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The Onion Shed, Lothian Road and Akerman Road, Camberwell London SE5
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The Onion Shed, Camberwell
Intriguing lock-up sized theatre venue?
(Photos/words © urban75, 26th Aug 2007)

Situated a little north of the Camberwell Submarine - where Akerman Road turns into Lothian Road - is this curious building, set in a residential strip of Victorian houses.

Emblazoned with a hand painted sign saying, 'Onion Shed,' a brief scurry around the web suggested that it is, or more likely was, the home to the Onion Shed Theatre, a "small fringe theatre in Lambeth."

Onion Shed, Camberwell London SE5

Some posters on the urban75 forums explained the name's provenance:

"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."

"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."

Onion Shed, Camberwell London SE5

Onion Shed, Camberwell London SE5

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