The evening economy

I don’t have anything worthwhile to talk about; the old New Year ennui is in effect and I’m not going out much. I pretty much live vicariously through your comments. Anyway, here are some nice pictures of Camberwell nightlife to tide you over for a bit — you can see the full set on Flickr.

A woman talks on the telephone while a bus passes behind her

An elderly man with white hair

African men in a barber's shop

Author: Peter

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

125 thoughts on “The evening economy”

  1. Now that Peacocks is in administration what can we expect to take it’s place if a buyer is not found?

    More betting shops/pawn brokers/nail bars a church perhaps or a Poundland? Oh dear.

    Nice pics by the way.

  2. Some people derided the arrival of Peacocks just a few weeks ago, but it is very popular amongst people looking for something better — better made and designed — than Primark.

    We must be realistic.

    The 99p shop is excellent and even used by Waitrose people (shall we call them). At the moment they are selling Barbados, naturaly, unrefined can sugar. Just one sniff of the stuff and you have the tang of the salty Caribbean blowing through the jasmine in your mind.

  3. If people want a better, more varied range of business and services than they could do a lot worse than support the idea of a multi-use community arts centre with cinema and library too.

    The idea of encouraging a big retailer to set up shop in Camberwell is flawed economic thinking — they will only set up shop in Canada Water, Elephant or Peckham — where there is more footfall — which we know the council want to encourage.

    So therefore a satelite town centre like Camberwell needs to change tact and apply some lateral thinking as to what the solution here could be.

    Camberwell has a rich arts and entertainment heritage which continues to this very day. The college of arts is located here — there are 3 others a short bus ride away Chelsea, Goldsmiths, London College of Communication. We have all the multi-cultural demographic anybody could possibly need to sustain an arts centre and interest a wide cross section of people not just in Camberwell and Southwark but South East London would use it as well. Most bus routes lead to,from and pass through here. We have the East London Line/Overground extension opening at Denmark Hill later this year too.

    Burgess Park Refubishment
    Camberwell Leisure Centre
    Camberwell Village Hall (arts centre)

    This could create a formidible trio which would sustain Camberwell for many years to come.

    Then there may well be a chance of encouraging and nurturing a more varied selection of independent shops to set up here rather than the usual abundance of Betting Shops, Junk Food Outlets & Off Licences which the long term planning policies of the council have created here.

    We need to make some noise, loudly and consistently rather than sit on our hands and complain about it. This place doesn’t have to be a poor afterthought left to it’s own devices anymore.

    Ask as many people as possible to join the campaign — there are always more!

    Facebook “Cinema for Camberwell Green”


  4. SE5 Forum has a lot of fingers in pies. With everything going a bit funny, it might be good to get behind it this year. They are businesspeople with a bit of poke in their pencil and no time for timewasters, idee fixe hobbyists or bureaucrats.

    SE5 Forum is a sort of “2012 London” team player. Camberwell is a character place within inner London. In a crazy way, we are lucky.

  5. You are right Dagmar. 2012 is the international year of cooperation and is a perfect time to get involved with SE5 Forum; which needs more involvement from a broader range of people.

    Southwark CAN listen, although they find it hard to, it is possible, but they (it?) need to hear a clear message coming from one place. The message from the north of the Borough is a lot louder than our local voice but that can change.

    Now they’ve sold off the Register Office, the Town Hall and done nothing about sorting out planning gain for Camberwell it’s time for them to finally listen to their voters.

    What the cabinet put out at the last Camberwell Community Council meeting was encouraging — really — but there’s a hell of a lot more needs to be done for Camberwell and it will NOT happen if WE don’t drive the agenda. LOCALISM ALL THE WAY!

  6. I think I mentioned above there is a lot of development going on around Camberwell Green.

    Here’s information / plans about proposals for the JobCentre / HSS site all along the side of Camberwell Passage

    The developers say they are prepared to accommodate a library and ancillary services, such as meeting and exhibition space as part of their Section 106. Southwark planning are not interested of course because some other scheme is being planned, in wide consultation with US, a scheme we don’t seem to know about because it went off the radar when the council officers got the impression it was meeting with resistance by the pygmies.

    Comments here and on SE5 Forum and to the next meeting of the Forum please.

  7. I’m now confused about Camberwell Library. I have just found the link below on the Southwark site. It seems to indicate that the financial go ahead has already been given for the new Library to be built on the site in front of the Magistrates Court.

    Also, the press release from Fraser’s doesn’t mention any alternative, non commercial uses of the ground floor space.

    Is this space genuinely up for grabs and awaiting suggestions from the local community, or do Fraser’s want to focus on commercial rents?

  8. Thanks Eilean. The point to make is that if there was even a smidgin of joined up communication and thinking around Camberwell, a tiny overview of SE5 applied regarding all the separate developments that take place, we could have had a new library by now, a fully completed leisure centre and a lot of other development progressing rather than the haphazard mish mash of events that wends its inevitable way across our lives as it does.

