Worcester Park Life DEc 21

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Worcester Park Life

KT4’s ONLY FREE Independent Community Magazine and Business Guide December 2021 Issue 153




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Welcome to YOUR Worcester Park Life Does anyone else have real problems buying Christmas presents? So many of us are virtually impossible to buy for and fall into the category of ‘people who have everything’. I’m afraid that I lack imagination and would much rather supply a voucher so the recipient can buy something they ‘really want’. And ‘things to open’ tend to be rather dull everyday items that I know will be used and enjoyed. Back in the day on Christmas morning itself we weren’t allowed to tear the wrapping paper - it would be taken from us and carefully smoothed and folded to be used again next year. I have been known to recycle newspapers and brown paper used to stuff boxes – don’t look so good in the photos but can still be dressed up using other bits and bobs that are cluttering up drawers and cupboards! These days, with so many resale websites available for ‘upcycling’, it should be easier than ever to avoid feeding the consumer economy.

& Since ‘08

from jenny@maldenmedia.co.uk

I heard a fabulous idea if anyone is involved in Secret Santa present. Chose your favourite charity shop and give them £5 or £10 you would maybe spend on a ‘novelty item’ that you’d probably be gifting to a charity shop in the New Year anyway. Gifting second-hand is a bit of a challenge though. Will your family and friends turn their nose up at something which isn’t brand new and in neat packaging? Will they think you’ve been mean? Are they only asking for the latest and greatest anyway? Quite possibly, so maybe setting expectations would be advisable! OK, now I’m sounding like the Grinch. But as in the famous film/book, the season is about being with family and friends, not just gifts and fancy decorations. Remembering last year, I’m sure fewer gifts and more hugs this December will still feel like a very Happy Christmas! Hope that whatever you are up to that you have a lovely time, and please get in touch if you want to find out more about promoting your business locally in 2011. Until next time, very best wishes,

Jenny Since ‘05

Deadline for our January editions is 16h December

Published by Malden Media Ltd Editor Jenny Stuart jenny@maldenmedia.co.uk 020 8336 2915 www.maldenmedia.co.uk 36 Rosebery Avenue KT3 4JS


Please note that the opinions expressed in this magazine do not necessarily represent the views of the editor. All advertisements are commercial and not indicative of any endorsement by the editor who accepts no responsibility for any loss suffered directly or indirectly by any reader as a result of any advertisement or notice published in this magazine. All in-house artwork and editorial presented in this magazine remains the copyright of Malden Media Ltd. No part of this magazine may be reproduced, stored on any retieval system, or transmitted in any form - electronic, mechanical. recording, photocopying, or otherwise without prior permission from the Publisher.

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Worcester Park History Worcester Park 85 years ago by David Rymill As we approach the end of 2021, I thought we could look back at Worcester Park 85 years ago, as portrayed in the columns of the Worcester Park Times, a weekly broadsheet newspaper, in 1936. I have previously quoted from references in the 1936 issues of this newspaper to the opening of Worcester Park Library and the formation of the bowls club that became Cuddington Bowling Club (WPL June and August 2016, available online at https://issuu.com/ maldenmedia/docs/worcester_park_life_june_16 and https://issuu.com/maldenmedia/docs/worcester_park_ life_august_16) – but there is much more, giving a vivid impression of life in a suburb during a year of rapid change. As the population increased, new businesses and services arrived on the scene. Irene Pearks and Gordon Patrick announced the opening of their school of dancing at 127 Central Road, starting on 19th February, with three one-hour sessions from 6 pm onwards for tap


and music comedy, opera, and adult tap, followed by a ballroom class from 9 pm to 11 pm. Among the businesses to open in the shops built in the 1930s were the grocers David Greig Ltd at 156 Central Road (now Park Grill Mediterranean Kitchen). They advertised new-laid eggs at 1d each, and Scotch cake at 8d per lb, ‘made with butter, eggs and milk. We know you think it’s impossible at the price but once you have tasted the Cake the flavour

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will convince you that it’s true’. The shop can be seen to the right of Boots in our sepia illustration (probably produced somewhat later).

theatrical world, both managerial and musical.’

