Monday, 30 September 2013

Gas Where Now


As many people in North Cheam already know, the gas pipe replacement works that was in Worcester Park has moved into their area.

Sean Jordan, who is managing the project locally, kindly allowed me to photograph the plans (shown above) so that people can see what is happening where. The yellow sections are the roads yet to be done and the sections with the black squiggly line have now been done.

As before Sean and his team who have also been working in Henley Avenue today are keen to ensure disruption to local residents is kept to a minimum. They also went to the trouble of producing a video of the Worcester Park work to keep people informed about what was happening and why.

The roads being affected this time are as follows:

  • Kingsmead Ave (partially done)
  • Oaks Avenue
  • London Road (between Kingsmead and Oaks)
  • Sparrow Farm Road (done)
  • Dundela Gardens (done)
  • Palmer Avenue (mostly done)
  • The Spinney
  • Hemmingford Road
  • Wordsworth Drive (South East of Hemmingford Road - mostly done)

Both Sean and Tony Hollis who is managing the overall works in the area want to know if anyone has any problems with the works going on. If you don’t want to speak to them directly, email the blog and I will pass any comments on. No doubt they would also appreciate any positive comments too!


Saturday, 28 September 2013

Sue Will Ryde Again



There has been some concern about the Sue Ryder charity shop having unexpectedly closed it door over two weeks ago. However a note has appeared on the door saying they will be open again next Thursday (3rd October). By loitering suspiciously outside the door with a camera, I managed to speak to someone who was inside.

They had had to close because of a lack of volunteer staff. They need two or three people for each 4 hour shift in order to open. They are achieving this next Thursday with the manager and area manager staffing the shop all day.

If by any chance dear reader you have harbored an unfulfilled yearning or even a slight inclination to offer a little of your time to a local charity shop, this would be a good time to complete that missing part of your life. Please get in touch with them via their website: http://www.sueryder.org/Volunteering/Roles/RT1502. Ryde On!


Friday, 27 September 2013

View Near Worcester Park, Surrey


A rare oil painting of the local area is being displayed at Santander in Central Road to raise money for a local charity.
The painting, “View Near Worcester Park, Surrey” was painted by Scottish Artist Jack Ducker in 1926 and shows what is believed to be a view from Sparrow Farm Road, previously known as Elm Lane after the farm that was there. Little is known about the artist J M Ducker but it is believed he specialised in landscapes, especially in the Scottish Highlands and also in Surrey.

Richard Johnson, a local Worcester Parker who owns the painting was in the Central Road branch of Santander chatting with staff about their support of the Tadworth Children's Trust charity when, as they were looking for ideas to fundraise he offered to lend them the painting so they could display it and sell postcard reproductions as well as raffle tickets with the proceeds going to the Charity.

All branches of Santander in the Sutton area are currently raising money for the Tadworth Children's Trust. Every pound raised by the braches is matched by the company and £15,000 has been raised for this charity so far this year. They are looking to have the painting on display tomorrow (Saturday 28th) and Monday, possible a little longer if it is popular so go and have a look sooner rather than later. Adele and Ann (pictured above) and the other staff there will be happy to give you further details or sell you some postcards or raffle tickets!

This particular painting has been featured in Worcester Park before but has never previously been put on display in the High Street. Is was exhibited last year in St Mary’s church, Cuddington and has been used before for postcards to sell in aid of both St. Raphael's Hospice and Stoneleigh Youth Trust.

Local historian David Rymill wrote about the painting in last year’s September issue of ‘Worcester Park Life’ magazine (pages 7 & 8). He went with Richard to try locating the scene using local maps and photographs of the area from the inter-war era and using clues left by the artist. They came up with the Sparrow Farm Road location as the most likely possibility. However if anyone should have a c.1926 photograph of today's Sparrow Farm Road, this may be 'the missing link' they have been seeking, so please get in touch if you do.

A vintage oil painting of the Worcester Park landscape is surprisingly rare. Although the London Borough of Sutton records 126 oil paintings and Kingston another 80 in their respective collections, all showing a multitude of scenes across both Boroughs, apparently not one single painting shows a location in Worcester Park. So this is quite a special picture.

