Friday, 26 February 2010

I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky

Even having been in Worcester Park for a few years now there are still some things here that either amaze me, or I find defy simple explanation.

For example, we all have things in our house that need doing that we don't quite get around to and in the Brinkster household that might mean the odd toy that needs fixing, a bike that needs cleaning or a DVD that was bought with best intentions but still remains shrink-wrapped and unwatched. These can mostly be simply explained.

What I still haven't come to a simple explanation for is why someone in Brinkley Road would have two boats in their front garden.

As you'll see from the picture below from Google Streetview that caught the scene some time in the past there's one boat in plain view and if you click on the image you might just be able to catch sight of the bow of the second one propped up against the house.

Now I'm no expert on this, or arguably a lot of other things, but the picture would suggest to me that these boats haven't actually been anywhere for some time. Quite some time if the spread of the bushes is anything to go by.

Now I understand that I may be alone in this particular fascination but I do love things like like this. Perhaps there's a sad story behind why they never seem to leave but then again maybe there's a story of a dream or aspiration that's nearly come about. Either way I don't have a clue and it's become like some kind of delicious torture, a bit like watching a James Cameron movie in the hope of finding a plot twist or depth of character. Anyway, to me these boats stand as a reminder of dreams left unfulfilled or things left undone and gives me a swift kick in the pants as a motivation to get on and do mine.

Actually, I've seen these boats so many times over the last few years I've grown accustomed to them and just assume that they're still there. Perhaps they've gone and I haven't noticed! I'm going to have to have a look on the way home tonight just to make sure they're really still there and I haven't just been imagining their presence of late.

If you know the story of the boats then you might want to enlighten me?

On second thoughts don't. It might stay more interesting that way.

Title courtesy of John Masefield

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Worcester Park renovation consultation

Is there an election coming up or something?? There seems to be a sudden upsurge in interest in the welfare of Worcester Park and although I'd love it to be because they've recognised us for being the fine, upstanding community that we are the part of me that sometimes reads Private Eye suspects there may be an ulterior motive.

First we were told that the long-promised traffic-light synchronisation was on its way, and more recently we've been told that there may be funds for flood defences in the offing. Now the dearly beloved recipient of all our Council Tax payments, the London Borough of Sutton, has started a consultation on a proposed £400,000 renovation of Worcester Park in conjunction with Kingston Council.

In a joint initiative between Sutton and Kingston Councils, residents are being asked what improvements they would like to see in the area. Their views will help create a plan that may include more pedestrian crossings, improved lighting and more street trees.
The public will also have their say on more extensive changes such as controlling the speed and number of cars that are allowed down certain roads. The streets being considered for improvement are Green Lane, Longfellow Road, Lincoln Road and Central Road.
The project is being funded by Transport for London under a scheme called Streets for People. It aims to improve the quality of local areas and make them a place where people feel comfortable walking, cycling and shopping.

Even Merton Council get to have a word in there:
Cllr William Brierly, Cabinet member for Planning and Traffic management on Merton Council said: "Although the consultation will not affect roads directly in our borough, any resulting improvements will impact on Merton. We support Sutton and Kingston in this initiative which should result in a more pedestrian- and cycle-friendly environment.
"We would welcome an improved pedestrian and cycle route joining Green Lane with Lower Morden Lane and Garth Road which would create better access across the borough borders. I would encourage as many people as possible to get involved and make their voice heard."

A little more information can be found in the local committee minutes from November 2009 here (point 940).

Unfortunately the page sharing this piece of news doesn't have a link to any consultation document or suggestions on how the likes of you and I can get involved and using the Sutton web site's search feature with the words "Worcester Park" and "£400,000" doesn't provide any information so perhaps one of our friendly local Councillors could point us in the right direction? As the consultation started on Monday and only runs until the 12th March it'd be a shame to miss out on the chance to put a word or two in.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Running scared?

As I came up Central Road towards Brinkley Road last night I was surprised to see movement from the roof of Beds To Go, next to Costcutter. The movement that caught my eye was a teenage girl running along the edge of the roof and then back down out of sight. I paused, camera in hand, but she didn't make a reappearance and I took the lack of screaming to mean that whatever feat she'd wished to accomplish she'd most likely managed it successfully so I went home. I'm not sure if it was a teenage prank or an outbreak of parkour (free running) in Worcester Park but if I see anyone up there again I'll let you know.

Like a moth to the flame Google Blogsearch has drawn me towards the posts by Michael Shilling about a photo shoot he did up at the new Klass hairdressers on Central Road. Part one was about the lighting setup and part two is about the workflow and retouching process so whether you're interested in photography or simply interested in what Klass are up to then do take a look. Kudos to Klass for having their own photos done rather than getting something off-the-shelf! Worcester Park old-timers Sean Hanna must be feeling the heat as they're offering 50% discount on a cut and blow dry with "New Generation" stylist Kelly Mudge, Tues-Thurs (9am-2.30pm) with a web only voucher from MyVoucherCodes. Hmmm..... who to trust my luscious locks to now??.....

Families the Kingston side of the railway may be interested in one of their Council's events to celebrate this weekend's Chinese New Year:
Old Malden and Surbiton Libraries are offering Chinese-themed craft events for children, to celebrate Chinese New Year on the 14th of February. The drop in sessions cost just £1 to cover the cost of materials. The sessions run on the following dates:
Old Malden Library: Tuesday 16 February 2.30pm to 4pmChurch Road, Worcester Park, KT4 7RD

I'm sure they'd let in people from other boroughs too....

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Doris Venner v Ofsted

Two posts in two days!?!?! Surely not!!!

You're right. Not.

This came in from Sue last night and as a couple of the Brinksters went to Doris Venner in the deep and distant past I thought it worth posting though, to be fair, I didn't know they'd had a bad Ofsted until I got the email. I don't fancy digging out the whole report so can anyone fill me in on the background?? Here's the unedited Sue:

Looking at the recent Ofsted report for Doris Venner, you wouldn't think you were reading about the same Pre-school. The report, the 'ridiculous' findings and it's total inaccuracies have led to the Manager embarking on a lengthy, substantial and extremely stressful complaint procedure. The whole Doris Venner team should be commended on how they run the pre-school, the way they co-ordinate their vast curriculum and more importantly how they ensure the happiness, safety and well being of all our children. I know for a fact, irrespective of Ofsted, that is surpasses many of the other local pre-school settings. The children that go to and have been at Doris Venner are so much more sociable and happier than other children and I am so lucky to have been offered a place for my child. I've already had my 2nd child’s name down since he was just 2 months old...and there it stays! Please join me in supporting our local pre-school, DORIS VENNER. Together we can actually make a difference, and prove just how inaccurate the latest Ofsted report is. The damming report could damage the future of Worcester parks best pre-school....and I'm sure none of us want to see that at all.

To Maria and the team, Keep up the good work, you are doing a fantastic job, we the parents, existing and previous, are here to help you fight, Sue Watkins - A very happy Mum indeed!"

Monday, 8 February 2010

The Hamptons Blog back in circulation!

If you have an historical interest in Worcester Park bloggers you'll be pleased to know that The Hamptons Blogger has made a reappearance after an eight month hiatus and while Real Life™ conspires to keep me from the blogging world you will hopefully find some more entertainment there.

To my mind the record for the shortest ever Worcester Park blog has to be "The View From The Huntsmans" who managed to pique our interest by producing no posts whatsoever. Actually, Google seems to have obliterated any mention of that one from the record so perhaps I imagined it.... which wouldn't be a first.

Anyway, The Hamptons Blogger can be found here: