Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Waitrose Meat Thief Arrested

A man was arrested this afternoon after apparently trying to steal meat from Waitrose. The police were called just before a quarter to three and questioned the man who had allegedly been caught by Waitrose staff.

The police questioned him on site until around a quarter past three when two more officers arrived with a van to take him away. He was led out in handcuffs to the van and driven away.

Waitrose has suffered a spate of meat thefts over the past year or so and the blog understands there is one main culprit responsible for much of it. Although I cannot confirm if this chap is the same one.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Express Closed

The blog is sad to report the demise of another Central Road new business.

The Express-O-Cafe, which opened to much fanfare back in October (well actually not that much fanfare - more a meeting of a local fan appreciation society than a fan fair). However open they did, and coffee they made and enjoy some I did at the time.

Unfortunately though the numbers of customers they needed to get through the door exceeded the number who actually came through it and last week they sold their last breakfast, gave their new coffee machine a final clean and closed the door for the last time.

I wondered at the time how well they would do, especially in Central Road's fairly saturated market for coffee, breakfast and sandwiches but I wanted to see them succeed, just like I want to see anyone who pours their savings and all their efforts into a new venture do well. I am sad to see them go.

The space is coming back into occasional use by the Sheesh Mangal restaurant next door who were letting the space to Express-O-Cafe. They have now reopened the internal door joining the two shops and unless and until they can let it out to another business they plan to use the space for special events and to extend their Sunday morning all you can eat buffet which they introduced a few weeks ago.

Home Charity Event For St Raphael's

Back in the summer I chanced upon a truly inspiring charitable event - Jean and Tony in Courtenay Road, opening up their home for a fundraising fair to raise money for St Raphael's Hospice.

Well while many of us were celebrating what could arguably be Worcester Park's biggest weekend of the year, Tony and Jean were at it again, this time with their Christmas fundraiser for St Raphael's.

While the summer event is held in the garden, their Christmas event is an indoor affair (for obvious reasons) and this year they hit the one thousand pound mark for this event.

Tony and Jean leafleted 80 local residents and once again filled their home with friendly people raising money for the hospice. The one pound entrance fee covered tea and coffee and those left over at the end were even given dinner!

Jean told the Blog that many people donate items for their stalls. Family, friends and neighbours all know that Jean and Tony are the people to donate unwanted gifts to for their two annual events. Jean also regularly visits car boot sales looking for suitable new items to sell. Jean's Mother puts together the hamper and most weeks adds an extra item to their weekly shop just to put into it. Other family members bake the many cakes and the hospice provided the Christmas pudding and the brandy butter!

Jean and Tony are members of the Cheam and Worcester Park St Raphael's Hospice Local Supporters Group. This was recently two groups; Jean and Tony were members of the Worcester Park supporters but due to dwindling numbers they have only just merged with the Cheam group.

The main event raised £983 on the day however the group's treasurer had not been able to get to the event and added £17 to the takings to bring the total to a round £1000.

There are several such groups about and they are all looking for support so if you are looking for a local group to join that helps raise money for this excellent cause, have a look at this list of supporter groups and see if there is one near you!

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Bin Down There

Weather has struck again in Worcester Park with extra helpings of wind and rain. This evening's main victims seem to be some of the new rubbish bins that now dot Central Road. Around 4:30 there were just a few bins lying on their sides. But later on this evening, bins were strewn across the road and one had been pushed into this car parked outside Costa/Marie Curie.

Being somewhat civicly minded I did move these ones back to the pavements so they are no longer posing a threat to cars. I hadn't realised that the new bins were all merely 'placed' on the pavement ready to blown about in the wind. I wonder if securing them to the pavement somehow may have been a useful idea in hindsight.

There's also a broken fence (pictured left) on London Road A24 just before Evans Autos (or after if your coming down the other way). Mind you I can't remember if this was like this before. That fence has always been a bit in need of repair.

Also a tree falling across two lanes of the A3 has also also been causing traffic jams (don't look so surprised!)

Please email me if you have spotted (or experienced) anything else. Hope you are all safely indoors and not being too effected by it all.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Scouts Pack In The Fund Raising

Waitrose customers are being offered an extra special service today. Local Scouts from the 4th Worcester Scouts group are packing shopping for customers as well as offering them a basket when they walk in and are generally trying to be friendly and helpful.

They are asking in return for patrons to make a small (or large) donation if they wish in order to raise money for the scout group.

Last year they raised close to £1,000 which went towards a minibus for the group. This year they are raising funds to go towards an upgrade of the toilet block at their Balmoral Road headquarters, including facilities for disabled access.