Update (6th October)

Adele and Ann were pleased to tell the blog that they managed to raise £90 for Tadworth Children's Trust charity. This was from selling several of the post card versions of the painting and many raffle tickets. Santander will be matching that amount so in total £180 has been raised for the charity. Good work Worcester Park and Santander!


Wanna Buy A Jumble?


Yes it's on again. The 4th Worcester Park Scouts are having a Jumble Sale tomorrow (Saturday 28th September) at their JHQ (Jumble Head Quarters) in Balmoral Road. It must be big and important because I have just used 16 capital letters in that last sentence.

According to the informative signs that have sprung up around Central Road, from 2:30pm onwards you can expect to find 'Bargains Galore' and only have to fork out 20p for the opportunity.

For more information about this and other scout related data, please see their website: http://www.4wp.org.uk/


Thursday, 26 September 2013

Free French

Les Petits Pois French Club is opening in Stoneleigh Library tomorrow afternoon. This is a chance to help your children get a head start in French and learn their French peas and Q’s, merci.

This is a club for primary children from Reception to year 6, and is (according to Anne Le Romancer who is running it) a fantastic opportunity for your children to learn French using games, stories, art and crafts and other fun activities.

The first session tomorrow (Friday 27th September) at 4:30pm is a free taster so you can you and your little-uns can go and check it out without making any financial commitments to start with. Places are limited so please book a place in advance by emailing Anne at anneleromancer@gmail.com.

For more information please see their facebook page here.


Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Green Lane Mosque Rejected

BREAKING NEWS: Mosque Planning Application UNANIMOUSLY REJECTED.

Sutton's Development Control Committee this evening unanimously rejected the latest application to turn the Old Bank Chambers at 2-4 Green Lane into a Mosque. The meeting attended by approximately 180 people of which at least three quarters were vocally against the proposal, applauded and cheered loudly when the decision was made.

The rejection comes after fierce opposition to the proposal, with literally thousands of local residents objecting to what they claim will be unacceptable traffic and disruption from the development in the former Bank Chambers premises next to the 'Kingfish' fish and chip shop on the corner of Green Lane and Central Road.

The was loud applause for Arthur Hookway, Chair of the Worcester Park Residents Association, before, after and several times during his speech on the problems this proposal would cause and the "laughable" claim that no one would drive to the Mosque. Councillor Stuart Gordon-Bullock also spoke against the proposal and received his greatest applause when he noted that the premises would be far better suited to a firm of accountants or architects which would also bring  employment to the area. Councillor Stephen Fenwick also spoke against the proposal.

Once again the applicant did not speak but two professionals spoke on his behalf to say that in their expert opinion, no one would use their cars to visit the Mosque.

The best comment of the night was from Conservative Councillor Tony Shields, sitting on the Development Control Committee when he told one of these people:
"I've been a councillor for quite a while and I've heard a lot of tosh in these meetings but you are way out in front". 
Councillor Shields was the most effective and incisive councillor on the committee while Liberal Democrat Councillor Mary Burstow also made some excellent points as did the only other Conservative councillor on the committee, Peter Geiringer. Councillors Monica Coleman and John Leach, who was Chairing the committee, made a couple of useful comments but none of the other councillors on the committee spoke.

Undoubdedly this will also go to appeal like the other one but I would take this opportunity to ask the applicant to really consider if continuous applications and appeals is really the best way forward with this. This is clearly the wrong building for a place of assembly and surely it would be much better for your objective, your wallet and community relations to look at selling this building and buying one much better suited to public assembly. You would not then have to jump through hoops making it a 'Green Mosque' and pretending no one will use their cars even when it's wet and cold and trying to limit the number of people who can attend. If you purchase the right building in the right place then surely that would make everyone's job a lot easier and make for much better community relations. - Just a thought.



Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Council Planners Recommend Refusal of Mosque Application

Sutton Council officers in the planning department have recommended that the second application to turn the Old Bank Chambers in Green Lane into a Mosque be refused. The application is set to be heard by the Council’s Development Control Committee tomorrow evening (25th September) at 8pm.

