Saturday, 22 August 2015

Bike Marking Today

Police are offering their ever popular bike marking service outside the Police Office in Central Road today.

Getting you bike marked by the Police makes it less beneficial for thieves to steal as it can be traced back to you if it does get stolen - also giving you more of a chance of getting your bike back if recovered.

Bike marking it free and and will be on from 2-5 pm this afternoon (Saturday 22nd August).

If you can't make today's event, there are two more bike marking sessions coming up...

Wednesday 30th September  3-6 pm
Wednesday 7th October  3-6 pm

All are being held directly outside the Worcester Park Police Office at 154 Central Road.

Arrest For Possible Murder

A Man has been arrested after the discovery of a body in Rushmere Court in The Avenue. See Sutton Guardian for further details...

Friday, 14 August 2015

Very Convivial Steampunk

The Victorian Science Fiction based Madness is back! The Surrey Steampunk Convivial is on again at the Royal Oak and Christchurch, Coombe Road in New Malden (KT3 4RD), next weekend (22nd - 23rd August) offering a full weekend of proper British Steampunk Eccentricity.

As Steampunk organiser extraordinaire, Ben put it,

"HG Wells, Bram Stoker and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle all used to live in Worcester Park - and it's time to celebrate that - so, by popular demand, The Surrey Steampunk Convivial is coming back to The Royal Oak, New Malden and Christchurch as well - on August 22nd and 23rd there will be a full on weekend of splendidly bonkers Victoriana, Steampunk silliness, with music, art, literature, fashion, markets and teapot racing. If you wish to be involved, dressing up is not compulsory - but it is highly recommended! Do come and join in the fun!"
By popular demand, this is the second Surrey Steampunk Convivial this year (the first was in February). See the local Steampunk Website for more details or even their facebook page. Tickets can be purchased here.

Let the madness ensue!

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Green Lane Closed

If Green Lane is one of your normal thoroughfares, be warned - next week you are going to have problems. From tomorrow (Monday 10th) until Friday (10th) Green lane will be closed to through traffic while a series of traffic calming (or perhaps traffic frustrating - depending on your point of view) measures are being put in place.

This is part of a larger set of similar works around the area and was originally planned for the beginning of July but had to be put back to allow Epsom Coaches to reorganise the S3 bus route.

So don't let yourself be caught up in the extra traffic. No doubt Longfellow, Browning and most streets off Browning will suffer some additional traffic because of this so if at all possible leave a bit earlier to compensate.

Update (15th August)

Well it's Saturday and Green Lane is still full of Road Closed signs. As one reader who contacted the blog put it:
"Why Green Lane still closed? Sign still there . There is no reason to be closed. Who's responsible?"

Forever Changed

Many people will remember Helen Townsend who used to run the Marie Curie charity shop near the bottom of the High Street.

For those who don't know, Helen took Maternity leave around the beginning of the year to have her second child and has now decided to branch out with her new business selling Aloe Vera products.

Helen sent out a message a few days ago asking me to pass on her message to local people saying:
"I am not returning as shop manager of Marie Curie of Worcester Park after my maternity leave. Thank you to all of my volunteers and customers for supporting the shop and the facebook page; I had a fantastic 6 years there. I live in Worcester Park so I will still be around! I have a new job working with forever living which produces product made from Aloe Vera. I have my new Facebook page called 24 hours living with forever."
Helen, who has worked in retails for many years told the blog that she has been buying the 'Forever Living' products from a friend and had helped organise a couple of parties for them. When guests asked who they were buying the products from, Helen thought perhaps she should start doing this herself. Given that this allows her to be looking after two children
and still make a little bit of money, selling products she already believes in, she thought she'd make a go of it.

There are many people selling various things with this 'Network Marketing' business model. I know people selling Herbalife and Amway and my parents tried doing Avon for a short while many years ago. Helen has promised she's not going to let it take over her social life so that, as she put it, "people won't need to go hide in a bush every time they see her coming", but she will be working hard on it as a proper business.

