Deserter presents: Today South London, Tomorrow South London

By Andrew Grumbridge and Vincent Raison

A humorous guide to the less beaten paths of London, south of the river

Monday, 26 February 2018

South London Facticles

As well as longer pieces celebrating the less well-known opportunities afforded by South London, our book will also feature bite-sized facts that we were almost certainly too lazy to turn into full articles.

We call them "Facticles", I'm afraid. And here's a sample.

Early Doors

Borough’s Market Porter would seem to have it all: a market edge location, a superb range of well-kept ales and, outside, the finest leaning stalls a pub can offer. And yet, this is not what sets it apart from ordinary, work-a-day pubs.

No, the thing that gets the Porter a special mention is its opening hours. Every weekday morning, Monday to Friday, 6am-8-30am, while ordinary people are getting up and going to work, the doors of this establishment are thrown open for fun-loving early birds. Market workers, night shift workers, all-night party people and simple wastrels gather to set the world to rights before heading off to Maria’s for breakfast.

4.20 from West Norwood

Like all cemeteries, West Norwood's is an ideal stop-off for a herbal pick-me-up. But what marks this one as special is the dedicated “Smokers' Bench”.

Tucked away in the north-eastern corner is a seat commemorating the lives of Bill, Ambrose and Elsie Smoker. Naturally, the bench has become a magnet for local tokers and legend has it that they even leave one another special ready-rolled gifts there.

Something for the Weekend

Fancy a beer but need a haircut and not got time for both? Then head over to Barry Road Barbers, East Dulwich, where proprietor, Sean, will happily furnish you with a cold one from the fridge, gratis.

Sipping a beer while admiring your own reflection is a perfect start to any weekend. Deserter associate, Half-life, has been known to drop in for a nostril hair trim and stay all afternoon for the booze and chat.

Clubbing in Peckham

If you're a fan, as we are, of the retro “club chic” of places like Brixton's Effra Social or the Catford Constitutional Club — ex-members-only social clubs that have been taken over and turned into kooky watering holes for all — then you should look in at the Peckham Liberal Club.

It's similar to these other ex-working men's clubs, with the key difference being… it still is one. An annual membership of just £25 a year buys you a chance to drink all day at prices from last century, waste what's left of your youth in a vast snooker hall and the opportunity to meet Peckhamites that were around long before the Ginger Line and the “Hipster Express”.


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