The Camberwell Shark Blog

Crisis talks at Westminster

We convene deep in the bowels of Parliament as the Shark goes a man down

Our second meeting in October 2017 took place in the Sports and Social Club in the Houses of Parliament. Over pints of Wickwar's Bob, we settled in to discuss an email we had received from Cal...

And then there were four

At the last meeting, we had come up with a staffing rota based on the five of us dividing shifts between us equally. This worked out per person around 20 hours a week, with 10 hours required on three out of five weekends. With a future house move on the horizon and his season ticket at Manchester City to consider, Cal had decided he couldn't commit the time or the money to the venture. The rumbustious presence of South London Sharks top goalscorer* will certainly be missed but we were grateful the first meeting had caused people to think carefully before proceeding further.

So goodbye Cal: would it now be like the Spice Girls and be too much, or would our four viva forever?

Rota revisited

The original plan for staffing was now dead in the water. And even with five of us, it would probably have been unrealistic without one person in charge of overseeing everything. I volunteered to take a sabbatical from work for the first year to get it up and running. The others weren’t entirely convinced but we agreed it was probably the only way it was going to work.

Pints and profitability

How many pints would we need to sell a week to break even? How long would it take to get a return on our initial investment? Following the last meeting, Andy had created a handy spreadsheet which would tell you all these things based on assumptions around monthly rent and other costs. You could see the effect that adjusting the price of a pint, and the amount sold a week, had on profitability.

It quickly became apparent there was a big difference between charging £4 a pint versus £4.50 a pint. Andy asked if our assumed cost price of cask beer included VAT. Nobody knew. Did we need to pay VAT? We didn’t know that either. One for further research. There was also now the additional burden of having to keep me in bed and board. The spreadsheet didn’t cater for this.

Well that was enough thinking for one night. Andy retired uncharacteristically early as he wasn’t feeling well and we went for a toasted bagel and an excellent pint of Landlord in the Speaker, proof if needed that it can travel well. And it was difficult to resist a final drink in the Spoons at Victoria with the chance to bask in the station's architecture, the sum total of which the designers of the left luggage office, try as they might, haven’t quite managed to spoil.



We start our search for a suitable location. First stop: Kennington.