Thursday, 31 December 2009

It's An Honour

Congratulations to Worcester Park resident Michael Orbell who has been made an MBE in the Queen's New Year's Honours List.

Mr Orbell (pictured) who is currently leader of the 9th Wimbledon Scout Group was given the honour in recognition of his services to the Scouts in Wimbledon and Merton.

Hair We Go Again...

Hooorah! Just as I rumoured at the beginning of this month, Worcester Park's thirteenth hair dressing establishment, Klass, is now officially open for business (next to Classic Wok, in the old 'Voltz' shop unit).

To celebrate this landmark achievement, Worcester Park's pubs and bars will be staying open well past midnight tonight and will be packed to the rafters with revellers.

Perhaps I should start taking bets on how many more coiffeurs we can cram into Central Road in 2010?

Berties Reopening!

As I correctly predicted at the beginning of this week, Berties Cafe is to shortly due to reopen. They are also advertising for staff, which is great news for local job hunters and a really positive end to what has been a desperately difficult and depressing 2009 for Worcester Park's traders and retailers.

As I understand it they are going to be reopening 'as is' but will be under new management. The  look and feel will remain exactly the same as the old Berties but whether they will continue to serve the best Full English breakfast remains to be seen - suffice to say I shall be first in the queue to try it out.

2009 In Review

So 2009 draws to a close, and what a year it's been. Thank you all for your comments and e-mails throughout the year.

As we prepare to welcome in 2010, it only remains for me to wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year - and I shall leave you quick look back at events in Worcester Park in 2009.

Happy New Year!

January: As the New Year started everything was closing down - Silks finished and The Hunstmans Hall remained closed - but at least those pointless yellow box junctions made a welcome disappearance. Some residents were up in arms about alleys were being closed, as was Cameo Office Supplies.

February: Snow fell in Worcester Park - everyone enjoyed it, until Waitrose started running out of supplies.

March: More closures in Worcester Park - Gosletts attracted a crowd as they closed down. Meanwhile The Hamptons Public Enquiry got underway and the great hairdresser invasion of Worcester Park was underway. It was goodbye Huntsmans Hall and hello Midas Touch.

April: Wahoo! Another hairdresser. Some of us celebrated 'St Gorges Day' as I set you to work describing Worcester Park in three words.

May: Some of use were freaked out by a scare craft meanwhile... Wahoo!! Yet another hairdresser. I challenged you to say only nice things about Worcester Park as Waitrose wished me a Merry Christmas.

June: There was a byelection in Nonusch Ward - there was a blaze in Lindsay Road, but the real hot topic of the month was the BNP byelection candidate

July: 'Walk, Cycle, Reward' launched in Worcester Park, CAZBAR was only half the place is used to be.  Everyone came over all nostalgic as I mourned the end of the best cafe in Worcester Park (well, in my opinion). Meanwhile there was no shortage of ideas for the type of restaurant you wanted to open in Central Road (shame we ended up with yet another Italian).

August: You got all hot under the collar over road resurfacing, a nasty accident closed Central Road for several hours and a few residents of Worcester Park saw the light.

September: The great clean-up of Worcester Park station got underway and the Public Enquiry into expansion of The Hamptons ended with the green light being given to further development. We explored the lost world of Worcester Park House and I was left bereft as Ryan Gate closed for a two week refurbishment (which ended up lasting three months).

October: Construction began on your fantasy Central Road which certainly did not feature yet another Italian restaurant opening. Worcester Park's covert notice board was unveiled and I rather foolishly bought something from North Cheam

November: Plans for the invasion of Old Malden gathered pace, Worcester Park paused to remember. Caffe Piccolo went into liquidation, Sutton Council got in touch over the empty notice board fiasco and you reported your ghostly sightings in Worcester Park.

December: Graffiti caught everyone's imagination, Ryan Gate finally re-opened (remarkably unchanged despite three months of refurbishment works). The Worcester Park Traders Christmas Late Night got underway  - a lot of people enjoyed it, but it seemed many blog readers weren't impressed. At least the residents of Leyfield were on hand to bring us some much needed festive cheer.

Monday, 28 December 2009

Dr Bowen-Perkins

Some sad news at Christmas, courtesy of one of my blog readers:

"Dr. Bowen-Perkins (retired) aged 86. passed peacefully away in his sleep on Tuesday 22nd December. He had been a GP in Worcester Park for over 50 years, first on the Malden Road and then moving to Shadbolt Park until his retirement.

He was one of the old school of Doctors who would sit and talk over your problems and visit you at home when he was in practice. My mother was taken ill at one time and he even rang the next day to see if she was any better, he was a very kind and caring man and I first met him in 1960.

He will be sadly missed and was expecting his first great grandchild on the 29th December which he was looking forward to but now will never see.

I'm sure there are many people in Worcester Park who will remember him."

Anyone Notice?

What became of our beloved community notice boards? Well they are both now up and running, although more up than running if the truth be told.

The Worcester Park notice board, which is conveniently tucked out of site on the side wall of Pizza Express, contains nothing except for Sutton Council notices and publicity. Meanwhile the North Cheam notice board has already had one of its perspex panels pushed in, whilst the other panel is already scratched, obscuring the majority of the Sutton Council notices which adorn it.

Hardly good value for the £800 a piece that these items cost us.

Meanwhile as I continue to bemoan the fact there there is nowhere in Worcester Park serving a decent full English breakfast, blog sources tell me that there could soon be a reopening (of some sort) in the 'Berties' cafe unit on Central Road. Fingers crossed!

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Happy Christmas Worcester Park!

NORAD's Santa Tracker isn't quite advanced enough to give us a precise time of when the great man himself will be making it to KT4 but I think to be on the safe side the children of Worcester Park should make sure they are tucked up in bed by 10pm at the very latest (9pm, by law, if you are in The Hamptons social housing).

For those of you wanting to indulge your religious side, you can find details of midnight masses and other Worcester Park Christmas church services here - and for those of you planning to overindulge in other ways there are handy details of chemists near Worcester Park open on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

May I take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy, safe and enjoyable Christmas.

I shall leave you with some pictures from Worcester Park's most festive street, Leyfield.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Grit Or Determination?

There have been a few comments on the blog about the lack of grit on the pavements of Worcester Park.

Thankfully the worst of the treacherous ice appears to have melted away today but I did notice on my travels that the Kingston Borough side of Worcester Park has pavements liberally sprinkled with rock salt whilst the Sutton Borough side seems to have none.

Very much a tale of two boroughs.

Monday, 21 December 2009

A Mini Adventure?

I had a few hits on the blog over the weekend from people looking for information on 'Worcester Park police car chase'.

Today The Brinkster is also reporting on his blog that there was some speedway action involving a Mini Cooper (boo hiss) and police cars (hooray) in Worcester Park on Saturday night.

Did you witness any of the action?

Sheppard Spy

Eric Sheppard is looking for information on a descendant and wonders if the readers of The Worcester Park Blog can help:
"A family member Alfred Charles Sheppard was living at 28 St Philip’s Avenue, Worcester Park in 1915 and I was wondering if anyone in the area knows of the family?"

If you can help Eric with his search for information, contact the blog (e-mail address is at the top of the page) and I will pass your information on.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Worcester Park Christmas Info

Waitrose Worcester Park Christmas / New Year opening times

Christmas Eve - 08.00 - 17.00
Christmas Day - CLOSED
Boxing Day - CLOSED
Sunday 27th December - 10.00 - 16.00
Monday 28th December - 09.00 - 18.00
Tuesday 29th December - 08.00 - 19.00
Wednesday 30th December - 08.30 - 20.00
New Year's Eve - 08.00 - 18.00
New Year's Day - Closed
Saturday 2nd January - 08.30 - 19.00

Sainsbury's Local - Worcester Park. Christmas / New Year opening hours

Tue 22nd Dec 0700 - 2200
Wed 23rd Dec 0700 - 2200
Christmas Eve 0700 - 2100
Christmas Day Closed - Closed
Boxing Day 0800 - 2100
Sun 27th Dec 0700 - 2200
Bank Holiday 0700 - 2200
Tue 29th Dec 0700 - 2200
Wed 30th Dec 0700 - 2200
New Years Eve 0700 - 2100
New Years Day 0800 - 2100

Christmas/New Year rubbish collection days:
Revised times for Sutton Council's collection of brown refuse wheelie bins and green recycling bins in Worcester Park:
Normal collection day
Revised collection day
Mon.  21  December  09
Sat.     19 December 09
Tues. 22 December  09
Mon.    21December 09
Wed.  23  December 09
Tues.  22 December  09
Thurs. 24  December 09
Wed.   23 December  09
Fri.     25  December 09
Thurs. 24 December  09
Mon.  28  December 09
     No Change
Tues. 29 December  09
     No Change
Wed. 30 December  09
     No Change
Thurs. 31 December  09
     No Change
Fri. 1 Jan 2010
Sat. 2 Jan 2010

Kingston Borough residents- revised rubbish and recycling collection days in Worcester Park:

Usual Collection Day  

Revised Collection Day  

Friday 25 December 2009

Monday 28 December 2009

Monday 28 December 2009

Tuesday 29 December 2009

Tuesday 29 December 2009

Wednesday 30 December 2009

Wednesday 30 December 2009

Thursday 31 December 2009

Thursday 31 December 2009

Saturday 2 January 2010

Friday 1 January 2010

Monday 4 January 2010

Monday 4 January 2010

Tuesday 5 January

Tuesday 5 January 2010

Wednesday 6 January 2010

Wednesday 6 January 2010

Thursday 7 January 2010

Thursday 7 January 2010

Friday 8 January 2010

Friday 8 January 2010

Saturday 9 January 2010

 Pharmacy Rota - Christmas Opening Times for chemists near Worcester Park
Christmas Day 25 Dec 2009:
D. Parry Pharmacy
124 Arthur Road
Wimbledon Park

11.00am – 12.00pm
Rosehill Pharmacy
28 The Market
Wrythe Lane

11.00am – 12.00pm
Gaiger Chemist
Unit 12, 303 High St

11.00am – 12.00pm
Lloyds Pharmacy
37 Woodcote Road

11.00am – 12.00pm
Hilton Pharmacy
360 Grand Drive
Raynes Park

Merton &
11.00am – 12.00pm
Victoria Chemist
524 London Road
North Cheam


11.00am – 12.00pm
Barkers Chemist
100 Hour Pharmacy
16 Lambton Road

Raynes Park
8.30am – 11.00pm
Sutton & Merton OOH
28 The Market
Wrythe Lane 
10.00am – 10.00pm

Boxing Day, Monday 28 December 2009:

Ridgway Pharmacy
65 Ridgway
Wimbledon Common

11.00am – 12.00pm
MPS Pharmacy
46 The Market
Green Wrythe Lane

11.00am – 12.00pm
Cooper & Co
3 Grove Road

11.00am – 12.00pm
Day Lewis Pharmacy
Roundshaw Centre

11.00am – 12.00pm
Day Lewis Pharmacy
12a Abbey Parade
Merton High Street
Merton &
11.00am – 12.00pm
Imperial Pharmacy
139 Epsom Road ,Sutton

