Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Making a point

I notice that the Oxford Mail has been gathering support for their County's darts teams trip to Worcester Park this weekend after they were only able to salvage a draw against Kent in their last outing:

Oxfordshire have stuck by their Men's A team for their Premier Division match away to Surrey this weekend. ...
The selectors have kept faith with the line-up for the Surrey contest which takes place at Worcester Park British Legion, near Kingston-upon-Thames....
The games will start at 11.30am on both Saturday and Sunday.

Note to self. Avoid Central Road at the weekend.

Monday, 29 September 2008

Driven to distraction

Lots of car-related news this morning, starting with the Worcester Park Blog's post on the flaming car at the end of Washington Road, complete with photo. Next up is a story from one of my neighbours about an incident on Saturday where a Range Rover by the WH Smiths crossing on Central Road trying to nip past a bus on the outside only to come head-to-head with a car turning out of Longfellow road, with the bus then joining the accident moments later. The local Guardian reports that a snoozing driver with an over-developed sense of irony demolished part of an optician's shop in Cheam at 4.30am on Saturday and lastly, but most sadly, there was a hit-and-run incident in which William Buckingham, 21, was killed on the A24 London Road by on the hill up passing Nonsuch Park at 1.15am on Sunday morning. We passed the scene shortly after the road reopened in the afternoon and there were a huge number of floral tributes in place. Ironically, on the return journey it was itself the scene of a multi-car shunt where someone appears to have been preoccupied with the floral tributes on the roadside and not with the brake-lights of the stationary traffic in front....

On an entirely different note The Drill is hosting the Dave Markee Jazz Band on Wednesday night so for a mere £5 you can see the former bass-player for Eric Clapton, Joan Armatrading and Faith Hill do his thing. I'd recommend it!

Friday, 26 September 2008

Friday soap

Oy, Tina! D'you remember that coffee shop up the top o' the 'ill?
What? Costa?
No! The one that used to be the Polish place but closed down for ages and then opened again as Rondayvoo or summink.
Yeh. Wot 'bout i'?
Well. I saw Lisa who'd talked to Ryan who'd heard from Nina who'd been told by her Mum that it closed down for the summer but hasn't opened up since then.
Yeh. And?
But the shop next door called NightNight Estates or summink that everyone thought was dodgy and people said that somebody made off with the cash has closed but now there's a sign in the window saying it's going to be a coffee-shop for Mums and kids.
Another coffee-shop?
Yeh. Wanna get some KFC and go down the park?

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

An auction through the centuries

I'm happy to say the trains were back to normal this morning after the carnage and confusion of last night. The poor SW Trains staff were having to cope with the misinformation appearing on the illuminated overhead boards as well as the disruption. I wasn't happy. At all.

For all of you with eBay accounts you may want to have a bid for the copy of "Worcester Park and Cuddington A Walk Through The Centuries" that's currently listed for the price of ninety-nine of Her Majesty's pennies with £2.00 tacked on for postage. The auction ends on Sunday, but for those for whom used books just aren't enough then you can get a new copy from David Rymill himself if you cantact him directly (put his name in the search box at the top of the page for details).

For those that were wondering, but hadn't checked, nobody bid for the Ryan Gate in the recent eBay auction.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

National frail?

I hope you had a great weekend! We made the most of the good weather by joining the throngs heading to Legoland together with friends on Saturday and then on Sunday we were at a country show in the afternoon having gone geocaching in the morning, though if you want to know more about that you'll have to wait for the next installment of the Worcester Park Life. I was particularly pleased to see that it was sunny all weekend and is gloomy now, rather than the other way around, although with the onset of autumn getting up in the dark is taking some getting used to.

This morning saw Dorking trains through Worcester Park cancelled due to power supply problems at London Waterloo. To me it looked like platforms 1 and 2 at Waterloo were out of action which would explain why they'd had to reduce the number of trains going in or out. I resorted to getting a bus to New Malden which got me a seat on a train, which probably wouldn't have happened if I'd stuck around at Worcester Park. As I write a quick glance at the National Rail website suggests the problem's still ongoing although it although they do say that it'll be fixed by 10am.

And you can read the ITV Local London blog interview with me here.

EDIT: 15.26 The trains still aren't fixed and National Rail is saying the problem will continue "until further notice". If you're heading home by train this evening be prepared for delays and overcrowding. You can check the Waterloo train times here and the service bulletins here.

