Monday, 31 August 2009

Paint Job

Between the hours of 11.30pm and 5am on 13th/14th August white gloss paint was poured over two cars in Buckland Way Worcester Park causing extensive damage. Both cars were sitting on the driveway when they were targeted.

Anyone with any information should contact Sutton Police.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

The Setting Sun

No re-touching or special effects here, I assure you. Just the fiery glow of the setting sun catching the top of 'Maple Lodge' in The Hamptons.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Shedding Light?

Blog reader Karen has e-mailed to let me know about strange lights in the sky over Worcester Park (and she's even written the pun for me);

"Can you shed any LIGHT on the strange shaft of moving light I have seen moving back and forth through the sky at night.

It seems to be a sort of search light coming from the ground and moves across the sky, it is coming from the direction of The Hamptons but could be further away, I first noticed it last night and it is there again tonight. It is constantly sweeping the sky from dusk till about 11pm."

I haven't spotted this myself but from the description it sounds like it could be one of those sweeping searchlights that they use to promote nightclubs or events - indeed this was believed to be the cause of similar sightings reported on the blog back in July 2008.

Either that or it's toxic gases from the old sewage works lighting up The Hamptons....

Have you spotted this strange phenomenon and can you shed any, erm, light?

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

In Praise Of Nonsuch



I would like to nominate Nonsuch Park as Worcester Park's 'forgotten treasure'. I know it's technically not part of our town but as those who are up to speed on their local history will know, Worcester Park was originally part of the grounds of Henry VIII's Nonsuch Palace - so as far as I'm concerned we can stake a claim to it being our own.

It never fails to amaze me how many people will pile into their cars and take the kids and dogs all the way to Richmond Park when Nonsuch has everything you need right on our doorstep.

It may be smaller than Richmond Park, but for me Nonsuch has it all, from wide expanses of open parkland teeming with wildlife to an abundance of woodland to explore.

In the centre of the park sits the mansion house, which has recently undergone refurbishment and now boasts a tea room for much needed refreshments. Or you can explore the pretty grounds of the house - some laid out formally, other parts refreshingly under-kept in a delightful 'secret garden' fashion!

It's a shame that Nonsuch Park doesn't so often gets overlooked - so get out there and make the most of Worcester Park's forgotten treasure.


By blog reader 'Parklover'

Monday, 24 August 2009

Central Road Accident - Update

The good news is that the pedestrian injured in yesterday's accident in Central Road ( a teenage boy) is now, according to press reports, recovering in St Helier hospital with broken leg.

Sounds like it could have been a lot worse.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Accident on Central Road


Central Road has now re-opened after a serious road accident which occurred just after 5pm.

The road was closed between the junctions of Longfellow Road and Caldbeck Avenue for over four hours whilst police and ambulance crews dealt with the incident.

The accident is believed to have involved a female pedestrian who was crossing Central Road. If you have any information, please post it using the comments link below.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Now YOU can write the blog...

That's it from me. I'm off on holiday. Now of course, I wouldn't just abandon the Worcester Park Blog and leave it crying its eyes out and starving in a darkened room somewhere.

No, I'm going to do what any responsible parent would and leave it in the hands of complete strangers.

So for the next week I'm letting the YOU write the Worcester Park whilst I'm far far away from KT4.

Whether it's a piece of Worcester Park news or just something you've always wanted to get off your chest, the blog is all yours.

I've managed to rope someone in to do the technical bits for me so get writing and, from Saturday.

Submit them via the 'Comments' link below or e-mail your blog article/pictures etc. to holiday@worcesterparkblog.org.uk

Don't worry, your name or e-mail address won't be published, although if you want to be credited under a pseudonym or nickname just include that in your e-mail.

I'm sure you'll all do a marvellous job.

Now, where did I put my passport.....

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Parking Mad




Blog reader 'Longperson' took this early-morning snap of Longfellow Road on his way to work:
'I can't believe that the entire street has completely ignored the 'No Parking' signs!! I took this photo just after 7.30 when the parking suspension came into force.
It was quite laughable really - but it won't be as funny once the traffic warden appears to slap tickets hundreds of illegally parked cars!'
Best move those cars quickly then!

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Good Gully

The lucky residents of Longfellow Road are to have their gullies (the drains in the gutters to you and me) cleaned on Thursday. Those in Caldbeck Avenue will be having theirs done on Friday.

Parking is going to be suspended for a day in both roads for the gully cleaning to take place. One Longfellow Road resident has e-mailed predicting chaos on Thursday.

'The road is jam packed with parked cars at the best of times and it's always a battle to get a space - quite often I have to park halfway down the road and walk back to my own house. Few of us have off street parking AND it's all made worse by the commuters who use Longfellow as a free alternative to parking at Worcester Park station!

