Friday, May 19, 2006

Southampton Way

This was Southampton Way circa 1904 - a working class spillover from Camberwell Green. Parts of it survived war bombings, but certain stretches and neighbourhoods all around it were not so lucky.

Today it is the symbol of a forgotten corner of Camberwell - a commercial street poorly serving a large community that hugs the Camberwell/Peckham border.

Standing in approximately the same spot more than 100 years later, you'll find quite a mix: thriving businesses and empty shells - newly refurbished and long neglected homes. Promising, significant change for this area is already underway, but two things still need to happen. The Council need to gently nudge on a few projects and help provide better infrastructure, and those of us living around here need to stand up and help attract, then support new businesses and housing projects to join those already here.

There have been steps taken recently to study this 'forgotten corner' of Camberwell. A group of local residents approached the Camberwell Community Council asking that something be done. The smaller council recommended they approach the wider Southwark Council, as the task would require more resources than they could offer. Meeting minutes from Southwark Council show the group did go to Southwark Council and was deputised in late 2005 to investigate the project and report back. However, having spoken to a member of the group and having called the Council Development Officer for Camberwell, it appears the project is moving slowly or not at all.

And so to maybe help move things along, I took up this project to map, research and find answers to what was already happening. Information is powerful. What will happen with the information below is still uncertain. Hopefully it will inspire and stir a small core group to realise quick, positive action.

The strip along Southampton Way this blog is concerned with is shown on the map in orange. I believe regenerating this one strip is key to helping the wider area - specifically the 'triangle' formed to the north by Wells Way and Coleman Road. It will also help the already regenerating areas to the south (Brunswick Park) and the east (new developments stretching up to Burgess Park), and the renewing Elmington Estate to the west.

In fact, we'll start to the west where a massive project recently demolished four eyesores formerly known as Elmington Estate towers and replaced them with modern, low-rise housing. You can see the impressive results that have brought back a sense of pride back to East Camberwell, which is ranked in the top 5% of the most impoverished communities in the UK. Sadly, there is much work to be done and the project appears to have hit some financial overruns and delays.

83 - 113 Southampton Way

Just across the road from the end of the new Elmington Estate, is perhaps the most vexing part of this strip of Southampton Way. It appears to have once been a nice row of Victorian houses complete with large gardens to the rear. Over time, they converted to shops but today appear to be converting back to (mostly badly done) residences. 83 is the Cottage Fish Bar, which appears to have recently closed down. From there, stands a row of converted house - to shop - back to house properties. Some done nicely, others are shocking. Number 101 is one of the three similar businesses along the strip - the Turk Kahvesi. Google tells us this is a Turkish Coffee Bar, but it appears they are private members' clubs for playing pool, cards and having a drink.

Number 105 used to be Sophar Thai Restaurant. Number 109-111 has been plastered over and scaffolding has been out front for a very long time. At the end of the row sits The Flying Dutchman Pub - technically at 156 Wells Way - a good ol' local pub with a late licence at the weekend where karaoke seems to be the big draw. At this point, Wells Way intersects from the north.

117 - 135 Southampton Way

This stretch contains one of the long-running, contentious properties that is close to having a new lease on life - The Bricklayer's Arms pub. Before it, you'll find West Indian Takeaway and Coral betting shop.

The Bricklayer's Arms at 121-123 conjures fond memories for many long-time locals. In particular, they remember its nice back garden. The pub's been boarded up and in disrepair for several years. It was auctioned off, approved for demolition and new build flats, then auctioned off again. It is now owned by the Hexagon Housing Association, which is currently finalising plans to demolish it and replace it with a new, 13-flat development to provide housing for low-income families. As best I can tell, the sticking point with Southwark planners is the developers desire to replace a three-story structure with a four-story one. It is interesting to read the minutes from meetings with the previous owners and to view an artist rendering of what they had planned to build. We're still waiting to see what Hexagon will do. A representative with Hexagon promises it will be 'very nice' and in 'keeping with the area', and that residents housed there will 'eventually' be offered the right to buy.

Beyond the disused pub, you'll find empty commercial space up for let (which used to house the local Post Office until it moved across to Costcutters), the Heritage Unisex Salon, Camberwell (Halal) Butchers, and the 24-hour Presco Food and Wine (which made news twice in recent years for health violations and an armed robbery resulting in a shooting). All of these have flats above. At this point, Rainbow Street intersects from the North.

150 - 160 Southampton Way

Across the street on the even numbered side of the street, Southwark College offers a well-maintained campus. Amid its modern building, stands an almost hidden treasure. The small building contains a sign showing that it once housed The School Board for London Southampton Street Schools. It is a beautiful gem almost lost among the traffic of the busy intersection.

Next door is the Costcutter, which now houses the local Post Office, which used to be across the street and was at least once threatened with closure but has so far survived.

One of the best bits of the strip is next door - The Crusty Loaf Bakery. He's been here many years and turns out a good loaf. Next door is Happy Valley Chinese Takeaway - a lifesaver when the cupboards are empty and the sun has set.

Beside and behind this section of Southampton Way are some very interesting developments that will have an impact on the strip and the wider area. Behind Southwark College on Harris Street, the crane has been a fixture for many weeks. Unite is building a 123-bed student housing complex, which should create a new market for the types of businesses that could be lured to the area. They pride themselves on a track record of seeing communities where they locate realise 'tangible improvements'. They bought the land from the same person who owns the land beside their site, which sits on Southampton Way and Havil Street (technically no 4 Havil Street). At present, it is a small bungalow with high fencing around it and a nice bit of green sticking out of the top. Unite had hoped to purchase it too and include it in their development but were unsuccessful. They believe the owner is now working with a developer and will build some sort of housing association units or a student hostel. No plans have been submitted to Southwark Planning as yet.

137-149 Southampton Way

Crossing back to the north of the street, we find a relatively well-maintained section of period terraced houses. Tunde Barbers is on the corner and does a thriving business. At 139, a discreet plague notes The Sacred Heart Community where nuns reside. A few of the houses along the row appear to have undergone recent renovations. But at the end of this stretch sits perhaps the longest running headache of the area - number 149.

This burned out, three-story house has been sitting boarded up and in shambles for decades. The council did start compulsory purchase proceedings against the owner after having no luck tracking him down for four years (1997-2001). Eventually they found him and he agreed to submit plans for renovation, which failed to win planning approval. The architect for the project says now the owner's son is involved and is keen to move along in demolishing the existing structure and replacing it with a four-story building with a rear extension that will house four luxury flats. Like the Bricklayer's Arms, the fight seems to be over elevation - that is, can they replace a three-story structure with a four-story one. The architect says he's given planners what they asked for and is now waiting for an answer. At this point, Bonsor street intersects from the north.

180 - 194 Southampton Way

Cross to the south side of the street, we first find Beacon House - Southwark owned council housing. It is in pretty good nick, but could benefit from a little bit of a clean and a bit more green. It includes a corner lot stretching around to Havil Street and with a little gardening elbow grease; it would help the whole street.

Beside it stands the final disused, boarded up lot on our stretch: 184-188 Southampton Row. Once the London and Kent Auction Rooms sold off many fine antiques in these premises. Somehow the land fell into Southwark Council hands and in 2002, the council was granted planning permission to develop 15 flats with communal gardens and seven parking spaces. According the notes re: planning for neighbouring 190, that planning permission expired in 2006. There is another council document outlining the Housing Investment Programme's budget that refers to this address as a 'Hostel - new build'. A Council representative believes this is meant to become a new-build family hostel funded by selling the existing single men hostel located a few doors down at 2 Sedgmor Place (it will be sold off, demolished and re-developed). The plans appear to be in the very early stages.

Interestingly, beside these abandoned lots are three Grade II listed buildings. The first at 190, is today the Nicki Day Nursery. It opened in 2004 with temporary change of use planning permission for a one-year trial. Neighbours were concerned about the potential noise and additional traffic. In 2005, the council approved permanent change-of-use status and allowed them expand from 12 to 20 kids and from a maximum of age two to four.

The neighbours at 192 and 194 live in the two most beautiful single family homes on the street and perhaps in the area. Shrouded in lush green and stately fencing, the homes appear to have maintained their grandeur.

