All’s Well. Never Give Up.

What with bus crashes and Phil G retiring, it’s one of those times where everything seems a bit screwed. But, chin up! The sun is out and there’s a lot happening.

Let’s start with the good news. Today I had a day off and the chance to walk around Camberwell and see some of the good side of it. Breakfast at Johanssons followed by a swim at the Baths, and what a marvellous job they’ve done of restoring it; a really beautiful, first class job. The pool looks brilliant and enticing, the changing rooms are modern and clean. Well done to everyone involved. In the reception they’ve a cartoon from 1907 of the Camberwell Ladies fighting to keep the Baths open. Thanks to them, we can enjoy the pool 100 years later.

Later I had a patty from Patty Island, which I probably don’t mention enough even though they make tasty snacks.

Last weekend I went to The Crooked Well, and they’ve done a great job there too; a proper, full redevelopment, not just a lick of paint. The place was busy but we got a table, and the food was delicious. It’s not cheap — about £15 for a main — so it’s a place you’d go to for an occasion, not an off-the-cuff bite to eat (at least, that’s the case for me; richer readers may find that exceptional value). One gripe: the beer’s exactly the same as every other pubco pub. Would be nice to have some more tasty craft beers, but them’s the breaks, I guess.

There’s work going on at (the former?) Funky Munky. I asked in The Hermit’s what was going to happen there, and they said a pub with food, nothing different or more elaborate. All will be revealed.

The bad news? Well, not so much bad, as uncertain. Camberwell’s going through a change at the moment; the old Cypriot Camberwell is disappearing. Paul’s Continental seems to be over, Tadim show no signs of reopening, Cruson’s days are shortening fast… pretty soon only Sophocles (Edit: and The Vineyard) will remain. What will we become when Little Cyprus is forgotten?

More certainly, from 2012 Denmark Hill loses it’s direct connection to London Bridge. It means a change at Peckham Rye, an inconvenience for many people. Also, it could mean the loss of service to London Victoria, which is possibly more serious.

Those aren’t all the changes at Denmark Hill; the row of houses along Windsor Walk is finally being restored — seems they’re to be part of the Hospital, although would have been better if they were private residences, to make that walk seem a little safer at night. Also, work has begun on the new station entrance; a temporary footbridge will be introduced as a first step.

And talking of changes, Burgess Park is to be mostly closed off while the regeneration begins. There’s a map showing the areas that will be out of bounds for a while.

So, lots going on, more even than I’ve mentioned here. The Sun & Doves has had a stay of execution, the Mary Datchelor development looks lovely, work has begun on the old Town Hall buildings… as the Funky Munky used to say (paraphrasing Winston Churchill): Never Give Up.

Author: Peter

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

75 thoughts on “All’s Well. Never Give Up.”

  1. Cheers Peter. I’ve yet to go to Baths despite living 3 minutes down the road, but after that glowing review, i’m there. Same too for the Crooked Well seeing as Tiger stopped doing Doombar.

    Cruson’s must live on!!! I’m going to buy much more than just my christmas trees from there from now on. Sucks about Denmark Hill, but it always was a station to nowhere… roll on the Cwell tube! Where’s the petition?

  2. Nice post. I love good news… I remember once a few years ago nearly crashing the car I was driving in the USA as I was listening to the BBC World Service because every story was a good news one. Wars ending, People found safe and sound, Ban Ki Moon sorting out something or other.

    @Phil: in the words of Hothouse Flowers “Don’t go. Don’t leave me now, now, now…”. And to emphasise the point the Reverend Richard Cole in the Communards said “Don’t leave me this waaa-eh-eh-ay”. But I have to say that I like the random way the conversation flows. It’s very much like real life.

    I thought the former funky monkey (frumpy monkey?) was only going to do drinks and no food. Have they changed their minds? Hope so.

    More good news, the secret garden is looking absolutely stunning at the moment. It’s open on Thursday’s and Sunday’s from 2pm-5pm. We would love to open more but need people who can commit to opening up…If you’d like to get involved please get in touch. It can be a group of people who can take it in turns to open up once a week. But in any case do come and have a look. It’s truly lovely.

    Finally, (blimey this is turning into a Mark length reply) There is news on the bingo hall, mostly positive I believe, but now is not the time. Do watch out for more news soon.

  3. Not Cruson! Is the perceived decline down to trade, or upcoming retirement of the owners with offspring perhaps not looking for a career in greengrocery? Would be a crying shame, either way.