The Summary of why the application proposals have been considered unacceptable are:

  • In land use terms, it is considered that the applicant has provided sufficient evidence to justify the loss of the existing office use within the site and has also demonstrated that there is a need within the local area for a mosque, this application has not been able to demonstrate that the site is suitable for the proposed use of this scale without resulting in an adverse impact of the proposal on the local highway network.
  • Although the applicant has made submissions to the contrary, the applicant does not, in light of the relevant planning history, made a persuasive case that there would be adequate safeguards to ensure that the number of worshippers at peak times will not result in demonstrable harm to highway safety in surrounding streets due to the likely increase in on-street parking at peak times in a manner that would be detrimental to the local highway network and cause danger and inconvenience to all users of the public highway.
You can see the full report here.

In total 660 letters of objection were received by Sutton’s planners, 630 of those being from people in Worcester Park. By contrast only 6 letters of support were received or which only 3 were from Worcester Park. Additionally, 3873 people signed petitions objecting to the application. There were no petitions supporting it.

The Development Control Committee, made up of a majority of eight Liberal Democrats (who have been very quiet on this issue) and two Conservatives could still ignore the recommendation and allow the development to go ahead. However the recommendation makes it much more likely that the application will be turned down.

Many readers will recall the packed meeting at Cheam High School on 3rd December last year when the original application was turned down. This decision has been appealed by the applicant. The appeal will be heard on the 26th November at 10am at Strawberry Lodge in Carshalton.

No doubt most Worcester Parkers will be hoping for a similar outcome tomorrow night to last December’s decision.


Sunday, 22 September 2013

Worcester Park Residents Association AGM

The Worcester Park Residents Association (WPRA) is holding their AGM next Wednedsay 2nd October. This will be in the main congregation area at Christ Church with St. Philips Ruskin Drive, Worcester Park and will be starting at 7.30pm.

The WPRA was founded in 1996 and represents London Borough of Sutton residents living within KT4 and extending to KT4 residents in the neighbouring Royal Borough of Kingston. The association is represented on the Sutton local area committee and has helped give Worcester Park a strong voice, campaigning on many local issues over the years.

Non-Members are welcome to attend the AGM (and also other Public Meetings of the Association). If you wish to join it currently costs £3 and you can join at Worcester Park library in Stone Place.

This is a good opportunity to hear about things going on in Worcester Park and have a say about the various Worcester Park issues and also the WPRA as a whole. For more information please see their website: http://www.wpra.org.uk/home/4578081070


Smack My Bitumen Up (2nd Try For Charminster)


A couple of weeks ago this blog reported that Charminster Road was about to be resurfaced. It was scheduled for Thursday the 12th September and was badly needed. Two days after that (on the 14th) nothing had happened. So it is with trepidation that I report that resurfacing work is now scheduled in Charminster Road for this coming Tuesday the 24th and Wednesday the 25th of September. The signage is up and even the no standing cones have been put out in anticipation. So please don't blame me if once again it doesn't actually happen!


Illuminating Point



Nearly everyone I chat with at the entrance to Stone Place (yes I’m sad like that) tells me about how many vehicles still come thundering out that way against the new one way system. This included the friendly gentlemen whose job it was today to try to put a stop to all that by installing these illuminated arrows to remind people about to go in that they can, erm… continue to go in this way. So far so good.

Thing is… it’s the people intending to come out that way who need to be deterred from their imminent departure and gently reminded to take the detour via Windsor Road (much to the loathing of Windsor Road residents… but that’s another story… which can be found here). The people going in don’t need to actually do anything different. So I’d have kinda thought that the priority would have been to draw greater attention to the no exit signs on the other side. These however are still shrouded in darkness. I hope another visit by these gentlemen has been organised...



Friday, 20 September 2013

Gone To Pot


I was nice to see the last set of flower beds outside Iceland being sorted out this afternoon. Work began at around 8am and I believe was finished around lunch time. 

Taking a somewhat reflective standpoint, this has all taken a while longer than planned and there have certainly been a few clangers but overall I would say we have a more pleasant high street than it was before. Now we just need to sort out all those empty shops, get more parking and reduce the traffic jams and we might be getting somewhere.


One Way To Upset Windsor Road Residents

Residents close to the Stone Place car park exit in Windsor road are finding that the new one way system is not such a good idea after all. Not only has the amount of traffic in Windsor Road increased to the point that residents are complaining of being blocked from exiting their driveways but also the noise of the daily early morning parade of delivery trucks is apparently starting to take its toll on people’s sanity.

A number of readers have commented about this on July’s Stone Place post. One reader summed up the noise by saying:
“to anyone fortunate enough to be out of earshot, the sound of a loaded HGV hitting speed ramps in Stone Place, in the early hours of the morning, sounds like the vehicles are exploding landmines.”
One local resident who has been keeping a log of the noise told the blog that they have been woken up as early as a quarter past 5 in the morning by trucks.

It’s not only Waitrose delivery trucks that have to come through. Delivery lorries and waste disposal trucks are needed to service Waitrose, Iceland, Pizza Express and all the other businesses there (plus the Library). To quote the same reader:
“And don't forget that Iceland delivery vehicles are now having to delivery exclusively out of hours because the newly reduced and restricted area around Iceland now prevents it at any other time. I asked at Iceland how they are managing to get around the situation. The response was along the lines of "completely impractical, but it's a case of having to make it work - or close down!"
The Good News

Stewart Mackay getting a signature
There is a glimmer of hope however for these blighted residents. The one-way system is under a trial period until November. So it can be altered if the powers that be (Sutton Council) decide it isn’t working. Local Conservatives have set up a petition to try to help convince them to look at it again. Stewart Mackay (pictured here) who has been out in Windsor Road gathering signatures told the blog:
“When these people moved here they weren’t expecting Windsor Road to be suddenly jammed with cars like this or to be woken up every morning from 5am by delivery trucks. It’s been a poorly thought through plan that has had a negative effect on local residents and I hope the council will see sense and reverse the decision.”
You can now also sign the petition on the internet here if you don’t manage to sign the paper one going around.

Update (25th September)

One local resident has been logging the noise being made by the lorries in Yoga Way and has kindly sent them to me. Here are the results:

Date Time Comments
04/09/2013 05:45 Wake-up unidentified lorry
  06:07 Warbutons lorry (serves Iceland and Waitrose), enters, will also exit via Yoga Way
  06:22 Rubbish lorry to Stone Place
  06:30 Biffa to Pizza Express
 
05/09/2013 05:45 Wake-up unidentified lorry Iceland lorry in Stone Place
  06:11 Warbutons lorry (serves Iceland and Waitrose), enters, will also exit via Yoga Way
  06:30 Monitoring ended
 
06/09/2013 05:17 Wake-up unidentified lorry Iceland lorry in Stone Place at 5:34am
  06:00 Lorry leaving Yoga Way, unidentified
  06:16 Biffa to Pizza Express
  06:38 Warbutons lorry (serves Iceland and Waitrose), enters, will also exit via Yoga Way
  06:45 Monitoring ended
 
07/09/2013 06:10 Wake-up unidentified lorry Iceland lorry in Stone Place at 6:15am
  06:25 Kingsmill lorry exits Yoga Way
  06:40 Warbutons lorry (serves Iceland and Waitrose), enters Yoga Way
  06:50 Warbutons lorry (serves Iceland and Waitrose), exits Yoga Way
  07:00 Monitoring ended
 
08/09/2013 06:57 Kingsmill lorry on Yoga Way
 
09/09/2013 06:18 Wake-up unidentified lorry Iceland lorry in Stone Place
  06:25 Warbutons lorry (serves Iceland and Waitrose), enters, will also exit via Yoga Way
  06:43 "Initial" lorry on Yoga Way
  06:45 Iceland lorry exits on Yoga Way
 
10/09/2013 05:50 Kingsmill lorry on Yoga Way Iceland lorry in Stone Place
  06:15 "Veolia" (?) lorry on Yoga Way (hard to distinguish logo)
  06:22 Warbutons lorry (serves Iceland and Waitrose), enters, will also exit via Yoga Way
 
11/09/2013 05:27 Wake-up unidentifiable white lorry Note sunrises on this day at 6:29am. Iceland lorry in carpark (photo)
  05:32 Rubbish lorry enters Yoga Way to turn-around by Lotus apartment and immediately exit (reverse warning audible)
  06:02 Kingsmill lorry on Yoga Way
  06:11 Warbutons lorry (serves Iceland and Waitrose), enters, will also exit via Yoga Way
  06:47 Iceland lorry exits on Yoga Way
 
