Friday, 24 December 2010

Christmas Eve Train problems in Worcester Park

According to this all trains through Worcester Park are currently cancelled:

Description.Electrical supply problems are causing disruption at Worcester Park.

Because of this, there are delays of up to 40 minutes between Epsom and Wimbledon. These delays are expected to last until approximately 15:00.

15.00?? Hmmm... I'd say that with the trains out of position they'll be a knock-on effect and that it's going to be an evening of pain on the trains. Keep an eye on the live departure board for Worcester Park here or London Waterloo here. It seems to be having an effect on other lines too so I'm not sure going to New Malden would help much.

Ah well. Have a great Christmas and New Year!

Friday, 17 December 2010

Worcester Park Roadworks Map

I've been attempting to work out the scale of the upcoming roadworks disruption and turned to Google Maps to help visualise it. While all those who are into NLP discuss my preferred learning style the rest of us can try and work out whether we'll ever be able to go shopping again.

If you click on the image on the left it should take you to a Google map with lines and clicky things showing where the works will be taking place. It's my best endeavour at trying to collate the information, which comes from the Kingston Council page here, so do let me know if I've missed, misplaced or mucked anything up. So, in no particular order:

Phase One works will start in January 2011 and are expected to be completed in eight weeks. A traffic management scheme will be in place throughout the works that will require the temporary closure of three roads – Green Lane, Lynwood Drive and Park Terrace - and one way working underneath the railway bridge that will be controlled by temporary traffic lights.

‘Streets For People’
Sutton Council (with funding from Transport for London)
Where: Central Road between junctions with Green Lane and Lynwood Drive.
What: Works involve de-cluttering the footways, altering kerb lines, building speed tables and resurfacing footways.

Cast Iron Mains replacement
Who: Sutton and East Surrey Water
Where: Central Road between junctions with Green Lane and Balmoral Road.
What: Replace two mains along both sides of Central Road and the supply to each property in the area. This requires excavation of the carriageway and the temporary closure of the junction with Lynwood Drive.

Gas Mains Replacement
Who: Southern Gas Network
Where: Malden Road from the junctions with Motspur Park and Idmiston Road.

Replacement Sewer – Flood alleviation scheme
Thames Water
Where: Malden Road, Worcester Park from junctions with Park Terrace and South Lane.
What: The works would involve deep carriageway excavations, likely to occupy half the width of the carriageway, requiring some form of temporary traffic management.

‘Minor’ Traffic Management schemes
Kingston Council
Where: Two primary locations on Malden Road – junction with Motspur Park and Church Road.
What: Realignment of kerb lines and resurfacing of the highway.

Possible addition: Gas Mains Replacement
Where: Malden Way Southbound slip Road on A3 at Malden Roundabout

Monday, 13 December 2010

Two years of roadworks disruption in Worcester Park?

Hmmm... just when Sutton and East Surrey Water's little experiment in road works seems to be passing without much disruption dire prognostication of disruptions to come arrives from Kingston Council (aka "the people who cut down the trees" to those of us on the Sutton side) who really ought to know.

On the Kingston Council website it says:
“We have identified that there are a series of activities by a number of different agencies that will need to be completed in the next two years that will all affect traffic on the A2043 [Ed:Malden Road/Central Road].

“The simple fact is that these works cannot be carried out without causing some level of disruption. By working together we can reduce the completion time by some months and therefore minimise the disruption to road users and local residents.”

The total duration of all these works would be approximately two years if all the works followed one after the other in the traditional way. But all the agencies involved recognise that by working together, sharing our knowledge and expertise, we can deliver the best improvements for local people in the shortest time and by causing the least disruption.

And here comes the really good news!
The first project will be essential works to underground gas supplies either side of the railway bridge at Worcester Park Station, between Green Lane (London Borough of Sutton) and Park Terrace (The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames). Phase One works will start in January 2011 and are expected to be completed in eight weeks.