    Good news that the Sun & Doves might live on a little longer.

  4. @mattioats Just to be clear, I don’t have any definitive news about Cruson, but I’ve heard that he wants to retire, poss. even this year. Maybe it will live on, maybe not.

  5. Yes times are changing but then they always do — 3 shops closing — great we can have some more african churches as Camberwell hasn’t got many of those.

    Basics — the bus crash shop — was having a sale on saturday in the alley behind the shop in Danville Road — they have to get rid of everything before the internal work can begin so many bargains to be had. They said they would be there this week as well so keep your eyes open.

  6. just one more thing — is there any way of changing this american way of writing the date — its very confusing.

  7. Ah, here we are. Is it May or July? It’s nice and sunny, anyway. The new Funky Munky will surely be the most enigmatic alehouse in Camberwell when it opens soon and therefore in the world. The Pub With No Name. Perhaps it will be like this:

  8. Perhaps Peter’s positive post paves the way for a happier Camberwell happening today. Even the light-grey rain dampens down the dust and gives the midsummer flora an extra thrust.

  9. Don’t know why Phil G flounced off. I/we crowd-sourced a schedule for all day sunshine drinking in the pubs of Camberwell the other week. A follow-the-sun-bender all within a square mile. How more hyper-local can you get?

    Speaking of localists — the @Here_Be_Angels podcast from Peckham raises us all up to Radio 4’s cultural plateau.

  10. Too late St. Giles Mr. Murdoch has pulled the rug from under you all, he is just too quick for the joe in the street and of course our very astute politicians.

  11. @Chunters

    No more News Of The World — but hello The Sun on Sunday…

    Same paper different name…

  12. It seems to me we in this country hate anybody who has made a success of a business.…
    …and the next thing is we are all down the Hermits watching the Cricket or Football supplied by that success.


  13. No, I’m down at the Hermit’s cave watching cricket (couldn’t care less about national football leagues) only because SKY paid a fortune to take it off terrestrial telly. That’s not hypocrisy. Nor is it choice.

    Hypocrisy is what politicians do when they wash their hands by saying “it’s all the previous administrations/ministers fault that we can’t stop Murdoch buying B Sky B/giving huge train building contracts to other countries/etc”.

  14. True — or hating bad jornalism (rightly) unless it suits your views (Johann Hari)

  15. It’s ages since I’ve posted, but I’ve been lurking and reading nevertheless. Started to feel more a leech than a lurker, because blogs survive on active participation. Will try to do better.
    The Murdoch/Brooks saga fills me with hope — the witch-hunters become the hunted — about time too. Here’s to a very big dose of your own medicine.
    Camberwell looks great this morning in the sunshine and the trees gently swaying in the wind.

  16. “Pictures, Places & People: Elephant to Camberwell” is a really great little exhibition at the Cuming Museum which every Camberwellist must see. There is an excellent loop of black-and-white film and some atmospheric paintings of our endz — one of Church Street with the last trams and a strangely truncated Triumph Mayflower. Good work, Cuming.

  17. On a more sombre but somehow mellow note, maybe we should take PhilG’s ashes to Margate on a south-east road trip. We could hire the Turner Contemporary for a function and even leave the urn there in perpetituity.

  18. That has persuaded me on the Cuming Museum exhibition, Dagmar. I’ve seen the banner outside as I’ve passed on the bus, but now I’m going to go in and see it. I’ve seen some pictures of The Elephant before the 60’s recast and they are fascinating.

  19. Something rather wonderful seems to be taking shape inside the old Funky Munky, something to savour, something simple and well crafted.

  20. Just got back from a Simply Marvellous, very down to earth, weekend at Blackboys, East Sussex. Camping at a wedding with the kids in a field. With sheep. And chickens and cows and lots of other kids. Lunch in Lewes today at the Snowdrop Inn. And it didn’t rain on the day. Puts Camberwell in perspective.

    Err… Who’s Horace? Andy.

    @Stephen Rex: Interesting! I’m working on something like that now — . You Heard It!

    Look forward to Hermits. A.S.A.P!

  21. florian, that’s really very useful thanks, I will read it in detail. I’d not seen this before but do know about the Camberwell Project which, as well as doing research, is also a community hub, confusingly based in Leeds I seem to remember.

  22. That report is very useful. Just bear in mind that tax relief on the Enterprise Investment Scheme has risen from 20% to 30% since it was written (it was one of the things the coalition did in their recent “Budget for Growth”).

