February’s Miscellanea

A couple of calls for participation:

Camberwell Business Network and SE5Forum would like some feedback from you about local shopping; and the Met police are looking for witnesses to a very nasty hit and run on Champion Hill last week.

Quick bit of transport news: TfL asked Southwark Council for their preference of proposed extensions to the Bakerloo line, and the Council have said that Lewisham via Camberwell and Peckham is their choice. However, that’s very far from being a done deal, and even if it were we’d be looking at some 15–20 years away. Still, perhaps one day…

The Council recently posted some historic maps online, which are interesting to look at. Did you know The Fox On The Hill used to be The Fox Under The Hill? Not sure what brought him to the surface.

That is all for now. I’m still looking for more contributors. Show of hands, please?

Author: Peter

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

159 thoughts on “February’s Miscellanea”

  1. “Did you know The Fox On The Hill used to be The Fox Under The Hill? Not sure what brought him to the surface”

    I’m guessing 99p pints of beer courtesy of Wetherspoons…

  2. When the old fox was under the hill no-one knew he was there, which wasn’t really good for business. So when fox hunting more or less disappeared in these parts an enterprising landlord changed the name of the pub. The rhyme that was displayed has long since gone but it used to read:

    ‘I am a crafty fox, you see,
    But there is no harm in me;
    My master he has placed me here
    To let you know he sells good beer’

  3. This is from “British History Online”

    Old and New London: Volume 6

    Author: Edward Walford
    Published: 1878


    ‘The “Fox-under-the-Hill” still remains a wellknown Camberwell sign, although the old tavern has been demolished to give place to one more in accord with modern ideas. That the neighbourhood was at one time the haunt of “Reynard” may be inferred from the fact that a thoroughfare close by is called Dog Kennel Lane. The tavern was formerly called “Little Denmark Hall,” there being at that time another house of entertainment known as “Great Denmark Hall,” which was subsequently converted into one or more private houses. The “Fox-under-the-Hill” was formerly the starting-point of the Dulwich patrol.

    On things Dead in the Water; here’s a new shot on the Planning Application for Gala Bingo:


  4. Does anyone know if any Camberwell pubs do a Sunday vegetarian roast dinner option that is not nut roast (yuk)? I’m looking for all the traditional bits (yorkshire, veg etc…) but with something interesting and tasty instead of the meat.
    In recent weeks I’ve tried George Canning (pasta option), Tiger & Phoenix (both nut roast). Thanks.

  5. Nothing wrong with Nut Roast. You’d be lucky to find a decent vegetarian meal in and around Camberwell. Let me know if you do.

  6. Wuli wuli does a good range of dishes that just happen not to be made of meat.

    I think the Bear does a good veggie option for sunday roast.

    Anyone know about the Cambria? I’ve never eaten there, but sure I’ve heard others big it up on the veggie front.

  7. Roasts at Cambria good — from memory when I went with a vege friend towards the end of last year there was a choice of several dishes in the roast range including (perhaps inevitably) nut roast but also vege sausages and burgers, plus there were the usual vege burger options for non-roasts.

  8. Just remembered, the best veggie option I’ve had was at the Pheonix. I chose it over the meaty one. It was a sweet potato and goat’s cheese wellington. Blooming divine. But a few years ago now. Not sure what they have on now.

  9. Sunday Roast subsitutes are not abounding but I’ll second Wuli Wuli on all fronts vegetarian such that I have repeatedly nagged Jay Rayner to do a review. He refused. Jay is mistaken.

    Falafel is a long way from Traditional Sundays too but their falafel wraps and vegetable curries are exceptionally good — as are their shwarma and other meat dishes whether dressed with their sauces or not. This probably is the cheapest, best value, delightfully healthy food in Camberwell.

    Silk Road has a number of excellent meatless dishes as well. Their Cabbage main meal, I can’t remember what it’s called, is the Best Cabbage dish in the Known Universe.

    Separately from these endorsements:

    Saigon, a Thai restaurant in Greenwich is worth the trip AND

    E Mishkin’s non Kosher Jewish Deli opposite Drury Lane Theatre in St Catherine’s Street is brilliant. The latest in Russell Norman’s highly competent roll out of happy food places London has long lacked… Norman is a force for good on the London catering scene

  10. The online questionnaire for the Camberwell Business Network is a bit odd.

    It seems to be only about food shopping, though it doesn’t explain that at the start. For example, to complete the sentence “When you cannot buy what you need locally, you…”, one option is “grow your own vegetables and keep chickens”.

    It mentions lazy businessmen in question 6. A bit weird to use “lazy”, and a bit dated to use “businessmen”? And then I can’t see how where you park your car is relevant (Q7).