11.00am – 12.00pm
Barkers Chemist
100 Hour Pharmacy
16 Lambton Road
Raynes Park

Raynes Park
8.30am – 11.00pm
Sutton & Merton OOH
28 The Market
Wrythe Lane

10.00am – 10.00pm

New Years Day, 1 January 2010:

T James Chemist
385 Durnsford Road
Wimbledon Park

11.00am – 12.00pm
Beeches Pharmacy
2b Beeches Avenue

11.00am – 12.00pm
Your Local Boots
109 High Street

11.00am – 12.00pm
Lloyds Pharmacy
37 Woodcote Road

Merton &
11.00am – 12.00pm
Jeskap Pharmacy
43 St Helier Avenue

11.00am – 12.00pm
Sainsbury's In Store
566 London Road
North Cheam

11.00am – 12.00pm
Barkers Chemist
100 Hour Pharmacy
16 Lambton Road
Raynes Park

Raynes Park
8.30am – 11.00pm
Sutton & Merton OOH
28 The Market
Wrythe Lane
10.00am – 10.00pm

Worcester Park Baptist Church:
Christmas Day: Family Service 9.30am - 10.15am

St Matthias Roman Catholic Church:
Christmas Eve:
Children's Mass 4.00pm
Mass 7.00pm (carols)
Midnight Mass 10.00pm

Christmas Day:
Quiet Mass 7.30am
Mass 9.30am (carols)
Mass 11.15am (carols)
No evening mass

Christ Church with St Philip:
Christmas Eve:
Blessing Of The Crib for Children 4.00pm & 5.30pm
Carols By Candlelight 8.00pm
Midnight Communion 11.30pm

Christmas Day:
Holy Communion 8.00am
Family Sercice with Holy Communion 10.00am

St Mary The Virgin, Cuddington:
Christmas Eve:
Christingle Service 3.00pm
Christingle Service 5.00pm
Midnight Communion 11.30pm

Christmas Day:
Family Service, Holy Communion 10.00am

St John The Baptist Church, Old Malden:
Christmas Eve:
Christmas Crib Service 3.30pm
Midnight Eucharist 11.30pm

Christmas Day:
Christmas Said Eucharist 8.00am
Christmas Sung Eucharist 9.45am

Panic Buying

Panic seems to be the best seller in Waitrose at the moment - everyone is out buying it.

Of course the shops do shut for a whole two days over Christmas (although thank goodness for Ryan Gate which is always on hand for those who run out of olives or humous).

Do take care on the pavements  - the ice is treacherous in places, not helped by some shopkeepers who wash their floors at closing time and sweep the waste water out onto the freezing pavements. See above.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Trade Critical

It has been disappointing to read the negative reaction to this year's Christmas Late Night. From what I saw there were plenty of people enjoying themselves, so I trust and hope that those who felt disappointed by the evening's offerings are in the vocal minority.

The evening did succeed, at least, in bringing larger crowds into Worcester Park - the rides and stalls were, after all, merely a sideshow to the 'main event' which was to encourage more people to shop locally and support their local traders in these troubled economic times.

Yet whilst such events can bring the people to Worcester Park, I am left wondering if our local traders have been doing enough to help themselves.

Worcester Park is, of course, no Oxford Street. Nor is it even on a par with other larger local shopping towns, but that is no reason why our local traders cannot grab a small slice of the festive spending boom.

Whatever you may have thought of the rides and stalls last Friday night, did the local traders make any impact on you? If they were doing anything to drum up some business it certainly passed me by.

Perhaps there were exceptions, but from what I observed the local traders failed spectacularly to take advantage of the crowds and the attention to promote themselves and bring in some more trade.

Ironically in these commercial times, it was the charity shops who did the best - with tables outside their shops or raffles/promotions inside they tapped into the sense of occasion.

From our local traders, however, there was nothing and instead of being at the heart of the event they reduced themselves to being a mere backdrop to everything else that was going on. With a captive audience, a little creativity and imagination would have paid dividends, but where were the incentives for us to shop locally? Where were the 'struggling' local restaurateurs drumming up some much-needed extra trade?

Those who have criticised last Friday's event are entitled to their valid opinions. If the event is to succeed in future, however, it needs to be the product of more than one person's hard work. To succeed and meet its real purpose it needs the traders of Worcester Park to buy into it - to engage with the evening and do more than simply adjust their opening hours, to seize the opportunity and do a little more to help themselves.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Late Night Last Night

Relive the fun and festivities at Friday night's Worcester Park Traders' Association Christmas Late Night in the Worcester Park Blog's photo slideshow, above.

I hope you all enjoyed yourselves?

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Park Life

Blog reader Matt has sent me these pictures of filming activity taking place at the historic Nonsuch Mansion last week. As you may have read on The Brinkster's blog earlier this year the interior of the mansion has recently been rennovated making the local venue of choice for for weddings as well as an increasingly popular TV and film location.

The filming that Matt's pictures show was for an advertisement for a high street retailer - you will also be able to catch scenes filmed inside Nonsuch Mansion in the forthcoming film 'From Time To Time', starring Dame Maggie Smith and Dominic West in cinemas next year...

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Pond Life

If you've been keeping an eye on the Waitrose green tokens for local charities recently you may have spotted one of the slots raising funds for the restoration Shadbolt Park Pond (there is a map is at the bottom of this blog post, if you're not familiar with where Shadbolt Park is).

