Ten Years Later

I’ve been away, and busy. Away in New York and Italy, busy writing the second edition of a book about the other part of my life, making websites. But now I am back, so let’s have some local news.

Work is well underway on the new Camberwell Library, between the Green and the Magistrates Court. It’s set to open in Spring next year. Some revitalisation work on the Green itself is due to start soon, but nothing visible so far.

All of our new businesses are still going, and sounds as if we’re going to be joined by a new hip pizza restaurant on the site of the former Johansson’s cafe, and possibly a new artisan bakery a few doors up (the owners are actively advertising for a deli on the site, not sure if there’s any movement on that front).

And the proposed CS6 cycle lane [PDF], from Penge to the City, passing through Camberwell (AFAICT down Denmark Hill and along Camberwell Road), has been dropped.

But you knew all of that already, of course, because of the fantastic comments on this site, which keep going even when I can’t. The problem is, I don’t have time to devote to the blog as I did in the past. I’ve been writing this for TEN YEARS! (I missed the anniversary, in July). And while I have some helpful regular contributors (thanks Mumu, especially), most of the work is done by the commenters.

A few people, presuming abandonment, have asked about a forum for more regular news; we had the SE5 Forum forum in the past, but people preferred to comment here. Although that was when I posted more regularly; now that’s not the case, is a forum or discussion board an alternative worth pursuing? Or should I repeat the call for more authors, and hope for the best? Or, perhaps, provide more regular updates in the form of collected tweets, as the shorter form of Twitter makes it easier for me to write there.

I want to know what you, the loyal lifeblood of this blog, want to do. And then I’ll do it.

In the meantime, now that the writing’s finished I should be able to come back to some kind of semblance of semi-regular blogging. Send me your news.

Author: Peter

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

23 thoughts on “Ten Years Later”

  1. Welcome back
    I noticed it is a wordpress site? so could a forum plugin be integrated into the blog as it exists now?

  2. Yes, was considering looking at Discourse if that’s the route people decide on. The main problem with running a forum is spam; when I managed SE5 Forum it became an overwhelming problem, one that WordPress seems to handle much better.

  3. i haven’t tried Discourse yet, just bb press. I wonder how wordpress handles spam with discourse?

    I can see any forum would add additional admin time to your site, which needs to be considered.

  4. Hi Peter,

    Thanks for the blog. You must have started it a year or so after we moved to the area. It’s been a really useful and enjoyable site. For what it’s worth, it seems to work pretty much as it is. Although that depends a bit on how many people comment, and on the content of their posts (looks at self, accusingly).

    The challenge with a Forum is getting critical mass, and then moderating it and so so forth. Whereas this format is slightly less structured, but seems to work okay, especially if someone posts a new blog every now and then.

  5. Gabe: Yes, that seems to be what people prefer. I should be able to post a little more regularly now that I’ve finished my writing, and am considering a semi-regular ‘best of the Tweets’ feature, which should also help with getting fresh posts up.

  6. I like the simplicity of this site.

    I would not like if it we were to become balkanised into geeks, nerds, dweebs, spods or other sub-species in forum sub-sects tucked away in sub-sections.

    This would mean, for instance, that train spotters — or railfans as they like to be called — would be shunted into the sidings. Pub philosophers would be drowned under the chatter of tekkies with their “I think you’ll find…” and “To be honest…” sub-non-statements.

    Camberwellonline is a flowing narrative.

    Away with the anal.

    This is not a urinal.

    We are not nasal.

    We are artisanal.

  7. I also like the way things are right now.

    I’d also like to say thanks to everyone who contributes to the blog- especially Peter. As a Camberwell ex-pat now living in the great state of Texas I am particularly excited about the promise of new activity.

  8. Hey, nice to hear ya, Blanerz. I have a Welsh friend in Fort Worth who brings his loved ones Camberwell to look at it. They have nothing like it there, of course. We go to the Hermits Cave.

    The new show at the SLG opened tonight, by Lawrence Weiner who “lives in New York and Amsterdam”. New York was originally called New Amsterdam, I think.

    His work is text-based. They call some words “text”, these days, like they call a gallery a “space”.

    The space is between the ears.

    Artists and text should be kept apart.

    Peter’s blog, though, is one of the best local blogs in Britain. It goes through its phases, but is now experiencing a surge of new energy, says our ‘Enery.

  9. Wonderful Kent apples at the Farmers’ market today. Red Dessert, Early Windsor, Worcester Pearmain, Egremont Russets, and Cox.