That of course leave Marie Curie looking for new staff - as the notice in the shop front will attest to. It seems Marie Curie's loss is Forever Living's gain.

I you would like to buy some of these products from Helen, please email her on or telephone her on 07588 593 410.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Charity Pawn

Pawn Shops are never going to be the flavour of the month in Worcester Park - or perhaps anywhere. But H&T in Central Road have been making an effort to join in with the community and give something back. It should be remembered they supplied the major prize in last year's Christmas Late Night raffle (a diamond ring). The reason I am putting pen to paper (or fingers to keys) for their sake today however is that they are holding a second hand book sale on Friday 28th August to raise money for the national cancer support charity Macmillan. The store started collecting books a couple of weeks ago and had 42 at the count last week. Their goal is to reach 100 books for sale on the day. (Hopefully they can do even better than that!)

Members of the public who have books they would like to donate can drop them in over the next month at their store at 148 Central Road, KT4 8HH (opposite the pedestrian lights near Iceland) and also in Sutton Hight Street and Castle Street Kingston.

H&T Pawnbrokers is supporting Macmillan in many of the 190 stores nationwide this year and have already raised over £2,000. The pawnbroking and second hand jewellery stores are holding a range of activities including cake, book and plant sales; sporting challenges; themed fancy dress days; and entertainment events.

The store would be grateful for any books - children, adults, fiction and non - fiction.

On 28th August, they will set up a gazebo outside the store for the book sale with music and will also be offering cakes and refreshments for a small donation for Macmillan. The last time they organised a big fundraising event was for the Macmillan Coffee Morning last September, and local Councillor Arthur Hookway (then the Mayor of Sutton) popped along for a donation and a photo (as shown!)

So if you've got a few old books lying around - why not donate them to a good cause like this?

Friday, 7 August 2015

Library Garden Party

Most Blog readers have probably noticed the recent landscaping changes in Stone Place car park directly outside the library. As many of you already know this is formation of the 'Library Garden', first mentioned back in 2013.

The project which has been championed by the Friends Of Worcester Park Library, chaired by Jackie Frost and began with the winning of £5,000 from Sutton council towards the project. Two years later, the new Library Garden is celebrating its official opening tomorrow morning (Saturday 8th August) at 10:30am and invitations have been sent out, firstly to specific local people and groups, and now to the general public.

Actual work began at the end of June and the blog has kept an eye on proceedings in order to provide a mini record of the work's progress over the last few weeks (as shown here on the right.)

Not all Rosy in the Garden

It would be remiss not to point out that while this application seems to have received general approval from the public (it was something I was happy to support early on), there has been some strong opposition to it too.

This opposition has come in two main forms. The first being due to local residents living close to the site fearing the area might become an area of antisocial behaviour during the evening and night hours when there is no supervision there.

The second is based on the removal of a number of car parking spaces when Worcester Park high street is in desperate need of more car parking not less, plus how the application may have made some outlandish and unsubstantiated claims to gain approval. A petition was started in order to fight against it.

Regarding the first issue: Given that nice areas like this do sometimes become less nice over time it is understandable that local people would be worried about what might go on there in the antisocial hours. The four foot fence is unlikely to keep determined people out during the night but of course a taller more menacing fence would defeat the object of having a pleasant area.

Regarding the parking and 'other' issues: One thing that has got some people's goat here is only partially the removal of the spaces for the garden. The original plan was to remove eight spaces but the plan was reduced so as to only remove two (while moving another two). It is also how the application has gone about making claims that are rather strongly disputed by some.

One of those claims is that apparently 96% of the community was in support, which sounds at the high end of the scale but not out of the question for such a project. However according to the petition against the project, there were 224 objections to the proposal. In order to have 96% support there must therefore have been 5600 supporters of the proposal. It is claimed here however there were only seven. Please read all about this in the petition against the proposal here.

