A Christmas Wish

I wish a very Merry Christmas* and a Happy New Year to all SE5 residents, both past, present, and future.

Camberwell Green Lights 01

* Whether you celebrate it or not, the sentiment on my part remains the same.

Author: Peter

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

63 thoughts on “A Christmas Wish”

  1. THERE was a brilliant piece of Christmas luck last Thursday when a James Pugh truck turned left, illegally, onto Vestry Road and broke a bloke’s leg. The bloke’s bike was dragged underneath the front wheels of the massive Man, 16-wheel curtainsider, which had illegally and swiftfully given a big swing left turn illegally, but maybe satnavly correctly.

    There was a girl woman police motorcyclist at the scene — looked good, like Stella Duffy in leathers — told me the cyclist had just broken a leg.

    Stella Duffy in Leathers — just the thought — brings us luck — break a leg, not dead — for the rest of the year.


  2. Seasons Greetings to all Camberwellians from the Mushti household.
    And now a question.…. if you’ve received a gift that you don’t like and you pretend that you like it, doesn’t that just encourage the giver to pursue that line of giving in subsequent years? Perhaps honesty really is the best policy?

  3. And on a completely different subject — I heard Leslie Morphy, the Chief Executive of Crisis, the Single Homeless Charity, being interviewed on the radio on Christmas Eve. Towards the end of the interview, she was asked to provide contact details for those who might need help over the Christmas/New Year period. She rattled off the website address ( http://www.crisis.org.uk), but couldn’t remember the contact telephone number! She recommended visiting the website for full contact details — so the homeless without WIFI access are a bit stuck.

  4. More amazing psychogeographic detail about the James Pugh lorry which ploughed into the cyclist on the Peckham Road and took his bike some way up Vestry Road under its front wheels.

    The James Pugh transport company is based in Adlington near Macclesfield. This is near a village called Pott Shrigley. Here, the pott thickens.

    David Shrigley, the famous cartoonist/illustrator, was born in Macclesfield and now lives in — yes, you guessed it — Camberwell.

    Shrigley is a long-time supporter of Nottingham Forest who were beaten today by the uncool, unfancied and unfashionable Peterborough United.

    Who is the JLS band member with a tattoo of Peterborough Cathedral on his arm? None other than Aston Merrygold. This tatt fact was mentioned tonight on BBC Radio 4’s “Front Row” programme’s quiz of the year.

    It’s crazy!

  5. More crazy synchronicity. Camberwell is crackling with it, the ley-lines are like psychedelic spaghetti.

    James Pugh was a Hereford born (1881) footballer who made two appearances for Manchester United in 1922 and died in an unknown year. It’s so like now when United and City are on equal points! 2 appearances in 1922. Weird! Hereford = here ford, which is almost like Camber-well, “Welsh here and there’s also a well [water].”

    We must watch the local newspapers to see what happens to the James Pugh lorry driver who cut up — to say the least — the cyclist on the Peckham Road by making an illegal left turn into Vestry Road.

    It will be an important test case of what happens to a driver who trusts satnav.

    Will satnav companies be ultimately viable? That is how current Camberwell is, with its amazing psychic currents, sultanas and bananas.

  6. Oh my days. Camberwell will be King William’s seat. We will be his little people, like in the Wizard of Oz. Only 48 hours to go. Who volunteers to play the Danny Kaye character dressed in Kermit-like Lincoln Green? Peter, step forward…

  7. Synchronicity indeed is everywhere at all times but more so in Camberwell on occasion. The Wenlock is a pub I’m interested in. In an academic sense. And is also the name of one of those characters for the 2012 games.

    Byron PAH! Set up by private equity.

    How was the burger Peter?

  8. Talking of burgers I couldn’t resist popping into ED’s Diner just off Charing Cross Road a couple of days ago…

    In my humble opinion — Still a damn good burger and the best milkshakes around…

    And talking of coincidences — until a couple of years ago The Cambria still had a rubber welcome mat at the entrance which said “Wenlock Ales”

    Who’d a thunk it eh?

