Monday, 25 August 2014

U Might Be Interested In This

Have you ever wanted to learn a few extra skills like first aid, conflict resolution, or building networks? Well thanks to The U having joined forces with the Royal Borough of Kingston, there are now fun 90 minute sessions happening around Malden Manor where you can learn these skills and more for free, including within KT4.

Launched in the Indulgence Cafe (opposite the Plough) on Malden Road on the 1st August, The U's partnership with Kingston is offering fun, interactive, and free of charge learning sessions over the next five months - that's up until December.

Antoinette Guest, one of the organisers told the blog that:
"The U will be delivering the following sessions: Be a Lifesaver, developed with the British Red Cross covers what do to in the first few minutes of seven key medical emergencies; Give and Take, developed with Dfuse, covers how to get into the right mind-set to handle a conflict safely and with a better chance of an amicable outcome; Build your Networks covers how to develop and maintain personal networks that will help you out throughout your life; and Glass Half Full offers  a few simple tips and exercises that can help offset the effects of stress and help you maintain a more positive outlook. 
All sessions are 90 minutes long and will be delivered in venues around Malden Manor. We also work with local organisations and groups to offer the sessions as part of their programme of events and activities."
Lilly and Antionette with Kingston's Mayor, Councillor Ken
Smith at the Malden Manor Fun Day on 16th August.
At the Worcester Park Baptist Church - in The Avenue, just across the Road from Worcester Park station and round the corner a bit, there is a "Positivity" session this coming Thursday (28th August) at 10am. They are also hosting a "Be a Lifesaver" (developed in partnership with the British Red Cross) session next Thursday (4th September) at 2pm.

Lilly and Antionette at the launch.
Meanwhile St John the Baptist Church in Church Road, KT4 7RY, are holding U sessions this Friday (29th August) - "Be a Lifesaver" and this coming Monday (1st September) at 2pm "Positivity".
To book a place at these or any of the other sessions on offer around the place, contact Lilly or Antoinette ( / respectivly).

The U are also on the lookout for other volunteer Hosts to help them deliver sessions. Volunteers will receive training in communications and presentations skills and through delivering the sessions, gain practical experience. If you are interested in applying please speak to Antoinette or Lilly ( / respectivly.)

The U also has a branch in Sutton but I am not aware of any sessions in Worcester Park in the recent past or near future. The Sutton U schedule for the next few month can be seen here.


Blog reader Paul got in touch a short while ago with an observation about the bus scheduling at the station. He writes:
"Something that puzzles and annoys me which you might take look at when the opportunity arises, is the departure times and inverse synchronisation to train arrival times of the 151 bus route during evening rush hour.
I’ll explain. I have a notion that perhaps the buses leave deliberately when a train pulls into the station rather than waiting 2 or minutes for the passengers to climb over the bridge and board. It sounds crazy doesn’t it, but it seems to happen so frequently during the late evening rush hour that the train arrives and just as we’re getting off the first carriage and briskly walking under (was over) the bridge the bus turns on its heels and departs. It’s almost as if there’s a game amongst the drivers to take as few passengers as possible, call me paranoid if you wish! 
Of course if a terminating bus arrives then the first has to depart as there is space for only one bus, but that’s not what I’m talking about. It’s the times when only one bus is there, and it would surely make huge sense that if a train arrives at the time when the bus driver is preparing to depart that he waits 2 minutes to collect the passengers, after all that is the purpose of the job! In fact if LT could synchronise the bus departure timetable to 5 mins after the train arrival time then they’d be close to providing a service! 
And another part of the game, when there are people standing at the corner wondering whether a 213 will come along from New Malden or whether the 151 will turn on its lights and open its doors there is another opportunity to perform the departure so quickly that there isn’t chance for passengers to cross the road and board. I’m not joking! There isn’t even 30 seconds between the engine starting and the lights coming on before the driver quickly scoops up passengers waiting right outside its door and driving off. It has been known for the drivers to allow passengers to board before lighting up so as to perfect the escape."
What is your experience with bus drivers perfecting their escapes while managing to avoid actual passengers? Do tell...

