Wednesday, 19 December 2007

They think it's all over.....

It is now....... After two manic days in the office The Brinkster is now off work (I hesitate to say 'on holiday') until the new year!!

Monday dawned with a delightfully predictable supply of trains into Worcester Park and I had a trouble-free journey through to Waterloo, at which point I discovered that the Waterloo & City line was closed so everyone piled down to the bus stop to catch the "Commuters' Sightseeing Tour of London". Ah well. Can't have it all.

We've had a few carol singers down Brinkley Road and have ignored a few more (if they must come when we're putting the little Brinksters to bed) and I was out with Miss Brinkster when the Rotary Association came down the road with Santa last Friday, whom the other Brinksters thought was great. Other than that there's been little to report as I've been either stuck at work or out and about on the rounds of Christmas socialising so haven't caught up with any Worcester Park gossip for the last week.

Hopefully having a few days off now means I can catch up on the rumour mill, go and buy some Christmas presents from Broadway Bargains and order Christmas lunch from the Ryan Gate.

..............or maybe not...........

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Baker's Oven, cats and dolls

Making the most of the fact I've got the day off I strolled down Central Road this morning on the way to the sorting office to see what's what. Nearly a month ago I posted that the Bakers Oven was being refurbished so I thought I'd show you the before and after

Liking the new sign. Very smart!

With an eye to wider events Alfie the cat's gone missing on the Worcester Park/Stoneleigh border so take a look if you live near there in case you can help (or just like cute cat pictures).

Lastly the prize for the most bizarre Worcester Park reference goes to.......[drum roll please]........ The Doll Palace, which is about "The art of making cartoon dolls (dollz) and Doll Makers" and invites visitors to "Use our huge dollmaker dress up games to create personalized dolls and send them by email".
I'm trying not to get too creeped out here but I know you're wanting the Worcester Park reference:
"I knew I wanted Toby and nobody else. So I ran. Went to the station and got off at Worcester Park."
"Worcester Park?"
"Thats where Toby lives."

If you want to find the rest (including the unsubtle innuendo) you'll have to use Google.

If anyone's interested in the possibility of a pub crawl from the bottom from the Worcester Park to the North End tavern do let me know.........

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Train timetable during emergency engineering works

Because of the landslip/landslide affecting all Worcester Park train services National Rail have just posted a timetable of the services that will be running during the day, which can be found here. The long and short of it is that there will be half hourly services running during the peak periods but don't bother using the usual link for running times as it appears to be borked.

For those that like pictures instead of text/numbers they've got one of those too:

Sex addiction and another Worcester Park blog

It seems another Worcester Park blog has snuck in under the radar in the form of 'sweetladymills' blog entitled "Worcester Park surrey". She's started off with a couple of links but hopefully there'll be some genuine posts up there soon!

In other news the local Guardian has a story about a New Malden resident who's rather cast the place in a bad light:

A sex addict driver on the hunt for a prostitute nearly killed two police officers when he deliberately drove the wrong way down the A3 at night, with no headlights, in a desperate attempt to flee the police.

Otuo Abebrese, 30, from New Malden, had been disqualified from driving by Kingston magistrates less than a month ago.

But he told police he was a sex addict and, on the night of December 5, he had not been able to sleep and had decided to drive to find a prostitute in Shepherd's Bush.
...
In court, the magistrates' faces dropped when the facts were read out and the lead magistrate said: I am disgusted. Get out of my sight!'"

Do go and read the story as it's scary/unbelievable what he was preparted to do to get away.

More info from National Rail

Some details of the emergency service operating through Worcester Park because of the landslip have been posted here but to make your life a little bit easier I've reproduced them below:
----------------------------------------------
Train services between Epsom and Raynes Park are being disrupted due to emergency engineering works at Worcester Park.

To help deal with the greatest of passengers using services on this route, the levels of disruption at different times of the day will be as follows:

Morning peak (until 09:30)
The normal service between London Waterloo, Epsom and Dorking / Guildford is suspended and the following special service will operate:
- a half hourly service will run between London Waterloo and Epsom, calling at all usual stations; - a normal service between will run London and Chessington South, with a number of additional services operating in the London bound direction only;
- services between London and Guildford via Leatherhead will be diverted and not call at stations between Motspur Park and Bookham. Services from London will call additionally at Surbiton and Effingham Junction and services to London will call at all stations between Guildford and Surbiton via Oxshott and also at Raynes Park.

Daytime and evening (between 09:30 and 15:30 and from 19:00 until end of service)
As morning peak, although the additional services from Chessington South to London Waterloo will not run.

Evening peak (between 15:30 and 19:00)
As morning peak, although additional services will run from London to Chessington South only.

In addition to the above, replacement bus services will run between Malden Manor and Leatherhead and between Leatherhead and Effingham Junction, calling at all stations.

South West Trains passengers may travel on Southern services. Customers wishing to travel between Dorking and Epsom should use Southern services.

London Underground are accepting South West Trains passengers between London Victoria and London Waterloo.

This disruption is expected to continue until Monday 17 December.

Landslide chaos - day three

Gave up on any idea of a train from Worcester Park this morning and jumped straight on a 213 for New Malden and got there before 7.20 in time for the 7.25, with traffic being lighter than I expected. The number of people who got on the bus outside the Worcester Park make me suspect that there were no trains of any shape or size this morning. The whole journey took me an hour and 20 instead of yesterday's hour and 50. My "Nanook of the North" commuting outfit came in useful as the outside temperature was registering -4.6 when I left.

Last night I came back via New Malden and got a 213 to WP, which was reasonably swift. The fact that the slip road off the A3 is closed for the roadworks seems to have helped ease the traffic.

If you have any good alternative routes can you post them and give an indication of time vs a normal day as they may be helpful to people wh oare struggling. The ones I've heard of so far (thankyou for the various contributions!) are:
- 213/151 bus to Cheam station,
- 213 bus to New Malden station,
- 213/151 bus to North Cheam then 93 to Morden,
- 213 bus then walk to Malden Manor (trains every half an hour),
- Walk along path by Green Lane school to Motspur Park (ditto),
- Wait at Worcester Park and just hope...........

On the bright side I've got a day off tomorrow...........

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Transport woes

It took an hour and 50 to get into work this morning instead of the usual hour. Aiming for the 7.12 I got to the station and a delightfully empty train with only a smattering of passengers pulled in at 7.17, then stood there for several minutes before departing without opening its doors......... back towards Stoneleigh! Working on the theory that they were using it to test the work they'd done overnight and that it would be back in due time I persevered, and I was right...... it did return........ 30 minutes later.......

The now frozen hordes piled aboard and endured a slow commute to Waterloo (no heating of course) and for me it was a swift trip through the drain to Bank.

My "Plan B" was either going to be bus to New Malden and then train from there (discounted because of the traffic) or bus to North Cheam then Morden and in on the Northern Line......... so when I heard at Bank that the Northern Line was suspended in both directions from Morden to Stockwell I was just about glad I stuck with "Plan A".

Monday, 10 December 2007

Emergency engineering works at Worcester Park

Check Worcester Park train times here.

Emergency engineering works at Worcester Park

Last Updated: 13:22

Route Affected:
London Waterloo, Clapham Junction, Wimbledon, Raynes Park, Worcester Park, Stoneleigh, Epsom, Leatherhead & Guildford / Dorking

TOC/s Affected: South West Trains

Description: Train services between Raynes Park and Epsom are being disrupted due to emergency engineering works at Worcester Park.

London Waterloo to/from Dorking services are currently suspended.

London Waterloo to/from Guildford via Epsom services are being diverted via Cobham. They will run non-stop between Raynes Park and Effingham Junction.

Buses are replacing trains between Raynes Park and Epsom in both directions, calling at all planned interim stations.

This disruption will contimue until at least the end of service today, Monday 10 December


Easements:
Southern are accepting South West Trains passengers. London Underground are accepting South West Trains passengers between London Victoria and London Waterloo.

A Brinkster Weekend

Christmas is approaching, as I'm sure you've noticed, so our days and weekends are taken up with the assorted fairs, fetes, plays and pantos that come with the season.