The Odeon Cinema on the corner of Windsor Road was an attraction to many residents. In spring 1936 the paper reported that Mr H Kennedy, ‘manager of that theatre for the past six months’, was leaving for a post at Hayes, Middlesex, and paid tribute to his inauguration of ‘the “Children’s Circle”, which gave hundreds of Worcester Park children hours of delight on Saturday mornings. He will be greatly missed by all these youngsters, who had come to regard him as a friend and a counsellor, and relied implicitly – and were never disappointed – on his choice of juvenile entertainment. “Westerns” long since vanished from our eyes and memories were once more revived for the intense excitement and enjoyment of the youthful patrons.’ Soon afterwards it was announced that his successor was to be ‘Mr I A N Beadle, until recently house manager at the Gaumont Place, Lewisham’ who came to Worcester Park ‘with many years’ experience in the

In April the paper looked ahead to the Diamond Jubilee of the consecration of ‘a little church in the straggling hamlet of Cheam Common’ on 1st May 1876, commending those who had had the foresight to build St Philip’s ‘to serve the few people who were resident in that part of the extensive parish of Cheam’. St Philip’s was also in the news in October when, it was reported, St Philip’s Hall in Lindsay Road ‘has seldom looked so bright and cheerful as it did last Friday when a grand bazaar and sale of work was opened by Lady Roney (ex-Mayor [of ] Wimbledon)… Every stall was delightfully decorated in green and pink, while the platform was shielded behind a mass of flowers’. The bazaar continued into Saturday, being reopened by Miss McAndrew of Juniper Hall; in welcoming her, the Vicar, the Revd Guy Brockington, commented “our scouts will tell you what a good friend she is to us”.’ Christ Church’s bazaar in November was to extend over three days, raising funds to pay off the outstanding part of the cost of the new church and towards a new hall for the Sunday school.

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Our black and white illustration shows yet another event in St Philip’s Hall. I was originally told that this showed a children’s party organised by Stoneleigh Park and Cuddington Residents’ Association (which covered the area between Central Road/Cheam Common Road and the railway line) to mark the Silver Jubilee of George V in 1935, but the photograph was reproduced in the paper on 22nd August 1936, with a report of the SPCRA’s fourth children’s party a week earlier. The picture is captioned ‘Some of the happy children who were guests of SPCRA…’ – and the photograph does match the description of the hall being ‘decorated with hundreds of flags, balloons, etc.’ Sometimes the paper was far from deferential: it was reported that ‘City workers of Worcester Park may not have to get soaking wet while waiting for their trains in the future. It is hoped, says the Borough Council, that in May (as soon as the rains cease) tenders will be advertised for the extension of the present station covering’, and Alderman Harvey was quoted as pressing for the Southern Railway to be approached about this. The paper commented ‘Well, if it keeps the sun off our backs it is something.’ The paper recorded the passing of long-standing residents such as John Hollingsworth, who had established a firm of auctioneers and estate agents at Walham Green and had lived at The Winnatts, Kingsmead Avenue, for many years before moving to Putney a couple of years earlier: ‘Mr Hollingsworth will be remembered by many residents of Worcester Park for his cheery and friendly personality. He possessed all the qualities that made the world richer by his presence and poorer by his passing.’ A significant national event was also marked, with a reflection on the death of King George V titled ‘An Epitaph to a Great and Noble Man’ by Joseph E Chipperfield, described as ‘the well-known author… of Stoneleigh Avenue, Worcester Park’ (it appears that he became even better known in the 1940s-70s for children’s fiction centred on animals – a local literary connection I was unaware of, which I hope to follow up). Whilst much that appeared in the paper’s columns in 1936 could be replicated today, some articles evoke a way of life that was already vanishing. Epsom and Ewell Borough Council had acquired land for Auriol Park, but were not immediately able to lay it out, and ‘an offer had been received from Messrs T Parker and Sons [of Malden Green Farm]… of £12 per annum for the right to cut the grass crop and afterwards graze horses’ (although the Recreation Grounds and Allotments Committee were only in favour of selling the grass crop). A sign of change appeared under the headline ‘Television at Waterloo’: the programme


broadcast from Alexandra Palace was to be shown to railway ticket holders in the waiting room opposite platform 16, at 11 am-12 noon and 3 pm-4 pm on weekdays. Among the more fulsome articles is a report of the annual fete and gala organised jointly by St John’s Old Malden and WPAC at the club’s Green Lane ground, and described as ‘bigger, better and more popular than ever’. This leads me to mention that David A Stemp’s The Sporting Origins of Worcester Park Athletic Club is still available. As mentioned in July (https://issuu.com/ maldenmedia/docs/worcester_park_life_july_2021), this book, produced to mark WPAC’s centenary, concentrates on the history of cricket, football and tennis in Worcester Park before the formation of the club, telling the stories of various earlier local clubs and the lives, on and off the pitch of people, who played in them – an ideal Christmas present for a local person interested in sport, or for anyone who isn’t interested in sport but would enjoy reading about the Worcester Park social spectrum in Victorian times and the 1900s-1910s, with fascinating brief biographies of numerous local residents. Copies are available for a £15 donation (cash only, of which £5 will be donated to the Royal British Legion) at Steve’s Card Shop, 505 London Road, North Cheam, SM3 8JR (at the Queen Vic crossroads). Copies are also available direct from David Stemp at 27 Netley Close, Cheam, Sutton, Surrey SM3 8DN (plus £3 p&p if required; cheques payable to Mr D A Stemp, or ring 07765 822990 or email david.stemp@virgin.net if you would like to collect a copy or to arrange to pay by bank transfer).