Blog reader Andrew B (not to be confused with the other Andrew B who supplied Wednesday's rat story) has alerted me to the fact that a Public Meeting about the proposed restoration of the pond will be taking place at 11am this coming Sunday (13th December) at the Health Centre in Shadbolt Park (Salisbury Road).

Full details are on the photo of the notice below, which Andrew also kindly sent in.

View Larger Map

Friday, 11 December 2009

Let The Festivities Begin!

Stallholders have been busy all afternoon setting up tonight's entertainment, so wrap up warm and enjoy the festivities and do remember to support your local traders this year and make Christmas for Worcester Park's hard working shopkeepers, publicans and restaurant owners that little bit merrier.

A warm welcome too to those of you who are finding the Worcester Park Blog for the very first time - you'll find everything there is to be written about Worcester Park here, and more besides. If you're feeling particularly brave, hit the 'random post' link to your right and plunge yourself headlong into the archives of the Worcester Park Blog.

Now, where did I put my hat and gloves...

Tonight's The Night!

There is a distinct Christmassy chill in the air but thankfully the rain is going to hold off so it looks like perfect conditions for Worcester Park's Christmas Late Night event tonight.

Come a long and join in the fun for all the family, with funfair rides and stalls along Central Road and a good sprinkling of festive bands and choirs to add to the atmosphere.

Most importantly of all, a number of Worcester Park's local traders will be staying open late to give you that extra chance to do your Christmas shopping.

The following local traders are official supporters and sponsors of the Christmas Late Night. Without their funding and support the event would not be possible - so make sure you are especially good customers at:

  • One Stop Party Shop
  • Ross Fruiterers
  • John James
  • Broadway Bargains
  • Hendys Jewellers
  • Dawson Aerials
  • Cycle Power
  • St Raphael's
  • Kingfish
  • Costa
  • Central Plumbing
  • Zeus Menswear
  • Casuals
  • Sole 2 Sole
  • Woodfall Opticians
  • Mr Ink
  • Connor Prince
Wrap up warm and enjoy. I shall see you there!

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Comb Again

Disturbing reports are reaching the Worcester Park Blog that Central Road may soon be home to yet another hairdressers.

We have, at last count, 12 hairdressing establishments in Worcester Park. Could it really be that we are to be unlucky enough to get a thirteenth?

If the trend continues, by the end of 2010 almost every shop in Worcester Park will be offering some kind of hairdressing service in a bid to stay in business and cement the town's reputation as the hairdressing capital of the South (except for Dual Tools, which will instead be hiring out industrial shears for DIY haircuts).

Surrey Nefis will be in on the act too - employing the same chap who slices the strips from the giant revolving kebab meat (I think it would work if the barbers' chair was revolving at the correct speed).

You know it makes sense.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Rat Bags!

I can't believe it's been nearly two years since the last Worcester Park rat-related story. Thankfully blog reader Andrew B (not to be confused all the other Andrews who comment on the blog) has come to our rescue with this rat tail tale.

"While speedwalking along Donnington Road last week an elderly gentleman with a shopping bag crossed the quiet road from my left. As he reached the middle of the road (partly hidden from my view by a parked car) there occurred an out-of-the-blue commotion;

"Squeak squeak squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeak squeak squeak !" and then "get out of it, go on get out of it!" accompanied by frantic flapping of the shopping bag.

Unbelievably, he revealed, a rat had actually "gone for him". He felt it should have been the other way around and had not seen a rat in that road before. I think he was only was the old man!

My return journey half an hour later showed "ratty" happily mooching through gutter debris under the same parked car. I didn't get too close ! So, be on the lookout for rampant rats fellow residents."

If things carry on like this we'll have to call in Rentokil. Or Gino D'Acampo.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Gate'ing Ready?

I have it on good authority that Ryan Gate is, finally, set to re-open very soon.

Having peered through the shutters last night (I've had to re-type that, as I missed the 'r' out of peered - which would have landed me in all sorts of trouble) it's hard to see what has actually changed.

I wouldn't put it past Ryan Gate to have spent three months transforming the shop without actually changing anything - all part of its quirky charm. No doubt when it does open, all will be revealed.

I shall be first in the queue for my lamb schawarma (if it's still on the menu).

Monday, 7 December 2009

Coming To Town

You better watch out, you better not cry, better not pout I'm telling you why - Father Christmas and his merry band of helpers from Nonsuch Rotary will be the touring streets of Worcester Park and the surrounding areas on the following evenings:

■ Monday 7 Dec – Starting at Woodlands Rd, Worcester Park

■ Tuesday 8 – Starting at Sparrow Farm Rd, Stoneleigh

■ Thursday 10 – Starting at Langley Rd N. Cheam

■ Friday 11 – Starting at Lumley Rd , Cheam Village

■ Monday 14 – Starting at Palmer Ave N. Cheam

■ Tuesday 15 – Starting at Esher Rd, N. Cheam

■ Thursday 17 – Starting at Green Lane, Worcester Park

Father Christmas will also be outside Sainsbury’s North Cheam on Saturday 12th and 13th December and at Tescos Cheam Park Farm on Friday 18th, Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th December.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

We Wish You A Scary Christmas

I do love the Seasonal Shop - it's one of the festive highlights of Central Road and I challenge anyone not to to be transported back, for a moment at least, to their childhood at the sight of their Christmas display.

Blog reader Lizzie, however, was perplexed by this rather disturbing inflatable outside the smaller of the two Seasonal Shops - so much so that the took a snap of the offending item.

