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The Onion Shed, Camberwell

Structaural

in Chatsubo
I don't know about that - intriguing.

There's some interesting buildings in Southwell Road as well - old storage for theatres - Charlie Chaplin's stuff was supposed to be there or was there...
 

lang rabbie

Je ne regrette les gazebos
I sometimes wonder if some of these signs exist only for the purpose of testing prospective taxi-drivers taking The Knowldge.
 

London_Calling

Pleasant and unpatronising
Without going Internet-dolally, the last reference to a production I could see was 2001.

Lambeth's site has something about "home to the much loved Onion Shed Theatre" but I won't fall down if that site's out of date.
 

editor

hiraethified
London_Calling said:
Without going Internet-dolally, the last reference to a production I could see was 2001.

Lambeth's site has something about "home to the much loved Onion Shed Theatre" but I won't fall down if that site's out of date.
Yeah, I saw that but couldn't find any reference to any specific address.

The place looked a bit run down.
 

happyshopper

Well-Known Member
Onions

It's called the Onion Shed because until the early 1980's it was used by a group of Breton Onion sellers. You used to see them cycling round south London with their bicycles heavily laden with strings of onions and garlic. If I missed them in the street I would call round and buy my onions from the shed, where they would be stringing then together. I always suspected that they slept in the loft, although it was all fairly derelict.
 

editor

hiraethified
happyshopper said:
It's called the Onion Shed because until the early 1980's it was used by a group of Breton Onion sellers. You used to see them cycling round south London with their bicycles heavily laden with strings of onions and garlic. If I missed them in the street I would call round and buy my onions from the shed, where they would be stringing then together. I always suspected that they slept in the loft, although it was all fairly derelict.
I sooo want that to be true!
 

ats

Well-Known Member
Absolutely, though I can't really add to what happyshopper has already said.

They were basically the very very tail end of what would once have been a whole mass of people who earned a living selling services door to door.

When I first came to Brixton in the seventies I can remember rag and bone men. There used to be a lot of those around this part of London, because there was a stables on Shakespeare Road where they could hire out horses and carts by the day.

Give it another couple of decades and you'll find that young people will be astonished that you can remember stuff you take for granted now - Pubs you could drink in that hadn't been turned into apartments, for example.
 

Stobart Stopper

Well-Known Member
We still have a rag and bone man around here, he comes around every other Saturday with his big truck, ringing his bell. When I was a kid they used to use a horse and cart.
 

lang rabbie

Je ne regrette les gazebos
Mind said:
OK,
what the hell is a rag and bone man?
It sounds gross.:confused: :confused:
Now that reminds me of time that I tried to explain the Victorian notion of a "cat's and dog's meat man" to some of my younger colleagues. :rolleyes:
 

Mrs Magpie

On a bit of break...
happyshopper said:
It's called the Onion Shed because until the early 1980's it was used by a group of Breton Onion sellers. You used to see them cycling round south London with their bicycles heavily laden with strings of onions and garlic. If I missed them in the street I would call round and buy my onions from the shed, where they would be stringing then together. I always suspected that they slept in the loft, although it was all fairly derelict.
I used to walk past it every morning on my way to work....you smelled it before you got there...I was sad to see it go. Speaking of rememberence of things past, does anyone else remember the ponies on Knatchbull Road?
 

ats

Well-Known Member
Going back to the original question, I don't think it was ever an independent theatre company. I think that, after the onion men left, it became a theatre space belonging to Charles Edward Brooke School, which is just round the corner.
 

secretlondon

New Member
ats said:
Going back to the original question, I don't think it was ever an independent theatre company. I think that, after the onion men left, it became a theatre space belonging to Charles Edward Brooke School, which is just round the corner.
I've been told it was and a friend-of-a-friend knew someone involved in it - community theatre or something. May well be wrong though.
 

Brixton Hatter

Home is south London mate
cheers for this Ed, i cycle past the onion shed every day on my way to/from work and i've always wondered what it was. I just guessed it was a closed down fruit and veg shop or something! :oops:
 

Millbankmole

New Member
I attended the school on the corner in the 70s when it was still called Charles Edward Brooke grammar school for girls, it’s now a religious school called St Gabriel’s. The onion sellers would be loading up their pushbikes at the same time that school started. Breton onion sellers. I wonder who owns the building because developers have knocked everything else down but not the shed- maybe can’t get permission?
 

CH1

"Red Guard"(NLYL)
I remember going to a show there around 1990.
It was a modern ballet. A black man and white girl played out a dance about their relationship on a chequerboard stage.
That was fine, but unfortunately the show finished with a discussion led by Darcus Howe in full Devils's Advocate mode.

Its a long time ago, but I surmised that the performance had been ideologically along the lines of the ink is black, the page is white, together we learnt to read and write sort of thing.

Darcus was not putting up with this and came up with lots of reasons why black and white people cannot have non exploitative relationships.
He scored a number of walk-outs with his remarks - and the performers were obviously unhappy too.
I always felt sceptical about Darcus Hiowe after this.
 
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