Suburban Bookie Perspective: Portland Bookmakers, Brockley Road

Despite the fact that we don't actually like the Urban Cookie Collective, they happen to be the music act that we have seen live more than any other. So the opportunity to squeeze a pun about their name in to an article was all the incentive we needed to run this piece.

We don't much care for bookies and we weren't impressed with the way they went about securing their business in Brockley but nonetheless, there they are on Brockley Road, running a legitimate business, so it's about time we got around to giving its customers the chance to give their verdict on the service they offer.

We can't offer a review because we honestly wouldn't know where to start, but please feel free to post your comments and reviews here. How does it compare to the other local options?

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

No thanks, I am not interested.

vice versa said...

never been in a bookies but it does look better than the others from the outside.

Tressillian James said...

let Portland's stay and get rid of the others. Portlands have at least ried to keep with the conservation area guidelines and doesn't use bright garish plastics to attract customers in.

Headhunter said...

The only time I have walked past it has been empty. But then I don't head down that way very often, in Manor Ave I'm closer to shops on Lewisham Way, by Brockley stn or down in New Cross

Anonymous said...

It's unlikely that many of Portlands core demographic read this blog. Web savvy punters would find better value online.

Tamsin said...

I thought with any sort of gamblingyou were far more likely to be ripped off on line than otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Nah - online terms are much better. Its possible to consistently win via online gambling, whereas you only see losers in shops.

It does add to the c-zone, though.

Anonymous said...

Do they throw craps and pump in extra oxygen in Portland?

Free drinks served by recklessly dressed lassies?

Anonymous said...

Nick - I like your wordplay.

I'm neutral on Portland. *uc* knows how they make any money though: there's never any more than a couple of people in there, but at least the shopfront is tidy - better than some of the others nearby. Pity the Homeview guy never spilled the beans on what caused him to pull the plug; I still see him around.

I agree with the above anon though in that placing bets in a shop is for losers. Perhaps one way to remove this blight from the high-street is to shame some gamblers into believing this.

Serious punters do it on-line.

Whatever lofty ideals people have about getting rid of gambling, sorry, but it ain't going to happen, because people - mainly men, clearly - crave a level of excitement to bring them out of their (sometimes) desperate existence.

Lep Recorn said...

Pass by the shop almost daily and rarely see more than a couple in there. Don't do gambling so cannot comment. But I do miss Homeview having been a member since it was on the other side of the road.

Wild Bill said...

Anyone been in the Tickle Me jerk chicken and bagel shop yet?

(ahem)

Headhunter said...

I should think Homeview closed down in response to a shrinking market for video and DVD rental. Why would you bother going there when you can get them mailed to you by websites like Love Film et al and then mail them back when you have finished. Or you can just watch films on Sky or whatever. I haven't hired a video or DVD for absolutely aeons....

Tressilliana said...

I agree, HH. I used to get videos from Homeview occasionally but found the business of getting it back the next day a bit of a hassle. Renting from Amazon and now LoveFilm is just so incredibly easy and flexible. No one ever lost money underestimating the laziness of the general public.

Headhunter said...

I also think the rise of big chains like Blockbuster with bigger selections, longer opening hours and possibly cheaper prices didn't help small independent shops like Home View

Wild Bill said...

Some people think Blockbusters (in America at least) won't survive 2009, so it's the industry as a whole that's in trouble. Not just the small shops.

http://www.wxyz.com/content/news/seenon7priority/story/15-Companies-That-May-Not-Survive-2009/yCb4DjBbq0qLzTWJZUqwCQ.cspx (number 10)

Headhunter said...

Yeah but I think before recent times, big chains like Blockbuster eroded small vid shops revenues, so Home View may have suffered steadily declining profits for a while now. Although I suppose there aren't any big vid hire chain places near Brockley, the nearest Blockbuster is on the main road in Catford I think....

Tamsin said...

Going back to book-makers in shops and on-line, though. Surely it is important, whatever the ins and outs of better odds on-line, is that there are facilities for those who are better for a trip out of the house and a bit of human contact when they gamble. (Like having a person selling you a ticket at St. Johns rather than a machine.)
What is disquieting about on-line gambling is that is is for the "serious" gambler, who in the vast majority of cases has to be a loser - in every way. With the pieces picked up by organisations such as Gam Anon and the Samaritans.

Tamsin said...

No big chains for video/dvd hire, but there is still Sounds Around...

Psyche9 said...

I find it very strange that on some of the threads about Portland's people seem to be saying that they dislike bookmakers, but Portland's are OK cos the place looks a bit more tasteful.

I like a bit of a flutter now and again. but I'd rather go to a place with a bit of atmosphere. Portland's is classy in the way that pubs with 'Dress: smart casual' are; in the way that Hooter's is.

fred vest said...

"is that there are facilities for those who are better for a trip out of the house and a bit of human contact"

well said, the social role of a lot of things these days are usually completely overlooked

Tamsin said...

Thanks, Fred. It is desperately important. A lot on these forums is about the smaller shops and the pleasure of receiving friendly advice, or just how nice the staff in Geddes are - that you drop in for a gossip, but it can go both ways. We as consumers can at least smile to the person at the supermarket check-out (even if we do not go so far as to chat about the weather while waiting for the card to register) and we can say thanks to driver as we get of the bus (although not on the bendy-bus which seems designed to isolate the driver almost as much as in the old routemasters).
To mount my moral high horse, human interaction is particulary important for children. There is a case study on the hearing child of deaf parents: they thought he would be able to learn the spoken word from TV, programmes such as Teletubbies designed for babies, but he was fluent in sign language where he got the one-on-one interation. And what I absolutely hate is adults walking with young children and talking into their mobiles. What a signal! This little gadget or (if they are old enough to know what it is) this other person who you cannot even see is more important to me than you are... Grrr!!

patrick1971 said...

Judging by many of the "characters" I see on my bus journeys, the drivers are probably grateful to be isolated!

I'd think that even the Lovefilm business model is doomed. Once cable companies can get a serious and comprehensive film-on-demand service going, you won't even need to wait for the post to deliver your DVDs.

psyche9 said...

Agree with Tamsin re mobile phones. There seems to be a bizarre etiquette with mobiles - the call takes priority over the real person. I find that so strange - when the person I am talking to suddently stops dead to speak on their mobile without even an apology. Someone who is otherwise considerate will suddenly totally disconnect from you because their mobile is calling them.

I am showing my age here as it seems the norm. Goodness knows what kids make of it.

Brockley Kate said...

The thing I find frustrating about LoveFilm is that you have to have a list of films you want to watch, and have very little control over what they choose to send you. Whereas in a DVD store you can choose the exact DVD you want that evening.

I can imagine that LoveFilm and the like are very useful for people who watch a lot of films and therefore don't mind what order they're sent in, but I found it so frustrating. There would be one or two films I'd be hoping for, and instead I'd be sent one of the films I wasn't very bothered about but had been instructed to add to my list to make it up to the minimum compulsory number.

I'd be very interested if anyone could recommend a postal film service which allows you to specify which film you want next. I haven't found one.

Headhunter said...

That's because they don't have enough copies of popular films. I used to use Love Film back in 2002 and they were very good at sending exactly what I wanted, but they've obviously got a lot more customers these days....

jon s said...

The postal film business model doesn't work if people chose an exact film. You need cutomers to have average lists of 40 films to manage variations in demand.

Wait a while and the whole model will be obselete anyway as we stream in realtime any film (or TV show) we want via broadband.

Swifty said...

Yes, Lovefilm needs to use their brand to launch an online video streaming business, with some value added services.

patrick1971 said...

"I'd be very interested if anyone could recommend a postal film service which allows you to specify which film you want next."

I used to be with Sainsbury's DVD rental, which, although powered by Lovefilm, allowed you to rank the films in exact order rather than just "High", "Medium", "Low". Sainsbury's don't offer this service any more unfortunately.

I'm now with Sofa Cinema, also powered by Lovefilm but branded by the Guardian. My big beef with their interface is that if you want to select a TV show, you can't put different series with different priorities, e.g. Series 1 of Lost as High but Series 2 as Low (to make sure you get them in order). If you change the priority of one series of a programme, it changes them all. The only way to do it is to only have one series, the next one, in your rental queue!

Tamsin said...

I've never used it, but what's the Amazon rental system?

tyrwhitt ali said...

I used to use Amazon but a long time ago. Currently use Lovefilm but I found it frustrating in exactly the way Brockley Kate describes - I want to see the films at the top of my list but get something else!

Tamsin/psyche9, i completely agree with you re mobiles. Many a man (well maybe not that many as it sounds bad) as been ditched for answering the phone in the middle of a date. Suddenly realised that sounds harsh, but I do think it's rude.

Mezzer said...

Saw an amusing sight yesterday in the West End.

I passed The Red Door - a very upmarket pampering salon in Mayfair. There was woman with one person attending to her hair, another her feet and a third doing a manicure. The lady herself was completely engrossed in a mobile phone conversation!

All that attention, and not even enjoying the moment!

Anonymous said...

It's called multi-tasking.

Anonymous said...

Another first for Portland. Six, yes 6! places in todays Grand National.

Erin Brock said...

Another first for Portland. Paying six, 6! places in todays Grand National. Unprecedented.

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