I suspect that whoever designed this decoration intended it to be a giant snowball adorned with various festive characters.

Instead they have created a demonic snow monster which is slowly ingesting some hapless Christmas creatures. Either that or they are emerging Alien-like from its frosty bowels. I can't decide which.

Lizzie explained:

"I took this picture and sent it to various friends and relations. The general consensus was ''weird, even by Worcester Park standards.' '' I thought it was just me.

Probably eaten by something even bigger than an 7ft Father Christmas and reindeer-eating snowman. There was a half eaten penguin sticking out of its other side."

I'm pleased to report that the scary inflatable is no longer outside the Seasonal Shop, so it is safe to take your children there without scarring them for life.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Support Your Local Traders!

There is just one week to go now until Central Road comes alive for the Worcester Park Traders' Association Christmas Late Night (Friday 11th December, from 6pm).

As well as the usual array of stalls, games, funfair rides and music along Central Road, many of your local traders will be staying open late for your late night shopping needs.

The evening's entertainment would not be possible without the involvement of Worcester Park's local businesses. The following are sponsors of this year's event - local traders who are actively supporting the event. In return I hope you, as Worcester Park residents, will show them your support and give them your custom. Without them, Worcester Park would not be the place it is:
  • One Stop Party Shop
  • Ross Fruiterers
  • John James
  • Broadway Bargains
  • Hendys Jewellers
  • Dawson Aerials
  • Cycle Power
  • St Raphaels
  • Kingfish
  • Costa
  • Central Plumbing
  • Zeus Menswear
  • Casuals
  • Sole 2 Sole

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Graffiti, My Arts

After his recent blog comment, BenjyP has e-mailed me this photo of graffiti on the wall along 'Pigs Alley' (which runs from Green Lane, past the back of The Hamptons and over to Trafalgar Avenue).

There is, of course, a whole debate to be had about when graffiti stops being graffiti and starts being art. Or perhaps this is just artistic graffiti?

Then, as I was admiring the photograph, Mrs WP interjected to muddy the waters further;

"Nice. Very talented." she observed. "Shame - it will probably just be graffitied over soon...'

10 Days Of Christmas

With just ten days to go until the big event, posters advertising the Worcester Park Traders' Association Christmas Late Night have gone up in the shop windows of Central Road - complete with Worcester Park Blog logo and web address, so a warm welcome to any new blog readers.

If you haven't made it along to the Christmas late night before, you can see a selection of pictures and read the comments of those who went to last year's event here.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Top Talking Points

Recent hot topics of conversation on the Worcester Park Blog....

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Fair Comment

If, like me, you didn't make it to the 4th Worcester Park Christmas fair you can revel in the joy of the occasion courtesy of this blog post by Ian James Ward.

You will notice that the blog post is entitled 'Worcester Park - Part 1', thereby promisting/threatening a Part 2. I wait with bated breath.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Power Trip

Hopefully you will have slept blissfully through the mini power cuts in Worcester Park area in the wee small hours and were not woken by the pitiful bleeping of phones and other gadgets every time the power went off.

We seem to have had a few small power outages in KT4 recently - of course nothing to rival the 'great blackout' of November 2007 which is still the stuff of Worcester Park legend.

Now I to spend the rest of my Saturday figuring out how to set the clock on the microwave.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Bad Tidings

With a flurry of festive fundraising events being held over the next few weeks, charities and community organisations are being warned to be on the look-out for fake bank notes which are being circulated in the Worcester Park area.

'Minigee' told the Worcester Park Blog:

"The 5th Worcester Park Guides found four fake £20 notes amongst their takings the other weekend, and were advised by the bank and the local police that fraudsters are targeting small, local, charitable events, such as Christmas Fairs as it is easier to pass fake notes at such events."

So organisers and stallholders, please check any £20 notes that come your way. Advice on how to check authenticity of £20 notes is available on the Bank Of England's website.

Fair Competition

It's 'Christmas Fair' time, and if you're in Worcester Park this Saturday you will be well and truly spoiled for choice.

The 4th Worcester Park Scout Group is holding their annual Christmas Fair from 12.00 – 3.00pm on Saturday (28 November) at their HQ in Balmoral Road. Meet Father Christmas, buy a ticket for the Grand Draw to see if you can win an iPod Touch or a digital camera, buy something on the ‘Good As New’ stall, or try out the Chocolate Fountain and ‘Find the Wine’. Admission is 50p for adults, children free.

St Cecilia's School on London Road are also holding their Christmas fair on Saturday from 1-4pm, and the Royal British Legion are holding their event from 11am at their premises on Central Road.

Finally for this Saturday, Linden Bridge School on Grafton Road, Worcester Park are holding their Christmas Fair from Noon to 3pm.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Christmas Watch

Christmas is officially one month away. The adverts may have started infecting our televisions sometime back in September, but surely nobody would put up over the top Christmas lights and inflatable Santas before we've seen the back of November?

Judging by previous years, I would't be so sure.

Which is why I am now officially on the look-out for distastefully early Christmas decorations springing up in Worcester Park.

Keep'em'peeled and let me know if you spot any before I do.

Monday, 23 November 2009

A Painful Loss

Let's hope the tumbling letter didn't fall on the head of a passer by - otherwise it really would have been 'The Midas Ouch'.

They are, of course, merely following an established local trend.

In the meantime, let's all be neighbourly and pop round to ask if they want to borrow some T.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Least Haunted

Are there any ghostly goings on in Worcester Park, asks blog reader Jeff? He writes:

"Christmas isn't Christmas without a really good ghost story is it? And ghosts are one thing that Worcester Park simply doesn't seem to have. I've lived here for nearly 40 years and haven't heard so much as a whisper about ghoulish goings on.

