Sunday, 30 June 2013

Re: Cycle Registration

The opportunity to register your peddle powered device is once again upon us. On Sunday the 14th of July, police from the local Safer Neighbourhood team and transport police will be in the car park of Christ Church with St Philip (in Ruskin Drive near the corner of Cheam Common Road) offering to mark and register your cycling apparatus.

As part of a police move to improve cycle security across the Capital, the Cycle Task Force, part of the Transport for London (TfL) funded Metropolitan Police Service Safer Transport Command, are offering free security marking and advice to the public about registering your bike, monocycle, tandem, trandem, penny- farthing or other peddled contrivance.

A unique code is etched into the cycle frame and kept on a database together with the owner’s details so that the police can trace the owner and reunite them with their wheeled transport if it gets stolen (and recovered). Apparently so many stolen bikes are recovered but the police have no way of knowing who their owners are so most end up going for auction. When a registered bike is recovered they simply have to look it up to find the owner and arrange to get it back to them. Security marking your bike also deters potential thieves as your bike can be easily traced if it is stolen.

The event follows on from two similar bike marking event in Worcester Park this year. The first was in January outside the police office in central road and saw 47 bicycles registered. The second was In April at Maple Lodge in the Hamptons and saw 72 cyclists turn up for the event which had to be extended due to such overwhelming popularity.

So if the trend continues, Sunday the 14th at Christ Church with St Philip should be a corkingly popular day as Worcester Park’s many, as yet unregistered cyclists choose to take advantage of this valuable free service.

Why not come down (or up) and get yours done?

Update

A good bike marking was had by all with a grand total of 22 bikes leaving happily registered.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Arsonist Pleads Guilty


Michael White, the man charged with setting fire to Poundland on the 11th December last year has pleaded guilty to the crime. Mr White, 37, who and lives on Malden Road, Worcester Park has a history of arson caused £24,000 of damage to the Poundland shop front when he set light to the pile of rubbish stacked at the front of the store. He was charged at Sutton Police Station on 19th March and is due to be sentenced at Croydon Crown Court on the 4 September 2013.


Thursday, 27 June 2013

Brinkley's Past

What do you know about the history of Brinkley Road? I had an email recently from someone who wants to find out more about Brinkley Road's long and glorious past. She writes:
"I am currently researching the history of Brinkley Road, specifically Brinkley Court - I have discovered that St Matthias church was built on the site in 1906 - subsequently relocated to Cheam Common Road in 1966.

It has been mentioned that there used to be a factory on the site after the relocation? Does anyone know what it produced? Also if anyone has any info for pre 1906 I would be very grateful..."
If anyone can help fill in the gaps please comment bellow as per usual. Thanks.

Of course this could also be one for the Brinkster...




How Far Is Too Far?

I recently put up a posting about something happening in Bourne Hall, Ewell having considered that readers who live in the South part of Worcester Park may well consider this to be local to them. This has got me wondering, how far should I go when looking for interesting things to write about, or rather where should I start filtering them out? I have often written about Victoria House and its North Cheam surroundings. Conversely, going the other way, I have mentioned issues in Manor Park, and things heading off in the direction of Malden (both Old and New). I am aware that some of these things will be of interest to people living on one edge of Worcester Park, but not to everyone in Worcester Park, whereas things in Central Road are probably of interest to all of us. I know there are many regular readers and even contributors who themselves live outside Worcester Park itself and even some who live very far away in places I would definitely class as 'foreign'. So where should the boundary be?

Once again I would like to ask you dear blog readers for guidance. Are you happy if Cheam baths gets an occasional mention or does it offend your sense of neat borders? If I happen to hear of something a bit interesting going on in Morden, Cheam, Stoneleigh or Tolworth or even Ashtead do you like to hear about it? (Well maybe not Ashtead as they have a good blogger down there already.) Or would you rather know that pretty much every post has its roots somewhere within the strict boundaries of WP. Is the balance about right for you, is it too myopic or too broad? Please let me know what you think about this most weighty of issues. Thanks. I look forward to your feedback!


Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Obscenities Written On Bank Chambers

Extremely offensive obscenities have been written on the door and door surround of the Old Bank Chambers in Green Lane which is currently having an application to become a Mosque being considered by Sutton’s planning department.

The two pieces of writing scrawled in pen shown above (with the words pixilated) were both in the same handwriting and come within weeks of a swastika being painted on the door.

Worcester Park residents managed to get over 3,500 petition signatures and write over 500 letters objecting to this building becoming a Mosque because of the additional parking and traffic mayhem it would cause in a spot which already has severe parking and traffic problems. However it is a shame that a few racist people feel the need to resort to offensive hate crime such as this.

This has been reported to the Council.

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.

Update 1st July

The single word beginning with 'C' that was written on the door has now finally be painted over.

Unfortunately the offensive four word sentence on the right hand side is still there (at least it was when I went past earlier this afternoon.) I hope this will be dealt with quickly.



Bourne For Charity Walk

This Sunday (30th June) the Elective Orthopaedic Centre, based at Epson Hospital, will be holding a charity walk to raise money for their Research and Development Department. The walk will begin at 3:00pm at Bourne Hall in Ewell (KT17 1UF). The majority of walkers will be patients who have had Total Knee/Hip replacement here at Elective Orthopaedic Centre and they will be walking 1 mile.

There will be lots of fun, games, prizes and refreshments on the day from 1pm until 5pm. You are encouraged to come along and enjoy the day! You don't need to do any walking yourself if that's not your thing. You are welcome to join in though if you want.

Yes I Know this is a little off the Worcester Park map, however I was contacted about this by a blog reader and I reasoned that there are parts of Worcester Park that might consider Bourne Hall fairly localish to them. And it’s for a good cause…

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Pictures Of You Available

Many readers will remember the Pictures Of You exhibition held at the Meanwhile Space ‘You Are Here’ pop-up shop space on London Road, North Cheam, between February and April this year. Well all those pictures have been put together into an Ebook which you can look at online or download for free.