Saturday dawned with the assorted young Brinksters bouncing around the house with the anticipation of the Cheam Common Junior School Christmas Fete. They insisted on being there from the moment the doors opened and many games were played, some prizes were won and Brinkster Junior came away from a toy stall with a £1 treasure that has kept him engrossed ever since (result!!). Brinkster Minor, aged 3, homed in upon the Munal's selection of delicacies and then proceeded to work his way through all of them with great relish, to our pleasure and surprise. We didn't get to try the Laser Quest thing but apparently it was very good judging from the responses and the queues.

From there Miss Brinkster and Brinkster Junior (still clutching his treasured toy) went to the Polka Theatre in Wimbledon to see The BFG, which was very good fun and well staged. For the celeb-hunters amongst you I spotted Martin Marquez (Of The Bill, Hotel Babylon, and many more) and the Children's Laureate Michael Rosen in the audience.

Back to Worcester Park and I was called into action as the household face-painter (they'd resisted the temptation at the fete) so by tea time there was a tiger and a monkey rampaging through Brinkster Central leaving carnage in their wake.

Sunday found us at Kew Gardens by 9.30 in the cold to engage in a few more Christmassy activities, by which I don't mean forcing prospective young Jewish parents to sleep in unsuitable accomodation but some of the more Victorian activities. First stop was the Rotary club stand by the Princess of Wales Conservatory which had brewed up a batch of mulled wine to chase away the morning chills (the kids had lemonade) and then on to the Snow Dome, which was actually foam disguised as snow but could just as easily be shoved in faces without the disadvantage of being too cold. Then on to the Plant-omime with my guest spot as the Genie in Alladin, a quick trip to see Santa and finally a horse and carriage ride before heading back to the car. We collapsed at home and the spent the remainder of the afternoon watching movies!

Kew has free open evenings on the 14th and 15th so do head over as most of the stuff is on and if you're trying to get in the Christmas mood it's a good way to do it.

Friday, 7 December 2007

Quiet week - non WP related

After the Hamptons proposal being knocked back on Monday it seems to have been a quiet-ish week in Worcester Park. Rather than post something completely inane (well, more inane than usual) I thought I'd introduce to you the "BCB Wall Breaker".

In my professional travels I come across some fabulous (and some not-so fabulous) gadgets and at an exhibition this week the must-have boys toy rapid entry equipment was this. You fill up a normal water cooler plastic bottle, stick it in this thing and bring it up to 200psi and 'boom', bring the house down! There is a video demo of this thing in action but I can imagine it came to life when a couple of bored techies were sat around (probably watching Braniac) and saying to each other "Hey, if you can use water pressure to power a vehicle maybe you could blow a hole in a wall with it!".

I can't think of a single occasion where I'd find one of these useful but I still get the overwhelming urge to want one anyway....... It's rare that I find something so cool and yet bizarre/ridiculous all at once.

Any WP news anyone or can you top that for a pointless/niche gadget?

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Hamptons expansion rejected

It was the important Hamptons planning meeting last night and the Council have rejected St James proposal. With so much money on the line I assume there will be an appeal but it's good news for now. For more details go to The Hamptons Blog.

It seems like Sutton Police are experimenting with Segway personal transport for officers. If you're in need of a chuckle it's a good read but I can't quite picture a police Segway in hot pursuit uphill on Central Road.....

Monday, 3 December 2007

Rendezvous?

The defunct "Rosy Miller's" coffee shop up near "Model Road and Rail" is reopening under the name of "Rendezvous" sometime this week. The sign says "coffee shop and more"*, by which they hopefully means cakes, buns, tea, etc but the open-ended invitation does nothing to help dispel the reputation of that end of Central Road for providing "unusual services".


On a different note Mrs Brinkster has been led to believe that the new "Ciaran" barbers is an offshoot of the hair salon by the station. Apparent confirmation of this would appear to be in the fonts they use for their signs:

Photos from the worcesterparkblog and bluejamred
*italics mine.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Reflections - Guest blogger

Friday night's Worcester Park Traders Association Christmas evening was a tad damp, as those who were out in out can testify. I think the adult-eye view might be to say that it was a washout but as "Christmas is for the kids" I thought I'd hand over to a guest blogger for the first time. Please welcome the blogging debut of the 7-year old Brinkster Junior to give his reflections on the evening's activities:

"I liked the games best, because they're so fun and because I won a gun and a Christmas present. I played a dart game and a one where I had to throw footballs and I liked the football game best.

I went on a spinning teacup ride, the big wheel and a turning-round duck ride and they were fun because they made me feel excited.
All of the rides were exciting so it's hard to choose a favourite.
I had a really great time."

Didn't mention the rain once. Mission accomplished I'd say!

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Photos

I'll do a proper post soon but for now here are a few photos from last night's Worcester Park Traders Association Christmas evening on Central Road.

Friday, 30 November 2007

Top Gear - Part Two

For those who read the previous post earlier this week James May did say to me today that conversations are ongoing between himself and Clarkson regarding the potential... ermmm.... 'initation' of Oliver to these shores when he/it arrives next week. The problem is that they don't exactly when he/it is arriving, which is making planning very difficult and that they may just resort to lurking at the docks and playing on Hammond's, not entirely unjustified, paranoia.

If by some outrageous fluke you happen to know somone who works at the relevant docks could you see if they could find out.....

The Big Day is here!!

The big day has arrived, though somewhat damply, and the collective loins of Worcester Park are being girded to enjoy The Worcester Park Traders Association Christmas evening on Central Road, so I'm sure various members of the Brinkster Clan will mark the event by coming home clutching all kinds of cheaply made, though delightfully illuminated, frippery. If you're going to be there I'm sure you'll have a good time and if the weather holds out I might be able to get some good photos, although the weather forecast itself isn't looking too great and if needed we'll plaster ourselves in stormproof clothing and make the best of it.... and I can't think of a more frightening white knuckle ride than the big wheel they've had outside Costcutter previously in howling gale and torrential rain.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

For those still wondering whether Bikehut's failed plans for the old M&S were actually serious I can point you in the direction of Sutton's planning web site which divulged the following back in June:
Application A2007/57860/ADV
Area/Ward:A02NONSUCH
Location:177 Central Road Worcester Park KT4 8DR
Proposal:Display of illuminated fascia signs and an illuminated pole mounted forecourt sign.
Applicant:Halford Ltd.

They did mean it. Shame nothing ever came of it.

On a personal note I'd like to thank the person who parked the mini with the "chequered flag" roof in Brinkley Road last night which I spotted on the way up to Costcutter. Much of my early childhood was spent in the passenger seat of my mother's British Racing Green mini, which also sported a chequered roof, and one of my great delights was being able to press the big rubber button by the handbrake to start the engine. [sigh]

Reassurance

For those of you needing reassurance please report to the police unit outside The Munal restaurant between the hours of 1pm and 7pm today. We regret that reassurances cannot be made outside of these hours.......

What is a "Police Reassurance Unit"? What do they want to reassure me about?? Ironically I won't be able to see for myself as I won't be back in Worcester Park until late....... because I'm out with the Police (I'll ask them but I'll bet they won't know either)

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Another new blog in town

From my occasional perusals of Google Blogsearch I've spotted another new Worcester Park blog. In TheHamptonsBlog an anonymous resident appears to be marshalling opposition to the proposed fifth phase of the development, and gives the next meeting date of the Development Control Committee (DCC) as 3rd December 2007 in the Europa Gallery at the Sutton Civic Centre from 7.30pm.

"The Residents Association has met with councillors and other local groups and will make a statement to the DCC on 3 December. This will be part of a co-ordinated approach to show DCC members that the entire Worcester Park community is united in its concerns over the impact on local services and amenities is there is further development of the Hamptons"

I've got a prior appointment but good luck to them!

Top Gear

For any Top Gear fans amongst you I was speaking to Richard Hammond yesterday and he says that Oliver should arrive from Africa next week "as long as those other buggers don't get their hands on him". If you don't know who Oliver is you haven't been watching the new series closely enough (or you could have a life...... the other option)

In more mundane news my 20six blog is down again........ losers

Monday, 26 November 2007

Another Worcester Park gallery

If you haven't found it yet worcesterpark now has his own gallery of our fair hamlet here. I'd be fascinated to know what the ladies of Broadway Bargains made of him wandering around the shop taking photos!

As it's there I'll instantly make use of it to show you the two new barbers in town. In the photos below you'll find "Ciaran" and "Kim's". Let's watch them duke it out and see if there's a winner/loser or whether they can learn to get along:

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Cheam Common Junior Christmas Fete

Happy Thanksgiving to those of colonial ancestry!! I'm out with the expats tomorrow...

