Sunday, 30 November 2008

Sabbath breakers

Oliver Cromwell would be turning in his grave, if he hadn't been disinterred and hung up for public display. Workmen have dug up the junction of Central Road and Windsor Road in the latest phase of whatever digging they're doing and look like they'll have it closed for most of the day. I'm on a 213 to Kingston with the three small Brinksters to take our chances with the Christmas shoppers.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

It's done

If you want to see some photos of last night's Christmas festivities on Central Road I'd recommend you head over to the Worcester Park Blog's post on the event. I did take a bunch of pictures but his cover almost exactly the same things as mine and weren't taken whilst trying to herd three small Brinksters around ;)

Although I got a post and some twitters out I was hoping to squeeze a couple more posts in during the evening but I rapidly, and only too happily, became the carthorse for the little Brinksters assorted 'winnings' and it's difficult to blog no-handed with a mobile phone.

For me the spirit of the evening was summed up by Terry Dobbs, the organiser and owner of the One Stop Party Shop, who said "It's not about the takings, it's about giving something back" and with this event Terry and those who participate in the Worcester Park Traders Association gave us something to enjoy!

Kudos to the lady who went as if to peek up the bagpipers kilt, causing him to go wildly out of tune!

Friday, 28 November 2008

We're here

It's drizzling a bit but there are loads of people out. Parade starts at 7pm

Let there be light!

Mrs Brinkster has sent me the first picture of the new Worcester Park Christmas lights actually turned on. They should look even better when it gets darker.

Whom to believe?

As the countdown to the Worcester Park Traders Association Late Night Event creeps down below the 10 hour mark the excitement mounts, certainly in the Brinkster household, towards what should be a great evening of fun and shopping. Assuming the technology works I'm hoping to blog live throughout the Brinkster Clan visit to the event so if you're not able to be there then I'll get some photos and the like up on here for you and via Flickr (and keep an eye on the Twitter feed on the left as well).

With all such events it's proven a time to be stereotypically British and indulge in the kind of detailed weather-related speculation that's normally more appropriate to, say, an RAF sortie.
BBC Weather

Unfortunately the two main sources of weather forecasts seem diametrically opposed in their predictions of whether it'll be raining tonight with Metcheck having changed their mind since yesterday and now saying there'll be 3mm of heavy sleet while BBC Weather, and by inference the Met Office, believe that the light rain will have cleared up by 6pm. I'll be keeping an eye on the Met Office Rainfall Radar (see below) for something more accurate than the contradications above.

See you on Central Road this evening!

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Looking better!

The unpredictable priests of meteorological prognostication have relented in their poor predictions for tomorrow's weather and Metcheck now forecasts a maximum of 0.1mm through the course of the evening, which even the most rain-averse shouldn't have a problem with. Do stock your pockets full of cash and come along to Central Road tomorrow night prepared to part with it and enjoy an evening of Christmas fun with fellow Worcester Park-ies and our local traders.

Moving on, I notice that Cafe Piccolo now has part of the shop open as a cafe serving coffee, snacks and the like for those who don't want a full meal. The staggering part is that it was open when I went to work this morning and according to the sign on the door it opens at 6am!!! The lovely Costa doesn't open its doors until 7am I believe and I'm usually on a train by then so it's tempting to go into Cafe Piccolo on the way to the station just because I can :)

This post was brought to you by the letter "p".

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Going balmy

As I'm sure you're aware it's the Worcester Park Traders Association Christmas Late Night Event on Friday and the meteorological prognosticators have decreed that today and tomorrow shall be balmy, relative to the cold of the last few days that is, but that the price of that will most likely be rain on... you guessed it... Friday. The Metcheck forecast last night made fairly uninspiring reading but I notice that the latest update has heavy rain during Thursday night until dawn but only showers throughout the day.

