Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Just kids being kids

Whenever I mention chavs I invariably get criciticised for being too middle class, or occupying the moral high ground.

So may I say how delighted I was to see a gang of around 20 young citizens exercising their freedom of expression with a mass display of verbal and physical exuberance around Waitrose and Iceland.

From what I can gather someone had grassed someone up, and someone else was going to get their head kicked in. Oh, and someone else was a p*ick.

Then the police arrived to sort it all out, innit.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Terrific Warden?

I'm still undecided whether Westminster Council's charm offensive to make their traffic wardens more charming and less offensive is laudable or laughable.

I've certainly never had a run-in with a traffic warden in Worcester Park - indeed the chap that patrols around Waitrose and the surrounding roads looks friendly enough, and can often be seen whiling away his break times by broadening his horizons at the local library. Educate yourself, my son, and one day you'll'll be... well, something other than a traffic warden.

Unless, of course, those aren't his break times, in which case he is in deep trouble for skyving when he should be out tormenting motorists.

Worcester Park resident Brian has e-mailed me to let me know there is a new ticketing menace in KT4:

'It appears we have a new traffic warden in Worcester Park. I observed him in Brinkley Road, sticking a parking ticket on a car which was parked with two wheels on the pavement (which has been allowed at the main road end of the street for about the last eight years) yet he ignored the car (also parked legally) behind him.

He also totally ignored the car he was standing net to which had no front number plate or tax disc which has been parked there for the last two months.

Should this div really get paid from the money we pay into the council tax?"

Friday, 22 August 2008

On Target

Martin e-mailed me late last night to let me know about his local website . Unfortunately in my haste this morning I misread it as, so was most disappointed to find nothing on his site by way of a cure for my dreadfully aching premolar.
In the end though it turned out the site was all about darts (I supposed you could use a really sharp one to relieve toothache). Actually it's a shame that darts isn't in the Olympics, as that would definitely be one more sport at which Team GB could excel (in addition to all the splashing, running, leaping about and paddling that we've suddenly become unexpectedly good at).

I've never played the sport myself (I don't have the figure for it) so my own experience of darts is limited to fond Sunday tea-times shared with Jim Bowen, Tony Green and their contestants - invariably northern men called Dave, with the occasional female contestant sporting a BHS dress and obligatory perm.

Anyway, back to Worcester Park and Martin (whose real name is probably Dave) tells me that that darts is alive and well in KT4 and the Royal British Legion club on Central Road is the place to be:

"The Surrey Darts Ladies A team has moved from the Epsom British Legion to the new home venue of Worcester Park British Legion

This coincides with Surrey just having been promoted into the national Premier Division from Division 1 as Champions. Hostilities commence on the weekend of 13/14 September away at darting unbeatables Yorkshire.

Before that though, a friendly has been arranged at WPBL on Sunday 24th August between a Surrey squad and what is termed as the 'Worcester Park Elite'. I know some of the guys representing Worcester Park and it looks like it will be a right laugh."

I'm not quite sure why it will be a right laugh - perhaps the Worcester Park team are comedically bad and we're in a for an evening of slapstick misaps and hilariously misjudged darts throwing. I guess you'll have to be there to find out.

Tantalisingly we are told to watch out for Worcester Park Elite Squad's 'secret weapon'.

Is it a bendy bully?

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Gold Muddle

Good old Sutton Council - they never miss an opportunity for a self-congratulatory press release. Witness this shamelessly opportunistic example of basking in the reflected glory of Carshalton-born Olympic gold medallist Rebbeca Romero:

"Cllr Ruth Dombey, Deputy Leader of Sutton Council said:

“Through Smarter Travel Sutton, the council and TfL are encouraging more people to cycle than ever before, with increased parking, cycle routes and maps available.

“I hope Rebecca’s superb victory inspires people of all ages to get in the saddle, either to compete or simply for every day journeys.”

Team GB & Sutton Council - together we're going for gold.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Trouble Glazing

There was a knock on the door from a couple of likely lads this evening. I didn't have the energy to explain why I couldn't trust a cold-calling scruffy 14-year old in an England rugby top enough to commission his unnamed company to install UPVC windows here at Worcester Park towers.

Instead I politely declined his professional services and bade him goodnight.

Sounds like I had a lucky escape - according to this BBC News report one Worcester Park couple had a good deal more difficulty getting rid of their salesman.

You have been warned!

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Classic Bus Spotter Day

Today was Classic Bus Spotter Day - a chance for members of the public young and old to catch a glimpse of some rarely seen bus spotters on the streets of Worcester Park - many of whom only get brought in public once or twice a year.

The weather was good, the public were out in force and there was plenty to see - my favourite being this 1952 bus spotter with trademark brown satchel.

They just don't make them like that any more.

Oh, and there were some old buses trundling around the streets of Worcester Park as well.

Would you like to see some pictures of those?

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Bus To The Past, Bike To The Future

Tomorrow is Worcester Park Classic Bus Running Day, offering free rides on a wide variety of old buses and coaches dating from 1929 to the mid 60s.

So as not to cause too much of culture shock compared to the modern day '213 bus' experience, I'm told some 1940s teenagers in period costume will be hanging out on the top deck and playing their gramophones at high volume.

The network of routes covers Worcester Park, New Malden, Raynes Park, Kingston, North Cheam, Morden, Wimbledon, Sutton and Epsom.

Full information including timetables at , along with loads of vintage local pictures. For those who prefer not to do any advance planning, just look in at WP Station between 11.00 and 16.45 or find your way to North Cheam (wherever that is) where there will also be classic coach tours.

Meanwhile there is good news for all those who have been waiting with a sense of inevitable dread find out which charity shop is moving into the empty half of the old 'Choices Video' unit - a bike shop will shortly be joining the hallowed ranks of Worcester Park traders.

Friday, 8 August 2008

Chav you seen anything as stupid?

Every second counts when you're a Worcester Park chav.

With so much spitting, swearing and Strongbow swilling to cram into an average non-working day you've no time to waste faffing around with silly footbridges.

Need to get to the opposite platform at Worcester Park station? Simple. Just hop straight over the live rails.

Fourtunately this not very goodie hoodie made it over the live rails in one piece - let's face it, had he fallen onto the live rail it would probably have been the first (and last) ever time that electrical activity had been recorded in his brain.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Blog Spotting!

The Worcester Park Blog has been variously quoted, mentioned, plagiarised, linked to or laughed at by the following erstwhile media outlets:

The Daily Mail (quoted on 'The Hamptons' social housing)
Surrey Comet (on the Low Emissions Zone in Worcester Park) (on local traders in the credit crunch)
The Sutton Guardian (on 'feeding the foxes' furore)
ITV London (on local bloggers)
BBC Southern Counties (featured local blogs)

If you spot any mentions of the Worcester Park Blog, do let me know!

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Outrage on every page

A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by a journalist from The Daily Mail who was writing a piece on The Hamptons social housing and the furore sparked off by the whole curfew issue. Despite the fact that he writes for The Mail (free outrage with every issue) I gave him 20 minutes of my time on the phone to talk through the issues surrounding The Hamptons debate.

The article has now appeared (pages 42-43) in today's paper and contains a healthy amount of the more vitriolic reader comments that were posted here on The Worcester Park Blog.

I have two issues with The Daily Mail article. The first being the fact that no credit was given to the Worcester Park Blog for all the comments lifted straight into the finished newspaper article. But hey, my ego can live with that.

The second issue is that most of the comments lifted from The Worcester Park Blog were posted on here anonymously - and many were distinctly tongue in cheek. As I said to the journalist on the phone, I myself am not sure whether the deluge of comments on this blog came from a real cross-section of Hamptons and non-Hamptons residents or just two passionate blog readers exchanging regular electronic insults.

Either way, considerable fuel has been poured on the flames of The Hamptons and Worcester Park has now been painted as a utterly snobbish and intolerant place, which I don't believe it is at all. All the Daily Mail article will ultimately achieve is to provoke the very disharmony that it purports exists on The Hamptons.

You can read the article here. Just don't forget to wash your hands afterwards.

Friday, 1 August 2008

Can't get you out of my head

So July's uninformative and unscientific monthly poll has now drawn to a close. Throughout July blog readers have been polled on the reason why they live in Worcester Park.

Topping the poll with 39% was 'I live in Worcester Park because... voices in my head told me to' proving nothing (except that blog readers take the whole thing even less seriously than I do).

I certainly experienced weird voices constantly urging me to move to Worcester Park, however those were just the trio of local estate agents (named Darren, Darren and Darren as I recall) that I had registered my house-hunting details with.

Although it could be that we have uncovered some strange phenomenon here - perhaps the voices are relly there and Worcester Park is the setting of a bizarre Truman Show type experiment. Come to think of it, that would explain what The Hamptons are doing here. suddenly it all makes sense.

Surprisingly, only 22% of residents were lured here by the offer of a free compost bin from Sutton Council - I expect that once more people discover the joys of decomposing your kitchen and garden waste that this number will rise exponentially.

Only 14% were honest enough to admit moving here because they couldn't afford Cheam. Mind you with house prices in free fall you'll soon be able to afford a house practically anywhere (so long as you don't need to heat it or buy food to put in the fridge that you can't even afford to switch on).

Anyway, must go now. Voices in my head are telling me to stop.