Friday, 22 August 2014

Bridge finally gets a clean

For rather a long time the local railway bridge has not been keeping the Worcester Park end up as far as putting on a decent welcome to the London Borough of Sutton (if travelling from Kingston) or to the Royal Borough of Kingston if coming the other way.

Local discontent has been rumbling on for a while such that a local campaign was set up back in November of 2011 to try to get it sorted out. In March last year when over 100 people had joined the campaign we were promised by local Lib Dems that it was all going to be fixed by the early autumn of last year. The local Lib Dem MP had even sent a letter to Network Rail.

Just when all hope seems to have faded the painters in bucket lifters turned up during the recent spate of roadwork and lo and behold the bring has been painted!

Local parliamentary candidates Paul Scully and James Berry
It seems this was not just a coincidence. In an email dated 8th June which has been disclosed to the blog, one of Kingston's parliamentary candidate, James Berry wrote to a local resident:
"I met with Paul Scully at the railway bridge on Saturday morning. We have contacted the new Chief Exec of Network Rail and asked for a meeting with someone with authority to make decisions about the much needed works as soon as possible."
Paul Scully, parliamentary candidate on the Sutton side was delighted with the result, telling the blog that:
"It's brilliant that the bridge has finally been repainted. The one silver lining of Central Road being dug up again was that Network Rail were able to get on with the repainting after James and I picked up the baton with them. Now we've finally seen some action. The next thing we need to sort out is keeping the pigeons away!"
They even managed to paint out those really old light green bits!

As many readers have already suggested, it probably won't be long before the mentally challenged graffitists decide to try and seek our attention again by defacing the bridge, so you'd better enjoy the view while it exists in this pristine state.

Here's another photo you can use to convince your children's children that it was actually once clean and graffiti clear.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Crisp Competition

A local young lad may become Worcester Park's next millionaire for coming up with a new flavour of crisp.

19 year old Jed Pool, has reached the final 6 in a competition to find the next great crisp flavour which is being run by the Walkers crisp company and being called 'Do Us A Flavour'.

Jed told the blog he couldn't believe his luck when he found out he had reached the top 6 out of 1.2 million entries. He said the £1 million prize is a "life changing sum of money" and that he will definitely be getting more nervous as the competition draws closer to it's conclusion when the winner is announced on the 20th October.

Jed, who is studying civil engeneering at imperial college, first entered the competition in March. He suggested Sizzling Steak Fajita flavour as this is his favorite meal cooked by his Mum. In entering he idly thought it might be nice to win the money so he could go and visit his girlfriend who is living in the United States at the moment, but never thought he might have a genuine chance of winning.

However having reaching the final few, he has pledged to be wise with the money if he wins, promising to invest and save and also to share with family & friends (which might hopefully extend to a round or two for the punters at his local Worcester Park watering hole...)

Worcester Park has always been a home from home for Jed. He had lived much of his life in Geneva and is now in imperial college halls of residence but his parents are local stock and Jed's grandparents are in Fulbrook Aveue, surrounded by cousins and other family nearby.

It's now up to the public to have their say and vote for their favourite flavour to decide the winner.

Jed is hoping the community will get behind him and vote for his Sizzling Steak Fajita flavour. Having seen the other flavours I personally think Jed is in with a very good chance. It is certainly my preference out of the 6 flavour finalists. You can see all 6 final flavours here.

There are 4 ways you can vote for Jed's Sizzling Steak Fajita flavour. You can:
Apparently you can vote in each way every day (mind you I'm not sure how you can 'like' a facebook page more than once.) So let's see if we can help a local lad achieve his dream - and end up with a tasty new flavour of crisps to enjoy (with a beer, for lunch or however you do your crisps...) too.

Vote early, vote often, vote Sizzling Steak Fajita...

Sunday, 17 August 2014

A New Road

Our latest beloved road works continue to head slowly North West towards New Malden resulting in Green Lane being blocked off at central Road. And so it would seem has a mysterious new thoroughfare known as "Green Road".

If anyone lives in or knows anyone who lives in Green Road, please get in touch so I can update my maps.

Thanks very much.

School's Off

It probably wouldn't take too much to find a student that would like to cut their school into pieces. They may perhaps have their wish as the portacabins at the back of Dorchester Primary have been in the process of being dismantled and removed over the past week or so.
Recognise this classroom? Perhaps it was for half a class...

Regular users (and walk pasters) of Dorchester Park will have seen the back half of the park having been closed off to facilitate the removal of the portacabins. The section was fenced off last week (and then the fence fell over yesterday) to create safe passage for the no longer loved classrooms. This is scheduled to continue unto next Friday (22nd August), at least that's according to the notices about the place (see below).

Meanwhile at the front of the school work has been going on many months now and the new building will hopefully be ready for the new term in September - when WP junior will start his school life there. Hopefully he will be happy enough at school not to want to do this to it...

Friday, 15 August 2014

Lost Jez

I've had a message from blog reader Matthew today asking for help in finding an escaped  runaway (or should that be flyaway) pet cockateil called Jez. Matthew said:
"My mother-in-law has been very unwell recently and the companionship of "Jez" has helped keep her spirits up. If she can`t be re-united with him she will be very upset and will miss him terribly.
Jez may be in the Pembury Avenue area. He is very friendly (landing on heads and shoulders) and whistles `blue is the colour`. (Not my fault !)"
Matthew and family would be very grateful and appreciative if anyone is able to help return him home. Please contact the blog on if you have any information and I will pass on the details...

Update (22nd August)

The blog is very pleased to report that Jez has been reunited with his owner. The person who found Jez and handed him into a vet happened to post a photo on facebook which was recognised by a blog reader and contact was made.

Matthew emailed the blog to say:
"Very pleased to confirm that this was Jez and he is now back home safe and sound.Thanks very much for your help!"
We love a happy ending!

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

S3 Alterations

I have just received an communique from blog reader Shelli regarding the S3 bus. She writes:
"My daughter received an email from TfL stating the following...
I am writing to let you there are changes to bus route S3 until Saturday 23 August, in the Worcester Park area. This is due to work on Central Road between Green Lane and Station Approach on behalf of UK Power Networks, Thames Water, Network Rail and Kingston upon Thames Council.
During this time, services will be as follows:
• An hourly service will run between Malden Manor and Worcester Park
• One in three buses towards Malden Manor will be diverted and will not serve Langley Avenue, Browning Avenue and Green Lane
All other buses towards Malden Manor will be curtailed at Green Lane; the last stop will be on Longfellow Road."
Thanks Shelli for the tip off...

Kids Discover Commonwealth Of Local Shops

If you happened to spot a swath (or even a clump) of children wandering up and down Central Road, peering in shop windows and scribbling feverishly on bits of paper on Saturday morning, worry not. 'Twas the great Worcester Park Iceland Commonwealth Games thingy.

Some regular readers may remember from a previous post the special children's Commonwealth Games event which took the form of a themed quiz, involving finding the Commonwealth countries and territories shown in the shop windows. 

Richard Johnson who organised the event said:
"Many thanks to those who took on the challenge. Hopefully (whether you were younger or older), you all had some fun!"
Below is a list of all the traders who took part and the Commonwealth Teams they displayed in their windows. Special thanks to the exceedingly generous and community spirited team at Iceland, who hosted the event and supplied all the prizes.

R. Woodfalls Optometrists
Hendy's Jewellers
Graham Lee Carpets
The Brook Pub and Eating House
British Virgin Islands
Frederick W Paine Funeral Services
AMS Ophthalmic Opticians
Toy Shed Toy Shop
Cayman Islands
Centrals Bar & Lounge
Ross Fruiterers
Camera Continental Photographic Supplies
Iceland Foods
Falkland Islands
Connor Price Estate Agents
Worcester Spark Electricals
Rumours Wine Bar
H & T Pawnbrokers
Broadway Bargains Haberdashery
Tarrant's Hardware
Isle of Man
Preview Menswear
Megabyte Computers
Pet's Place
Amy Nails Manicurists
Quality Dry Cleaners
Garner's Funeral Services
Redgwell Sewing Machines
Cut and Design Hair Salon
Kingfish Fish & Chips
New Zealand
Central Plumbing Supplies
Launderette of Central Road
Northern Ireland
Central Locksmiths
Household & Toy Warehouse
Papua New Guinea
Coversure Insurance Services
The Conservatory Florist
Marie Curie Cancer Care
Computer Surgery
Solomon Islands
Checkers Café
South Africa
Fowlers Stationery & Cards
St. Helena
Mr. Ink Printers' Supplies
St. Lucia
St. Raphael's Hospice
Sole II Sole Shoe Repairs
Trinidad & Tobago
Discount Motor Spares
Turks & Caicos Islands
Sularis Tanning Salon
Woodward Brothers Meats
Cycle Power Bike Store