Beside them (technically no. 2 Sedgmor Place) is a hostel for single men. The building looks a bit like a 1970's prefabricated structure. Most striking, it is absent the slightest hint of anything green. As noted, early-stage plans call for this to be sold off, demolished and redeveloped for housing, while a replacement 'family' hostel will be built at 184-188 Southampton Way. Again, the plans are in early stages. Here the road intersects with Sedgmor Place then picks up with more council estates. Our stroll on the south side ends here and we cross back to the north.

151 - 181 Southampton Way

This portion of the block can be seen clearly in the 1904 photo and reveals some of the most interesting history of the street. If you love poetry or cycling, you of all people should stop and pay homage. Sadly, it is also one of the more rundown and bleak streches, so you'll be forgiven for quickly walking past.

151 -161 are houses showing signs of coming back to life. One recently sold for £300,000 and the owner's appear to be renovating it to a high standard. Next starts a series of shops including Take Two Hair Salon, Samkal (West Indian fish and chips), Genie's Carpet Sales, Wash & Dry Laundramat, Vinebins Off Licence, two (2) Turk Kahvesi's (see no. 101), Ozis Cafe, Dallas Chicken and Southampton Way Dry Cleaners.

Famous poet Robert Browning was born in Camberwell and lived in a cottage adjacent to number 179 (Dallas Chicken). A plaque marks the spot. Number 177 (Turk member's club) and number 181 (Dry Cleaners) both housed workshops and showrooms for famous bicycle frame designers and manufacturers Arthur S Gilliot, Harry Carrington and Jim Collier during the mid to late 1900's. At this point, Coleman Road intersects from the north.

183 - Peckham Grove Intersection

Tom Bradford's Dairy sits at the corner (another convenience shop) followed by three houses converted into three flats each. These are nice conversions (one formerly a modeling agency), as they are build up against the first of several massive new builds to the east and North all the way up to Burgess Park. This is part of the bigger renewal of the former industrial areas of North Peckham. The building on Southampton Way is part of a new impressive housing development by Galliard developers and contains several retail spaces for let that front Southampton Way. A representative for Galliard says they are spacious sites and they are working with a number of national retailers hoping to attract good businesses to the area. A representative with the community group deputised for the 'forgotten' project suggested something along the lines of a Tesco Metro or Sainsbury's Local would be their dream. I think the information in this blog demonstrates the demand for such a local supermarket is already here and growing.

Two other important factors

Understanding regeneration of this strip of Southampton Way and the wider area in all directions needs to include at least two other projects: the long-delayed Cross River Tram, and something spotted on a website for The Well (a Baptist Church slightly north of Southampton Way on Wells Way).

The Cross-River Tram should snake its way through the east and north of Southampton Way with stops along Chandler's Way and Burgess Park (whether cutting through the park or along Wells Way remains undecided). Such transport offering travel to and from Central London with such ease will no doubt make the area more accessible and more desirable for property owners. The Trams has been delayed several times already with the latest date set for a 2016 opening. Peckham is now fighting the depot in their town centre and the Friends of Burgess Park have been calling for an alternative route for several years. Those issues remained undecided but a consultation is promised for autumn 2006. The council called for TfL to put a priority on the Tram - just before the last local elections. Whether that was a serious call or a pre-election gimmick remains to be seen.

Wells Way Baptist Church is also planning a makeover. Their website details a project to demolish the old Chaple on Cottage Green, which runs off Southampton Way on its western side. It will replace it with a new modern design. No planning permission has been requested and a church member reports they are still fundraising.


At 5:07 pm, Blogger StefanoP said...

How do you intend to progress withing the community and how will voice other's concerns. Are you working alone or are you part of a team?

At 7:44 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the information in this site. My family and I are new to the area (1 year) and have found this information has given us a greater sense of the area we live in. It was a joy to read. We will be checking back to what the further developments are.

Thanks Jol, Rachel and Finn

At 7:55 pm, Anonymous Helen said...

I agree. Well done and much needed information. I actually feel like we may get somewhere!

At 9:56 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a fantastic piece of research. I've been wondering about many of these derelict buildings for the last three years, and am so glad that you have collated all the information about planning status etc. Are you in touch with the SE5 Forum? They are very keen to raise the issue of derelict buildings through the whole SE5 area.
One correction to add! - Robert Browning was actually born in Rainbow Cottage on Cottage Green but lived in a house (Hanover Cottage) on the site where the blue plaque is from 1824 -1840.
And a question... has there been any information about the horse trough stolen from the far end of Southampton Way, under the lampost by the Samuel Jones estate?

