Thursday, 31 July 2008

Viagra Falls

It's silly season, so little going on of Worcester Park note in the headlines at the moment - save for this snippet of news about a suspended Worcester Park chemist who has been fined for illegal possession and sale of Viagra.

Clearly a hardened criminal.

[Do excuse me... it's the heat]

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Lights, camera, action!

There are a few videos of Worcester Park on YouTube, mostly 10 second pixellated mobile phone clips of of chavs making moron faces at the camera.

Now, at least, there is something Worcester Park-related that is worth your while watching - and it comes courtesy of aspiring local film maker James Webber.

The interiors of his short film 'Tentboy' were all filmed at Briarwood Court flats opposite the station and the park scenes were shot just 10 mins from good old WP!

The short story is described as 'an urban fairy tale about a young man who inexplicably decides to imprison himself in a tent...in the park' (possibly because he couldn't afford the cost of housing in KT4). Three friends band together to free him. Will they succeed? Watch it and find out...

Saturday, 26 July 2008

She stumped by tree stump



Fiona is worried about trees - well, one ex-tree in particular:

"I was wondering if you can shed any light on the tree that has disappeared along The Manor Drive. I walk this way down to Malden Manor station every morning and to my surprise one day this week what appeared to be a healthy tree had been chopped down.............the next morning the stump had been ground out all together.

Is this the subtle action in advance of extending the S3 bus along this road, I wonder, in the hope no one will notice, or is there something more sinister going on in our midst? "

Well, I can't answer that one myself - although perhaps it's a cynical ploy to take all the trees and put'em in a tree museum (and charge all the people 25 bucks just to see'em).

If anyone can solve the riddle of the disappearing tree of Manor Drive then do let me know.

Summer is here so it is the season of badly-done D.I.Y. It seems that Worcester Park is not immune from the curse of slap-dashery - witness this local example of how not to decorate...



Wednesday, 23 July 2008

The heat is on

Oh! We're having a heatwave, a tropical heatwave. The temperature's rising, it isn't surprising.

Actually it is surprising, considering the washout that last year's summer amounted to and the monsoons we enjoyed a week or two back.

If the heat is all too much for you and has reduced you to a sweating moaning mound of misery then the good news is that CAZBAR on Central Road is now fully air conditioned so you can chill out there (literally) this summer.

Worcester Park's second biggest secret (I can't tell you what the first one is, as it's secret) is that they have a patio area at the back, which will soon be pressed into action as the main bar is closing from for a from 3rd - 8th August.

Meanwhile you have just over a week to vote on July's Monthly Poll, where we ask the real reason why you moved to Worcester Park.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Wine Bar Rumours...




In May's monthly poll you voted it the landmark that you would most like to see wiped off the face of Worcester Park forever, but it may be all change for The Huntsman's Hall public house.

Sources tell the Worcester Park Blog that The Huntsman is due for a makeover in a few months time in a bid to take it more upmarket (well, it could hardly go further downmarket) and turn it from a pub of dubious repute into a trendy wine bar (with, erm, a children's playground at the back).

Watch this space!

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Rubbish Communication

Perhaps I'm expecting too much, but it would have been nice of Sutton Council to give us advanced warning of the Local Authority strike.

Being a 21st century citizen, I checked their website last night to see whether they were one of the councils affected by the decision by hundreds of workers up and down the country to have a few days off in the sunshine.

Nothing was on the website to suggest that services would be disrupted so I happily wheeled the bins to the kerbside last night and curled up on the sofa to chuckle at the news item on TV about Swansea University students who are having to have their graduation ceremony in a tent because of the strike.

As those of you who were due to have waste collected today will have noticed, the bin men never did come - and those due collections tomorrow will also miss out.

In a fit of bin-rage I hatched an ingenious plan to drive my uncollected refuse to the heart of Sutton officialdom and unceremoniously tip the contents onto the floor of the Town Hall shouting 'This is what I think of your waste collection!'.

But that will never happen. So instead I'll content myself with the advice posted belatedly on Sutton Council's website.

It's just a shame that Sutton Council didn't have the courtesy to give residents a bit of advanced notice. Ah well. Next time, eh?

Saturday, 12 July 2008

I hope you like jamming too?

It was the 'Take Part Take Pride' Worcester Park guided walk this morning - a decent turnout of local residents made the most of the break in the recent monsoon rains to stretch their legs and learn more about the history of Worcester Park. Accompanied by a first aider in uniform - you can never be too healthy or too safe, I guess.