12/09/2013 05:37 Wake-up unidentified lorry exiting Stone Place
  05:50 Kingsmill lorry on Yoga Way
  05:57 Rubbish lorry to Stone Place Photo
  06:38 Warbutons lorry (serves Iceland and Waitrose), enters on Yoga Way
  06:50 Iceland lorry exits on Yoga Way
  06:53 Warbutons lorry (serves Iceland and Waitrose), leaves on Yoga Way
 
13/09/2013 06:16 "ADM" (?) lorry on Yoga Way (hard to distinguish logo)
  06:37 White lorry on Yoga Way
  06:52 Biffa on Yoga Way
 
16/09/2013 06:34 Iceland lorry exits on Yoga Way
  06:35 Warbutons lorry (serves Iceland and Waitrose), enters, will also exit via Yoga Way
  06:46 Kingsmill lorry on Yoga Way


Thursday, 19 September 2013

Green Lane Mosque hearing - Next Wednesday

The other letter has come through now - the one about the second Green Lane application - not to be confused with the appeal on the decision about the first. (Glad that's all cleared up then.)


This one is not a special hearing like the last one at Cheam High School was, but is just one of the items on the agenda at the Development Control committee meeting next Wednesday in the Europa Gallery at Sutton Civic Offices in St Nicholas Way, Sutton, SM1 2EA. There should be quite a lot of people at this meeting because as well as the Mosque decision, another item on this agenda is a controversial plan for a McDonalds in Wallington which should bring in the crowds too. However the Mosque application is the first on the agenda. If you want to be present at this meeting that will decide if Green Lane gets a Mosque or not, I would suggest be early as it could be standing room only. It starts at 8pm.

And of course remember there is still the appeal against the first decision, happening on the 26th of November at Strawberry Lodge in Carshalton - but we'll get to that one after this one...

Again thanks to those who sent me copies of their letters.

Update:

Council Planners have recommended that the application is rejected. For more info see: http://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/10692567.Worcester_Park_mosque_plans_set_for_second_rejection/



Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Midas Well Renovate


Readers have been wondering what has been going on at the Midas Touch pub over the last few weeks. Well yes, readers can see that there are renovations going on but in aid of what?

Well the blog can report that yes, they are in the midst of major renovation works. As well as a complete change of d├ęcor, the most noticeable changes will be a new entrance at the side of the pub and wall (with a large door) separating the restaurant area off from the bar area.

The owners who have owned the business for over four years told the blog that they want to improve the dining experience and attract new people to the pub who might still associate it with the Huntsman’s Hall (and it’s 'slightly' rougher image.) It seems such was it's reputation that the previous set of renovations wasn't quite enough.


Work began in the first week of September and is scheduled to finish within the next two weeks. In addition to this work, They are looking to landscape the garden area before next summer which will include planting a row of trees along the Central Road edge to make it a little more secluded. I for one look forward to seeing that – I’ve always thought there is a lot of potential there! And there's still talk of a children's playground at the back.


Safe And Sound


An unopened safe has been found tossed into the parkland on the Hamptons. It has been fairly badly damaged in a probable attempt to get it open but the contents are still inside. If you know someone who has lost a safe like this (or most likely had one stolen) please get them to contact:

John Cornish
Hamptons Estate Manager
10 Sherbrooke Way,
Worcester Park,
Surrey
KT4 8AS

You can also telephone him on 07554 117717.

I hope the police will get a chance to get a forensics team onto it as well. We can't have people running about stealing safes willy nilly. It just wouldn't be right.


Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Night Bus From Croydon, Change At Sutton

While this isn’t a story about the N213 night bus going through to Croydon it is about the alternative option which allows Worcester Parkers to get back from Croydon in the wee small hours with a change of bus in Sutton.

As readers may remember, Sutton and Croydon’s London assembly member Steve O'Connell has been pushing to get the N213 night bus which used to serve Croydon but now finishes in Sutton, to go through to Croydon again. However, Transport for London (TfL) said that this would require an annual subsidy of £140,000 of public funds, representing a subsidy of over £3.50 per additional passenger trip and unfortunately this cost could not be justified.

Alterations to 154

As a compromise though, TfL will introduce three extra late night bus journeys on the 154 route from West Croydon Bus Station to Sutton starting from Saturday 2nd November. These will leave West Croydon Bus Station at 1am, 1:30am and 2am. There are currently no additional buses going in the opposite direction; the three extra buses will be finishing at the Sutton bus garage. The last bus heading towards Croydon (coming from Morden) will still be passing through Sutton at 1:32am. These three buses used to finish at Croydon and come back to Sutton without passengers so running the route back to Sutton again is a more efficient use of resources.

The frequency of 154 buses in the evenings and on Sundays is also increasing. Buses will run every 15 minutes every evening after 8pm and on Sundays, compared with every 20 minutes currently. Buses will continue to run every 12 minutes during the day from Monday to Saturday.

John Barry, Head of Network Development for TfL, said:
“London has an extensive bus network which we keep under regular review to see where we can deliver cost-effective benefits to our passengers. Our review has taken close account of suggestions from passengers, local boroughs and others and we are pleased to be able to introduce an improved service on route 154.”
Mr O'Connell added:
"After four years of lobbying TfL, I welcome the three additional late night bus services on route 154 from Croydon to Sutton.  These new buses will offer residents, especially women and young people, a cheap, safe and quick method to get home from shift work or a night out in Croydon, Sutton or Kingston.
I now urge TfL to go further and work with local authorities to look at ways in which they can make this a round-the-clock 24-hour service."
This now means you will be able to leave Croydon at 2am to reach Sutton some time between 2:25 and  2:40 (scheduled for 2:27). Then walk to the High Street stop to catch the 213 at around 2:56am through to Worcester Park and beyond.

So not perfect but a large step in the right direction. But I guess we should at least be happy that they are looking to give us, the tax payers the best value for money rather than having us pay for a service that will be underused. Its probably a good compromise.


Monday, 16 September 2013

Doggone

A 40-year-old woman has been disqualified from keeping animals for five years after she failed to look after a bull terrier type dog at her flat in Lancaster Way in the Hamptons.

The woman had apparently caused unnecessary suffering to the bitch by failing to arrange ‘proper and necessary’ veterinary care or a suitable diet.

The order was made at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court on 15th April 2013 under Section 34 Animal Welfare Act 2006 after the action was brought by the RSPCA, and related to offences which took place between 3rd November and 1st December 2012.

The order disqualifies the woman from owning animals, keeping them, participating in keeping them and from being party to an arrangement under which she is entitled to control or influence the way in which they are kept for a period of five years.


Saturday, 14 September 2013

Green Lane Mosque hearings

Many readers will have received a copy of this letter over the last day or so concerning the Mosque appeal:
This is the hearing regarding the Appeal against the councils decision last year to turn down the application for the Mosque.

The other hearing, the second application for the Mosque will be heard by Sutton Council's Development Control,Committee at Europa Gallery, Central Library, St Nicholas Way, Sutton, SM1 1EA on the 25th of September (a week and a half away) at 8:00pm. Details can be found here: http://sutton.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=105&MId=3468&Ver=4. This is a public meeting.

Thanks to those who have sent me their copies of this letter.


In Memory Of Ray


A new seat has appeared just outside Green Lane School this week. It was put in on Wednesday afternoon  (11th September) and will no doubt provide rest for those walking up to the stables or through to Motspur Park or for weary parents as they wait to pick up their children from the school. Hopefully it will be appreciated by many people long into the future.

Because this is not just another convenience put in by the council. This seat bares a plaque that touches on the recent history of the area. This is the memorial for Ray Bunce.

No doubt people many years from now will read the plaque and wonder who this Mr Bunce was; perhaps trying to picture some chap being friendly around the area; wondering, as I have done with similar plaques, who he might have been to have such a statement written about him. Perhaps they might, just for a moment try to picture his grieving widow and family in an effort to try to reach the human being that once lived and was known by the name of Ray Bunce.

I think it would be fair to say that he made his presence felt. Like many people I knew of him through his regular letters to the Sutton Guardian Local paper before I met the man behind those letters. While I did not know him well, I liked and respected the person I had come to know a little. I understand he was not a great fan of this blog but things change and I hope that given more time he would have warmed to it a little more.

After Ray died in November last year, the Sutton Guardian wrote a short piece about him. You can read that here if you would like more information.

This bench was paid for and put in by Sutton Council thanks to the Cheam North and Worcester Park local committee. It was chosen in consultation with the three Worcester Park ward councillors and Ray’s widow Evelyn. If you sit on this bench and look at the crossing and large pencil themed bollards directly in front of you, you can thank Ray Bunce for them being there. He campaigned passionately for safety measures in the local area, especially where children were concerned.

Every person influences their local environment a little but it would be fair to say that Worcester Park would a noticeably different place if it were not for Ray Bunce.

If people ponder briefly over the plaque in years to come they may or may not guess as to some of the things he did in life. And while they will be sure he made an important difference, they can never really know who Ray Bunce really was. That is unfortunately the special privilege only of those who actually knew him; those who I'm sure are all proud to have done so and will be proud to be reminded of him and his influence whenever they go up past Green Lane School.


Friday, 13 September 2013

Theft From Sainsbury’s Car Park

A blog reader has unfortunately had his drill stolen. He writes:
Today at 3pm whilst at Sainsbury’s, North Cheam my company van was broken into by 3 white males driving a dark blue Citroen (Picasso, I think). 
Thankfully, I scribbled the registration on a piece of paper which the Police now have after a 999 call, as it seems I got there just in time after they have jimmied the drivers door, pushed the van forward away from the adjacent park fence, then jimmied the back door. 
I returned shortly after this as they only managed to nick a Milwaukee Drill Kit that has the initials KK painted on every item. 
  • 1 Impact Driver
  • 1 Combi Drill
  • 3 Batteries
  • 1 Multiple Screw Kit 
Please keep your eyes and open for these scum bags and more importantly get them nicked!!
(FYI, Sainsbury’s North Cheam CCTV is something to be desired) First port of call for Police was Sainsbury’s CCTV, and yes you guessed it - it was out of action!! Let’s hope the CCTV at the lights operated by TFL are working cause he drove off with the boot open!!!
If you have any information please call the police on 101 or anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Update (Police update from the 17th Septemeber)

Here is the official police appeal about this incident:

Police are appealing for witnesses after a van was broken into whilst parked in the car park at Sainsbury’s at London Road, Sutton, on Friday 13th September between 14.45-14.55hrs. The driver had parked his van deliberately with its rear doors backed up to bushes opposite the main store entrance to reduce the chances of it being broken into. When returning to his vehicle after shopping in the store, the driver noticed his vehicle had been moved forward, its rear doors open and another vehicle parked next to it. He saw three suspects put an item into the other vehicle before speeding away. The driver’s door had been forced open and the vehicle pushed forward after the handbrake had been released. The rear doors had also been forced open. A Milwaukee power drill had been taken. The suspects were described as three white males all aged between 20-30. The suspect’s vehicle was described as a Citroen Xsara Picasso Desire. If you have any information about this incident, please contact Sutton Police station on 101 quoting ref no: 4008793/13. Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


Power Down



Several homes and businesses in North Cheam were left without power today after a squashed cable gave out this morning at around 6:30am. Many businesses on the South East side of London Road near Senhouse Road and around 5 homes in Senhouse Road were all affected.

According to the gentlemen fixing the problem, a telecoms box had been built on top of the mains cable at the corner of London Road and Senhouse Road about 15 years ago and over that time it has slowly squashed the cable until it ceased to function early this morning. There had been reports from nearby business of intermittent power for a few days so this was most likely an indication of what was coming.

The telecoms box has been removed and cable being fixed hopefully with power restored close to the time this is posted. The telecoms box will need to be replaced at a later date. The photo on the right shows the green telecoms conduit above the power cable.


Thursday, 12 September 2013

Van-ishing Donations

Readers may remember the women who were caught stealing donations from outside a charity shop recently. Well a blog reader contacted me today with a story of an industrial scale version.