  10. I like the way this blog works…

    It’s great that we can all comment on a post and then it suddenly branches off on a series of tangents into unchartered territory

    The old artisan shamen Joseph Beuys would throughly approve of the blog as did The British Library who thought it worthy enough to list in their top 100 tinternet time capsule

    You can’t get much more kudos than that…

  11. I don’t want to be over-parochial, but isn’t the best thing to happen to Camberwell recently the appearance of ELEANOR BRON in “The Archers” as Carol Tregorran?

    She, as Carol says, “like a beautiful tempranillo, has improved with age.” if that’s at all possible.

    As Camberwell increasingly resembles Borsetshire, with the influx of the affluent, Eleanor Bron is not just a reason to begin listening to “The Archers”, it is a reason for living… anywhere.

  12. The debate about whether we need a new East Dulwich style forum has been going on for some time.

    I really love our sidebar of random thoughts and it’s more akin to a conversation in a pub than private discussions in a club.

    However, while some people are happy to jump in and add comments, I regularly speak to people who don’t realise that anyone can join in.

    Maybe a page, or click here button explaining how the blog works would be helpful.

    Also how about adding a bulletin board link / section so that people can advertise stuff for sale, events, etc.

    While we’re at it, what about a page to pass onto Peter with their blog post, that can be uploaded when desired? Or some easier way of updating the blog when Peter is not around. Happy to upload new posts to the blog if Peter is too busy.

    That’s my two pennies worth.

    Finally, thank you Peter for this excellent blog. It’s lovely to read and participate.

    1. I think both the blog and ‘forum ’ could co exist. The blog for more reportage style writing and general chit chat and specific forum areas for selling, recomending services like builders and plumbers, chat about specific concerns like transport and housing etc
      I like the randomness of the blog comments too but sometimes it’s nice to be able to follow a discussion without having to track it back over several different comment threads. Ie the conversations about all the new cafés and johansons etc really benefitted from a specific blog post and comments about that one subject as it was all in one thread.
      I think it’s more down to the design and navigation whether a forum section looks like a separate forum or whether it’s seemlessly integrated. That’s the beauty of WordPress, you can use a forum plugin but it doesn’t have to replace the blogs and comments.

      I recently had to find builders and the Edf was invaluable. Just having a few posts recommending particular people was great as it saved a lot of phoning around.
      Also it’s good for finding out about events like film night in pubs and gigs etc

  13. This is not about builders and other serfs. It’s about us. It may be chit chat, but it’s us. There are no pubs any more.

  14. @Dagmar. Mine’s a port and lemon.
    @Geekiness. I think you’ve spotted a gap in the market so why not create something like Brixton Live. Or Yellow Pages. Or revive SE5 Forum

  15. I agree with @monkeycat; its a great blog and lovely in its informality, but like others I had never realised that anyone could join in. Nice idea about having an explanation section to make it easier for people to contribute. Also a bulletin board would be great so that the announcement of events, etc wouldn’t get lost in the comments threads.

  16. I really enjoy the comments on Camberwell Online, and particularly Peter’s posts which are knowledgeable and always keep me up to date. More of those, and welcome back!

    On a travel note, the consultation for the Bakerloo line extension (and whether it should go via Camberwell & Peckham or the Old Kent Road) has gone live. http://tfl.gov.uk/bakerloo-extension

    Second Dagmar’s comments about the return of Carol to the Archers: I wasn’t listening when she was first in it, but I am really enjoying her return. Less so the Elizabeth and Roy scenario — eurgh.

    Shamefully, I haven’t been to the farmers market in ages. I’ve started getting sidetracked by visits to Fowlds after parkrun in Burgess Park, and then not going home via the Green. The apples sound lovely though, and Marsh Farm’s meat is always worth a look so I might try this weekend.

  17. “As has been the case for other major infrastructure projects (such as Crossrail and the Northern Line Extension), any funding package is likely to include contributions from new residential and commercial developments along the proposed extension.

    This means that in order for the Bakerloo line extension to be progressed, further development along the proposed route is required. It is unlikely the extension can happen without this new development.”


    “If funding is identified, construction could start as early as 2023 (subject to the necessary powers) and the extension could open as early as 2030.”

    Over these timescales, I find it hard to give much of a chuff either way — future discounting in full effect.

  18. The narrative of this narrative is that it is a narrative narrative.

    It is not, for instance, a powerpoint presentation. This narrative walks like two feet taking its owner to the Hermits Cave.

    No-one should travel faster than walking pace. This blog is the same.

  19. This is a splendid website — please don’t change it much. We have no need for a forum. We can simply use the EDF which covers the practical stuff perfectly well and often with the added amusement of reading various pretentious ED saddos dissing Camberwell. How little they know.

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