  23. Incredible that Sir Peter Blake who was on the telly the other night will be at GX Gallery tomorrow evening.

  24. Volunteers needed to distribute flyers. SE5 Forum is organising a summer event on Camberwell Green on 23 July.

    Can you help spread the word? Could you doordrop leaflets to your neighbours? Do you know a local shop that would display a poster?

    Get Set Southwark will be a day of family fun, games and give-it-a-go sports tasters with music, singing, dancing and a farmers market and crafts fair.

    If you can help with leafleting or posters please email getsetsouthwark@​gmail.​com

    (Sorry if my shameless begging is thought unsuitable for this forum…)

  25. I will get my team of personality girls to help, Jesmond.

    Peter Blake is at GX Gallery on Friday 6.30–9.30pm not tomorrow as I posted above. GX do a good opening night.

    The exhibition at the Cuming Museum about our area gets better and better with every visit. The film playing on a loop is brilliant in a Harry Enfield way — about 5 minutes — about the old borough of Camberwell, made by the South London Film Society in 1955.

    It begins hilariously with the weights and measures bloke going with his mate into the Plough in Dulwich to check out their whisky measures. The chap says he has to check everything that’s sold in Camberwell in this way. “This morning, it’s Scotch whisky.”

    Morning! You just must see it.

  26. I went to see “The Tree of Life” at the Ritzy on sunday night.

    There were queues trailing out of the doors onto the new plaza for all films and the bar was rammed to capacity.

    And then they say there is no demand for local cinema screens — Hmmmmm?

    The film is good — it’s a hugely ambitious one and the vision isn’t fully realised but it looks beautiful — and the main actress Jessica Chastain is absolutely stunning — in her acting skills and looks — I liked her a lot… 🙂

    I also like Peter Blake — I’ve seen him around Tate Gallery on occasion and had a word — He’s a good chap.

  27. I see Camberwell’s Justin Webb was the scab working on the Today Programme this morning — pooor show

  28. Did you hear the presenter on the Today programme soon before 9am call Lord Oakeshott “Lord Oakshit”? Off with her scabby head!

  29. Oakshite is great for conditioning flower beds once it’s rotted down a bit.

    Comber Grove school Summer Carnival today — fantastic parade around the area with every child dressed up, most of them playing some horn of item of percussion. Loads of parents literally FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD. It was brilliant! Then Jerk Chicken from the barbecue alongside the best face painting this side of Brixton and that side of Peckham innit.

    By the way, Mike Kent, the very long standing Head at Comber Grove and man of much talent is retiring and a new, very special, head needs to be found to replace him… Comber Grove is a great school getting great results and it has loads of potential to do even more, put the word about in your local education networks.

    Of course I should be at GX Gallery or the Crooked Well or the Cambria but instead I’m at my own gaff enjoying a flash of British summer in the garden.

  30. Mark, Mark, Mark so are you telling us that the S&D didn’t have TV’s with sport.…Oh yes fitted by news corp…to attract more drinkers?

  31. Great atmosphere last night at the Crooked Well. Good food too. Fingers crossed it stays busy!

  32. To be FRANK about Sky and Newscorp, I’ve never broadcast it before particularly but I decided when Murdoch bought the Times — whenever that was, I was quite young — that I’d not have anything to do with anything he or his companies touched — ever. This was because, as far as I could see at the time and ever since, everything that man’s ever got his hands on has driven steadily towards the most common denominator, all in the name of market forces providing increased consumer choice (ever MORE shite accessible to ever more people at ever greater cost) and his own companies’ and family’s profitability.

    We’ve let his business practices ruin our visual landscape and remove public access to major sporting events from millions of people. Newscorps rise has been a barometer of very distasteful times. The practices of pubcos and banks match this march of lucrative mediocrity where everything is done because profitable outcomes on their own have come to be justification enough for whatever dodgy steps, blind eye turning and people stamping on that have to be taken along the way.

    So I never bought into paying £15,000 a year to show Sky sports at the Sun and Doves which, paradoxically would have changed the nature of the business we are anyway into being a sports pub instead of a community pub… IF Murdoch had never been allowed to privatise sport then there never would have been such tensions about the roles that pubs perform anyway.

    My refusal to spend hard earned cash on that man’s tripe is another reason why the pubco think I have no idea how to run a business but have never understood how come I made a DEAD BOOZER into a busy local again. TWATS all of them.

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