    Anyway, this is a long way of saying I did try to do my bit by filling out the form but gave up as I can’t see how it would be useful?!

  11. St Giles are applying for a new license to reopen Jazz in the Crypt; here’s a request for help from the company who want to come back to run it again:

    Thank you for all the messages of support and enquiries about re-opening.

    Proceedings are underway to reopen the Crypt at St. Giles Camberwell as a Jazz venue with it being run by Jazz Umbrella.

    Jazz Umbrella is a non-profit-making charity which has the objective of promoting jazz in London. They have been responsible for programming the music for most of the period.

    It has now got to the stage of an application for a “Licence under Faculty”. This is the church’s internal planning procedure.

    There is a public notice displayed at the Church asking for objections.

    Just in case there are any it would be good if you could write in support.

    You might like to say:

    * How you have enjoyed the provision of good music at reasonable prices (over 14 years)
    * How you praise the Church for its contribution to the Arts in Camberwell and London
    * Etc etc.

    Please write to:

    The Registrar
    Minerva House
    5 Montague Close
    London SE1 9BB

    And head your letter “ St. Giles Church Crypt – Application for Licence under Faculty”. Unfortunately there is no email address so it will cost a stamp.

    Please write now so that you letter is received by 1st March.

  12. I think the Fox Under the Hill was further down Denmark Hill, roughly where the police are, near Costcutter. I believe it may have taken a hit during the war.

  13. Here’s an interesting, topical for Camberwell, piece from the Times:

    16 February 2012 by The Times

    No 10 too soft on big business says Cameron ally

    David Cameron’s pledge to create a “responsible capitalism” has already run into trouble after an ally complained of a “policy vacuum” inside Downing Street on tackling energy companies, banks and big business.

    Zac Goldsmith, a former adviser to Mr Cameron, said that banks remained “too big to fail”. He named companies such as BP, Tesco and Costa Coffee as among those wielding too much power.

    In a frank assessment of the willingness of No 10 to take on big business, Mr Goldsmith, who played a key role in rebranding the Tories before the last election, said that policies were “still being influenced disproportionately by vested interests”.

    The Prime Minister, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg have been competing to prove to voters that they are serious about reforming capitalism amid economic hardship, soaring energy prices and perceived rewards for failure in the City. All made speeches on the theme last month.

    Mr Goldsmith is seen as an influential member of the new Tory intake. He was an early supporter of Mr Cameron, having advised him on environmental policy. His attack came in a public meeting only a week after the Prime Minister had promised to create “socially responsible and genuinely popular capitalism”.

    Mr Goldsmith said: “I would say there is a policy vacuum when it comes to addressing these issues. The fact is, the really important decisions are still being influenced disproportionately by vested interests.

    “The banks are too big to fail. It applies to energy companies. BP funded $20 billion in compensation for [the Deepwater Horizon] oil spill and yet it didn’t make any slightest bit of difference in the medium term to the value of that company. They are on a scale that it is almost impossible to imagine. It also applies to the high street. It’s now the case that one in every £7 spent in retail is spent in Tesco.

    “Now in a situation like that, it is impossible to maintain any kind of balance of power — it is impossible for communities, elected councillors, independent shopkeepers and so on to exert any kind of pressure, which has perverted the entire process.”

    He said that despite promises from Downing Street to give citizens more power through the Localism Bill, he was not seeing evidence of major changes. He gave the example of a local Costa Coffee shop opposed by residents and councillors, which was still given planning approval.

    “We have allowed a situation where our banks have grown too big to fail, single supermarket firms control nearly a third of the retail market and distort policy, political decisions are taken at a level that ordinary people can never influence, and industrial- scale agribusiness is tearing up the planet,” he told The Times later.

    “The issue of scale is of paramount importance and relevance. If we are looking for a paradigm shift, I think scale must be at its heart.”

    The Government’s Localism Bill was a “step in the right direction” but “it doesn’t live up to the promises that preceded it”, he said. Key elements, including the creation of local referendums, had been taken out of the legislation.

    “There are few things more disempowering than whole communities and their elected local representatives being steamrollered by remote planning authorities, and that was supposed to be addressed by the introduction of local referendums.

    “That clause was first watered down in the Bill so that the results would be non-binding, and then deleted altogether. It’s a fundamental issue in my view: either we trust people to make these decisions for themselves, or we don’t.”