Friday, 19 September 2008

Avast ye scurvy landlubbers!!

Arrrr... Today be Talk Like a Pirate day and the Jolly Roger be flying proudly at me place of employment. If ye want to find out more about aboot talking like a pirate then do set sail for the official web site.

Enough of that frivolity. Yesterday saw a pile of papers burned outside Lloyds, left either by some half-hearted arsonist or by some protestor attempting to burn down Lloyds for taking over HBOS, or both. Either way the window had been covered over with a board when I went past this morning and actual damage is unknown.

Still on Central Road I'm pleased to say that Cycle Power is having its grand opening tomorrow with special discounts throughout the day. Do go along and support this great new local business! If you want to find out what's going to replace the now-closed Loving Thoughts gift shop then you can find out at Worcester Park's blog.

Speaking of local business I've discovered the December 2007 document that Sutton Council appear to have based their retail decisions on. Starting with point 2.55
In considering proposals for such development outside designated town centres, including the extension to existing shopping facilities, the Council will adopt a sequential approach to site selection.

and moving on to point 2.63
This policy states that the Council will give priority to preparing a town centres strategy and action plan for Wallington and Rosehill District Centres.

It would appear to my untrained eye that in the name of a "sequential approach" the Council appear to be committed to doing nothing to enhance Worcester Park as a retail area until they feel like they can get around to it. I haven't ploughed through the whole 260 pages just yet but would seem to be the impression, though if I find something to contradict that I'll let you know. Fortunately Worcester Park business seems generally to be able to look after itself at the moment......

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

An update at last

Apologies for not bringing you any Worcester Park news so far this week but having been stinkingly busy and the economy news not helping The Parkerilla's been filling the breach with the historical and neighbourhood stuff while the Worcester Park Blog relates the outcome of the garden waste review meeting I mentioned would be happening last week.

The news this week is humming with a couple of Worcester Park residents and their (allegedly) foul deeds. Firstly Kym Farid gets a mention in the Hastings Observer in relation to a £1million drug scheme and then the local Guardian describes what Buckland Way resident Joseph Pullen did to get himself a 5 year sentence though to sum it up the Guardian relates that:
A statement from a traffic officer of 16 years’ experience, read out at Kingston Magistrates’ Court today, said he had never seen anyone “so intent on causing damage”.

Moving on I've found a description of the demise of Tone's Bar in North Cheam, the long-time Chelsea stronghold, when the owner couldn't afford to keep the place going:
Rupert Murdoch’s regular bastardization of the fixture list coupled with the exorbitant cost of public broadcast fees and the belt-tightening forced upon many regular punters has diminished his takings to such an extent that it was no longer financially viable and so it was with a heavy heart that he’d taken the decision to call last orders.

On the way home last night I snapped the "Loving Thoughts" card shop, next to the One Stop Party Shop, which has covered its windows and not left any message to say why. Any ideas?

To end on a positive note the reshowing of the 400 Years of Worcester Park History exhibition went well on Saturday and it was great to see such a number of people there and also to meet up with David Rymill.

I used the opportunity to get material to try out Microsoft's new Photosynth service and uploaded a handful of pictures from the inside of St Mary's to create a panoramic effect and the results of which can be seen here, although you'll need to be a Windows user and have installed the Photosynth software. It gives me a "synthiness" of 65%, which means I'm just above average rather than poor but if I can improve my synthy skills I might 'synth' the whole of Central Road to see what that comes out like.

...and Michael will be pleased to know that I've GPS'd up my Nokia N73 so although it can't use GPS Tuner it will work with Nokia Maps and Google Maps. Now to work out how to Geocache with it......

Friday, 12 September 2008

Friday stuff

While browsing eBay last night I happened upon a strange but amazing sight. Worcester Park's most distinctive supermarket, Ryan Gate, is up for sale on eBay with the opening offer standing at an inviting £10K. You can opt to "Buy it now" for £108K but I'd suggest holding out for a last-minute bid.

I love the description of the Ryan Gate in the auction:
"Ryan Gate is a slightly impluasible Lebanese deli in Worcester Park consist of range of services; pizza making, greengrocery, bakery, butchery (sic), kebabs, burgers, hot Lebanese delicacies and a coffee shop. Oh, and wedding cakes. It has been opened since october of 2005."

I'm not 100% sure whether it's a prank or not but I'll keep my eye on it.....

Anyway, there's a lot of other stuff to pack in today so let's get to it!!

For those following the Special Needs Transport changes proposal the Sutton Guardian has an article in it this week which I've scanned in and you can see by clicking on the image below:

On the subject of Sutton Council the leader of the Conservative Group, Paul Scully, has blogged to say that the £35 garden waste charge is on its way out after a belated consultation exercise. I won't shed any tears for it though I have to say that the glass recycling hasn't been better and the fears of yobs sucking the dregs from booze bottles before hurling them through windows hasn't materialised, at least in Brinkley Road anyway.

Just a reminder that there's a reprise of the 400 Years of Worcester Park exhibition tomorrow, and I even posted the info to the Local Guardian website!

The X26 bus is a familiar sight in Worcester Park plying its trade between Croydon and Heathrow and apparently they will be changing the timetable in November to every half hour instead of every hour between 7am and 7pm, which will make it a more viable option for getting to the airport for holidaymakers (though not early morning commuters)

I can't move on without a mention for Talk Like A Pirate Day next Friday, the 19th. Ye have been warned!!!

Those with a keen eye and poor time management may have noticed that at the bottom of the right hand column there's now a feed from my Twitter page, which I'm using to record random thoughts that don't necessarily warrant a full post. I'll see if I can overcome my inner luddite to make it useful.

No Friday news slot would be complete without its closing bizarre article and it's always more funny to point out other people's peculiarities rather than your own so in that vein I was searching for a postcode earlier I stumbled across http://www.bench-marks.org.uk/ which explains the theology of adherents like so:
"The database contains records of Ordnance Survey bench marks, with particular focus on the numbered flush brackets which appear on walls and buildings across Britain. In addition, fundamental bench marks, projecting brackets, tidal observatories, and other bench marks are also included, to help give a more complete picture of the levelling lines."

Say what?

Anyway, I now know what the Second geodetic levelling was though I can't say that I feel particularly enriched by the knowledge, in fact I feel somewhat violated by the thought that someone may mention it in conversation one day and I'll actually know what the hell they're on about..... I'm sure they're lovely people but..........

Have a great weekend and perhaps I'll bump into you at the history exhibition tomorrow

Thursday, 11 September 2008

400 years of Worcester Park

One of the many good things about the Worcester Park Life is its news about upcoming stuff, otherwise it'd be possible to miss things like this:

There will be another chance to see the ‘400 years of Worcester Park’ exhibition, originally produced for the anniversary in 2006, at the Heritage Open Day in St Mary’s Church, at the top of The Avenue, on Saturday 13 September, 11am-5pm. There will also be new displays about Cuddington and Worcester Park in the 1950s, including a look at the story of the Operatic Section of the Cuddington Players, formed in 1958. All are welcome, and light refreshments will be available in the hall adjoining the church.

For those new to the blog the historical information's been compiled by the incomparable David Rymill, archivist and maven of Worcester Park history. He will be there and his book will be available for purchase and I'd highly recommend it:

Worcester Park and Cuddington: A Walk through the Centuries, produced by David Rymill in 2000, is still available at £8.95 plus £1 p&p if required. For further details, phone 020 8330 6563. The 170-page book combines memories of life in Worcester Park from the 1910s
onwards with documentary evidence, and includes over 75 illustrations.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Sutton Council in the news

Thank you to all who signed the petition in my last post and ITV London News led with it as their top story last night so I've grabbed the video for you in case you missed it.

The intro's misleading as the majority don't get taxis but get minibuses from home, but the Council proposal is to make these disabled children walk up to a mile in all weathers to get on the same minibus that would normally meet them from home.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

A minute of your time

I don't usually do this but please spend a minute reading this email from a local Councillor in Sutton and then go through and sign the petition please.
The London Borough of Sutton is proposing to cruelly slash the budget for transporting Special Educational Needs Children from January 2009. Obviously, anyone with the capacity for thought and compassion will recognise that this is a travesty and not welcome in our allegedly civilised world. The cuts would place in severe jeopardy hundreds of special children, this is A FACT, not a dramatisation of a distressed father, and add even more stress to the parents, carers, siblings and teachers that have to cope and deal with far too much as it is without cynical governmental penny pinching measures sticking a further unwelcome knife into their backs.

Consultation on this matter is a fallacy, I am an elected Councillor of Sutton with a severely Autistic son of 8 years old and not once have I been asked for any information, input or, unfortunately, the time of day. Indeed, disregard and contempt has met any attempt to raise the issue democratically. The only consultation apparent is with those without direct knowledge of a serious and rapidly increasing problem.

I urge you to sign the petition at:

Councillor David Theobald
St Helier Ward
London Borough of Sutton

Thursday, 4 September 2008

A developing issue

With the Hamptons grabbing the limelight in Worcester Park the smaller developments may slip under the radar. A developer has twice proposed knocking down two bungalows in Brinkley Road and replacing them with flats in a fashion not entirely dissimilar to the new Brinkley Court, which replaced the disused church/factory for those of you who ever saw it. Having been turned down by Sutton Council for first 18 and then 14 flats they've returned to the fray with a proposal for 10 flats:

Application No: A2008/59560/OUT
Location:34-36 Brinkley Road Worcester Park KT4 8JF
Proposal:Outline application with all matters reserved for a building comprising ten self contained flats with car, cycle and refuse facilities following demolition of existing bungalows.
Applicant:Mr Gary Hull

For details of the application you can find the plans and forms here:

and you can register your objection online here:

If you're one of the Brinkley Road residents who reads this then please do what you feel is appropriate but if you're stuck for words to write your objection then do email me and I'll let you know what I wrote.

On a vaguely Council related issue I see the Evening Standard is running a story entitled "Council wastes thousands on free DVDs telling residents how to fill their wheelie bins" about Fylde and Wyre Council in Lancashire. I know that Sutton Council is doing much in the recycling arena but if they ever send me a DVD about it I'm reaching for my fiery torch and pitchfork and leading the rebellion towards the Civic Offices.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Is no news really good news?

What's going on? I went to Google News this morning to do my regular search for Worcester Park news over the last week and there's absolutely nothing, zilch, nada!?!? Other than the opening of Cycle Power being pushed back into September is there really that little going on? I could try and do something with the story about Sutton being London's happiest place, but then you knew that already didn't you.....  Fortunately the latest edition of the Worcester Park Life is available in the usual outlets for your reading pleasure although the PDF version hasn't made it onto the website just yet.

After the excitement of Friday night Saturday saw me taking Brinkster Junior to see the new Clone Wars thing while Brinkster Minor watched Miss Brinkster having a riding lesson. After that we all met up and headed off to Nonsuch Park to amble round in the unusual brightness of a genuinely sunny afternoon and make the most of an unseasonably early start to the conker season.

This led to the discovery by Mrs Brinkster that Mole Valley Orienteering Club (MVOC) are holding some introductory 2km and 3km events at Nonsuch Park on Saturday 27th September between 10am and 11am for the nominal sum of £1 (aged 19 and under) and £3 for adults. I've never professed any great desire to orienteer, if that's the word, but any excuse to spend some time hurtling around Nonsuch Park on what will hopefully be a sunny day can't be a bad thing in my books. For those who can't make that one they're doing another one in October at the Hogsmill, details on the flyers below:

For more info do visit their website.

To change the subject, and tone, entirely I like to think of myself as having a somewhat refined vocabulary so it pains me when there is no option other than to resort to four-letter words, particularly the "c" one but here goes. Over in the Worcester Park Blog there's been some conversation involving the word "chav" and for the benefit of readers all and sundry I thought I'd pass on the link to "Chav Master", a game in which "you enage in the ultimate battle of bad behaviour: compete against your apponents in a no-holds-barred contest to collect A.S.B.O's. To win the Golden A.S.B.O. simply hold onto your electronic tag and prove that you are the ultimate loser!"

I thought the typo was a nice touch.

Anyway, who could resist gawking at the website of a game that describes itself thus:

Strap on your electronic tag, turn down Trisha, and get ready to go head-to-head in the ultimate battle of bad behaviour!!!

3 - 12 players slog it out. Only one will prove themselves worthy of the Chav Master title, and the Holy Grail of Chavdom - The Golden A.S.B.O.

Seven classic party games get a 21st Century kick up the arse. Collect as many A.S.B.O's as you can and hold on to your electronic tag, or you're out of the game!

Here's the link.