During the 70s, the rather peculiarly named Neasden was forever the butt
of the japesmiths at Private Eye.
Now it seems that the comedic dousing rod has twitched south of the
river. Yes, Peckham elicits a great deal of ill-honed humour as the
place that epitomises the ‘off the back of a lorry’, ‘god bless you,
guvnor’, pie-and-mash and knock ’em down the Old Kent Road type of
Admittedly, I live in Nunhead, which most people think is a sexual
deviancy or an American heavy-metal band, but I’m close enough. I still
remember sitting in the local fleapit, seeing those Bacardi ads from a
few years back with the line, ‘a wet afternoon in Peckham’, supered over
a tranquil paradise.
It made me seethe as I sat knee-deep in popcorn and flick knives, as it
was probably made by some fat-cat art director who lived in leafy
It just seems that, at present, if you can’t think of a funny location
name to raise a titter at the end of a commercial, bung in Peckham. I
know it is not the jewel of the South-east - that honour must surely be
bestowed upon Catford. But hey, we have Tom Phillips, a well-known
artist, living here and, apparently, Terry Jones of Monty Python fame,
who lives in a large house skirting the Rye.
So not everybody is a Del Boy or a Rodders. And who could ever forget
that well-known bonkers visionary, William Blake? I think it is about
time that everyone steered clear of Peckham for a cheap laugh. Failing
that, I will have to send the boys round. Know wot I mean?
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