Saturday, 28 March 2009

Appeal for Trustees for the Friendly Almshouses SW9

An Appeal for Trustees for the Friendly Almshouses

These Almshouses are tucked away at the Brixton corner of the Stockwell Park Estate and provide accommodation for 30 women, ranging from 55 to 98 years, with warden support and an administrator. A neighbouring housing scheme has precipitated our Trustees in to embarking on a plan for part redevelopment and part refurbishment of the almshouses. At this crucial and exciting time, we need to replenish our Trustee membership and are particularly interested in people with experience in building maintenance, planning, elderly care, fundraising or charity law. Founded by women over two hundred years ago, The Friendly Almshouses is a small, solvent, friendly charity. Although traditionally run by women for women, men are equally welcome. We hold monthly meetings plus sub-committees as required and have good links to Lambeth Council and the local community.

If you are interested, please either email the Chairman - or contact our Administrator Giles Wakeling 020 7274 7176 or Trustee & local resident Mary Searls 07765 643089

Please visit our website

A special one-day Class for Young Dancers Sunday 5th April 12 - 7pm

Oval House Theatre Youth Arts Department presents

A Special One-day Dance Company Workshop

Sunday 5th April 12 - 7pm

Our Company Class is a diverse, determined and fun group for young dancers (up to 25 yrs )
The group have performed at many events and had opportunities to watch, critique and gain inspiration from a variety of dance styles and genres.
Classes are exciting, dynamic and progressive, along with some hard work!

This one day workshop is an opportunity for you to:

* see what we do

* take part in classes led by members of the group

* find out about joining our Company Class

So if you are interested in the above and have previous dance experience, book your place by calling 020 7582 6279 or emailing Stef O’Driscoll.

There are only 20 places available and the workshop will operate on a first come first serve basis.
Workshop places cost £3 and you must bring a packed lunch.

Oval House Theatre, 52-54 Kennington Oval, London SE11 5SW
020 7582 0080

Situation Vacant: Office/project co-ordinator

Strudel - Office/project co-ordinator

We are looking for someone to join our team as Office/project co-ordinator. This full time position is an integral role within Strudel – we are a small, friendly and hard working creative communications agency who specialise in design and marketing and learning and development. As the Office/project co-ordinator you will have a range of responsibilities from front of house and facilities management to project management and research. If you’re enthusiastic, flexible and hard working, get in touch!

Strudel is committed to diversity and inclusion.
Strudel is based in Kennington.

If you are interested in applying, firstly, please contact Jenny Smith at, 020 7735 1660 and request a job description and person specification. Should you then wish to apply, please send a CV and covering letter, which must include your salary expectations to Jenny.

Closing date for applications: 9th April – 5pm
Interviews: Week beginning 20th April

Strudel regrets that we are not able to contact applicants who are not short listed.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Plans for £4bn Battersea power station regeneration showcased

Plans for £4bn Battersea power station regeneration showcased

By Neil Gerrard

Wandsworth Council is set to submit a planning application for the £4bn transformation of Battersea power station and the surrounding area, which could create around 2,500 construction jobs.

The application is set to be made within the next few months for the 450 acre Nine Elms regeneration scheme in the borough.

Around 200 investors attended an event at the power station yesterday evening to learn about the scheme and the investment opportunities it presents.

Real Estate Opportunities, managed by Treasury Holdings, said it was set to spend £150m on the power station itself, including the creation of shops and a museum.

The scheme is partly dependent on plans for the first privately-funded extension to the Northern Line of the London Underground, from Kennington going west to Battersea.

The £350m scheme would be paid for by Real Estate Opportunities and other landowners in the area.

Construction work for the entire scheme could begin as early as 2011, depending on the speed at which the planning application is processed.

Little Sisters of the Poor: GARDEN FETE Monday 25th May 1pm - 4pm

Blackpool Holiday for people over 60 : 18th - 22nd May

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Into the Woods - by Stephen Sondheim and the Inner City Players

Squatters get empty house list


A BARMY council has been forced to hand over details of every empty home in its borough to SQUATTERS.

Lambeth Council in South London had to hand over the list after the brainy squatters submitted a Freedom Of Information (FOI) request.

The borough provided details of over 800 properties to the scammers despite fears that the move could lead to a huge rise in squatting in the area.

And there are fears that this will act as a precedent to be followed by other squatters' groups.

A spokeswoman from the borough's council housing, said: "When responding to FOI requests we have to operate within the letter of the law.

"A legal precedent had already been set in response to a similar FOI inquiry to Bexley Council.

"On challenging the request, they were instructed by the Information Tribunal that they had a legal duty to provide the address details of empty properties which were not owned by individuals."

Lambeth has had major embarrassments previously in its struggle with squatters.

Four empty blocks of flats at Limerick Court on the border of Streatham and Balham were occupied by more than a hundred people for six months last summer.

And two years ago at least 100 armed cops raided a huge squat in Kennington finding several kilos of cannabis, crack cocaine and six rounds of live ammunition.