At 10:17 pm, Anonymous TommyD said...

Point taken and info updated slightly to be technically accurate re: Browning. Interestingly, i've emailed the Robert Browning society and they've visited this blog. They noted that in 1840 his family moved to 'rural' New Cross. They plan to put a link on their site when they update it later this summer. (Is it summer yet?)

At 9:34 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, what a lot of information. It's really encouraging to see that other people think the same way as us. We take our hat off to you for actually doing something about it. It's easy to moan and groan without actually being effective.
During the council elections recently all the contenders used the Southampton Generation as one of their selling points. I think it's time to get onto Ian Wingfield and make sure it was not just all hollow promises.

Thank you again.

Emma, Robin & Oliver (Rainbow Street)

At 9:59 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Browning's family moved to Hatcham Cottage, New Cross - the Haberdashers' Aske's Girls school was later built on the site.

At 1:49 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm afraid all the promises were hollow. Did none of you notice Labour made a show of improving the area just before the election? We won't hear anything else about it. I've seen/heard it all before.

Good luck to you. I've taken the survey.

At 8:33 pm, Anonymous Eusebiovic said...

excellent work Tommy - I know the area very well, used to live on the Old Kent Road end of East Street and had many friends who lived around Southampton Way - The new housing there is very impressive, our area of London suffered more than most from 60's concrete experiments - the latter is exactly what they were - I hope all the old Victorian Stock gets restored and looked after especially the old pubs and shops you mentioned - Maybe the removal of the Wells Way Industrial Estate and the one way system around there would breathe some life back into that particular corner of SE5

At 10:38 am, Blogger waterboyzoo said...

Very glad to see your concern with the environment around us here. I think that this is a good start to get people together to move things forward. Any ideas on what we do next?

At 1:20 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good work this website.
I'm worried about all the demolishing plans that I haven't known about, there seems to be a lot of them. I don't want this bit to start looking like the sterile and boring new areas near Burgess Park! Especially the plans for the chapel, Brick Layers Arms and nr 149 are shocking me. For 149, it will destroy the look of the terrace if one end is different from another, and higher than the rest. Why can't they just refurbish it. The back extension sounds like they are going to lose the small garden at the back as well, and people don't have enough garden space here anyway, or birds either for that matter, it's a real bird sanctuary at the moment with all that buddleia bush -there's a lot of sparrows here which are generally declining in London.

For the supermarket dreamers, don't you realise that supermarkets just suck the money out of the place and don't give anything back? The money spent in independent shops would go to locals and would circulate further locally. We definitely don't need a another Tesco here, they are spreading around the country like a plague anyway and making every place look the same. What we need is a decent bakery (Crusty Loaf only makes white bread, and only one type of it) and a decent dairy which would sell fresh milk, cream and cheese (Tom Bedfords "Dairy" only sells some UHT muck). And a greengrocers, although Peckham Farmer's Market is near enough. And how about a bicycle repair shop where there used to be one? There is already a supermarket if you want one, it's called Costcutter. We have even trained them to buy organic milk and recycled toilet roll, although they keep running out of both all the time...


At 4:54 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must disagree with Annina - but respectfully. Such left leaning, utopia's fail. They've poured millions into Peckham. The people there have destroyed the nice things and the businesses propped up by Gov't schemes are dependant on them to survive.

Our best bet is to demonstrate to sizeable, good businesses that there is a demand here and they can do a good business. In turn, they'll provide us with variety and a better street.

Sorry. I know it sounds a bit brutal. But the only thing..THE ONLY THING..that has cleaned up and made Peckham better for ALL people living there is the big 'evil' developers who have transformed North Peckham Estate.

At 5:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Annina about the supermarket problem. The friendly people who work in Costcutter say they will order anything that we ask them to (if we buy it...). Can you imagine that happening in a Tesco Metro? Perhaps we should all be making a point of asking them to stock better bread etc - or even more pragmatically bringing in the address of a good supplier (for example the company that has a stall at the Peckham market). Then we'd be spending more of our food budget on Southampton Way... putting our money where our mouths are!