He said:
"As I was walking past a charity shop last night [just before midnight], next to WHS, I noticed a rather large van, and a man collecting the donations left outside the shop.
As I approached the man, I asked if he was allowed to do this, and he was adamant that he was working for local charities. Having spoken to the store, they have no idea about this guy or company, and stated no one collects the donations.
The name on the van was 'Rainbow Homeless Centre', and having searched online, found no reference to them. The registration was AJ05 CFE.
I advised the local police and they say they will keep a lookout for this."
I would suggest if anyone knows anything about this or sees this van please contact the police. (101 or anonymously: 0800 555 111)


Finishing The Last Hole


The gas replacement work happening in the roads around Green Lane and Browning Avenue is coming to an end. Pictured here is the last big hole (at the corner of Green Lane and Hazlemere Gardens) . The pipe work should be all done by the end of today and the holes all filled in and finished off by Thursday of next week. There are still just two more holes to be dug at the top of Pembury Avenue, which will have to be done as a separate job and will require separate permission from the council.

Sean Jordan who has been running the operation was pleased to tell the blog that this should now mean an end to the road being dug up to fix gas leaks. He added
“I have been very happy with the way this project has gone as we have finished in good time and have had very few complaints.”
He also mentioned that they have they finished the Green Lane gas mains renewal project one month ahead of schedule.

There have been a few issues highlighted by the blog but there have also been quite a few compliments about the politeness of the team and the fact that they have gone out of their way to be as accommodating as possible. They even went out of their way to make a video especially for Worcester Park to explain what they were doing and why. So not bad for a utility company!

It’s no rest for the wicked though as Sean and his crew will be starting work next week around Tudor Avenue and Oaks Avenue in North Cheam.

Update (22nd September)

It looks like it really is finished! All the equipment has been removed from the semi-circular green on Browning Avenue. Although I spotted what looked like the same pile of equipment plus a bit more on the green triangle at the London Road entrance to Oaks Avenue in North Cheam.

Sean Jordan, who ran the project around Worcester Park is running the operation over that way has has promised to show me what is planned so I can keep readers up to date.

Worcester Park Welcomes Insured Drivers


A few people have been wondering what the police have been doing around Worcester Park and North Cheam today. The answer is that they have been looking for uninsured drivers by using number plate recognition technology. The above van was spotted in Cheam Common Road earlier today.


Wednesday, 11 September 2013

They Like it Slow in The Hamptons

Back in July the Hamptons Residents’ Association launched a competition for local children to come up with ‘Road Safety’ pictures that could be displayed to encourage motorists to slow down when driving around the estate.

13 entries and many careful deliberations later, winners were chosen and notified and there will be a reception at Maple Lodge tomorrow (Thursday 12th September) evening at 6:30 to present the winners with their prizes, exhibit all the entries and unveil the campaign that has resulted.

Mike Freter, Chair of the Hamptons Residents’ Association said that:
“All the paintings reveal both talent and a very mature understanding by the kids of the downside of speeding on residential roads.” 
The panel felt because of the wonderful effort made by all the children, they will all receive a small prize.


Two winning enties:





Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Guess What – Road Works!


Today Worcester Park’s dedicated temporary traffic lights system has not been gathering dust in a shed. It has been put to good use in Cheam Common Road while resurfacing work is carried out opposite Colborne Way. Apparently the road there had sunk and needed to be fixed. The gentlemen who have been carrying out the work there since about 10am said it should be finished today, or if not then tomorrow morning. I was also assured that they wouldn’t be leaving the traffic lights up overnight. They should be taking them down before 4pm and if they need them tomorrow they will put them back up again.

While on the subject, Charminster Road is due for resurfacing this Thursday (12th September). I know I could have finished that sentence after the word ‘resurfacing’ and been accurate at any time over the last many years so it’s good to see something actually being done. So remember not to park your cars in Charminster on Thursday or they might get resurfaced too.

Thanks to blog reader Zoe who tells me that the lights have now gone from the Avenue as well.

Update (14th September)

False alarm. As this picture taken yesterday, Friday, shows (though the drizzle) there seems to be a complete absence of newly resurfaced tarmac anywhere on Charminster Road.

I wonder what happened?


Monday, 9 September 2013

Nursery Wreckers Caught On Camera

Readers will remember a few weeks ago how vandals broke in and wrecked the outdoor play equipment at the Kidsunlimited preschool in North Cheam. Police have now released CCTV pictures of the offenders involved.

The suspects were described as white teenagers. If you know the identity of any of the individuals in these images, please contact Sutton Police station on 101 quoting ref no: 4007961/13. Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111