It appears that those on foot are about the only ones in Worcester Park that are actually getting anywhere fast.

Last weekend I was somewhat scpetical (most unlike me) that the new yellow box junctions that have been slapped on certain parts of Central Road would make any difference to the problems of traffic gridlock.

If the experience of the past five days is anything to go by, they certainly have. Traffic is a lot worse.

I thought perhaps it was all in my imagination, but as I commute home along the Malden Road (from North Cheam into Worcester Park) the traffic queuing to crawl down Central Road has definitely lengthened.

Blog reader 'Amskar' has noticed a recent change too:

"This last week it seems to have become much worse than usual. Even on Sunday afternoon there were huge queues. It really has become unacceptable and unnecessary. "

Whilst I'm sticking with the 'yellow box' argument, Amskar thinks our old friends the traffic lights may be to blame:

"I suspect that Kingston Council have changed the timing on the lights at Worcester Park Station because I counted that it only stays green for about 10 seconds (enough time for just 5 vehicles to pass through) before stopping to allow one or two vehicles out of the Avenue.

It seems ludicrous that 200 or more vehicles (including buses) are held up for a handful of cars exiting The Avenue. It seems that nobody is prepared to tackle this problem, simply by changing the timing on these lights and giving at least one minute for the main road thereby allowing more than a few vehicles through.

If this continues I can see buses being rerouted away from Worcester Park to avoid this madness."

The good news it that TFL have allocated resources to change the traffic light phasing in Worcester Park.

The various sets of traffic lights in the Central Road/Malden Road area section will all be linked which, TFL promise, will smooth the flow of traffic through Worcester Park.

Oh, and we only have to wait until January 2009 for this to be done.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

UFO, no?

The local Guardian have reported this as well, but a couple of blog readers have e-mailed me with their first-hand sighting of these strange lights that appeared in the sky over Worcester Park on Sunday night, including this from Anne:

"I wonder if you or any of your readers saw the strange lights bouncing around in the sky above Worcester Park, from about midnight to 1am Sunday night.

It would be wonderful if they were UFOs - that would really help put Worcester Park on the map - but I'm sure there's a much more mundane explanation.

There were three balls of light, quite ghostly looking, high in the clouds, each circulating in its own orbit, but coming together every so often to bounce off each other. It was quite intriguing to watch."

Did you anything? Eye witness accounts (and photos, of course) all welcome!
We wondered if it was a laser show, though there were no visible upward beams visible linking them to the ground.

Someone else said perhaps it was ball lightening, but the movement seemed a bit too regular.

Anyway, if anyone can cast any light on these lights, so to speak, I'd be grateful, I'm curious to know what or who caused them.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Your KT4..

July's edition of Worcester Park Life magazine is out now with even more content than before (and more local advertisers coming on board, which is great to see).

Those of you who don't receive a copy through your letterbox can pick one up at Waitrose, CAZBAR, Mr Ink, John James One Stop Party Shop and other distribution points in Worcester Park.

And of course you'll be turning to page 40 for the monthly musings from the Worcester Park Blogger - so a warm welcome to Worcester Park Life readers finding this blog for the first time.

Why not add your comments to the talking points in July's edition of the magazine:

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Boxing Clever?


If you've ventured onto Central Road this weekend you'll no doubt have noticed these box junctions that have appeared by some of the feeder roads.

If early indications are anything to go by, this latest answer to the gridlock is going to be roundly ignored.

As I observed for a few minutes yesterday at the double-box junction conundrum that has appeared opposite Iceland and the Halifax, most drivers seemed oblivious to the new yellow markings and carried on obstructing them as normal.

The occasional driver seemed to heed then, whilst others took advantage of the central gap between the two boxes and drew to a halt in the middle of the road instead.

Looks like Monday's rush hour is going to be interesting.

I, for one, understand the basics of box junctions (don't enter until your exit is clear, unless you are waiting to turn right and are prevented from doing so by oncoming traffic) but quite how these are going to work is beyond me.

Are they meant to help traffic get off the feeder roads and onto Central Road? Or are they meant to prevent traffic coming off the feeder roads from blocking Central Road when making a right turn?

I am most confused.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Guestbook

Sign the Worcester Park Blog's Guestbook. Leave some pithy comment or general platitude. Better still, tell everyone how wonderful the blog is.

I thank you.

PUBLIC ENQUIRY: The Hamptons


I was so desperately hoping to move this blog away from The Hamptons - we managed it briefly with a run of meat-related jokes and brief excitement over a brothel in Worcester Park, but matters must now return to our New England friends as a 'Public Enquiry' has been announced into the issue of further expansion of The Hamptons.

Back in December last year, St James Homes (developers of The Hamptons) had their planning permission for the final phase of The Hamptons rejected.

The reasons for refusal were:
  • The effect on road traffic and parking

  • Noise pollution from the wind turbines

  • Further strain on local services (schools, doctors' surgeries etc).

As expected, St James have now lodged an appeal against the rejection of their planning application. The fight is on - it is up to the people of Worcester Park once again to voice their opinions and ensure that the eminently sensible decision of the local planners is not allowed to be overturned.

By way of reminder, what we are fighting against here is the building of:

  • Thirty two 3-bedroomed and twenty six 4-bedroomed terraced houses

  • Eight 3-bedroomed and twenty 4-bedroomed semi-detached houses

  • Eight 4-bedroomed and two 5-bedroomed detached houses

  • Twenty nine 1-bedroomed, fifty seven 2-bedroomed and two 2/3-bedroomed flat

  • Garages, surface and basement car parking, cycle and refuse facilities

Or, in other words, 184 more dwellings.

As fun as the jibes about The Hamptons residents have been, and as much as we have all enjoyed the war of words between the two camps this is about a very serious threat to the infrastructure and local services of Worcester Park.

If you think we can handle yet more traffic on Central Road then by all means allow this to go through unnopposed.

If you are happy that the local schools and doctors surgeries can cope with 184 more dwellings then you can put your feet up and relax.

To all those who share my horror at the prospect of yet more development in the area, I propose that 'Round 2' against St James has now well and truly begun!

Are you ready for the fight? Click on the scanned letter at the top of this blog posting for more details on how you can add your voice to the appeal.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Location Location Location

Whilst millions of us were watching Nadal make Murray mince out of England's favourite Scotsman on Centre Court, only a handful were watching Location Location Location on Channel 4.

Thankfully one of that handful has been in touch to point out that this was the episode featuring Worcester Park - filmed back in the good old days when our houses were earning more than we were.

Kirsty described WP as having "Good train links, good schools and a fantastic high street" whilst Phil said "As an area it's quite exciting".

Quite exciting? Quite?? It's terribly exciting. He clearly doesn't read this blog.



Those of you who missed it have 7 days (and counting) to catch it here. But be warned, it does contain a brief shot of The Huntsmans Hall and footage of New Malden which some viewers may find distressing.

In the meantime a once serious posting of mine has degenerated into an exchange of terrible meat/butcher related jokes - such as:

"I went into the butchers and asked if he kept dripping. He said yes it's really embarrassing!!"

Feel free to add your own meat jokes here.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Scissor Sisters

I did quite well on my ongoing 'shop local' mission over the weekend.

I popped in to Kim's, the new(ish) barbers in Central Road. The whole thing happened so fast I had to check my reflection in the window on the way out just to make sure that I had actually had my hair cut. Super fast scissorship, Kim.

Then to accompany an impromptu BBQ I called in for some tabbouleh (Lebanese salad to you and me) and other assorted oddments from Ryan Gate. The normally fail safe tactics of pointing to the menu never quite seems to work there and communication invetiably breaks down resulting in me leaving confused and clutching some random items from the menu at a equally unfathomable prices. Perhaps I was supposed to haggle? Still, all part of the lucky dip of shopping Ryan Gate style.

Then it all went horribly wrong on Sunday. I did something that I am deeply ashamed of. I know I shouldn't have, but the temptation was there and in a moment of weakness I succumbed. I now feel dirty, used and thoroughly disgusted with myself.

Yes, I went into KFC. But I didn't inhale. I stood patiently in the queue, dodging the screaming toddlers running amok. The stench of dripping fat was overwhelming - and that was just from the obese woman in front of me.

After two minutes in the queue, as the disfunctional family unit ahead of me waddled off clutching their Bargain Buckets and another serving of brown greasy battery-chicken-remains was dredged from the depths of the deep fat frier I came to my senses and legged it back into the fresh air of Worcester Park.

Am I forgiven?