Here follows a series of photos (mostly) of the slow rise of shops and services that rise in the times of crisis and austerity: pawn shops (nothing new on Walworth Rd but there are more now), loans against pay shops, bookies and fruit machine places.
We will try to make a complete picture as of Christmas 2012 by adding in a few more photos of the places we haven’t photographed yet. Keep ‘em peeled!
We make no moralistic points about locals gambling or needing £££ in a hurry against rip-off rates of interest. Everyone is trying to get by with food prices, transport costs and low wages and/or benefits with no annual raise and completely out of line with the cost of living. The closure of several independent stores and the Temple Bar to become Pound Shops is also part of that austerity.
It seems very possible that Walworth Rd and the top end of Camberwell Rd could become split in two by the regeneration at The Elephant and the crash landing of 1000′s of private homes there and at the Heygate Estate site. At the top end we might see a refurbished Shopping Centre that the owner St Modwen is clear on wanting to attract the more high-end shops for new residents from the expensive private homes being put up and as a ‘destination‘ catch for shoppers from further afield. The southern end might see more local and independent traders closed due to the lack of cash in local’s pockets but also an increase in rent by landlords ready to cash in raising rents to whoever will pay them – these new places more likely to be payday loan chains or betting agents.
Of course, we don’t know how the next few years will go. Walworth Rd has not so far succumbed (apart from the two new Tescos) to the endless chains that come with the building of lots of mid and high price local residential houses and flats. It still remains incredibly diverse with plenty of places to satisfy what you need of week. Long may it remain full of heart and soul!