Open House weekend 17 — 18 September 2011

This weekend is the fabulous London Open House — a chance to appreciate some of London’s archictecture from close up.

The London Open House website contains details of the buildings open across London. In Camberwell we have various buildings open including the 3 Acorns retro eco-home on Coleman Road, an innovative remodelling of a home to provide full disabled access  at 49 Camberwell Grove, a innovative new home at 5 Grace’s Mews, the new developments at Cambridge House, the Fabrik development on Coldharbour Lane and the pavillion and surrounding grounds at the Temple Bowling Club.

Other events taking place this weekend include the Harvest Festival on Sunday at Myatts Fields Park where everyone is invited to a vegetarian feast at 1pm followed by music and dancing around the bandstand.

And on Camberwell Green on Sunday is the Tropical Garden Fiesta celebrating Latin American music, dance and food

35 thoughts on “Open House weekend 17 — 18 September 2011”

  1. It seems that Notting Hill Housing is now doing consultation on proposals for the land along Edmund Street and Southampton Way that has been boarded up for TEN years.

    Apparently the consultation has already been going on for a couple of months. However, so far there are no actual plans to comment on. If you’re interested, the website is here:

  2. @James J
    This is very interesting — looks as though Notting Hill Housing’s consultation ended on 10 September and that they held a “Fun Day” in the recent past. It does seem wierd that they’re asking for comments on such an amorphous proposal, if you can even call it that. From my perspective, it would be good to see some new social/affordable housing on that plot. I’d love it if Southwark Council were to build the first new council houses on there for the last two decades, and for the design to be exciting, but I think that there is no will to make this happen.

  3. Millwall fans in need of cheering up after their goalless draw against West Hammersmith today might profitably propel themselves in whatever manner they can summon to the Dulwich Picture Gallery tomorrow where they can save the 9 quid entrance fee, since the Gallery is FREE for just one day of the year as part of Open House.

    There, the fans may improve themselves by seeing the absorbing Poussin/Twombly, exhibition.



    The last day of the show’s incredibly culturally arcane pairing is the 25th September, so there is still a week to see it. However, to see it FREE is something of a coup for the keen Camberwell situationist.

    Consider: not only are we walking distance from Millwall, one of the last London football clubs where the fans actually chant and ‘ave a larf (to put it mildly); we are walking distance from Dulwich Village which is like Oxford and Cambridge rolled into one and distilled into some sort of fragrant, delicately herbed eau de vie.

    They will see the Cy Twombly scribbles and splashes and think, “My two-year-old can do better than that.” They will see the Poussin —


    — with his enigmatically composed classical scenes in their subtly dull colours and will think, “My biscuit tin can do better than that.”

    “And yet!” (as Kenny Everett used to say)…

    Both painters, who are at the absolute opposite ends of the style scale, share a deep, haunting and fascinating vision of eros and thanatos.

    They both seem to be deliberately and perversely unengaging, alternately stilted and slapdash, a sort of aesthetic “NO-ONE LIKES US BUT WE DON’T CARE.”

    In the gallery — because the space is so narrow — the sons & daughters of Bermondsey will find themselves literally rubbing shoulders with the most effete aesthetes and Bluntlike -


    - professional art historians, people straight out of “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” (or Len Deighton’s much less romantic, much more gritty “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Spy”).

    For minus 9 quid, it is all in all a fabulous gig and well worth the walk tomorrow — austerity and elitism hand in hand.

    We live in a perennial crossroads in Camberwell — there is no centre for us, no easily definable character — all roads lead to somewhere else…

    You can see Cavafy living here, spending hours in the Hermits Cave.


    There will be music and such in Lucas tomorrow — they have been setting up all day today, it will be big, looks good.

    But at the Dulwich Picture Gallery till 5pm there is a really memorable show that will echo in the hangover and dwell in the psyche for a long, long time.

    In the PSYCHE, you PSYCHO!!!!

  4. @Dagmar

    This should cheer up all the Millwall and West Ham fans (I’m a South Londoner but a big WH fan — is that as rare as everybody likes to make out?)

  5. Just back from Lucas Gardens’ The Elephant and The Nun mini-fest which was as eclectic and fun as the name suggests.

    Mind you, the early crowds at the main music stage were quite sparse and the whole thing was, more or less, only held together by the efforts of compere “Conrad The Scoundral” trying to make conversation like a bad date, as he put it.