OK, as I promised (Mrs Brinkster) I now have the details to hand of Cheam Common Junior school's Christmas Fete.

Saturday 8th December 2007
12.00 to 3.00
Inflatable Laser Quest arena
Grand draw (1st prize is a PSP)
Krispy Kreme doughnuts
Father Christmas
Carol Singing
etc, etc

AND
(Best of all)

Food cooked and served by The Munal
(which at the time of writing is leading the eateries poll with 19% of the vote)

The laser quest thing will be something like this

Perhaps the rest of you could play a game of hunt the Brinkster???

Ethnocentric football

After my prediction of a lacklustre English performance last night I though I'd give you a different perspective on last night's event's.

Holland's RTL news this morning jubilantly led with the story "Hiddink toch naar EK met Rusland" explaining that Guus Hiddink, well-known Dutch coach, will be taking Russia to the European Championship and gushingly continues:
"Hij profiteerde tijdens de laatste speelronde in groep E van een sensationele nederlaag op Wembley van concurrent Engeland tegen Kroatiƫ, dat al was geplaatst (2-3)."
For those without a grasp of the language of the low countries that means, as we all know, that the reason for Hiddink's success is because of England's total failure last night and that by inference because Russia went through then it's indirectly good news for Holland.

Glad to see that ethnocentrism is alive and well in Europe but it will give myself and friends of the Brinkster clan free reign in plying our trade on Central Road to watch the Holland games uninterrupted. Dedicated readers will remember the Oranje's last foray to the Cazbar during the World Cup!! If any local bars would like to apply for the position of "Official Hostelry of Brinkster's European Cup Campaign 2008" to stave off the financial ruin of there being no England games then please do let me know.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Hoo-bleedin-ray!!

Apologies to anyone who has tried to get to my 20six blog in the last 28 hours but my useless blog provider decided to disappear up its own tailpipe with no warning. Grrrrr

Now that I'm back I can tell you that the 'other' barbers in the old Digital Village shop will be opening on Saturday under the name of "Kims" (according to the posters in the window). You were dying to know weren't you?

The Epsom Guardian has posted an article about charity scam clothing collections, which is a subject I rant on about when a flyer for one of those drops through my door.

Those of you who commute into London may have experience of running the gauntlet of people trying to press free newspapers or leaflets in your hand. For the last couple of days there's been a guy at my station handing out leaflets for "Erotica 07" (which I'm not going to I'd like to point out) and although I could think of many ways to describe said leaflet-giver but I'll settle for "rotund" and "hirsute", which snuffed out any possible glimmer of interest in attending the event even if I'd wanted to. Brrrrr.........


I'm going to go and find somewhere warm to go and watch the England team put on their traditionally lacklustre performance.....

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Cracking storm Gromit!

Anybody in the Worcester Park area who wasn't in a subterranean nuclear bunker last night was treated to a spectacular light and sound show courtesy of some seriously inclement weather. I happened to be in New Malden at the time and the place I was in was lit up, and rattled, by both of the significant lightning events. On my return to Worcester Park I was prepared to strap on the outboard motors to get under the railway bridge but they weren't needed as it was only calf-deep (i.e. halfway up the calf on your leg, not deep enough to drown a young cow).

On the "eateries poll" I notice that the Munal has crept into second place behind Caffe Piccolo with Silks, Pizza Express and La Mama in joint third! I might link to it on Facebook as I think there's a restaurant thread on there.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Radio Jackie

As previously posted a couple of the Brinkster Clan made it to the Worcester Park to see Radio Jackie raising money for Children in Need and Darren got in touch to say that the total raised was £1,700, which exceeded their target of £1,000 by quite some margin. Thanks are due to everyone who went down and parted with their cash and particularly to Neil Long and everyone from Radio Jackie who put so much effort into it!!

With the Christmas evening long since penned in the diary Mrs Brinkster has suggested I set aside my editorial impartiality and plug the Cheam Common Junior School Christmas Fair, which will be coming up soon. I don't have the dates on me (I'm not that sad) but one of the highlights will be a large inflatable Laserquest battlezone thing out in the playground, which should be satisfyingly different from the usual school fair stuff. The chance to run around and shoot people always gets me in the mood for the season of peace and goodwill to all. More details when Mrs Brinkster provides them......

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Radio Jackie and Central Road stuff

Unusual for me to post on a weekend I know but I took Miss Brinkster down to the Worcester Park to see Radio Jackie last night so I though I'd share the picture (as proof as much as anything else!).



We managed to get there in a lull in the action but there were a fair number of folks around and I hope they were making money.


On the way back we noticed that the people-smuggling "Golden Chef" has disappeared and been replaced by the "Surrey King Cafe". I know worcesterpark has a photo so I'll let him link to it ;)


Further up Central Road the Bakers Oven had closed for refurbishment and they were busily stripping out the old fittings.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Free bus service in Worcester Park

Don't get too excited. I do like to keep up with WP activities and with duty done about the Christmas event make a note of Sunday 10 August 2008 as "August 2008 marks the 50th anniversary of the withdrawal of London's first red bus route operated by low-bridge double-deck buses".

"To mark the anniversary, Red-RF Events is organising a running day on Sunday 10 August 2008. This will feature the routes and buses of the area, concentrating on buses in operation during the life of route 127, from 1941 to 1958. Buses will run free services available to the public and full details will be provided on this site. A commemorative programme will be produced nearer the time, but will not be required for travel."

I'd recommend a brief visit to their site for no better reason than it has a picture of an old red bus by WP station.

As you can see a new mini-poll has appeared on the left about the Christmas event so please do cast your vote.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Central Road Christmas Evening 2007

The details have been announced for the annual event which enables all local residents to unashamedly revel in their Worcester-Parkiness:


Worcester Park Traders Association
30th November 2007 - 6pm to 9pm
Food stalls,
Carousel ride, fun fair, bouncy castles
Choirs, clowns and baloon decorations,
Stiltwalkers, live bands, pipers
Father Christmas will visit at 7.30
Scavenger hunt for children (call at One Stop Party Shop before 6.30pm)

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Seeing double

A couple of days ago I noticed that the barbers next to the new sewing machine shop was taking shape with chairs and other paraphenalia going in and the name over the door showing as "Ciaran" (if my recollection is anywhere near correct). Last night I was walking past the defunct Digital Plaza and found the blinds up, the lights on and........... 3 barbers chairs in the middle of the room!?!?! Are we going to be inundated with barbers now as well as charity shops!


Casting my eyes further north there seems to have been a minor proliferation, if there can be such a thing, of Worcester Park restaurant websites. Silks website has been around for a while but I noticed last night that up at the Plough end of Worcester Park the competing Shalimar and Rupali both have websites up now, perhaps indicating an internet escalation of culinary tension in the neighbourhood. Can anyone point me at any more?

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Radio Jackie this Saturday and a restaurant poseur

Radio Jackie are going to be at the Worcester Park pub on Saturday from 12 til 12 in aid of Children in Need. There'll be stuff during the day for the kids and stuff in the evening for the adults and they're looking to get "some appearances from people" in addition to the stalls and stuff. What details there are can be found here.

On a different subject it looks like there's a restaurant for sale in WP. The details are here and with an asking price of £1.9M and they describe the location as:
"Thriving Lucrative Dble Fronted 2 Units.1st Unit is Rest of 2000 sq ft with a seating of 100 covers & 2nd Unit is used as Function Room with a seating of 50 Covers. 2 Walk-in Cold Rooms. Extremely Nicely decorated. 2 Self-contained Flats of 3 Beds each on both units. (6 Beds altogether)"

There's no date on the post but Google thinks it was posted in the last week. I've had a couple of thoughts of where it could be but haven't come to any conclusion yet (double fronted restaurant plus function room?) but I'd appreciate your thoughts.

Monday, 12 November 2007

The best laid plans

The local rag dropped through the letterbox last week announcing the impending demolition of "Beds to Go" on Central Road and it's replacement with a new retail unit and flats. The Sutton planning website offers these morsels:
Application No: A2007/58661/FUL
Area/Ward:A02NONSUCH
Location:53 CENTRAL ROAD Worcester Park KT4 8EB
Proposal:Demolition of existing building and erection of a part two, part three storey building with roof accommodation comprising A1 retail use on basement and ground floors, six 1-bedroomed, two 2-bedroomed self contained flats and three 2-bedroomed self contained maisonettes on first, second and third floors together with nine undercroft car parking spaces, cycle and refuse facilities and relocation of common access stairs.
Applicant:Mr Haywood

Just above it I notice that there's a proposal for a new shopfront at number 114, which I believe to be KFC. I'm assuming that this is an update to the existing shop rather than something new coming in as I can't imagine Worcester Park without its Friday evening KFC queues.