At 5:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you're right to try and protect this small area of camberwell/london. I live on Elmington Road (at the end) just round the corner of Havil Street and Southampton Way where the shops are. I must throw in a comment which isn't going to sit well with people, The degregation of the area is ultimately the responsibility of the council and the people they house there. Not that I am going to make any political statement because I'm not that type. We should have a united voice that says 'we're not going to forced to live aside non-tax paying migrants who have no respect for the area or culture they aquire' We had to look at this as a serious point to your point of protection of the area. I have seen an influx of minorities that posess the 'I'm all right, you cant say anything about me, I'm protected by human rights' society. True, people do have human rights but at what cost and to whom? Is not my human right to live in a culture that doesn't ignore me?

At 9:09 am, Anonymous Kate said...

I have to disagree with the last comment.

This area is, and will continue to be, a mix of private and social housing stock and as a result will always reflect a broad section of society. I see this as a benefit.

The population of the area has no doubt changed numerous times in both these housing sectors over the last 30 years, and community spirit is lacking. It is this lack of a united voice that has enabled the council to get away with so much neglect for so long.

We need the council to invest in us. The uneven tarmac pavements all need taking up and replaced with new paving throughout the area. Street lighting needs improving, and I'd like to see far more trees being planted, general landscape improvements, and traffic calming measures.

These improvements will encourage all who live and visit to see North Camberwell far more positively and private sector investment will follow, large and small businesses alike

We need to lobby the council to get this done, and for that we need everyone to get involved. Making unsubstantiated assumptions based on the ethnicity of the residents is no way to begin.

At 12:28 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps there is a compromise on both your views. Can we not be in favour of all who live here regardless of economic/social/racial categories - but demand respect for all and expect responsibility from all? I think that is fair. It is a tricky, difficult subject. I'm happy for council flats, housing association, hostels, and luxury flats to all be here. But in all cases, anyone who disrepects anyone else - or who works against the community (anti-social), should be held accountable for their irresponsibility to the collective.

At 12:53 pm, Blogger Dibble said...

I've enjoyed your site, Tommy. It makes very interesting reading. Whilst I wholeheartedly empathise with the desire to bring life back into the shops in Southampton Way, I really do wonder if this is achievable. We're simply too near Peckham and Camberwell and the centre of town. I suspect that the battle between Supermarkets and local shops was won 20+ years ago and Southampton Way screams that at everyone that walks down it.
I say this with a heaviness in my heart, because the supermarkets dictate unrealistic price levels to their suppliers, these suppliers cut corners to make a living (by forcing down wages/food quality) and we all, literally, get what we pay for! How can it make economic sense to raise a chicken to adulthood, kill, pluck, gut, wash, stuff, package and transport it and then sell it for £2.99? At least 50p-£1.00 of that ends up in Tesco/Morrisons' end of year accounts as well!

At 11:08 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantastic piece of research / blog. There is also another derelict building, which although not quite on Southampton Way, is located in the same area. It is a site formally known as the Whelans Tavern and forms an island located at the junction of New Church Road/Bowyer Place(north), Caspian Street(East) and Lomond Grove(west).

I spoke with Southwark council about this site some time ago and was told:

“There is planning history on file dating back to 2000 relating to the redevelopment of the site which culminated in the granting of planning permission for the 'Demolition of existing Public House and construction of 6 storey residential building, comprising 9 flats (2x1 bed, 6x2 bed, 1x3 bed)' in July 2001.

Regarding the implementation of the granted planning permission, I can confirm that Building Control received a notice of intention to commence work in May 2003. The last Building Control inspection was in July 2004. Since then, three unsuccessful attempts have been made to inspect the development. The site was unoccupied on each of the three occassions. The Planning Enforcement Case Officer inspected the site on the 19th of January 2005 following your enquiry and it was observed that:

-the development has been completed up to the 5th floor and window frames and window panes have been installed.
-most of the window panes are now broken and parts of the windows are boarded up.
-there was no evidence of recent works to complete the development and work might have ceased on the site as early as 2004.

