Sunday, 30 March 2008

The devil's in the detail...

Ginger & Garlic, the latest takeway for Worcester Park, is open for business (just off Central Road, in Windsor Road - next to Mike's Music). I popped in this evening to pick up a menu of their (predominantly) Sri Lankan dishes.

The choices include the satanic-sounding 'Chicken Devil', 'King Prawn Devil' and 'Pork Devil' - but the most intriguing item on the menu is "Crispy Sadism Butterfly"

The mind boggles.

School Daze

Another plea for help has plopped through the Worcester Park Blog's inbox - hopefully some longer-term Worcester Park residents can help with this historical conundrum from Kevin:

"I'm trying to track the name of a Primary/Junior school I briefly attended in Worcester Park around 1965-1970. It was in a road not far behind the shops in the Central Road area.

My recollection is that it may have been almost opposite the Washington Rd/Caldbeck Ave junctions at Central Road, but behind the shops for instance in the Hampton Rd area. I know there is a school further up the hill (Cheam Common Junior School in Kingsmead Avenue), but I don't think the school I attended was that far up from the Washington Rd area.

From memory, it was quite small and old and possibly doesn't exist now, or was it the Kingsmead Avenue school but prior to it (if applicable) being expanded and modernised?

Do you know what this school was called and where it was? If not, I'd be very grateful if you could let me know of a local historical organisation or person that would likely know?"

If you can help 'name that school' then add your comment below. Failing that, Kevin, I'd get in touch with the Worcester Park library - or alternatively Sutton Council's Archivist & Local Studies Manager -

Over to you, blog readers!

Friday, 28 March 2008

Get bike to where it once belonged...

A little 'online neighbourhood watch' item for you now - Nicola has been in touch to let me know about that one of these rather smart bikes, belonging to her other half, was stolen from outside Worcester Park station on Wednesday.

The police are looking at CCTV, but Nicola is trying to get as much info out on this as possible as it is an unusual bike with not many in the area and therefore could be easily identified if someone tries to sell it on.

The bike is a Specialized Rockhopper Pro, normally retailing at £900, so if you do find yourself offered one in the pub, or spot one for sale locally then do let your local boys'n'girls in blue know about it.

At ease, ladies and gentlemen.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

It's a sign!

Lizzie e-mailed me yesterday, with a photo of the window at the 'TV Clinic' in Worcester Park (in response to this recent post, I hasten to add).

Firstly, congratulations to Lizzie on joining the elite club of people who wander around Worcester Park taking photos of shop frontages. I was beginning to feel a little lonely freak, but she is now keeping me company (incidentally, I always ensure they are taken at an angle that means I don't take a picture of myself in the reflection - otherwise the public adulation would surely prove too much I would be run out of town by the hoardes of admirers, and would have to seek exile in Cheam).

I digress. As Lizzie points out, the poster in the window advertises a local church fair:

"What do the would be Sherlocks among us spot? The date Dr Watson, the date. The clinic has been shut for at least 18 months if not longer. The poster is inside! Did some one break in just to put it up ? Hey, some community spirit! What do you think?"

Personally, I love the idea of a militant member of the St Mary the Virgin, Cuddington smashing their way in (with a huge brass candlestick) hell (or heaven) bent on guerilla marketing of their forthcoming tombola. Onward Christian soldiers etc. but I can't quite see that being the case.

And then Lizzie gets back in touch today:

"My sister thinks the poster in the window is a holy miracle, why didn't we think of that?"

Amazing! It is a miracle!!

God has indeed spoken to us, via the medium of the TV Clinic. Once the Surrey Comet pick up on this, Worcester Park will become a place of religious pilgrimage, and Broadway Bargains will do a roaring trade in knit-your-own Virgin Mary kits.

It's a sign! It's a sign!! No, really folks, it is just a sign.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

More Choices for Worcester Park...

It appears that spring has sprung the shopfitters of Worcester Park into a frenzy of activity, with several empty shop units about to be filled, which is great news (sadly not Drury & Cole, though, as that seems destined to remain empty forever).

The old 'Choices' video store is being transformed into Papa John's pizza takeaway - although they are only taking half of the unit, so one half of the shop will remain vacant.

