Saturday, 26 March 2011

Lost & Pound

I went to Poundland this morning to experience the family fun day. There were lots of families there (the fun was not immediately evident though). 'Big up' to the Poundland DJ who was standing by the entrance trying desperately to sound enthusiastic whilst reminding everyone ad nauseam that everything was just £1.

Kylie from Coronation Street was perched on a swivel chair near the Fray Bentos pies looking stoically cheerful as nonplussed shoppers passed her by (being, as they were, far more impressed by the sight of a bag of 6 Quavers for £1).

She had few takers for her autographs, so the store manager was chatting to her to keep her entertained as she smiled sweetly. As I wandered past I overheard him telling her that he didn't actually watch Coronation Street. Still she smiled sweetly.

Meanwhile, DJ Poundland reminded us for the third time in 10 minutes that it was Mother's Day next Sunday and it was a great opportunity for us to grab 'great gifts and stocking fillers.'. Ah, the traditional Mother's Day stocking...

I left as the DJ began the exciting Poundland 'Checkout Challenge' competition. Shame, really, as I could have won £10 of Poundland vouchers. Now that would have given my Mum an extra special stocking.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Green Lane Fire

A dumped car in green lanes outside the warden assisted home (complete with clamp and 'police aware' sticker) has been set alight and fire engines in attendance. Big flames!

Platt Sounds Fun

In what must count as Worcester Park's biggest and most exciting celebrity appearance since Zammo from Grange Hill was at the Worcester Park tavern back in 2007, some bird from Coronation Street will be travelling all the way from Up North tomorrow to celebrate the opening of Poundland in Central Road.

Poundland will be holding a  family ‘fun day’ tomorrow from 9am until 3pm - there will be a DJ in store and Coronation Street star Paula Lane aka Kylie Platt will be at the store from 10am until 1pm to sign autographs and give away Poundland vouchers.

That's my weekend sorted then.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Central's Bar

The former 'CAZBAR' premises on Central Road could soon be re-opening its doors as a drinking establishment, if plans are given the green light by Sutton Council.

Sutton based cabbie Stephen Moore and wife Sarah are hoping to transform the venue into 'Central's', with a late licence for Friday and Saturday nights (closing at 12:30am).

The would-be licensees have already held meeting with Knights House nursing home (which backs on to the venue) and with local police in a bid to win convince Council officials to allow the extension of the licence. The former occupants, CAZBAR, were refused a late licence amin concerns over noise levels.

Mr Moore says he is pitching 'Central's' at a more mature audience with no live bands or karaoke (although there will be a DJ on Friday and Saturday nights) and will be encouraging the venue to be a 'community hub' with coffee mornings and a childrens' play area during the daytime.

The consultation over the application will continue until the end of the month.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Snob In My Back Yard

What a reaction there has been here on the blog to the arrival of Poundland in Worcester Park - opening this Thursday in the former 'M&S Simply Food' unit next to Midas Touch.

I am quite happy to go on the record and admit that I am quite looking forward to having Poundland on our doorstep. I for one will not be rolling my eyes skywards and proclaiming  'there goes the neighbourhood'. 

After all, if having a Poundland in your High Street really does meant he area has gone to the dogs, then Worcester Park will be keeping good company with those reknowned slum settlements of Orpington, Harrow and Epsom. 

The fact that 'downmarket' Poundland is moving in to what was once an upmarket M&S Simply Food store must only serve to rub freshly-ground Atlantic sea salt into the wounds of the offended middle classes. The fact is, of course, that whilst we loved the idea of having M&S Simply Food in Worcester Park we simply didn't love shopping there enough to make it work. 

After years of the unit lying empty, it is being used again, bringing more money and employment in to the town and much-needed footfall to that end of Central Road. 

It will naturally bring uncertainty to some smaller independent traders who might see an element of competition from Poundland, but if we really do support our independent traders (with custom and not just warm words) then they will have little to fear.

Most importantly it means one fewer empty shop unit - surely a boarded up vacant unit is far greater a sign of a failing High Street than a bustling Poundland?

Finally, as we are on the subject of class, this article in yesterday's Independent On Sunday is well worth a read for David Randall's reminiscences of life and subtle snobberies as he grew up amongst the middle-classes  of Edenfield Gardens in Worcester Park. It would seem that very little has changed. 

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Power Cut!

Saturday 10:30 am - There is a power outage in areas Worcester Park, with Central Road also affected by the power cut.

At least the sun is shining!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

This is not just a refit..this is an M&S refit

The former M&S Simple Food premises (next to Midas Touch) has been a hive of activity this week, with signs of life about to be breathed back into this long abandaoned unit.

Blog reader 'Caldbeck Kid' writes:

"It looks like this eyesore may be in the process of being transformed. Does anyone know who has taken this over or what the shop might become?

Knowing Worcester Park as I do my bet would be (1) another charity shop (2) hairdressers (3) Italian restaurant. However this is quite a large premises so you never know!"

Update: The old M&S unit is to be a branch of Poundland - opening next Thursday (24th March) with a fun day on Saturday 26th March.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Cone Not Cope

It's good to see that in amongst the cone forest of Worcester Park our beloved workmen are still at it on a Sunday. By 'at it' I mean sitting around chatting on their mobiles. Not all of them were chatting on their phones, to be fair  - one was asleep in the cab of his vehicle and another was texting.

If the misery of driving through the roadworks is getting you down, spare a thought for Worcester Park's local traders whose trade is taking a considerable from the disruption caused by the roadworks. I pity, in particular, The Midas Touch which is all but hidden behind cones and safety fencing.

Must pop in there soon for one of their £5 lunches - a good way to spend that crisp £5 note I found lying on the pavement at the end of Green Lane this afternoon. Apologies if that was yours!

Monday, 7 March 2011

Concerns Surfacing

As you will have noticed, blog posts have been few and far between recently - mostly because I seem to have spent every waking minute (and some sleeping ones too) of the last fortnight grinding through the interminable traffic that has cursed Worcester Park since Central Road was reduced to a single lane under the railway bridge.

This is, of course, the carmageddon that was predicted to accompany the second phase of the 'essential coordinated roadworks' - but as a number of blog readers have pointed out things appear to be running a little behind schedule. PJ writes:

"Bearing in mind the sudden implementation of the single way traffic lights at the end of February and the sudden gridlock this has caused after weeks of reasonable traffic flow, this lead me back to your website when apparently, the 7th February was the planned date for said contra flow.

If this is the case, things appear to be running at least 3 weeks behind schedule, thus making the overall planned completion of the scheme a little bit late to say the least.

Are any of your high powered contacts able to shed any light on works completed versus actual programme dates or should I look at selling my car and purchasing a helicopter as this could be the solution?"

Meanwhile, Geoff has spotted that the diversions for traffic normally using 'The Avenue' (by the Worcester Park Tavern) seem to be playing havoc with the road surfaces around Manor Drive:

"I'm not sure if it's my imagination, but to avoid the clag up at the end of The Avenue, I used to occasionally drive Cleveland Road/Highdown/Manor Drive to  get to the station. And, I don't remember the condition of these roads being so bad.

Now driving it most days because of the diversion, the roads seem to be falling apart. Great lumps of tarmac are missing in Highdown exposing the metal underneath, and there is one bloody great hole developing where Highdown meets Royal Avenue/Barrow Hill.

At the Manor Drive end of Highdown, it's like driving through a gravel pit !!

So, is it me, or are we heading for more chaos as these roads are ripped apart by the increase in traffic?" 

The road surface is indeed breaking up, Geoff. Looks like we are far from clear of the roadworks in Worcester Park. 

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Auction Near

If you're at a loose end today then you could do worse than heading off to the 4th Worcester Park Scouts HQ in Braemar Road.

My last visit to their auction conincided with Mrs WP developing what she assured me was a sudden involuntary spasm in her right arm, which landed us in all sorts of bidding trouble.

If you have any goods you want to sell, listing starts at 10.30 this morning. Viewing is from 1.30pm and the auction commences at 2.30pm.