It appears that construction work to complete the development has been abandoned for some time. There are powers available to the Council to expedite the completion of the works in the form of a completion notice. Completion notices give local authorities the option of ensuring that permissions do not linger on in perpetuity because of the cessation of commenced material operations. Under sec 94. of the 1990 Act, power is given to local authorities to issue a notice if they feel that, before the expiration of a permission, completion will not take place within reasonable time period. Such a notice invalidates that part of the permission which has not already been carried out, if there is no development within the specified period of the notice, which must not be less than 12 months. At sec.95, it is indicated that a completion notice shall not take effect until confirmed by the Secretary of State(SOS) and that within a 28 day period between issuing the notice and confirmation by the SOS the person on whom served notice may appeal to the SOS. In determining whether or not he should confirm a completion notice, The SOS is not concerned with the planning merits of development and they play no part in the deliberations. He is concerned only with the question of whether there is a realistic prospect of the development being resumed and/or carried through to completion within a reasonable period.

However, it is advised that if the reason for non completion is financial difficulties on the part of the developer a completion notice may not succeed and the only alternative would be local authority acquisition. As such, the Planning Enforcement Case Officer has been trying to establish the current status of the owners, Lebuc London Limited, to get an explanation of the current situation of the development. Attempts at contact have so far have been unsuccessful. Requests for information on the owners and their representatives have also been made with Building Control. Their records show that the last amendments on the scheme were submitted in June 2005.

In the event that the owners are financially incapable of completing the works, the only alternative would be local authority acquisition. In this regard, the Case Officer has contacted the Council's Property Section for initial estimates on the value of the site as it is now and with a completed building on it.”

At 11:23 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well researched.

Can I ask, who on Earth was overseeing the development of the disgrace of the building erected next to Wells Way Baptist church? (to the left of the picture) I walked past it today after discovering the chip shop had been boarded up and was shocked at the shoddy workmanship that had been deployed. The things only a couple of years old and already it looks like it wants pulling down! No more steak and kidney pies either, I'm gutted.

At 8:06 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: the derelict site on Lomond grove/Caspian street. This is what it was supposed to look like...

...quite nice I thought, although I'm sceptical it will ever get finished.

Cottage green used to be a 'green' ( Wouldn't that be nice. That luminous brick building at the fork of the road is depressing. Did it get planning?

At 10:42 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly this is what it looks like.

At 11:46 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've said it before, but maybe I need to say it here: The Elmington Regneration Project is a disaster. I know because I live in a new build property and it is jerry built crap with no soundproofing. Come by any time with your digital cameras and coo about how wonderful it is, but I assure you it's not. I moved out of one of the towers and I regret opting for one of these new properties. I'd far rather have opted to live elsewhere on an older estate property.

I also want to point out to whoever it was that not all council tenants are 'non tax payers'. There are plenty of council tenants who work, pay tax, pay NI, pay full council tax and pay full rent. Far from being 'migrants', may council tenants live in council housing because they do not have the economic choice of buying their own home. That's nothing to do with not working 'hard' enough. Plenty of council tenants work hard, work long hours and are often working in the service industries at low rates of pay. The affluent sector of society benefits, so they should think a little bit more deeply before they come out with their arrogant rubbish. Who cleans their offices? Who works round the clock in their 24 hour supermarkets? Who drives their buses? Just to make that clear, because I am fed up with the notion that council tenants don't work, don't pay taxes and live rent free. Not true.

I'm all in favour of attracting professional people, provided that they spend their money in the local area, use the local shops and so on. It would sustain and improve the local economy. The sad thing is that the professional people who buy flats in the new developments tend to go away at weekends, shop and socialise out of the area and move on within a few years.

I'd also like to see better business opportunties, for young 20-somethings, with affordable business premises. I disagree about the Southampton Way industrial estate being demolished. I believe it needs investment but businesses are being priced out, and find cheaper premises further out of London.

At 5:21 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it great to see so many people caring for where we live and how our community can help the regeneration to go along. I feel that if we don't pester the council, we will not see the improvement of this atea in a very long time. They seriously need to get there hands dirty now ! And when it comes to the comment about some private shops maybe a Tesco on Southampton way, the only think I can say is PLEASE GO AHEAD, it will seriously help the community , even the market area of Peckham high street should be cleaned up a bit, it is not working being just a market street.

At 7:32 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone think it faintly insane that 'friends of burgess park' would rather run a tram down a residential street (wells way) without consideration of residents, rather then have it cut through a bit of naked park land (burgess park) that still has tarmac roads crisscrossing it from the days there were through roads?

FBP declare it would affect the open space the park offers? How? There is more then enough of the park and most of it hasn't been cultivated or had much money poured into it to make it an interesting open space. Exactly what amenities are they yabbling on about? Chumley gardens is great, but thats an area either unaffected or that would only thrive with a tram. The footballers will still kick a football around on the flats. People will still try and catch sad, sorry fish in the reservoir.

Parks are invaluable, however Burgess Park has needed some serious funding and direction for quite a while to make it a fantastic open leisure space and one thats inviting and considered safe. A tram would improve the park, not take away from it.

At 11:30 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Completely agree with the last comment about the tram and Burgess Park.

But when the park eventually does attract funding to finish it (if?), I hope The Bridge To Nowhere is kept. Its random steel fences can go though. And I'd quite like the canal to be put back.

One thing about all these regeneration projects - will any of them cater for a halfway decent cafe, restaurant or pub?

And as long as the convenience stores around here refuse to stock skimmed milk, croissants, more than one flavour of yoghurt or anything else tasty/healthy, Waitrose Local will be welcomed with open arms and their closures.

At 10:03 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this fascinating article. I'm a student living in the Unite property you mention (it's student halls) and it's been really interesting to read a bit more about the area I now live in - especially that Presco was closed for health and safety reasons! I avoid it at all costs anyway!

At 8:39 pm, Anonymous Bob said...

Anyone remember Wells Place Im Bob Taylor born at #43 horse stables at the back

At 5:22 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can anyone help me!

My great great grandparents ran The Shakespeare pub in Southampton Way in the early 1900s. I was wondering if it still exists and if not what is it now.

At 12:29 pm, Anonymous rich said...

Very interesting information and viewpoints.
So the Chip-shop has now been made into 2 flats, pretty nicely done really, but a shame in a way. The Somali place(Turk Khavesi or whatnot) on Southampton way is a bit of an eyesore, always mess and rubbish outside, many cab drivers taking up the parking spaces to sit on a dirty floor and chew leaves. Roses' cafe now closed and after a week or so, re-opened as Las Delicias 'restaurant' with the same interior,half a sign now and just a big TV on the wall. This is now a Latino hangout which does'nt feel welcoming at all as there are no menu's and just seems full of families that know each other. A real shame as it does nothing for the surrounding community.

At 12:33 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the comments about the need for more useful bus services in the area. However Southampton way is not well suited to these kinds of heavy traffic, and can get very congested. The tight corner by the old chip-shop is made worse with cars reversing out of the tyre shop. AS much as I would love a better bus service, I think there would be other knock on problems with more buses including resurfacing the road more regularly.

At 11:14 am, Anonymous Chrissy said...

Very interesting blog. Sounds like a regeneration project like the Bellenden one would make a difference. It used to be just a drab little row of scruffy or closed shops, now it is an attractive little area with much more useful and attractive shops and cafes and moe trees. Review bookshop runs lots of little events. How do you go about getting something like this? They had the same thing in East Dulwich Road, opposite the end of Oakhurst Grove - same nice lighting.

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At 2:18 pm, Blogger supernan said...

I am trying to find some information about Southampton Way in the 1960s. There used to be a Domiciliary Midwifery Service, I think it was at No 77. The midwives came out to deliver babies at home, one of which was my daughter born in August 1965. Just wondered if there was any information on the service provided by these marvellous nurses. We used to live in Camberwell Road but have moved around a bit since then and have now settled in Devon. Just reminiscing.

At 2:18 pm, Blogger supernan said...

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At 11:08 am, Blogger David Parker said...

Hi, I have been trying to research a family from this area around 1986 / 1987. The family name is Fikri and they ran a Turkish café in Southampton way - do you know of any info on that? Thanks

At 2:39 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have 2 sets of great grandparents (the Days and the Middletons) living in Southampton way late 1800s- early 1900s. The Days ran The Shakespeare public house. Would love to learn more about these families and life in this area during this time. Any ideas where to start looking? Don't really want to leave my email address on this page so not sure of best way for people to contact me ........


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