    A new build is going to cost £2Million at least — that’s over budget but when did a public expenditure come in on budget? And sit on its own and fully occupy a significant Plaza just off the centre of Camberwell obscuring views of the Magistrates’ courts from Camberwell Green. I don’t think this was even discussed with the Magistrates — their Court Manager certainly knew no detail about the plans to put a building on the plaza ‘we don’t own the land so why would they ask us?’.

    Joined up thinking — grown up, informed discussion, set to a timetable, with people who live, work and understand the area would sort Camberwell out.


    And THAT is why Camberwell never moves on — pure and simple — the local authorities do not get it. Top Down Does Not Work.

    That £2Mill could be spent on other things in Camberwell; some of it on sorting out the plaza in front of the courts which is badly paved and has an assortment of badly chosen trees — and on the approach to it through Camberwell Green, improving a market facility and adding more table tennis and some chequer tables. What we’ve got emblazoned all over Camberwell are the signatures of decades of badly spent money applied by ignorant officers who lived in outer London and their poorly advised Councillors.


  9. Anyone heard of LOCALISM? It’s meant to help stop nonesense.

    As for Frasers — they’ve had two major applications rejected already. They are keen to get the third accepted and underway. They are more joined up than the planning department and are asking questions about what’s happening around the site and in other parts of SE5 because they understand it’s to their commercial benefit if they know whats’ happening elsewhere so they can attract a complementary range of retail / amenity rather than get into duplication.

    Southwark’s planning department has a universal reputation for being difficult, hard to communicate with, inefficient and full of dark arts, and for leading all policy for regeneration at every level.

  10. not a big fan of you know who, but surely another question to be asked is, if indeed it was the planning officers who were key to the DNR status of camberwell, what does that say about the competency/representativeness/etc of the repeatedly-re-elected-representatives?
    which is one big RRRRRR (or GRRRRRRRRRRR)

  11. I think Big Ben falling over should be capitalised on to move parliament. Might as well shed Scotland and downsize into Peacocks.

    Westminster Palace (once repaired) would be the best museum in the world. Or a very pleasant hotel or shopping centre.

  12. December 3 2006- ‘On the way home we stopped at the Phoenix and I had a nice pint of Fruli, the fruity white beer. I think I may have drunk all of my unit allowance for the week, this weekend.’

    So your tastes have matured in the last 5 years Peter!

    I couldn’t find the bit about the hero’s welcome in the Cadleigh but I trust my instincts.

  13. Big Ben is indeed on a lean, as Alan says. When the people find out about this, there will be wailing in Parliament Square. What if it detumesces during the Olympics beano?

    The top of the Shard was in the clouds last week and it’s not even finished yet — the final section is in a field in Yorkshire where they are rehearsing its assembly.

    Last week Thomas Hardy was spotted here, also Colchester Power Signal Box and a stoneblower called Stephen Cornish.

  14. Stephen Cornish retired recently as Imperial Grand Controller of Special Trains for Railtrack. He wore the most magnificent Ruritania Railways uniform you have ever seen, with the rail network of Britain woven in gold thread over a background of bright red cloth.

    He started work for BR straight from school in 1969 as a ticket office clerk on the Altrincham line, and progressed from there to do various clerical jobs in both passenger and freight in the Manchester divisional offices.

    Having been passed out in rules & regs, Stephen was then appointed as a relief supervisor at Guide Bridge in 1976, working on the Woodhead line and at the various associated yards and depots in East Manchester. In 1984, Stephen was appointed as area traffic manager at Guide Bridge, moving from there a couple of years later to become area traffic manager at Buxton.

    In 1987 Stephen joined provincial services as resources manager for the North West, moving on to become provincial manager thereafter for a short time up until the creation of Regional Railways in 1992. Stephen then became senior product manager for Regional Railways North West, and at privatisation, was appointed planning manager, for North West Trains (became First North Western.)

    In 1998, Stephen was invited to join Railtrack to work within the special trains team, and a year later in 1999 was appointed as the special trains manager, working with the many special trains customers, and the fascinating requirements and demands of steam trains, Pullman trains, enthusiast specials and everything else that comprises the special trains business.

    On his retirement, he had a Pandrol Jackson stoneblower named after him.

  15. What the blazes is a stone blower?

    I feel sometimes I could do with a contraption like that pointing out my front window.

  16. I’m afraid I’ve broken the comment editing system, so until I can sort it out tonight please either be careful what you write, or email me (peter@​camberwellonline.​co.​uk) if you can’t.

  17. Cunters, my good man, all you have to do is bung in “stoneblower” into Google or Wiki. It is a marvellous machine that replaces stone beneath the rails without having to take the rail up.

    I wonder if the edit function is back. Hope my speling is OK else I will look like a right diesel shunter ( = gricer rhyming slang)!

  18. What a pity. The Drovers sucks in all the drinkers round there. The Bunhouse is yet another local pub blah blah…

  19. Never been in, though tempted to see the Project 133 events at times, but what a pity — a real pub (as in two stars in reviews), been there for years. The Drovers is jolly good fun like so many Spoonses. But we should patronise the Bunhouse while it is still there. That’ll confuse this local’s boozers who are vilified in the reviews!

