Development news

More news… what a busy couple of days it’s turned into!

First of all comes a report which says Councillor Peter John wants to spend Section 106 money from elsewhere in the borough on developing here. Councillor Richard Thomas goes completely ape-shit and says that’s a load of tosh.

Somewhat more interesting and less hysterical is the news that Camberwell Station could reopen — albeit at the expense of Loughborough Junction.

Imagine that: a train station, a cinema, and a public toilet — we’d almost be at the point we were 100 years ago!

So good, I wrote it twice

Thought the site was back for good, wrote a post, lost it within minutes. Hopefully all is back to normal now; as normal as it can be when there’s a class war being fought in my comments.

Local artist Mark McGowan is going international.

Yesterday’s Standard apparently featured Camberwell again in their Homes & Properties section, with a ‘bargain housing’ special. I’m pretty aware of where everybody stands on the issue now, but for me as a private tenant hoping to buy soon, the news is not good.

There’s a new sign outside the Salvation Army college; the strapline is “… because there’s a hurting world.” That grammer perturbs me; I’m not quite sure what they mean to say by that. Is the hurting world not this one? Is it meant to mean “… because the world is hurting”? Am I missing some metaphysical element?

The latest issue of Southwark Life says that 25% of calls to the police from Camberwell are to report begging. Is that FoxyAl and Alan Dale making the most of their free evening and weekend calls? I’m joking, of course; let’s call a truce on the (perceived) ideological differences for a while, eh? Why can’t we talk about curries again, like in the good old days?

On the radar

Does anyone know what was the occasion for the big firework display last week, somewhere in the region of Burgess Park? None of your cheap rubbish, this, but a big professional display. I caught the end of it from my window, after ignoring the beginning because I thought it was a gunfight.

I tried to get a good look at the banner on the former Marbella (soon to be Church Street) Hotel at the weekend, but I was distracted by a man claiming to be a refugee from Zimbabwe asking for money. My cursory examination (good teeth, not anxious or dislocated from reality) led me to believe he was the genuine article and I was parted from coins (damn this White Liberal guilt). Was I right, or has anyone else been approached with this story?

The Somerfield petrol station on Peckham Road has closed, and will open as a Total this weekend.

This blog came under attack today for its “clear political slant”. Don’t laugh; you were described as “sometimes mean”.

The death of a local boozer?

Camberwell makes the front page of The Independent today, with the news that we have the biggest contrast in racial diversity in the country;

In one ward in Camberwell… Black Africans make up 41 per cent of the residents — yet in the neighbouring ward covering Herne Hill they account for just two per cent.

In other news: As has been noted before, the Bickleigh Arms pub on Vestry Road is for sale. For anyone unfamiliar with it, the Bickleigh is the most local of all local pubs — I don’t mean geographically, of course. I think it relies on the Lettsom estate for most of its trade, but with the shift in demographic in recent years, the Lettsom now has a lot of North African residents, and as such a lot of Muslims — hence, no lock-ins at the Bickleigh. And now they don’t even have Sky Sports anymore, it’s pretty much deserted apart from the die-hard (and young) regulars.

I wonder if it will continue as a local boozer, or if some enterprising soul will attempt a gastronomic revolution there?

Update: On the subject of pubs for sale, I hear from a reliable source that The Castle is on the market (or will be shortly). Always seemed like a thriving business to me; another example of how hard it is to run a business here?