Sorry, but I've disabled comments on the blog for now as the spammers are particularly active and the only way of dealing with them on 20six is to disable comments, which annoyingly hides all of the previous ones.
As I've now moved to Blogger, who do a great job of spam management by the way, I don't want to have to log in here two or three times a day just to clear out the spam comments about fake handbags and Ugg boots, to name but two.
If that's caused you a problem then do let me know
I've been using Blogspot as a backup for a while so it's got most of the posts on it and as 20six hasn't been available for most of the week I think it's not fair on anybody to try and maintain a blog that disappears and reappears at random. Some things about Blogspot are better (like it's there all the time) and some things aren't (no email notifications) but I hope that in general it'll be better.
As posted yesterday I headed off to the Huntsmans for dinner, albeit a little later than advertised, to see what they had to offer. Despite it's fearsome reputation the handful of people in there weren't drunk or spoiling for a fight and there were no dogs of any size in sight so I ordered my unadventurous chicken burger and chips and settled down with my beer in a seat near one of the big TVs. I find that having a TV in a pub can be a mixed blessing but it wasn't too loud and, whereas this time yesterday morning I didn't know or care who Lily Allen's top 10 British artists are I can only now say that I don't care.
My food arrived reasonably swiftly and I confess to being surprised when it arrived as I'd had very low expectations as to what would turn up and had a small chuckle about the "Fine dining at it's best" comment on the front of the menu but I was pleased to see a decent looking burger, salad and fries (the thin things, not 'chips') garnished with chopped parsley. It was all hot and tasty and inside the burger I was even more surprised to find pieces of real chicken, not some squashed down, breadcrumbed, 10-for-a-quid frozen food type stuff. The bun was a bit firmer than I might normally go for but I know some of you like your buns firmer than I do [snigger]. The picture doesn't really do it justice and on the whole I'd say it competes favourably with most pub grub I've come across so would urge you to give it a try.
The only slight downsides I could see were a couple of signs of the former clientele etched into one of the seats and a slightly forlorn Christmas decoration on the mantelpiece (see top picture) but gazing out of the windows at the bustle of people and traffic making their way home from work I could easily imagine it as a place to sit down and have a quiet chat or bring a group of friends to. It was a bit busier when I left and there were another couple having dinner, suggesting that I'm not entirely out of my mind for trying the food.
I know that picking one hour on a Wednesday night isn't exactly representative of what it may be like the rest of the time but I wasn't put off by the place so would encourage you to give it a go and support one of Worcester Park's most historic pubs!
Instead of bringing you the latest news I thought I'd pass on this Youtube nugget, the description of which reads: "Worcester Park bridge got flooded and i was on the bus with Sean and Max. We went through the flood and the bus got flooded and our feet got soaked."
As Mrs Brinkster has taken the clan away for the night I may brave the Hunstman's Hall around 6 this evening to see what their new menu has to offer. If I do go, and if I survive the experience, I'll post about it tomorrow.
I've had an anonymous post today which I thought I'd reproduce here in the hope of getting more info:
"Just tried to pay my bills in Lloyds and it is closed. Police car and Group 4 van. Finger print team are in there and the door is locked. Just thought you might want to know that exciting things do happen in Worcester Park!!"
If you do know what's happened then please do write a comment and a big "Thank you" to the anonymous commenter for letting me know!
The phenomenon that is Valentines Day is upon us and the Brinkster fridge is stocked with scallops, oysters and bubbly... though I haven't quite worked what relevance the usual Valentines frippery has to do with commemorating the life/death of an obscure ancient Roman martyr... but then neither have I quite worked out why celebrating the birth of Jesus makes me want to by an iPod.
For me Valentines Day means two things. Firstly that Worcester Park restaurants will be heaving, with the hordes of the disorganised peering longingly through the windows. Secondly it means that there won't be anywhere to park on Brinkley Road as restaurant-goers joust for spaces and probably hold up all the other traffic in the process. All things considered staying in sounds like a good plan. Our record is having to park 25 houses away from our own on a busy night.
Your useless fact for the day is that until 1969 the Roman Catholic church apparently had 11 different St Valentines Days in the calendar.....
Wasn't the weather nice yesterday? In spite of my cold I trolled around Nonsuch Park after the Brinkster Clan with Miss Brinkster in the lead, which could account for why Brinkster Minor ended up on his butt in the mud as she'd chosen a less than optimally dry path through the trees..... Bright and sunny though so he dried off quickly, and an ice cream cheered him up.
We had an unusual problem this weekend as Mrs Brinkster went to put the rubbish out in the bin and found it was full..... of somebody else's rubbish. There were two blue bin bags with "Merton" on the side of them with clothes and boxes in there, but none of the usual day-to-day household rubbish. We've spoken to the Council and we suspect it's one of the houses further up the road where Mrs Brinkster spotted activity over the weekend of people moving in/out. If the Govt ever do introduce a tax on rubbish I would anticipate that this is something we'll see a lot more of.
Lastly, I think I've unearthed another Worcester Park blog in the form of "Mobile Blog" with photos of trains, cats, landmarks and our beloved Worcester Park station. As it is a blog from a mobile there's little text on there but they might be encouraged to venture forth, eh?
P.S. Congratulations to Lee for piercing my veil of anonymity and 'outing' me as The Brinkster at a party on Saturday! Thought you deserved a mention
Isn't it odd how you can live somewhere so long and then find out yet more things you didn't know about it. This week my eye was caught by this picture in the window of Mann Countrywide: The item for sale is a one bed, one reception trailer mobile home for £75k in Worcester Park's very own Riverhill trailer park estate and if you, like me, didn't know where that was it's here, right behind Surbiton Raceway.
As worcesterpark mentioned in a recent post there seems to be little of interest to blog about in Worcester Park at the minute so in the lull I've been been indulging in the riches of our glorious National Health Service at a highly esteemed local hospital, but as neither of us were able to put any points on the scoreboard on Thursday they've demanded a replay in a couple of weeks time.
In the meantime a the great whale of Google has spewed a few morsels onto the search-o-sphere:
PlanetRecruit has a job opening in Worcester Park for a Mac user designing brochures and posters
The Local Guardian has a story about a couple of Worcester Park guys in a band called Trail trying to win a competition to record at Abbey Road studios.
And Youtube has been graced with a snippet from a recent Worcester Park football game here
Lastly Virtual Worcester Park has worked its way up the popularity table from around 9000th to 370th. In one slightly surreal moment I clicked on it one day to discover that it was listed as 666 in the standings I think I can leave you to make up your own jokes at this point.... but remember to click here - http://worcesterpark.myminicity.com
"A noisy neighbour in Worcester Park faces fines and legal costs of more than £1,600 after ignoring council orders to turn the sound down.
Thomas Curd, 22, of Brinkley Road, was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £650 in court costs after ignoring noise complaints and abatement notices for the past 14 months"
In other news one of the least interesting Worcester Park mysteries has been solved. Sometime in the last couple of weeks an enormous pole appeared at the end of Washington Road, and I noticed similar ones at the end of roads near Nonsuch Park. On my way down to the station this morning I noticed that it's been adorned with one of Mayor Ken's signs announcing the edge of the low emissions zone and apparently prohibiting anyone driving lorries down there at certain times of day (I might be wrong but I didn't look that hard). If you've ever seen Washington Road you'd know that, as one of the oldest roads in Worcester Park, it's often harder to drive anything wider than a mini down there so that's going to be far more offputting to lorry drivers than Ken's minions can come up with.
It's an enormous sign as well, hence the enormous pole, so I wonder how long it'll be before someone has them in the back of a lorry on the way to a scrap yard.
Over Christmas and New Year I took the opportunity to read the Harry Potter books to see if Miss Brinkster might like them and ended up reading all seven. I have a tendency to steer clear of any sniff of hype, which is partly why I've avoided them in the past, but I did enjoy them and it gave me something to do over the holidays whilst nursing my chest infection. I'm sure that at this point you're struggling to see any relvance to Worcester Park in this but do bear with me...... all will become apparent.
Having steeped myself so deeply in Potter-lore so recently it was then quite a coincidence to see our fair town of Worcester Park mentioned in Google Blogsearch in relation to some Harry Potter fan-fiction. I followed the link in question out of curiosity (I know curiosity has a bad rap but the cat had it coming) but then became uncomfortably aware that this wasn't the work of some wannabe wizard but instead included some Ron & Harry erotic scenarios......... ewwwwwwwwww........... I won't link directly to it but those of you who are ninjas of Google-fu will know how to find it. I will now be spending the remainder of the year trying to purge the mental images from my mind.
Surveillance cameras do little, if anything, to prevent late night alcohol-fuelled crime and violence on Britain's high streets, the country's most senior police officer in the field has admitted. Graeme Gerrard, head of CCTV at the Association of Chief Police Officers, said that although Britain was now a virtual surveillance state, cameras usually failed to act as a deterrent for drunken yobs. He told a parliamentary committee that while other countries were astonished at the scale to which Britons were snooped on by the authorities, the evidence suggested CCTV had little impact on levels of late-night violence.
"Some of them may get disappointed when the CCTV goes in that actually... it doesn't deter most crime. I think they are perhaps misled in terms of the amount of crime that CCTV might prevent. Before CCTV can effectively deter people, they need to know the cameras are there. They have got to be thinking about the consequences of their behaviour. It is very effective in places like car parks, where offenders are going out to break into cars, and are thinking rationally. In terms of town centres, where a lot of the behaviour is violent behaviour, often fuelled by alcohol, people aren't thinking rationally. They get angry, the CCTV is the last thing they are thinking about. Even the presence of police officers doesn't deter the disorder on the street, so cameras are unlikely to deter them."
I'm sure you can work out how this applies to to Worcester Park or Sutton in general but if given a choice of the two I'd rather have more bobbies in cars than people watching (or not watching) CCTV monitors.
I see Green Lane school is looking for new teachers so if education is your motivation and you want a job in Worcester Park then take a peek. It's all that money they've got from the Hamptons....
Being a lover and student of quirky small-town mentality this following article amused me so much I almost entitled this post "If Worcester Park was in Texas". Apparently Stephenville in Texas is currently the hub of UFO activity and the Telegraph has written article which is so telling of the state of local culture that I think the journalist in question must have had is tongue firmly in his cheek at times:
Amateur UFO investigators are to descend on a farming community in Texas where dozens of people reported seeing mysterious lights in the sky. A pilot, policeman and local business owners are among those who insist they have seen a large, silent object with bright lights flying low and fast over the town of Stephenville, 60 miles south west of Fort Worth. ... Steve Allen, a pilot and freight company owner, said: "People wonder what in the world it is because this is the Bible Belt, and everyone is afraid it's the end of times." ... Looking through the telescopic sights of his rifle, Ricky Sorrells, a machinist, said he saw a flat and seamless metallic object hovering about 300 feet over a field.
Obviously the connection between the fulfilment of Biblical prognostication and UFOs is well documented (isn't it?) but I thought that locals pointing rifles at potential alien invaders was the stuff of 'Independence Day' or 'Mars Attacks'.... apparently not. Let's hope they never find out about the Worcester Park Christmas Fair and Snake Man or I'll expect a similar drubbing in their local blogs.......
Thanks to Google Blogsearch I notice that Dan Matthew managed to come up with this gem about facilities at Worcester Park station. Ermmm..... thanks.
Looks like it's another grey winter's day of peering out the office window at City slickers chasing their hats across the road and disposing of the remnants of their umbrellas. As the rain hammers down on the real Worcester Park I've been looking to Virtual Worcester Park for amusement and I'm pleased to see that it's now got over 100 residents! For those minicity virgins all you need to know is that you can do one action per day from the following: Increase the population by one Increase industry Improve the road network
If the bridge at the railway floods today do see if you can get a photo or two for me please!!
.....or has it been a quiet week in Worcester Park? Although I've been off at the Doctors and the hospital and stuff I haven't really noticed much of anything going on and even Mrs Brinkster has had anything to from the local grapevine. We did go for a Brinkster Clan trip to the park in the Hamptons last Sunday but even though it hadn't rained for a while the bottom of the hill was waterlogged, which didn't seem good. Highlight of the trip had to be Brinkster Junior swinging on the monkey-bars and losing his grip, resulting in a face-first landing on the bark chips. He was understandably upset until he'd discovered I'd been filiming it on my camera and there was hilarious laughter from all, particularly him, as we replayed it several times. I'm a great parent.
In the news Worcester Park resident Phil Wicks stormed to another great finish in his latest race, even while suffering from a cold and sore throat, finishing 750m ahead of the nearest competitor.
Also local man John Dadds received an award for giving blood on 78 different occasions at the National Blood Centre awards dinner recently.
Lastly Worcester Park resident John Azah received an OBE in the New Years Honours list "for his services to community relations through his role as vice-chairman of the Independent Advisory Group of the Met Police. He was so shocked to hear of the honour he had to check it was true before speaking to reporters."