To me that just means that some of the in-store hospitality on Friday may become even more appealing if the rain does make an appearance with Dawsons Aerials doing seasonal foods and an opportunity to discuss what'll be needed for the digital switchover, Hendy's Jewellers offering mince pies and drinks, Central Plumbing providing "Champagne and the works" and many more as detailed on the Worcester Park Blog entry here.

Come what may I know the Brinkster Clan will be out in force, and for those in need of further entertainment here's another picture of The Worcester Park Blogger and myself out on Central Road

Monday, 24 November 2008

One little victory

Those who've been following my posts and the ITV News about Sutton Council's current proposals to cut transport funding for special needs children in the borough may be interested in the latest news from the Sutton Guardian:
Protesters have won a partial victory in a fight over plans to cut personal door-to-door transport services for disabled children. Sutton Council had proposed to cut the transport budget £250,000 by introducing pick-up points for children with special educational needs.
Parents had argued the plans would put their children, many of whom require constant care, at risk and would put carers and parents under pressure.

The council announced last week that it had “responded to concerns’’ and children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, and those who can not walk unassisted, would now be unaffected by the plans. The new recommendations, which go to scrutiny overview committee on Tuesday, would affect 85 SEN students out of a former 545.

My reading of that is that someone at Sutton Council was willing to make 460 special-needs children who require assistance with walking to walk up to a mile in all weathers to a pick-up point. Does that seem like a bad idea to anybody else?

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Home Show

My regular trawl of the internet has thrown up another TV reference to Worcester Park, this time from Channel 4's recent Home Show.

"On to tonight’s show, George Clarke travels to the heartland of suburban London, home to financial consultant Grant, Mum Jo and their two daughters, five year old Isobel and two year old Daisy. "

Heartland of suburban London indeed! Click on the image below to view the gallery on the Home Show website.

The Channel 4 site isn't particularly forthcoming with schedules for the programme but it looks like it can/will be viewed using their "4 on Demand" thing.

Old timers will remember the visit from Location, Location, Location some time back but this is the first showing on TV for a while, unless you know better?

Wednesday, 19 November 2008


Last week Mr & Mrs Worcester Park Blogger and myself met up for an evening out while Mrs Brinkster was busy with other things. I'd suggested dinner in the Huntsmans having been there before but when we got there we discovered that the chef had long since left, the Sky TV was off because the bill hadn't been paid and the stock was being run down as they're up against the ropes and hoping to get a new owner. The assistant manager mentioned that takings were now a fraction of what they used to be but that they'd had a procession of people in to look at it so here's hoping for a Huntsman's revival (or should that just be 'vival'?) as it's one of Worcester Park's oldest pubs and was a really quiet place to have a drink. I've always thought it could be such a nice pub in the right hands. After a quick drink of whatever-they-had-left we headed up to Silks (now booking for Christmas!) and had a great time eating there instead.

Other pubs in Worcester Park seem to have music on their minds with The Drill having Rik Martin on Friday and Radio Jackie's Northern Soul Night on Saturday. Also on Saturday the North End Tavern will be featuring Serve Chilled, a four-piece blues/rock/jazz band on and the Cazbar's sure to have something going on as Carey likes to keep the calendar ticking over.

Remember to watch the English Civil War drama The Devil's Whore on Channel 4 tonight as it's had some good previews! Chances are the England game won't be anything worth watching anyway...

I hear you knocking....

The headlines today are about the membership list of the BNP leaking onto the internet and whatever your feelings about the BNP I think everyone recognises there are a fair number of people out there who are not sympathetically inclined towards their aims or methods. Because of that there are a couple of households in Worcester Park who may be feeling somewhat nervous around about now.

I won't link to any information here but if you use your l33t Google-fu skillz you're sure to find something.

It's a dramatic example of why to be cautious about who you give your personal details to. Her Majesty's Government may lose them by accident but controls can be put in place mitigate that, however if someone's determined to leak the information then it's going to be leaked, whether it's your political affiliation or online shopping details. In that vein I'll leave you with this:

Several years ago, during the United States Senate hearings on the nomination of Robert Bork to be a member of the Supreme Court an investigator opposing the Bork nomination managed to secure Blockbuster's records of the movies Judge Bork watched. Opponents also got access to his reading habits and began to draw certain conclusions about Judge Bork's mental processes. How wrong it would be to make a judgement about an individual's qualifications to be Supreme Court Justice based upon his or her personal reading or viewing tastes. How many of us would wish to be subjected to similar scrutiny? Not surprisingly, Judge Bork was not confirmed.


Saturday, 15 November 2008

You can't make this stuff up!

Just when you thought we'd peaked with snake man and the UFO sightings the local Guardian website gives us the headline "Superman pulled from car in Worcester Park"

A driver dressed as Superman had to be pulled from a car in Worcester park in the early hours of this morning, after his car hit a bollard and flipped over.

It is believed the man lost control of his vehicle, a Vauxhall Corsa, in Central Road near the junction with Caldbeck Avenue, at 12.03am.

Fire crews from Sutton, Wimbledon and New Malden attended the scene and found the man already being assisted from the vehicle by police officers.

Blue watch crew manager Trevor Corfield from Sutton fire station said the car had partially flipped over and had come to rest on the pavement next to some railings.

No other vehicles were involved.

Anybody know who it was? I hope the CCTV caught it!

Friday, 14 November 2008

Lots of news!

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
Christmas Late Night

28th November 2008 - 6pm to 9pm
Late night shopping, stalls, rides,
bouncy castle, refreshments, bands and more...
Includes a visit from Father Christmas HIMSELF!!
For more information contact the WPTA on 020 8337 6007

Those of you who are local readers may glimpse posters up and down Central Road that the Worcester Park Blogger and myself have put together to assist Terry and the Traders Association and I have the personal word of Michael Fish that the weather on the evening is going to be great.

In other exciting news Mrs Brinkster just sent me a picture of the new Christmas lights on Central Road which are being put up this very morning. I'll get my first glimpse when I go home this evening.

In case you were wondering I cropped out the 20 health & safety people with clipboards, dayglo jackets and hard hats on the ground below.

I occasionally hear the question "What do our Councillors ever do"? Well the local Guardian think they've found at least one thing and reports that a Worcester Park Councillor is under investigation for alleged bullying after approaching a Cheam shopkeeper for displaying a poster against the rebuilding of the Elizabeth Hall sheltered housing complex. You can see the full article if you clickon the image below:

A Sutton Council spokeswoman said: "We've received two complaints about Coun Gordon-Bullock and we are looking into them".

Lastly the Hamptons public enquiry notice has dropped through the door so if you haven't seen it and want to know what happens next then click on the image below.

* My intro from last year, which I still like so I recycled it.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

To arms!!

Yesterday Brentford was ransacked with much loss to life and property and now the enemies of Parliament muster their forces for an assault on London itself. To arms and protect your freedoms!!

Yes, today is the 366th anniversary of the Battle of Turnham Green, one of the first encounters of the English Civil War, in which King Charles I and his army confronted Parliament's much larger force but with neither side willing to commit to an all out assault they skirmished intermittently throughout the day before the King and his forces withdrew. Much of the Parliamentary army consisted of the men of London who rushed out to the field with precious little training and every time the Royalists made a move the many spectators from the city would hurriedly withdraw, taking some of the more nervous volunteers with them.

If you don't know about this fascinating period of English history which pitched friend against friend, father against son and brother against brother, then you could make a start by watching Channel 4's new drama "The Devil's Whore" that begins next week and carries on for three more and "tells the story of the seismic events of 17th century England ...through the experiences of a spirited aristocratic woman, Angelica Fanshawe (Andrea Riseborough), whom fate has decreed shall come to know the key figures on both sides of this bitter conflict. It is a story not just of political and historical significance, but of love, loss, murder, courage and betrayal.".

For those who like a higher bodycount in their historical dramas The Times explains that "The South African location brought huge cost-savings that meant that great civil-war battles such as 1642's Edgehill and Cromwell's attacks on cathedrals and stately homes look like grown-up battles rather than a handful of extras and a smoke bomb"

The slightly tangental aspect to this is that those of us who live in Worcester Park live a stone's throw away from a genuine English Civil War battlefield, namely that of The Battle of Surbiton Common which was a skirmish that happened in mid-1648 back when Surbiton Common stretched down nearly to Ewell and is where Parliament's forces caught up with the retreating Royalists. Nearby Nonsuch Palace was one of several owned by Charles I's wife, Queen Herietta Maria, but was taken over by Parliament after the skirmish and given to Colonel Thomas Pride.

If you think that Roundheads were po-faced killjoys and Cavaliers liked nothing better than a good silk scarf I have the cure! WATCH MORE TV!! Starting 19th November :)

Now to explain to Mrs Brinkster why I was googling for 'wh*re'...

Monday, 10 November 2008


Where has the week gone? Decorating, that's where my week's gone. In an effort to finishing our schemes for Brinkster Central before we become too heavily embedded in the yuletide festivities we've been sorting out stuff to give to the charity shops and generally getting dust up our noses in the name of progress. To massacre the words of Winston Churchill we are not at the beginning of the end but we are at the end of the beginning so I'm prewarning you that my upcoming posts may be sporadic or entirely taken up with subjects like why tile shops are odd places to go.

For the lovers or haters of the big green tardis on Central Road you'll now be pleased to know that it's attached to the London Air Quality Network and you can see the current situation and the graph for the last seven days, just look in my bloglist to the left for the latest update (unless I get bored of it).

For a whistle-stop tour of other local news KFC is still being rebuilt, there's an article on a local builder being affected by the credit crunch, the story of the disputed will and Sutton Council's released a guide to a half hour stroll around Worcester Park.

Lastly I'm looking forward to meeting up with the Worcester Park Blogger tomorrow evening at an undisclosed Worcester Park location (well, I'm not disclosing it anyway) so perhaps we'll let on what's afoot. For those of you who live too far away to get hold of a copy of the Worcester Park life then here's the photo I was referring to in my last post:

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Worcester Park Bloggers revealed!!

Yes, it's true! The Worcester Park Blogger and myself have been photographed in person and can be seen on page 4 of the latest Worcester Park Life magazine, now available from reputable stores and other noble locations in Worcester Park. I'm not going to give you the cheap thrill of putting it on here just yet so if you want to see us in all our glory then you'll need to track down a copy.

Monday, 3 November 2008

The race is not to the swift

I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. Ecclesiastes 9:11

Whew. What a weekend! The Brinkster Clan was at Legoland by 9am on Saturday for a day of Star Wars themed activities and the usual rides and shows and stuff and although the heavens opened in the afternoon our several layers of clothing meant we stayed warm if not exactly dry. The fireworks were spectacular and Mrs Brinkster was debating whether she'd have to give up watching fireworks from now onas it's going to take something really special to top that. After the fireworks we went and saw another show and meandered around but when we got to the car park some time later there were still queues to get out! Fabulous day, even though my coat is still drying out!

The quote at the beginning of this post came back to me when reflecting on the Formula 1 last night. Last night saw me pacing around the house as the Brazilian Grand Prix progressed which the championship contest turning an otherwise dull race into a classic. Having been at Silverstone in the rain to watch Hamilton win earlier in the year watching last night was assorted agonies rolled into one with hope and expectation turning to imminent misery but turned around to sudden exhilaration and celebration. I do feel sorry for Massa and family to have the Championship torn away from them at the last moment, but not enough not to pass this on.

After that there was the new series of Top Gear with the fabulous challenge to the guys to become a trucker and pass a series of challenges. I think I laughed more at this episode than any other and watching Jeremy Clarkson drive his truck into a brick wall at 55mph was the icing on the cake. If you haven't seen it you can watch it on BBC iPlayer or catch the repeat (or download it from the internet no doubt).