  20. Speaking of pubs I hear The Sun and Doves, where £65K rent killed the business, is being touted around by Scottish & Newcastle at £48K to publicans in the area — on a full tie of course; that’s tied for beer, wines and spirits. Heineken wine. Heineken beer. Heineken vodka. Heineken cola. Ha!

    That would make for a characterful local wouldn’t it.

    Mind you it needs £300K spending on it to get it into proper order for the 21st century. FAT chance of S&N managing to get that together as well as letting it — they can’t organise a pissup in a brewery that lot.

  21. Can you summarise it for us? It’s a bit dull. The word deadly comes to mind. What does it say?

    Sunny day tomorrow, nice sharp cold air. The burly men of Southampton are up from Waterloo railway station tomorrow, enlarded with the roast beef of Hampshire, to support their team in the FA Cup against Millwall, who a last bastion of deliberate jollity in the dull culture of shareholder value.


  22. I did fall asleep but it can be summarised, Dagmar, as:

    ‘Don’t vote Labour. Do vote Conservative.

    Along the lines of something like:

    Vote for a cuddly comedian and public transport prices will continue to rocket but your council tax will not

    Vote for a pragmatic proletarian and public transport will be cheaper but everyone, even people who never use it, will pay for it

  23. Newt Livingstone it is, then.

    Boris is such a charmer, though, isn’t he? That thatch! His sister is editor of “The Lady”. He speaks Latin. The free schools want Latin. But none of ’em really say anything interesting with it.

  24. Just imagine the weight of domestic dog turd deposited worldwide annually. Poop from man’s best friend. Then imagine having it all dumped on you in one go. Out of a gigantic pooper-scooper bag. And then you’ll have an idea of how I feel about my car being towed this evening.

    I’m SO impressed that Boris can speak Latin. Just goes to show how irrelevant knowing Latin is for acquisition of clear thought or understanding of very much that’s relevant to anyone living.

  25. That link is very enlightening. Particularly the non partisan, thought and insightful comments accompanying it.

    Par for the course with Paul Staines’ righty bitey, libertarian stance. Don’t see people like Staines ever coming up with anything constructive on how to run anything.

  26. Lots of questions.

    Has anyone tried Kuki Hair on Bellenden Road? It’s next door to that poodle parlour.

    Interesting area. I like that pizza place Slag187 or something.

    Does anyone buy coal locally? They sell it at Casa (Bellenden again) but I don’t know if it’s good value. We don’t use coal in Selborne much (no chimney) but me mate was asking and that…

    Also, if you had to buy fish and chips (takeaway) where would you go?

  27. Don’t know about coal, but for fish and chips. Haddock and chips at the Flying Fish on Camberwell Church St every time.

    Unless you have an exceptionally large belly, one portion is more than enough for 2.

    In fact going there tomorrow evening.

  28. Kuki hair and poodle parlour are outside of my orbit. BUT the rest:

    It’s SLA167 and it stands for Sophia Lauren’s Ass and street number of the shop.

    If Coal is bought from Casa it will NOT be good value. But may well be convenient to the amateur home fire raiser. How could it be good value from a Architectural Salvage place? Matt has to make a living. Innit.

    M&M fish bar on Denmark Road. Have the chips ‘well done’ and it’s as good a fish and chips as you’d get anywhere in these fair isles. And great value.

    Spent the day in Brighton Friends’ Meeting House rubbing shoulders with the Eco Innovations crew from Farnham doing workshops around sustainable enterprise.

    Then hot footed back to London to the Maharaja Tandoori on Denman Street, right off Piccadilly, for an evening of the new opening for The Restaurant Inspector. By a circuitous route four of my photographs, framed, now decorate the interior as part of the famed Fernando Peire’s makeover of the old interior.

    Was good fun, long day.

  29. CASA is bound to stock Uranium Enriched Isotopes. It’s the hot new thing.

    SLA pizza is pretty good the couple times we’ve been.

  30. The Aylesbury and Heygate estates featured on the BBC Radio 4 arts programme. The website blurb says:

    “The Aylesbury and Heygate estates in South London have served as the backdrop for countless films and TV dramas over the years, including Spooks, The Bill and Harry Brown. But now residents have had enough and all filming has been banned. John visited the estates to find out more.”

    Old Tempah grew up on the Aylesbury.

  31. As there is a nut job in the house of commons who wants the ale named ‘Top Totty’ banned from the strangers bar, I think Moira should have it available in Stormbird forthwith!

  32. The ale bears a faint tang of urine, I suspect. Parliament’s PR office is always trying to sex up The Old Lady of SW1.

    Cold now, but the evenings are lighter. Mendelsohn, it must be remembered, wrote his charming piano parlour piece “Spring Song” in Camberwell, having originally called it “Camberwell Green”. Camberwell Green is still officially common land, which is legally interesting.

    Camberwell is a very musical place, one way or the other. Must be to do with the springs and wells. There is a fascinating programme on BBC Radio 3 available for 2 more days to listen to again, which may go some way to explain our sunny, whistling disposition, Chunters.

  33. Mendelsohns’ piano is very nice, it was on the green last year if I remember rightly Dagas, but it aint Heavy D and the Boyz.

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