It's 200 pages are full of interesting photos revealing life and the history of North Cheam over time (and a bit of Worcester Park) ranging from rural scenes from the early 20th century, to protests outside a nuclear bunker in the area. They were sourced from contributions by the local community and research undertaken at Sutton Archive and include images from the collection of local historian (and occasional blog contributor), David Rymill.

The images collected in the ebook tell a story of North Cheam’s life and history, and of wider social and geographical changes. Photos of the Lower Cheam Farm showing the areas former agricultural life, contrast with Charles E Brown’s aerial photos from the 1930’s depicting the rapid development of housing in the area.  Whilst images of Brock’s Fireworks Factory and St Anthony’s Hospital give insight into working life and the evolving health care system, from open-air wards to the building of St Raphael’s Hospice. And a wide variety of other material, including: 50 years of St Oswald’s Church, VE day parties, the 1987 hurricane, Cheam High School sports day, the 93 bus, St George’s day parties, and the North Cheam nuclear bunker are chronicled.

A particular focus of the book is London Road and the changing nature of the high street and Victoria House. Tim Bridle donated images he took from Victoria House’s elevated car park in 1986, and images from Sutton Archive show the three former pubs on the site, whilst a CGI image from Stonegate Homes shows its projected future incarnation. These are shown alongside alternate designs for a Victoria House of the future, by year 5 students from Cheam Park Farm School, produced as part of the project. 

It also includes feedback from a questionnaire on North Cheam undertaken by Cheam Park Farm School students with friends and family, interviews with residents, excerpts from local history books and project notes by the artists. 

The project was commissioned by Sutton Council and Meanwhile Space, supported by the Mayor for London’s Outer London Fund, and run by artists Charles Holden and Sam Skinner. The original exhibition space functioned as an open-access archive where photos were scanned, interviews were recorded, and local history books and other material were available to study. Together, it is hoped the book serves as a document of enquiry into North Cheam and the place of photography within it, asserting the rich and varied histories of a place, and functioning as a resource for engagement with its diverse identities and possible futures.

For more information see their website: http://www.picturesofyou.org.uk/

You can see and download the ebook directly here: http://issuu.com/picturesofyou/docs/pictures_of_you_north_cheam_ebook


Monday, 24 June 2013

Change of Sergeant

Sergeant Ashley Bennetts
Sergeant Ashley Bennetts - moving
to Wandle Valley
Worcester Park must say good bye today to Sergeant Ashley Bennetts who is leaving the local Safer neighbourhood team to head up the team in Wandle Valley, towards the North East corner of the borough of Sutton. Sergeant Bennetts has served in Worcester Park, heading up both the Worcester Park and Nonsuch ward teams since early last year, replacing Suzannah James who ran the teams for over four years before that. Sergeant Bennetts who had been running Beddington North actually swapped with Suzannah James who went to Beddington North and now Sergeant Bennetts will be off to run Wandle Valley, which is right next to Beddington North. (Sorry if that’s confusing – it’s easier if you’re looking at a map…)

Sergeant Bennetts told the blog:
"I have really enjoyed my 15 months at Worcester Park. I think we achieved a lot despite having 50% of my officers taken away. I had plans post Local Policing Model to utilise the extra staff, 2 x Police officers, 4 x Special Police officers. These plans can be carried forward with Sergeant Buchan. Of course there is continuity as PC Luke Lazell remains at Worcester Park and PC Haining remains at Nonsuch."
Anyone who has worked with Ashley Bennetts in Worcester Park will know what a professional and dedicated man he is and I know we will all miss him and wish him well.

Sergeant Colin Buchan
Sergeant Colin Buchan - joining
the Worcester Park team.
While technically Friday was Sergeant Bennetts’ last day, he will be spending part of today sorting out the changeover with the new Worcester Park Sergeant, Sergeant Colin Buchan who is moving from the Sutton North Ward. (For those really interested, the blog understands that Sergeant Katherine Morteo will be taking over in Sutton North). The blog would like to welcome Sergeant Buchan and I have no doubt that we will all want to make him feel at home in Worcester Park as quickly as possible.

The changeover of Sergeant coincided with the new Metropolitan Police's local policing model which kicks in today. Neighbourhood policing in Sutton is now divided into three different areas, with each area headed up by a neighbourhood inspector. Worcester Park’s area covers the northern band of 6 Sutton wards including St Helier and (perhaps ironically) Wandle Valley where Sergeant Bennetts is now posted to. It neatly covers two Council local committee areas and is headed overall by Inspector Neil Tyre.

Readers will be happy to know that Worcester Park police office will continue to open as usual from 10am to 2pm, Monday to Friday and that we will be getting 2 more Police officers, 4 more Special Police officers, as per Sergeant Bennetts’ quote above.

For those interested in finding out more about the new local policing model, there will be a presentation by Inspector Neil Tyre at the Sutton Neighbourhood Watch AGM this Tuesday (25th June). It is being held at the Civic Offices, St. Nicholas Way, and starting at 7.00pm. This is a public meeting so if you are keen to know more about this, Neighbourhood Watch or other policing matters, please go along.



Saturday, 22 June 2013

Manor Park Update

Blog readers may remember a posting in April about Manor Park in New Malden and the destruction of a mature Hawthorne wood there. Some may even recall the Environment trust became involved and there was a meeting with councillors and  a concerned resident.

