London’s an amazing palace, full of weird things around all corners.
We really have it all, from cool graffiti, to odd fountains – you name it, it’s here.
But every now and then something weird pops up that catches us all by surprise.
Such as in Camberwell, South London.
At Walworth Bus Depot there appears to be a random gate-to-nowhere, marked with a carving of a lion’s head on the top.
It turns out it was the entrance to a former nightclub, Imperial Gardens, once dubbed “the Motown of South London.”
The nightclub was a staple of South London, and has hosted acts such as Goldie, Lauryn Hill, and Björk.
But one day the club’s owners saw a construction sign go up and they realised they were in the path of a major development.
To their horror, when they complained, they learnt that the entire planning process had already been conducted behind their backs.
This led to an outcry, that ended up with local MP, Harriet Harman, becoming embroiled in a bid to keep the party joint open.
Lee Jasper, race relations adviser to then-London-mayor, Ken Livingstone, said: “I think there was an agenda for gentrification. The work at Imperial Gardens touched all our lives. But they were in the way, so by hook or by crook they had to go.”
But ultimately Ms Harman’s efforts and Mr Jasper’s words fell on deaf ears and the only memory that remains of the nightclub is the lion on the front.
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