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.

Gay Camberwell and Peckham straying

Welcome to Gay Camberwell month! It’s a month of events organised by the impressively efficient Roz (and partner — oops!) – sometime contributor to this blog and owner of – including club nights, film and theatre. The full launch schedule is available here. The S&D will be showing four films about the love that dare not speak its name (and serving a special pink cocktail), The Castle will play host to the launch party, and The Cambria to the closing party.

I finally went to The Cambria last weekend; it was very, very busy on a late Sunday afternoon. Food looked great, although we didn’t eat there; we had a pint in the lovely little back garden. Inside is very nice, although a bit chandelier‑y for my taste; I guess that comes from the gay owners (a little stereotyping never hurt anyone).

Last night the wife and I strayed over the Peckham borders and went for dinner at Il Giardino, the Peruvian-run Italian restaurant with substantial Brazilian clientele (at least it was last night, and the super-friendly waitress said that it’s pretty common). The food was nice and reasonably priced, the place was busy and the service awesome. Earns an official COB recommendation.

Before Il Giardino we went to The Montpelier for a drink; it’s a nice pub, but they’ve still got bare walls which makes it feel empty and half-finished; surely someone there could use a bit of nous and get some local art students to display something there.

This morning as I walked to Peckham Rye I saw Olivia Colman (from my favourite comedy, Peep Show). This confirms the gentrification of Bellenden Road, now that we have film stars living there. Yesterday I saw Una Stubbs in Muji, Long Acre, but that’s not really relevant here; I just wanted to tell someone.

As a final note, and related to this month’s theme, I’ve enjoyed the story of the Gay Sex Ordeal in (Camberwell) Doctor’s Surgery; not because I find sexual molestation enjoyable, but because of the victim’s claim that he “fell into a trance” while being massaged (yeah, right!), and “when he came to he found the doctor holding a massaging machine in one hand and the patient’s private parts in the other”. The doctor is accused of “massaging a patient without either consent or gloves”.