  9. Eusebio, you are one of the more notable burghers of Camberwell.

    Walworth? Old Wemmick in “Great Expectations” lived in Walworth. He has been described as the only modern character in that book and was certainly depicted as a rare (for Dickens) free spirit in this Christmas’s BBC 1 serial. He looked uncannily like Christopher Logue.

    Just a few hours of the year to go now. All is not lost. Time to train to be a horologist, perhaps, a clockmaker, and make a machine to outwit time. They say the analysis of Higgs Boson in 2012 will change our view of time for ever.

    For ever!

    The word clock comes from Dutch and mediaeval German, but originally from the Celtic for “bell”.

    Tolls the bell.

  10. I bet someone… Astounding! Wenlock Ales, eh Eusb? Do you remember when every pub sold good beer? There was more choice of breweries and all their beer was excellent. Camberwell had loads of breweries. You went to a pub to drink beer because the beer was nice to drink. If you were cool, etc., OK, but it wasn’t the priority.

  11. Hello Camberwellians — I’m getting in an early best wishes for 2012 from the Mushti household. Hope it’s a good one for you all and a big thanks for Camberwell Online is due to Peter. I saw today that RatStar is being demolished!

  12. By the way, am I the only person who is disappointed by Victoria Wood doing the voiceover for SKY TV ads?

  13. Happy New Year 2012! To everybody!


    I’m not old enough to remember when every pub did good beer — I have been to a few CAMRA beer festivals over the past 3–4 years — I went to the Hackney one just before christmas and had a mighty fine Imperial Stout from the Coastal Brewery in Cornwall…I took it easy though 9% a pint means like a good malt whisky — it’s a sipper — The Battersea Arts Centre have a very good beer fest in February — anyone on here fancy coming along? — which of course will be on the East London Line/Overground Arts Line Extension — which will also be stopping at Denmark Hill — hopefully sometime in 2012.

    Talking of Beer & Denmark Hill reminds me of the very old boy who was in the queue at the Abbey/Santander and what he said to me a couple of years back — I stopped going to the pub when they began serving that “Mental Gas” (Lager, I presume) instead of a couple of beers I could enjoy…

    Aye! Bring them back!

    Hopefully The Camberwell Beauty brew at The Tiger will be a good pint — it would be criminal to call it anything else…

    I’m off to listen to The House of Love debut album — not the one with the aforementioned butterfly — top marks for the art direction on the sleeve — but the musical content isn’t as impressive as the first.

    Thank You All

    I Drink my Tea


    Here’s a little something refreshing that I was reminded of when I watched the marvellous A Man For All Seasons this afternoon:

    “If we lived in a State where virtue was profitable, common sense would make us good, and greed would make us saintly. And we’d live like animals or angels in the happy land that needs no heroes. But since in fact we see that avarice, anger, envy, pride, sloth, lust and stupidity commonly profit far beyond humility, chastity, fortitude, justice and thought, and have to choose, to be human at all … why then perhaps we must stand fast a little-even at the risk of being heroes.”

    Happy New Year

  15. They changed our local Palais into a bowling alley
    and fings ain’t what they used t’ be

    There’s Teds wiv drainpipe trousers
    and Debs in coffee houses
    and fings ain’t what they used t’ be
    There used to be Trams not very quick
    Gotcha from place to place
    But now there’s just jams ‘alf a mile fick
    Stay in the human race… I’m walking

  16. Amazing result today. If you’re in the gang, you’re in the frame. No more of that “Oo-er, it weren’t me.” Excellent result. Two down…

  17. OK, how about TREE BLOWN DOWN IN WARWICK GARDENS. It landed right by the metal benches, Peckham side. Thank goodness the denizens were absent in whatever sense.

  18. Blowy huh.

    Love the refurb at Camberwell Baths. Great place to swim. Reasonably clean and not too busy whenever I’ve been. Fabulous building. Recommended.

