Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Going Warm Turkey

I have bemoaned on a number of occasions on this blog the lack of any decent full English in Worcester Park. The last purveyors of this fine meal was Berties cafe, which closed down and was transformed into the terrible La Continental which was more mess than mezze and was promptly rebranded as 'Henry's Cafe' whose luminous fonted signs are only marginally worse than the food they serve up.

Thankfully salvation seems to have come my way in the form of a cracking English breakfast from, of all places, our new Turkish 'Cafe Medusa' which opened last week in the old Avventura/Cafe Espresso premises.

At last we have, in KT4, somewhere that sells a decent full English breakfast, properly cooked with decent meat and served with a cup of decent coffee.

For those more adventurous there are Eggs benedict, Turkish dishes and a range of other great breakfast and lunch options that will set this venue apart from the existing cafes in Worcester Park.

Even better news is that their restaurant, Sheesh Mangal, is going to be opening shortly. I have had a sneak peak inside the venue which is on course to open its doors for business early next week.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Late Night In Pictures

Some pictures for you from Friday's fantastic Christmas Late Night in Worcester Park. Did you all enjoy yourselves?























Friday, 25 November 2011

Tonight's The Night!

It's the Worcester Park Traders Association Christmas Late Night tonight from 6pm to 9pm


There will be loads of festive fun, rides, entertainment, stalls and choirs to entertain the whole family and, of course, plenty of late night shopping. 


Your local retailers who are officially sponsoring and supporting the event include:


  • One Stop Party Shop
  • Mr Ink
  • Trutex
  • Waitrose
  • Vin Bin
  • St Raphael's Hospice
  • Hendy's Jewellers
  • Clarkes
  • Worcester Park Motor Spares
  • Central Plumbing
  • AMS Opticians
  • Worcester Sparks
  • Kingfish
  • Dawsons Aerials

There will also be a Christmas Craft Fair in Worcester Park Library tonight from 6pm to 8pm, and the Royal British Legion will be having a special membership table outside their premises on Central Road with a special discounted membership rate for anyone who wants to join this evening. 

Wrap up warm and enjoy!!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Christmas Late Night Tomorrow!

The weather forecast is looking good for tomorrow night, so we are all set to go. As well as the traders and funfair rides, a number of local charities from Worcester Park will be taking part in tomorrow's Christmas Late Night, so make sure you lend them your support. 

Also a Christmas Craft Fair is being held in the Library from 6pm - 8pm (as part of the Worcester Park Traders Late Christmas night) with a raffle, cakes for sale, Name the Bear, Lucky dip, Toy Tombola and Homemade crafts. They will be quite easy to miss tucked away in the Library, so don't forget to pay them a visit.



Tuesday, 22 November 2011

We'd Like To Help You Learn To Help Yourself

The Christmas Late Night, taking place this Friday from 6pm, is a well established local tradition in Worcester Park.

So too, unfortunately, is the annual tradition of blog readers moaning and whingeing about it before and after the event - not enough stalls, the wrong type of stalls, too many stalls, not fun enough, not sufficiently like a German Christmas market, not enough shops taking part, the wrong type of shops taking part. I could go on.

And so I received this comment on the blog yesterday:
"Maybe if they actually spoke to more/all traders we could make the event even bigger. I know for a fact 4 independent retailers were not even approached."
As for whether every single retailer has been approached to take part, I am not in a position to say. The fact remains that this event has been heavily publicised here on the blog and on posters up and down Central Road and in shop windows etc. These posters have a contact phone number for the Traders Association which organises the event (and welcomes all local retailers getting involved) and if anyone contacts me about it I will always pass the enquiry on to the right person.

If there are any local traders still wringing their hands complaining that nobody has personally approached them to get involved then this is, quite frankly, a pretty feeble excuse. If there really are any shopkeepers who will be pulling down the shutters at 5pm on Friday and going home to cry themselves to sleep because there are going to miss out on the big crowds in Worcester Park and a golden opportunity to give their own business a boost then I pity them.

I pity them not because they will be losing out on business but that I pity them because they lacked the motivation and energy (and it would have taken very little of either) to pick up the phone, get themselves involved and get their business talked about locally.

I am all for supporting local businesses, but if local businesses do not take simple steps to help themselves then I will not, quite frankly, lose any sleep over that. Business is undeniably tough - those who have the energy to promote themselves, those who seize the opportunity to be involved in events like the late night (and actually do something creative to promote themselves before and during it) will thrive, or at very least survive during this recession. Those who do not will whither away into an obscurity that is partly of their own making.

I try to do whatever I can to support local businesses who have the enthusiasm and basic marketing nouse to engage with the Blog and recognise it is a great opportunity to drum up some local business, and likewise I always support those businesses who step forward and get involved in great community events like the Late Night on Friday.

Yet I have also witnessed so many businesses locally, and elsewhere, who believe that all they have to do to keep going is open at 9 and close at 5 and custom will magically come their way.

So as you go about your business this Friday night and beyond, look out for those local traders who have the get-up-and-go to actively promote their livelihoods, and make sure you reward their efforts in whatever way you can. And don't worry about those who haven't - they sill have time to learn.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Christmas Late Night This Friday!

Only 4 sleeps to go until this year's Christmas Late Night in Worcester Park. As well as the rides, stalls, choirs and refreshments along Central Road and in Stone Place Car Park, a number of your favourite local retailers will be open that evening for some late night shopping.

Do pop in and make sure you support them - as well as playing a vital role in keeping Worcester Park's high street alive, they are also financially supporting this important local annual event, so make sure you reward them with your custom.

Shops supporting the Christmas Late Night 2011 include:

  • One Stop Party Shop
  • Mr Ink
  • Trutex
  • Waitrose
  • St Raphael's Hospice
  • Hendy's Jewellers
  • Clarkes
  • Worcester Park Motor Spares
  • Central Plumbing
  • AMS Opticians
  • Worcester Sparks
  • Kingfish
  • Dawsons Aerials


Friday, 18 November 2011

Burglary Warning

Unfortunately I have received e-mails from a number of blog readers informing me of burglaries in and around the Worcester Park area over the last week or so. 

I have had reports of houses being broken into near the Co-Op in Old Malden, in Cuddington Avenue, Shrubland Grove and near Cheam Common Infants School.

It would sadly appear that there has been an increased level of burglaries in the local area recently, so I would urge all blog readers to be vigilant and take a moment to read the Metropolitan Police's burglary prevention advice pages.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Fair Competition

The Doris Venner Christmas Fayre is being held this Saturday, 19th November, from 11am to 2pm in the Community Hall on The Manor Drive.

 There will be lots of fun and games such as face-painting, arts and crafts, cake stalls, bottle tombola and some fantastic raffles with prizes including a TV, a John Lewis Voucher and a toy bundle.

 Meet Father Christmas in his grotto and receive a present from him and your chance to have a photo taken as well as lots of food and refreshments.

 There will also be a Charity Craft Fair at St Johns Hall on Malden Road (KT4 7NY) from 11am to 2pm on Saturday 19th November in aid of local charities which help save babies' lives and support bereaved parents and families.

Full details are at http://charitycraftfair.blogspot.com

 At the fair you can find out about the vital work these charities do and why they need to raise much needed funds for, as well as buy some wonderful handmade gifts in time for Christmas to support these amazing and vital causes.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Rampant Rabbit


It you've lost a pet rabbit in Worcester Park then blog reader BenjyP might just have spotted it. He writes:

"On Friday Evening around 6 p.m. I saw what looked like a grey and white domestic rabbit at the end of Gander Green Lane (up past Green Lane School near the path to the stables). 

After 20 minutes or so of repeatedly getting within about a metre of it before it hopped away, it finally leapt into the brambles behind The Hamptons.

I did have a look on the net and on the local roads for any notices but couldn't see anything."

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Friday, 11 November 2011

Poppy Appeal Money Stolen

It is with great sadness that I must inform blog readers of the theft of a Poppy Appeal collection box from the Worcester Park branch of Superdrug. The collection box, filled with almost a fortnight's donations, was taken from the counter and found empty on Central Road this morning. Anybody with any information on this theft should contact the Metropolitan Police. I am not sure what more I can add by way of comment on this.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Remembrance Sunday



Remembrance Sunday will be marked in Worcester Park with the annual special service of remembrance at Christchurch with St Philip featuring members of the local Royal British Legion, Cadets, Guiding and Scouting groups. 

The service will begin at 10am on Sunday morning.

This will be followed by a brief service at Worcester Park's war memorial in St. Philip’s Churchyard (at the top of Central Road) which will include the two minutes' silence at 11.00am and the laying of wreaths.

Marching bands will then lead the procession down Central Road to Worcester Park's Royal British Legion club which will be opening its doors to the public and serving food and refreshments.


Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Eye Sore This And Sought A View

A new campaign has been set up to gain popular support to petition Network Rail to clean up and remove graffiti from the railway bridge in Worcester Park. 

Blog reader Nick who has set up a Facebook group to gather support for the cause writes:

"Worcester Park Rail Bridge has been covered in grafitti for probably more than a decade. It is a real eyesore when people enter the area and gives a very bad impression of Worcester Park. No other bridges in the area look as bad as our bridge and it really lets the area down.

We are trying to drum up support to get Network Rail (who are responsible for the bridge) to insist they do something about it. Please register your support by 'liking' or becoming a 'friend' of the site. When we have sufficient numbers we will approach Network Rail and demand (ask nicely!) for them to clean up the bridge and particularly to remove all the grafitti. So far it has been very difficult to get them to take action."

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Time For Honesty

Last month I appealed on behalf of a blog reader for the return of a gold watch which she had lost whilst out jogging in Worcester Park. 

Today I received the good news that an honest Worcester Park resident had found the watch, spotted the appeals for its safe return and has made sure that the watch is now back in the hands (well, on the wrist) of its rightful owner.

All of which restores ones faith in humanity (for those who need it restoring).

Monday, 7 November 2011

Blogger Goes To Parliament

Last Thursday night saw me leaving behind the comfortable confines of KT4 to travel to Westminter  - the beating heart of UK democracy.

The humble Worcester Park Blogger had been invited to go to Parliament to discuss how online communities and local blogs can become better engaged with the Parliamentary processes and how Parliament itself can tap into these new media channels to engage with a wider audience to capture public opinion and feed it back into the democractic process.

As well as representatives from big online communities such as Mumsnet and Student Room, I was in the company of a motley assortment of 'hyperlocal' bloggers who, like myself, have established thriving local community blogs and forums - WimbledonSW19.com, Greenwich.co.uk, London SE1 and Charlton Champion to name but a few.

As we talked, some common themes emerged - the demand from local people for relevant local news, opinion and debate of issues related directly to their neigbourhood is very clearly evident and is behind the growth and popularity of so many hyper-local sites.

Also clearly evident is the frustration at the decline or even demise of local newspapers - those who do survive so often reduced to a few perfunctory pages of regurgitated press releases or syndicated pseudo-local content draped around swathes of advertisements and estate agents' supplements.

With some notable exception, the days of quality local print journalism look to be numbered. Stepping in to fill this void are an increasing number of thriving local blogs set up to inform on local issues, act as a voice for their neighbourhoods and provide essential scrutiny of the work of local Councils and politicians.

As for the reaction of local Councils to local blog sites, the same theme emerged time and time again - Councils' opinion of and reaction to local bloggers ranges from outright contempt to a stubborn refusal to acknowledge their existence, let alone engage with them. These new fangled local websites and blogs are seen as an irritation, lacking in credibility and definitely not to be dignified by any form of official response or engagement from the Council.

It might be individual bloggers who create them, but it is the hundreds of thousands of local readers who with informed and intersting comment and contribution ensure that these sites continue and prosper.

By association these blog readers (and that includes you) are regarded by so many local Councils as unimportant. These are Councils who are still firmly rooted in a world where an opinion only counts if it is expressed in green-ink on a letter, voiced in constituency surgery, or from a plastic chair in a meeting at a local community hall.

I didn't start The Worcester Park Blog with any grand vision in my mind. It always has been and always will be a bit of fun; yet I like to think that in the four years it has been running it has come to serve some kind of a purpose - to inform as well as to provide some light relief, to act as a forum for the expression of views on local events, to publicise local good causes and community issues, to address the sometimes serious issues of local politics. And, above all, to continue to laugh at the preposterous number of hairdressers in Worcester Park.

