The Camberwell Society

Society for those living, working or interested in Camberwell

The Camberwell Society monitors developments proposed for all forms of transport serving the area and campaigns for improvements. The Society places official responses to consultations on all transport subjects where there is clear benefit for all members. The Society reserves its position where members’ interests are divided.

The blog below is intended to alert members to changes that are planned or proposed.

Sandi makes Denmark Hill connections

Sandi Tosvig gave a speech at the opening of the Windsor Walk station entrance

I think it only appropriate that a Danish person says something at any opening related to Denmark Hill. You may well wonder how the Danes came to claim the Hill in the first place. So, Prince George of Denmark married Queen Anne of England in 1683, even though they had never met and as far as I know did not even speak the same language. And if you recall Queen Anne she looked exactly like Olivia Coleman, who also lives locally. One of those strange things. But she was probably busy today.

So, George and Anne had an arranged marriage with a view to developing an Anglo Danish alliance to stop the Dutch navy. (Very much the reason I gave to my own father-in-law when I proposed to his daughter.) Despite their lack of courtship or even a common language, it was a love match. Because as we all know from the dreaded COVID sometime conversation in marriage is overrated.

George was widely held to be kind but boring, carrying in himself a heady combination of laziness and incompetence. The sort of skill set which in no way prevents a rise to the top in power.

He was put in charge of the Admiralty. Why not? He knew nothing about boats whatsoever. Nevertheless, he was given the Admiralty and decided to come here hunting. That is how he spent his time, hunting up and down Denmark Hill. Indeed, he hunted here so often that is why the hill is remembered for him. I wish Denmark had contributed something more exciting. Nevertheless thank you George.

Camberwell of course was named in the Domesday book. It probably referred to a settlement which developed when people were expelled from the City of London because they had leprosy. I am just putting it out there. It is all behind us now. I have not seen any for ages. That is the history.

What I have seen in the years that I lived here is a wonderful sense of community. Indeed, it was community campaigning which stopped the Victorian station building being knocked down and led to this lovely (and indeed quite Scandi) new entrance. And I love the tiles and all the art that really reflect the wonderful strong cultural mix and rich history of the area.

Thank you to Rosey and Jim of Studio Sutherl& who provided the artwork for this tiling pro bono. There were once healing waters in this area, which is why the people with leprosy came here. Each tile is the shape of a Camberwell brick inspired by the keystones of the very well which you can see featured in Camberwell’s name and history and in the coat of arms. I think a well is a really splendid metaphor for Camberwell’s diverse and vibrant community. Each brick symbolises different characteristics and they come together to make us a whole.

The new sculpture uses adinkra symbols from Ghana. I spent much wonderful time in Ghana. They represent general truths about wisdom, about life, about the environment. They reflect the importance of physical and mental wellbeing in Camberwell. They stress our links to the rest of the world.

And that brings me to one of my heroes whom I have long campaigned to be more widely known. Not far from here in Brunswick Place. At number 16, you can see a blue plaque dedicated to Una Marson. She was born in Jamaica in 1905. She was a feminist, an activist, and a writer. She was a remarkable woman, and I am so delighted that people are getting to know more about her. During World War 2 she became the first black woman programme maker to be employed by the BBC. This event represents the gathering of many voices who have lent their support. Local groups and individual donors. But it is Una’s voice that will ring out for us now as Daniella Arthur Kennedy from Theatre Peckham performs one of my favourites The Test by Camberwell resident the late, great Una Marson.


Sandi makes Denmark Hill connections
Sandi Tosvig gave a speech at the ...
Champion Hill Trial Closure - Plan for it to be Permanent
Southwark Council are proposing to make permanent the one way closure of Champion Hill. The monitoring report of the trial can be downloaded ...
Litter at The Station
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Denmark Hill Station - Entrance and Platform Access Upgrades
NetworkRail say they have completed detailed design of the proposed new entrance. Two of the Camberwell Society committee members have been ...
NetworkRail Commences Work on Recommendations in GLA Report "Broken Rails"
The Broken Rails report by Caroline Pidgeon and Florence Eshalomi of the GLA found that South London was not well served by rail, suggesting ...
Broken Rails
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Williams Report on Rail Services
Keith Williams chair of the Rail Review gave an update at Bradford in July this year. The update reported on the listening phase of the ...
Denmark Hill Station - Entrance and Platform Access Upgrades
Network Rail have been successful in securing funding for the detailed design of the proposed second entrance on Windsor Walk. Architects ...
Denmark Hill Station - Network Rail Apply for Next Stage Funding for New Entrance
NetworkRail have now presented their Outline Buisness Case (OBC) to the DfT for funding to take the project to detailed design. The OBC ...
Heathrow Expansion Consultation
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The Camberwell Society attended a meeting at Network Rail's (NR) offices in Southwark on Monday 3rd June to hear about the intentions for ...
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Camberwell Traffic Management Study
The Camberwell Society have been advised that the study that was promised at the time of re-opening the Camberwell Grove bridge is "being ...
Champion Hill One Way Trial
The consultation on the trial one way system for Champion Hill returned a 57% favourable response. Accordingly Southwark Council have ...
Denmark Hill Station - Entrance and Platform Access Upgrades - February Update
NetworkRail report that their preliminary option study has identified 7 options for ways to improve the congestion. They are proceeding to ...
Aircraft Flight Path Routing Consultation
Heathrow have launched a consultation on flight path routing to minimise noise disruption. This follows on from a previous consultation ...
Update on Denmark Hill Station Access
Over the holiday period Thameslink has been preparing to start a one way circulation system at the station. It is planned to start ...
TfL Central Bus Route Curtailment
Thank you to members who responded to the Society's email and made a submission to TfL.TfL are attempting to save money by truncating and ...