On another page there's also this back in February which relates to one of the pair of shops on the corner opposite the North End Tavern:
Application No: A2007/57287/FUL
Area/Ward:A01WORCESTER PARK
Location:194 Cheam Common Road Worcester Park KT4 8QW
Proposal:Retention of existing ground level shop and erection of a three storey rear extension and conversion to provide one 1-bedroomed and two 2-bedroomed self contained flats. Provision of one garage, cycle and refuse stores.
Applicant:Euromarsh Ltd.

Building work is taking place on this one, as you can see if you go past.

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Today! Free Smartwater

On the way up to get a paper from Costcutter this morning the local police are giving away Smartwater outside Costcutter until 3pm.



"SmartWater Instant’s unique forensic fingerprint is almost invisible to the naked eye and fluoresces under ultraviolet light. Instant is primarily used to code vehicles (domestic and commercial) and outdoor equipment, although it is suitable for use on most general household items."


I already use the stuff at home and work and if the police find stolen property they routinely check it for Smartwater so they can track the owner. I'd recommend getting some if you can get up there before 3pm.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Update to THAT post

I don't think this is necessarily related to the place I was informed of as it's dated a few months back but a little digging has turned up some more info here thanks to, and I never thought I'd hear myself saying this, Sutton & Cheam Conservatives.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

More snake-man

There's been another sighting of 'snake-man' by Angela who sent me an email yesterday (thank you for the kind words!):
"I was coming home from work yesterday and drove up Central Road at about 2.30pm I got to St Philips Avenue and saw a man with a HUGE yellow snake!!! It gave me the heebie geebies all the way home (only 5 minutes)"

The original Worcester Park snake sightings are here and here and the latest sighting certainly ties in nicely with the original snake-man report. Any more info, sightings or photos would be appreciated!

A distinctly Worcester Park affair

Far be it from me to indulge in rumour and speculation but I thought I'd relate this piece of gossip which Mrs Brinkster heard in the hope that one of you may have more info that you could provide. Rumour has it that one of the shops towards the top of Central Road has been closed for providing the kind of services that can't be advertised publicly and producing financial benefits which are off-limits to the tax man (or woman, or person). Don't know if it's true but the teller of the story seemed convinced though the local rags seem uninformed. If you do know anything about it then please post or email it.


In addition to the other, err, additions to the eatery poll I've added "The Cafe Experience" down by Superdrug which I noticed on the way down the hill to the station this morning. I haven't personally experienced it but some of you may have an opinion or two on the place.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Derren Brown

A while ago I waxed lyrical about seeing Derren Brown's show in Dorking and it's just been announced that his 2008 show will be spending four nights at the Epsom Playhouse. Details are here and you can ring 01372 742226 to get tickets now. I'm on the front row!

Huntsmans Hall in the news again

Even though I spotted it in the local free paper I'd failed to notice the significance of this article until it came back up on the blogsearch:

"James Anthony Winpenny, 24, had been drinking in the Huntsman Hall pub in Worcester Park on Sunday, October 28. A witness, who had noticed he was drunk, saw him leave the pub and later crash into a safety barrier and traffic signal in his transit van."

Another claim to 'Fame' for the Huntsmans, although we'll give them some time to see if they can weed out the troublemakers.


On the left you should see a poll for the best eateries in Worcester Park. I've excluded take-aways, pubs and the like and tried to stick with genuine sitting-down-and-eating places. Let me know if there's any not on there that you'd like to have added and I'll cast my adjudicatory eye over your request. (EDIT: Poll inspired by worcesterpark's blog entry here)

Bring on the Luftwaffe

On returning to Worcester Park from New Malden at around 7.30 last night I found all of the lights on Central Road were blacked out and both cars and pedestrians were taking their lives in their hands to try and make their way through the gloom, illuminated only by car headlights and exploding fireworks overhead. Mrs Brinkster said the lights had been off since around 6.45 and then headed out in search of alcohol, returning to say that the lights were out as far as North Cheam and that her quest had only found illumination when she got as far as North Cheam's Tesco Metro.


Safe in the refuge of a candlelit Brinkster Central listening to the bangs, booms and whistles the thing that would top off this pseudo-blitz experience was the thrumming of airplane engines overhead. Fortunately nobody obliged with that or the accompanying suburban devastation (Huntsmans doesn't count) so when the power came back on around 8.30 the world returned to its normal course, although the pubs, restaurants and take-aways must have been cheesed off to lose business.


If the person with the camera on a tripod that I narrowly avoided at the end of Brinkley Road when turning in last night reads this and has any decent photos please do email them to me!

Thursday, 1 November 2007

A new blog in town

A short note to point you in the direction of The Parkerilla's new blog, with his opening post on the subject of the Huntsmans Hall.


Meanwhile, last night the darkness of Brinkley Road was pierced by the lights of a handful of pumpkins and a number of nocturnal visitors, some nicer than others, but I had headed off to Sutton for a mate's leaving do in All Bar One by then. There wasn't any trouble in Sutton that I saw but Central Road showed some signs of egging this morning so I assume that someone had decided that it was an excuse to get up to no good.


On a different note it seems like Blogspot/Blogger is having a problem with spam at the minute as if you use the Google Blogsearch link on the left you'll see that most entries come from implausibly named blogs ".blogspot.com". Hope they sort their act out so we can get some decent results.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Papa Johns?

Despite the almost overwhelming urge to speculate on how the opening of the Huntsmans Hall is going I'm going to resist until I've got some firm information to go on. In the meantime I shall point you in the direction of the fascinating Sutton Council document for planning permissions submitted between 17th and 21st September which contains the following:

Application No: A2007/58391/FUL
Area/Ward:A02NONSUCH
Location:79 CENTRAL ROAD Worcester Park KT4 8EB
Proposal:Change of use to A5 (Hot Food take away) between 09:30 to 23:30 hours, replacement of conservatory roof, installation of new shopfront and extract duct.
Applicant:Papa John's (GB) Ltd.

Application No: A2007/58392/ADV
Area/Ward:A02NONSUCH
Location:79 CENTRAL ROAD Worcester Park KT4 8EB
Proposal:Installation of an internally illuminated fascia sign and a projecting box sign.
Applicant:Papa John's (GB) Ltd

For the uninitiated this is Papa John's Pizza and I recently noted that this address (the former Choices Video) was being cut in two to make two separate stores, and last week they installed a separate front door in number 79. Any store that offers free Ben & Jerrys is going to be very tempting for the Brinkster Clan, even if they are going to have a tacky illuminated sign.

Friday, 26 October 2007

A3 roundabout improvements

Those commuters who brave the treacle that is Worcester Park traffic will be leaping with excitement to know that the roundabout at the A3 is to be 'improved', starting shortly. Some information is available here and here indicating that they're expecting the work to take about 3 months.


TFL have there information here and a PDF diagram here. Quite how many donors cyclists will be brave enough to navigate the new cycle paths with the traffic bearing down on them could be up for debate, although the speed limit on the sliproad will be down to 30......... mmmmmm, sure.


Quite what impact this will have on through traffic we will see I'm sure......

Thursday, 25 October 2007

More of the same - another mega-post

So many things to catch up on I've had to write myself a list to try and remember. I couldn't start this post, however, without pointing you in the direction of worcesterpark's latest blog post, an incredible tale of love, lust and someone wearing knickers on their head


Cemetery Exhibition

There were about 15 or so folks at the exhibition when I was there and four guys from Indigo. From the advancing ages of my fellow attendees it wasn't immediately obvious whether they'd come to object to the proposals or were trying to scope out the best spots. From the BMWs in the car park I'm assuming there must be a reasonable amount of money involved.........


Indigo's stated objectives of the development are:

- Retain the openness of the site,

- Use it in a way that is compatible with the existing residential nature of the area,

- Use it in a way which is consistent with Council (Kingston) policies and objectives,

- Provide much needed burial space.


Some objections have been provided by Giuseppe here, though I'm sure more will be forthcoming.