Well the concerned local resident had the meeting with Councillors David Fraser and Ken Jones and with Gerrard Eccles from the Environment Trust on the 10th June. She told the blog about the meeting:
"Ken began by saying there’s not much the council can do as its privately owned and the land was originally owned by the railway and they sold it on to the present owner, that’s apparently what someone else at the council told him.  However, as Gerrard reminded him, there is a map on the council’s web site showing the area as a"Site of Importance for Nature Conservation"which includes the pond and the Woodland that runs along the train track, which is classed as a "Green Corridor" and as such it becomes the council’s business to investigate. To this end, Ken has agreed to get documentation from Land Registry so that we can establish the footprint and Gerrard, David and I will be at the Neighbourhood Committee Meeting next Thursday evening 19th June to add Manor Park to the agenda which means the Council will have to investigate the situation and minute their findings.  So far no one at the Council has even contacted the owner to find out what exactly he plans to do and when, which I think is appalling." 
Once she had done some further research, she is planning to set up a petition on the Council web site and says that once they have 500 signatures the council will have to act. She added:
"We all are of the opinion that although his may seem an altruistic move on the part of the owner initially with the allotment scheme, in the long run he has another agenda."
She hopes people will still keep up the pressure on the Council as she feels they have so far been dragging their feet. She had promised to keep the blog updated with the unfolding of further events.

Update (6th July)

If you are near Manor Park today, look out for a lady gathering signatures on a petition asking Kingston Council to get more on the case. Cllr David Fraser will also be asking people to sign at his surgery at the
library today.

The Three Fairs

A quick reminder that three Schools are holding summer fairs today. They are:


If you time it carefully you can spend an hour at each one and support each of these great schools! Hopefully the weather will also play fair.


Friday, 21 June 2013

Job Well Done (So Far)

The consultation deadline has passed for the Mosque application in Green Lane. Readers may be interested to know that as of Tuesday (18th June) 492 letters of objection had been received by Sutton Council and only one letter of support. I know several people who have sent in letters of objection since Tuesday so the final number will higher than this (perhaps substantially).

Also, Arthur Hookway, Chair of the Worcester Park Residents’ Association (WPRA) this afternoon delivered to Sutton’s planning department a petition with a massive 3,737 signatures on it objecting to the application. That was 34 more signatures than the WPRA collected last time, and this time it was achieved in three weeks.

Mr Hookway has said:
"I, once again would like to place on record my personal thanks to all of you (you know who you are), who worked so hard to help us to achieve this vital step in the legal road to objection. Please pass my thanks on to all of your friends and associates who assisted you in this project."
This petition was only one of a number of petitions that were going round Worcester Park. The local Conservatives were also gathering signatures and I am aware of other petitions that were spontaneously set up by local residents.

Now the Council planning department has the unenviable task of working through all of the correspondence, petitions, the application and various reports to produce an overall report and recommendation for the Development Control Committee. The Development Control Committee, which is made up of elected Sutton Councillors, will hold a public meeting (like last time) where supporters and objectors may speak about the application. The committee must then vote on whether to allow or refuse the planning permission based on all the evidence, and taking into account the relevant planning law.

The Worcester Park Blog will of course keep you informed of events as they unfold.

Update (26th June)

The Sutton Guardian has reported that in addition to the 3,737 signatures we had over 500 letter of objection: http://www.suttonguardian.co.uk/news/10506788.Thousands_of_people_sign_anti_mosque_petition/

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Bright Lines


If you thought the white lines in Central Road are bit brighter today you are right. There were two gentlemen repainting them this morning (shown here at Longfellow Road) and working their way up the road. I was impressed that they just stood in the road getting on with the job, presumably (and hopefully) to ensure minimum disruption to traffic by avoiding three way lights systems or stop and go boards.

I learned two interesting things by watching them today. The paint seems to dry almost instantly and it smells like someone is soldering. I guess the paint is heated to a liquid and solidifies almost instantly when poured out onto the road. Please feel free to correct/enlighten me further!

One Day To Go

Tomorrow (Friday 21st June) is the deadline for signing the petitions on the Green Lane Mosque application. There have been several petitions against the plan doing the rounds in Worcester Park. I am not aware of any petitions for it.

If you want to sign a petition and have not yet done so you only have today to do it. The following shops in Central Road have petitions for you to sign. They are being collected up between 4:30pm and 5:00pm this afternoon so you will need to get down there before 4:30 to add your signature.
  • Woodwards the Butchers
  • Iceland
  • Cycle Power
  • Ross's Fruiterers
  • Pet's Place
Remeber a direct objection (or endorsement) holds much more weight than a signature on a petition.

You can both object/support directly and sign a petition. To object (or support) the application directly:
  1.  click on the following link: http://gis.sutton.gov.uk/FASTWEB/detail.asp?AltRef=A2013/67455&ApplicationNumber=67455&AddressPrefix=&submit1=Go
  2. Click the green button at the bottom that says ‘Comment’.
  3. Follow the instructions from there:
  • Fill in your Name, Address and email address.
  • Tick the Object box (or one of the others)
  • Fill in your reasons for objecting (or supporting etc.)
  • Type ‘Yes’ in the box beneath and click the Submit button
This must be done today or tomorrow if you want your opinion to be recognised.


Wednesday, 19 June 2013

The Price Is Wrong

It would seem that the post office in Central Road has not yet seen the error of its ways with regard to alleged blatant overcharging. I had an email this morning from a brave Royal Mail customer who writes:
"The post office on Central Road seems to still be overcharging its customers to post items.  I had an experience in there last week and have complained to Trading Standards due to the sheer audacity of the postal staff in there.

I went to post an item on Friday 14th June.  The item was smaller than an A5 envelope and qualified as a 1st Class Large Letter.  I tested this using their dummy postage finder on the counter.
 
The lady behind the counter then proceeded to tell me that my item would cost either £6.75 or £10.25.  I queried this and she repeated the costs twice, I then told her that it was classified as 1st Class Large Letter and asked her where she was getting her original quoted price from, she declined to explain herself and eventually priced it correctly as 1st Class Large Letter at an actual cost to send of £1.20, the weight shown on my receipt is 0.103kg !!!

Throughout my conversation she was adamant that it should be sent using the inflated costs given above even though I clearly showed her the small size of the item.  As a poster of regular parcels I have a very good understanding of postal pricing and estimated costs to send and so chose to question her and argue the point.  In the end she backed down and posted it for the correct price.  At no point did she apologise for her mistake and she continued to try and get me to pay the £6.75 charge.
 
This is not the first time that I have thought that the prices in the Post Office in Central Road were being inflated on purpose, with larger parcels it is difficult to tell whether you are being charged correctly.  However, on this occasion her charging in my opinion was blatant and fraudulent and given the size of the package I was posting I was in no doubt about the cost and so was able to establish their blatant overcharging without doubt.
I just wanted to bring it to your attention in case others are having similar issues.."
Are other Worcester Parkers now experiencing this problem? Perhaps if everyone who did endure this complained to Trading Standards we might see some some swift and tough intervention leading to the change that appears rather necessary, namely that people are only ever charged the correct postage for any item.

If you want to contact Trading Standard you can do so here:

London Borough of Sutton
Business Regulation Service
Civic Offices
St Nicholas Way
Sutton
Surrey
SM1 1EA
0208 770 5070
trading.standards@sutton.gov.uk
   Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames
Trading Standards Service
Guildhall
Kingston upon Thames
KT1 1EU
08454 04 05 06





Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Pickpockets in Central Road

I had a message yesterday about a couple of incidents of pick-pocketing in Central Road. In one incident a man in his 80s was robbed of his wallet and his wife’s pension money. Apparently the thief had been following him around inside a supermarket and then to the bus stop, waiting for the right moment.

Also a woman in her 20s had her mobile phone taken from her handbag. Luckily the thief dropped it and it was returned to the victim.

The victims and their family and friends are understandable angry and upset that this could happen to them (or indeed to anyone).  They have asked me to pass on to everyone:
“to be careful using the post office and banks because these animals are watching and following you. Make sure your purse or wallet is in an inside pocket or under your coat. They are very fast.”
Police advice is always to keep anything valuable out of sight and please contact the police if you know anything about this/these thieves. If crime is happening, call 999, if you have information about a crime call 101 or to remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. If it is specific to Worcester Park, you can also call the Worcester Park Safer neighbour Team on 0208 335 9415.

The only way we are going to drive these thieves from our streets is to make sure the police have as much information as possible. So please contact them if you know anything.


Gas Works Video

People may recall the gas pipe replacement works currently going in Worcester Park. (Those in affected streets may recall it a little more vividly.)

Well Southern Gas Networks have gone to the trouble of producing a short film explaining “more about their essential gas mains replacement work in Worcester Park” and sent me a link to this youtube link to the video yesterday.



I didn’t have time to have a look at it until today and I have to admit I am impressed. It wasn’t the generic ‘Southern Gas Networks does pipe replacement’ video I was expecting. They have actually come down to Worcester Park and shot the whole thing especially for us! And this explains in more detail what will be happening where and when.

Now someone is going to have to break it to them that it’s not going to win any awards for film making. However I do give them top marks for effort.

If you live in one of the affected streets I would suggest having a look. Affected streets are:

  • Pembury Avenue
  • Caverleigh Way
  • Green Lane
  • Lincoln Road
  • Sutherland Gardens
  • Hazelmere Gardens
  • Browning Avenue
  • Brinkley Road
  • St Philips Avenue
  • Dalewood Gardens

From what I can tell Southern Gas Networks seem to have responded very positively to the initial criticisms levied at them. What do you think dear reader?

Monday, 17 June 2013

Vin Bin Pops Up a Second Time


The second coming of the Vin Bin Popup wine bar is happening this Thursday (20th June) evening from 6pm onwards. Once again it will be at the Medusa Cafe (adjacent to Sheesh Mengal Restaurant on Central Road).

They are offering a mini tasting (after which you can order numerous bottles to be delivered to your very home) and also the £5.00 glass of wine and a meze plate to enjoy in the company of Mislav, Aret and other like minded Worcester Parkers.

Wines will be summer orientated so expect some crisp whites and light reds, with a rose or two thrown into the mix. Hopefully the weather will take note...

Balmoral Done, Windor Begun

The shifting road works have all but vacated the Balmoral Road intersection with Central Road where they have left behind another nice pedestrian crossing and a pleasant arrangement of flora and stone. They have instead taken root in Windsor Road as of today where there is a two way traffic lights system (with signs saying it is three way lights but I'm stumped as to where the third signal is.)

No doubt they will leave behind a nice pedestrian crossing and a pleasant arrangement of flora and stone here too. In fact having seen the plans I am confident it will be nicer than what is currently there (not counting the road works).

The 1000th Post (Celebration)

Would you believe it!  This little old Worcester Park Blog has hit the 1000 postings mark! That’s 1000 pieces of subjective and opinionated musings that you, dear reader have kept actually reading over the years. And it is only because you have kept reading them that I have kept writing them and keeping the blog going.

So it is therefore all down to you, the blog readers, the Worcester Parkers who seem never to tire of my rantings, musings, gossip and other bits of information that I pick up from here and there, when most normal people would surely have chosen something much more interesting to look at. So I thank you. I really do.

That such a blog can exist and even, dare I say ‘thrive’ here is perhaps a testament to the people of Worcester Park. And that gets me thinking: What is it that makes Worcester Park special? How is it possible that a random bunch of human beings that have only ‘where they live’ in common, can somehow form a distinct ‘character’? Is it something about what draws people here in the first place that everyone seems to somehow share or is it perhaps just the continuous little exchanges every day between the various Worcester Parkers as they go about their daily business that somehow passes on and continually refines the character of Worcester Park and the people who live here? Maybe it’s a combination of the two and other factors I haven’t even thought of. How have we managed to retain that villagy feel where people all seem to know each other without necessarily actually knowing each other, while physically being attached on all sides to the greater metropolis that is both South London and Surrey. Whatever it is, it is something worth appreciating.

From a personal perspective I have to say how amazing it has been to write this blog knowing people actually bother to read it. And not just a few people but many people. Many times I have had to keep a straight face and just smile and nod while people have started randomly talking about the blog in my company. It has been recommended to me by people and hearing such unintended and unguarded praise has warmed my heart no end. It is such a great source of pride and also confidence and of course also a reminder of the responsibility that goes with it. Above all it has been (and still is) a great privilege.

And so…

In celebration of reaching this 1000th posting milestone and to thank all of you who have stuck with the blog over the years, I have decided to organise an event which I am so tempted to call the ‘Blog Readers Ball’. It is nothing so fancy but it is a chance to get together, blogger and bloggees, to share a drink and a chat and see all the other blog readers we feel we know via our computers, but face to face and take the ‘virtual’ out of the virtual community of blog readers. It is also where *dum dum dum*, the true identity of the blogger shall be revealed. Yes I shall pull myself out from behind the keyboard and ye shall know who it actually is that writes all this stuff. At least ye shall know if ye turns up.

The Event is kindly being hosted by the Midas touch (On Central Road opposite Green Lane for those that don’t know) on Thursday the 4th of July from 7:00pm onwards.  (Here’s a space for people who wish to inject their American Independence Day puns…)

The Midas Touch are giving over the front bar for us so let’s not disappoint them. To keep it interesting, there will be some sticky notes at the door so that people can identify themselves by their usual comment posting names; perhaps a bit like a 'Blog Readers Anonymous': "Hello my name is 'Grumpy Guest' and I'm a blog reader." Of course there is no obligation but I hope people will get into the spirit of openness. I  am looking forward to seeing who it is that has been saying what and indeed we may have even passed each other in Central Road or been stuck in the same queue at Waitrose numerous times without even knowing it. (The many people who read but haven't commented can use any name they like!)

Now it is possibly a bit of an open secret in some quarters who the blogger actually is so I would ask those in the know not to spoil the surprise until all is revealed at the Midas touch on Thursday the 4th of July. See you there… Bwahahahahahahahahaha




Remember Vera and Joe's Dance Academy?

I had an email a few days ago from a gentleman trying to find out some information on the old Vera and Joe's Dance Academy that used to be opposite Worcester Park Station. He needs the information for an autobiography he’s writing. He writes:
Back in the early 60's it was a very popular meeting and dancing place for teenagers. V & J taught us to waltz and quickstep as well as jive, and for those of us attending all boys schools like Beverley (Coombe) it was the only chance to meet girls. Could you advise where I may find any archive info on V & J's please, it was very well known at the time, occupying premises the other side of the road to WP station. Any advice from your bloggers would be much appreciated.
If you remember this place, please contact Jeremy Linton Mann on filmaffaires@aol.com. He would be grateful to hear from you.

Not Just Common Fair

The third Worcester Park School to be holding their Summer Fair next Saturday (22nd June) is *drum roll* Cheam Common Schools!

In competing for the best Summer Fair on the 22nd June in Worcester Park, Cheam Common Schools have gone to the trouble of organising live crocodiles and snakes! And they are offering some likely to be very popular raffle prizes plus they are having a chocolate fountain – that wins me over by itself!

There will also be the usual array of fun stalls and games, a bouncy castle, BBQ, face painting, tombolas and there will also be henna tattoos, a craft table, musical performances, and an international food stall.

The fair is being billed as a fantastic day out for the whole family and will take place between 12 midday and 3pm. Please use the Kingsmead Avenue Entrance. Everyone is welcome!

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Freemasons’ Gift to St Raphael’s

Michael White and Alan Plant with the Lodge of Good Companions 7524
Last Wednesday (12th June) the Freemasons ‘Lodge of Good Companions 7524’ handed over a cheque for £3831 to St Raphael's Hospice. This represents the money that that the local Freemasons have raised in the last 12 months for St Raphael's.
Michael White presenting cheque to to Dr Ron McKeran

The cheque was presented to Dr Ron McKeran, Chair of the Hospice advisory Board by Michael White, Worshipful Master of the Lodge of Good Companions in front of members of the Lodge and their wives and the supporters of St Raphael’s.

Local North Cheam active resident and Lodge Treasurer, Alan Plant (pictured above, 2nd from right) told the Blog: “St Raphael's Hospice provides a much needed service for the local community, with great emphasis on care, sympathy and understanding for the patient, family and friends. With over 1000 admissions a year, £4 million, per year is needed to run the facility, of which only 25% is provided by the NHS. The balance comes from donations, events and fund raising. It is therefore important they continue to receive support from the wider community.”

Alan went on to explain that, “The Lodge of Good Companions 7524 was formed in 1957 and meets at Surbiton Masonic Hall. Currently there are just 18 members. Each year we raise between £3000 and £4000 for non-masonic charities. Masonry in general is the second largest contributor to charities after the National Lottery. For anyone that wishes to support the charitable aims of The Good Companions and maintain a tradition, coupled with an enjoyable social lifestyle, please contact me by email at alanplant@blueyonder.co.uk or phone 07710 270 107 for further information. Maybe join us at our annual Ladies Festival or a carvery and quiz afternoon, or even a clay pigeon shoot. Masonry is there for the whole family.”


Saturday, 15 June 2013

Robbery In Green Lane

This afternoon at 2:45 a female Korean student was robbed of her laptop. She had just passed the junction with Lincoln Road when the suspect came up behind her and grabbed her Apple Mac pro. She resisted the robber and was kicked and hurled to the ground. The suspect ran away into Lincoln Road pursued by the student and her friend, but managed to get into his Green Volvo 850 estate. They tried to pull him out of his car and were further assaulted by the suspect who managed to then drive away at speed into Longfellow Road. A man decorating in Lincoln Road heard the screaming and came out of his house to assist the victim but unfortunately was seconds too late as the car drove off. A few moments later another man called police to report a green Volvo was driving dangerously in Longfellow Road. Apparently he mounted the pavement to get around other cars to get away. This witness was not aware of the robbery that had just happened and just thought the driver was driving like an idiot. Thankfully this witness got the registration number (L reg). A female motorist stopped to assist the victim but it is not known who this person is.