No haunted houses. No headless highwaymen frequenting dark woodland copses. No eerie sounds of battle in the Avenue where Roundheads once clashed with Cavaliers. Can any south London suburb expect to be taken seriously if it hasn't a ghost or two? So please prove me wrong, are there any Worcester Parkers with a ghostly tale to tell. Is there anybody there?"

Now as far as I'm aware, there haven't been any reports of ghostly goings on in Worcester Park (you would have thought we'd be in with a chance, given our connections to Henry VIII.

Perhaps you know of some seriously spooky happenings in Worcester Park?

Friday, 20 November 2009

Taking Notice

It's good to know that the Worcester Park Blog reaches the parts that others cannot. My blog post on Monday about the empty notice board fiasco has spurred Sutton Council to get in touch with me with news of progress (at last) and an appeal for blog readers' help.

From next week, Worcester Park Library will be holding the keys to the notice board. Anybody with a community notice to post in the board can take it to the library where it will be checked and, if suitable, allowed on to the notice board.

Sutton Council has also extended the invitation to any Worcester Park Blog readers who want to help by acting as additional keyholders for the boards in Worcester Park or North Cheam, to act as a point of contact for getting notices onto the board and checking that notices are up to date and appropriate.

Anyone interested should contact Mark Dalzell, Locality Lead Officer at Sutton Council on 0208 770 5070.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Charity Begins At Home

The Worcester Park Traders Association's Christmas Late Night takes place on Friday 11th December in Central Road.

It's not just about supporting and promoting local traders, though. To give the even a real 'community spirit', organise Terry Dobbs is this year extending an invitation to any local charities, voluntary organisations, choirs etc. who want to get involved, by setting up a fundraising stand, singing, or doing anything to promot and raise money for their organisation.

The Christmas Late Night is the community event of the year, and a perfect place to showcase your charity/organisation and raise some funds to boot.

For more information contact Terry Dobbs at One Stop Party Shop (148 Central Road - 0208 337 6007)

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Ryan Tonight!

OK, well maybe not tonight but it looks as if the protracted refurb/refit/reinvention of Ryan Gate may finally be nearing its conclusion.

The refit has been limping on since the beginning of October - although they are zooming ahead of 'More Than Lofts' who show little sign of being open in time for Christmas (2010).

Whilst I am on the subject of my Central Road favourites, Bombay Masala is now under new management. They have kept the same chef but have introduced horrific new heat-sealed plastic containers for their food.

If Satan had ever branched out into the production of take-away food packaging, he would no doubt have devised just such containers with their heat-sealed impossible-to-remove plastic film lids, which have to be cut away with a sharp knife and fished out of the curry (having invariably flopped into it).

The good news is that one the surgical procedure to remove the lids was completed, the food is every bit as perfect as it used to be.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Oh Yeah (On The Radio)

It normally broadcasts just to the patients of the Radio Marsden hospitals in Sutton and Chelsea, but for one month only Radio Marsden is on 87.7 FM across the local area as the station celebrates its 40th anniversary.

If you tune in, you can listen to Worcester Park's very own Jason Reynolds on the breakfast programme from 6am to 10am.

You can find Radio Marsden 87.7 FM throughout November, or online at

Monday, 16 November 2009

Season's Greetings

I was about to declare that the Christmas lights have gone up in Worcester Park, but that would be technically incorrect seeing that, as a cost saving measure, they stay up all year round.

So we shall instead celebrate that the Christmas lights have been switched on - there was no ceremony, no JLS and no crowd surges, but they are on nonetheless (and let us not forget that until recently Worcester Park completely lacked festive illuminations).

The main event of Christmas in Worcester Park is the Worcester Park Traders' Association Christmas Late Night, when Central Road comes alive for a great evening of fun, entertainment and shopping.

This year the event is taking place a few weeks later than normal on Friday 11th December 2009 from 6pm to 9pm.

The evening is always popular with all ages, and you can expect this year's event to be bigger and better than ever before with bands, refreshments, competitions, rides and, most importantly of all, late night shopping in your favourite Worcester Park establishments.

More details are to follow, but in the meantime be sure to put the date in your diaries or follow the event via Facebook.

Farce Fowards

Months since it was installed, the smart-looking Worcester Park Ward notice board still lies empty and unused. Indeed the whole sorry saga is now turning into the kind of farce that could only have been born of local Council bureaucracy.

It seems that the might of Sutton Council has yet to devise a system to get notices on public display. No doubt a steering committee is working on it as I type, but until then the board lies empty and attempts to get notices put on it have proven fruitless.

The Worcester Park Residents' Association, for example, tried in vain to get their recent meeting advertised on the community board.

Having failed to get through to Sutton Council's 'Communications Officer' (irony, anyone?) they resorted to the old-fashioned method of taking their notice in to the Council offices to see if that would work, but even then the notice never made it onto the board.

One might assume that the local library may be able to help - after all they are guardians of all sorts of local information and the notice board is just behind their premises. Yet even they have no idea how to get notices onto it in eventually had to resort to contacting a local Councillor for help in cracking the conundrum.

So it seems that nobody in Worcester Park has any way of getting their notices on public display.
Behind the scenes, Council officials are still to decide who will administer the notice board, who will have keys, who will vet the notices and how they will end up on there. Oh the complexities of local democracy.

Meanwhile, the notice board (funded by public realm money) remains unused. Not, of course, that many people would notice, as it has been plonked ludicrously and inconspicuously against the side wall of Pizza Express - hardly the high-profile prime location that you might assume a public notice board would be sited in.

Perhaps we should look for a more high-tech solution. Some kind of Internet based way of reporting things that are going on in Worcester Park, for example. I wonder if that would catch on....?

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Windy Worcester Park

I'm not sure whether the umbrella was there to protect from the rain or the precarious sign dangling overhead. At least the colours matched.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Auction Stations!

This Saturday (14th November), the 4th Worcester Park Scouts will be holding their bi-annual Grand Auction at their HQ in Braemar Road.

If you have any items you want to auction off, take them along to the Scout HQ at 10.30 am for listing in the auction which starts at 2.30pm. You can pick up your proceeds from the auction (or reclaim any unsold items) one the auction has ended (around 4.30pm).

Of course, if you just want to pop along to pick up a bargain then you're equally welcome! More details on the group's website.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

In A Piccolo

Caffe Piccolo has gone into liquidation and closed its restaurant in Worcester Park with immediate effect.

Given the cavernous size of the place and the pitiful numbers they managed to draw in of an evening, its closure was sadly inevitable.

Perhaps Cafe Piccolo might have survived were it not for the corporate might and heavy discounting of 'Pizza Express' across the road.

Then there was the arrival of Worcester Park's fourth Italian restaurant 'Bellini', which opened just a few days ago, threatening to dilute the market for Italian food even further.

Now we are left with yet another vacant unit - and a very hard one to fill, given it's size. Sad proof that the recession is far from over.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Swine Not

More than three weeks after the UK's swine flu vaccination programme was supposed to have commenced it appears the vaccine has yet to reach Worcester Park.

'Katie' e-mailed the Worcester Park Blog to say:

"I'm in a priority group so was due to have mine two weeks ago. When I got to the surgery they told me they hadn't got the vaccine in stock after all. They re-booked it for this week, but again I was turned away because the vaccine hadn't arrived.

I'm due to go back next week - hopefully it will be third time lucky, but it's a long wait."

Have any blog readers managed to get the vaccine yet?

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Hall Together Now

The Worcester Park Residents' Association meets this Thursday (12th November) at 7.45 pm at Christ Church with St Philip church hall.

It's your chance to keep abreast of important issues affecting Worcester Park and make your voice heard in the local community.

A bit like the blog really - except there are no pictures and they don't plot to invade neighbouring towns. And you can't make anonymous comments. Nor would they be that interested in your views of local restaurants.

OK, so it's nothing like the blog but if you care about Worcester Park then make your presence felt this Thursday evening.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Remembrance Sunday

Paul Burstow, MP for Sutton & Cheam, joined hundreds of locals this morning for the Remembrance Sunday service at St Philips Church.

The service was followed by a gathering at the Worcester Park war memorial for the traditional two minutes' silence, laying of wreaths, and the parade to the Royal British Legion premises on Central Road.

A full slideshow of photographs from today's service is available here.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Still On Location

Worcester Park got a second outing on Channel 4's 'Location Location Location' last night as the show caught up with the house-hunters who featured on the show in July last year.

Those of you who missed it last night can watch the programme on 4OD here. I shan't spoil the surprise by telling you if they moved to Worcester Park.

In other Worcester Park news, Mrs WP tells me that refurbishment works at Ryan Gate look like they have nearly been completed (although last time I peered through the shutters it looked like they'd barely started). Fingers crossed they will open again soon.

And Bellini, Worcester Park's latest Italian restaurant, opened its doors tonight. Once you have checked it out don't forget add your comments to the restaurant review page of the blog.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Worcester Park Fireworks Displays

Green Lane Primary School will be holding their annual Fireworks Display on Friday 6th November. Gates open at 5pm with the display starting around 6pm.

The event is open to the whole community, and there will be BBQ food available. Tickets are £6 for adults, £3 for children 3-16 (under 3s free) and £15 for a family of 4.

Also, the 4th Worcester Park Scouts are holding their annual display on Saturday 7th November at 7.30pm at their HQ in Braemar Road, Worcester Park.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Say Grace

First there was 'church in a pub'. Now there's 'church in a school' in the form of 'Grace Church', which held its inaugural meeting last Sunday at Green Lane Primary School.

You can find out all about them on their very swanky website.

Of course some people are still going with the old 'church in a church' concept, if that's more your thing.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Old Old Malden

I quite like Old Malden, really. I'm not exactly sure what the point of it is, but it does at least have the pretty Plough Green, the picturesque St John's Church , two decent curry houses and an annual community fair complete with morris dancing.

In fact, I think we should adopt it and make it part of Worcester Park. If they don't agree to that, we can just take it by force (preferably on a day when the morris people aren't defending it with their sticks).

Anyway, those of you into your local history may be interested to know that Kingston Borough's Chief Archivist Sue Lamb is giving a talk about 'The History Of Old Malden'.

The talk takes place on Thursday 26th Novmber at 3pm at Old Malden Library.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Blogged Up

I'm not sure what the collective noun for bloggers is. A verbosity? A prattle? A waffle?

Anyway, at the start of 2009 there were plenty of blogs about Worcester Park. One by one they have fallen by the wayside - The Worcester Park Conspiracy Theory came and went, the Worcester Park Phantom had a scarily short-lived life surpassed only by the one-hit wonder that was 'Teenage Worcester Park'.

Even the other giant of KT4 blogging, The Brinkster is taking a break from his suburban musings.