So the fact that the great beast that is Parliament recognises the role and potential of online communities and blogs, invited us up to Westminster to hear our views and wants to work with us in the future is in itself a massive step forward.

There were many great ideas shared on the evening about how Parliament can better share its welath of information that is relevant to local bloggers and communities and bring what can seem a remote and inaccessibly instution in touch with its subjects.

Even more encouraging is the news that Parliament wants to use these established sites to tap into the opinions of the wider public - we heard how Parliament worked with Student Room to seek opinion from the site's audience on a range of issues affecting young people, and feed these opinions directly into the work of Parliamentary Select Committee.

The fact that Parliament might one day in the future be directly engaging with, listening to and acting upon the opinions expressed on blogs such as this is a fascinating prospect.

It certainly leaves our local Councils with an awful lot of catching up to do.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Power Cuts

Intermittent power cuts in Worcester Park this evening. Thank goodness the first one was after the X Factor, otherwise Mrs WP would never have recovered. We have candles at the ready!


PET ALLIGATOR

Burglary Charge


A Worcester Park man has been charged with conspiracy to commit burglary after approximately £30,000 worth of jewellery and watches were stolen from a property in Leatherhead.

Nathan Beutler, 19, of Lindsay Road, has been remanded into custody and will appear at Guildford Crown Court on Thursday 17th November for a preliminary hearing.

The charge relates to a burglary at an address in Highlands Avenue, Leatherhead, on Tuesday 25th October. Several high value items were stolen including a Smythson leather jewellery box worth £1,500, a princess cut diamond ring worth £2,500, a Boodle and Dunthorne platinum pendant with three diamonds worth £3,000, a diamond and ruby ring and a variety of watches.

The stolen items have yet to be recovered, and Police are appealing for anyone with information on their whereabouts to contact them. 

A 16-year-old male from Worcester Park was also arrested on suspicion of involvement in the burglary. He has been released on police bail until 14th December pending further enquiries.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Sheesh, You're Brave!

As speculated on this blog back in August, the former 'Avventura' restaurant premises are to be turned into a Turkish restaurant - to be named 'Sheesh Mangal'.

Of course I'm delighted to see that these cavernous empty premises are to be filled so quickly, and it will make a welcome change from the traditional fare of Italian restaurants and curry houses.

However, my fears about these premises remain. In my unfortunately prophetic post of June 2010 I wrote:
"No doubt the people behing 'Avventura' are full of optimism and hope that good food and good service will set see them through, but will they too soon be forced to face the reality that the place is simply far too big to be viable in anything other than rosy economic conditions?

Perhaps Avventura will succeed where Piccolo failed. Perhaps they have found the formula that eluded their predecessors. Or perhaps they too will soon be learning the hard way that size really does matter. Either way, I wish them luck."
I look forward seeing this new venture succeed where its predecessors have failed. And I look forward even more to some Turkish food!

Seeing Red


Last month I gave you my views on Sutton Council's loathsome traffic enforcement CCTV Smart cars and how unfair I felt their tactics to be.

Now comes evidence from a Worcester Park  Blog reader of how these cars openly break parking laws themselves whilst going about their sneaky business.

This photo clearly shows the enforcement stopping illegally on a 'red route' on Malden Road in North Cheam, heading towards Worcester Park. Stopping is strictly forbidden on a red route (even for loading/unloading or boarding/alighting from a vehicle) and, being a double red route, these restrictions apply at all times to this stretch of road.

This is not the first time that Sutton Council's spy cars have been caught breaking the law in order to enforce the law, as reported by the Sutton Guardian back in August.

I strongly suspect it won't be the last!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Green Lane School Fireworks 2011

Green Lane School will be having a spectacular fireworks event tomorrow night (Wednesday 2nd November) from 5pm with fireworks going up at 6.30pm.

There will be food available to buy so you can have your dinner there before the show!

Tickets are available on the door and cost £7 for adults, £4 for children 3-16 (under 3s free) and £18 for a family of 4.

Cheaper tickets are available in advance by calling 020 8337 6976. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

The display was phenomenal last year, so they've asked the same team at Surrey Events to come back and run it this year. Don’t miss out!