Monday, 31 January 2011

Sent Packing

I see that Iceland is going to be closed for refurbishment for one week from 6th February (although it seems they can't wait that long and have already started dismantling the ceiling in anticipation).

Admittedly the closure won't affect me too much as I (along with Andrew Collins, the Leo Sayer-alike, and not-Alan-Titchmarsh) am an ardent Waitrose devotee.

On the subject of Iceland, though, what is it with their policy of only packing one item into the carrier bag for you and then leaving you to do the rest? Are they packing the first item for me just so I can get an idea of the technique?

Meanwhile in the haven that is Waitrose there appears to have been a shocking breakdown of their normally faultlessly polite packing of bags, which can surely only be a precursor to the downfall of the middle classes and mass disorder on the streets of Worcester Park.

First there was the indignity of being served by  a New Person last week who was not au fait with the principle of not shoving items through the scanner at 100 MPH and not moving on to serve the next customer before the last has finished packing. Shudder.

Then on Saturday (having carefully opened by bag-for-life) my items were scanned and left on the side and I was bluntly instructed 'you can pack those when you are ready' (I was minded to declare that I wasn't ready, and would Tuesday suit)?

It was almost more than I could cope with.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Dates For Your Diary

A couple of Worcester Park dates for your diary:

Friday (28th January) - 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM - wine tasting at Vin Bin (opposite North End Tavern). Try some great affordable South African wines with prices starting at just £5.49

Saturday (29th January) - 2pm to 5pm - Candlemas Fair at Christ Church with St Philips in Worcester Park (in place of last year's Christmas fair which was cancelled due to snow!). Many different stalls, games, afternoon teas and a dance display. Adults 50p, children free.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Doorstep Collection Warning

Local MP Paul Burstow has visited the British Heart Foundation Shop (BHF) in Worcester Park to highlight the issue of ‘commercial’ doorstep collections of clothings and second-hand goods.

The MP urged people in his consituency of Sutton and Cheam to be vigilant when making doorstep donations of second-hand goods because they could be lining the pockets of third party organisations working for profit, with very little of the proceeds going to charities.

Mr Burstow is supporting the BHF’s nationwide campaign to raise awareness of the effect these commercial doorstep collections are having. The BHF has seen a 25% drop in household collections due to this commercial activity which will cost them a staggering £3 million in the next year – money which could be spent in the fight against heart disease.

Commenting, Mr. Burstow said, “Companies working for commercial gain are a huge problem for charities. I’d like to highlight that 100% of the profits made from donations to the BHF in Sutton, Cheam and Worcester Park stay with the charity and help them continue their lifesaving work, whereas as little as 5% can go to a charity via a commercial collection. It’s only right that householders are given clear information from collectors about where the proceeds of their goods are going, so they can make an informed choice.”
The scourge of the commercial doorstep collections is also a favourite subject of fellow Worcester Park blogger  'The Brinkster' (check out his blog for details on recent commercial collection goings on in Worcester Park)
The BHF carries out doorstep collections using clearly identified vans and drivers. Their advice to householders:

· Take your donations directly into your local charity shop or donate to a charity that organises its own collections

· Ask the collector for identification – sometimes donations are stolen from doorsteps before official collectors get there

· Check collection bags and leaflets for clear information about how much of the proceeds from your goods go to that charity

More information is available at

Sunday, 23 January 2011


The first part of the 'Streets For People' improvement works to Worcester Park has taken place, with the removal of those hideous railings around the pedestrian crossing in Central Road (outside Costa Coffee / One Stop Party Shop).

I must admit I was a bit cynical (no, really!) about whether TFL's money would be well spend in this 'decluttering' exercise, but I have to say the simple act of removing the railings has made Central Road look a whole lot better already. So far so good.

Blog reader Ann is also pleased to see the back of the railings:

"Isn't it wonderful to see all those horrible railings taken away, the road has started to look the way is was years ago when I first moved here."
The only thing I do miss, though, are the planters that were put on the railings just over a year ago (let's hope they will be re-used elsewhere locally, so our council taxes won't have been completely wasted on purchasing them).

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Late Broken News

Every committed to bringing me accurate up-to-the-minute news of goings on in Worcester Park, Mrs WP has just come up with this gem of information:

Mrs WP: "Oh, I forgot to tell you - guess who I saw in Waitrose last week?"
Me: "No idea."
Mrs WP: "You know that bloke from the Alan Titchmarsh show?"
Me: "Which bloke from the Alan Titchmarsh show?"
Mrs WP: "Alan Titchmarsh"
Me: "Really? When?"
Mrs WP: "Last Tuesday, I think it was. No, maybe Wednesday"

So there we go. Mrs WP thinks she saw Alan Titchmarsh in Waitrose in Worcester Park at some point last week.