    Happy New Year bloggers, commentators, and lurkers.

  19. Yes. Happy New Year Gabe.

    Have to say: Ire is not far away for me …

    Southwark has sold out Camberwell YET AGAIN. More behind closed doors plans plots passing of property around WITHOUT CONSULTATION, no doubt our leaders will say “people in Camberwell say they have been consulted to death, what they want is action” … WELL, we’re giving them some action now and there’s no need to consult now BECAUSE WE KNOW WHAT THEY WANT”

    What’s happening to the Town Hall?

    What’s happening to ALL THE SECTION 106 money that’s coming in to Southwark in the back of all the developments happening in Camberwell / SE5. What happened to the COMMUNITY USE in the planning brief for the building on the site of Age Concern on Coldharbour Lane?

    When are Trading Standards going to get on the case with the Redeemed Christian Church of God who are advertising: “A CHURCH WHERE DIVINE INTERVENTION IS A COMMON OCCURRENCE” right here in sleepy old SE5.

    I correccted their spelling mistake by mistake.

  20. So they have no planning permission for use of the site as a church yet are blatantly using it as a church? Is this not contacting Southwark planning dept/ local councillors ? Before I try and kick up a fuss can someone confirm that this is the case?

    Incidentally just seen the departed Sun and Doves and wider Camberwell in the sunshine on the first Location Location Location of the new series — ah happy days where have they gone?

  21. (Is it not worth contacting Southwark planning dept/ local councillors about this I meant to say)

    Poking around on the Southwark site I see the church’s planning application was published in November — http://tinyurl.com/7rqmqyb It is due to be decided in February, the statutory consultation already having been carried out.

  22. There are some fabulously counterculture murals on the remaining back wall of the Ratstar squat — worth photographing before they dissolve into the past.

  23. @ Mumu

    Hello Mumu — Happy New Year!

    Oh! Where on earth do we start regarding the ex-Bingo Hall and last remaining original purpose-built cinema theatre building left in the entire borough of Southwark? — very important this last fact, I rarely mention it 😉

    This whole saga has been rolling on for 2 years now.

    House of Praise which is part of The Redeemed Christian Church of God (R.C.C.G) has continuously made a series of increasingly poor planning applications to Southwark Planning Dept. At the last count it’s half a dozen including two withdrawn applications as well as another to the national planning inspectorate. The building continues to be used for church services despite not being granted D1 planning status which is for private use/place of worship. The building has D2 status which is for entertainment and leisure — and it is paramount that we maintain this for our proposed community arts centre.

    Here is a brief summary:

    1. Continued use of a building with D2 planning status (Entertainment & Leisure) despite requiring D1 status (Private Assembly & Worship)

    2. Lack of credible community consultation & transport plan. House of Faith is working on a plan for 800 persons in a building which has a 2000 capacity. This despite regularly pursuing an aggresive advertising campaign throughout billboards in Southwark and our neighbouring boroughs of Lambeth & Lewisham.

    3. Permission not requested to alter Grade II listed lobby — Southwark Planning granted this retrospectively.

    4.Lack of permission to install high-powered mobile phone masts on exterior.

    5. Permission for B1 consent for bookshop not requested.

    6. Concerns regarding parent organization (R.C.C.G) and their attitude & commitment to equal opportunities legislation — in particular to LGBT persons, Mentally Ill persons & Womens rights.

    Peoples’ Republic of Southwark have prepared a more thorough summary here:-


    Our Facebook page “Cinema for Camberwell Green” currently has 3,770 fans and is rising all the time. We have a strong grass roots support and the Camberwell Business Community is now showing a genuine interest in supporting our campaign for a commmunity arts centre too. What we need is as many local people as possible to actively support this idea and perhaps even contribute some practical support and expertise if they have the time. Which again is growing all the while.

    I hope this explains a few things!

  24. @ J Mark Dodds

    Three months and counting?