Roadworks

While driving towards New Malden the other day there seemed to be a proliferation of signs announcing roadworks of various shapes and sizes. This is almost guaranteed to be a precursor to more traffic chaos in Worcester Park so if anyone knows of better/quicker/secret ways of getting through to the A3 from Worcester Park then please do post them.


Huntsmans Hall

Redecoration is taking place on the inside of the Huntsmans so they're still intent on reopening, in fact on my way to the Cemetery Exhibition I saw that there was a stonking great Bentley parked in the car park..... which is probably the first and last time I'll see one there which hasn't been keyed....


Talking of cars on my way up the A3 towards Putney the other day I saw a Bugatti Veyron coming the other way. I'm not a big petrol-head but it was still smart.


Chinese Karaoke

For those who read the earlier reference in this post I thought I'd relate the full story. Mrs Brinkster and pals had planned an evening out but left it to one of their number who's not normally given much space in the evening-out-planning department. As a result Mrs Brinkster found herself standing outside a Chinese Karaoke restaurant in a Surrey suburb not too far away from Worcester Park and on entering found herself surrounded by plastic tables, paper tablecloths and a group of about thirty people who were so excited by the forthcoming evening that they had little costumes on related to the songs that they were going to sing. The owner is apparently a fairly rotund individual who loves to sing, but with the unmistakeable twang of his mother country in his singing. Never let it be said that Mrs Brinkster is a snob (it may or may not be true..... just never let it be said) but the net effect of the surroundings was to drive her into the welcoming arms of the juice of the vine, with whom she spent a long and productive evening to the extent that, when she arrived home, she repeated all of the above facts several times to myself and our houseguest in the course of a matter of minutes.


More amusingly when she got up in the morning she began to relate the whole thing over again, until we pointed out we knew all of the punchlines. The humour faded somewhat when she picked up her purse and said "Ermmm.. Where's my credit card"........ Doh!!

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Are you sitting comfortably?

I know this is an old Worcester Park story but I'm pleased to have tracked it down at long last. It's the one about the people-smuggling ring with a branch in Worcester Park, as featured in the Telegraph. It even has a photo of a Worcester Park establishment in it!


I found it by deserting my first love (Google images) and giving myself over to the plain, but available, charm of Yahoo Images. Try here to see what else they have.


Lots to blog about, such as the roundup of the cemetery exhibition, the Hamptons proposal exhibition, upcoming roadworks through to the A3, etc. Back soon!

Monday, 22 October 2007

Cemetery update

More to follow:


Exciting news

Apparently there were some sporting events on over the weekend. I didn't really notice because the most exciting thing to happen was the resuscitation of THE Worcester Park Blog. For those new to the Worcester Park blogging phenomenon he is the original Worcester Park blogger who christened me as the Brinkster and then found that being married provided him with more entertaining things to do with his time than blog.

Welcome back worcesterpark!!

St James have posted glossy brochures through the door to say how great the new Hamptons development will be for Worcester Park and how they're going to give over £1million to the local community. Seeing as that's the equivalent of the price of just two of their larger houses I'm not overly impressed as there's still obviously plenty of money to be made. They're staging an exhibition next week and I'll put the details up when I can find where Mrs Brinkster's put them (remind me to tell you the story of Mrs Brinkster and the Chinese Karaoke last Friday won't you).

I'm having a few days at home with the Brinkster Clan over half-term week and perhaps I'll see some of you at the cemetery exhibition this evening!?

Thursday, 18 October 2007

The naked truth

Much specualtion that the Huntsmans was due to open last weekend but when I peered through the window yesterday the naked light-bulbs indicated that the renovation wasn't complete. P'raps this weekend?

Somewhat oddly Google's blogsearch seems to be filling with Worcester Park entries as spammers take the name of our fair community in vain to peddle their wares. A search on the last 7 days comes up with several pages of posts rather than the normal handful of entries.

In other news the Kingston Guardian says that Lauren Cleer will recover from her injuries received in the accident at Worcester Park station the other week, which is good news.

My latest source of Worcester Park images is a site called ViewImages (go to the site and search for "Worcester Park" in quotes) which has a good few images from the 20s and 30s (though some are plainly not WP at all). If you want to see Worcester Park's famed clay pigeon shooting or beagle pack and if you don't believe we had our own polo club then go to the Ham Polo club website where they state that there were:
"dozen or so clubs located in and around London in the 1920's and 1930's, which sported such famous names as Hurlingham, Ranelagh, Roehampton, Kingsbury, Eden Park, Wimbledon, The Priory Club in Sheffield, Essex, Crystal Palace, Worcester Park and Wembley Park."

Lastly, thanks to all those who posted news the other day during my bout of 'man flu'. Much appreciated.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

News please

I've been laid up with a cold for the last couple of days and finding it tricky to come up with any Worcester Park news without actually leaving the house. I gather the Huntsmans was due to open at the weekend, but didn't, so have you heard anything about that? Send me news please!

Mrs Brinkster, however, does have news to report and with great joy she announced that Caffe Piccolo's deli is now open, having arrived home laden with treats, though predominantly for herself and Miss Brinkster it has to be said. The Brinkster clan did have a good time there the previous weekend (the entry that 20six ate last week) so I'm anticipating more stuff from there appearing in our fridge in the not-too-distant future.

Friday, 12 October 2007

The dead centre of Worcester Park?

Sometimes I think there are no more surprises to be had, but something always comes along to prove me wrong. This morning Alan dropped me an email about an exhibition in Worcester Park for the proposed development of the old BBC Sports Ground in Motspur Park (neighbouring area, but bear with me). Apart from its role as a sports ground it was used annually for Wimbledon tennis parking for their Park & Ride service until it fell into disuse in the last few years. I pass it every morning and for those who take the train into London from Worcester Park it's an unmissable feature.

As you can tell I'm partly stringing this out until I can tell you what they're proposing to turn it into. A new sports ground? Nope. A development of affordable or trendy housing? Nope. It's going to be a .........cemetery!! With Morden Cemetery and Merton & Sutton Joint Cemetery only half a mile away you'd have thought that having more dead people in the area than live ones was becoming a distinct possibility. I'm hoping it's not a Kingston Council attempt to shuffle its problems into less-loved parts of the borough but it doesn't give much indication of any desire to develop the local area for the living residents. Plus there's the obvious impact a zombie invasion would have on the local area with 3 cemeteries in such close proximity....

The exhibition is on 22nd October at the Venner Youth & Community Centre hall on Manor Drive with the junction of Malden Road, between 4pm and 9pm. Maybe we could ask them awkward questions along the lines of provisions made for burials to be made in the Plains Indian tradition to see what repsonse they give. See you there perhaps?

No more news on the Huntmans I'm afraid. I haven't seen any signs of activity over the last week or so but I'll keep my eyes peeled and let you know when I see/hear anything.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Another update

Since 20six seems to have settled down for now here's a mini-update on Lauren Cleer, the girl involved in the train incident last week. The local Guardian reports that she's still in intensive care and has some clarification as to what apparently happened:
"Some people were saying the platform was soaking wet - it was damp not slippery," he said. "I didn't see any contact between anyone and I don't think she was pushed at all. It was an accident."

Best wishes to Lauren and her family for a full recovery.

Oh, and it was a bit foggy this morning......

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

More 20six problems

Although my 20six blog is now back in its rightful place I can't make any posts to it as their site still seems to be stuffed up. I'd just written a long post too so that's disappeared forever :(

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Ye Gods

How dumb are these people!? After the pant-filling shock of seeing the original Brinkster blog disappear yesterday it's happened again today some time after 6.30am. I'm assuming that they have some kind of system problem with a so-called upgrade seeing as 20six currently no blogs at all in its list but some kind of information would be nice.

Until then I'm going to sit here and be grumpy. Send me news! Normal service will be resumed.........

Monday, 8 October 2007

Waaaah

Hi there

This is the Brinkster from Worcester Park, better known for my 20six.co.uk blog. Sadly it seems as though 20six have inadvertantly ‘upgraded’ all of their blogs to a non-visible state so my musings of the past are currently, and perhaps permanently, lost.

Hopefully they’ll fix it, as I was about to post something interesting about bikehut, but if they don’t more stuff will appear here!

Friday, 5 October 2007

It's Friday again

There was a red tinge to the sky over Worcester Park this morning, and it wasn't just due to the picket-line outside the Royal Mail sorting office. Seeing as we're not blessed with a tube station it seems we're reliant on the Royal Mail to meet all of our picketing needs.