I've seen Andrew Collins in there plenty of times. And the bloke who looks like Leo Sayer seems to be in there pretty much all the time (do you know the one I mean?), but I have no idea why Mr Titchmarsh should grace us with his presence.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Vin Bin Wine Of The Month - January

It's cold, the credit card bills have arrived and we're all finding that there's too much month left at the end of the money, so January's Wine Of The Month from Worcester Park's wins whop 'Vin Bin' is a very reasonably priced Aussie award-winning  McWilliam's Select Series Shiraz Cabernet.

Vin Bin proprietors Miz and Aret write:

"Vibrant and spicy this wine shows characters of ripe cherry and forest berries on the palette with a subtle hint of vanilla oak and a long soft finish. It’s definitely one of the best reds we have at that price bracket!"

This Shiraz Cabernet is not available in the supermarkets (shop online and it will set you back nearly £9 a bottle) but you can pick it up from Vin Bin (opposite North End Tavern) for a recession-busting £6.99 a bottle.


Saturday, 15 January 2011

O No

Sue asks:

"Is anyone else is having problems with O2 mobile phone coverage in the Worcester Park area? Mine has been intermittent for the past few days and I'm getting little success with O2 customer services.

It's not just my phone, my husband's is dodgy as well."

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Over Eager Over Easter

Perhaps Southern Gas Networks, who yesterday delivered letters dated 6th January advising Worcester Park households of impending roadworks which had already started, could learn a lesson or two from John James Gardening.

On the other hand, I'm all for forward planning - but it is still early January....

Monday, 10 January 2011

Terrific Jam

Thanks to blog reader Duncan who was out and about in Worcester Park this morning and took these snaps of the traffic chaos along Caldbeck Avenue and Longellow Road, and a peaceful and serene Green Lane:

"Monday morning, diversions in place, traffic backing up...and not a workman or piece of equipment in sight. Could they have spared us the chaos until 10am and saved paying weekend rates to whomever put the signs out?"

Now that's a very good point - has anyone actually spotted any roads being worked on today?

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Essential Co-Ordinated Roadworks Begin Tomorrow

Just to remind you, the programme of essential co-ordinated roadworks begins in Worcester Park tomorrow (Monday 10th January). Severe delays and disruption are likely for the two-and-a-half month duration of the works.

Full details of the works can be found on this special blog page.

Friday, 7 January 2011


It's the calm before the storm - the carmageddon of the 'essential co-ordinated roadworks' in and around Central Road begins on Monday, and will last (in varying degrees) for two and a half months.

Soon we will look back on these halycon days when the traffic sped along Central Road at 6 miles per hour in the morning rush hour. Veteran Worcester Park residents will regale the younger folk with tales of the good times, when you could get from North Cheam to Old Malden in well under an hour, as they wipe away nostalgic tears from their fume-smothered faces.

To remind you of the horrific details of what is about to be unleashed on Worcester Park:

From Monday 10th January:
  • Green Lane will be closed at the junction with Central Road (outside Kingfish) for two months for gas mains replacement works
  • Park Terrace will be closed at the junction with Malden Road (outside the Worcester Park pub) for two months for gas mains replacement works
  • Lynwood Drive will be closed at the junction with Central Road (outside Barclays Bank) for two weeks for water mains replacement works
From Monday 7th February:
  • Central Road will be reduced to a single lane between its junctions with Green Lane and Park Terrace. Traffic lights will control the flow of traffic. 
From Monday 31st January:
  • Longfellow Road will be closed between Green Lane and Browning Avenue for 'entry treatment' works for one month
Footway Closures:

Just to catch out those who thought they could walk through Worcester Park to avoid all the chaos, there will a various footway closures along on Central Road (between Lynwood Drive and the railway bridge on both sides), along Malden Road (between Park Terrace and the railway bridge) and in Green Lane between No.4 Green Lane and the junction  with Central Road) from 10th January for two and half months. 

Good luck Worcester Park!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

All Manor Of Memories

Blog reader Richard writes:

"I  was searching for details of the POW camp in the  Worcester Park area and was directed to the September 2009 postings and was very interested to read the comments about the Manor Drive area, and would like to add my memories.
I was born at 141 Manor Drive in December 1941, and started at Malden Parochial School in January 1947.  My way to school was via the alley way which lead from The Manor Drive to the school.  I left in July 1952, and if my memory is correct I always went to school that way i.e The Manor Drive was not extended to Church Road before  July 1952.
The land where Paddock Close and adjoining roads now stands was then a green space.  It had been allotments in the 1939 - 1945 war but these had been abandoned at the end of the war and was a playground for me and my friends i.e. football in the winter, cricket in the summer.
With regards to memories of the war, my wife who lived in South Lane, New Malden, remembers seeing a POW when out with her mother.  I can remember seeing bomb damage at the arcade opposite the Plough and in Highdown, probably in the V1/V2 era.  I also believe houses were damaged at the top of Manor Drive."