Meanwhile, you may remember the short-lived 'Curry King' takeaway in Windsor Road, next to Mike's Music. I went there, just the once - the kitchen looked less than hygienic, service took forever and they tried and argue their way out of their £10 opening offer. Suffice to say that the rest of Worcester Park seemed to agree that 'Curry King' was 'F*# King' awful and it promptly disappeared.

The shopfitters are back, though, and it is being transformed into 'Ginger & Garlic' takeaway (adding flavour to your life, so they promise).

But the award for shortest-lived shop of all was taken by the 'Worcester Park Supermarket' (next to Checkers the sandwich shop) which if I recall was only open a few weeks before unceremoniously being boarded up.

Work has started inside the shop, though, so we will wait with baited breath to see which charity shop opens in its place. Cynical? Moi?

Monday, 24 March 2008

Assault & Vinegar

The Hunstman's Hall public house (owned by the appropriately named 'Punch Pubs') has courted more than its fair share of controversy over the years.

Highlights include a 14-year old boy getting his jaw smashed outside the pub, and two nights of consecutive violence and serious assaults on customers in June 2005, with local police reporting a climate of fear and reluctance of the public to come forward with information for fear of reprisals. This culminated in the enforced closure of The Huntsman's for several nights, to prevent a repeat of these violent incidents.

Things looked, for a while, to be on the up, with the Huntsman's under new management and redecorated and the distinct absence of the blue-light disco every Friday and Saturday evening. Even The Brinkster recently made it through a meal at this establishment and seemed pretty positive about the whole experience.

A very reliable source, however, tells me that things kicked off there recently, in a worrying return to old ways:

"Friday night there was another huge ruck with a customer admitted to hospital with head injuries. After a row, a group were found kicking the man in the body and then his head. He was unconscious for a few minutes but was released from hospital the following morning."

Let's hope this is just a blip, as Worcester Park can ill afford a return to the old ways - and The Huntsman's Hall can ill-afford any more points on their late licence.

In the meantime, don't have nightmares. Do sleep well.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Whilst you wait

I have often wondered what became of the TV & Video repair clinic in Worcester Park (apart from the very obvious fact that it closed suddenly) and pondered in particular the fate of the many TVs that are gathering dust in this impomptu television museum.

I'm not sure whether the TVs sat forlon on their shelves were on sale at the shop or whether they belonged to customers and were in for repair - in which case, as the place has been abandoned for the best part of two years, they could be forgiven for feeling more than a little swindled by the 4-hour repair promise.

If any of the TVs do belong to you, then I'd be interested to know. In the meantime, it looks as though somebody has recovered at least one telly (quite probably not their own) with a little help from Mr Brick.

Friday, 21 March 2008

Grave danger?

"In loving memory of.. Safety Warning"

Even in death, it would appear, there is no escaping the all-pervading inteference of the Health & Safety inspector.

Sutton Council have been busy with clipboards and Risk Assessments in the graveyards of Worcester Park (St Philips Churchyard at the top of Central Road and the adjoining Cuddington Cemetery in Lindsay Road).

Their aim? To determine if any of the gravestones could pose a safetyhazard to the general public.

The result? Headstones in memorial to lost loved ones slapped with yellow 'Safety Warning' notices and unceremoniously 'secured' by wooden stakes and blue strapping.

Whilst their maintenance of public safety is laudable, it is sad to note that whilst Sutton Council has within its budget the funds to survey, inspect and cordon off supposedly dangerous grasvestones, the financing and logistics of making safe the condemned headstones lies with the graves' owners.

Thus, this Easter time, letters will be going out advising that Great Aunt Maud poses a danger to the Worcester Park public and should be dealt with as soon as possible.

Quite what happens if grave 's owner does not respond (or, as will likely be the case for some graves, there is nobody around to take on the responsibility) is unclear. Perhaps they will remain forever with the yellow warning labels, as a permanent monument to the Health & Safety culture.

Sutton Council, for their part, are only acting under the instructions of the Health & Safety Executive, and say that they are "well aware of the distress that these works may cause bereaved persons", but nonetheless it is a sad sight to behold.

Welcome to death, 21st century style.

Happy Easter!!

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

The roof, the roof...

For those of you woken (or kept awake) by the sound of sirens in Worcester Park last night, the cause of the commotion was a house fire in Cotswold Way - plenty of damage done to the property though thankfully no reports of any injuries.

Meanwhile, news is that our good friends at South West Trains are threatening a four-day walk-out at the end of the month, bringing more doom and gloom for Worcester Park's already hard done by rail commuters.

The news, I'll admit, did go some way to assuage my pain as I filled up the car this afternoon with 108p per litre of liquid gold.

A high price to pay, but at least you're guaranteed a seat and a driver who never strikes.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

And she marched me down again...

Back to suburbia with a bump, myself and Mrs WP rather rashly pledged to start working off the non-stop three-course fine dining of the past week, with regular walks of an evening.

So off we strolled, up to the top of the hill and onwards. It was only as we passed the pyschological barrier of the North End tavern (Worcester Park, and therefore all of civilisation ends there) that I realised with a mixture of horror and shame that I had never walked that far from Worcester Park in all the years that I have lived here.

In fact, horror of horrors, I have never walked anywhere from Worcester Park - all of the walking I have done has involved driving off and then yomping around one of the many green spaces (Nonsuch or Richmond Park) or the surrounding Surrey countryside.

One of the stops en-route was to peer through the windows of the 'The Old Drill' pub which has never been the most inviting of establishments when I have driven past it over the years. The pub has just had a smart makeover under its new management, and looks well placed to put its past behind it and reposition itself as a respectable family-friendly local boozer.

I shall pop in soon and do some more in depth pub-based research on your behalf. Yes, I know, the things I do for this blog.

Must go - more walking and more exploring to do.

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Breaking into Waitrose

It is my sad duty to report that in the early hours of this morning, criminals struck at the beating heart of middle class Worcester Park.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen - Waitrose has been broken into.

The rapscallions (presumably wearing hoodies) smashed their way through Waitrose's window and ran amok amongst the shelves of Veuve Clicquot, leaving this morning's shoppers to shake their heads in horror and wonder what the world is coming to.

Friday, 7 March 2008

Power Trip...

I've just got back from the pub and Mrs WP says the lights have been going on and off in Worcester Park.

If you ask me I suspect she's been at the sauce whilst I was out this evening, and has simply been nodding in front of the telly...

Having said that, we have had our fair share of power outages recently in 'Worcester Dark', so perhaps the old hamster in the wheel is playing up again.

Any reports of power outages in your neck of the woods?

KT and the sunshine band

For fear of turning into Tony Hart, here's a quick look at the lovely pictures you've been sending in for The Gallery.

And it it is a very quick look, as there's just the one picture - but gratefully received nonetheless.

So thanks to David for this pic of a typical Worcester Park sunset (take across Central Road from the Low Emissions side of town).

"I am not sure if every resident in the LEZ can cast their gaze on the sun slowing dipping below the horizon at the end of their working day, but for me, views like this make living in Worcester Park a sheer delight" writes David.

Hmm... it's a toss up between this and sunset over the Grand Canyon or the Taj Mahal, but impressive nonetheless. Perhaps the Worcester Park Tourist Office can use this in their next promotion.

Meanwhile, the crew at The Cazbar are looking to set up an 11a-side football team - so if that's your thing, then check out their Facebook group here. I can't wait for the match against The Huntsman's Eleven.....

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Mum's the word

It's Mother's Day tomorrow and in a noble effort 'Cafe Experience' in Central Road are opening especially to offer a Mother's Day menu. Now as big a fan as I am of their full English breakfast (and the more I have of them the bigger fan I become in every sense) I can't quite see that a trip 'dairn the local caff' is really the way to impress Mum on her special day. I guess it's the thought that counts.

I'm quite sure the restaurants of Worcester Park will do a roaring trade though - 'La Mamma' if you want a particulary aptly-named dining experience or 'Cafe Piccolo' for those with kids in tow. My money would be on 'Silks' as the best local treat for deserving Mothers.

So here's wishing all the Worcester Park Mums a very happy day tomorrow - oh, and should you find yourself treated to a 'Cafe Experience' please do let me know how it goes.