Montessori teaching attracts a wave of career-changers

The Independent

March 12, 2009
Montessori teaching attracts a wave of career-changers
By Andy Sharman

One of the more unlikely beneficiaries of the economic downturn has come to light in recent weeks: more people are signing up to learn to teach Montessori.

The teaching method prizes independent learning for young children, and Montessori Centre International, the institution responsible for training teachers, is reporting a significant rise in interest – as a result, it believes, of the recession.

"People are more interested – maybe there is something positive in horrible situations," says Barbara Isaacs, the centre's academic director. In the first week of term alone, she says, she had to interview an extra 10 people wanting to get on to the course. "This is an opportunity for people to think about what they really want from their lives."

One of the things attracting career-changers to the profession is the relatively flexible process of becoming a qualified Montessori teacher. The full-time early-childhood course takes 36 weeks, plus 420 hours of teaching practice. The part-time course also takes 36 weeks, but can take up to three years with teaching practice hours. There are several study schedules to choose from, including evening classes; both courses have two entry points, September and February; and there are a number of other part-time and distance-learning options.

The course is simply the starting point for prospective teachers. "We give students the tools, but it is a lifelong journey," says Isaacs. One student is Christina Rochford, 37, who began the Montessori course in September and is due to finish in July. She worked as a call-centre manager for 12 years.

"I just made the decision that there is more to life than the drudgery of working in the middle of London and running the rat race," she says.

Like many Montessori career-changers, Rochford has witnessed firsthand the benefits of the method, having sent her son to a Montessori school. "I think socially and mentally the children are a lot more balanced because they're allowed to have independence to understand right and wrong and work as a little community," she says. "They can explore the world without being given structured days. It's more organic."

The Montessori method is generally understood to be learning through play. Often, says Isaacs, people don't understand what that means. "High-quality play is hard work. It requires cognitive skills, social skills, invention, creativity and lots of concentration. We do not have a better tool for children to learn than play. If they can engage in an activity, they get a lot out of it."

The main challenge for teachers, says Isaacs, is "not to be the teacher. You observe the child and you help the child – only if they need help." Teachers are required to carefully prepare classrooms and to diligently observe which elements work for which children. Like all teachers, they must also have energy in levels similar to those demanded by City jobs, Isaacs says.

Many former business professionals say they feel refreshed by life as a teacher in a Montessori school. "The children are very different to your clients and tend to be extremely straightforward," says Simon Arthur, who set up the Pelican Nursery in Kennington, south London, after working in the City (see box). "You get away from all that office nonsense," he says.

One concern is the relatively low starting salary of £16,000-£17,000. But many teachers begin with an eye to setting up their own nursery, which can be turned into a profitable venture.

Yet to talk of money is perhaps missing the point. "It's more about what you're giving back to society," Rochford says. "It's a great chance to do something meaningful."

Farewell, rat race

Simon Arthur, 41, runs Pelican Nursery School, a Montessori nursery in Kennington, south London. "Although I had a good job in the City, it was boring me to death and I was tired of working for other people. Retraining as a full-scale teacher takes a long time and I really wanted to start my own business. So a good compromise was to start a Montessori school.

The course was only a year and I was still working while I was training, doing three hours on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Having done the academic part, I arranged to be made redundant; I wasn't exactly a star employee anyway. Then I did the required teaching practice hours.

I'd always known that I couldn't survive on the salary, so I sold my house to raise the capital to buy St Anselm's Church Hall in Kennington. It was quite a big risk and I wasn't very experienced, but I got loads of advice – everybody in the Montessori community helps each other out. In May 2007 we opened with two pupils. Now we have about 45, and we first made a profit in September last year.

From my point of view, I'm certainly making more money now doing this – although I'm working a great deal harder.

Email for a free DVD or call 020-7493 8300;

‘They’ll probably have to carry me out’

Financial Times logo


House & Home

‘They’ll probably have to carry me out’

By York Membery

Published: March 21 2009 01:19 | Last updated: March 21 2009 01:19

Paddy Ashdown (Baron Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon), 68, served in the Royal Marines and the Special Boat Squadron before becoming a diplomat and then going into politics. A member of parliament for Yeovil from 1983 to 2001, he was leader of the Liberal Democrats from 1988 to 1999. He was subsequently international High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina from 2002 to 2006. The father of two lives with his wife, Jane, in Norton-sub-Hamdon, Somerset, south-west England. ‘A Fortunate Life: The Autobiography of Paddy Ashdown’ is published by Aurum in April.

What attracted you to your home and how long have you lived there?
My wife and I discovered the terraced cottage we bought in Norton-sub-Hamdon, Somerset in 1973. It is a charming 19th-century house with a homely feel, which looks as if it was built a century earlier, and is set in an idyllic country village. In short, it was just what we were looking for.

Was it expensive?
We bought it for £14,750, which might not sound much today but was a lot of money at the time. Actually, we paid somewhat over the odds for the house but it’s still probably the best investment of my life and we’ve lived there ever since. I fell in love with the house and the village instantly but at the time I worked for the Foreign Office and used to dread going back to London on a Sunday night and being away from my family until the end of the week.

Is there anything unusual about the house?
Over the years we’ve extended at the rear so it is a bit like the Tardis in [the BBC TV programme] Doctor Who. It looks tiny from the outside but is bigger than you think inside. Still, with only three bedrooms plus a lounge and study, it was a bit of a cramped house in which to bring up a family.

Where had you lived previously?
I’d lived in Hong Kong for three years prior to finding our home in the West Country. And before that I’d lived in Singapore, where I’d been sent to rejoin my old unit, 42 Commando, shortly after marrying Jane in 1962. After she got a cheap passage out, we found a small flat in the Malay quarter. The bedroom window was eye-level with, and only yards from, the gallery of a local minaret from which the mufti of the local mosque called the faithful to prayer, morning noon and night. Of course, Singapore has changed beyond recognition since then, when it still had the air of a colonial city.


Close companions

My dog, Apple. She is a collie-whippet cross and we found her (as we have all our dogs) in a refuge. She needs love, exercise and food in prodigious quantities but gives enthusiasm and joy in prodigious quantities too.

A photograph of my wife, Jane, and I with our children, their partners and our three grandchildren outside our local pub, looking very happy (and not just because of the beer).

A painting by the great Bosnian artist Safet Zec of a window and geraniums in Sarajevo , which was given to me by Bosnian friends and colleagues when I left Bosnia.

My music collection – all classical, I fear – for it has given me such joy and solace in high moments and in low.

Our garden, which produces miracles of colour and scent from only dull earth and the good Somerset sun.

My neighbours and fellow villagers in Norton-sub-Hamdon, from whom we draw our closest friends and companions.

So you’ve moved around a bit. Have you lived anywhere else?

I was born in New Delhi in British India in 1941 to a family of soldiers and colonial administrators, although the bulk of my childhood was spent in Northern Ireland, where we lived in several homes in quick succession, one of which was a former coastguard’s cottage. But I was sent away to boarding school at 11, then joined the army, and at about the same time my parents emigrated to Australia. Funnily enough, I return to Northern Ireland from time to time but the only physical link I now have with the place is my nickname, Paddy, which I got at school in England because of my then strong Irish accent.

Do any of the other places you’ve lived have a special place in your heart?
I fell a little in love with Hong Kong, I have to admit. I lived all over the colony, including – until my family joined me – the Chinese quarter. And while the homes themselves were nothing out of the ordinary, Hong Kong is extraordinary. Yes, it’s incredibly busy, with people falling over each other, but I was just fascinated by the place – by the sights and sounds, the smells and Chinese culture generally. I even learned to speak Mandarin Chinese, one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life but immensely rewarding.

Is there a particular room in your house that is special to you?
Probably my study, which also happens to be the room in which my father died, which gives it a sentimental value. I’ve spent a huge amount of time there over the years. It was the room where I did most of my constituency work and most of my work as a politician. I’ve also done a lot of writing there over the years. In many ways it’s the most important room in the house for me.

Do you have a daily work routine?
Not as such because my working life is divided between Somerset and London. I spend two or three days a week working in London, much of that time at the House of Lords, and when I’m there I’ll stay at our little flat in Kennington, just south of the river. On the writing front, I’ve always written whenever I’ve had the chance – either at home in my study or if I’ve got 10 minutes to wait for a train or a plane.

Do you go away much?
We regularly visit the small chalet we have in Crest-Voland, a lovely little village in the Savoie region of the French Alps that is a great place to visit in the summer or the winter – whether it’s for the skiing or the walking. In the summer I invariably get woken up at dawn by the sound of cowbells ringing outside my bedroom window. Still, what better way is there to wake up?

Do you have a garden at your Somerset home and do you spend much time in it?
It has a beautiful south-facing garden, where Jane and I spend more and more time now the children have long gone. I’m the navvy – the one who builds the paths, does the heavy stuff and looks after the fruit and vegetables. She has the artistic touch.

Having made Somerset your home, could you ever see yourself living anywhere else?
After a very peripatetic early life, I’ve put down very strong roots in the village where I live and they go down very deep. The villagers are tremendously protective of us as a family and if anyone comes snooping around asking after me they are instantly on their guard. I love the place and my heart will always reside there. Indeed, they’ll probably have to carry me out of my house.

Five cleared of Gary Guthrie murder


Five cleared of Gary Guthrie murder

Monday, 16 March 2009

Gary Guthrie

Gary Guthrie

FIVE men walked free from court after they were cleared of gunning down two Jamaicans in the street.

A gang of up to eight men sprayed the victims with bullets after chasing them out of the Starlight Rooms nightclub in Streatham in the early hours of October 22, 2007.

Gary “Curry Cat” Guthrie, 35, died after being struck in the chest, while Rowan Williams, 33, survived after undergoing surgery to remove a bullet from his neck.

Murder charges against five of the defendants were dropped after trial Judge Mr Justice Owen ruled there was not enough evidence against them.

Simon Rhodes-Butler, 32, Michael Wabara, 24, Courtney Hutchinson, 24, Ashley Thomas, 21, and Nathan Cross, 28, all walked free from court.

The judge told the jury: “The evidence that has been called before you does not disclose a case against them in relation to either count one or two.

"Accordingly I’m going to direct you to enter verdicts of not guilty in relation to each of them.”

The five men hugged each other in the dock as they walked free.

The two remaining defendants, are Junior Cameron, 26, and Darrell Albert, 28.

It is claimed career criminal Cameron fired the fatal shot using a Steyr self-loading pistol before telling friends “I think I got one”.

Following the acquittal of his five co-defendants, Cameron told the court he had no idea who either of the victims were, although he admitted being in the Starlight Rooms on the night of the killing.

The court heard Cameron has repeatedly been in trouble with the law from the age of 13 – with a string of previous convictions including possession of firearms and knives.

He is currently awaiting sentence for possession of firearms, after three guns were found in his girlfriend’s flat.

Cameron and Albert, both of no fixed address, deny murder, attempted murder and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.

Mr Rhodes-Butler, of no fixed address; Mr Hutchinson, of Christchurch Road, Tulse Hill; Mr Thomas, of Coalville Terrace, Ladbroke Grove; Mr Cross, of Chryssell Road, Kennington; and Mr Wabara, of Risley Avenue, Tottenham, were cleared of murder and attempted murder.

The trial continues.


'Gang boss is Ogazi's killer'


'Gang boss is Ogazi's killer'

Monday, 16 March 2009

Victim Anthony Ogazi

Victim Anthony Ogazi

A TEENAGER accused of murdering a music student in a botched drugs robbery claimed the real killer was the boss of his South London street gang.

Ashley Cudjoe-Butcher, 18, was part of a group of seven youths who surrounded Anthony Ogazi, 21, in a communal garden, before kicking, punching and stabbing him to death, it is claimed.

Cudjoe-Butcher had joined the other youths on a mission to steal £700 worth of cannabis from small time drug dealer Richard Barry – led by boss Peter Reis-Relvas, 20.

Earlier in the trial, Reis-Relvas told the court that, although he had ordered the others to rob Mr Ogazi, he had not had anything to do with the killing.

Reis-Relvas, of Lockwood House, Kennington; Aaron Kendall, of Bedwell House, Stockwell Park; Demetre Fogo, of Purser House, Brixton; Sebastian Garcia-Atehortua, of Hathway House, Gibbon Road, Southwark; Cudjoe-Butcher, of Streatham, and two teenagers, who both come from the South London area, all deny murder.

Reis-Relvas and Fogo admit conspiring to rob Anthony, a charge the other five deny. The trial continues.


Bach's St. John Passion on Good Friday

Tony Pidgley’s son puts property company Cadenza into liquidation

Times Online Logo 222 x 25

March 18, 2009

Tony Pidgley’s son puts property company Cadenza into liquidation

A property company run by Tony Pidgley Jr, the property entrepreneur and son of Berkeley Group founder Tony Pidgley, has gone into liquidation, it emerged last night.

Cadenza, which was set up by Mr Pidgley Jr in 2001 after his dramatic departure from the board of Berkeley amid family conflict, was put into voluntary liquidation four days ago.

The housebuilder ran into trouble after Heritable Bank, a UK subsidiary of Landsbanki, the Icelandic bank, which was supposed to provide funding for two Cadenza developments, went into receivership last year.

Mr Pidgley Jr told The Times: “We were in a very difficult situation where our bank was unable to fulfil its funding commitments. The bank’s administrators ripped up our agreements. I tried to refinance with a number of other banks, but you just can’t refinance. The real issue is that the bank is in administration and the failure of the bank is unprecedented.”

Valentine & Co have been appointed as liquidators of Cadenza.

The company attracted publicity in its early days after Mr Pidgley Jr used it to mount a £1 billion takeover bid for Berkeley Homes, which his father founded in 1976. Mr Pidgley Sr apparently found out about the buyout plan only after it was leaked to a newspaper. The former Barnardo’s baby, who was adopted at the age of four by a gypsy couple, has also seen off an attempted buyout by Guy Hands.

Cadenza, which specialised in urban regeneration and redeveloped sites, including the Bristol Brewery, hit problems with two London sites – one in Acton, the other near the Oval in Kennington. The company had sold all its other developments in the past 12 months. An AIM-listed property group will offer private investors the opportunity to swap their shares directly for holiday villas and plots of land, in an unusual move to off-load unwanted assets and simultaneously boost the value of its shares.

Dolphin Capital Investors will publish a catalogue next month that will include untouched plots of land, half-completed developments and some finished holiday homes, with investors able to swap their shares for half-price property assets.

First-time buyers rush to sign up for HomeBuy Direct

Times Online Logo 222 x 25

March 20, 2009

First-time buyers rush to sign up for HomeBuy Direct

Demand for the Government's new homebuying scheme has been three times the level expected

Demand from first-time buyers in London for a government homebuying scheme has been so high that developers think that they are in danger of running out of stock by summer. A new HomeBuy Direct scheme, launched in September last year, allows buyers earning less than £60,000 to take out a mortgage for 70 per cent of the cost of a property, with the Government and a developer jointly lending the remaining 30 per cent on an interest-free basis for five years, after which fees will apply.

The Housing Minister, Margaret Beckett, said that demand has been three times the amount the Government expected. Barratt, one of the developers included in the £400 million scheme, said that 20,000 potential buyers have registered their interest in buying one of its homes this way.

Such high levels of demand will put pressure on the Government to announce further funding to help first-time buyers in next month's Budget. The Government originally said that the scheme would help 18,000 first-time buyers across the country - just a fraction of the 357,800 that entered the market in 2007. About 1,300 will benefit in London, where average property prices are further beyond the reach of those on low incomes.

One Barratt development in Kennington, South London, allocated 26 flats to the scheme when it launched last week: 15 have already sold.

During a visit to the Kennington Park Square development, where one and two-bedroom flats are selling for between £234,995 to £265,000, a spokesman for Barratt told Mrs Beckett: “The scheme has been very successful. Stock numbers are running down very fast. By the end of June, we think they will all go.”

HomeBuy Direct was also intended to boost the housebuilding industry by helping to fill empty new-build homes that developers had failed to sell on the open market.

Mrs Beckett said there had been “good demand” across the UK, but “very subustantial demand” for homes in London. She acknowledged that there was some confusion surrounding shared ownership and shared equity homebuying schemes and said that the Government was aware of lenders' reluctance to offer mortgages to first-time buyers. She said: “We don't know yet what banks are thinking about the HomeBuy Direct scheme. We will be able to judge more effectively farther down the line.”

The Communities and Local Government office said that affordable housing schemes have helped 110,000 households to buy since 1997. Anyone interested in HomeBuy Direct should contact their local HomeBuy agent.

More details:

Council forced to give squatters a list of all its empty properties

Council forced to give squatters a list of all its empty properties

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 1:45 PM on 20th March 2009

A council has been forced to give details of every empty home in its area to squatters because of a legal loophole.

Lambeth in South London had to hand over the list after squatters submitted a Freedom Of Information (FOI) request.

The Labour-run borough provided details of an estimated 800 properties despite council officers' fears that the move could lead to a marked rise in squatting in the borough.

Limerick Court

Embarrassing record: Lambeth council flats at Limerick Court which were occupied by squatters until a mass eviction last year

Critics will ask whether the coup could be used as a precedent by other squatters' groups.

They accuse the local authority of 'incompetence' in the way it handled the request from the Advisory Service for Squatters, submitted in September last year.

Liberal Democrat opposition leader Ashley Lumsden said a senior council source told him that housing officers had earlier committed 'a grave error' by publishing a list of all vacant properties in the appendix of a council document.

When the squatters presented their demand, the information was already in the public domain so the request could not be denied.

But the council said it had been forced to give out the information because of a legal precedent set by another council.

Officers outside part of the St Agnes' Place squat during a raid in 2007

Officers outside part of the St Agnes' Place squat during a raid in 2007 that netted a large haul of drugs

A spokeswoman for Lambeth Living, which manages the borough's council housing, said: 'When responding to FOI requests we have to operate within the letter of the law.

'A legal precedent had already been set in response to a similar FOI inquiry to Bexley Council.

'On challenging the request, they were instructed by the Information Tribunal that they had a legal duty to provide the address details of empty properties which were not owned by individuals.'

She added that the number of Lambeth properties with squatters had fallen over the past six months from 49 to 45.

The incident is not the first major embarrassment for Lambeth in its struggle with squatters.

Police move in to evict squatters from St Agnes' Place in Lambeth in 2005

Police move in to evict squatters from St Agnes' Place in Lambeth in 2005

Four empty blocks of flats at Limerick Court on the border of Streatham and Balham were occupied by more than a hundred people for six months until they were evicted last summer.

Two years ago at least 100 armed police officers used stun grenades in a huge raids on a property in Kennington which had been used as a squat for decades - finding several kilos of cannabis, crack cocaine and six rounds of live ammunition.

Councillor Lumsden said the Freedom of Information incident was in a long line of blunders by the housing department that has seen it overspend by an estimated £23 million, and the number of empty council homes double since 2006 to close to 900.

He told the Streatham Guardian: 'The administration seems hell-bent on destroying public housing in Lambeth through a mixture of brain-numbing incompetence and sheer bloody-mindedness.'

Friday, 20 March 2009

Ethelred Children's Centre Easter Holiday Club

Happy Bus Pass Outings – destinations for March April May 2009

Happy Bus Pass Outings – destinations for March April May 2009

March 18th Dalston Market (Ridley Rd) and/or Geffreye Museum (domestic interiors from 1600). These locations are close.

March 25th The Wallace Collection a major Art Gallery in Marylebone

April 1st The Science Museum, South Kensington. Lots of hand on things (by tube or bus according to preference).

8th Merton Abbey Mills (by tube)

15th Canada House Gallery followed by National Gallery (by bus)

22nd Lincoln’s Inn Fields and Sir John Sloane Museum. Includes opportunity for anyone who wants to go into Royal Courts of Justice. (by bus)

29th Royal Observatory and Greenwich Park (there by bus, back by train, tube or bus)

May 6th Royal Chelsea Hospital (by bus)

13th Millenium (O2) Dome (By tube and DLR)

20th Kenwood House and grounds (by bus)

27th Waltham Abbey (by tube and bus)

NB If it is a rainy day when there is an outdoor destination we will go somewhere else eg to the Natural History Museum; London Museum

Future destinations will be planned according to suggestions.

Please note it is a friendly informal group of older people not a formal organization. People come at their own risk. New people welcome.

To attend an outing all you need to do is be at Waterloo Action Centre, 14 Baylis Rd, SE1 7AA by 11am on the Weds.

All places we go to are free so there should be no cost for outing, provided you bring your Freedom Pass.

We suggest you also bring sandwiches, which we find somewhere to have together.

If you cannot come on these outing but would like to be involved in the future leave your contact details with The Association of Waterloo Groups at WAC. Tel no 0207928 9662 e-mail

Friday Club: Every Friday 1-3pm


If you’re over 55 come along to meet old friends and make new ones at the Friday Club.

* Games

* Bingo

* Refreshments

* Chat and laughter

* Days out to the seaside, garden centres etc

* Dial-a-ride transport

Every Friday 1-3pm

Tenants’ and Residents' Hall

Kennington Park House

Kennington Park Place


More details from Mrs Fish on 0207 582 8596

Monday, 16 March 2009

Barratt lures buyers with free insurance

Barratt lures buyers with free insurance

Ruth Bloomfield

ONE of Britain's biggest house builders is offering new buyers a way to "recession-proof" their property in a bid to encourage sales.

Barratt Homes is giving away a year of the insurance on new developments in London so the owner is covered for up to three years if he or she is made redundant. The deal - thought to be worth about £1,000 - is the latest example of a developer offering sweeteners to potential buyers.

A spokeswoman for Barratt London said that the insurance would be offered with every new home bought, and would "insure buyers against being unable to make their mortgage re-payments through no fault of their own".

It applies to 500 Barratt homes on sale in London and the Thames Gateway, including developments in Kennington Park Square, and a block called The Sanctuary, in Wimbledon.

The offer coincides with a poll today by YouGov which reveals that almost 90 per cent of Londoners still aspire to home ownership, despite fears of falling house prices and job losses.

The survey - carried out for the New Homes Marketing Board - found that 88 per cent of people in London believe that buying a home is still a sensible investment. This is only two per cent off a similar survey taken nine months ago, before the credit crunch had taken hold, which found that 90 per cent supported home ownership.

Adam Lawrence, Barratt London and Thames Gateway's managing director, said: "Whether it's illness, injury, redundancy or something else unexpected, this policy will ensure mortgage repayments are covered in full for up to three years. It's a welcome element of reassurance in uncertain times."

Another developer offering sweeteners is property firm Ipsus. The company is offering anyone who buys a flat in its Ipsus01 development in Hardwicks Square, Wandsworth, a £20,000 package of free goods.

These include Waitrose vouchers, a Zones 1 and 2 travelcard, and council tax paid for a year.

Kennington Gardens Society Spring Show Saturday 28th March St Anselm's Hall

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Secret Santa 2009

Dear Neighbours
The below letter will start going out to our corporate neighbours in the coming week; meanwhile, perhaps you could pass it on through your own networks to spread the word about this great scheme!
Very many thanks
Best wishes

March 2009

Dear Neighbour

We’re already thinking of Christmas!

The Kennington Association has just had the first planning meeting to co-ordinate another 'Secret Santa' mission for Christmas 2009 in Kennington. We have run this scheme for the past four years, with the aim of making life better for needy families in our area. Working with an established local parents' and carers' network, volunteers from the KA have been able to help provide a Christmas gift or treat plus supermarket vouchers for needy folk in our own neighbourhood. The project is called ‘Secret Santa’ because no one from KA knows who the individual recipients are, so no-one need feel embarrassed or indebted to anyone else.

We are writing to ask if your company would be willing to contribute towards this worthy scheme. You can help us in two ways.

First, you could make a direct donation. If your company and/or staff would like to donate funds, cheques should be made payable to the ‘Kennington Association’ but please write ‘Secret Santa’ on the back so that the Treasurer can ring fence these funds specifically for this scheme. Every £40 raised means another Secret Santa gift. We have accepted the first donations already!

Second, once again, we have organised a Charity Auction to raise funds at the City & Guilds of London Art School on the corner of Cleaver Square and Kennington Park Road on 17th September 2009. Once more, Red Devil Self Storage is kindly donating a unit to store the artworks. If your company and/or staff would like to donate items such as paintings, prints, jewellery or offer a voucher to promote your business, please be in touch (see donation / pledge form below). Last year donations of pledges and promises from local businesses such as a meal for two, a massage, or home improvement work proved extremely popular at the auction.

If you would like to discuss this further or have suggestions for other ways to support this scheme, do please telephone us on 020 7793 0268 or feel free to contact us by post or email (addresses below).

With very many thanks and best wishes,

Cathy Preece

Administrative Assistant


If you would like to comment on this item, please go to our forum at:

Kennington Association
c/- 235B Kennington Lane SE11 5QU
T: 020 7793 0268


Kennington Association

Kennington News


Welcome Pack

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Roots and Shoots Spring Open Day tomorrow, Sunday 15 March 2009, 11am - 4pm


National Science Week Open Day
Roots and Shoots - Sunday 15 March 2009, 11am - 4pm

It may be too early to see green shoots anywhere else but they're guaranteed at Roots and Shoots' Spring Open Day during National Science Week on Sunday 15 March.

The acclaimed half acre wildlife garden will be in its spring colours and frogs are confidently predicted to be spawning in the ponds. There will be plenty to interest enquiring young minds in a fascinating exhibition in the Wildlife Garden Study Centre of highlights from the last eight years' Science Days, plus storytelling and bee and newt mask-making.

Surrey Cricket Community Newsletter March 2009

Friday, 13 March 2009

Coffee taster's tongue worth £10m

Coffee taster's tongue worth £10m

Last Updated: Monday, 09 March 2009, 04:00 GMT

A coffee shop chain has insured its chief taste tester's tongue for £10 million.

Gennaro Pelliccia ensures the 108 million cups of Costa Coffee drunk worldwide each year meet his standards.

Related Links

He personally tastes every batch of raw coffee beans at the company's roastery in Lambeth, south London, before they are roasted and shipped to its stores.

Last Updated: Monday, 9 March 2009, 08:00 GMT

Wooden bed bases free, to collect

We have two Ikea bed bases, free to anyone who needs them. One appears to be three quarters width, the other a double. Both look new and are in very good condition. Each is entirely wood, with ‘slats’ to support a mattress.

Must be taken as soon as possible and by Thursday 19 March at the latest.

Enquiries, or to view, please contact Gill Broaders (office hours) 020 7735 1925, or email her on

Community garden for Sugden House Boiler Site

Community garden for Sugden House Boiler Site
A group of local residents have begun investigating the possibility of setting up a community garden on a derelict site at the corner of Lambeth Walk and Old Paradise Street.
The site has been empty since the demolition of Sugden House nearly a decade ago. The awkwardly shaped site surrounds the main boiler for the Ethelred Estate, making development difficult. Two applications for housing development have been turned down in previous years, being too large and unsuitable for the site.
Now local residents Trevor, Rachael and Mark have begun to investigate whether a community garden can be set up, at least temporarily. An initial survey of neighbouring residents shows that reaction was overwhelmingly positive. The process may take some time, but hopefully the transformation of this neglected site may be a bit closer!
If you'd like to offer your support for the project, or get involved, please email

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Peter Mandelson custard attack: Custard throwing climate protester Leila Deen

  1. Politics

Peter Mandelson custard attack: Custard throwing climate protester Leila Deen

Leila Deen is a veteran of G8, Parliament Square and Heathrow demonstrations.

A campaigner against expansion at Heathrow Airport threw green custard over Business Secretary Lord Mandelson ahead of a low-carbon summit. ;

The charity worker, 29, originally from Brighton, has become increasingly politically active since her first brush with controversy when she voted for her university shop to stop selling The Sun newspaper.

Since finishing her degree in international studies and politics at Leeds the daughter of a primary schoolteacher has gone on to work for a string of campaigns.

Most notable have been her protests against extensions at Heathrow Airport and the World Development Movement, focusing on alleged attempts by Western governments to force developing countries to privatise their water supplies.

She has been an activist with Plane Stupid for 2 years, and was arrested in 2007 for supergluing herself to government buildings during the Climate Camp protest against the proposed third runway.

At the time she called herself Leila Harris: 27 and said she worked was an administrative assistant from Kennington, south London.

Acting as a spokesman at the camp, Miss Deen said the protest did not just involve the stereotypical "eco-hippies''.

"I have been networking with the local residents,'' she said. "We don't want the usual activists' ghetto of eco-hippies. We want all sorts of people on board from all walks of life.

"I am a normal, everyday person.

"I am not violent. These people are not violent.

"We just want to make a difference.''

Yesterday Gordon Taylor, who lives next door to her family home in Brighton, said: "I think her mother would be proud.

"Nothing surprises me these days. We rarely see Leila since she left home to attend university in her teens but I am aware that she has fought for a number of causes over the years."

Miss Deen was also one of three Plane Stupid protesters who sounded horns during a speech at an environmental conference in London by Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon earlier this week.

She and the other demonstrators left after being warned they would be thrown out if they interrupted the speech again.

At one point they sounded horns when Mr Hoon reached the part of his speech when he said that proper debate rather than "stupid stunts" was the way to address the aviation-and-the-environment issue.

Decline of the silent tramp

Decline of the silent tramp

Nicholas Shakespeare examines the rise and fall of Charlie Chaplin

Chaplin: The Tramp's Odyssey by Simon Louvish
The mask: Charlie Chaplin in 'City Lights', 1931 Photo: Getty Images

Charlie Chaplin, who for a period made the whole world laugh, has been likened to the 19th-century clown Joseph Grimaldi who, when old and incurably depressed, visited a doctor. The physician advised him to cheer himself up by seeing the great comedian Grimaldi – whereupon his patient told him: “Doctor, I am Grimaldi.” This was the central drama of Limelight, which Chaplin privately admitted was the greatest of his 82 films. In a line that never made it to the screen, the drunk Clavero, modelled in part on Chaplin’s absentee father, a music-hall artist who died at the age of 37 of a cirrhotic liver, says: “No one’s funny, when you know them.”

Of books on Chaplin, writes Simon Louvish, there appear to be no end. Even so, Louvish makes a plausible case for a fresh look at “the mask behind the man” – that is to say, at the only role that Chaplin ever really played on screen: the Tramp. “This character, larger than life, and perhaps more real than his creator, deserves a biography of his own.”

Chaplin was not the only Hollywood actor to adopt a protective mask. Merle Oberon, born in Bombay, to disguise her Eurasian blood started using “Fair and Lovely”, a lead-based cream that did eventually ruin her skin. As well, she had to memorise a biography concocted for her by Alexander Korda, in which she was born in Tasmania, the daughter of a dashing English major who died in a horse-riding accident (sometimes it was pneumonia) while out hunting kangaroo (sometimes it was foxes). When confronted on her sole visit to Tasmania at the end of her life by people saying that they had been at school with her in Hobart, she fainted. Likewise, Chaplin on his triumphant return to London in 1921 as “the most famous man in the world” stirred up excessive and vivid memories in a Mr T A Murch, the headmaster of a school in Kennington, who well remembered teaching young “Charlie” there between 1904 and 1909. Except that Chaplin had attended another school altogether, in Hanwell.

Louvish shows how, from the moment he landed in America in 1910, Chaplin worked to suppress his back story. Mixing movie plots with memories, Chaplin crafted a persona calculated to appeal to an American audience: an Oliver Twist with a dead mother (actually, she died in California in 1928), born in a hotel on Fontainebleau (Walworth), whose first stage role was in Rags to Riches (he never appeared in the act) and who never had a day’s schooling in his life. Onto this persona he fitted a toothbrush moustache, baggy trousers, derby hat, overlarge shoes and a cane.

The Tramp costume that Chaplin supposedly put together in a few minutes in Mack Sennett’s prop department in January 1914 had obvious antecedents in his miserable London childhood and in the hobo vagrants of depressed America, and also in vaudeville routines picked up from his parents. But as soon as he stood up before the camera, it spoke to everyone – as “an image of humanity’s response to the challenges of society, authority, the sheer orneriness of life and the material universe”. The only person Chaplin met who had never seen his films was Gandhi.

Silent, Charlie the Tramp could be all things to all men. Jolly crowds on the Gold Coast yelled out “Charlee! Charlee!” – the only English they knew. “A good Dadaist” and the embodiment of modernity, opined one of the movement’s founders. To the Italians he was descended from the Caplinettis of Bologna; to the Nazis, who banned The Gold Rush, he was Jewish (in fact, his family were Suffolk butchers); to the Americans of the McCarthy era, who in 1952 hounded him from their country for being Un-American, he was anti-Jewish.

Whoever he was, he could not go on in silence. In 1927, the father of cinema, Thomas Edison, made this prophecy: “I don’t think the talking moving picture will ever be successful in the United States.” Within three years, silent films were over and the Tramp began a slow decline.

From City Limits on, the defeated soul inside him increasingly showed through. That he initially survived, argues Louvish, was because the audience embraced – and judged – the clown before the man. But they had nailed him into his mask so firmly that when he struggled to escape, he got ripped to shreds. When he spoke to them at long last in The Great Dictator, his words, according to one critic, “do not add up”. When he gave them Monsieur Verdoux, a serial killer, they booed and hissed. When he offered them A King of New York, they did not show it in New York for 16 years. By then, the Neanderthal Boys, as Studs Terkel called his witch-hunting detractors, were vilifying him as a “moral nonentity” and a “repulsive, rotten little rake”.

Chaplin: the Tramp’s Odyssey

by Simon Louvish

432pp, Faber & Faber, £25

Buy now for £23 (plus £1.25 p&p) from Telegraph Books