Camberwell Information Day

Yesterday the green hosted Camberwell Information day. A collection of marquees and gazebos housing plans and projects for the area. There were councilors, volunteers, architects and consultants all there to talk to residents about the schemes and proposed buildings within SE5, including the new library, Burgess Park, Nottinghill Housing Trust for the Elmington Estate and consultants from both hospitals.

The library plans were a bit of a shock. Gone are the plans to bring over the Bermondsy Spa pavilion and instead a new 1980’s style angular red and black shed is proposed to occupy the site. It will sit at a jaunty angle producing corners of unused wasted space around the triangle structure; also almost all the trees will need to be chopped down to accommodate it.  Attached are a couple of renders of the plans by Cazenove Architects.

Next were plans for the Elmington plots. There wasn’t much detail about these but the council are also planning to knock down or refurbish allot more buildings in this area as soon as the Elmington project is finished. The current proposal is mostly 34 story terraces following the street layout and with more walkways and cycle-ways. At present it is planned that Edmund Street will have parking on both sides, this will obviously narrow the road so it isn’t good news for cyclists that use that route into London.

Both Maudsley and Kings have building projects on the go. The Maudsley is going to start a new training centre on Grove Lane later this year and due to be finished by 2013. Plans look good from the renders and model (photo attached). Education consultants were also the event to talk about the plans to redevelop the schools in the area including St. Michael & All Angels and Highshore School on Wyndham Road.

Finally the council are getting peoples emails because I think they are planning an event to discuss the road layout around the green. Oh and there was a band playing jolly music. I will update the Camberwell development map with more information on these new projects.

The all-new South London Gallery

“Cross Kettles Yard in Cambridge with Barbara Hepworth’s studio in St Ives, throw in a quirky café and you’ll have the latest addition to the Camberwell Art Scene: the all-new South London Gallery.”

Friday saw the long awaited opening of the new SLG extension. The Matsudaira Wing now seamlessly extends into the once dilapidated neighbouring terraced house increasing the size and scope of the exhibition space along with the addition of a funky new café and an artist is residence apartment.

On the other side of the original 1891 Victorian gallery is now a large garden courtyard. To the right the huge floor to ceiling doors of the Clore studio swing open while a ceiling lantern runs the length of the building allowing more natural light to flood in. The outside tables and chairs are overlooked by the Marie Curie block of Sceaux Gardens, devastated by fire in 2009 the high rise has found a new lease of life with a bright buoyant mural by Yinka Shonibare.

Through the Clore Studio a beautiful brick path weaves through the newly planted Fox Garden back towards the back of the house where a new Atrium furnished simply with a long wood table stands beneath a sumptuous golden work by Paul Morrison. Beyond waft the smells of the ‘No. 67’ café. The ‘front room’ is taken up with tables and chairs and the neutral sludge colours sit well with the bulb lights and rough wood floor. Out front are more tables and chairs with a fine vista across the Peckham Road!

Upstairs are three more small exhibition rooms while the top floor has been transformed into an apartment with roof terrace. 6a Architects have striped and hacked illuminating the fabric of the building removing the ceilings to reveal the roof joists and do away with plasterwork to expose brick walls. From October the outset flat will be used for artists in residence.

The current exhibition ‘Nothing is Forever’ aims to seamlessly marry art and architecture; works have been made directly onto the walls to become part of the fabric of the building forever.

The SLG hosts five contemporary art exhibitions each year. Exhibitions and many of the SLG’s events are free. There is also a shop selling books and magazines relating to the works on view as well as those covering art theory and philosophy, artist monographs, live art, film and music.

I think the gallery is a great addition to our area and would recommend everyone visit.

Opening: Tuesday – Sunday, 10am-6.30pm, Wednesdays, 10am-9pm

more photos at:

A Community Cinema for Camberwell?

Hello there, and yet another post by another guest poster. Apologies for the very long post but just couldn’t get it any shorter.

As many of you will no doubt have heard by now the former cinema and bingo hall has been bought by Merinbrand (whoever they are) on behalf of (we assume) the Redeemed Christian Church of God or RCCG for short. We believe that contracts have been exchanged but completion is not due to take place until the beginning of March. The chances of us stopping the sale are slim, but I do not think that should prevent us from trying.

We started a campaign this Monday to try and get more information and transparency over the sale of the building by Gala Bingo. Last week I was told that the information was confidential and that I would have to wait until the sale had gone through. I think it is safe to assume that they were a little surprised at how quickly we managed to gather the troops, and very soon after our photo in front of the cinema today we had the head of PR sending out emails absolving themselves of all responsibility and hanging the new (potential) owners out to dry.

This is thanks to people like Victor, a.k.a. Eusebiovic, who set up a Facebook page which has nearly 200 fans already and is growing by the second. Also thanks go to Copeywolf (James), Liliana of PROS,Melanie Rimmer of Camberwell Arts and last but not least Mark Dodds and Barbara Pattinson from the SE5 forum for all their help. I have created a website ( for the campaign to keep the cinema for the community and I have no idea where all you people are coming from but the response has been (almost) unanimous against having RCCG move in.