They have been there since 10am this morning and will be there until 3pm so there is still a chance to get down there and take advantage of their hospitality. It's really good to see such good community spirit and work being demonstrated by our local Scouts. Please go along and support them.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Big Brother Was Watching You For A Day

A few weeks ago I received an email from a gentleman in Buckland Way. He wrote:
"As I opened my curtains this morning I was confronted by not one but two cameras attached to the lamppost opposite. The cameras are located in Buckland and are angled towards the entrance of the footpath that leads from the Hamptons, across the recreation field and out into Buckland Way. The residents as far as I am aware have not been informed as to why they are there, the duration or who fitted them. I assuming it is to record peoples movement from the Hamptons or to measure the diabolical parking of parents picking up [children] from Dorchester Primary School."
As dutiful blogger I went to check out said cameras for myself and indeed there they were as described pointing (more of less) at the entrance to the park as shown here (on the left).

The next day I had a further email which said:
Same lamp post the next day
"Then at 5.30am this morning (yes really at that time) I was awoken by the noise of someone putting some aluminium ladders up. Now knowing it was too early for the window cleaner (and he doesn't work Sunday's) I got out of bed and looked out of the window to see a guy in a white transit van taking them down."
I asked the local police sergeant if he knew anything about them but he didn't.

A quick check of the company who owns the equipment, MHC Traffic Ltd, shows they are a company dealing with various types of tracking and surveillance including 'bluetooth tracking' whereby they track the movements of any individuals using bluetooth technology past a number of 'pre-defined cordon points'. All very interesting.

Perhaps someone can shed some light on who and why someone was so interested in that particular public pathway for that particular 24 hour period...

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Stall Without A Market

Next time you're at a market, check if there's a stall missing. A bunch of cheery chaps have pitched their food stall tents in front of Iceland and Thomas Cook in Central Road to offer passers by sweets, nuts, olives and other similar delights. But there is no sign of a proper market of any other stalls. Apparently there will be there until the 23rd December and then will be off to Sutton town Centre from the 26th for a few days.

I did think it was a bit odd for a stall to just set up without a market or any pre publicity but they assured me they have all the correct permissions from Sutton Council. Also it was a little odd that one of the chaps didn't want me to take a photo, claiming is was company policy not to let anyone video of photograph their stalls. Mind you I had already taken the one above (with one of the other gentleman's blessing) and at the end of the day it's a public stall in a public place.

Either way it did look very clean and the olives were nice so pop down and check it out if your in the market for that sort of thing - so to speak.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Movement in Drury & Cole


Drury & Cole has been tidied up a bit. Yes you didn't misread that - the Central Road time capsule which has preserved a somewhat dusty slice of what real estate office life looked like before many blog readers were even born, late last week had a curtain hung across the inside of the windows which have also been cleaned and the poster encrusted wood covering taken down.

Numerous readers have contacted the blog to ask what is going on here. Is it a biblical sign? Heralding a new geological age etc? Well apparently nothing so momentous. The blog understands that the shop was owned by the original Cole family and that the senior Mrs Cole had wanted to keep the shop preserved as it was. Sadly Mrs Cole passed away around a year ago and ownership transferred to her children.

So now the time has arrived when they have been able to look at starting to sort out the property. A council officer did approach them to offer some help in cleaning it up recently but apparently no help was then forthcoming. There are no plans to do anything more with it until at least the New Year and nothing specific planned after that. But things do seem to be happening, and the blog shall be keeping an eye on proceedings...

Mosque Appeal Reminder

Just a quick reminder that tomorrow (19th December) is the deadline for submitting comments to be considered by the appeal board regarding the Green lane Mosque proposal.

Readers will remember that the plans have been rejected by the council twice and that both rejections have been appealed. Both appeals are to be heard at the same time at an as yet unknown date and location. However comments, objections and endorsements can be submitted until the deadline which is tomorrow.

The easiest way to do this is electronically (and I am assuming this doesn't pose a barrier for people who read blogs). Here's how:

  • Click this link: http://www.pcs.planningportal.gov.uk/pcsportal/casesearch.asp
  • Put either "2199244" or "2206647" in the Case Reference box and click "Search for Cases". (That should bring up the actual case.)
  • This case page should contain a clickable link through to a page with more details. Click this link. (You should be on a page with more details of the case.)
  • At the bottom of this detail page is a "Comment on this case" link. Click this link which should take you through to a page where you can actually start making a comment.
  • Follow the instructions from there.

We know that a Mosque (or any building of public assembly) in this location which cause even more traffic and parking problems in the already congested area. Let's make sure the Council's decision is not overturned on appeal.

La Mamma Open Again

Central Road's recognisable and enduring Italian eatery, La Mamma, has reopened again after several months of renovation work. Having been closed since early August, the newly renovated restaurant opened again last week and it's hardly recognisable as the same place!

The owner has gone for a modern new look incorporating some classic d├ęcor and he told the blog he has been contemplating the update for a few years now. He is also looking to start opening for breakfast
(coffee, paninis etc.) in the new year.
The restaurant has had mixed reviews over the years but I am pleased to say my cappuccino was extremely good and the staff were very friendly both with me and with WP junior who came along to offer his thoughts on the mater (He liked the colouring in and the lolipop.)

It's been a long wait but hopefully it's been worth it.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Pedestrian Hit In North Cheam

Updated (18th Dec)

A twelve year old girl is in hospital with head and leg injuries after being hit by a car at the pedestrian crossing at Chatsworth Road on Malden Road in North Cheam. The accident occurred at 6:22pm yesterday evening and roads were closed until 9:50pm while the police conducted their investigation.

Malden Road was closed to through traffic between London Road (A24) and Chatsworth Road and to all traffic between Priory Road and Chatsworth Road. Priory Road was also closed to through traffic.

Bus routes 93,151,213 and X26 were diverted and there are delays on Cheam Common Road backing up towards Central Road.

It is always distressing to find out that someone has been hurt and the blog wishes the girl, whose injuries are luckily not thought to be life changing, a full recovery as quickly as possible.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Cooking Your Spanish Open Day Tomorrow

Cooking Your Spanish are opening up their kitchen and classroom tomorrow (Tuesday 17th December) afternoon from midday. If you have been a little temped by Cooking Your Spanish's intriguing mix of language class and culinary appreciation, tomorrow is the day to go and check it out.

From midday until 8:30pm, you will be able to go along to suite 12, Fitzroy House, KT4 7AT (Central Road end of Lynwood Drive) to enjoy some
complimentary tapas and a sangria while learning more about the new courses and activities being planned by Cooking Your Spanish for 2014. These include regular lunch and dinner classes, Cooking Your Spanish for the Family, Spanish for business, trips and the Club.

Might see you there...

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Last Weekend's Big Roundup

Firstly apologies for last few days of radio silence. It's been a hectic week...however...

Last weekend Worcester Park was rather spoilt for choice with the myriad of things to do and entertain us. I tried to get around as many of these as I could but didn't quite manage all of them, but here's a sum up of the things I did manage to get to...

It all kicked off of course with Friday's Christmas Late Night. Many people came together to make it all happen but special thanks needs to go to several people starting with Tracey from Cycle Power who generally coordinated the event. Brendan from Pets Place, Martin from Worcester Spark and Kathleen from the St. Raphael's Hospice shop together with their respecting staff, helpers and volunteers managed to bring Father Christmas and his Grotto to into being. I know many other people helped as well so apologies to those who haven't had a special mention.

Many local traders supplied prizes for the raffle, the list of contributors is:

  • Hendys Jewelers
  • Regwell Sewing Machines
  • Megabytes
  • Woodward Bros
  • Trutex
  • Preview Menswear
  • Worcester Spark
  • Pets Place
  • Cycle Power
  • The Toy Shed

Several traders stayed open for the evening (a few more would have been even better) and some were running stalls out the front of their shops like Woodward Bros with their very popular BBQ, Worcester Spark running Santa's Grotto and Cycle Power with their bicycle tent.

Access to Father Christmas and his grotto was by donation and the money raised which was over £50 was given to St. Raphael's.

The children's choirs in front of Waitrose were (unsurprisingly) very popular as were most of the theme park style rides. There was also singing and music from Christ Church with St Philips and others, and lots of other things going on, both Christmassy and non Christmassy...

Overall a fantastic effort by a few people made this a great event and showed that Worcester Park's Christmas Late Night is on it's way back. Unfortunately Cheam were having their Christmas Late Night on the same evening so there was a split in the number of people attending.

Running simultaneously was the craft fair in the Library which offered a place to sit down and enjoy free tea and coffee or you could purchase a home made cake for the princely sum of 50 new pence.

This also continued on Saturday from 11 until 3pm.

Jackie who runs the Friends of Worcester Park Library told the blog that they have many more events and activities on at the Library. She said there is also some updates on the 'Library Garden' situation (Watch this space...)

Saturday was also the day of Scouts selling Christmas Trees and putting on their own Christmas Fairs. When I popped in to have a look at the 4th WP branch in the morning, Paul Green who was running the tree sale said they had sold many trees that morning so far. He also wanted to specifically thank Grant and Elise from Dual Tools in Central Road for all the help they have given the local scouts. As well as donating the use of vehicles and generators when the scouts need them, Grant and Elise usually donate scrap metal and other things for the scouts to sell and help them raise money.

There were several school Christmas Fairs running on Saturday as well. I only managed to get to the one at Dorchester Primary (sorry no photos). This was an indoor affair with what seemed like stuff going on in nearly every classroom. I enjoyed some of the home made cakes and wandering round with a cup of tea found something at one of the stalls I just had to buy: A whoopee cushion! They must be coming into fashion again because WP junior came home from a birthday party recently with one in his party bag and after several days of inane giggling from both of us he finally burst it by jumping on it. I hadn't seen one in literally decades so I decided to buy him a replacement. Twas an enjoyable fair.

Then came Sunday and Vin Bin's wine tasting. I took my father in law who was staying for a few days and off we went for what was supposed to be a quick sample of a range of splashes before getting back for dinner. However after far too much yaking with several people I knew and a few I had just met, I didn't get round to actually tasting anywhere near a respectable number before unfortunately having to leave. I am confident that everyone there enjoyed themselves (I know we both did) and Miz and Aret told me they are looking to coming back for another one around Easter time and then hopefully one in the summer. I am sure we will all be looking forward to that!

Monday, 9 December 2013

Four Homes damaged in Fire

A fire at a house in Ardrossan Gardens destroyed part of the roof and caused damage to three other homes yesterday.
The fire started in the roof of the end of terrace home in Ardrossan Gardens which backs onto the railway line in the Epsom and Ewell sector of Worcester Park. Firefighters were called to the blaze just after 1pm yesterday (Sunday 8th December) with eight in breathing apparatus and 5 fire engines tackling the fire.

The gentleman who’s home it was has been cleaning up the mess, removing the pieces of charred roof etcetera with the help of some friends.

One of the gentlemen helping to clean up the mess told the blog that the fire brigade too ‘ages’ to get there. He said the thick smoke was at first pouring out of this property but as the smoke pushed its way through the roofs, it was soon also pouring out of the house at the other end of the terrace, four houses away.

The house next door was partially damaged by smoke and heat while the other two were affected by smoke damage.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

More Obscenities Written On Bank Chambers

Another obscene phrase has been written on the door of the old Bank Chambers in Green Lane. The words (pixelated here) are written is what appears (to me) to be similar handwriting to the last lot of obscenities written on the door back in June and painted over (the brown patch above).

The building is owned by a Muslim group who have tried twice to get planning permission to turn the building into a Mosque and this has been rejected both times by Sutton Council because of the additional parking a traffic problems it would cause, after nearly 4000 signed a petition against it and 660 letters were received objecting to it (against 6 letters of support).

It is worth mentioning here that both these decisions are currently being appealed and people have until the 19th of this month (December) to make any additional comments, objections etc. to be taken in to account by the appeals board.

This of course is the right way to go about objecting to this planning application. Writing obscenities on the building is like this is just offensive hate crime and is totally unacceptable.

The Metropolitan Police will not tolerate any hate crime against anyone. If you have any information about this please call 101 or the Worcester Park Safer Neighbourhood team on 020 8649 3590 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Rubbish Recycling Service

Wandering down Central Road this morning I noticed this gentleman emptying the rubbish bins on the corner of Brinkley Road. I noticed he took both the bag from the recycling bin and the one from the 'normal rubbish' bin and put them both in the same section of his dust cart. So being an inquisitive sort, I asked him if the recyclable rubbish was supposed to be kept separate. he told me no, it all goes in together. I asked if it then gets separated later on. Once again the answer was no, it apparently all goes into landfill without being separated.

Coincidentally, Councillor Jerry Jerome happened to be walking past at the time so I stopped him and asked the gentleman to repeat to him what he has said to me. Again he told us that the recyclables that we have been so carefully dividing into separate bins are all just taken together with the 'normal litter' and not recycled. I think Councillor Jerome was as surprised as I was. He asked who told him to do it this way. The chap replied that this was the instruction from his supervisor. He did also mention that he thought a new system was coming next year which would probably mean the recyclables would actually get recycled.

Has anyone else noticed recyclables just being mixed in with the normal rubbish? It's a bit depressing to think we have been dividing our rubbish up just for it to go straight into landfill anyway.

Update (Wed 8th January)

So it transpires that the London Borough of Sutton has dropped from being one of the best councils for recycling in 2003 to one of the worst in 2013. suttonguardian.co.uk/news/10921698.Sutton_drops_200_places_in_recycling_league_table/.
So what exactly does the party responsible for this mean then by this statement at the bottom of their recent leaflet?

Also they don't seem to be able to spell 'economy'.