    This article first appeared in The Times, on Thursday 16th February

    Author: Michael Savage, Political Correspondent for The Times

  14. Costa Coffee are opening a branch in Brixton in the old Sanders jewelery shop underneath the railway bridge…

    I’ll still be drinking my coffee in any number of independent outlets in the Indoor Markets and up the Stockwell Road (not all of these are considered trendy either)

    Still, I’m absolutely sure people will like the shiny new sign and the quality of coffee which not too long ago would have been rejected for fertiliser.

  15. Jazz in the Crypt, now there’s a church worth going to. A stroke of genius, Jesus!

    (He was always such a cool guy. Shh… don’t tell him!)

    Let us respond as in Peter’s post above and get the Crypt going again.

  16. I hear that the Sun and Doves has been squatted. Not sure how I feel about this.

    I am broadly in favour of responsible squatting, but also think that you should only be allowed to squat until the owners genuinely have a plan to reuse the building.

  17. Why don’t we set up a pop-up people’s pub there selling free beer to the workers?

    The new moon over Camberwell has a misty halo around it which indicates a superb spring and fabulous summer.

    Once again, Camberwell has come up trumps against the odds!

  18. Got planning permission letter over the weekend for the little toiletty thing in Bruswick Park — conversion to A3 (cafe).

    Looks like someone may have finally taken the council up on their offer to use it.

  19. Over the weekend my road (Northlands Street) and several nearby residential roads (Vaughan Road, Harbour Road etc) that run off Coldharbour Lane had speed bumps erected and 20mph speed limit signs painted on them. The bumps are the gentle sloping type across the whole width of the road that don’t really work effectively (nowhere near as effectively as the smaller, higher raised bumps that you can position your wheels either side of, as found on Southwell Road for example).

    The council polled local residents on whether they wanted this a while back but to my mind they are utterly pointless — I have never seen a car speeding on these roads, and they are so short that a car would really have to try pretty hard to get up to 30mph from one end to the other anyway.

    I believe they are a poor use of council funds — am I wrong? The new traffic islands by the old Green Man Pub/ Loughborough Junction rail station on the other hand are long overdue and will definitely improve safety at a dangerous junction.

  20. @Ben

    February arrives and councils usually try and spend any excess funds they have before april to ensure that they get the same amount or more for next year. There is always a lot of tarmac resurfacing of perfectly drivable roads around this time of the year for precisely the same reason.

    It’s about budget and contracts not neccessarily about whether the speed bumps are needed or whether that money could be better spent on much more vital services.

    This is the modern world — But, it’s not right and needs changing.

  21. @ Ben, yes, we too had a ‘speed hump’ put in last week in Bavent Rd. I’ve lived here for 12 years and never seen an accident in the street. We’re in front of Kings which is already a 20mph zone, and the only people driving down here are looking for somewhere to park, so are only travelling at 10mph max. I don’t remember the council polling me or any of my neighbours regarding this and find it an atrocious waste of money. The pathetic little white arrows that were sprayed on have already all but gone, and some of the tarmac is also collapsing (less than a week after it was laid!) Lambeth Council need to be transparent on who decided this and who got the contract!

  22. Go Mark GO!

    Ben, Victor and Mark: Shameful waste of scarce cash. Utterly stupid dumb ridiculous.

    Now if they put the same money into Sinusoidal Humps that would be a different matter. Wouldn’t it?

    Oh? They did already?

    That’s Lambeth.

    In Southwark they are turning a tiny bog into a cafe. Huh. Genius

  23. Mine Got — is it me or does it suddenly sound like the East Dulwich Forum on here.. next it’ll be demand for an M&S simply food and reports of suspicious foreign looking leaflet droppers.

    The ‘pathetic spray-on arrows’ are only temporary until they come round with the proper paint…

  24. Sorry for the atrocious spelling in my last entry, thanks for the subtle corrections Mark. In answer to your question — the speed hump debate and the bollocks being trotted out as fact is mildly annoying, thats it.

  25. That’s it.

    Waitrose syndrome.

    The quality of langoustines…

    The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
    It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
    Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
    It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.

  26. Camberwell doesn’t need an M&S or Waitrose…we live between Brixton and Peckham so all the fruit and veg is catered for as well as the (reasonably) fresh fish and meat.

    However, a community arts centre located here would make perfect sense…if it had a cinema and the library was relocated there — even better.

    That’s all we really need to make us fly!

    Nick has a point — leave the flying to the 4x4’s who go over them too fast and ruin their suspension.

