Friday, 27 June 2008

A hum of excitement

Yes it only a matter of days until Worcester Park residents get their next chance to come face-to-face with the democratic process on Tuesday, 1st July when the Cheam North and Worcester Park Local Committee meets. On the agenda it says that item 4 is "Worcester Park Traffic Plans" where it's proposed to coordinate the traffic signals (should any debate be required?) and item 9 entitled "Section 106 Report" seems largely devoted to North Cheam/Kimpton Estate with a couple of mentions for Stone Place making up the contribution for Worcester Park, although unless I'm mistaken £46K of the £93K in the pot is from funding earmarked by St James through their development of The Hamptons. I may be being churlish but shouldn't that money really be spent in Worcester Park in areas which directly bore the brunt of the impact of The Hamptons, rather than used as a pot for projects down the road? The other items seem pretty run of the mill although it'll be interesting to hear first-hand from the Safer Neighbourhood Teams on what they think Worcester Park's crime hotspots are.

Anyway, if you do intend to go it's at St Bede's Conference Centre, St Anthony's Hospital, London Road, Worcester Park at 7.30pm and I may see you there if I can get away from my other appointment that evening on time. Either way I'd suggest reading the document pack to understand what's going on and see if you can spot the gem where they bid £10,000 to adapt the alley from Balmoral Road to Hobart Road to allow cycling. How much!?!?!

I still reckon they ought to hold it at the Huntsmans to get that genuine local feel!

I notice that the council have their own Cheam and Worcester Park magazine, which doesn't rival "Worcester Park Life" and was last published in November 2007 so has probably died a death. Do take a look though as it has a couple of the most unflattering photos of Worcester Park/North Cheam that you'll ever see on the front cover.

In other news I've unearthed a Britpop band who goes by the name "Worcester Park House" and can be found here but nothing related to Worcester Park ever seems to be simple and this band are actually Spanish so you may want to try the tortuous online translation here.

Thank you to all those who emailed to sympathise with the Brinkster Clan's plight at the rampage of the stomach bug. Unfortunately Miss Brinkster fell victim last night so although the rest of us are recovered we're not quite out of the woods yet.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

"I'm the Scatman"

Once again I'm sad to report another passing, this time of one of my work colleagues who picked up a virulent stomach bug at the weekend and then unwisely chose to struggle into work on Monday. As a result he passed it on to myself which meant Mrs Brinkster and Brinkster Minor came down with it in a matter of hours on Monday evening...... and I'll spare you the imagery but suffice to say it was seriously unpleasant, particularly when there are three of you on the go at the same time.

He's not dead yet but he will be when he gets back..............

You may have noticed that I've migrated a bunch of old entries from the old blog dating back to Dec 2006 so if you're not familiar with "the old material" you might find something interesting or entertaing in there. I'll migrate the rest as and when I get the chance.

Lastly, I see that a property rental site is offering the former Samuel James office on Central Road with a rent of £15,000 pa. Could anybody in the know let me know whether that figure is good, bad or average for Worcester Park?

Monday, 23 June 2008

New balls please

Wimbledon fortnight is upon us, and surprisingly the weather forecast looks pretty good for this week. Commuting-wise it heralds a throng of disoriented bodies at Wimbledon and there's usually a fleeting moment of amusement for seasoned commuters when someone realises they're either on the wrong train or that the train they just let go out was the one they wanted. Perverse I know but you do have to make up what fun you can if you commute.

The TA Open Day was as much fun as I'd hoped and while I got my hands on an SA80A2 the shorter members of the Brinkster Clan sat on the motorbikes, clambered over lorries, operated the crane and then scaled the climbing wall.

It was well attended and well organised and the Clan are already keen to go back when they have another one.

Moving on, for those with an opinion on the new £35 garden waste tax on Sutton residents Councillor Paul Scully is documenting the arguments and issues over on his blog while I know that Worcester Park has stated a contrary view. I'd recommend reading Paul Scully's blog if for no better reason than the story about the 40 ton bin lorry sent on a 12 mile round trip to pick up one garden waste bag......... and the fact that the new garden waste sacks are half the size of the old ones. Is there anybody reading this who's paid the £35?

(And no, I'm not going to talk about the football.....)

Saturday, 21 June 2008

TA Open Day

I think many men of "a certain age" will remember that one of the highlights of childhood would be those events that would come along a handful of times a year that involved soldiers, tanks, guns and generally anything that looked like it had potential to do damage. In this generation of elf-n-safety these events seem to be fewer in number but I still cherish distinct recollections of my hands-on encounter with a sten gun when aged seven which was the catalyst for playground scenarios for months afterwards.

Well, in case you haven't seen the little posters in shop windows on Central Road tomorrow, 22nd June 2008, is the Territorial Army open day at their Stonecot Hill base (turn left at North Cheam for the geographically challenged). I'm sure the Brinkster Clan will be there at some point clambering over vehicles and the like as it sounds like an excellent way to pass the time on Sunday that doesn't involve going near shops.........