The works are part of the national Gas Mains replacement programme, replacing old iron pipes with new Polyethylene mains which will require excavation of the highway. A traffic management scheme will be in place throughout the works that will require the temporary closure of three roads – Green Lane, Lynwood Drive and Park Terrace - and one way working underneath the railway bridge that will be controlled by temporary traffic lights. Advance warning notices will be displayed in the area and residents will be kept updated of progress throughout the programme

Full article here:

Is this all part of Sutton Council's cunning plan to get us on Central Road side of the railway to shop in Sutton instead!?!?

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Sutton High Street redevelopment

The highly esteemed Parkerilla sent me an email a couple of weeks ago:

Hi Brinkster,
saw this in the Evening Standard on the way home today, I imagine you've already seen it but if not, I was going to say make you smile, but maybe turn into the Incredible Hulk on one of his bad mood days is another option ...

He knows me too well. When I think about the money that's been spent on Sutton High Street I vary between ironic laughter, deep depression and incandescent rage. The graphic on the left is taken from the Sutton Guardian's unscientific, but telling, poll on the subject and as politicians both love and implicitly believe polls Sutton Council will have to admit that the findings are true.

Hats off to the Sutton Guardian though whose video on the subject is quite illuminating, particularly the interview with Councillor Jayne McCoy, Sutton Council’s spokesperson for planning, economic development and housing.

For those with video-click-o-phobia here's a snippet
"Well there's no denying we've had quite a few problems. The log benches are a big problem, the mechanism didn't work properly. We've taken the benches out and we're going to get proper ones fixed now. We've had delays, it's complicated, there's a number of reasons the project's had its problems but we are looking to do everything we can do to get the prject completed and obviously started a review via our internal audit team to have a look at the lessons to be learned from the project".

Here's hoping the internal audit team don't get cut in the budget then! It's far too big a subject for me to adequately cover here but I have unearthed a video that purports to reveal the truth from inside Civic Centre.....well... see for yourselves.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Party time

Gemma's just sent me a lovely email which should be of interest to all Brinkley Roadians

Hi there Mr Brinkley Road
I live in Brinkley Road and have entered our road into the sainsburys competition to win a christmas party in our street I was wondering if you could put it up on your blog for people to vote. Was unsure on how to do it if I could do it myself. I think this would be really cool for worcester park and with your help may even make the shortlist. Here is the link
It ends tomorrow

Thankyou for such a fantastic blog
Gemma ...
Brinkley Road

If you haven't seen the adverts here's what Gemma's talking about

I think it'd be great for somewhere in Worcester Park to win this so do get voting here:
and remember to spam your Facebook and Twitter friends ;)

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Worcester Park roadworks

This sign at the corner of Washington Road doesn't look promising! Hopefully it's only the one week but I smell impending traffic carnage (as if we didn't have enough already!).

Friday, 3 December 2010

A balancing act

The title's an apt description of the trip (pun intended) down Central Road this morning as the nicely swept pavements of yesterday turned into sheet-ice deathtraps overnight and even my hiking boots couldn't save me from momentarily balancing most of my bodyweight on three fingers for a split second. The net result of that little adventure is that I've lost the ability to right-click..... or move some of my fingers into anything other than a slightly curled position. Ah well. Press on!

My praise for South West Trains may have been a tad too generous yesterday morning as the service out of Waterloo in the afternoon had some 'issues'. To be fair there were a selection of trains running but the real-time train info web site insisted there weren't any, which nearly dissuaded me from going to Waterloo to check. The main reason I did go was because my backup plan of going to Morden and then catching a 93 bus had been thwarted by the news that the 93s were only going as far as Stonecot Hill, which would have meant a particularly long walk home. As it worked out when I got to Waterloo I found a train going to Chessington South, hopped off at Motspur Park and walked up to Malden Road, getting there just as a 213 came into view. As there was no traffic on the roads I ended up getting home only 15 minutes later than I otherwise would, which I thought was pretty good going.

