Saturday, 30 November 2013

Tree Planting In Fairlands Park

If you're at a loose end tomorrow (Sunday 1st December) between say, 10:30am and 2pm, consider popping up to Fairlands Park in North Cheam and helping plant some trees. Perhaps it's best to let the poster do the talking...

In Which Blogger Grows a Moustache

There can't be many better ways to raise money than to do a bit less shaving. So this year, much to Mrs WP's tolerant discontent, I have opted to sprout a few upper lip follicles for Movember and chase them down the sides as well for good measure.

This is all to help raise both awareness and money to combat men’s health issues, or more specifically prostate and testicular cancer. If any readers feel like donating, please do so here.

Mrs WP has been counting down the days until shave off day which is now tomorrow so it's my last day of looking like a cross between Thomas Magnum and Nick Cave...

Playground Was More Poplar

The playground in Cuddington Rec looks to be open again after having to be closed due to the danger posed by two huge poplar trees which were damaged during the storm in October.

I was pleased to see the sign on the gate (see below) explaining the situation. All too often we the public are confronted with an odd situation regarding something in the local community without any way of finding out what's behind it. So this simple explanation was very welcome. I would have liked to see a new sign put up, now that the trees had been pruned, just to make it clear that the playground was actually open again. This one did say that once the pruning is completed they can open it again - the trees are all pruned and the locks that had graced the gates are no longer there, so I made the assumption that it was now open. That bit more clarity would have been the icing on the cake but it's a vast improvement on locked gates with no explanation why.

Unfortunately the blog understands that quite a few of the actual notices have been taken, and have had to be replaced several times. Perhaps they have become collectors items, or we will start seeing them in pawn shops or being offered to us by odd strangers in bars late at night... Or perhaps it's just some people not thinking about other members of the community...

Tree Scouts

If you are planning to buy a real Christmas tree this year, you could surely do worse than to give your local scouts a hand while you do so. Three local scouting groups (that I have spotted so far) are having Christmas tree sales next Saturday (7th December).

Our local 4th Worcester Park Scouts are selling Christmas trees from their headquarters in Balmoral Road in conjunction with a Christmas Bazaar which starts at 12 noon.

The 4th Ewell Scouts have gone all hi-tech with a wiz-bang 'order your tree' website and will even deliver it for you. Or you can pick one up, not only next Saturday but today (Saturday 30th), tomorrow (Sunday) or next Saturday or Sunday (between 9am and 4pm).

Meanwhile the 1st Cuddington (Warspite) Sea Scouts are putting on a Craft Fair to go with their Christmas tree sale. The Tree sale is from 9am until 3pm while the Craft Fair is from 11am until 2pm.

In all cases the proceeds are being used for further scouting activities or are going to charity.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Browning Fire

A fire at the back of a house in Browning Avenue broke out this afternoon but was quickly brought under control again. The fire apparently broke in the guttering at the back of the house just before 3pm and think black smoke could be seen briefly from Central Road. Two fire engines arrived at the scene minutes later at around 3pm. The blog understand that the owners managed to put the main fire out themselves and the fire service went in the ensure everything was properly cooled down and safe. The main damage was apparently just to the back wall, windows and the roof. Luckily it wasn't much worse.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Blogger Revealed

It is time to reveal who it is behind the Worcester Park Blog keyboard. What better way to do this than via the medium of video...

Just to fill in any gaps, here is a set of FAQs...

How and why did you take over the blog?

Back while Andrew was still the blogger and I was one of its many readers, I saw the blog as a very readable and entertaining as well as extremely useful resource for finding out was what happening in and around Worcester Park. Like many people I noticed that after the Green Lane Mosque was rejected last year that the frequency of postings dropped right back.

I had met Andrew through various local community activities so I knew who he was and I had also sent him several stories and photos about things I had spotted going on. He had posted a couple of these, but in January of this year he went for several weeks without posting any stories, including some which I had sent him. So I went to see him to make sure nothing untoward had happened. This was when he informed me he was leaving Worcester Park. Obviously this meant the blog would just wither on the vine and stop. I half joked about buying it from him but didn’t really think I could do the same job Andrew had been doing.

However after thinking about it for several days I decided that making a go of it would be better than losing the blog altogether. So I went back and offered to take it over. Over the course of the next few weeks Andrew agreed that I should take it over, we worked out an agreement and I officially took control on the 16th of Feb 2013. Then there was about a week and a half when we both wrote articles but Andrew wrote his final hurrah on the 28th of February. Everything since then has been me.

Why reveal yourself now?

Many readers will be aware that my identity has not really been a great secret! Anyone has been able to look me up on various Whois sites, and both in July and also again a few weeks ago I invited all blog readers to a local pub and showed this very video. However because of a new development, I think it is important to now make it clear who I am.

I am also involved in local politics and I have just this week been selected by the Conservatives to stand for Sutton Council in next year’s elections representing Worcester Park. I want to continue to serve Worcester Park through this blog but it is not right or fair of me to be writing a blog and standing as a political candidate without clearly laying my political cards on the table. It is important that people are able to judge what I write with that background knowledge in mind.

Why have you written posts about yourself, 'Simon Densley' in the third person?

When I first took over I was very conscious of the fact that Andrew had done such a brilliant job for many years and I just wasn’t him.  So initially I kept the same level of anonymity so people wouldn’t just stop reading it. I wanted to spend some time proving I could keep the blog going so when readers did realise it wasn’t the same person writing it, they wouldn’t judge me merely as the new guy who wouldn’t be up to the job, but instead on the posts I had been writing that hopefully show that I am up to the job.

However, because I was also quite active in Worcester Park, there were things I was doing around the area that would be considered ‘local news’. So I decided to keep the two roles separate and occasionally write about myself as a separate person doing stuff in the local area. I must admit that I have grown to like this style of writing and prefer it to writing ‘I did this’ and ‘I did that’.

Why do you sometimes write comments on posts as the Blogger and sometimes as Simon Densley?

It depends on the sort of comment I want to make. If I want to thank someone for something or say something pretty uncontroversial or provide some additional information I will comment as the blogger. However if I have something contentious or political to say or I want to pull someone into line for a comment they have made I will have the guts to do that under my own name. I don’t like the idea of ‘trolling’ and I don’t make comments using alias; being the blogger notwithstanding - which is obviously a bit of a special case.

What's Andrew, the original blogger doing now?

Andrew moved with his family down to Ashtead. Astute readers may have noted a few wry references to Ashtead and a blog being run down there. Andrew is now running Ashtead On Line, the Ashtead version of the blog. You might find the font he's used in the header a little familiar...

What happens after the election?

Of course I am hoping to represent Worcester Park on Sutton Council after next May’s election and if so, I want to ‘take readers with me’ as I find out what it is actually like to win a council seat and then to take on the responsibility that goes with that.

Of course representing Worcester Park on the council will have a lot of overlap with the work I have been doing running the blog anyway. It will be my official job to know what is going on in Worcester Park and to communicate with Worcester Parkers about local issues – so not much change there then.

However there will undoubtedly be some small changes to the blogging. In many cases I will have more inside information about issues. However it will also be necessary to keep people’s confidences when dealing with certain issues and as such I will not be able to ‘spill the beans’ on everything that goes on. However I can’t see that affecting the majority of stories.

I hope any changes would be generally positive and more akin to the blog growing and not a shift in style and content. Although I may also have to be a little more careful with any cynical or tongue in cheek humour...

The other positive thing is that via the blog I will be able to ask for people’s thoughts and opinions on various matters that I will be able to take back to council meetings. So if something controversial is being considered for Worcester Park, I will actually be able to ask people what they think and make sure the council is aware of this before a decision is made.

If you’re a Conservative, why isn’t the blog more political than it is?

I consider the Worcester Park Blog to be primarily a local service for the people of Worcester Park. I took it over in February with the intention of keeping it going in the same style and form with it continuing to serve the people of Worcester Park. At the end of the day most things that go on aren’t specifically political and I have tried to include items of a political nature only when they would be ‘news’ anyway.

In the small number of posts I have written with some political content I have tried to ensure that as well as being genuinely newsworthy in their own right, I have stated the facts and included other people’s opinions. I have also refrained from moderating comments which disagree with my own view.

Of course anything I write will naturally be from my own point of view and that means that certain posts will sound more ‘Daily Telegraph’ than ‘Guardian’ however  I like to explore issues and try to find out what’s really going on regardless of any political position. A good example would be the video I made of the squatters.

While at the end of the day I am free to write whatever I personally choose, I think it is important for the Worcester Park Blog to serve the whole Worcester Park community and I aim to continue running the blog in this way.

Have you gone back and edited any of Andrew’s original stories?

No, I have kept the historical stories exactly as they are apart from adding a clearly marked update to one post where new information was relevant to an older story. Other than that, all of the original posts are preserved exactly as Andrew left them. I felt that keeping the old posts unchanged was an important part of keeping the integrity of the blog.

Why do you think Andrew chose to sell it to you?

Andrew told me that he had already had other offers for the blog but that they had been from local businesses that just wanted to take advantage of the readership for commercial purposes and change how it was run without keeping the underlying ethos.

I think the fact that I was already doing local community work and had already sent him a few photos and stories to use he thought there was a chance I might keep it running in its existing form. When I offered to take it over from him I said that it was my intention to keep it running in the same style and format and for whatever reason he believed me. I hope I have stayed true to that goal!

How much money does the advertising make?

On average I make just over a pound a day from the ads. I can’t control what ads people see, everyone gets something different I think. Probably all down to what Google thinks you might personally be persuaded to purchase. However I can remove certain categories of advertising and to date I have removed a number of categories that I didn’t like or was getting complaints about.

Will you answer other questions posed here?

Yes – provided they are genuine questions and not just political point scoring (and I might even answer some of those too).

I've Bin Everywhere

Like most people I am rather averse to seeing litter all around the place. So when on Tuesday I saw this truck delivering some more litter bins to Central Road I was reasonably pleased. I guess I still am 'reasonably pleased' with the additional bins around the place. These include recycling bins which I am also pleased about although I do wonder if they will make much difference if all Sutton's rubbish is destined to be burned in the Beddington Incinerator.

I just find myself wondering if we've perhaps swung a bit too far the other way in regard to the availability of rubbish bins. Maybe it's just me noticing them all but there do seem rather a lot in Central Road now. Then again perhaps that's what we need to keep the street clean. What do you think dear readers, of all our shiny new bins?

Update (18th January)

Blog reader John of North Cheam is clearly nonplussed with the sudden proliferation of rubbish bins in Central Road. A little over a week ago he wrote to tell me:
"I know I'm a tad sad but as I drive through WP every day and to be honest get bored silly doing it, I have to say my number is 44. 
Why do you ask 44? 
Hard to imagine that 44 is that interesting..., until you count the number of rubbish bins From Sainsbury's to the Station. 
Some of these bins are a matter of 20 feet apart, Do you think the council have better things to spend some money on? Imagine the manpower alone to vist and empty all 44! 
Don’t get me on those stupid brick ‘crossings’ that are sinking again, and we pay the wages of these people who come up with these wonder schemes, imagine if it was their own money im sure they would be more careful how they spent it!"
Then the following day he added:
"This morning’s count is 53 assorted bins in the high st. They must be breeding..."

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Charity Race Night At Centrals

Tomorrow evening (Thursday 27th November) Centrals bar will be hosting a Charity Race Night to help Michelle Griscti get to Ghana where she wants to spend two weeks volunteering as a trainee midwife.

Michelle, who is currently a student midwife, is planning to work in a hospital in Takoradi, Ghana with three of her fellow students to try and make a positive difference to the women there and also to learn what it is like working where only the most very basic care is available. She needs to raise £2000 to pay for her travel, accommodation and expenses.

So far Michelle (pictured left) has managed to raise £370 towards her goal and hopes to raise a bit more tomorrow evening at the charity race night. You can donate directly to Michelle's cause at her GoFundMe page.

But what is a charity race night I hear you ask? Well there will be twelve races played out on the screens there (it is a sports bar after all). For each race you can 'purchase' a horse (or whatever happens to be racing) for £3 which allows you to name it and if your 'horse' wins you get £5 plus a bottle of wine.

You can also bet 1 or 2 pounds on a horse. A percentage of all the money bet will be split between the winners and the rest will go to the charity - in this case helping Michelle get to Ghana.

Steve and Sarah, the husband and wife team who run Centrals (pictured right) have kindly donated 12 bottles of wine for the occasion as well as the use of the bar to help Michelle raise the money. If any of that sounds like a worthwhile cause, or even just fun - head on down to Centrals tomorrow evening.

Incidentally Centrals will be running a Karaoke night from next Thursday if you feel like having a sing...

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Christmas Lights On Stoneleigh Broadway

For those readers in the southern part of Worcester Park, and particularly keen ones everywhere else, the Stoneleigh Broadway Christmas light are being officially switched on this Friday (29th November). So much more than the flicking of a switch, this will be a special evening of festive music and dance. A Town Crier will be presiding and there will be stalls, the shops will remain open and Father Christmas has made the trip down especially to see the lights turned on.

Last year was the first year that Stoneleigh Broadway held such a Christmas evening; and it was such a success, they’re doing it again! So if you harbour a fondness for seeing lights switched on, or just enjoy festive Christmassy stuff, make it a date down at Stoneleigh Broadway this Friday (from 4pm – 7pm)

Monday, 25 November 2013

Traffic Watch

The Stone place car park one way system which was supposed to be a trial until November is now being monitored. A traffic counter has been installed at the Central Road entrance to Stone Place and temporary cameras have been put up to see and record the the actual traffic so the council can decide if there is actually a problem or if everything is still hunky dory.

Cameras are watching both entrances, and anyone wandering in Windsor Road is likely to be caught from several angles at be on your best behaviour...

If you don't like the new one way system and wish it would just go away, there is still a petition you can sign which can be found here.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Late Night Library Craft

The Friends of Worcester Park Library are gearing up for their big Christmas Craft Fair to coincide with Worcester Park's Christmas Late Night trading on Friday the 6th December, and then another one on the following day, Saturday 7th December.

The ladies running the craft fair have been running smaller craft fairs in the library to bring the public's attention to the Friends of Worcester Park Library, what they do there and what is available.

This fair will be too big to fit amongst the books and newspapers in the main part of the library and will be upstairs with access from the side entrance.

Tea, coffee and juice will be free, and cakes and biscuits will be available for the trifling sum of 50p. The cakes are made or bought by the craft girls and all donations will go to the "Friends of Worcester Park Library".

They will be running the craft stall on Friday evening from 6-8pm, just like the late night trading and also on the Saturday from 11am-3pm.

What a big weekend this will be!

Saturday, 23 November 2013

HG Wells - The War Of The Words

As many readers have already seen, there has been a protest going out outside the HG Wells pub today. Four gentlemen from the company London Plant Displays who did all the hanging greenery at the pub are complaining that Richard Morgan who apparently owns a dozen or more pubs including this one has weaselled out of paying the twenty thousand pounds he owes them.

The protesters, who were moved on by the police just before 6pm, told the blog that Mr Morgan has a habit of paying people a few hundred pounds as an 'interim payment' for a job worth thousands just to keep them working and when the debts add up he 'goes bust' and reopens the pubs the next day under a new company.

Jack, the manager at the HG Wells told the blog that back in February the pub was owned by a chain called the Butcher And Barrel which Richard Morgan did own. However several of the pubs were losing so much money that even the others subsidising them wasn't enough to keep the overall business afloat and he needed to call in the receivers. Apparently this and other pubs were sold to another pub chain also owed by Mr Morgan.

Richard Morgan does indeed seem to have numerous pub chains to his name in various different states as can be seen here on the Company Check website.

The most unfortunate thing here is that whatever you may think of the owner of the pub chain, Jack and his staff are all extremely friendly, welcoming and professional (IMHO) and I would hate to see them suffer because of any alleged wrong doing by the overall boss. If people stop drinking here, it will be the staff that suffer more than the guy who owns it plus a dozen other pubs.

Jack did also tell me that Richard Morgan wasn't an unpleasant person at all, in fact he found him to be quite a nice guy. He understood the predicament of the people protesting but said that there were better ways to resolve these problems.

Click to enlarge
The gentlemen protesting showed me invoices for unpaid work and said they plan to pitch up with their signs at other pubs owned by Mr Morgan. While this debt has not put them out of business they did mention that someone else they knew, a butcher's, had gone out of business due to similar non payments by Mr Morgan.

There seem to be many unanswered questions here. Like how the director of a company that had 'gone bust' could remain a company director. And how assets may have been transferred straight to another company run by the same person when surely an administrator should have sold them to the highest bidder to minimise any creditor's losses. And how it is these people didn't manage to get at least a percentage of what was owed from the sale of the assets. I sense that like most things, there is much more going on here than seems immediately apparent. There may be more to come...

Friday, 22 November 2013

Wine More Time

There has been a feeling that something has been missing from Worcester Park. You know that feeling that something is missing but you can't quite put your finger on it. Well it was when the VinBin contacted me to say they were coming back to Worcester Park for a Christmas wine tasting that I realised that the VinBin has been gone for over 6 months now.
So the good news is they are back for a celebratory uncorking of the yule tipple (they are calling it their biggest ever Christmas Tasting...) and this will be occurring between 2 and 7pm at Maple Lodge in The Hamptons on Sunday 8th December. That's the Sunday after Christmas Late Night - so it's shaping up to be a busy festive weekend.

We don't yet know what wine selection is being planned for the tasting. Miz said he would email me with:
"More details about the selection of wines and what we have been up to, but for now we are just excited to be back in WP and hope that you can join us for the tasting and a long overdue catch up!"
I look forward to it, as, I have no doubt, do many others!

Update (Friday 6th December)

Miz has sent me some more details about what they've been up to and about Sunday's wine tasting. He has said:
"Last year we started importing some gorgeous wines from Rioja and we're very proud to announce the addition of the Weszeli vineyard in Austria with their stunning Gruner Veltliner and Riesling which have been added to our portfolio.
Our Spanish and Austrian wines will be available for you to taste on Sunday, along with over 30 other wines hand picked especially for the festive season.
Whether you love a well matched Chardonnay with your Christmas Turkey, a classic Chateauneuf or want to try something completely new, we've got it covered!"
Hoping to catch up on Sunday!

Christmas Late Night On Its Way

This year's Christmas Late Night will be held on Friday 6th December betwen 6pm and 9pm in Central Road.

After last year's rather lacklustre performance, the Worcester Park Traders' Association have taken back the reigns and this year's looks to be a big improvement. 

Shoppers will have their chance to make a head start on their
Christmas shopping in participating shops, whilst sampling traditional Christmas treats like roast chestnuts and mulled wine from a variety of market stalls. There will be choirs, an Italian market, a raffle, a colouring competition (see below), Magic Marcus will be performing his magic in the toy shop, Cooking Your Spanish will raising money for St. Raphael's offering hot chocolate with bizcochos and much more!

The Christmas lights have already gone up and the big night is only two weeks away.

Click on the image to see a version which you can then right click on, to download
it onto your computer - so you can print out your own!

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Depressing Outcome

About a week ago a blog reader tweeted to let me know (@worcesterpark) that the stone on one of the new 'crossings' on Cheam Common Road (opposite Balmoral Road) was starting to break up again. I went to have a look and noted that some of the flat stones had sunk a little but thought it was better to keep an eye on them and see if it got any worse. Today when I looked there seemed to be some real deterioration. A section of four stones have sunk, some by what seems a few centimetres. The mortar around these has completely broken and another stone has cracked.

This is not the first time these new crossings have failed to stand up to the traffic in Cheam Common and Central Roads. Readers will remember the stone edges breaking and crumbling within a few months of being installed resulting in the temporary traffic lights having to be brought in again to replace the stones and hopefully fix the underlying problem.

It would unfortunately appear that underlying problems were not all fixed. In addition to the sinking stones, the stone edges are once again starting to break - all these pictures were taken this morning. Admittedly they have lasted longer than a couple of months this time, but not a great deal longer.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Christmas Craft

The final Craft Fair for the year is happening in Central Road on Sunday the 1st of December. (The Sunday after next.) This will be like the other local produce and craft fairs we have had over the year but with a Christmas theme... as you would sort of expect. The other difference is that this one is on a Sunday. It will run from 10am until 4pm so remember to pop down for your Christmassy local produce and craft.

Cut Your Own Christmas Tree

A blog reader is offering a tree in her front garden for free to anyone who wants to come cut it down and take it away. It is over ten feet tall and she would really like to donate it to a charity who might otherwise need to purchase one for Christmas, but if no charity is interested, anyone who is prepared to come and cut it down.

The traditional Christmas tree has grown too big for their garden. She told the blog:
"When my eldest had his first Christmas I bought a potted Christmas tree that was the same height as him, I planted it then to see who would grow the quickest. 13 years on, The tree has won, by many feet! It seems such a waste to just cut/chip it when someone could get some pleasure from it in its final glory!
The only reason it's going is because it's span is growing by the minute and will be covering my whole garden soon! Reluctantly going for the chop."
The tree is in West Ewell. If you would like to offer to cut down and take the tree, please email the blog ( and I will pass on your details.

Green Lane School Makes Some Noise

If there’s one thing guaranteed to entertain children it has got to be recording them making odd noises and then playing them back to them.

Surely with this concept in mind, the Crafts Council touring exhibition Sound Matters has teamed up with children from Green Lane Primary School (and also St John’s C of E Primary School) to create Soundbites, a one day exhibition and online presentation at the Stanley Picker Gallery in Kingston.

I know this is rather short notice but if you are interested in seeing and hearing what the children have produced as well as other stuff, you can go along this afternoon to the Stanley Picker Gallery which can be found in the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture at Kingston University, Knights Park, Kingston upon Thames KT1 2QJ. It will be open from 3:30 until 7pm.

This is all part of their Sound Matters art exhibition which is all about exploring sound through forms.

The children collaborated to compose, perform and record ‘noise only’ soundscapes inspired by self-made images, which included a robot, a car, a cat, graffiti and a selection of family photos. You can find out more here.

Monday, 18 November 2013

What Manor Of Christmas Fair Is This?

As we plunge headlong into the Christmas fair season, the next one on the list is the Malden Manor Primary School Christmas Fair. According to one of the organisers, Debra:
"There will be a range of fun and exciting stalls where you can test your skills, try your luck, or make or buy Christmas gifts. There is even a Santa's Grotto and a secret room where kids can make a special Christmas gift for a loved one - no grown ups allowed!   Refreshments galore, and of course lashings of mulled wine."
I like the bit about the mulled wine. Perhaps they thought I was partial to a drop... I wonder where they got that idea from...

And I am now of course dying to know what goes on in 'the secret room'.

This will all be occurring on Saturday the 30th of November, starting at 1pm and drawing to a close at 4pm (assuming the mulled wine is finished by then.)

Malden Manor Primary School is on Manor Drive North and the entrance for this particular event in in Gainsborough Road (all very close to Malden Manor Station). It shall not even cost you half a brass razoo to gain entry so go along after lunch. Or if you are really into your Christmas Fairs, then after you've enjoyed the Cheam Common Infants' School one which finishes at 2pm you might as well pop along to the Malden Manor Primary School Christmas Fair.

Dalmeny Closed Now

Last week I reported that Dalmeny Road would be closed from Thursday (14th November) for two weeks - at least that's what the signs all up around the place said. Thursday came and went and apparently the road was closed for part of the morning but was all clear again by the afternoon. You can read the riveting account here.

However this morning Dalmeny Road was indeed closed just in the short gap between Oaks Avenue and Braemar Road, but no work was being done. I spoke to Sean Jordan, the chap in charge and regular provider of clarification on all things gas pipe replacement. He told me that they would be digging a large hole there this afternoon and that if he had anything to do with it, it should all be finished and retarmaced by the end of the week.

New Police Sergeant

Worcester Park now has a new Police Safer Neighbourhood Team Sergeant. The blog understands that Sgt Andy De'Voreaux  (pictured left) has replaced Sgt Colin Buchan (pictured below right) who had only been with the Worcester Park team since June. Sgt De'Voreaux comes to the team from the Sutton Safer Transport team and it appears to be a direct swap because apparently Sgt Buchan will now be on the Safer Transport team.

I spoke with Colin Buchan a few times and while I didn't have much of a chance to get to know him I thought he was capable and professional and I would like to wish him well.

At the same time I would like to welcome Sergeant Andy De'Voreaux to the Worcester Park team, which covers both Worcester Park and North Cheam. Sgt De'Voreaux is currently off sick for a few days but I look forward to meeting him after he gets back.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Fair-Well November

On the last day of November, Cheam Common Infants' School will be holding their Christmas Fair.

From 11am until 2pm on Saturday the 30th of November, the Balmoral Road school will be offering mulled wine, prizes, presents, mulled wine, stalls, a Christmas disco, mulled wine and the very grotto of Father Christmas. (Did I mention there would be mulled wine?)

The young-uns get in for free while the rest of us must surrender a small coin (or coins) to the value of 50 pence in order to gain entrance.

So go along and support your local school and enjoy some mulled wine while you're at it.

(And when it's finished, there's always the Malden Manor Christmas fair afterwards...)

A Local Discount For Local People

The newly renovated Brook Pub and Eating House has introduced a 20% off all meals discount card for anyone living within the KT4 postcode area.

The innovation was brought in around the same time as they reopened as the Brook, having previously been the Midas Touch (and for those with long memories, The Huntsman's Hall).

They want to encourage local people to use their restaurant and actually, in my 'umble opinion 20% is quite a reasonable discount. This doesn't include drinks; as one of the owners said to me, they would be working for nothing if it applied to drinks as well!

To sign up and get one of these cards it's very easy... Just visit the 'sign up' page on their website which can be conveniently found here.