David Rymill rymilldavid@outlook.com 01962 868976. Worcester Park, Old Malden and North Cheam:

History at our Feet Published in 2012 and available at £10 (plus £2 towards postage if required) from the Rymill family. Ring 020 8330 6563 for more details. This 300-page book tells the story Please remember to mention Worcester Park Life when you speak to our advertisers

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Christmas Crafting Christmas Eve Boxes- what are they!?

Love them or hate them, this new growing trend is definitely here to stay! We all have some Christmas eve traditions, whether it is sipping a glass of bubbly with friends, singing carols with family or putting out treats for Santa and Rudolph. The Christmas eve box takes this further and wraps the anticipation of Christmas into an early present. Aiming to help families to settle in and enjoy some relaxing time together, get the kids ready for bed and calm anxious children. The contents of the box is actually a series of activities.

you like. This might be a pre-loved wooden box, wicker basket or Christmas packaging leftover from a previous gift. A bit of crafting fun can make it really special by adding ribbons, pom poms, glitter and adding Christmas embellishments! You could use images cut from special Christmas cards you have kept or left over wrapping paper and use stencils to add names and personalise the box for your family or an individual. What does December 24 mean to you? Why not give the Christmas Eve Box a try and see if you can create some new traditions for your family!

Possibly influenced by gift-giving elsewhere in Europe, where children from many countries receive their presents on 24 December, the Christmas Eve box is filled with things that you want to do together, such as: • A family board game to play in the evening (Does not need to be new!) • A set of pyjamas to wear at night and on Christmas morning • A print out of words to Christmas Carols, for a singa-long • Some ingredients for hot chocolate or biscuits to make together • Bubble bath or Bath bombs for a soak before bedtime • A Christmas film or festive book to share together • Some Christmassy treats - Biscuits, sweets or chocolate • Treats to put out for Santa and “reindeer food” In the spirit of having a sustainable Christmas, it’s a great opportunity to upcycle something you already have and get the crafts out. Essentially, a Christmas Eve box can be put together using any container


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ON THE RED An unwelcome feature of the decade so far seems to be shortages. Beginning with soap and spaghetti and moving on to building materials, microchips, and marmite the knock-on effects of the pandemic, in our interconnected world, is never short of surprises. The petrol famine had a minor knock-on effect for us as a few people conserved fuel and cancelled travel to see a property. However, those keenest to view, and ultimately buy, found a way to get to viewings. Meanwhile one member of our team smiled to herself as she zipped along the quiet roads in her electric car much to the envy of the rest of us! All manner of things have become scarce over the last 18 months which now include homes for sale. As we write there are slightly fewer than half as many properties coming on the market compared to the equivalent period last year, but demand remains very strong. The enthusiasm to relocate to an area with a more rural feel has been strong and was given an extra boost recently by Phil and Kirstie in an episode of Location, Location, Location which featured a search in Epsom, and gave a gentle upward nudge to the areas profile. We have buyers waiting for most types of property, there just aren’t enough properties available. GOING GREEN No sooner had green energy heating grants been announced than we started to receive calls asking if the installation of a heat pump might increase the value of a home. Similarly, we have been asked whether vehicle charging points would be attractive

to buyers. The number of electric cars on the road is certainly increasing and though we haven’t yet found a buyer for whom the absence of a charging point is a deal breaker, that day will surely come. Today green measures will add little to the value of your property, but we wonder how long it will be before they do. For many the energy performance of their home is a secondary issue, but we are noticing that amongst younger buyers, and those that hail from more energy conscious countries, the EPC rating of a proposed purchase or rental is becoming increasingly important. EPC’s have been necessary for the renting and selling of a property for the last 13 years, and for the last 3 years rental properties have been subject to a legal minimum level before they can be let. There is an expectation that this minimum level could be raised in the next couple of years. Our observation is that most of the local rental stock already meets the required level, or can do so with small changes, but if works are being done this is one of many considerations it would be wise to factor in and upgrade cost effectively. AMBER ALERT Legislation for landlords continues to shift but at the end of last month there was a small reprieve. The introduction of quarterly rental tax returns has been delayed to April 2024. They will probably start at a lower threshold than previously thought meaning nearly all landlords in our area will be included. As everybody has been distracted by other issues for the last 18 months, we are still waiting for relevant updates from both HMRC and software providers but will update our landlords as soon as we can.

