Drunks, closures, park

Bit of a palaver on Lyndhurst Grove last night, as a drunk driver rammed into a car, reversed, rammed it again, drove off when the victim got out of his car and told him to stop, then rammed two more cars before fleeing on foot. I saw the lot; it was both exciting and scary. Police arrived about half an hour later.

We were on our way back from il Giardino in Peckham, a place which should be recession-proof because its staff are so bloody nice that you’d never consider not going. One place which isn’t recession proof (segue!) is The Dark Horse, which as everyone must know by now has closed down. And on the subject of closures, we now have photographic evidence that Somerfield in Butterfly Walk will close on April 29th. I honestly can’t wait to see a Co-op in there; I was in Co-op today and it’s miles better.

Further good news about Burgess Park; as well as the £6m already pledged, apparently there is a further £1m to spend on the Chumleigh Gardens area. Looks like we’re on course to have a radical transformation; I’ll be first in the queue when the zoo opens.

I tried Amaryllis on Coldharbour Lane for the first time on Tuesday, as the wife wanted to watch Volver in the S&D and I wanted to watch Arsenal beat Hull in the FA Cup. It’s nicely decorated inside, and they serve decent Chinese food at reasonable prices — £3.50 for a plate of chicken in black bean sauce and egg-fried rice (I had rice instead of noodels).

Finally: Prince William was in Camberwell last week; our very own Eyechild has the report.

Enjoy the weekend, everyone.

Savage beasts of SE5

Has anyone seen these animal sculptures that have appeared near Denmark Hill station, at the junction of Grove Lane and Champion Park?

Wolf prowling Grove Lane

They seem to be advertising an Art Deco fair / sale, but I didn’t have the forethought to take a picture of the poster. Lovely to have them, though; gave me a little thrill as I stepped off the no. 40 bus.

Update: Looks like these are permanent; how lovely. Thanks to Elij for the link.

In other news, there’s a new art space, called Art’s, opening above the Funky Munky in March. I thought the area above the Funky Munky was used for the weekend student crowd; maybe it still is.

And finally, Teamwork (formerly Cube) hairdressers is set to stay open, according to the stern Balkan(?) girl who cut my hair on Saturday. Fingers crossed for that; why don’t you all go and make appointments now?

This was the news.

Camberwlle onilne

From the bus on the way home I’ve seen the latest outrage to be committed against Camberwell: the sign for the new Oriental buffet, where Mozzarella e Pomodoro used to be.

Now the Green is dominated by a huge, cheap, bright plastic sign, with the name of the place flanked by pale, unappetising shots of bowls of food. Worse, the name is spelled:


Honestly. A garish, mis-spelled monster. Doesn’t the council get any say in approving this tat? Why can’t we have a town centre committee to consult on things like this? As if Christine’s Meat & Fish weren’t enough.

We’re doomed.

Update: And here, courtesy of Luke & Rachel, it is:

Anyone for Noodels?

Fun in the (winter) sun

On Sunday a few hundred(?) of Camberwell’s great and good gathered in Southwell Road to help local photographer Conor Masterson recreate the Fun Factory photograph of 1907. You can see some photos of the event here, and a short video here. It was nice to see so many people turn out to get involved, and I hope it provided a boost to the artists at Clockwork Studios, which had an open day to show off the range of arts and crafts made there. Prints of the original and new photograph are available to buy; details are on Conor’s website.

Being that side of SE5 provided an excuse to drop in to The Cambria for a couple of beers and some sausage and chips. Nice pub, nice food, but was a little put out at being moved around by the landlord in order to provide more space for customers (who didn’t arrive while we were there). Doesn’t he know who I am? Then a walk back through Ruskin Park, with a lovely haze providing beautiful golden beams of light.

Dwellers in ‘forgotten Camberwell’ and around may be delighted to know that it seems Tesco have decided to open one of their Metro stores on Southampton Way, if this report on the SE5Forum forum is to be believed (and I have no reason not to). That will make five booze shops in a 50m walk, by my reckoning.

The latest Camberwell Quarterly has an article on a saturation policy for licensing. Apparently there are 76 licensed premises within our borders, and a licensing sub-committee recommended that a saturation policy be introduced; the Council decided not to act on it, however. There’s confirmation of what we heard about the three pitches for the development of the Baths as well.

Possibly have another guest post coming soon, and shortly after it will be Christmas!

Update: I forgot to mention that I finally got around to setting up an email address for this blog. Questions, complaints, compliments, notices, money transfers, etc, can be sent to peter@​camberwellonline.​co.​uk. Please use it wisely.

Update 2: Added a link to buy the Fun Factory print, and made some cosmetic changes to the website; removed the ‘reply’ option from comments, as I wasn’t happy with them, and added support for gravatars.

Eating, drinking, house prices — business as usual

First of all let me say a huge thanks to reader Joanna, who pointed out to me that the site feed* had stopped working a few months ago; I hadn’t spotted it myself, and no-one else had raised it either. Joanna is a long-time reader of this blog, including during the two years she spent in Rwanda. Now that’s dedication.

Thanks to someone I can’t remember, I’ve recently found the blog of local councillor John Friary, of the Camberwell Green ward. It’s very useful for local news; for example, his latest post mentions that the future of the Baths / Leisure Centre is not as rosy as it could be —  survival depends on Southwark being able to get £2m Government funding from a pot of £50m — which 200 other local authorities have also made bids on. News on the future of the Town Hall there as well.

The latest installment of My Middle-Class Weekends saw me and the wife check out the Saturday farmer’s market in Oval (which we can probably just about squeeze into Camberwell, as it’s at the very end of Camberwell New Road). It’s bigger than the Sunday market at Peckham, with more food actually cooked and served there. Peckham’s still great for picking up the basics, but for something a little more tasty — such as the delicious venison and mushroom pie we had for dinner — it merits a trip on the 436. And I don’t say that lightly.

Earlier that day we dropped a few items off at the PROS bring & take event at the Synergy Centre. Hope that went well.

Later we thought we’d try The Cambria, which everyone has been raving about, but after cycling over there we realised that a) neither of us had any cash and b) all of the outside tables were in the shade. It looks beautiful inside, but we’ll have to go back another time to review it properly. Instead, we wrang out the last few drops of sunshine in the Sun & Doves garden.

To close, some gossip; my mate at the pub says that the Camberwell Grove development isn’t selling well at all. After having to scale back their plans considerably (due to the opposition of the Camberwell Grove Society) they decided to make up their profits by charging more for the properties. Obviously the current financial climate has seen prices tumble, but St George have yet to follow suit; hence, slow sales. As with all gossip, I cannot vouch for its veracity.

If St George would like some free publicity, I will gladly sing their praises here in return for a one-bedroom flat. For a two-bedroom flat, I will also renounce my dislike of the Vauxhall Bridge development.

* In case you don’t know what feeds are, the BBC have a good overview; they’re much more convenient than visiting loads of sites every day. While on technical matters, the 30% of people who visit this site using Internet Explorer 6 should really consider updating to a modern browser; IE6 is old, slow, and potentially insecure. Ask a web-savvy friend if you don’t know what this means.