I think this is a real chance for Camberwell to come together as a community. And I don’t just mean those who use the internet. I mean all those who loved the bingo and now have to go to Surrey Quays (because that’s convienient). I mean all those for whom Christianity is not their religion. I mean all the artists looking for a space. I mean something to stop Time Out banging out yet another edition about the “great” East End. I mean all those who want Camberwell to have a focal point we can be proud of.

RCCG will have to change the commercial use from D2 (Cinema, music and concert halls) to D1 (Places of worship and Church Halls). This is where we as a community come in. We cannot let this happen. There are so many reasons why this should not be allowed. So, write to your MP, write to your councillors. Tell the press, tell Boris. Shout it out. Email your friends. Join the facebook page. Tell your friends to join the facebook page. Write to famous Camberwellians. Make people notice. MAKE A FUSS!

To be fair I think most councillors are firmly behind us and John Friary has been helping already to ask questions. There is a Camberwell Community Council meeting next Wednesday 3rd March at 7pm at Southwark Town Hall. Please go. We need to let Southwark Council know that Camberwell matters. We need them to stop palming us off with disjointed plans which come to nothing. On top of that, there is an election coming up. That should concentrate the mind wonderfully!

We will be getting some posters to put around Camberwell. I will put them on the website for you to download and print off. Stick them on windows of shops. Talk to your neighbours.


Camberwell deserves better.


a.k.a. Monkeycat.

Love Walk Cafe, Denmark Hill

Hi.  My name is Guy Cross and I’m also joining the small, but friendly, group of people helping Pete out with the blog during his sabbatical.  If you are so inclined you can follow me on Twitter.

This morning I enjoyed a lovely breakfast in the new Love Walk Cafe on Denmark Hill.  I have walked passed this place during its refurb and have been anticipating the opening.  I have popped in once previously (it’s rude not to!) and sampled their take-away coffee which is more than drinkable and very reasonably priced.

The breakfast I had was pretty simple, just a coffee and a muffin, both were delicious and served to me a very polite member of staff who did everything he could to attend to me requirements.  I really did enjoy my morning treat.

What really stood out for me was the décor, the place it covered (but not the extent its off-putting) in interesting trinkets from (forgive me if I’m wrong) Turkey and the surrounding area.  The tables, chairs and walls are pretty standard but the stuff sitting on shelves or hanging on the walls are fascinating, some thought must have gone into it.

I recommend that you try out the place!

We Are Loughborough Junction

Portrait in the We Are Loughborough Junction Exhibition

Hello all, my name is Joe and I have previously written a post on this blog and am delighted that Peter considers me up to the job and has allowed me back to make a further contribute during his absence.

On Saturday I went to see  We Are Loughborough Junction, an exhibition of black and white portraits of Loughborough Junction residents taken by local photographer Conor Masterson. What made this particular exhibition different to most is that the images are displayed outdoors on the sides of houses, on railings and for sale sign boards around the local area.

There are a total of 169 portraits in all, I managed to see 167 as 2 of the photos had been removed by over zealous security guards from a derelict site on Coldharbour Lane who were unaware that the event was taking place. The size of the portraits vary from 16 inches (40cm) to around 8 feet (2.5 metres), some containing individuals and some containing families or groups.

I happen to know Conor but I don’t think I’m being biased in saying that the photographs in the show are fantastic and, for me at least, the project was a real success in terms of concept and execution. Viewing the portraits on the streets made them not only accessible but much more resonant than if they had been hung in a gallery.

I thought this was a really exciting community project  and thanks should be extended to all involved including Paul Adlam, Matt Matterson as well as Conor along with the Loughborough Junction Action Group and SE5 Forum and The Sun & Doves for providing the maps.

We Are Loughborough Junction Portraits

You can still see the photos which will remain on display until this Friday, 19th of February. I’d recommend printing out a map of the exhibition route although you may have to hurry as, according to Conor, 3 pictures have been removed or stolen.

It’s a busy week for the Arts in Loughborough Junction as Friday also sees the opening of the new Whirled Cinema which, according to their website, is a 60 seat cinema featuring HD projection and surround sound, along with a fully licensed bar and even an outdoor balcony.

The South London Press is also reporting that there is to be an investigation into the three huge fires in Camberwell and Peckham in the last 8 months. According to the BBC the investigation into the Lakanal House fire will not be complete for two years.

On a personal note I’m really looking forward to the opening of The Tiger (formerly the Silver Buckle) on the 25th. Having patronised The Sun & Doves, The Hermits Cave, The Joiners Arms and The Grand Union at the weekend as well as The Phoenix, The Castle, Le Petit Parisien and The George Canning in the last couple of weeks I’ll be well qualified to offer a comparison of local boozers.