    The Camberwell hordes finally descended for the last few acts and we had folks givin’ it welly around the front of the stage. At one point crowd control had to prevent a little 4 year from over exuberantantly vaulting the stage barriers which were dividing the increasingly at-one audience and bands.

    I’ve only moved here recently, but Camberwell can be such an ace place to live in.

  6. Thanks to all who came to The Sun and Doves on Friday and Saturday. And particular, special, apologies to Peter and the wife to whom I promised I’d be back downstairs to say hello after putting my kids to bed — afraid I got into conversation and then bed with them — and fell asleep. Woke up at 2am having missed you somewhat.

    Friday was a fantastic party atmosphere — lots of dancing and celebration of the end. And Saturday was quieter with loads of people who we’ve not seen for ages. Lots of old staff, from as long as fifteen years ago. Anyone remember Stirling Dlamini? And Gemma, who owns ‘Crumbs and Doilies’ she brought hundreds of her mini most delicious cup cakes and everyone in the pub had one and many had many more than just the one.

    We went on until late — and had a chance to explain in some more detail to people who were sad about us closing forever that it’s the pubco system of over renting the pubs and selling beer at twice what it should be that is closing pubs all over the UK.

    Some people suggested smashing the place up so the pubco couldn’t benefit. We don’t want anything like that to happen — that would be coming down to pubco level.

    Anyhow — the whole weekend was a great way to round off SIXTEEN years of hardship and slave labour in the totally anachronistic and shockingly badly run, unsustainable Feudal system (SCAM) which Scottish & Newcastle Pub Company (Heineken) and their other pubco cronies so like to call ‘pubco partnership’.

  7. Scottish & Newcastle pubco’s bailiffs have a warrant to change the locks on the pub and evict me, and anyone else on the premises at the time, at 10am next Friday 23 September. Many people suggested we ought to arrange a welcoming reception for their arrival. And to get the press involved. South London Press called last week to ask about this, we agreed to keep it discreet until this week

    What do you guys think would be the best approach? Press? TV? Some form of protest? The point to make is that it’s pubco behaviour and their usury practices that kills good pubs.

    The Select Committee into pubcos were going to publish their findings and recommendations last Wednesday but at last minute put it back to this Tuesday. My hope is they will recommend legislation against the tie. If the tie goes — so do the pubcos not long after. Just the announcement of such a recommendation would end any credibility that remains with the illusion that pubcos are functioning businesses.

  8. For the purpose of clarity: because it surprises me how many people who came to the pub to pay their respects for The Sun and Doves did not fully realise the consequences of the relationship between a tied tenant and their pubco — I am about to be evicted without any income and bankrupted and left without savings, assets, pension or any form of security.

    I have known this was going to happen since my 2000 rent review almost bankrupted me with a 68% increase. I fought the 2005 review on a much better footing with far more expertise — it went through arbitration to High Court, to Appeal and then back to arbitrator again. Many people I know think I won even though it went up 20% to £65K.

    For the record: It’s a huge relief and I’ll be signing on next Monday morning.


    “With S&NPC you’re in good company… Your search for your ideal pub starts here:

    If you have ever wanted to run your own pub, Scottish & Newcastle Pub Company could be your perfect pub partner.

    For over 200 years we have been creating great British pubs and we never forget a great pub starts with a great operator.

    With S&NPC you run your pub your way but you also have the backing of one of the world’s largest brewing operations who can supply the brands, the training and everything else you need to achieve your ambitions in the pub industry.

    Whether your ideal pub is cosy country inn, lively community local or chic city centre bar our extensive estate offers a huge variety of pubs in attractive locations across the UK.”

    Not difficult to know WHY their extensive estate offers so much to a potential lamb to the slaughter is it? They are constantly CHURNING their properties — forcing publicans out by attacking them financially — just as all the other pubcos do — to make sure there’s always new blood coming in.

  9. Mark

    Very sorry to read about you predicament. You built a fantastic business at the S&D and I’ll miss it (or your version of “it”) a great deal.

    You should try to interest some national media, using the Select Committee report launch as a hook. BBC, Guardian etc. It should interest them given the timing. I’m assuming you have contacts through your FairPint work?

    PS Reading about the Lucas event, reminded me that the Warwick Wingding usually happens around this time. Marriages, moves and other park matters meant we couldn’t run it this year. but we’re hoping to next, probably a little earlier in the Summer.

  10. Ahhh! The negative social-side effects of aggressive, brutal unregulated free market economics knows no bounds — The vampires lust for blood is insatiable — it never has enough.

    There has got to be a better way than this — it’s going to get much,much worse before it gets better, that’s for sure.

    I don’t believe in Capitalistism or Communism/Totalinarism but currently we are using the worst elements of the latter to prop up the worst excesses of the former — which leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

    I guess that makes me a Quaker…

  11. French Docu-Film genius Jean Painleve summed it all up many years ago…Duke Ellington on soundtrack duties too!

  12. Mark

    I will miss the Sun and Doves and hope you are proud of everything you achieved.

    Many a birthday was celebrated and the arrival of my son was toasted with much merriment.

    Happy memories.

  13. Thank you all. I must say the many stories I head over the weekend told by customers and staff who’ve been coming to the pub over its sixteen years were lovely, moving and very touching… Nicky and I exchanged these on Sunday and had a good cry. And now I’m welling up again but it’s a happy welling not sad — I like having no responsibility. The last time I signed on I wrote the business plan for the Sun and Doves. Please do look out for the People’s Pub Partnership coming to a computer screen near you fairly soon… It’s the John Lewis of pub companies. It will probably be on an App or two for your mobile devices and mine. I will, of course, be an employee only.

  14. Well, well, well. It all happens here. I posted above somewhere that the Busines Innovation and Skills Committee would publish their latest findings on pubco practices toward tied pub tenants last Wednesday, I think it was. IN the event they pushed the date back to today and I can report, with some satisfaction, that it has finally gone OUR way.

    See the report on the report on the Morning Advertiser online:

    The Fair Pint Campaign kick started this off when we launched at Parliament in May 2008. We asked for government to look at the endemic widespread abuse of the beer tie by pub companies and to consider regulation of the sector. When we launched Fair Pint members (there was seven of us, three from Camberwell, me, Nicky Francey my business partner, and Steve Corbett from the George Canning) were described by the pubcos as ‘a bunch of shouty lessees who unfortunately don’t know how to run their businesses or understand the pub sector, spend too much time blogging instead of running their pubs and blame everyone else for their own business failure’.

    In 2008, at pub industry ‘stakeholder’ meetings, when you mentioned the beer tie as one of the constituent reasons for pubs closing down you were, literally, called to order and told that if you continued down that route you would be told to leave the meeting.

    See where we are now. I rest my case.

  15. Our loony left Southwark council has decided we can’t have a bonfire or Guy Fawkes night.
    Instead they want…
    “The Colour Thief: A Winter Extravaganza Celebrating The Changing Of The Seasons“. My preference is for a Guy Fawkes Night that celebrates an attempt to overthrow a tyrant and destroy the political class…which lets face it would be a good idea today.

  16. Hmm I’m a bit sceptical about this — it sounds like a journalist picking on some unpublished document or proposal and trying to create a loony left politically correct council story with false outrage aided by the rent-a-quote political opposition. These stories almost write themselves and for me denote lazy journalism rather than any great revelation

  17. @ J Mark Dodds

    It wasn’t intentional — I suspect that Peter has probably enabled YouTube links to be displayed in all their glory on this blog.

    I like that — a lot 😀

  18. Thank you James J for doing that.

    I find it interesting that it was “proposed” however.

    See, you shouldn’t believe everything you read in the papers.

  19. Yesterday was the autumn equinox. Late afternoon, the Dagmars went over to Dulwich Park where the shadows cast by the trees were long, dark and seemingly faster than the squirrels and any life that thinks it can outwit time.

    The greens, reds and yellows of the leaves were unbelievably beautiful, like those of fine costumes in early renaissance paintings.

    This is the time of year that reminds us that everything leaves.

    The Poussin/Twombly exhibition ends this weekend at the Dulwich Picture Gallery. This show will realign your mind like the patterns of iron filings in the field of a magnet. You will go in uncouth, come out elelgant; enter dull, exit brilliant.

    The toilets in the gallery are miraculous. The lighting at the handbasins comes from below, so you are flatteringly uplit and look many years younger. Furthermore, the liquid soap shot into the palm of your hand from the dispensers is wondrously pearlescent and for all the world like semen, which is well known to be the most effective facial rejuvenator in the world. One wonders if, at the Gallery… oh, let it pass.

    You return to Camberwell strangely beautiful and glowing.

    People in the pub stare.

  20. Very sorry to hear about all this Mark but you can be proud that your campaigning will prevent it happening to anyone else. The end of the Sun and Doves is tragic as you were the first person who had the vision to try and turn the area around.
    Why don’t you become a local councillor ?

  21. I’m a bit busy at the moment chaps and chapettes but feeling interestingly liberated and uplifted and free. I still haven’t packed all my own stuff up yet and we’ve run out of boxes. Ooops.

    The Sun and Doves is no more as it was. In the meantime there’s some pretty good trellis on the forecourt for the taking and a few bits and pieces… If anyone’s passing by coincidence

    Big love… It’s been emotional.

  22. The Select Committee has given the pubcos a right bollocking this week. One wonders what will happen — pubcos were set up to break the brewery/pub tie and exist primarily for shareholderrs, not pint-holders. Pubs as places of meditation away from the furore of the nuclear family — “public houses” — could have quite a useful social role over the next decade. This used to be the case. You could quietly go down to your local for a pint.

    Today, SABMiller bought Fosters. So no more Amber Nectar, just international shareholder spectre.

  23. Hi Mark

    wishing you the best in whatever life adventures are coming up next.

    I owe you a big thank you as the Sun & Doves was my first commercial client for my eco-audits.

    Also thank you for the amazing contribution you made as a local committed business person.

    People do not realise what destruction to local communities is inflicted by the corporate take-over of our high-streets, as we lose the tradition of input into the local community by locally resident/committed business people.

    Best wishes

  24. Many thanks Donnachadh… and to everyone who’s been so supportive, kind and thoughtful. There’s been a lot of tears and hugs recently. It seems like sixteen years is a long step in a right direction… not sure where the next footfall will land but wherever it’s going to be a lot better than the past sixteen years… and I hope it will be putting that grim experience to good use:

  25. On the bright side, you’re out of the alcohol industry… a shitty industry by most measures.

    A chapette — like a chap that’s a lady?

  26. Did anyone else go to the Camberwell Information Day yesterday on the Green?

    It was a really interesting collection of stands. In particular, there were four things that stood out.

    First there was a Maudesley Trust stand. They are planning to demolish and rebuild the bunker-like training centre on Grove Lane. They have got planning permission for (what I thought was) an elegant cube in concrete and brick. The Grove Lane pavement will be made wider in front of the building. But the really exciting aspect of their presentation was that the new building is just the start of a master plan which will involve opening up publically accessible routes across the Mausdesley site. There will be two big avenues through the site, a garden square (“about the size of Golden Square”, they said) and a direct pedestrian route from Denmark Hill Station to Denmark Hill.

    Second, Southwark Council is now proposing to build a new library in Camberwell, in front of the Magistrates’ Court. The idea of reusing a portable building from Bermondsey has been scrapped and an entirely new, single storey white-backed, glass fronted building is proposed. It looks (to my eyes) very attractive.

    Third, the Council has got money for an assessment of the roads in central Camberwell. The assessment will pay for data collection — i.e. counting cars, buses and pedestrians — and for consultation with local people to discover what their gripes and aspirations are. The idea is that this will eventually feed into a scheme to improve the roads and pavements in Camberwell.

    Finally, the Council is considering starting a more regular market in Camberwell — building on the success of the farmer’s market. They were asking whether the market should be (i) on the Green, (ii) next to the Green, or (iii) by the Magistrates’ Court.

    (I wondered whether any new market shouldn’t be in the pedestrianised bit of Daneville Road: that would be closer to the centre of Cambwerwell’s shoppping, particularly Morisson’s, so there would be a lot of shoppers right there; and it would allow people coming to the market to park easily in the Butterfly Car Park.)

    I should also mention two other things:
    — Southwark were advertising the fact that the building facing the Green, which contains Noodels City and the Golden Grill is being refaced, cleaned and generally improved. Amazingly the work is being paid for 47.5% by English Heritage, 47.5% by Southwark Council and 5% by the owners of the building!
    — Lambeth were looking for ideas for public realm improvements around Myatt’s Fields.

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