    Is that a reference to the 2012 local elections — or something else?

  25. Hey eusebiovic I thought I posted it as a link to a picture of the boarded up Sun and Doves. But instead I made a mysterious oblique reference to how long it takes to get a modicum of an iota of sense out of Southwark’s Lack of Planning department.

    There are SIX major developments all happening at and around Camberwell Green, which is the CENTRE OF OUR SE5 WORLD (just in case anyone hadn’t noticed) and the UN Planning Department has not made any evident connection between any of them with a thought to how they can / will / could / should work / relate / respond / interact with each other:

    There is: Starting with:
    *1 Gala Bingo — 2,200 seat Evangelical Church then
    *2 Site from Medlar Street to the bus garage entrance — 60+ flats then
    *3 Site which is the Jobcentre on the Green along Camberwell Passage and through to HSS Hire site on Camberwell Road — Many flats and retail / commercial on ground floor then
    *4 Jono’s on Camberwell Road / opposite side of Camberwell Passage — many flats plus commercial / bar retail on ground floor
    *5 Camberwell Road (opposite Job Centre/HSS site) between bus garage and terrace of houses leading to The Bear — here is a new build terrace of (massive, out of scale with the others) ‘town houses’.
    *6 The LIBRARY (anyone know where that’s up to now?)

    None of these sites seem to be joined up, as far as this dumb lay person with no knowledge of planning can see, at all by the De-Planning department yet they constitute maybe 20% of the volume of the whole of the centre of Camberwell — which is universally regarded (by everyone who’s not in the Planning Department) as being in desperate need of urgent and sensitive regeneration.


    IF, FOR NO DIRECT COST TO THE TAXPAYER, Camberwell library could be moved to a new, bespoke designed fit for purpose high spec accommodation with extra built in up to date infrastructure communications / IT / digital amenities plus further facilities for community meetings / conferences / workspace and various forms of exhibitions and congregation in the Job Centre / HSS site — WOULD ANYONE IN CAMBERWELL BE INTERESTED IN THAT? Instead of spending a £million quid plus on a new build slap bang in the middle of Camberwell’s ONLY PLAZA in front of the Magistrate’s Courts? WOULD ANYBODY BE INTERESTED IN THAT?

    That would leave around about a MILLION QUID to put into a Development Trust called Camberwell Community Builders which could sort out the rest of Camberwell / SE5 cross borders and link it into the surrounding areas — and help the local authorities get right what they’ve always managed to not do.

    Or something sensible like that.

    By the way today’s PM programme there was a piece on pubcos and the beer tie and why Ed Davey has made a total hash of it. I was interviewed. It was on about 5.20pm not ready to be listened again to yet but it was a good piece.


  26. Are the mayoralty royalty? They might be soon. With Scotland and Jamaica gone, there’ll be hardly anything left of old Albion. Tony Blair has his own country, according to the Telegraph. That’s the way to go. Lock the doors, Chunters! Each man is an island.

    Class? Yesterday, Class 66 Maltby Raider here — 66552 — named by Bob Hallam, Manager of Maltby Colliery — workerist values — that’s the way forward — except for the names — off with their heads. Just numbers for everyone.

    Or Boris Johnson as Prime Minister. Head Boy material? Huzzah, Chunters! His sis edits “The Lady”. Now we’re talking. Cotswolds. Old money. Standing in the pouring rain on Peckham Rye Station…

    And for that minute a blackbird sang
    Close by, and round him, mistier,
    Farther and farther, all the birds
    Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.

  27. Not strictly Camberwell, but the scafolding came of the new building on Brandon Street today. I feared the worst but riding by this afternoon, it looked okay. The fascia is done in hexagonal colored tiles. Gaudi-esque

    It is on what used to be a nice row of trees and a hardcourt football pitch. You pass it on the cycle route up to town.