Can you imagine the chaos on Thursday when the whole street has to be empty of parked cars? The surrounding roads are going to be swamped with refugees from Longfellow - I think we should take bets on how from home we have to park our own cars. At least it should be good exercise."

Our posh friends in Westminster have adopted a refreshingly sensible approach to parking suspensions for gully cleaning in their borough - quite whether Sutton Council go down this common sense route remains to be seen.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Helicopter Noise

What was going on with all that helicopter noise in the early hours?

I only hope it was worth disturbing our sleeps.

Paradise Found


I've been wondering for years what 'Ryan Gate' actually means. Admittedly, it was not top of my list of things I wanted answers to, but it did puzzle me nontheless.

So yesterday I took the fairly obvious step of asking one of the staff there what it meant.

Looking quite surprised at my question he explained, in broken English, that it meant 'doorway....like...erm......gate'.

I smiled appreciatively at this explanation of the word 'gate'. But what about Ryan? A look of confusion crossed his face and he shouted across at one of his colleagues to come over and explain.

Eventually it transpired that 'ryan' means a lush area of green pasture - an oasis in a desert. As I went to pay, he offered further clarification - the 'ryan gate' is the name of one of the gates leading to paradise. Who'd have thought you'd find one of those on Central Road?

Back home at Worcester Park Towers, a bit of internet research confirmed that according to Islamic belief there is a gate in Paradise called Ar-Ryaan.

Only those who observe the fast at Ramadhan will enter Paradise through this gate on the day of Resurrection".

All very educational - and I only popped in there for a lamb shawarma.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Dough!

As speculated on this blog back in February, a branch of Greggs has arrived in Worcester Park.

Well, it's not quite a new shop opening - just a rebranding of the existing Bakers Oven shop.

I can only put it down to increasing age and the fact that the months (and Christmases) all seem to merge into one, but thanks to The Brinkster for pointing out the glaring error in the first version of this post.

I thought Bakers Oven was refitted at the end of last year, however he has quite rightly pointed out that the refit was done in December 2007, so the new signage actually served us for 18 months before it was ripped down and a 'Greggs' sign put up in its place.

Speaking of rebranding, you may have noticed the return to the old look and feel of the blog, after all my (as Mrs WP so eloquently put it) 'fannying around' with the site, it turned out that the snazzy new design had a few problems which need ironing out.

As does my memory.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Writes & Wrongs

I see that the Sutton Guardian has run a news story about the badly spelled sign that appeared in Lindsay Road last week

I spotted the signs (one at each end of the road) complete with obvious spelling mistakes and for a moment I was tempted to take a picture and post it on the blog. But having thought about it for a couple of seconds I decided against it.

After all this was just a hastily scribbled note by a road contractor who was doing the right thing by informing residents that, at short notice, the resurfacing works had been postponed and that they could park as normal until the following week.

Of course there were cheap points to have been scored here - the spelling on the sign was undoubtedly poor, but using the platform of my blog to have a condescending swipe at a well-meaning contractor would have been a lot worse.

Personally I think the council worker should be applauded for his initiative in communicating with the residents in this way. Oh how we all moan when the Council fail to keep us informed, when things don't happen as planned and we are given no explanation.

Should we really be so up in arms that a contractor employed to resurface roads does not have a perfect grasp of spelling? We all have different skills - perhaps we should see how proficient the journalist who wrote this sneering piece is at relaying a road surface and have a good laugh at his expense when he falls short of our high standards.

Since the Sutton Guardian has clearly positioned itself as the bastion of impeccable spelling and grammar, perhaps we should all go through their paper with a red pen and mock all of their errors in public.

I don't think Sutton Council have any need to apologise for this sign. I think there is someone else who should be doing the apologising.

Conspiracy?

It's always interesting reading to browse through this blog's visitor statistics, especially the 'keywords' which tell me what people were searching the internet for when they found the blog.

I'm curious, though, about the visitor who found this blog last night after asking Google:

"What's the real reason they give green tokens in Waitrose?"

Is charity not the real reason?

Let the conspiracy theories begin.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Getting Shawarma

I have to admit that of late my trips to Surrey Nefis (kebab/burger capital of Worcester Park, for the uninitiated amongst you) have been fewer and further between as I have fallen in love with Ryan Gate's takeaways.

In particular the شاورما (shawarma) - a toasted wrap of grilled chicken or lamb with tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs and a garlic or tahini sauce. Oh, and the samosas are to die for. As are the vine leaves.
I'm well and truly converted, although admittedly I haven't ventured to try any other items on the menu.


Are there any other Ryan Gate takeaway fans out there?

Saturday, 8 August 2009

We Interrupt This Announcement...

It may not be so much of an issue on the short journeys from Worcester Park, but I'm sure many seasoned commuters will sympathise with MP David Willetts who has complained to rail watchdogs about the bombardment of announcements that he and his fellow passengers have to endure when travelling with South West Trains.

Anyone familiar with the constant announcements imploring passengers to keep the aisles free, ensure they have a valid ticket, ask the guard if they require assistance, take all personal belongings with them and refrain from giving cash to beggars will sympathise.

All of which reminds me of a journey I made by South West Trains to Portsmouth a couple of years back - a journey which would have been perfectly relaxing were it not for the constant nagging announcements informing us (without a hint of irony) that we were travelling in a 'Quiet Carriage'.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Linking Outside The Box

When it comes to traffic management in Worcester Park, I think it's fair to say that Transport For London (TFL) hasn't exactly covered itself in glory in recent years.

First there was the strange case of the yellow box junctions that TFL painted at several junctions along Central Road in July 2008. I and fellow blog readers were quick to question the point of them.

It turned out they were worse than pointless - they actually made traffic congestion along Central Road worse. When TFL realised that these box junctions were actually slowing their own buses down, they removed them after just six months.

Then there is the ongoing saga of the traffic light linking.

The solution is a relatively simple one - to link the four sets of lights along Malden Road/Central Road together to improve the flow of traffic. Funding from TFL was secured in early 2008, with the ducting work needed to link these lights together (surely in this wireless age there are easier ways to do it?) being undertaken at the beginning of December.

Since then the project has ground to a complete halt. If the experience of getting similar works completed in nearby Wallington is anything to go by, we could be in for a very long wait. Writing on his blog, Councillor Colin Hall expressed his frustration at the pace of TFL's works:

"The work...has been delayed for three years! According to TfL this was because they had to reorganise their staff and then priority was given to Central and East London."

Hopefully things could finally be moving for Worcester Park's traffic light linking. Liberal Democrat Councillor Kirsty Jerome has secured assurances from London Mayor Boris Johnson that the works will finally be getting underway, with completion targeted for the end of this month.

This being the school holiday season, it will be some time before we know if the scheme is effective or not, but hopefully it won't go the way of the yellow box experiment.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Green Shoots?

Are those green shoots of recovery I see in Worcester Park? Perhaps it's too early to be overly confident but things do seem to be looking up at little.

Andrews Estate agents on Central Road was re-opened yesterday by the Deputy Mayor Of Sutton (pictured) and I see that a 'More Than Lofts' banner has appeared over the old Ember Travel premises so it looks like we will have another unit filled imminently.


Then there is Eves Flowers - several blog readers have alerted me to the fact that a Sold sign has appeared outside this peculiarly tiny shop by the station.

So far I've been unable to find out who has bought it or precisely what is going to be occupying the very thinnest end of the retail wedge. It's hard to see anything other than another florist fitting in there, but hopefully time will tell.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

The Home Show, Channel 4 (Thursday 8PM)

For those of you who missed it first time around, there's another chance to see the Worcester Park episode of makeover programme 'The Home Show' on Channel 4 at 8pm this Thursday (6th August).

Architect George Clarke revisits the cramped terraced house in Worcester Park that he transformed into a spacious property using some 'clever tricks' and a new extension (oh, and a cheque for £50k from the owners) and returns to find if the Reeve family are happy.

Happy? Why, this is makeover land where everything is successful and everyone ends up happy.

So just sit back, relax, and enjoy an hour of Worcester Park property porn - the ultimate in nosey neighbourliness.

Monday, 3 August 2009

RE: Surfacing

A Lindsay Road resident has e-mailed me perplexed about why his road is going to be resurfaced this week, no doubt at considerable expense to council tax payers:

"The surface is in EXCELLENT condition! Residents cannot believe it is to be resurfaced in its present excellent state.

It's incredible in the light of today's cash restraints, recession, high council tax, and care for the environment.

It makes all the electricity saved in the area with energy saving bulbs look ridiculous."

No doubt Sutton Council has a rolling plan of road resurfacing (well, I would like to think so anyway) and I suppose it's better to be proactive than wait until we're all forced to take up potholing but you would also hope that in these tough economic times there would be strict criteria and priorities for these kind of works.

Are there any roads in Worcester Park that are in more pressing need of resurfacing? Do let me know.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Sir Bobby Robson


R.I.P. Sir Bobby Robson - resident for a number of years in Mayfair Avenue, Worcester Park during his time with Fulham Football Club.

He even turned his hand to other sports, playing for Worcester Park Cricket Club's first team in the 1960s at their grounds by the station.

Now that would have been worth seeing!

Waitrose Bank Holiday Opening Hours

For Christmas 2009 Watirose Worcester Park opening house click here.

Waitrose Worcester Park - Bank Holiday opening hours (Bank Holiday Monday), August 31st: 10:00 - 16:00