In other news The Lodger has posted a guestbook entry about another snake on Central Road which, for new readers, is an up-and-coming feature of Worcester Park, first raised by The Parkerilla's 'snake man' entry of the other day.

On the subject of mysterious appearances I've so far shied away from the recent UFO article in the local Guardian but seeing as it feels like I'm having a bit of an 'X-Files Friday' I might as well go for it:
"... Ron Johnson, from Worcester Park, a member of Ewell Astronomical Society, who said he had never seen anything like Friday's light display in his 40 years of skywatching. He said: "At 10.02pm there were 10 spherical lights which were a yellow, golden colour. To me they appeared to be drifting with the wind. "I stopped to watch because it was not something I'd seen before."
...
"Mr Johnson said he doubted the lights were anything supernatural. He said: "People tend to jump to conclusions about unidentified flying objects (UFOs) and try to sensationalise. What people think might be a UFO is usually something atmospheric."

What say the UFOs landed and released 'snake man' and his cohorts onto an unsuspecting Worcester Park populace as part of their global plan to ...... oh, who knows.....

Thursday, 4 October 2007

History

Being of an historical mind and having an associated love of obscure facts I've obtained a copy of "Worcester Park and Cuddington - A Walk Through The Centuries", written by David Rymill, which is now occupying my commuting hours. I've only just started into it but I am finding it fascinating to picture what has preceded us through the centuries and I should have read it years ago A fair amount has happened since it was written in 2000 but it's a good antidote to any thoughts that Worcester Park has always been faceless suburbia. The fact that Brinkley Road does get a mention in there is also a benefit, but then you knew I'd say that.

Of course I'd recommend that you get your own copy and the easiest thing to do is give them a call and pop round with the cash if you're local.

According to his parents another book about Worcester Park is in the pipeline and should be finished next year so I'll be looking forward to that. I'll leave you with a quote from the website:
"In our journey we encounter a cow bequeathed for the repair of a steeple, a Royalist secret code, a pioneering computer centre which invented a barcode system for libraries, and the man who tried to block The Avenue with a trench."

Excellent stuff!!

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Another update

More news from the local Guardian about the girl injured in the train incident yesterday:
"The 15-year-old, a student at Raynes Park High School, suffered massive blood loss in the accident and has had her spleen removed. She also has an injured left foot and is thought to have a fractured pelvis. The girl was taken away on a stretcher and rushed to St George's Hospital in Tooting as police cordoned off the accident site yesterday. She is believed to be in a stable but serious condition and the next 48 hours are critical."

That's not sounding as good as the initial reports and is a bit vague. Perhaps The Parkerilla will have an update to this comment

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

More train chaos

After this morning's train chaos there was more woe this evening when Waterloo was closed because of a security alert. The station was reopened at 1.30 but when I got there at 4 there were no trains to be seen on the first 6 platforms. I ended up jumping on the first (and only) train I saw, which was going through New Malden, then getting the 213 down to Worcester Park, which added an extra half an hour to my normal journey time. I think I did well to get out of Waterloo quickly though as service updates seemed hard to come by.

Sadly, it seems that the girl injured in this morning's incident hasn't got off lightly according to the local Guardian:
"She was rushed to St George's Hospital where she remains in intensive care after suffering massive blood lose (sic) in the accident. The girl is believed to be in a stable but serious condition."

I do hope it's not a lasting injury but the description's not encouraging. It sounds as thought the emergency services responded well though so that will have made a difference to her chances.

Train disruption at Worcester Park

As The Parkerilla spotted trains are delayed and the National Rail website is saying that "Train services are being disrupted due to a person having been hit by a train at Worcester Park."

No more details at the moment but I'm sure more will come through.

I hope it's nobody you know.

-------------

EDIT - 10:51: The Local Guardian is running a story now:
A schoolgirl fell on tracks at Worcester Park station as she ran for a train. The teen, thought to be from Raynes Park High School, was taken away on a stretcher as police cordoned off the area. The incident caused chaos for commuters who were told to get off the 7.52am train from Epsom to London Waterloo this morning.

British Transport Police were called around 8am after the girl slipped and fell between the carriages and on to the track. She was taken to St George's Hospital in Tooting with an injury to her left foot.

A spokesman for London Ambulance Service said: "We were called just after 8am to reports of a person under the train at Worcester Park station. "We sent two fast response cars, an ambulance and an officer to the scene; the first of which was there in six minutes. "We treated a teenage girl who was taken to St George's Hospital."

A spokeswoman for South West Trains said: "We currently cannot operate services out of Worcester Park but commuters can use their tickets to get local buses to the nearest station where they can get a train. "We apologise to passengers who are trying to get to work but we have to allow the emergency services to carry out their work."

EDIT - 15.34 Photo added

[image from the local Guardian website]

Monday, 1 October 2007

Flurry

There's been a veritable flurry of commenting activity over the weekend with contributions about the refurbishment at the Huntsmans Hall, traffic woes and a fabulous tale from The Parkerilla of a man and his snake on Central Road, which I'll reproduce here in it's entirety.

"Yesterday(Sunday) at 12.10 in the afternoon I saw a man walking up and down Central Parade with a very alive and very large snake! He was in the area of Pizza Express on the same side of the road. The snake must have been at least 8 feet long as it was wound round his body twice and there was still plenty left at the head and tail ends to stretch out a good way blocking the pavement. It was a very pale whitish/yellow in colour with a head which seemed small for its body.There were very few people about but those who saw it, like myself, treated it with a mixture of bemusement and alarm. The guy wandering around with it had the sort of smile on his face which says "i'm not all here". The snake remained expressionless. Needless to say I walked briskly away as I'm terrified of the things. I felt the need to drop into the North End for a pint and kept looking over my shoulder in case he was approaching the pub in which case I'd run over and bar the door. The strangest thing I've seen in WP."

Great stuff, and deserving of a place alongside the recent shaving-lady story from The Longster.

If anyone does get more info on the Huntsmans I'd appreciate it and perhaps we could pack it out on its first night with local gentlefolk to see if it's really changed...... Seeing as the slot machine doesn't seem to have departed from the inside I'm assuming that they're targeting roughly the same audience as before but a smoke-free decor should make it more appealing.

I've seen a few more anti-Hamptons petitions around this weekend with the most prominent being in the builders at the end of the road. Let's see if they make any difference.......

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Traffic

Central Road at 7am this morning.

As has been noted by any Worcester Park dweller who dares to set out in a car between the hours of 6am-10am or 3pm-8pm the traffic situation is not funny. In conversation with a Longfellow Road resident last night he mentioned that there was traffic queued from Central Road nearly up to his house in the mornings. As he lives in house with a number around the 3-digit mark that was pretty impressive and on checking at 7am this morning there was indeed a queue of about 30 cars in Longfellow Road waiting to get out on to Central Road.

Quite why Sutton council think that adding to this situation with traffic from the proposed Hamptons development won't be a problem is mysterious at best. I'm assuming they've never been in Worcester Park in the morning.......

As I don't commute by car, preferring to cast myself on the mercies of SW Trains, I'm not qualified to comment but I'm sure some of you are.....

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Hamptons Haiku

St James please take heed
We don't want more houses there
Put them somewhere else

----------

If you want to register your disapproval of the new Hamptons development you can do so online here or the newsagents up the top of the hill opposite Rumours has a petition in the shop. To say he's not a St James fan would be putting it mildly. He's a lovely bloke so his ire is not part of his normal demeanour! You need to get your skates on if you want to make a difference as the last date for commenting is this weekend.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Slowing down

A lovely evening with friends for dinner down in the Hamptons last night. It's eerily quiet down there, but that won't last if the plans for the new bat-scarers wind turbines get approved. Sit there and say whoomp-whoomp-whoomp to yourself for five minutes if you want to get an idea......

Regular readers will have read my burblings on what I'd like to see in WP and while perusing the BBC News site today I came across a link to Cittaslow whose stated goal is:
"Cittaslow is a way of thinking. It is about caring for your town and the people who live and work in it or visit it. It is about protecting the environment, about promoting local goods and produce, and about avoiding the ‘sameness’ that afflicts too many towns in the modern world."