Slightly strange experience getting off the train at Worcester Park last night as there were two brightly attired policemen checking tickets as people left the platform, and not a SW Trains ticket checker in sight. There was also another burly gent near the exit who I suspect was one of their cohorts and I did get the impression they were looking for someone or something in particular rather than trying to while away some empty minutes. They were there when I got off at 4.50 but did any of you see them at other times?
Anyway I did promise to fill you in on the addition to the Brinkster Clan so here goes. Due to the imagination and resourcefulness of one of the Uncles Brinkster and the reluctant agreement of Mrs Brinkster it came to pass that on Christmas Day Miss Brinkster was presented with a foot-long, 4 month old corn snake, complete with vivarium and all the kit. Miss Brinkster is a great fan of all things reptilian, no doubt in some part to her exposure to the late Steve Irwin, so is unbelievably chuffed to have her own snake. For me it brings to mind doing my own snake man impressions on Central Road or possibly setting up Worcester Parks first, and only, snake-handling church. As corn snakes aren't venomous it'd lack the whole 'imminent fear of death' thing but would have a certain novelty value.
....... and remember to visit Virtual Worcester Park!! It's moved out of the Tudor era and seems to be close to Victorian Worcester Park now.
My most lingering gift from my relatives at Christmas has to be the lung-splittingly unpleasant cold which one of them gave me so my return to the world of blogdom has been has been delayed by sampling the full range of this year's must-have medications from Superdrug. Needs must though so I've struggled into work for the last few days to prop up our otherwise empty department and get some reading done on the train away from the little Brinksters.
Other than that it wasn't a bad bit of time off but I'll refrain from dissecting the corpse of Christmas Past for you just now.
In Worcester Park news I noticed on the way home yesterday that the hair salon by the station steps (Fiko I think it is) is closing for redecoration from the 7th of January but other than that I can't see much has happened around Central Road since I've been away?
Oh yes, there's been an addition to the Brinkster Clan as well but you'll have to wait for next time to hear about that......
It is now....... After two manic days in the office The Brinkster is now off work (I hesitate to say 'on holiday') until the new year!!
Monday dawned with a delightfully predictable supply of trains into Worcester Park and I had a trouble-free journey through to Waterloo, at which point I discovered that the Waterloo & City line was closed so everyone piled down to the bus stop to catch the "Commuters' Sightseeing Tour of London". Ah well. Can't have it all.
We've had a few carol singers down Brinkley Road and have ignored a few more (if they must come when we're putting the little Brinksters to bed) and I was out with Miss Brinkster when the Rotary Association came down the road with Santa last Friday, whom the other Brinksters thought was great. Other than that there's been little to report as I've been either stuck at work or out and about on the rounds of Christmas socialising so haven't caught up with any Worcester Park gossip for the last week.
Hopefully having a few days off now means I can catch up on the rumour mill, go and buy some Christmas presents from Broadway Bargains and order Christmas lunch from the Ryan Gate.
Making the most of the fact I've got the day off I strolled down Central Road this morning on the way to the sorting office to see what's what. Nearly a month ago I posted that the Bakers Oven was being refurbished so I thought I'd show you the before and after
Liking the new sign. Very smart!
With an eye to wider events Alfie the cat's gone missing on the Worcester Park/Stoneleigh border so take a look if you live near there in case you can help (or just like cute cat pictures).
Lastly the prize for the most bizarre Worcester Park reference goes to.......[drum roll please]........ The Doll Palace, which is about "The art of making cartoon dolls (dollz) and Doll Makers" and invites visitors to "Use our huge dollmaker dress up games to create personalized dolls and send them by email". I'm trying not to get too creeped out here but I know you're wanting the Worcester Park reference: "I knew I wanted Toby and nobody else. So I ran. Went to the station and got off at Worcester Park." "Worcester Park?" "Thats where Toby lives."
If you want to find the rest (including the unsubtle innuendo) you'll have to use Google.
If anyone's interested in the possibility of a pub crawl from the bottom from the Worcester Park to the North End tavern do let me know.........
Because of the landslip/landslide affecting all Worcester Park train services National Rail have just posted a timetable of the services that will be running during the day, which can be found here. The long and short of it is that there will be half hourly services running during the peak periods but don't bother using the usual link for running times as it appears to be borked.
For those that like pictures instead of text/numbers they've got one of those too: