The Camberwell Society

Society for those living, working or interested in Camberwell

Doing the Lambeth walks


Want to immerse yourself in local history? Alison Rae suggests becoming a Lambeth tour guide

During lockdown I discovered Herne Hill and Brixton. And found a working windmill, a walled secret garden, amazing murals, commemorations of the uprising of 1981 and more. Ashamed that I knew so little of an area so ridiculously close I signed up to a Lambeth tour guiding course. It enabled me to develop my public speaking, immerse myself in local history, hear about future developments and receive an accreditation.

Lambeth guides started two years ago and is the only such organisation south of the river. Tutors really know their stuff. They gave presentations on local industries, pleasure and leisure, public art, local government, housing, and health provision – the NHS is one of our largest employers.

Classes run from September to June at Morley College, an easy bus ride from Camberwell. The fun Saturday morning training walks include Streatham to the south, Clapham to the west and Lambeth and Kennington to the north. SE5 is represented with project work about Denmark Hill, a walking circuit around Myatt’s Fields and a focus on music hall and performers who lived around Coldharbour Lane. We were grateful to the staff at Lambeth Archives for a special evening opening, just before they relocated from Minet Library, their Knatchbull Road base for 133 years to a new purpose-built archive building at 18 Brixton Hill.

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The Camberwell Society was formed in 1970 and is the recognised amenity society for those living, working or interested in Camberwell.

The Society’s objectives, as defined by our constitution, are: to stimulate public interest in Camberwell, to promote high standards of planning and architecture in Camberwell, and to secure the preservation, protection, development and improvement of features of historic or public interest in Camberwell.

We are a charity and raise money for local charities. In the past we have raised money for Southside Rehabilitation Association, St Giles Trust, Cambridge House, the CamberwellCommunity Choir, the HollingtonYouth Centre and the Camberwell Arts Festival