News round-up: Camberwell box park, Camberwell Fair and more

Lots of things to talk about, not least the news that Camberwell could be set to turn into hipster central! Let’s start with that.

Camberwell Yards

There’s a chance that Camberwell will get its own temporary retail / entertainment space made of converted shipping containers, similar to Pop Brixton, The Artworks Elephant, or the Boxpark that’s so beloved of the hipsters in Shoreditch and, er, Croydon. Camberwell Yards, as it’s called, is mooted to be on the smaller area of the car park behind Morrisons in Butterfly Walk.

Map showing Camberwell Yards, just off Daneville Road
The proposed location of ‘Camberwell Yards’

There are a planned 14 shipping containers around a central communal area. The intended uses are:

  • Four containers for food and beverages
  • One container for local community use
  • Eight containers for local businesses
  • One container for WC
  • A central communal area for flexible use, e.g. a pop-up cinema
Indicative layout of Camberwell Yards
14 Container units surround a communal area

It’s fair to say that reaction on Twitter to this news has not been entirely positive, with much muttering of gentrification and hipsters. I’m not entirely against the idea myself, although I think the key word used in the description above is local. How will businesses be judged to be local? Who will decide? How will that be enforced?

If this brings new people to the area and gives support to truly local businesses, then yes it’s a positive move. If all it does is bring people in who stay only in the box park, don’t get out and see more, and in fact attracts custom away from existing local businesses, then no, it’s not a good thing.

Notices up on the former HSBC building state that there will be a public consultation about this on Thursday, 20th July, from 3–7pm, in the old bank itself. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make this. If anyone is planning to attend, do please get in touch and send me a report.

Camberwell Fair

A reminder that this Saturday, 22nd July, Camberwell Fair returns to the Green. The fair is

a celebration of the diverse people, culture and community of the local area, and will feature 2 top quality music stages, 40 market stalls, food, bars and games.

Entry is once again free, although may not always be; the organisers are crowdfunding to raise £3,000 to cover their costs and keep it free in future. If you’ve enjoyed the fair in the past, or plan to this year, consider chipping in a few quid to support; it’s not entirely selfless, you can get some goodies in return for your donation.

Camberwell Grove Railway Bridge

If you live in East/South Camberwell, you may be affected by the ongoing closure of this bridge. The latest news is that it will cost at least £17,000 to strengthen the bridge to support vehicles up to 3 tonnes, plus the cost of works to ensure that heavier vehicles can’t cross it; or at least £1,000,000 to strengthen it for vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes. Some people want the bridge reopened, others want the closure made permanent. If you have an opinion, Southwark Council want to hear it.

The Bower

More crowdfunding news, this time for a new gallery, bookshop, publishing studio, and cafe—in a converted toilet block in Brunswick Park. The Bower will

host a series of exhibitions and events and produce books with artists and writers by Publication Studio London on site. In addition to this, The Bower will provide a much needed cafe service to the park, serving freshly made coffee, tea and refreshments, all from local suppliers.

If you’d like to see a better use for the old WCs, you might consider sending them a few quid towards their £10,027 (very specific) target.

Nape & Rock Oysters

A quick thanks to Cannon & Cannon for inviting me along to their Oyster Summer Session at Nape on Sunday. Fantastic Jersey oysters from &Rocks, and great wine from Nape themselves. Good to see the place nice and busy, it’s a very welcome addition to Camberwell and a local business that deserves support. And I’m not just saying that because I was given some free oysters.

Two plates of oysters, one raw, one cooked
Raw oysters with lemon, and grilled oysters with chipotle

Camberwell Green

And finally, the revamped and refreshed Camberwell Green has been awarded a Green Flag, “the benchmark national standard for publicly accessible parks and green spaces in the United Kingdom”. It’s a pleasure to walk through there now, and great to see it so well-used in the nice Summer weather we’re having. Wish more people would pick their litter up after them, though.

Author: Peter

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

6 thoughts on “News round-up: Camberwell box park, Camberwell Fair and more”

  1. I’m not sure I understand why people would be against the box park? Adding more businesses and reasons to come to Camberwell in an under utilised space on a temporary basis. Sounds exciting to me.

    1. I can see why people have reservations about it. Some people over on twitter however have decided, in advance of actually having any specific information about the Camberwell proposal, that “boxpark is social cleansing” and that it needs to be vigorously protested. It must be oddly comforting to have a such an uncomplicated view of the world.

      Nevermind the fact that it doesn’t actually appear to be an application for a ‘Boxpark’ as such at all. Perhaps ‘Camberwell Yards’ might be substantively different. One way to learn would of course be to go to the consultation and find out what the actual plans are. But who’s got time for that! There’s righteous outrage to be had!

  2. I am keeping an open mind about the box park.

    I have one piece of clarification though.

    I had not realised that Boxpark is a company rather than a generic term. Boxpark only have places in Shoreditch and Croydon at the moment. The place in Brixton is called Pop Brixton and nothing to do with Boxpark.

    Spot Property Company, who own Butterfly Walk are doing this themselves.

    I think this is part of a wider plan to regenerate Butt Walk and build a new shopping centre.

    I wonder if some of the criticism comes because people assumed it was part Boxpark, who are pretty commercial and invite larger brands to their places?

    I’m not 100% convinced that it will work in Camberwell, but I’d would love to have more options for outdoor evening drinks!

    1. You’re absolutely right, I misunderstood the original article I read that alerted me to this. It’s *a* box park, rather than Boxpark. I’ve edited the post for clarity.

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