shawcross has also spoken openly of how the Pastor at the same RCCG church has been an ‘inspiration’ to her in this interview:

    Evidently Val Shawcross has a very close relationship with the RCCG. There is nothing inappropriate about this and it has been declared. However, this link and its potential influence on other members of the local Labour Party in relation to the Camberwell Village Hall needs to be kept in mind. The RCCG are not only very wealthy, they are also well connected.

  18. maybe they’re not aware of just how discriminating & everything-phobic the teachings of the rccg are.
    if they are, then that’s extremely worrying.

  19. There’s a discussion to be had among the Labour group about this whole faith / vote issue but it’s not an easy one to hold.

    It’s part of a discussion we all, our society, need to have about faith and how it affects us in general. It’s a discussion this country has always been terrible at beginning.

    Had some fun at The Sun and Doves last night:

    There was cake.

  20. It’s just politics Lili.

    I’m one of the people who set up the Fair Pint Campaign along with half a dozen others.

    In the pic Nicky is my business partner and Steve is ex licensee of The George Canning up Grove Lane. We are half of Fair Pint’s origins.

    Mandelson was here for personal reasons and we had a brief discussion with him directly whereas previously we’ve only met his policy advisers. It was a good opportunity to bring him up to speed on what’s happening with the pub industry.

  21. Good work, Mark. The Prince of Darkness would survive the bomb. He would make an excellent, quintessentially English prime minister, a fixer, a trickster, a modern day Disraeli.

    Old Lord Bragg was funny on Radio 4 yesterday. They were talking about Ur.

    Melvyn was saying things like, “Ur… er… earliest civilisation… er… urban… er… urgent… er… er…” and you could hear him think as the dons rambled on, “Urrgh!”

    So you are in good company, Lil.

    But I’m afraid that when it comes to politicking, which is what the game is these days, Mandelson is The Man.

  22. Southwark News reports on distasteful political manoeuvring amongst local councillors as they defect from one party to another in hope of staying in power.,news,18938,440,00.htm

    There was another defection a few months ago when Peckham ward Councillor Olajumoke Oyewunmi defected to the Lib Dems reportedly because she hated being in opposition and losing. After all, why go to the trouble of trying to win political arguments when you can just defect?,news,16707,185,00.htm

    Add to this unpleasant mix the ousting of John Friary in Camberwell Green and you have a local political environment as unappealing as anything Mandelson has been involved in.

  23. Olajumoke Oyewunmi — Peckham’s glorious answer to Clay Davis from The Wire. I suspect Mandelson will defect to the Conservative party in some capacity after the election. Not that he felt the need to be elected or anything.

    Whilst the skimmers in the city have gamed the taxpayer for a trillion pounds of bailout money — and counting — our politicians have so far managed to frame the election around who is the toughest on plant food. And who can keep the straightest face lying about the insolvency of the global banking system. Even the deficit, by contrast, is a drop in the ocean. G20 simultaneous devaluing of all currencies in 2 years, anyone?

    I’ll vote of course, but over in the Westminster village the red, blue and yellow charade is an anachronism.

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