I'm not quite sure that joining the hallowed ranks of Ludlow, Aylsham, Diss, Mold and Berwick-Upon-Tweed is exactly what I have in mind but it makes a pleasant change from those places desperately grasping to attain City status by putting up swathes of shiny offices and shops (I think I'm channeling Bill Bryson here...).

Lastly, greetings to the number of people I see in the stats making their way here from the Worcester Park Appreciation Group on Facebook!

Friday, 21 September 2007

Huntsmans update

On the way back from the station yesterday I noticed that there were three men feverishly brushing a new coat of paint onto the Huntsmans.



Hopefully this means that Punch Taverns have found some new ideas and/or a new boss for it!

Friday mega-entry II

It's another Friday and the 6.27 from Worcester Park was fabulously empty. It's tempting to make it a habit seeing as the 7.12 is getting unpleasantly full.

Having railed about the ineffectiveness of CCTV in a previous post the Evening Standard took up the subject yesterday, coming to pretty much the same conclusion. Sutton's clear-up rate seems to one of the best of all even though the borough allegedly has less than 100 council CCTV cameras (though many more placed by other organsiations).

I was interested to see that there was activity yesterday in the former Choices Video shop with the gap between the two parts of the store being bricked up. I don't know whether this was a new tenant re-jigging the layout or the owners trying to make it seem more appealing but hopefully something will happen soon.

Activity was continuing at the Huntsmans yesterday with more painting and some work on the frontage. Anticipation mounts!

The Debra charity shop opened it's doors yesterday after its fit-out. It looks quite organised but I really shouldn't get excited about another charity shop.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Avast!

Seeing as it be Talk Like A Pirate day I challenge ye one and all to feats of derring-do in the name of our fair town of Worcester Park [more here].

That be all. Arrrrr

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Melange du jour

A couple of articles have appeared relating to an assault in Worcester Park with links here and here. It does bear some similarities to the assault sign that's turned up outside the Huntsmans but has some differences too. The locations are a few yards apart while there's only half an hour between them, but on entirely different days. Any ideas on whether they're the same or different?

This leads me on to my pet subject of why security cameras don't reduce crime, so to quote the last link:

"The 178 video cameras that keep watch on San Francisco public housing developments have never helped police officers arrest a homicide suspect even though about a quarter of the city's homicides occur on or near public housing property, city officials say."

The story's similar in Surrey with CCTV cameras in Leatherhead and Ashtead unattended at the kind of time you might expect incidents could happen, and I doubt that the Police have obtained any decent pictures from the recent incidents even though they've occurred within yards of the CCTV cameras.

If they want to stop crime in Worcester Park then CCTV is really not the way to do it.

Friday, 14 September 2007

Friday mega-entry

SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Due to problems at 20six you may not be able to access this blog from any or all locations on the internet. Currently I can only access it from one of three of my regular locations but I'm at the mercy of 20six and their hosting provider If anyone can tell me how to export the entries and comments so I can put them on Blogger or Livejournal then I'd be grateful.

I know in my preview of the week I promised you some Welsh Ass but The Longster posted a story so good it deserves reproducing here before I say or do anything else:

I’d popped into Waitrose for a “top up in-between Tesco online delivery” type of shop and it was as walked out of the car park that the incident happened.

A small Fiesta sized car was waiting to turn let onto Central Road, and when a gap opened in the traffic it pulled out.

However, as it was turning left the driver decided to stop on the corner and stay there. This obviously caused a bit of an obstruction both for people coming down the hill and for other cars coming out of Waitrose.

But that’s not the odd thing – after all, she may have broken down or have been taken ill in which case she’d have had a good reason to stop.

But neither of these were the reason she had stopped.

In fact, she was causing traffic chaos in Worcester Park in order that she could shave her arm pits! Huh?

Bonkers! Surely someone that mad shouldn’t be behind the wheel of a car?

I’m sure she annoyed a lot of drivers that day, but as a pedestrian it made my day! :-)

Back on yesterday's subject of yellow things another one had appeared by the time I'd got back from work yesterday, and here it is:



"On Sun 5th Aug 07 at about 1.30am a male was attacked opposite the Hunstman Hall public house sustaining serious injuries". Before they closed the Hunstmans they could probably have left one of those out permanently and just changed the date......

Knowing that it's probably not going to live up to the build-up that I've given it I fell that I need to explain the Welsh Ass story. I was flicking through the Sky programme guide the other night when BBC Parliament presented me with the listing shown below. I grabbed one picture of it but because it was blurry I was going for a second when the programme listing rolled over before I could get it. It's still legible though if you look carefully:


Thursday, 13 September 2007

Yellow things

Locals will have noticed the appearance of two yellow Police signs on Central Road with "Can you help us?" across the top.

The text reads:

"CASH IN TRANSIT ROBBERY - On 8th Aug 07 at about 11.15pm a uniformed G4S guard was robbed by two males who fled towards the A3"

As I was away at the time it happened I have no idea what went on and the local papers seem equally uninformed, but if you do have any information then 020 7232 6530 is the number to call.

On the subject of yellow things I had a brush with a minor celebrity the other day in the form of Spongebob. Not, however, the large yellow children's cartoon character but the spider monkey who was stolen from Chessington last year. Marlon Brown was given 12 months for stealing him, reduced to 50 hours community service on appeal. Spongebob wasn't so lucky. Having been rejected by his original group at Chessington on his return he was moved to Battersea Park zoo where he was rejected by the females in the group there and has ended up in his own enclosure with another male. They seemed to be getting on well but none of this expense and hassle needed to have happened in the first place if it wasn't for some moron needing to get a life. I'm cross, you can tell can't you. Very nice monkey though.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Preview

A bit strapped for time so I thought I'd give you a quick preview of what I'm planning to blog about this week:

  • The new development in the Hamptons and the chance to object,
  • The yellow crime sign on Central Road (see gallery),

  • Welsh Ass (also see gallery),

  • A brush with celebrity,

  • Ermm..... anything else

Over the weekend I made a couple of additions to the left hand column in the form of my new Google email address and a visitor map. Let me know if you have any suggestions (that don't involve moving to a different blog provider, much as I'd like to).

The Hamptons - the continuing saga

For Worcester Park residents this weekend saw a document drop onto the doormat with information about the proposed expansion of The Hamptons. I've found some information on the council website here although there should be a lot more to be found and links would be appreciated. For those too lazy to want to click on the link the short version is:

"Phase 4b & 5c to provide 184 new dwellings ... together with garages, surface and basement car parking, cycle and refuse facilities and erection of eight 14 metre high wind turbines." (A2007/58387/FUL and A2007/58388/FUL)

Eight 14 metre high wind turbines!?!? Ermmm........ The issue of traffic from 184 new dwellings is a big one but why is Worcester Park the best location for a wind farm!?!?

You can already tell which side of the fence I'm leaning towards (the wind farm will be aligned with Brinkley Road) but I'm sure all manner of arguments and counter-arguments will appear over the coming weeks. The Conservatives have already leafleted the area stating their opposition and quoting a traffic survey highlighting inadequate traffic provision in the local area and (somewhat inevitably) blaming the incumbent Lib-Dems for the issue (as is the trend in modern politics).

Thursday, 6 September 2007

The Rose Spa

As previously mentioned much of my incoming traffic from Google recently has been related to The Rose Spa and I have been fairly flattering about how it looks (and it turns out the staff have very smart uniforms too!) so to satisfy the curiosity Worcester Park's healthy hordes here it is:

For those after real information rather than just a picture the phone number is 020 8337 5348. I'm sure that's more like what you were after.

I noticed on the way back from the station that the fence outside the Huntsmans Hall had taken another pounding, but didn't think I'd weary you with another photo just yet.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

I'm in lust

I have a new gadget. My new N73 phone will let me upload photos straight into Flickr so I can blog things I see in no time at all! I rarely get excited by new gadgets but anything that will allow me to waste time faster is most welcome.

To get in the swing of it here's some unusual work going on in Barnard Marcus last night where they had the whole front of the building taped up and seemed to be putting a partition down the middle:

Most of you, however, will be wanting to see the destruction of Fort Huntsman (aka Huntsmans Hall for those who Googled their way here) so here's a picture of that too, though you'll want to click on it to see it full size:

I realise that some of you have web filters at work that block anything from Flickr so you have a couple of blank spaces above where photos should be but I can't help that I'm afraid and you'll have to view them from home, Worcester Park library, Starbucks/Costa/Coffee Republic wi-fi, etc.