  28. Thanks Chunters; I was there at Parliament yesterday as it happens — Harriet put me some tickets aside for the debate. Was good to see the government getting a panning but the reality is nothing much will change…

    Meanwhile today, on the Publican’s Morning Advertiser website, the Sun and Doves and little old me were ranked number 4 most hits on:

    Top 10 stories of 2011


    Oh there’s so MUCH going on!

  29. By the way, here’s my take on the Ed Davey scandal

    What’s all the fuss about?

    This IS NOT CRONY CAPITALISM and it is OUTRAGEOUS to suggest, in any way, that the government colluded with the BBPA.


    Ed Davey’s department simply asked BBPA to ask Simon Townsend to write the government’s response.

    That is not collusion. It’s DELEGATION.

    Given the imperative to be financially astute and to make savings at every level of government, this was simply an innovative, highly efficient and creative use of available resources.

    Give Ed Davey a silver star and send him to the headmaster for a commendation on inclusivity.

  30. Simon Townsend is Enterprise Inns’ COO. We’ve met a couple of times. My former landlord was Scottish & Newcaslte Pub Company — Enterprise has nothing to do with me or the pub or S&NPC apart from being a pub company and apart from me being one of Fair Pint’s founders. And apart from Fair Pint attacking the beer tie, which Enterprise Inns has a big stake in.

    I have it on good authority that Simon Townsend does not like me. Personally. Me. Strange. I find that amazing, he earns over half a million pounds a year and me? I am on the dole.

    He doesn’t have a reputation for being a sensitive or caring person. He has a reputation for being a heartless twat:


  31. Ed Davey is an opportunist deadhead — sorry, I meant to say a Liberal Democrat. Caroline Pidgeon, please step forward.

  32. Anyone any idea what’s happened in Bavent Rd? Four houses taped off, with a plod standing outside. Seen forensics coming out in their boilersuits.…..

  33. There was immense activity near Paulet Road last week — police cars and vans from all over SE flying there, never seen so many. Sort of says guns = drugs = bodies eventually.

  34. Paul is indeed a breath of fresh air in the bike shop world. All the others round here are like the Two Ronnies gone a bit wrong, sometimes a lot wrong.

    Alan, what is Los Carbon like? We are intrigued.

  35. http://www.flickr.com/photos/caliguidealejo/6533109879/

    Try it… My food was great and it’s very reasonably priced.

    I think you need Gay Cambo or someone to give you a detailed account as I am not a restaurant reviewer.

    I bet Peter’s been there. He probably cycled. I expect that he then called in for a Frulli at the Phoenix… before heading to that little pub in his street where he was greeted like a returning hero. Well? Peter?

    What about you Dagmar? Do you think Camberwell is a bit dull now, post gentrification? Seems quiet on here. Must be a reason. Is it house prices?

  36. It’s just Chinatown, Alan. It’s just life, January, the natural pre-February freeze. There is still an amazing amount of building going on and things on the up.

    Yes, the gentry are a bit sedimentary, but at least there has been no gunshot outside our house recently.

    Do you know, I was on the phone to my sister once and there were 5 shots right outside the house. “I have to go now, ” I said rather tartly, “there has been gunshot artside are harse.”

    I rang the 999. “There has been gunshot artside are harse,” I said as poshly as I could so’s not to depress the harse prices. “Have you been outside to have a look?” they arksed. “Insanely not!” I retorted. Seriously, this is verbatim.

    Something will turn up, Alan. Lord Coe, probably. Meanwhile, I heard an old fellow singing a ballad on the street corner tonight.

    “Eeeeeoww, it were in the year of twenty-twelve,
    ‘Ang on I’ll look in me Filofax, dig & delve…
    The bold men of Millwall like ninepins they fell,
    Till they were 9, oh fuckin ‘ell…
    The ref were poor, it makes yer sick,
    We did done lose, nought ter 6…”

    And so on he went on and on in a lament. Marvellous! In Chelsea and Highbury, Islington, there is no such raw pain & sorrow.

    Bring it on, that Camberwell tomorrow!

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