Tesco comes to Camberwell

And so it has finally happened: Tesco has broken into central Camberwell.

New Tesco Express Camberwell New Road

When I walked past today they were putting the final touches to a new Tesco Express store (pictured) next to the bus garage on Camberwell New Road. It is on the ground floor of the new block of flats being developed. The new shop is set to open shortly

As far as I can see it there are positives and negatives in this situation.

First the positives: it will generally bring reasonable good quality food to Camberwell, it will help to regenerate a part of Camberwell that is looking a bit down at heel currently and it is not a betting shop or fried chicken shop, of which we seem to have many already. It is also positive that the new development, of which the Tesco is part, will bring more people into central Camberwell which will, I hope, eventually lead to regeneration of the whole area and demand which will longer term make a reopening of Camberwell station/ improved transport  more viable.

Negatives include the concerns about the perceived creeping take over of the world by Tesco, the effect on the existing independent Camberwell traders and possible increased traffic.

What do you think? Let the debate begin…

Ring In The New

Welcome to 2011, dear reader. I hope you had a great Christmas and New Year’s Eve. I went to the Sun and Doves for NYE, and it was a proper South London jam. Had a great time, so huge thanks to Mark & Nikki for making it possible.

I’m still a bit discombobulated after a short break in Barcelona so I don’t have a lot to write about just yet, but one potentially huge piece of news happened late last month/year which needs to be reported.

TfL have announced a grant of £200,000 to pay for the design of improvements to Camberwell town centre. This will pay for a full consultation of local needs & wishes and designs to be drawn up based on the results of that. Mooted improvements include:

… improving the pedestrian crossing at Camberwell Green junction, widening pavements and improved pedestrian crossings at Denmark Hill, creating a “green walking link” from Wren Road to Butterfly Walk and decorating the blank walls of Orpheus Walk.

Now this does sound somewhat familiar (there seems to be a new consultation every other year), but Southwark council are hopeful it could lead to up to £7million of further investment from TfL and “other sources”. If that happens, it would be amazing — especially with the influx of new residents in the new Camberwell New Road development and the Peckham Road Student Village — so fingers crossed it comes to pass.

Congratulations to all of the local pressure groups — including many of the readers of this blog — who have campaigned to make this happen. Let’s hope for bigger things in 2011 and beyond.

I also have some other news which I’ve promised not to tell yet. It’s not on the same scale as this, but is quite a shock. Yes, I am a big tease.

Farmers’ Market on Camberwell Green — Om Nom Nom

According to the Urban Farmers’ Markets website, a new market will open on Camberwell Green ‘later this year’. This is good news, although I do wonder whether we can support markets in Oval, Peckham, Elephant, and now Camberwell too. Hope so.

Lambeth Country Show this weekend

Although strictly not Camberwell I know this weekend is the fabulous Lambeth Country Show in Brockwell Park, SE24.Visited by over 100,000 people it is one of the biggest free outdoor summer events in South East England.

Over the course of Saturday and Sunday 11am — 7pm there is music, dance, food, displays, a flower show, farm animals, charity stalls, owls and all sorts of other things all in the heart of inner London.

Further information is on the Lambeth website including the programme of events.

Update (by Peter): Also it’s the College of Arts MA Summer Show this week; it’s open to the public from tomorrow (Wednesday) until Saturday; details here. And huge apologies to Hannah at the CCA for forgetting to tell you all about the private showing.

Update 16/7/2010 There is also the fabulous Urban Art Fair on Saturday and Sunday on Josephine Avenue, SW2 near to Brockwell Park.
London’s largest annual open air contemporary arts fair will have around 2,000 pieces of work on display from 150 local and international artists. As well as art displays there will be foodstalls, refreshments and a sound stage featuring a mix of local musicians. This is the kind of art event I would like to see Camberwell in the future

Parading like Peacocks

So the new Peacocks clothes shop has opened on the former Woolworths and 99p Shop site on Denmark Hill

(Photo taken last week prior to opening)

I feel that this is a positive addition to the local shopping scene — maybe not clothing to everyones taste but I’m sure useful for lots of people. The best thing is that its increases the diversity of shops available in the town centre and it is not another fried chicken, betting, nails or off licence shop — not that I have anything against these shops but we do seem to have several of these types already.

In other news whilst walking to Sophocles bakery today I see that a new Polish delicatessan is due to open on Camberwell Church Street approximately opposite the Jungle Cafe — this I hope will be a useful addition to the area.

And I read in the South London Press last week (and its been mentioned here) that the Antic Pub Co are considering opening up a microbrewery in  the Tiger Pub. This would be fantastic news for the local area — imagine sipping a pint of Camberwell Tiger as you watch the world go by.  A quick google shows (see the results here) that in olden days (ie 19th century) the Camberwell Brewery Company established in 1860 and owned by Mr Richard Ray was located on Camberwell Green producing beer for the local market — it was taken over in 1895 by the company that eventually became Marstons and closed at some point but it may have even stood on the current Tiger site?

And in other Camberwell news I have just come back from a very sunny Glastonbury Festival where Camberwell’s own Florence and the Machine played an amazing set to 50,000+ people.

And finally do not miss the Big Dance at various locations across London this weekend — including events in Myatts Fields and Ruskin Park. See the latest edition of Lambeth Life (available online or pick up a copy at any Lambeth library or council office) for further details.