Thursday, 28 February 2013

On Leaving Worcester Park

I must admit to being tempted recently to leave Worcester Park.

Perhaps I have just been worn down by years enduring the daily crawl along a traffic-choked Central Road, spending untold hours every month just getting from one side of Worcester Park to the other. Or perhaps it has been the month after month of relentless grey skies and freezing weather, relieved only by the flames of the occasional blazes at Poundland and WH Smith.

To make matters worse, Tesco tell me (via the medium of billboard advertising) that their new store in Old Malden is actually in Worcester Park. They’ve arbitrarily made Worcester Park a whole lot bigger (we now incorporate The Plough and a 1980s picture of Top Celebrity Critic Gary Bushell) so travelling from one side of town to the other now takes even longer than it did before.

It’s all getting too much.

But what if I did leave Worcester Park? There would be things I would miss too much.

Surely there is no town in this land with a Lebanese deli, butchery, bakery, pizzerie and cakery to match the legend that is Ryan Gate.

And then Nefis install a new shop sign so blindingly bright that, like an unhealthy moth round a fat-filled light bulb, I am unable to resist the allure of their burgers (not that I could before the new sign was installed, mind you).

I would miss the wonderful independent traders who cling on for dear life to their existence in Central Road. They need to be used not just admired, by the way, because they won’t survive without you. In particular I would miss that wine shop at the top of the hill that I may have mentioned once or twice on the blog.

And Broadway Bargains, selling things we never need, some things we probably do need but will never know that we need, and the only place for miles around where you can buy a single button if the fancy takes you.

Then there is 'Born Sushi' - coming soon, according to the sign in the window, for the past year at the shop in Windsor Road. Well, now the word 'soon' has fallen down, so it now is apparently just 'coming'. If I left Worcester Park, I would never get to see if it ever does actually open. 

I would miss the sense of identity and community that Worcester Park still manages to maintain despite the rampant homegenisation of our towns and high streets and the rise of social networking, which gives us more reasons than ever before to stop interacting with the real people around us.

Above all I would miss the blog, all the people I have met through it, the support of so many people in and around the local area and the wonderful comments and emails I continue to receive (including the ones that are far too salacious and scandalous to make it to your screens). It's been a blast.

So that’s settled then. Leaving you would be a ridiculous idea. I can’t begin to think what came over me – I’ve just not been feeling myself recently.

Normal service will be resumed tomorrow.

So long live Worcester Park. 

Long live the Worcester Park Blog!

15 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

Jeff said...

Of course the new Tiny Tesco at Plough Green is in Worcester Park, Old Malden east of the railway line to Tolworth has always had dual nationality, Worcester Park is our postal address, always has been!

Kevin Scott said...

Actually, Plough Green is in the ancient (and current) Parish of Malden.
We're not old Malden; we're the Original!

Dave said...

It seems the "daily crawl" is set to be even slower until mid-June.
A sign has appeared near the top of the hill to the effect that 'works' of some sort will start on 18th March and continue for 12 weeks.

parkerilla said...

I think its to do with the flood barrier work along Beverley Brook in Green lane, it was known the Environment Agency contractors would be back in the Spring to finish off and landscape. May be wrong but I saw the sign too and think thats what its about.

dt said...

I think it's more likely to be the Central Road revamp. When they rip out the kerb side parking spaces they will probably close the entire road as a Health and Safety measure, so none of the workman spills hot tea down them, if the get surprised by a car.

pickety said...

The empty shops opposite the Plough need to be taken up - we could do with a florists, we could do with a gift shop or something a little more tasteful than what's on offer at the moment. A new cafe has just opened - called Indulgence - someone is trying! Old Malden is fab with it's pond and beautiful cottages - shame that The Plough pub isn't just a little bit more up market - the building being so special - it is being sadly neglected - shame .

Dave said...

Ah yes, you've reminded me that TfL were proposing to eliminate the bus bay outside Coombes/Greigs, and that irritating parking bay. Few, if any, of the parking spaces in Central Road are really necessary [waits for the howls of protest] and all are eye-sores. Having the buses stop on 'plain' road will help their progress - which matters far more than delays to one-in-a-car motorists. Mind you, the regular driver of the E16, who uses Greigs as a feeding-station, won't be best pleased.

I wonder why 'they' continue to allow Securicor-type vans to park on the pavement - I've yet to see one get a ticket.

Little Smiff said...

So, what has happened to the joined up road repair plans the the Mayor of London keeps trumpeting? Malden Road is being dug up for gas works. If the original timescale is stuck to this will not be completed until Whitsun. Central Road is being revamped from March 18th. It is likely that that will exceed the scheduled completion date when they dig into the recently renewed water mains. At the same time the junction of South Lane with the A3 is also going to be shut, at the whim of the contractor, from 2nd March possibly until 12th April. Then we'll have the environment agency back in Green Lane. Expect more delays in 2014 when it's decided that the Malden Road is in need of being totally resurfaced following the bodged infilling of the various utility companies the have ravaged it over recent years. Only thing joined up here is the roadworks themselves. Leave Worcester Park? Fat chance.

Dave said...

Looking at the consultation document of October 2012, it would seem that consideration was being given to closing the Central Road access to Stone Place Car Park to vehicular traffic - now that would be very welcome.
If they would also reverse the direction of the one-way restriction in Longfellow Road, ban right turns into that road, improve the phasing of the Green Lane junction lights and enforce parking restrictions throughout, then maybe we would have a more pleasant town and rather less congestion. There again, that document referred to "High Street" and Long Fellow Road" so probably not to be relied on for overall accuracy.

OldMaldy said...

I had a little nose round there the other day. The cafe looks nice - I went in hoping they sold herbal teas/teabags in boxes but they didnt. I'm sure there is a new hairdressers there too (yeah I know as if we didn't have enough) quite convenient for Old Maldeners if you didn't fancy the craw/walkl into Central Road. The little Tesco has a cashpoint outside and I was impressed with the variety of stuff they had on the shelves. They even had a little gluten free section and some goats milk in the fridge. I wonder how it will affect the Co-op...

Tony Kerr said...

I've got a map that defines the Worcester Park postal boundary as running along the Chessington railway line and Malden Manor station is shown as wholly being in WP. So there you have it: Worcester Park has TWO railway stations!

Jeff said...

Plough Green Parade is definitely on the UP, there's even a new Japanese restaurant opening there I see. So in the rush hour while waiting for the contraflow traffic lights to change on the never ending road works now approaching the railway bridge, you'll just have time to pop over for a sushi breakfast.

Catt said...

I see another Born Sushi going up at the north end of the high street!

Susie said...

Born Sushi has been born again at the top of Central road next to the chip shop.

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