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Pets …

A Dog is For Life… you know the rest by now… – what to consider for your first ‘furry Merry Christmas’

By Jennifer Murray, J Murray Dog Training Christmas is coming, the Goose (or Nutroast) is getting fat… And you’ve had the ENDLESS tiny pleas of “Oh but I’ll walk him EVERY DAY…” for the past year… You’ve finally caved – you’re getting them a dog this Christmas! Firstly, don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a diatribe – there is no specific bad (or good) time to bring a dog into your life and it’s one of the most fulfilling things you could do for your family. The word here instead is preparation. According to a 2019 Dog’s Trust study, online searches of the phrase ‘buy a puppy’ increased by 44% just one week before Christmas, (compared to the yearly average). So many people rush into what is one of the biggest decisions of their lives… then sadly, inevitably, regret it come January when the tinsel comes down. Thing is, you wouldn’t buy a car without researching it beforehand, and the same goes for getting a dog, regardless of whether it’s Christmas, Hanukah or Pancake Day. So here’s some things to consider if you’re thinking of buying that sparkly festive collar: Don’t get ‘Petfished’ – make sure you research the person behind the pet. Unscrupulous sellers take advantage of higher demand for pets around Christmas, so make sure you research where your puppy is coming from and be particularly wary of online ads. Visit puppy in person, make sure you see them with their mother (and ideally, father) and look for tell-tale signs of poor welfare. (You can find detailed information on this at www.dogstrust.org.uk) Christmas can be chaos – if you’re set on getting a Christmas canine, plan ahead. Make sure you have the equipment you need ahead of time, especially a cosy crate or bed pup can retreat to. Remember both puppies AND rescue dogs will need security when they first come home and won’t appreciate being passed around like a parcel, so make sure they get quiet time away from the kids. Also, be aware you may not be able to leave them alone immediately, so make sure it’s a quiet one this year, where you can focus on integrating your new family member calmly, together.

you decide which best suits YOUR lifestyle… Getting a dog that’s not compatible can lead to them exhibiting behaviour that, while natural to their breed, does not suit your family. And always keep in mind that cute puppies get bigger – know how big your dog will get and make sure your family’s home, car and hearts can accommodate it! And yes… a dog IS for life, not just for Christmas. They’ll be a part of your life, but you will be THEIR WHOLE LIFE. They’ll need exercise, training and a LOT of patience and love. Don’t rush into it - if the time isn’t right, wait! Although there is no shame in giving up a dog you don’t feel you can adequately care for, no one wants to see that happen – your family, the shelters, and least of all your new furry best friend. Happy Christmas to you all x Remember - consult a trainer or behaviourist if you need support or are worried about your dog’s behaviour.


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Last UK Posting Dates 2021 Sat 18 Dec Tue 21 Dec

2nd Class (inc Signed For) 1st Class (inc Signed For) Royal Mail 24 Royal Mail Tracked 48 Wed 22 Dec Royal Mail Tracked 24 Thu 23 Dec Special Delivery Guaranteed

The best apps for sending Christmas cheer

Bloom & Wild If you want to say it with flowers, Bloom & Wild pioneered flower deliveries that fit through a letterbox, so the recipient doesn’t need to be there when their gift is delivered. The app makes it easy to find the perfect Christmas bouquet and frequently offers discounts for firsttime customers.


Funky Pigeon Like Moonpig, the Funky Pigeon app enables you to design your own personalised Christmas cards and in many cases add your own photos, although it doesn’t have the handwriting option its rival offers. Its website also has an e-card option, which has lots more stylish options than many free services.

Moonpig Online greeting cards are really convenient, but if you’ve ever thought they’re a bit impersonal then Moonpig is here to help. Its app enables you to scribble on your smartphone or tablet screen to add your very own handwritten message. You can also use your own photos in many designs.

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Christmas Literature 1.

In which fictional land is it always snowing, but never Christmas?


According to the famous nursery rhyme, when Little Jack Horner put his thumb into a Christmas pie, what did he pull out?


The first ever Royal Christmas Message was delivered by King George V, but which famous author wrote it?


In a famous novel set around Christmas time, who lived on Mount Crumpit with his pet dog Max?


Who wrote the 1997 novel The Hogfather, where the Santa Claus-like title character would grant children’s wishes and bring them presents on December 32nd?