Sunday, 10 August 2014

We Shall Remember Them

Funeral Directors are supposed to be terribly stiff and dull aren't they? Well Alan Greenwood and Sons seem to break the mould a little as a local undertakers in North Cheam who are happy to be a little more prominent and commemorative - certainly in their window display.

Mags Johnson who manages the business is passionate about celebrating our fallen soldiers and has often got a patriotic display of one sort or another in the window. Right now the shop, which is opposite Langley Avenue on London Road has a display dedicated to the commemoration of our role in the Great War.

Mags is also passionate about animals (and also collects interesting telephones - some of which can also often be seen in the displays) and runs the annual free breakfast and coffee morning to raise money for the Battersea Dog and Cats Home.
Paul Scully presenting Mags Johnson with independent
trader of the year 4th place certificate last year.

The business seems to have gained quite a deal of respect from local people for their enthusiastic exhibitions, having finished in the top four in last year's independent shop of the year competition. Not bad for a funeral directors!

Of all the local shops I have seen commemorating the start of WWI, this one has most certainly put in the most effort.

I don't often ponder such things but I have found myself considering that if I were to shuffle of this particular mortal coil anytime soon, I'd be quite happy to have Mags and co sorting out the honours...

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Oi, That's Not Your Shop

It seems that the people who opened up the Mac Repairs shop at the bottom of Central Road round the corner from the station rather cheekily sidestepped the issue of getting permission from the landlord first. It appears they merely took it upon themselves to enter the premises (perhaps by force) and set up a shop without paying rent in hopes that nobody would notice...

Notices appeared on the shop a few days ago saying that the landlord had reoccupied the premises. Tellingly the notice also says:
"Mac Repairs had no entitlement in law to possession of these premises."

Click to enlarge
According to a nearby local trader, the same landlord owns all the shops there. Linays Commercial are the agents both for this shop and also for the old Cuppaholic shop further up which is up for sale. So with people around who know how to contact the landlords and their agents, it surely can't have been that hard to find out who to talk to about taking out a proper lease on the shop.

They only opened on the 19th June, less than two months ago. It sort of begs the question, 'Why would people risk being thrown out of their shop in such a short time, losing possession of their stock, when they could just play by the rules and open legitimately like everyone else?'

Power Up For Bike Marking

Over the last few years Worcester Park's local police have been pretty good at giving people opportunities to get their bicycles marked and registered. However there are still many bikes out there that have not taken advantage of this deterrent against bike thrives.

So today from midday until 3pm the local police will be at Cyclepower on Central Road (just up the hill a bit on the right) offering this service for free.

Having your bike marked and registered enables the police to know that it's actually yours and return it to you if it gets stolen and recovered. They etch a unique code into the cycle frame and this is kept on a database together with the owner’s details. It's very quick and makes your bike less attractive to thieves as they can't claim, "Honest Guv, it's my bike...", when the etched code on it suggests otherwise.

Many stolen bikes are actually recovered but unless yours is marked, the police will have no way of knowing that and it would most likely go for auction instead of being returned to you.

Local PCSO Gary Weaving said:
"Members of your local policing team will be present, so come along, have your bike marked and registered for free and meet with us to discuss any issues you may have."
So get on yer bike and get down to Cycle Power today from lunchtime onwards...

Thursday, 7 August 2014

A New Fair In Town

As of Tomorrow, Botton's Family Funfairs will be putting on a Summer Fair in St. Joseph Hood Memorial Park which is that park just beyond the horse fields if you go walking up past Green Lane School and turn left towards Motspur Park.

The fair which is aimed squarely at children between the ages of 2 and 12 will on from tomorrow (Friday 8th August) until next Sunday 17th August - each day from midday until 7pm.