Monday, 3 September 2007

Thieving whatnots

Google Blogsearch provided an interesting story about one new resident's initiation into Worcester Park:

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We have been staying in south london for a while, during the last few months we have been staying in a place called Elephant & Castle as our new home was getting built, the area is going through regeneration and we were concerned that our car (merc clk) will get broken into, damaged or stolen.

after a while we realised nothing will happen, in fact the people who we thought were quite dangerous folk, were actually really nice, its only when we arrived to worcester park suburbs of london in surrey, nice area, very clean and quiet, our merc badge got stolen..?!?!?


i can't believe it!, its so annoying...!! anyway lesson learnt - appearances can be deceiving! dont take anything at face value ..


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[Sigh] Welcome to the neighbourhood. It's not always like that, although I recall that on purchasing the latest Brinkster-mobile a few years back it had been keyed by the next morning, though not since then.

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Updating

Back after a long weekend in 'Narfuk' ('Norfolk' for those who haven't encountered the local pronunciation) to an entirely correct and accurate observation from the ever-present Mr Jones* that the defences of the previously described Fort Huntsman have been breached, presumably by the local 'yoof'. It seems that it was a bit too much of a red rag to a bull to put the wooden panels up so I can't express great surprise, though it looks really tatty now. Mrs Brinkster said they were intact when she was at The Worcester Park on Friday so I'm assuming it happened over the weekend, and she pointed out to me that the place is actually closed for business now, which hadn't quite dawned on me. I do hope they're renovating it as despite its heinous reputation it's actually a very old part of Worcester Park history and it would be a major shame if it was to be pulled down or hideously 'redeveloped'.

For the trivia-lovers amongst you most Google searches that end up here over the last couple of weeks are either about the Huntsmans Hall, The Rose Spa or clothing collections, but a quick doff of the cap is due to the visitor from Parliament yesterday (in.parliament.uk (194.60.38.10))

* So correct and accurate that I'll even forgive him for using Vista

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Thick as a .....

On leaving Brinkster Central and starting my morning perambulation to the station* I spied that a VW something-or-other-estate outside number 8 was parked with its left-front wheel propped up on a couple of bricks in the road. I don't know if the owner did this as an impromptu way of supporting it while getting a recalcitrant tyre fixed, or whether some light-fingered local had taken a shine to said wheel and made off with it. Either way I hope the owner didn't stroll out of the house, get in the car and then try and drive off.....

Perhaps I'll find out what happened this evening.

*sorry, but I liked the rhyme

Friday, 17 August 2007

"Garden grabbing' flat developments"

The local Guardian has published an article about property developers activities, which is an issue that's very relevant to Worcester Park. I've had emails on the subject recently and have been intending to address it properly but as they've written this piece it seems like now is as good a time as any.

Brinkley Road has had it's share of developer activity with Brinkley Court appearing on the old factory site, a failed attempt to build on the garages at the top of the road and various attempts to buy off people in the road. On one hand I can understand the attraction of a wad of cash and the chance to move on but at the same time tearing down family houses to make space for 1 or 2 bedroom flats is surely only storing up trouble in the future when the couples who bought them discover there are no properties left in the area to bring up a family in. People aren't always aware of the consequences of this activity so read the Guardian article linked above as a starting place and decide what's important for Worcester Park.

Anyway, I have plenty of opinions on on the subject but I'm more interested in yours so naturally you'll want to comment below won't you...

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Fort Huntsman

Somewhat bizarrely the Huntsman's Hall has sprouted fence panels, presumably as its latest weapon to fend off the troublesome 'yoof' of Worcester Park. If you haven't seen it recently they've fenced off the car park entrance and about the first 20 yards of the dip down towards the railway bridge to prevent people getting over into the garden. It all looks very bizarre and I might try and get a photo up at some point.

Coincidentally if you've ever wondered how Worcester Park came to be chosen for a train station then the answer is here:

1859: Worcester Park Railway station opened. When the proposed Wimbledon-Epsom line was being considered by a Parliamentary committee in 1846, the principal argument put forward by Thomas Weeding in favour of opening a station was that it would enable farmers to have chalk brought from Ashtead to improve the soil. The fact that Thomas Weeding himself owned a lot of land, which would increase in value as a result, probably never entered into his thinking!

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

A new entry

Back from holiday and I'm pleased to see that The Rose Spa on Central Road has joined Worcester Park's panoply of retail and service establishments. It does have a website but having checked it there's nothing there. It must be a prime contender for best looking frontage though as it's gorgeous and it looks like they've put thought as well as effort into it. The main gripe about big High Streets is that they all look the same with the same stores cropping up while the main gripe about small High Streets is they all look grotty with plastic illuminated frontages, handdrawn or cheaply printed posters in the window, etc. The Rose Spa have shown that it's not hard to do it well so I can add to my list of WP dreams a good looking Central Road with attractive (as well as viable) shops.

Good luck to The Rose Spa, I hope they do well!

If you're stuck for ideas about holidays I can recommend a suite at Claridges, and the restaurant's not bad either.

Friday, 3 August 2007

Happy slapped

What is the world coming to when a respectable citizen such as myself can't nurse his ailments in peace and quiet without being happy slapped by two youths!?! In this case Brinkster Minor roused me from my slumbers by bouncing up and down on my prostrate, bed-ridden form while Miss Brinkster filmed it on her digital camera. Some people might excuse them as they're 2 and 8 years olds respectively but that's not the way I was brought up to behave!! Honestly. Kids these days.

The reason for my bed-ridden state was that I've got blisters on my tonsils, which resulted in a visit to the assorted Worcester Park charity shops in the 15 minutes that Superdrug said it would take to get my prescription ready. Firstly I was surprised at just how busy they seemed to be, although I couldn't have told you how many of the browsers turned into buyers. The other thing that surprised me was the assortment of odours that charity shops have to offer. Maybe it was because it was a warm day but a couple of them were very ripe indeed. It's amazing how many charity shops you can get round in 15 minutes....

Oh yes, and Polotex Ltd stuck another clothing collection leaflet through the door.

Monday, 30 July 2007

If a tree falls in the forest....

Driving past the station yesterday I notice that one of the traffic lights on the station side (rather than the Green Lane side) has been quite comprehensively uprooted. I'm guessing that someone tried to play 'chicken' with it in their car or such like but if any of you know what happened then can you post a comment please!

Friday, 27 July 2007

Another week

Having had a busy week at work I haven't really noticed much on Central Road as it's been closed when I've been there but there have been some useful comments to previous posts, notably the prolific Mr Jones, that I'd recommend you look up.

My only excursion of the week was to see the new Simpsons movie on Wednesday which you will like if you're a fan. If you're not into The Simpsons I don't know whether you'll like it or not as my imagination can't leap that far but I'd nudge you to give it a try.

Monday, 23 July 2007

Boiling water

The great British preoccupation with weather is now well and truely in overdrive, and with plenty of justification as some awful scenes unfold across the country. Worcester Park was flooded but I missed it as I was in the City and by the time I got back it had all dispersed. I gather the bridge at the station flooded (pretty much guaranteed really isn't it) and I was hearing stories from neighbours of adjoining roads with water lapping at their doors from overworked drains. In Brinkley Road the gravel alleyway at the top of the road emptied itself down as far as number 24, which is a new record. In an example of Worcester Park spirit one kindly neighbour took it on himself to scoop up many of the stones and return them to their original location. The Brinkster Clan were all impacted by floods at their allotted educational establishments but on the whole we got off lightly, apart from the having to boil water thing.

If you have any photos or stories about the recent weather then please do post them in the comments!

One curious phenomenon of this sort of event is that it does tend to bring out the kind of person, often not from these shores, who insists on contrasting our weather phenomenon with that of their chosen country with the aim of belittling the UK in some way. For example if it snows someone is bound to contrast our train system with that of Norway which (probably) runs without any hint of delay after a 15 foot snowfall. The recent earthquake in Kent was greeted by "Yes, but it was only a little one" and tornado pictures in the UK get the same response. The flooding will no doubt be greeted with stories of "That's nothing compared with New Orleans.." and the fact that we haven't had a drought/heatwave this year has spared us tales of how they keep the tube cool in New York/Teheran/[insert chosen city here]. We may not have the most extreme weather in the world but is hard to match for variety..... maybe I'll point that out next time.

Incidentally I have been in range of a 7.0 earthquake