Who wrote and illustrated the 1984 children’s book Mr Christmas?


Although originally published anonymously in 1823, Clement Clarke Moore is generally thought to have written the poem called A Visit From Saint Nicholas. Also used as an alternative title for this poem, what are its first five words?


Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter, who wrote the 2012 book The Dinosaur That Pooped Christmas, are best known as members of which pop band?


Which famous author recalled his Christmas memories as a child in Swansea in the 1954 book A Child’s Christmas In Wales?

10. 10. “God bless us, every one”, the final line of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, is said by which character?

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Parkin’ some thoughts Isn’t it Ironic? by Nick Hazell Inflation, plague and gloom. As Christmas approaches this year with the whiff of a fresh variant of Coronavirus in the wind, you could not be blamed for allowing your inner Scrooge to scream “bah humbug” as you disappear back underneath the bed covers. It’s meant to be a season of goodwill. A time for joy and celebration. For some it heralds instead the arrival of a criminal assault on the finances and the prospect of Christmas meals and conversations fraught with more tension than the Cuban Missile Crisis. The sooner the door is firmly shut on the departing relatives for another year, the better. Assuming, that is, they’re allowed to visit in the first place. This year we are flicking COVID the bird and the excitement of an overseas trip beckons. Well, sort of. The Isle of Wight does at least require a boat journey. I’m looking forward to it although possibly less because of the adventure itself and more the opportunity to rib my brother in law on his recent visit to A&E to separate a part of his body from his trouser zip. Hours of fun to be had on that one over the Eggnog. As well as this childish desire to amuse myself at his (literal) discomfort, I think I’m also looking forward to it as I’m simply here to do so. My medical history has presented a few challenges and caused a few changes, but I generally consider myself to be quite lucky and today’s experience served to remind me of the fact. Not normally a source of inspiration, I was at a funeral which was good for one thing - refreshing my perspective on life. It was for a friend. A quiet and unassuming chap with an innate kindness, a wit drier than a kiln dried Twiglet and passion for all things Liverpool. He had an illness that wasn’t particularly fair, nor was it particularly kind. He did his best to kick it in the goolies, but it was the kind of thing that paid little attention to the rules of cricket. He was only 50. A little early to say the least.

our younger selves, it struck me that life and our time within it is full of more irony than Alanis Morrisette. It takes sadness to know happiness, noise to recognise silence and absence to value presence. So, as Grandpa feeds the dog sprouts again fully aware of the consequences for your cream carpet, or as Great Aunty Norm insists on watching another repeat of Downton Abbey with the volume LOUD and the subtitles on, take a breath before showing them to the door. Whatever you’re doing and who ever you’re doing it with, enjoy the moment. After all, maybe a point of Christmas is to appreciate what you have before time leaves you to remember what you once had.

A boost in Learning for your Child Expert Help with

Reading, Spelling, Writing and Maths. At the after party, there were pictures laid out showing Dyslexia - a specialism. moments from various stages in his life. Amongst Highly Experienced Teacher with them was one of me, him and another friend sat in a restaurant fifteen years ago with our respective one Individualised Approach year olds precariously balanced upon our laps. A lot Text to arrange a time to discuss child's has happened since then even though it seems like needs 0795 600 8631 only yesterday. The volume and colour of my hair was in itself enough to suggest otherwise and as I looked at Please remember to mention Worcester Park Life when you speak to our advertisers 22

Ingredients Burgers • 250g turkey breast mince • ½ red onion, diced • 2 garlic cloves, grated • 1 egg, beaten • 1 small apple peeled and coarsely grated • 1 tsp smoked paprika • Salt and pepper • Olive oil (to cook) Brussels Sprouts Coleslaw • 125g Brussels sprouts, trimmed • ½ red onion • 1 carrot, peeled • 50g Greek yoghurt • 30g mayonnaise • 1 tsp Dijon mustard • 1 tbsp lemon juice • Salt and pepper • ¼ tsp ground cumin • Handful of chives, chopped • Handful of parsley, chopped • Rolls, lettuce and cranberry sauce, to serve Serves: 2

Fed up with the usual turkey recipes? Try these delicious turkey burgers topped with cranberry sauce and a Brussels sprout coleslaw. 1. Place the mince in a bowl with the remaining ingredients for the burger and mix well. Shape the mixture into two burgers about 3cm thick. Chill for 30 minutes. 2. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas mark 5. Place the burgers on a lined baking tray and brush the tops lightly with the olive oil. Bake in the oven for 20-25 mins, turning halfway through cooking, until cooked through. 3. To make the coleslaw, grate the Brussels sprouts, onion and carrot in a food processor. Place in a bowl. Mix together the yoghurt, mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper and cumin. Pour the yoghurt mixture over the vegetables and coat thoroughly. Stir in the herbs. 4. Serve the burgers in buns with lettuce, a spoonful of cranberry sauce and the coleslaw. 5. Nutrition per burger with coleslaw: 340kcal, fat 14g (of which saturates 2.9g), carbohydrates 15g (of which sugars 13g), protein 36g, fibre 3.8g Nutrition per burger with coleslaw: 340kcal, fat 14g (of which saturates 2.9g), carbohydrates 15g (of which sugars 13g), protein 36g, fibre 3.8g

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Well-being The Memory Bank: Investing in Children’s Well-being this Festive Season The festive season is a time for coming home. It’s a time of peace, love, gratitude and generosity. But the holidays can be a really hard time for anyone whose home no longer feels like home. A lot of us take for granted coming through our front door and breathing a sigh of relief – ‘I’m home! I can relax, rest, be myself, de-stress’. When you live with someone and the love is gone, so too are those positive home feelings. Many of my family mediation clients have told me they no longer ‘feel at home’ at home - they can’t relax, they cannot sleep well. These clients, focused on their own challenges, may not realise that children quickly pick up on their feelings too. For children, the festive season is supposed to be a time of joy, surprise, wonder, and magic. When we think back to the festive seasons of our childhoods, we probably mostly remember how they felt. Our childhood festive seasons may have felt wonderful or perhaps they did not. But we have had our childhood festive seasons, they are in the memory bank. Our children are making those memories and banking those feelings right now. Parents whose couple relationships are ended but who still have not found homes of their own, can put themselves in their children’s shoes and reflect on what their children might need from them to have good festive feelings and memories for their bank. While the adults’ love for each other may be gone, love for children cannot go. Parents can talk and work together to make the holiday season feel good for their children. That might be about agreeing how time will be shared, it might be about giving each person some space, maybe some one-to-one time in the home with the children during the festive period. Talking about the holidays ahead of time and trying to find out what everyone needs to make them OK, and planning is something that can be done now. It can help to speak with extended family to let them know that – you know they love and support you – but that it’s really hard for a child if, for example, a beloved uncle rolls his eyes whenever that child’s other parent is mentioned. A put-down of a parent is hurtful and confusing for children. It may be


hard to read this, but witnessing parents fighting with each other can be abusive for children. If the arguments are about the child, then children can blame themselves and feel guilty in the short and long term. www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-43486641 You don’t have to do this alone. Family mediators can help with sorting out the future and the ‘here and now’, whether financial, living and/or parenting arrangements. Handled well by talking, planning and thinking what a child may need to form good holiday feelings and memories, families can look forward to the festivities this coming year and bank positive memories their children to remember through all the festive seasons to come. Gillian Krajewski is an Accredited Family Mediator at Krajewski Mediation www.krajewskimediation.com/

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How did Darth Vader know what Luke Skywalker got for Christmas? He felt his presents.

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Located in New Malden and serving surrounding areas

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The season of giving… to nature by Caroline Knight

The gift that keeps on giving The season of giving generally represents a time of excessive consumption and shopping for those who participate in festivities. So, with the end of the year in sight, there’s no better time to start giving to nature on a permanent basis. Most of us could improve our habits, so that we give more than we take. Did you know, for example, that within around two years, new developments in England will be expected to demonstrate that their projects will increase biodiversity by at least ten per cent? Known as Biodiversity Net Gain, this is a big change from what happens at the moment. The new Environment Bill will make it necessary for developers to use ecological features and environmental enhancements to protect and improve existing natural habitat and green infrastructure. Apply similar principles to a garden Anyone with a garden can start right away. Although not covered by the new Bill, we are all developers in a minor sense and should play a part in improving our immediate surroundings. We build patios, erect sheds, put up fences and decide where the beds and borders should be positioned. Some of us roll out turf to create lush lawns and we might allow portions to grow long so that nature can thrive within those areas. Others tend to favour green plastic grass. Whatever our preference, we should all be nurturing nature. Even if you have chosen artificial turf, biodiversity can be encouraged to triumph within the rest of the garden. You need to select plants with ample benefits for insects, allow wood piles and untidy areas to become part of the border, and use vertical fences and walls for further planting. Animals including birds, insects and small mammals need habitats, food and protection. Best plants for wildlife Most gardens have room for a tree, if only a small one. Some can even live in a large pot, provided they are cared for. Trees and shrubs can support a remarkable number of living things, so if you only have time to plant just one thing in your garden, make it a tree, a shrub or something that provides positive benefits for small creatures. If you have a little more time, a mixed hedge is just about the best you can offer wildlife. Ideally, it will contain several different species all included within the same feature, which will also provide you with screening, wind diffusion, water absorption and beauty.


Great plants for wildlife include: • Betula: there are 521 species of invertebrates that are known to feed on birch trees and more than 100 of these are exclusive to that particular type of tree. • Sorbus, the rowan tree: provides food for at least 160 species of insect and, of course, birds and small mammals love the berries. • Malus, the native crab apple: provides homes for at least 90 insect species. Many different insects visit the spring blossom, then birds and other creatures eat the fruits. Even ornamental varieties of this delightful tree provide rich biodiversity benefits. • Amelanchier, the June berry or serviceberry tree: has something to offer wildlife during several seasons. Early spring flowers for pollinators make this small tree look like a white cloud. It also provides multiple nesting opportunities for birds and juicy berries during the late summer. • Conifers: really are worth having! Some have earned negative press over the years but this doesn’t detract from their value to wildlife. There’s probably no better tree for providing nesting sites and protection for a wide range of creatures.

Tunes’n’Tea Once again, come and enjoy an afternoon of live music, tea, coffee, cakes and conversation. Hear a selection of Rock, Pop, Jazz, Country, Folk and Standards – great tunes, old and new for you to enjoy and join in with if you wish. There’s a live band of seasoned musicians making a fun afternoon in a relaxed environment of friends. Every second Thursday of the month. Doors open at 1pm. Music from 1.30pm-3.30pm St John’s Church Hall, Station Approach, Stoneleigh, KT19 0QZ (next to Stoneleigh Station, West Side) Entrance: £4.00. Enquiries to 020 8224 1351, leave your name and details on the answerphone and we will call you back.

All Welcome!

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• Butterflies love hebes, sedum (Hylotelephium varieties), Verbena bonariensis, Origanum, Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’, buddleia, scabious and many wild flowers such as knapweed. • Be sure to include some caterpillar food plants within your garden, such as nettles (Urtica dioica) which are loved by Red Admiral, Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell butterflies; hops (Humulus lupulus), loved by Comma and Pale Tussock butterflies and sweet bedstraw (Galium species) which attract the beautiful hummingbird hawk moth. • Flowering shrubs and perennials: choose single flowers over double, every time. They have an open shape that allows access for the pollinators and nectardrinkers. Double, blousy flowers might look beautiful but for insect pollinators they are bad news because they offer very little pollen. Yet they still signal their wares to insects, which waste valuable energy trying to reach the food they need to survive. Look for yellow stamens within a flower; these will support insects. • Purple and blue flowers are best for bees! buddleia, catmint, lavender, pulmonaria, penstemon, allium and purple-flowering hardy geraniums can all be seen clearly by bees. Try to ensure there is something flowering from early spring right through to autumn and even winter.

Caroline Knight: Gardendesignideas.co.uk

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Friday Night Cocktail Club The Grinch by Ali Warner Here we are just a sparrow’s fart off Christmas and there’s not a present bought in the Warner household. It’s like 2021 has gone from July to December simply bypassing all the months in be-tween. The festive season usually fills me with good cheer but this year I’m feeling distinctly Grinchy.

final Friday night cocktail of 2021 which is as sweet as an angel tree topper and as green as your Christmas tree.

The inspiration for Dr Seuss’s cave dwelling character who hated Christmas and was determined to put a dampener on it for those living in close proximity was none other that the author himself. The increasing commercialisation of Christmas and his wife’s health problems were dragging him down, and this year I very much found myself in the same camp. Reasons to be cheerful can feel few and far between sometimes. But there is a happy ending to Suess’s tale, the Grinch’s faith is restored by kindness and the friendship of others that love you no matter what. And in the past few weeks my spirits have been restored too by people who have fed, watered and supported my family and friends and care providers who have done their upmost to keep me on the right side of sane. I know I’m piling on the saccharine and way off track from the point of this article which is helping you concoct a Friday treat from your drinks cupboard. But this extended foreword is all for a good cause. Consider it prep work for your first mouthful of the

It’s so sweet it should keep you dentist on speed dial for the next 12 months - at least. What you need - ingredients makes one 3 muddled lime wedges - put them in the bottom of your glass and swirl them round til the juice re-leases 15 mls of vodka 45 mls of melon liqueur Ginger ale to top up your glass Ice Sugar and hundreds and thousands 2-3 maraschino cherries and a candy cane How you make it Rim the top of your glass with a lime wedge and dip the rim in a mix of sugar and hundreds and thousands Muddle the rest of the lime wedges in the bottom of the glass Add in ice Pour over vodka and melon liqueur Top up the glass with ginger ale Put 3 maraschino cherries on a cocktail stick Add a candy cane Serve with Christmas cheer. Happy Christmas every one and here’s to a happy and healthy 2022.


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There was a real boom in puppy sales during the Coronavirus pandemic and for many dogs this will be their first Christmas. Josh Lyle, boss of Christmas tree supplier Pines and Needles, has shared his top tips to keep your Christmas tree and your pooch - safe during the festivities. Height If you have a very young puppy or a very excitable dog in general, consider getting a smaller tree and placing it on a side table. If you really want to keep your bigger tree, secure it to the wall using hooks.

should go higher up on the tree so your dog doesn’t go for them. Apart from the loss of your lovely decorations, they could be a choking hazard or cause paw or mouth injuries. Pines and Needles deliver real British-grown fir Christmas trees to homes across the UK. They also have more than 30 outdoor stores across the country. For more information visit pinesandneedles.com

Start Naked Before you decorate your Christmas tree, leave it up for a few days so that your pooch can get used to having a tree in the house. That way they’ll be less interested in it once it’s decorated. Electrical wires You need to be really careful with any electrical wires leading from your tree to a plug socket. Not only could your pup get tangled in them but there’s also a risk of electric shock if they’re a chewer. Ornaments Any fragile or particularly sentimental ornaments To advertise email jenny@maldenmedia.co.uk or call 020 8336 2915


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The Christopher Singers present A Christmas Cracker, written by Patricia Dale. A fun packed and entertaining show celebrating The Dames of Pantomime. This will be followed by Christmas Songs and Carols for audience participation. Saturday, 18th December, 2021 at 2pm and 7pm. The Royal British Legion Hall Mickleham Gardens, Cheam, SM38QJ Tickets : Adults £11/10 (members) Children £5 (including refreshments) Box Office : 020 8647 7592 and 07986 372267

Christmas Craft Fair Warspite H.Q. Cunliffe Road, Stoneleigh, KT19 0RJ Saturday 4th December Craft Fair 11am to 2 pm for Traditional and Unusual Gifts Admission Free - coin donations welcome. also on Sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 4 Words Real Christmas Trees - Needlefast Nordic Fir Trees- different sizes and prices. We look forward to seeing you there! KIRK DOUGLAS Trees will also be on sale Sun. 5th KIRK DOUGLAS Sat. 11th & Sun 12th From 9 am to 3 pm. MICHAEL DOUGLAS KIRK DOUGLAS at the same location. MICHAEL DOUGLAS On behalf of 1st Cuddington (Warspite) Sea Scouts MICHAEL DOUGLAS Happy Christmas! Please remember to mention Worcester Park Life when you speak to our advertisers




Ingredients • 200g gluten-free self-raising flour • 50g ground almonds • 1 tsp ground cinnamon • 50g caster sugar, light brown sugar or xylitol for lower sugar option • 150g finely diced marzipan • 75g raisins • 75g dried cranberries • 2 eggs • 100g unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly • ½ tsp almond essence • 125ml Greek yoghurt • 2 tbsp icing sugar, for dusting • Muffin cases

A delicious, sweet treat to replace the standard mince pies and Christmas cake. Perfect for Christmas Day breakfast.

Makes: 12

7. Once cooled, dust muffins with the icing sugar

1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with the muffin cases. 2. Mix flour, ground almonds, ground cinnamon, caster sugar (or light brown sugar or xylitol), marzipan and dried fruit into a mixing bowl and incorporate together. 3. Whisk eggs, melted butter, almond essence and yoghurt together, and mix into the dry ingredients. 4. Incorporate together until combined but do not over-mix. 5. Divide mixture into the cake cases and bake in oven for 5 minutes. 6. After 5 minutes lower the temperature of the oven to180C/160C fan/ gas mark 4 and cook until springy and a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the muffins.

Nutrition per muffin: 253kcal, fat 11g (of which saturates 4.7g), carbohydrates 34g (of which sugars 21g), protein 4g, fibre 1.3g

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Solutions Quiz


1. Narnia 2. A plum (“he put in his thumb and pulled out a plum”) 3. Rudyard Kipling 4. The Grinch 5. Terry Pratchett 6. Roger Hargreaves (as part of his Mr Men series) 7. ‘Twas the night befoe Christmas 8. McFly 9. Dylan Thomas 10. Tiny Tim

Sudokus Pictograms

1. Unsung Hero 2. Easy Peasy 3. Like Father, Like Son

Wordwheel CONTENT


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Constructing Your Future 36

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