Another issue which has upset people, again with how the application was 'sold' was that it claimed to be increasing the number of car parking spaces. Now of course this seems impossible. If something takes up the very space that was previously used for parking cars, then of course car parking capacity is reduced. However it just so happens that back in February, the number of car parking spaces was increased, not by the library garden, but by the removal of the recycling facilities - not just in Stone Place but at the top of Central Road as well.

This increase in spaces has somehow though been credited instead to the building of the library garden - allowing those in favour of the plan to tell people the library garden itself is increasing the number of car parking spaces.

The planning notice pictured below (click on it to enlarge it) does actually include the phrase "and increase in car parking arrangements and relocation of existing recycling area." (Making it official then.)

The recycling facilities were already long gone before the consultation period for this project ended on 12th February so questions should perhaps be raised on how these two unconnected issues could have become intertwined. The planning committee saw some quite fiery debate apparently. You can see the full planning application here if you wish...

Regardless however of your views on how the garden came about, it is there; right now it looks nice; so we might as well enjoy it. I just hope it is still just as pleasant several years from now, has not caused any antisocial issues for local residents and that the issues of parking in Worcester Park have been properly addressed. (Hold breath now...)

At least you can pop along tomorrow and enjoy the opening if you wish.

Watch Along Central Road

Please see ready made poster below...

I was about to title this story "Keep Watch", and then suddenly realised it might not be the most appropriate pun... Anyway, please keep a lookout - you might make someone very happy...

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Kerfuffle At Kingfish And KFC

Shortly after arriving home from work I spotted a message from a Blog reader saying:
"Jets vs Sharks in WP - anyone know what's going on in the high street now (5.15pm)? Group of youths kettled by police on Green Lane opposite the chippy; black kid in handcuffs outside Poundland; and more kids detained by police halfway down Donnington Road!! One of them was being put in the back of a police van when I walked past."
I had unfortunately missed all the 'fun' by the time I got back but several local witnesses were able to corroborate the report and add some extra detail.

Apparently it started just after 5:00pm when a group of youths hanging out at the bus stop outside KFC went in and purchased some food. They proceeded to make a disgusting mess with their food in the restaurant section, requiring all the staff having to go and give it a 'deep clean' afterwards. The youths, described as being about 17 years old, then headed somewhat boisterously down the road to outside Kingfish where the above reported 'altercation' with the police occurred. Witnesses reported two youths being handcuffed by the police outside Poundland (opposite side of Central Road for those more geographically challenged readers).

Well done to the police for taking the matter seriously and restoring order to the area...

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Lost In Stone Place

Isn't it nice when people finding a lost item will put it prominently on display so the owner might find it if they end up retracing their steps?

Walking around Stone Place car park this morning I spotted two such items presented grandly in spots around the car park.

So if you have lost a small child's pink shoe or a some sort of buggy board, make your way down to Stone Place car park (you know - where Waitrose is) to retrieve your lost items.

Further High Street Changes

Around a month ago the blog reported the closing of some of our local shops. It's not quite all doom and gloom though.

Lets start with a loud cheer for the old Ladbrokes being turned into an estate agents! ...*crickets*...

Well anyway the Hunters estate agents which thought they'd start by giving themselves a shop-front full of publicity should be opening in about 4 weeks - so end of Augustish.

Also while it was reported that 'Bed To Go' was just moving down the road, the new beds shop is clearly not under the 'Beds To Go' umbrella and it would seem the stock has been transferred to a new 'Wise Beds' business.

Speaking (or writing) of Beds To Go, a rumour has been heard that the old shop may become another furniture shop. A further rumour has been heard that the old Motor Spares shop may become a beauticians... Mind you there seem to be quite a number of beauticians, nail bars and hairdressers already in the high street. I am wondering if the lovely people of Worcester Park could be any more beautiful...