Police enquires are going on into the night. They have a suspect who is known to police to be very violent and hope to find him tonight or tomorrow. There are two witnesses so far and police have been doing door to door enquiries in Green Lane. The two girls were screaming for help and chased the suspect so police are hoping there will be more witnesses.

The victim is a bit grazed and bruised but otherwise okay. It was very brave of her to chase the suspect but police have said this is not advisable as she may have been seriously injured, and not worth it for a laptop.

The suspect is a black male of about 30 years F5'09" tall slim build and was wearing a black leather jacket and had short cropped hair. If it is who the police think it is, he is from W12, not from Worcester Park and they do not know why he was here.

If there any witnesses, can they please contact PS Ashley Bennetts or call 101 quoting crime reference 4005619/13. You will not be wasting police time if you think you might have even something small to add.

Police wish to assure people that these kinds of offences are extremely rare in Worcester Park.

Update 16th June (around 2:30pm)

The police put the registration number into the Police National Computer and at 2:40am this morning, the green Volvo estate was spotted by the Automatic Number Plate Recognition system (ANPR) traveling on the M40 towards Oxford.

The car was stopped and the two occupants who both fit the description were arrested and taken to a police station in Oxford. They are in the process of being bought back to Sutton police station where they will be interviewed etc. Emergency identity parades are being organised for tomorrow and the officers searching the suspects' flats will hopefully find the stolen property.

The blog commends the fast and efficient work of the police on this matter. It just shows that when they have enough information to go on, they can get a result pretty quickly. It also shows that it is always worth calling the police. You never know when yours might be the call that provides the link that the police need to solve a crime.

Update 19th June

One of the two suspects arrested early on Sunday morning has admitted to the crime. The two were brought back to Sutton after being stopped on the M40. David Leonard, aged 45 and of no fixed abode, when seeing the weight of evidence against him fully admitted the offence and stated that the other person in the car, his nephew Isaac was not there and had nothing to do with it.

Mr Leonard told police he had been 'wandering' looking for things to steal and rob. He saw the victim use her mobile phone but by the time he walked to her she had put it away so he grabbed her lap top instead. He took the lap top to Shepherds bush market where an associate gave him £30 for it (it was worth £1500). He then bought fuel and travelled up towards Oxford to meet his nephew.

David Leonard was picked in the identity procedure by the victim. His nephew Isaac was released without charge. Mr Leonard was charged with robbery and dangerous driving. Apparently he told police that "he did not want to hurt anyone" and apologised. The blog understands he has pleaded guilty and is now awaiting sentence for this crime.

May the sentence be appropriate and may any other potential robbers, muggers, pickpockets, thieves, burglars and the like take note that you are unwelcome in Worcester Park. We have a great police team, and a solid community that looks out for each other and if you come here with these intentions we will do all we can to ensure your stay is a short one and the last one on the way to the clink. Got it? Good. (I'm sorry if this comes across as a little harsh but that poor girl didn't ask to be robbed and assaulted. Criminal behaviour like this really gets my goat and ties it in a knot.)

Friday, 14 June 2013

Saintly Fair

If you like Summer fairs, then next Saturday (22nd June) is going to be one of your favourite days because at last count there are three school summer fairs in the area planned for the day. (Or possibly a very frustrating day because getting to see all three properly will require some agility, forward planning and perhaps a bit of luck…

This posting however is focusing on the one at St Cecilia’s Primary School on London Road (between Clarkes Ave and Langley Ave). St. Cecilia's turns 75 this year (that’s the school, not St. Cecilia herself, who I believe would be getting closer to a sprightly 1800 if she were still with us in body today) and in celebration, the school is having a specially themed 75th Anniversary summer fair.

As you can see from the list above there will be many of the usual and a few less usual fair type attractions on the day.

I only found out recently that St. Cecilia is the patron saint of music (something very special to my heart) and I am glad to see that there is some Karaoke happening on the day. (This link is entirely of my own making and I may just be finding significance where none exists.) And as a possible antidote to this, there is an ‘amazing silent auction’ however that may work.

Either way the Parents and Teachers Association has prepared a very attractive programme and hope to have as many visitors from the area as possible.

The St Cecilia’s fair starts at 1pm and finished at 4pm this Saturday the 22nd of June.

Wanted – People to help collect signatures

I have had several people contact the blog asking where they can sign a petition against the proposed Mosque in Green Lane and wondering when someone will be knocking on their door with one. I understand from those organising petitions that while most people want to sign a petition, there are not yet enough people prepared to knock on doors and gather those much needed signatures. Worcester Park is a large area after all.

Can you help?

All you need to do is:
  • Contact a petition organiser (via the blog - mail@worcesterparkblog.org.uk)
  • You will be told if your road needs doing or if there is one nearby that needs doing.
  • Print off some petition sheets (or collect some from one of 3 addresses in Worcester Park)
  • Knock on your neighbours doors and invite them to sign.
  • Return the filled in petitions to one of 3 addresses in Worcester Park before next Friday (21st June).
Please email the blog if you are prepared to join in and help your neighbours object to this application which will increase traffic in the already too congested Green Lane. Your details will be passed to a petition organiser and you will receive a petition word file you can print out and start gathering signatures. Or else you can pick up some pre-printed petitions from one of those 3 addresses in Worcester Park.

Additionally if you wish to just sign a petition, you can do so in the following shops in Central Road:
  • Pet's Place
  • Ross's Fruiterers
  • Woodwards the Butchers
  • Iceland
And remember one direct objection by letter or email is worth many petition signatures. You can do this on the internet by doing the following:
You can also write a letter of objection directly to the Council. This can be sent to:

The Planning Division,
24 Denmark Road,
Carshalton,
SM5 2JG
Please remember to include the planning application number which is  67455/FUL

Objections must reach them by Friday 21st June 2013.


