Sunday, 8 January 2017

Bird in Bush Road, London SE15

A Bird in the Hand is worth two in the Bush

Before the mid 1980s, I rarely ventured into South East London. All that was to change when Ricko, a good pal from my Polytechnic days, and his girlfriend at the time, moved into a huge Victorian squatted house just off the Old Kent Road. I spent many days there over the years, and we'd regularly walk the neighbourhood - often photographing the remnants of an earlier time that had been left to crumble away. It was an era when no-one anticipated terms like regeneration and gentrification would ever apply to places like Camberwell, Peckham or New Cross.

I recall that I took this photograph in the sweetly named 'Bird in Bush Road' - showing a section of a decaying cobblers shop and the part reflection of the housing opposite. A quick online search does not explain the origin of the street's unusual name, but we're told that the street was formerly known as Carlton Street, and re-named 'Bird in Bush Road' in 1912.

I'm pleased that I did get this one snap rather than none at all, but I do now wish I'd taken two (or more) photos of this place, and the landscape around the site of the former shop.

The things that we already have are worth more than the things we only hope to get?

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