Actually the biggest problem I've faced is SW Trains so-called train "information" which, yesterday afternoon, seemed to consist of showing that there weren't any trains from Waterloo, which there were, and at Motspur Park showing that there were two Worcester Park trains due imminently even though there had been no sign whatever of them at Waterloo when we'd left there not long before. Similarly this morning I checked before going out and the website showed all of the trains as being "On Time" which meant that I was then doomed to spend an hour standing in minus 8 degree temperatures until a train finally arrived. Their information page can be useful, which is why I've got a link to it here but do remember that it needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. Just sayin'

Thursday, 2 December 2010

There's snow business like snow business...

After the fresh fall of snow last night SW Trains continued their unerring service through Worcester Park. Not for me the feet-up-in-front-of-the-fire relaxation of a day off but because they were running on time I joined a select band of my fellow commuters in slogging my way into the office. Fair enough the train was five minutes late into Waterloo but considering the circumstances that's pretty darn good. If you couldn't make it to the station because the roads are stuffed then here are some pictures of what you missed.

[above] The SW Trains employee clearing the snow on the bridge drove in from Guildford. Not bad!

[above] Yes the man is trying to dig the van out and the car just to the right in front of him is spinning its wheels. Cars were waiting in the snow-less patch under the bridge and then using the grip to take a run-up to get past the lights.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Xmas evening

An enormous structure is taking shape outside WH Smiths! Going to be a great evening!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Phil on Andrews

I forgot that I did this the first time Andrews closed but just found it while I was looking for something else. It seems even more appropriate now.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Remember, remember

A few photos from last night of fireworks in the skies over Worcester Park. Great evening!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Nonsuch Palace

One of my wistful wishes is that Nonsuch Palace had survives like its counterparts, Hampton Court or Ham Palace. The Guardian is reporting on the auction of an early picture of Nonsuch Palace:

The earliest image of the gilded spires and towers of the lost palace of Henry VIII – so beautiful, costly and grand that it was christened Nonsuch – will be auctioned at Christie's next month with an estimated sale price of up to £1.2m.

The Guardian then gives a brief history of the palace

The palace itself, built at fabulous expense in 1538 near Ewell, in Surrey, to outshine the palaces of Henry's deadly rival, the French king Francois I, lasted barely 150 years. It was torn down in the late 17th century and sold off for building materials to settle the gambling debts of a king's mistress. Some of the stone and timber work survives in later houses.

The watercolour has been in an English private collection for most of the last two centuries, and has been publicly exhibited only twice.

Enough of me wittering on. Go read the whole thing for yourself here.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Say goodbye to the trees

I see that they're starting work on removing the trees. I can't imagine what it's going to look like after they've finished but I guess that I haven't got long to wait to find out.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Some say... ex Stig Ben Collins crashed his car at Brands Hatch!

See, I do get out of Worcester Park sometimes!

Former Top Gear Stig Ben Collins was at Brands Hatch yesterday for his debut in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC). He had a good showing in the first two races but it didn't quite go to plan in the third when he put it in the gravel, bringing out both the safety car and the JCB...

And for anyone wondering where the local interest is here's a picture of New Malden resident Tom Onslow-Cole taking and unintended detour onto the grass. Sorry Tom!
BTCC driver Tom Onslow-Cole takes to the grass
I'd like to see him try that at The Fountain!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

How To Train Your Inbox

Running a blog as I do one of the less enjoyable side-effects is an influx of spam and requests to promote something or other and I resist inflicting these on you unless they have a direct interest in Worcester Park or are of interest to the Brinkster Clan.

Regarding the second of those I've just had one of those curious coincidences that occur from time to time. Ages ago the Clan went off to see "How To Train Your Dragon" when I was busy with something else and for weeks fast food dragon toys were collected and books accumulated but it was only last week that I got to see it. It's really very good. No seriously. It is!

I was a bit 'meh' about the idea of it which is why I didn't bust a gut to go in the first place but the actual movie is funny, clever and just a bit moving. My final thought was "I just have to get this on DVD"

So just half an hour ago an email drops into my Inbox from a PR company saying that the "How To Train Your Dragon" DVD is coming out on November 15th! Result... and spooky coincidence.

If you don't know what the heck I'm on about the trailer's here:

You never know, the kids might like it too ;)

Full disclosure: This post was inspired by Shine Communications

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Shocking news!

The Sutton Guardian has a news piece on its web site about an attack in Worcester Park
"A brawl which broke out in a posh wine bar last weekend resulted in a man being arrested for grievous bodily harm."

Worcester Park has a posh wine bar!?!? When did that happen?? The story continues.
"It is understood the incident started inside Rumours Wine Bar, in Central Road, Worcester Park, on Friday (September 10) and then continued out on the pavement.

Have these people never been to Worcester Park? Rumours may be dearly loved by its customers but I think an objective examination would suggest that "posh wine bar" it is not...

Thursday, 9 September 2010

No water in Worcester Park

Apparently there's a burst water main outside 120 Central Road this morning so some/many/all (?)Worcester Park residents are without water this morning, including us. When I phoned the emergency hotline the nice man at East Surrey Water said that they'd be isolating the broken part in about 20 minutes time so Brinkley Road should come back on but I can't say when anybody else will get their water on.

Nothing on their website though:

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Worcester Park movie maker in the news

Photo from This Is Local London.

This Is Local London has highlighted Worcester Park's answer to Guy Ritchie, Steven Spielberg and Quentin Tarantino all rolled into one, namely Louis Cardona. He and colleague Matthew Lindsey made a short film called "The Ballad of Mulla and Mullins" that was presented at the Cannes film festival.

TiLL explains:
Mr Cardona said: “We were finding it hard to find a location but we knew we need somewhere spacious, easily-accessible and cheap to keep production costs down.

“There is a kind of empty gym-type building near my parents' house in Worcester Park which was perfect as several scenes from the film are shot in a basement.”

The film stars Alan Ford, who played Bricktop in Guy Ritchie's film Snatch and here's the last word from TiLL
"In May the film debuted at the Short Film Corner of the Cannes Film Festival and earned rave reviews. "

Some images from the film can be seen on the movie's website:
and if you want some behind the scenes pics you can go here:
I want to see it now!!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Hold up at the Cattle Arch

Police are appealing for information after two teenagers were robbed in Worcester Park.

The incident happened between 9.30pm and 10.30pm in an underpass known locally as ‘cattle arch’, Ardrossan Gardens, on Sunday, 15 August.

The two suspects were walking towards the teenagers when they stopped the 15-year-old victims and demanded their mobile phones.

The suspects walked off with a Samsung mobile phone worth £150 and another mobile phone worth approximately £150.

Both suspects are described as black men, approximately 6ft tall, aged approximately 23, one was wearing a blue hooded top and the other a black hooded top.
"Cattle arch" eh? Didn't know that

Friday, 13 August 2010

Dorchester School expansion plans published

I see the plans for the new Dorchester school expansion have been published. As you'd hope from an official council publication they're pretty well illustrated and you can find them here:
or skip straight to the plans and documents here:

The consultation period began on the 9th of August and you've got until the 30th of August to submit comments, observations or beautifully crafted poems* on the subject. My favourite part in the consultation documents is where an observation is recorded that:
"the roof shape to the 3 classroom appears ‘quite daring, challenging’"

Riiiiight.... Anyone got Prince Charles' email address?

* They may accept Haikus and limericks if they're good ones

Thursday, 12 August 2010

G-O-L and F are all in "Conflagration"

Anyone know the story of this burned out VW Golf (I think it is) down by the florist's at the station? From the lack of fire damage around the engine compartment I'm guessing that it wasn't an engine fire so some other force was at work.

By the way. Remember to stay up and watch for the Perseid meteor shower tonight if it's not too cloudy!

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Batty about KT4

What she said.

Today's the Big Lunch at the Hamptons and it's an opportunity to bring a picnic and sit around in the sun with friends and neighbours while the kids play on the bouncy castle, fairground rides or 'spot the blogger'. It is just one part of Sutton's much larger "Take Part, Take Pride" programme, details of which can be found here, and this is my early notice for the 28th July when there's a bat walk in the Hamptons.

Wednesday 28 July
Bat Walk - 9.15pm
Meet at the top of the viewpoint
in the Hamptons, off Green lane,
Worcester Park
Using specialist equipment, come and
learn about the different species of bat
in this part of Sutton; their behaviour, life
cycles and identification
Suggested £3 donation
Advance booking advisable, contact
Made paths, short grass and wooden
boardwalk should be suitable for almost all
mobility levels

Tomorrow is the big Move It At The Manor event in Sutton from 12-5pm and another excuse to take advantage of the good weather:

BIKE - Have a go on the cycle obstacle course, get competitive on the cycle challenge, get a safety check and learn basic bike maintenance.

BIKE STUNTS - Watch Team Extreme as they display incredible feats of skill and daring throughout the day.

ENTERTAINMENT - Enjoy some fantastic sport-themed family entertainment. Marvel at the Van Dunk Brothers dry land synchronized swimming display, as well as much, much more.

LIVE MUSIC - Sit back and enjoy the sounds of the live music from local bands coming from the solar powered stage. Radio Jackie will be broadcasting live from the park.

ARTS CORNER - Take part in creating a large willow sculpture with local professional artists from WEAVE collective, using willow, ribbon and other materials.

Details at

My (hopefully) useful hint of the day is if you're in any doubt about the weather take a look at which has almost-live rain radar.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Fair weather

It's Friday, it's sunny and it's summer time. That means there must be a fair or fifty on this weekend, if you dare set foot outside into the predicted blazing heat of Worcester Park. Cheam Common Infants and Juniors are holding a joint fair on their premises on Kingsmead Avenue from 12-3pm with the highlights being karate and gymnastic displays, go karts (mini I presume), a band, lucky dip, tombola, BBQ and a whole host of other "fair-y" type things. For those who have their eyes on the prize then the top offerings are holiday accomodation in Spain and a Netbook.

Just across the road Christ Church and St Philip's are holding their Fun Day
"There will be lots of different stalls and activities for all age groups and tombola with great prizes for the lucky winners including a trip to France in a private plane."

Finally a reminder that Malden Fortnight is in full swing with tomorrow being the craft fair so you may want to forsake the joys of KT4 for a few hours to be embraced into the bosom of New Malden.... or you may want to avoid the potential traffic nightmare like the plague. Your choice.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Going 4th

For those who didn't have enough 'fete-ing' last weekend today is the 4th Worcester Park Scout Group summer fete with a "Wild west theme, Bar, BBQ and loads of stalls and side shows. Live dancers, band and music. Inflatables, swing boats and more. Come along and support the group"

It's from 12-4pm at their site in Balmoral Road. Details here or check out one of the flyers on Central Road.

My Google-fu also tells me that it's Malden Parochial School's summer fair as well from 11am-3pm with details to be found here.

Whatever you end up doing have a great day!!

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Big day today

Today is the Cuddington Fair in Shadbolt Park from 12 to 4pm with free entry and promising a "dog-show-with-a-difference", more details here:

At touch earlier and not far away it's the Maeldune Fair between 11 and 3pm but I can't seem to find any more details on that.
Do you know more where/what/when info?

For those needing to "squee" here's a brief outsiders view of the Hamptons but with lots of pictures of baby swans (cygnets for those sitting at the back)

Thursday, 27 May 2010

It's all kicking off!

I see that there's been action inside the former Cafe Piccolo and in the gloom this morning it looked as though a lot of the chairs and tables have been removed, either to the back of the premises or possibly sold off to pay their debts. Mrs Brinkster says that she spotted a group of people in there last week looking around the place so perhaps something is going to happen in there soon..... perhaps.

Speaking of action one Worcester Park resident has got his name in the papers for all the wrong reasons, as the Sutton Guardian explains:

An angry football player attacked a referee after he was ordered off the pitch during an amateur match.
Darren Brown, 27, of Windsor Road, Worcester Park, pulled Peter Forshaw, of Eltham and kicked him in the arm during the Catford Power League game in September.
Mr Brown sought revenge on Mr Forshaw after he was sent off for an infringement on the pitch in Canadian Avenue, Lewisham, when his team, the Wandsworth Borough, were playing RBS.

In context it seems inappropriate to say that the Guardian's kicking a man when he's down but I doubt the next bit will be going on Mr Brown's CV any time soon:

Mr Brown was arrested five days later and police found a small amount of cannabis was found in an ash tray at his home.
Guy Dilliway-Parry, defending, said the assault happened because Brown had felt ashamed at being responsible for spoiling the match.
He disputed that Mr Brown, who has several previous convictions and was in breach of a suspended sentence for having drugs and a prohibited weapon, kicked the referee.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

The chips are down...

Anybody recognise this Worcester Park chip shop up for sale?

Business description
Established by the current owner in 2004, situated on a community parade in the popular Worcester Park Area. Serving fish & chips and fried chicken.The freeholder will grant a 20-year lease subject to references with a starting rent of £12,000 pa. Business rates are £610 pa. The Vendor advises us that the weekly sales average £3,600.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Feeling Summery?

Not that I'm a pedant you understand, because that would be terrible, but I happened to be browsing to our dear Lib-Dem Sutton Council website this morning and saw something that caught my eye. Click on this and see if you can spot it:

Given up yet?


OK. Here it is:

Here's the definition of summery v summary

Someone down in the Council dungeons seems to be hoping for an improvement in the weather.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

No heat in the Hamptons?

I've heard rumour on the wind that there was a power cut down in the Hamptons last night and some suggestion that others there might have been without water too. Any solid news?

The Sutton Guardian is also reporting on the big water leak up on the Malden Road which has been causing traffic delays
"Traffic through Worcester Park has ground to a near standstill as Thames Water works to repair a leaking water main on Malden Road.

Work commenced yesterday and is not expected to finish until Tuesday morning.
Frustrated drivers have reported that it has taken an hour and a half to drive through Worcester Park and that when they got to the leak site there was no sign of men at

Anybody know if it's fixed yet?

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Oscar's in charge

A picture from Saturday just to prove, if anybody ever doubted it, that Oscar runs things around here...
(not sure how he feels about the "Free cat neutering" on offer which you can see if you zoom in on the poster on the table!)

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Somewhere over the rainbow

Taken by The Parkerilla around 5pm on Saturday!!
Thanks for sending it in!!

Monday, 22 March 2010

What did the Hamptons ever do for us??

Pardon the Life of Brian-ish title but prospective Lib-Dem candidate Jason J Hunter just emailed me to point me in the direction of his latest article "The Hamptons in Worcester Park" aka [from his email] “The Hamptons, its not all bad!”.

The article attempts to explain what a boon having The Hamptons has been and you can find it here:

I won't air my own opinions here but I'm that suspecting John James may be doing a roaring trade in pitchforks and tar in response to that..... ;)

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Daffodil Parade

It's the Daffodil Fair at Christ Church and St Philips right now, which was preceded by a parade up Central Road.

In 100 years time you'll be able to buy photos like this as antiques and people might think we did this every weekend because we only had 2D TV and you mostly had to access the internet using wires!

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Whoopy Park?

Just a moment to mention another new blogger to Worcester Park, the recently-moved "Route 1to499", who has posted "Settling down in Whoopy Park" and whose stated objective is as follows:
Over the next few months I intend to travel on every London bus route in its entirety and document my adventures.

There are over 600 main routes crossing the capital. The basic London routes start at No 1 and go up to No 499, with only a few gaps. Those between 500-700 are basically part-time services and school buses, which I shall avoid for obvious reasons. My tentative plan is to complete at least three a week – in between job and family – which should see me done before the Olympics.

Welcome to the neighbourhood Ben!!

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:

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Crawling in my skin these wounds they will not heal

Pardon the Linkin Park lyric in the title but it seems fairly apt in the circumstance.

In my more reflective moments I wonder if perhaps Luke Skywalker was talking about Worcester Park and not Tatooine when he said:
"If there's a bright center to the universe, you're on the planet that it's farthest from"
as Worcester Park can seem unloved by it's assorted Councils and like Radiator Springs from the Pixar movie "Cars" the traffic passes by but doesn't seem to stop any more, as the empty shops silently attest.

On the other hand the nastiness of the outside world generally seems to pass us by.... I don't recall any shootings or big gang fights with their associated knifings and since the Huntsmans changed things have calmed down a bit but then there are unpleasant things lurking in suburbia, as the Surrey Comet reports:

A sex shop owner faces prison after police found thousands of vile child porn images stashed in his safety deposit box.

Officers found around 21,000 images and 48 films in a deposit box belonging to Michael Geraghty, of Oaks Avenue, Worcester Park.

The 50-year-old admitted four counts of possessing indecent images and seven of making indecent images, Southwark Crown Court heard.

I've always assumed there must be a sex-shop owner living in Worcester Park as it's statistically quite probable, but this story does make my skin crawl for a variety of reasons, not least this statement about the images found:

They included images of babies less than a year old and others depicting sexual activity with children, the most serious category.

Oaks Avenue is only a few hundred yards from a couple of schools, depending which end he lives, but I think it's likely that he'll be going into hiding until he's sentenced rather than roaming the streets enjoying his last few days of freedom. I can't even begin to imagine what these children went through and as a parent the thought of this possibly happening to any of our children fills me with an unspeakable dread. It does happen, but it shouldn't..... ever.

Comments anybody?

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Cat fight!

As I strolled down Brinkley Road towards Central Road this morning I noticed a black and white cat stalking down the pavement in front of me and it took a moment to notice the large, furry ginger object sat on a the short brick pillar at the end of a wall (there's probably a name for that but I'm not au fait with brickwork) which wholly occupied its attention.

"Cat fight" I thought to myself with the imagery of impending flailing of claws and paws floating across my mind and the ringing of approaching caterwauling in my ears. It was only as I drew level with the ginger shape that was calmly surveying both myself and the approaching cat that a thought struck me.

"That's a bloody big nose for a cat"

It was, of course, a fox and one that was entirely happy with me stopping next to it and staring at it. It was giving me the distinct impression that I was invading its personal space, despite being sat right next to the pavement on Brinkley Road. Cheeky thing.

For those that do like cats you might have noticed the "kittenify" link at the top of the right-hand column. If you don't like the pictures on screen just click on "kittenify" and it will sort them out for you.

In other (dare I say "real") Worcester Park news the Cazbar's cleaned their pool table:
W/PK BREAKING NEWS! CAZBAR have ‘cleaned’ their pool table & its currently out of use. Punters are up in arms, some have been seen to just looking in total disbelief at the table. Others have been struck down by poolitus, where they are unable to talk about anything else apart from the CAZBAR pool table. We are currently trying to contact the owner but rumour has it he is now in an underground bunker in South Wales.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

A pair of spectacles..... that this video shows a train actually running while it was snowing but the more impressive spectacle is the shower of sparks being thrown up by the train's "shoe" and the live rail because of the snow!

I'd seen the sky light up eerily with the flashes from the train when I left Brinkster Central and it was fortunate for me that my train happened to be on time that day, a couple of minutes after taking this video!