Stop Trashing Wandsworth Common!

During the fine weather at the end of June all the Coomons, including Wandsworth Common, have been invaded by sunseekers – often picnicking and leaving vast amounts of rubbish. The Friends of Wandsworth Common and those paid to empty bins have made a sterling effort to clean up but the littering shouldn’t be happening in the first place.

38 Degrees have set up a petition and you can add your name to that in the hope of effecting some important drivers including fining perpatrators to reduce the problem:

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-the-trashing-of-wandsworth-common

Debenhams in Arding & Hobbs closed forever

Sadly an icon of Clapham Junction since 1885 will not re-open after the lock down closure and the store is now boarded up.

This has been on the cards for a while. It goes back to Debenhams’ CVA process (a sort of ‘voluntary bankruptcy’) last year where Debenhams asked landlords at 105 stores all over the country (including the Arding & Hobbs building) for rent cuts so they could afford to keep trading. In exchange the landlords were given a consolation prize of being able to end the leases early if they found a better deal.

Most landlords just accepted this, but in Clapham Junction’s case, W Real Estate found it was a great opportunity to make a quick return by selling it for redevelopment. And that is what they have done.

Wandsworth prisoners need your help

These are unusual times so we are using this medium as a one off to to make a plea for a very local cause. A team of friends of the prison are creating activity packs for the prisoners (who are all on 23-hour lockdown); so far 800 have been assembled. These consist of jigsaws, board games (e.g. dominoes, chess, ludo), coloured pencils and paper and appropriate magazines including motoring magazines, History Today and colour supplements. They are also looking for books including airport style novels and foreign language books and dictionaries.

If you are out exercising, items can be left in two plastic crates outside the door to the Visitor Centre in Heathfield Road although the centre is not manned at weekends so best to leave items on weekdays.  Or, if there is a substantial collection, please email events@wandsworthsociety.org and your email will be forwarded to arrange collection at a specified time from your front garden.

Coronavirus hits Wandsworth’s parks

Firstly, after thousands flocked to our parks over the Mother’s Day weekend, the takeaway refreshment services in the park cafes closed on Monday 23rd March. And then came the PM on the same evening, perhaps influenced the pictures of crowds on the commons and parks of South West London, restricting walking in groups and outdoor meetings. The latest position in Wandsworth is that although parks are still open playgrounds, outdoor gyms, toilets and other facilities are shut.

Although a day later there are lots of genuine exercisers including walkers, runners, cyclists, roller skaters, family ball game players and tai chi practitioners others read the single daily outing for “exercise” to mean sitting on a park bench enjoying the sunshine. But there is also some very foolish behaviour on display, like pairs of joggers coming from behind and squeezing between two walkers who have left a gap 3 metres apart and vigorous football played by a group of lads who are unlikely to all come from the same household.

It will be interesting to see whether we are to be asked to increase our vigilance over the coming weeks.