Open Day at Plough Green Pre - School

Plough Green Pre - School are having an open day this Saturday (15th June) from 10-12pm. There will be refreshments, toy and book stall, tombola, raffle, games and activities for children. Entrance is free.

Go and join them at St Johns Hall, Malden Road on Saturday.

Summer Fair With A Scientific Twist

Green Lane School is holding their Summer Fair next Saturday (22nd June) and this one has a Science Circus theme. I have always had a bit of an interest in science and I am delighted to see a local school promote science so enthusiastically in this way. The school has been focusing on what they call the wonderful world of science this year and felt it important to reflect this.

The ‘Circus’ part is not merely a random description either. The School is being visited by a big top Circus on Friday 13th September and it was decided to combine this with the science stuff to create the theme for this year’s summer fair.

So what is happening (I hear you ask?) Well, the School is inviting people to:
“join us on the day to take part in some wonderful activities, the highlight being the Science Circus hands on area - come and try your hand at a variety of experiments provided by the Shooting Stars Circus Skills team.
For the younger family members we have a dedicated Toddler Zone, hosted by the recent winners of a Netmums award for Favourite Preschool Activity - Jiggle & Jam.
Of course, we have all the traditional attractions of a Summer Fair, including an ice cream van, face painting, plant stall, splat the rat and a BBQ offering some tasty feasts!
Fingers crossed for great weather too, as we will have an inflatable assault course to test your agility skills as well as a good old fashioned bouncy castle.”

Entry fee is a donated amount chosen by you. All monies raised on the day going towards the fund to buy iPads for the school with a range of educational apps.

It all starts at Midday on Saturday 22nd June and and goes until 3pm. For those who don’t know, Green Lane School is up at the top of Green Lane, past the entrance to the Hamptons, near where the horse stables and fields are.


Thursday, 13 June 2013

100 Rowers Rowing

The 1st Cuddington Sea Scout Group are taking part in a 100 mile sponsored rowing event this coming Saturday (15th June) and supporters are being sought to cheer the rowers on as they row along the Thames. The sponsored row which involves two Warspite gigs rowing 55 mile each, 100 rowers in 18 teams and two support crews is in aid of Princess Alice Hospice and the Scout group.

Members of 1st Cuddington Sea Scout Group, their friends and families and supporters of the group are being asked to line a stretch of the River Thames and cheer members of the group as they row from Mapeldurham lock and down the 55 miles to the group’s boathouse.

The 1st Cuddington group lost two great supporters last year - Judith Mobbs (wife of Alan and former Beaver helper), and Don Everitt (former Scout Leader, Explorer Scout Leader, Rowing instructor, RYA Chief Instructor and much more.) Both individuals and their families received brilliant care from the wonderful team at Princess Alice Hospice.

Richard Hunt, Group Scout Leader said:
“The hospice has a history of supporting our community. As well as Don & Judith last year, in 1998, they supported Recce Hutchinson - former Scout Leader, proponent of pink fluffy slippers, brilliant jokes and very sage advice - and his family in the last stages of his life. As a group and as members of the wider community we value the support that they give.
At Don Everitt's wake, an idea was conceived of undertaking a sponsored row in memory of our friends and to raise funds for both the group and the hospice which provided such exceptional care. What made it even better was that our friends at the 4th Thames Ditton (Ajax) Sea Scouts had started preparation for such an event. Given the work Don did to set up our joint RYA training centre, the idea seemed unbelievably good.”
An array of participants are taking part in the sponsored row which kicks off at 00:01 on Saturday. They include Recce's son, Don's children, ex members of the group, current scouts, mums, dads and many more. The first leg includes a team with ex members who won the youth trophy in the Great River Race with Scouts approximately 15 years ago.

The final leg will see group Leaders who worked closely with Don, rowing alongside the team Don coached and coxed to victory in the 2012 under 14 section of the Great River Race. There are more amazing background stories about the teams. Details can be found at www.facebook.com/warspiteseascouts

The Scout group is inviting supporters to join them at the finish to cheer the last boats home and enjoy a summer BBQ. Crews are expected between 5.30 and 7pm. if you would like to join in the fun check out http://scoutsrow.blogspot.co.uk for updated details.

To support all of the great teams on this challenge visit https://mydonate.bt.com/events/100milerow

If you know any of the rowers and want to donate to them specifically please visit: https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/1stcuddingtonwarspiteseascoutgroup

So far the group has raised over £3000 online and more using the traditional paper sponsorship form. Their hope is to raise at least £4,000 for the two causes.

Update 22nd June

Richard Hunt emailed me a couple of days ago to say that:
"Over £7900 raised and the boats made it back in fine style at 7pm"
That's nearly double the target amount raised! Jolly good going and well done to all concerned.


Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Kingston Council Leader Arrested

Derek Osbourne, Kingston’s Ex Liberal Democrat Council leader
Derek Osbourne, the Leader of Kingston Council has been arrested on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children. The Liberal Democrat Council leader and Councillor for Beverly Ward which includes part of New Malden was arrested yesterday (Tuesday 11th) morning at his New Malden home. He was taken into custody at a south London police station, and has been bailed until August, while further investigations take place.

According to Councillor Liz Green, the now acting leader of Kingston Council, Councillor Osbourne has resigned from the Liberal Democrat group. She added "We are deeply shocked by these allegations but I am unable to comment further as we must now allow the police the time and space they need to investigate the allegations thoroughly and without prejudice."

Derek Osbourne, now 59, was first elected to Kingston Council in 1986 and was deputy leader from 1994 to 1997. He has been leader since 2003 after serving temporarily in 1997 and 1998. He was also the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Kingston upon Thames in the1992 general election, standing against the then Chancellor Norman Lamont.

Councillor Osbourne sits on Kingston Council’s  ‘Achieving for Children’ committee (for the creation of a joint children's services department between Kingston and Richmond upon Thames) and he also Chairs the ‘South London Waste Partnership Joint Committee’ which was responsible for the recommendation to site a waste incinerator in the London Borough of Sutton.

For more information see http://www.surreycomet.co.uk/news/10480688.Kingston_Council_leader_Derek_Osbourne_resigns_after_child_porn_arrest/

Update 13th June (about 1pm)

A spokesman for Kingston Council has said: "Everyone connected with Kingston Council is shocked by this news and we will of course assist and support the police investigation in any way that we can."

Mr Osbourne is expected to resign as a councillor later, said a spokesman.

Update 14th June (about 1am)

For political reactions see: http://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/local/topstories/10483574.Political_shockwaves_over_Kingston_Council_leader_s_resignation_and_arrest/

Update 15th June

Kingston Liberal Democrats are set to choose a new leader by the 24th of June. This person will automatically become the Council Leader. The by-election for Mr Osbourne's seat will be held on the 25th July.

For more information see: http://www.surreycomet.co.uk/news/topstories/10486589.New_Kingston_Council_leader__to_be_decided_within_10_days_/?ref=nt

Update 27th June

The main parties have chosen their candidates for the by-election on the 25th July.

The Conservatives have chosen Terry Paton, a former policeman and father of two who lives in Portland Avenue, New Malden. The Lib Dems have gone with Lesley Heap, a swimming teacher and the wife of existing Beverly ward Councillor Trevor Heap. The Greens have chosen Chris Walker who is the only candidate so far to have also stood in the 2010 council election. Marian Freedman, a school governor at Burlington schools for 25 years who has lived in Malden Hill since 1977 is standing for the Labour party.

This could be a very interesting election because of how the popularity of the parties has changed so much since the 2010 election. In 2010 the Lib Dems were elected with about 45% of the votes. The conservatives were on around 35% and Labour had around 12%. However that was the high water mark for Lib Dem popularity and the low point for Labour. With Labour now close to double their popularity since then and the Lib Dems less then half theirs, many Lib Dem voters could be switching to Labour, the Conservatives or even the Greens. It will also be interesting to see how trust in the Lib Dems has been affected given the reason for this by-election.


Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Gentlemen Start Your Petitions

Conservative Cllr Eric Allen with a petition signer
Petitioning has begun in and around Worcester Park as local community activists start the process of gathering signatures against the proposed Mosque in Green Lane for the second time in twelve months.

Local Conservatives and the Worcester Park Residents’ Association have both had people out over the weekend knocking on doors in a bid to collect as many signatures as possible before the deadline for consultation ends on the 21st of June.

I was out wearing my 'Worcester Park Conservative' hat and can report that:

"I knocked on many doors over the weekend and I have not yet had a single person not want to sign the petition.
Simon Densley (aka me) getting a signature at the door
Last year was the same – several times I would knock on a door just to be told that someone else in the street had organised a petition which they had already signed. The whole community is in agreement here that having any development bringing a regular influx of people, whether it's a Mosque, a Church or a supermarket would have a terrible impact on the already awful traffic and parking situation where Green Lane meets Central Road.

The claim that nobody will use their car to get there just does not hold water. At the end of the day it is people’s own choice whether to drive, no one can ‘prohibit’ it, and when they are running a bit late or a bus connection is cancelled or it’s a bit cold outside, of course people will drive."

If any blog readers who are not already involved and would like to help gather signatures, contact the blog (mail@worcesterparkblog.org.uk) and I will put you in contact with whoever is organising petitions in your area. (Please include at least the road you live in).
Cllr Stuart Gordon Bullock with local trader signing it

If you would like to object directly. You can do so by doing the following:

You can write a letter of objection directly to the Council. This can be sent to:
The Planning Division,
24 Denmark Road,
Carshalton,
SM5 2JG
Please remember to include the planning application number which is  67455/FUL

You can also object directly via the internet:
Objections must reach them by Friday 21st June 2013.


Monday, 10 June 2013

Central Road Works Update

There is so much road work going on along Central Road today that I am putting all in one long posting rather dotted across several. 


To start with, a few days ago the three way lights were removed from the St. Philips Avenue, leaving us a little breathing space and some not-quite-finished improvements to the spot where they had been. This morning at around 9am the three way lights returned for a repeat performance at Balmoral Road while they are putting in a second pedestrian crossing near where the lollipop man usually does his shift looking after the children from Cheam Common Infants & Juniors School.
 
One worried reader has written in to say:
“Our poor lollipop man is now taking his life in his hands trying to help us across the main road, & today the way the cars were speeding round the single-laned bend, really made me feel nervous as I walked my young son home. I really do feel this was very poor planning by the 'powers that be', & although I understand the drivers' frustration & wish to get through quickly (often being in the same position myself), I would like them to please drive more carefully through the single lane, especially at school run time.”
I hope people will take note.


However on a positive note, we are really starting to see the benefits of all these works. The tree areas are being finished off with what I can only guess is pebble dashing (I hope that's not coming into fashion again) but it does actually look good (in my humble opinion) in this setting, and the newly planted shrub areas look really good too.


Meanwhile down the hill, outside the Royal British Legion, the small clump of trees next to the clean air measuring station (the big green box thingy) has been pulled out and taken away. The gentlemen doing the work there informed me that these trees had become a little bit dangerous and were leaning and that new trees were going to be put in after the work is done there.

And finally, all the way down the road and under both bridges, resurfacing work has begun on Malden Road. They have had to start by reinforcing certain sections of the road which have apparently been dug up by utility companies by not properly concreted again afterwards. This section (on the left here) is the first of six sections that will need to be done before the resurfacing can begin. Afterwards the actual resurfacing will be done in 100 metre stretches.

Readers will be pleased to know they are confident that it will be done by 23rd of July when it is scheduled to be finished (even if they are not so pleased about hold ups and delays in the meanwhile…)