Friday, 20 June 2008


Jenny, la grand-fromage of the excellent Worcester Park Life and, has pointed out that it's the Maeldune Festival tomorrow:

To welcome in the summer come and join us at our annual Maeldune Festival on Plough Green, Worcester Park on Saturday 21st June from 11am to 3pm.

The event will be opened by the Mayor of Kingston and it promises to be a fun day for all the family.

The Maeldune Fair has been running annually for the last 10 years and was originally held in the old vicarage garden. As it grew, it moved to Plough Green, by the Plough Public house, where it is currently held. This year we will be entertained by the “Greensleeves” Morris Men in our arena at 12 noon followed by local children from Malden Parochial School with their popular country dancing.

There will be lovely homemade produce to buy including jams, cakes and tasty BBQ food. There is face painting, biscuit decorating and tattoos (not real ones!) for the children. There are plenty of stalls, including a woodturning display and a great plant stall. There is also a raffle and silent auction, both with wonderful prizes and lots more for everyone.

It really is a great community day out. All proceeds go to St John the Baptist Church in Church Road, Worcester Park.

Do not fear, if it rains the event is moved to the church hall on Central Road.

If you haven't read Worcester Park Life yet you can grab a copy here or go into one of the supporting shops in Worcester Park, including Waitrose, the library, John James, One Stop Party Shop and Mr Ink. If you do shop their then be sure to thank them for supporting the Worcester Park Voice!

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Stalag luft Hamptons?

As if the Hamptons fire needed any more fuel pouring on it the local Guardian have published a story that will no doubt provoke some comment:
"Children on a new housing development in Worcester Park are being subjected to a strict curfew and risk losing their home if they ignore it."

Yes, it's the Hamptons again. The article continues on in similar vein until the Thames Valley Housing spokesperson rounds off with this:
"The community agreement is signed by the resident, and outlines what may happen if they or their children do engage in antisocial behaviour. It is not legally binding. However, it provides a clear statement of intent by the resident which, if broken, can be used as support evidence to enforce one of a number of options to elicit a positive change in behaviour, such as an acceptable behaviour contract or an antisocial behaviour order. In extreme cases it will be used to initiate a homes possession order from the courts."

What do you think?

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Hamptons Fun Day

Part way through a particularly busy Sunday a couple of little Brinksters and myself succumbed to the allure of the Hamptons Fun Day, which was..... well......."compact" but seemed well attended and lots of fun was had. Ours was mostly had because of a few enormous dragonflies on the pond, plus a few baby feathered things (cygnets, ducks, coots, moorhens, etc). Now the summer's coming round the lake's livening up a bit, which is good.

Now I'll just change channel and switch over to Hamptons and non-Hamptons residents goading each other on Worcester Park's blog....... ;)

Saturday, 14 June 2008


After Holland's scorching victory last night I wake up (blearily) this morning to find that one of Worcester Park's residents has been named in the Queen's birthday honours! How much better can life get!??! (that's rhetorical, purely rhetorical)

Anyway, congratulations are due to Martin Rudduck, formerly head of the UK Chemical Weapons Convention National Authority and more importantly Worcester Park resident, who I think has snagged an OBE.

For those aspiring to an OBE and are wanting to get their foot on the bottom rung of the ladder I notice that KFC are advertising for the team-leaders in Worcester Park to deliver "Customer Mania" service for the princely sum of £6.00-£6.50 p/h + bonus.

Lastly you may have noticed that Pizza Express has updated its frontage

The photo above show the work in progress and the smart new design seems to feature the title words running together to make it look like "PizzaExpress", which unfortunately reminded me of sign put up by the proprietors of the nursery called "Kids Exchange". You be the judge:

Thursday, 12 June 2008

One moment please

Today is the funeral of Joe Bright so you may want to spare a moment to think about him and his family. It's been very heartening to see the various expressions of sentiment for Joe from the good folks of Worcester Park for someone who was such a familiar face to us.

In other news I'm very excited to say that the first edition of Worcester Park Life is now available and can be downloaded from the website here or available in hard copy from some Worcester Park shops. It's got a variety of articles and money off vouchers for some Worcester Park shops so is well worth getting and supporting. The forums are also starting to spring to life so I'd suggest registering an account and joining in!

Oh, and if any of you are into House, as we are in the Brinkster House, then the two-part finale of series 4 is the best yet!!!

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Deep Brown(ing) do-do

For all those to whom the good weather is the harbinger of hayfever then I can entirely empathise having only managed about two or three hours of sleep last night because of the pollen which resulted in me being sat on the sofa watching night-time TV whilst alternately mopping up what was coming out of my face and stuffing anything resembling a hayfever remedy into it. A trip to the pharmacist has given me some new things to try so here's hoping.

Anyway, Browning Avenue doesn't have an entirely spotless reputation among Worcester Park residents and "Horse and Hound" have found another resident who has recently set himself on the wrong side of the law:
A warrant has been issued for the arrest of a 54-year-old man who allowed a chronically lame horse to suffer for days without veterinary treatment. Stanley Sales, of Browning Avenue, Worcester Park, Surrey was found guilty in his absence when he failed to turn up at Redhill Magistrates Court on 6 June. Mr Sales's one-year-old colt, Dollar, was taken into possession by World Horse Welfare on 28 August 2007 when he was found with an open wound on his near hind leg which had caused it to swell to three times its normal size. World Horse Welfare field officer Ted Barnes attended a location on Eastbourne Road in Blindley Heath, in response to a request from the RSPCA. Mr Barnes said: "Stanley Sales's failure to call a vet immediately resulted in Dollar being caused unnecessary suffering.
"I am hopeful that when Mr Sales is arrested and brought back in front of the court for sentencing that he will be given a ban and a deprivation order, so that ownership of Dollar is transferred permanently to World Horse Welfare."
A veterinary examination showed that the wound was severely infected and had been caused by an abscess. The colt was immediately taken into possession and transferred to the equine hospital in Liphook for treatment and was later moved to the World Horse Welfare centre in Norfolk where he underwent a further operation on his leg.

If you know the whereabouts of Mr Sales I assume you'll do the right thing.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Het was een heel goed avond!

OK, so my earlier attempt at predicting the scoreline was thankfully inept and the Leeuwen of Holland put three perfectly taken and entirely uncontroversial goals past the Italians, which is going to make the conversation that much more entertaining tomorrow morning when I get my bacon sandwich from Luigi's as he had wagered me on the subject.

Thanks to the North End Tavern who accomodated us and we'll have to see how Friday's game goes, thought I'll most likely be at home for that one looking after small Brinksters.

To keep this post vaguely Worcester Park related I saw, as I walked down the hill from the North End Tavern into the gorgeous sunset whilst being greeted by pedestrians and hooted at by cars (due to my somewhat ostentatious Dutch outfit), that Knightwood Estates has now reopened but in its former guise as a furniture shop rather than estates agents. Anybody know what's happening over the disappearing monies from the estate agent bit?

A week's a long time..... Worcester Park.

Is it really a week since my last post? I had so much to write about but got overtaken by a variety of events. One of the more relevant was listening to the recording of the local council meeting of 29th April where two of Worcester Park's fine Councillors stuck it to Mr Forghani from the road planning dept who wanted to implement a right-turn ban at the bottom of Lynwood Drive. His argument was that out of the nine reported accidents three had involved right-turns (no banning the left turns tho'?) and that TFL had been promised (as a sweetener for the recent road "improvements") that accidents would be reduced at the spot. Councillors Jerome and Roberts pointed out that those statistics dated back to 2004, since when there hadn't been any accidents reported at the junction, probably because the traffic now moves too slowly, so any ban would be pointless. After the vote it was, Councillors 1, Mr Forghani 0!

That scoreline is probably going to be a reflection of what happens to the Dutch tonight when myself and a few cohorts will be cheering the Oranje on to probable defeat in a local hostelry in Worcester Park. I'll let you know how we get on (the pub, not the game). I've got a work leaving-do to go to beforehand so may be struggling my way through the Wilhelmus by kick off!

Moving laterally onwards the Brinkster Clan's recent trip to the low countries did provide one jaw dropping moment in the kind of place where my jaw, or anything else for that matter, is incredibly unlikely to be found dropping.

In the small, provincial town of Tilburg (think of Sutton in the country) we drove into the first car park that we came across only to find it was some subterranean parkers dream. It had different neon lights for each row, shiny concrete instead of cheap tarmac and shaded bays instead of white lines. Compare/contrast with any car park in Sutton or Kingston at your leisure. Taking photos of car parks...... [shakes head].

Back to the subject of the local council we've taken advantage of Sutton Council's latest offer of a free compost bin and taken delivery of our 330 litre behemoth. I'm not sure I know exactly what to do with compost but I'm never one to turn down a free offer and if you also live under Sutton Council's kindly gaze then head here and folow the instructions.

If anyone wants a second-hand Dutch flag it'll probably be available by next Wednesday.......

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Stuff happens

Sadly a sign went up yesterday outside Eves florists, next to Cuppaholic by the railway bridge, announcing the very sudden death of Joe Bright in the early hours of Saturday morning and the immediate closure of the shop. Many of you will have seen him and a fair number of you will have met him, as I did, popping in for flowers on the way home from the station and he was a throughly nice bloke. He'll be a sadly missed part of the Worcester Park community.

In other news there was an incident on the High Street yesterday where an old lady went to steady herself on the large patio heater outside the Seasonal Shop and it fell on her, resulting in a crack on the head and a trip in the ambulance. I know this because Mrs Brinkster was there and helped administer aid with the help a passing cyclist, blankets from the Sue Ryder charity shop (am I going to have to take back what I've said about charity shops?) and the man from the Kodak shop calling the ambulance.

In other news the recent OnePlanet mapping project in Worcester Park has a good review here with map available here.