    - seriously though, it is an annoying waste of council funds 😉

  27. ( You wan’ goat? )
    No I might‑a kill I queen
    ( Try de beef nuh? )
    I no check fi no grass weh green
    ( Wha’ bout fowl? )
    What’cha know is time fi a change
    ( Mere fish ? )
    Got children out a dat range
    ( How ’bout de steak? )
    What’cha know, me no sight me rate
    ( Try tripe? )
    Bu’n me belly when I pull me pipe
    ( What about de pork then? )
    Hush your mouth man, me brethren hear
    Sell I a pound of dat t’ing there

  28. Not sure about farts, but there is a new Chinese opening opposite the House Gallery.

    It’s called Well Mix Oriental. Not sure if it’s in the Silk Road / Wuli Wuli vein or more of the Noodel City line.

    Fingers crossed for the former.

  29. So some good news and bad.

    Bad first. Planning permission was granted last night for the old bingo hall to be given change of use to a church. The way in which this was done and the downright dodgy practice from several councillors is shocking but not at all surprising. They are supposed to limit the capacity to 1200. However, it will be up to members of the public to report any failure to do this and the council would then act on this information. Based on previous form from the planning department, this basically gives the church free rein to do what they want.

    In other (good) news, I read somewhere that the old convieniences in Brunswick Park are to be made into a cafe.

    Here are a few plans and the documents on the planning website. I think I like it. I will be sending an email to support it.




  30. Can anyone advise on the best type of secondary lock to have on a communal front door (burglary last week, locks need changing).

    I want something that involves zero effort for the other tenants as they are infuriatingly too lazy to lock with a key (or even, I suspect, to turn a knob). And that can be opened without a key from the inside in event of a fire.

    Something that engages a deadbolt as you pull the door shut like my Ingersoll SC71 top lock (but doesn’t require you to have a key in two separate locks at once to get in), is there such a thing?

  31. @ Nick W.Yes, Lambeth really need to be spending this money at the moment, and, just to keep you in the loop, they came back yesterday, and spray painted the ‘pathetic white arrows’ again.….

  32. So thats why they are handcarving all the paving stones in Westminster — and theres me thinking it was for the Olympics

  33. I don’t know about the arrows, but I do wonder if the council have actually identified a need for the speed bumps; if so, they should probably communicate that to the residents.

    But as a former council employee, I can confirm that sometimes these decisions are taken to use up budgets before the start of the new financial year.

  34. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stupidity. Everywhere.

    The Brunswick BOGS are too small to make into a cafe. Stupid.

    Planning department. STUPID. STUPID. STUPID.


  35. Being interviewed by the FT today for an article about the end of community pubs.

    By CAMRA next week for a film about the differences between tied and free of tie pubs.

    And today the Guardian announces they are looking for publicans to contribute there


    Looks like there may be some uptake of interest about the devastation that pubcos are imposing on Britain’s culture and heritage.

    Better sooner than later eh.

  36. What’s going on with the newly imposed parking restrictions west of Vestry Road. All it seems to do is push everyone Eastwards, causing chaos and I guess, eventually the need for restrictions throughout the borough.

    Does it make any sense to anyone? Who dreams these ideas up? Guess it is just a way of extracting more money from everyone.…

  37. JK

    I think what protected the area from parking restrictions was the desire of Council employees to park for free. Now they’ve (largely) moved away, I think the restrictions will creep eastwards down Lyndhurst Grove. It is as you say increasingly a bugg3r to park around there.

  38. Brunswick cafe sounds great. You don’t the need the paraphernalia of a “bar/kitchen”, like a chest freezer for expensive, irradiated langoustines, to serve tea. That park has many friends. A cafe, that is that, a cafe, will be nice.

    Many of us are small people in Camberwell, some very small — ours are currently deliberating between Yale and Harvard, true, but that’s as far “upscale” as we go at the moment and it’s only a light-hearted jokey thing to do to pass the time in Lucas Gardens.

    A cup of proper coffee at Mary’s Cafe on the Walworth Road, a popular and long-lived place, costs 80p. Perhaps, at the new cafe in Brunswick Park, two cups of tea may be bought for the price of the Financial Times, which is £2.50.

  39. The conversion of Vestry Rd, etc, into a controlled parking area was breathtaking in its audacity; within days of the council moving operations from the town hall, the restrictions came in. It used to be their unofficial car park. Fantastically cynical.

  40. I seem to remember that last year they did a “consultation”, claiming that any introduction of controlled parking would be of benefit to local residents. At the time there was no problem with parking, even with the added numbers of council employees. However, it has made parking pretty much impossible, and the roads that are now permits only are a ghost town. Vestry and westward is usually almost completely without cars these days — it seems to not only to be a cynical act, but one that does not work.
    Do they need to do consultations to enact further restrictions? it is surely detrimental to the whole area.…certainly not in anyones interests

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