It's all getting very lonely now. There is perhaps some hope with the tentative birth of The Cheam Blog - it exists, as yet, only on Twitter but may transfer into the fully-grown blogosphere.

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Trick Or Sweet

This year I have readied myself for the arrival of 'trick or treaters' - the annual American-imported legitimisation of vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

Having decided against my elaborate trip-wire/razor blade/flour bomb deterrent (purely on the grounds of cost) I decided instead to enter into the spirit (if you'll pardon the pun) of the occasion and have stocked up on cheap sweets from Iceland to dish out should there be a knock on the door tonight.

Of course having prepared myself so well, Murphy's law is bound to apply, meaning no trick or treaters arrive at WP towers.

In which case, I can have a quiet night in AND a bag of sweets to myself.

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Eye Spy

Sutton Council has risked falling foul of the law by failing to give notification that a residential area of Worcester Park is now under CCTV surveillance.

A CCTV camera has been installed on Brinkley Road at the junction with Browning Avenue, following a request from the Metropolitan Police's Safer Neighbourhood Team.

The request follows ongoing problems with anti-social behaviour centred around the pedestrian alleyway between Browning Avenue and Heatherlea Grove (part of 'The Hamptons' development).

The Worcester Park Blog understands that the camera, installed just over a week ago, is regarded as 'temporary' and so may only be there for a few months and that footage from the camera is not being monitored live.

The installation of the camera, however, raises issues over Sutton Council's failure to comply with national guidelines on the use of CCTV surveillance.

The Information Commissioner's Code Of Practice has been written to help CCTV operators comply with the requirements of the Data Protection Act.

The guidance states clearly that operators "must let people know that they are in an area where CCTV surveillance is being carried out. The most effective way of doing this is by using prominently placed signs at the entrance to the CCTV zone and reinforcing this with further signs inside the area."

The Code Of Practice also states that:

"Clear and prominent signs are particularly important where the cameras themselves are very discreet, or in locations where people might not expect to be under surveillance.

As a general rule, signs should be more prominent and frequent where it would otherwise be less obvious to people that they are on CCTV....

...Systems in public spaces and shopping centres should have signs giving the name and contact details of the company, organisation or authority responsible. "

Despite this clear guidance, no signs warning have been put up to advise that the area is under surveillance from the CCTV camera which has been sited unobtrusively atop a tall camera pole, nor is there any signage in place to identify who is responsible for the camera.

Issues of legality aside, surely the whole point of CCTV is to act as a deterrent to those intent on committing crimes or behaving anti-socially, rather than hoping to catch the perpretators once the offences have been committed.

In which case how much of a deterrent will this camera be if those in the area are not being warned of its presence?

Sunday, 25 October 2009

No Names Policy

A new furniture store opens tomorrow in the old Gosletts unit on Central Road. I've no idea what the store is going to be called - nor, it would appear, do the owners as the shop as yet has no name.

Perhaps it should be enigmatically called 'The furniture store formerly known as Gosletts'. Or perhaps the slightly more mysterious 'Shop With No Name'.

Or perhaps it will forever be the shop that dare not speak its name.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Ruby Hurry

Like an unfaithful fool I flirted with North Cheam last night in the form of 'Namaste' curry house, which I have heard good things about from various sources.

I'd like to say it was worth the one and a half hours we waited for delivery, but with higher than average prices and smaller than average portions I shall be sticking to Bombay Masala or Meghna in future.

That'll learn me!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Going Swimmingly

There are quite a few skills I learned in school that I have never actually used in my adult life.

Not once have I had the need (or opportunity) to ask a Frenchman for directions to the Gare Du Nord, and even if I did I doubt the conversation would survive long enough for me to explain that I live very close to London, have two sisters and a dog and hobbies which include listening to music and reading books.

Likewise, not once in my adult life have I been called on to jump into a swimming pool, whilst wearing pyjamas, and fetch housebricks from the deep end.

However in the process I did at least learn to swim - a vital and potentially lifesaving skill.

'Get Swimming' is offering swimming classes in Worcester Park, from Beginners to Intermediate and Advanced/Stroke Improver lessons.

The 30 minute classes are held between 3-5pm on Saturdays, with the term running from 7th November to 12th December.

All of the teachers are ASA Level 2 qualified with 15 years+ experience and there will be a maximum of 6 children per group.

The classes are being held at the indoor purpose-built heated 15 metre pool at Linden Bridge School in Grafton Road, Worcester Park. The cost for course is just £45.

For further details e-mail or call Sarah on 020 8330 7910.

Oh, and if any blog readers are still struggling to get bricks out of the bottom of their pools, just give me a shout and I'll be round with my pyjamas to show you how it's done.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Wait Rises

I'm not sure if I'm convinced by the much-vaunted 'Essential Waitrose' range. I think they've missed a trick for the middle classes.

Instead, I would like to see them bring out a 'Non-essential Waitrose' range of ostentatiously overpriced and unnecessary luxuries for those who wouldn't be seen dead carrying anything from a value range. It would go down a storm with Mrs WP.

However I digress - it is just over 10 months since I reported on the terrible events in Banstead when their branch of Waitrose burned to the ground. Fortunately there were no injuries, and the store were able to relocate some of the staff to the Worcester Park branch.

Within two months, a temporary Waitrose opened in the vacant Woolworths unit in Banstead High Street.

Now, the wait is nearly over with the brand spanking newly-built Waitrose due to open by the end of November. It's all happened with very unBritish speed and efficiency - it's almost unnverving.
In the meantime, Mrs WP continues to develop her well-honed contingency plan for survival should anything ever happen to Waitrose in Worcester Park.