Botton's Family Funfairs (as the name somewhat implies) is a family run business that puts on funfairs. It is free to turn up and there will be entertainment including performers and swingball for free. Other attractions cost money in the form of tokens which can be bought for a pound each or 6 of them for £5. Rides and attractions cost from 1 token to 4 tokens with the most expensive ride being the bungee trampoline at 4 tokens. The bouncy castle is 1 token and there is an all new extra special bouncy castle with a ridable leopard's head (no I'm not quite sure either) which is 3 tokens.

So if you've reached that point in the school holidays when you can't think of anything else to keep the little ones entertained, this might just be the answer - at least for a few hours...

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Iceland To Host Next Commonwealth Games

For those who enjoyed the recent Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and can't wait another 4 years for the Gold Coast games in sunny Queensland, Australia, relief is at hand here in Central Road, Worcester Park.

Brought to you by the same people (or person) who brought you the ‘Easter Egg Hunt’ a few months ago, the Worcester Park Iceland Commonwealth Games is being held this very Saturday morning (9th August) and promises our youngsters treats, the likes of which could only be equalled by the winning of Commonwealth Gold Medals themselves!

This Commonwealth of Nations inspired event, spurred on by the recent Games, which saw England at the top of the table and more gold medals won by Cheam’s Jo Rowsell and Wallington’s Dave Weir involves identifying Commonwealth Countries and Territories, as displayed in the local shop windows as shown in four examples below.

All local children are welcome, nay, encouraged and invited to take part and will be able to pick up a form from Iceland, to record the Commonwealth countries that they can see in the windows of Central Road shops. Once the form is complete, upon returning it to Iceland, they will each receive a treat with a Commonwealth Games link. All you need to bring along is a pen or pencil.

Richard Johnson, who has organised this magnificent quiz, has asked me to highlight in particular that it is the team at Iceland themselves who are very generously providing both the treats and the funding for them, from their own very pockets. The treats will be handed out at Iceland, up to 12:30pm or to the first 100 children who complete the quiz (whichever happens sooner)… So best get down to Iceland and pick up an entry form early on Saturday morning!

Who said the community spirit was lost!

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Green Lane Junction Next

The roadwork in Central road have been in full swing for a week now, complete with corresponding tailbacks. However things are about to change again.

Tomorrow morning the lights at the junction of Green Lane will be replaced with a set a temporary lights as the works shift glacier like towards the railway bridge. The fenced off section outside Iceland (pictured above) should be removed tomorrow and many people will perhaps take comfort from the fact that the restrictions to the Stone Place (Waitrose) entrance will be reduced a bit from Thursday - being that traffic will be allowed to turn left into Stone Place, but still not right.

The works are required in order to replace a high voltage mains cable running from the substation inside Stone Place (pictured below) all the way down to near the railway bridge. Apparently the work is so necessary (read 'situation is so bad') that if another cable fails it will be 'lights out for everyone in the area'.

A gentleman I spoke to who seemed to be a bit in charge - or at least seemed to know what was going on said that there is a chance they might get it all done ahead of schedule on the 25th August.

However in the meanwhile if you include Green Lane as part of your daily commute, from tomorrow it might be worth leaving even a bit earlier than the bit earlier you are already leaving in order to reach you destination on time...

Friday, 1 August 2014

Tree Trickster Steals From Elderly Lady

An elderly lady fell victim to a con man on Wednesday evening when he tricked his way into her home after pretending to do tree work in Cheam Common Road.

The victim, aged 79, saw a man hanging around outside her address at around 8:25pm and went out to ask him if he was there about her trees. He told her he was and entered her house and went into the kitchen where he asked to see the garden. The resident, who has mobility issues, struggled to keep pace with him and when she said she was going to phone a relative, the man left. Afterwards she found that her purse and cash were missing.

Did you see a man acting suspiciously near Cheam Common Road on Wednesday (30th July) between 8 and 9pm? If you can recall seeing anything that might help, please call Sutton Police Station on 101 quoting ref no: 4008005/14.

Police advise residents not to allow any unknown and unexpected callers inside. If you believe someone on your doorstep may be trying to commit a crime, please close the door on them keeping them outside and call 999 immediately.

Sutton Council runs a Safer Sutton Trader directory of trusted traders who have been vetted by the council and have agreed to follow a Code of Practice. For details call 020 8770 5070 or visit: