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Worcester Park Life

KT4’s ONLY FREE Independent Community Magazine and Business Guide January2021 Issue 145




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Welcome to YOUR Worcester Park Life from jenny@maldenmedia.co.uk This issue needs to be sent off to the printer earlier than usual because of the Christmas holidays, so I’m writing this mid-December with 2021 a mere dot on the horizon. I am still to buy a new diary – let’s face it, my 2020 one had such little use that I tucked it in a safe place and it hasn’t been seen (or missed!) since the summer. My Christmas present is being designed and built by clever husband Brian – the wood arrives today – a roofed gazebo for our patio that will be home (at some stage) to the vintage French stove acquired from ebay, and hopefully keep us and our guests roastie toastie warm, whilst fully ventilated, and socially distanced over the Christmas 5 day period - no pressure Brian. Although I do have a plan B… Then, we will no doubt be back to the ‘no socialising in a garden’ situation. But the gazebo will be a lovely legacy of this very unusual Christmas, and hopefully used a lot by us, and the girls as they (fingers crossed) get to celebrate birthdays with friends in person in 2021, instead of through a laptop/phone screen.

illage Voice Malden’s


KT3’s ONLY FREE Independent Community Magazine and Business Guide January 2021 Issue 178

As restrictions (hopefully) are lifted in the coming weeks and months we should be able to start including club and community information again and, maybe even some What’s On listings. If you have something to contribute, or would like to advertise in our February edition please do get in touch. And thanks so much to all our advertisers this month, I do hope that you’ll support them and our other local businesses during continuingly difficult times for many. Remember, we deliver to most homes every second month but if it’s not delivered to you, you can read it on your phone, tablet or PC. There are a limited number of copies available (if open) from Waitrose, Worcester Park Library, St Mary’s and Christ Church with St Philip. The copy dates for the next couple of editions are below. If you’d like to advertise or have a local story to tell, please call or email.

Until next time, very best wishes for 2021.

Jenny Deadline for our February editions is 20th January


Since ‘08

Since ‘05

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


and 18th February for March

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 Farewell to the black horse As many readers will be aware, Lloyds Bank closed its Worcester Park branch in Central Road on 6th November 2019, and I thought we ought to bid farewell to what was Worcester Park’s first bank – albeit not under this name and not in that location. The Worcester Park part of this story begins in 1902 when the Capital and Counties Bank decided, or perhaps were persuaded, it would be worthwhile to offer banking facilities to the people of Worcester Park – which at that time was mainly focussed on relatively small clusters of houses in and around The Avenue, Church Road, Longfellow Road, Central Road (to use its current name) and Cheam Common Road. If ‘persuaded’ is the correct word, possibly the persuasion came from the Millward family, in whose premises in Park Terrace the branch was first opened. Thomas Frith Millward filled a wide variety of roles in the community, based at the Post Office in Park Terrace, a small building at the far end of the terrace as shown in the centre of this postcard (postmarked 1907). He was the postmaster by 1874, and he and his sons diversified, becoming estate agents and surveyors, coal merchants, stationers and drapers. The name of the Capital and Counties Bank may be unfamiliar today – although you may recall that Sherlock Holmes mentions, in ‘The Adventure of the Priory School’, that his account is held at the bank’s Oxford Street branch. Its origins lie in two banks formed in Hampshire and Wiltshire in the 1830s. There were over 800 banks in England and Wales then, roughly one for every 17,000 people (the great majority of whom would not have had accounts). To protect the Bank of England from competition, there were legal restrictions on banks with more than six partners, or joint-stock banks, so most banks were privately-owned; many were run by a single family combining banking with another trade, and active only in a small area. Between 1826 and 1844, new joint-stock banks could be established, and those opened as a result included the Hampshire Banking Company, opened in Southampton in 1834, and the North Wilts Banking Co, established in 1835 in Melksham (its nucleus was a private bank, Moule and Co, established in 1792). Both grew in the following decades, absorbing


nearby private banks. In 1877-8, they amalgamated to form the Hampshire and North Wilts Banking Co, acquired the London bank of Willis, Percival and Co – hoping to be allowed to take on the latter’s position at the London Clearing House – and took the name Capital and Counties Bank, to emphasise their aspiration to be a London as well as a country bank. The Capital and Counties continued to grow; they opened a branch in Epsom in 1892, and the Worcester Park office was originally run as an agency from there, from 1902. Worcester Park was, therefore, served by a Lloyds’ predecessor earlier than Kingston (where a branch was opened in 1921), Cheam (1923), Sutton (1925), Wimbledon (also 1925), New Malden (1926), Surbiton (1927), North Cheam (1930) and Ewell (1931), although some of these did have branches of other banks. Initially the bank rented one room from the Millwards, open in the mornings on two weekdays and Saturdays. Some years ago I visited the bank’s archive and, if I remember rightly, I read that initially the staff were not allowed to leave cash on the premises between visits (a former member of staff of Lloyds tells me he recalls that a similar procedure still applied at part-time sub-branches in Hampshire in the late 1960s). In 1918 the Capital and Counties merged with Lloyds Bank Ltd. Lloyds – initially Taylors and Lloyds – had started in June 1765 as one of the first private banks in Birmingham. The founders were John Taylor, a cabinet-maker, Sampson Lloyd, an iron founder, and their two sons. Birmingham at this time was experiencing enormous growth as a result of the Industrial Revolution and, like other

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successful manufacturers and traders, the Lloyd and Taylor families took advantage of the demand for new banking facilities to launch a bank alongside their existing businesses. Within ten years, the bank had 277 customers, including 72 women, an unusually high proportion at the time. Most country banks established agency relations with a London bank who would undertake transactions in London for them, but the Lloyd and Taylor families went one better, establishing a separate London bank, Hanbury, Taylor, Lloyd and Bowman, in Lombard Street in 1770/1. Until 1864 the main Lloyds business in Birmingham remained a private partnership with a single office, but in that year the first branch was opened, and in 1865 it became a joint-stock bank, Lloyds Banking Co Ltd. The bank still only had 33 branches by 1884, all within about 50 miles of Birmingham, but by 1918, through mergers and opening new branches, Lloyds had 888 offices, concentrated in the Midlands, the North-East, South Wales and the West Country, while the Capital and Counties had 473 branches, notably in the South and South-East, the south-west Midlands, East Anglia and Cornwall. In 1918 the two banks merged, and the name Lloyds came to be applied to the whole business, although full integration took a while, not least because

Lloyds used double-entry book-keeping, and the Capital and Counties used single-entry. Lloyds soon made changes to its provision for Worcester Park. In 1922 a new tenancy agreement for the Park Terrace premises was agreed, giving the bank the use of the room from 10 till 1 on weekdays and from 10 to 12 on Saturdays for £30 a year, with an option to remain open until 3pm on weekdays for an extra £8. As business increased, new premises were acquired: two rooms rented from 1925 onwards in the premises of the builder G W Young in Central Road. Mr Young had set up in business just above

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Brinkley Road and later moved into new premises on the corner (now D G Coles and Son Ltd and Central Locksmiths). After the bank left Park Terrace, the old building was still called ‘Bank Buildings’ until it was demolished in the 1970s and replaced by Fairman Law House (now Mercury House). Probably in 1930, a purpose-built bank was opened at 184 Central Road, on the corner of Green Lane. By this time the manager of the New Malden branch was responsible for Worcester Park, with Mr T H Willoughby as the Clerk-in-Charge; in 1936 full branch status was achieved. Lloyds used the premises on the corner of Green Lane – with, if I remember rightly, reassuringly impressive dark wood panelling – for more than half a century. Lloyds would later extend their local provision with a small branch at Ruxley Corner (which subsequently became a sub-branch of Tolworth and was finally closed). I miss being able to think of the rural idyll that might occur to the recipients of cheques headed ‘Ruxley Lane Branch’. Our colour photograph, taken in 1989, captures the final change in location. In the foreground are the c1930 premises, with Lloyds’s familiar black horse logo on its green surround on a projecting sign, and a carved version of the horse above the door. The black horse was not the first Lloyds logo – that was a beehive, dating back to the 1820s – but it does have a long history. In 1864 Lloyds’ London strand, Hanbury, Taylor, Lloyd and Bowman, took over another London bank, Bland, Barnett and Hoare of Lombard Street, the successors to a goldsmith, John Bland, who was using the black horse symbol by 1728; such signs had helped to distinguish premises at a time before street numbering. When the two Lloyds strands were reunited in 1884, the black horse became available to the combined bank. Six doors to the right are the bank’s new premises, in the former Co-op, at nos. 170-172, with a brighter green fascia board and another projecting black horse sign. The new, larger premises facilitated a more open-plan layout. If you look closely at the photograph, you may spot one more black horse, on the estate agents’ board projecting from the old bank. Lloyds naturally used Gascoigne Pees, on the opposite side of Central Road from the bank, at that time part of their own chain of estate agents, Black Horse Agencies. After the bank moved out, no. 184 became a fish and chip restaurant, initially Kingfish, succeeded by Pavilion Fish Kitchen.


(Trustee Savings Bank), which also had a long history (and had also a branch in Central Road, which had closed long before the amalgamation with Lloyds; that is another story). By early 1999, only a few branches displayed the new Lloyds TSB livery, but in one night, on 28th June, the remaining 2,380 were rebranded, using nine miles of fascia signs. The name reverted to Lloyds Bank in 2013 – excluding over 600 branches which were formed into a new TSB. Nos 170-172 are, I understand, soon to become a coffee shop. Do you have memories of working at Lloyds or the TSB in Worcester Park, or of holding an account there? Please do get in touch with any memories you would like to share. 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 of Worcester Park from the Iron Age to the present day, and includes memories of local life from 1908 onwards, and over 150 maps, photographs and drawings - mostly never published before.


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Care Happiness at home with Home Instead live in care services Since lockdown, many of those living at home and in need of care and support are looking at alternative options to care homes and our live in care offering is proving to be a popular choice. Clare Jefferies, owner of the New Malden based company said “We have had a number of clients move from hourly care with us to live in care throughout the pandemic as well as loved ones looking for a way of Mum having company during these lonely and isolating times. Our live in care services allow people to stay in the comfort of their own home around their familiar surroundings, all while receiving round-theclock care from our trained caregivers. The role of a live in caregiver is to reside in the client’s

operate from a central location, our clients and caregivers are supported by our local office, round the corner, with a dedicated team on hand to help out at a moment’s notice. If you would like discuss live in care services with us, please do get in touch. We would love to tell you more. Home Instead – Wimbledon & Kingston www.homeinstead.co.uk/wimbledonandkingston clare.jefferies@homeinstead.co.uk 0208 942 4137

home, day and night, helping clients to carry out tasks, and more importantly, be a familiar face and a source of company. And preventing a stream of people visiting the home. When not working their agreed hours, live in caregivers are able to rest, sleep and follow normal activities that they would usually do. Unlike many national live in care provider who

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Spotlight on GroutPro Mrs Jenkins of Worcester Park loves her four dogs. However Mrs Jenkins doesn’t like having to look at the dirty dark grout caused by her four dogs! When they come in from their walks it's this floor which takes the brunt of their dirty paws. Mrs Jenkins called GroutPro in desperation after a builder quoted her three and a half thousand pounds to have the floor replaced with almost four weeks of disruption with the kitchen being taken out and replaced. “Yes we can help” was the response she was given. One day of disruption, a full heavy duty chemical clean across the floor with a few strong smells and we started laying GroutPro’s Colourseal on the grout. What Is Colourseal? Colourseal is the premium product offered by GroutPro. It is a permanent solution to dirty and stained grout without the unnecessary mess and expense of re-grouting. Colourseal is a topical sealant that adheres to the surface of the grout forming a barrier that prevents

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stains and dirt penetrating the grout (causing discolouration and stains). Once installed, it provides low maintenance cleaning of your grout with spills and stains simply wiping away. No more scrubbing or harsh chemicals! It also provides a beautiful uniform colour throughout the tiled areas making your tiled areas look brand new again. This service will finish off your rooms at a fraction of the cost of retiling or having the grout removed and re-grouting. It also provides benefits re-grouting cannot! Every single grout line is now coloured to the clients choice, every single grout line now wipes clean and maintains its colour, and the four dogs are allowed back in! Dirty paws don't make dirty grout lines, it's now a thing of the past. Call us and find out how we can help you. 0800 1701013 07803373401 www.groutpro.co.uk

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Community Vibrant Ukuleles – surviving lockdown It was a strange feeling back in March when we met for the last time on the evening before the first National lockdown came into effect. Up until that time we had been meeting every week either at Christ Church with St Philip, Worcester Park or in the upstairs function room of the Station Pub in Stoneleigh. Little did we know how long it would be before we would be able to meet again face to face but we left the meeting that night with a certain amount of anxiety and sadness. We had been going for just over three years and had built up a regular membership with between 35 to 40 attending every Monday. It had become a fun night playing our ukuleles, singing and chatting over coffee and biscuits in our break. All this was to change in an instant when we couldn’t meet together but we knew we needed to stay connected. As with a large proportion of the population, we hadn’t really been too familiar with Facebook and hadn’t even heard of Zoom. However, finding out the possibilities of both Facebook live and Zoom for maintaining these links and being able to play together, our virtual Vibrant Ukulele Club stated taking shape. The following week we created a Facebook live session and everyone who was a member of our Facebook group (it’s a closed group – access by approval) was invited to join in on a Monday evening almost as normal. Well not quite as normal – music was sent out by email in advance and of course we couldn’t see each other. I was able to lead the songs and members were joining in at the same time in the comfort of their own homes. We have also more recently started a weekly Zoom meeting on a Thursday which enables members to participate or even perform and to be able to see and interact with each other. There are some advantages to these virtual meetings. • Our membership has grown from 40 on our Facebook group to over 180 and has allowed people from far away to join in from all over the UK and abroad. • It has meant people haven’t had to travel to our meetings but can stay indoors and have a drink while joining in. • More importantly we have been able to be there for of our members whether self-isolating, shielding or


just trying to avoid crowds and therefore not spreading the virus around. There are disadvantages too. • We haven’t been able to see each other in person and to chat casually, • We haven’t been able to visit and perform for residential and care homes, lunch clubs and dropin centres which we loved to do when we were able to. The smiley faces of some of the residents, their reception and enjoyment of singing along is something we really miss. It is said that people with dementia often react to music and we certainly found that to be true. Someone who was slumped in a chair with their chin on their chest suddenly started tapping their feet when we were playing. • We haven’t been able to have our usual summer and Christmas parties. Since a number of our members are in the vulnerable category we have no desire to rush back to face to face meetings and so virtual meetings will continue probably until a vaccine is developed and is available to all. Due to the popularity of our virtual meetings with people who are not local, we will need to work out how to continue these contacts and involve them even when our face to face meetings resume. Anyone who would like to join us is welcome, whether a beginner or advanced player or even to sing along with us,– just send me an email and I will provide all the information you need to join us. We’re here to bring a little enjoyment and entertainment in these challenging times. Take care everyone and stay safe. We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and hoping the New Year will bring happiness and recovery while we all adjust to a ‘new normal’ way of life. Steve Vibrant Ukulele Club steve@wicks7.me.uk

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Dog Dieting Your dog isn’t starting the month worried about zipping up their jeans. But if a check on their waistline shows that they are carrying a few extra pounds, it’s time for to you to address the problem for the sake of their health. Studies have shown that overweight dogs don’t live as long and are more prone to illnesses that spoil their quality of life. All those little extra treats you’ve been giving them could mean there’s a genuine risk of killing your pet with kindness. There’s no BMI chart for dogs, so you need to look at body shape and assess body fat. Viewed from above, does your dog have a waist where their body tapers after the ribcage? Can you feel your dog’s ribs or do they have a potbelly?

Increasing exercise will not be enough on its own, so you should plan a trip to the vet. Not only will they assess how overweight they are, they’ll check if any medical conditions are causing the extra pounds or will prevent weight loss. Furthermore the vet can provide a special calorie-controlled food. Keep a note of everything – including table scraps and treats – that your dog eats for a few days. A dog that does not seem to eat much dog food probably still has an appetite for sausages and biscuits!

If you’ve reached the stage that your pet actually looks plump, it’s going to take quite a while to reach their target weight, so stick with it. To advertise email jenny@maldenmedia.co.uk or call 020 8336 2915


Dream houses

by Roy Buchanan

When I was a boy at secondary school I engaged in escapism. I didn’t know it was called that in those days; I called it going to the pictures. After a boring week at school multiplying compound fractions and reading Homer’s Odyssey, I became excited about attending a matinee performance at the cinema. It was 1/3d well spent and never grudged. There were four cinemas in the town in where I grew up. The Globe cinema not only presented big films but had a huge stage that could cope with everything from ballet productions to Lonnie Donegan concerts. Half way down the High Street was The Cinema that had a long, tiled corridor leading to the auditorium. Admission was cheaper at 9d for children but it had a unique service. A tray of tea and biscuits was brought to you during the interval if you were in the front stalls. At the southern end of the High Street came the Odeon, regarded as the best in town because it had two staircases leading from the foyer to a balcony restaurant. Here the toffee-nosed took luncheon before the matinee and the high and mighty enjoyed dinner before the second house. Seats for the second house were dearer than the other performances. It was a grand cinema that I found thrilling to visit. When I was inside the Odeon I was somewhere else, firing the imagination. It was in huge contrast to The Plaza in Silver Street commonly called The Flea-pit, which it wasn’t. It was a small independent cinema that showed films “coming round for the second time.” Many waited for this as the seats were cheaper. The façade was spoilt by a metal fire escape but the building had a canopy so was not too bad. Do I remember any of the films I saw at these dream houses? Yes, I do. One Saturday afternoon I was entertained beyond belief watching Rogers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma. To this day it is still my favourite musical. I annoy my family by singing Oh What a Beautiful Morning if the sun is shining through my bedroom window. I was thrilled, sitting in my seat at The Cinema watching The Proud Ones, a western portraying pride as a driver of courage. I sometimes wonder if this was when the seed of rectitude was planted in my impressionable young mind. I remember going to see James Mason playing the part of Field Marshal Rommel in The Desert Fox. Mason did a good job in the role and certainly taught


me that not all of your enemies are bad people. After improving my education, I came to realise that film is a very influential art-form. For proof, watch the 2017 production of Goodbye Christopher Robin, expressing the depth of parental bonding. A very moving film. In my mid-fifties I moved to my present home. I noticed a building in Central Road that had a strange shape. It was a supermarket but that did not explain the exterior design. I guessed that it was once a theatre, a music hall perhaps. I was not far wrong. I discovered that what I was looking at was once the Worcester Park Odeon. Inspired by my escapist past, I did some enjoyable research. For modern people let me explain. Today, standing in Central Road, on the corner of Washington Road, I look across the street at a red brick building. It has flats above a pizza parlour. There is no hint as to what was previously on this site. Years ago, I would have been looking at a Somerfield’s Supermarket. The Odeon was opened in 1934. The Scottish architects were Yates, Cook and Darbyshire. The building was art deco design, hugely popular at the time and still with a devoted following. Its white front with the square-orientated letters, ODEON, at the top is typical of the 1930s. A photograph taken in May, the year after it opened, will stir film historians into enthusiastic dialogue. The main feature that week was Strictly Confidential starring Myrna Loy, the glamourous American film star. Other posters showed famous British names like Cecily Courtneidge appearing in Things Are Looking Up. Her co-star was Max Miller, “the Cheeky Chappie” from Brighton, known as one of the best stand-up comics of the day but whose naughty suggestive repertoire caused him trouble. Another poster mentions W C Fields, the American actor famous for his acerbic one-liners. “Anybody who hates kids and dogs can’t be all bad” was just one. The Worcester Park Odeon closed in 1956 after showing Reach for the Sky featuring Kenneth More. In 1998 the supermarket that was once our beautiful cinema was demolished. Throughout the 1930s cinemas were rightly called picture palaces. Their architects borrowed from the classics for interior design presenting an aura of grandeur. Cinemas were like temples where those

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who fantasised about fame, fortune, good looks and sex-appeal could share their aspirations with fellow worshipers. Smartly dressed usherettes in corporate uniforms and carrying torches showed you to your seat. Seats were not pre-booked with numbers. You did not choose the seat, you sat where the usherette put you. Too bad if you wanted the back row with a girl-friend. The usherette was a referee of decent behaviour. Doormen wearing more gold braid than an admiral checked your ticket and, during the interval, sweet young ladies sold sweet ice cream. Managers wore dinner-suits. Going to the pictures was more than watching a film, it was an evening out, In the second half of the 20th century this art-form turned towards reality with films like the 1960 release, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, based on Alan Sillitoe’s book and with a cast headed by Albert Finney. Now: do we prefer the feel-good factor of glossiness or the vulgarity of kitchen-sink drama? May I end with a boast that might generate a reaction among the elderly. I have danced with the 1930s Hollywood film star, Ginger Rogers. Wow!


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The best apps for... Cycling

Zwift Zwift is a useful training tool: it’s designed to be used on turbo trainers and connect you to other riders, which if you’ve endured the tedium of indoor training you’ll know how great an idea that is. It’s like a pedal-powered video game and it can share your stats with Strava.

Rouvy If you like Zwift’s virtual rides but would rather train and compete on real roads, Rouvy enables you to take your turbo trainer travelling to real-life routes thanks to more than two million miles of video recordings. It can even create artificial riders for you to race against.


Each word to be three letters or more (but no plurals), and all must contain the central letter. There’s at least one word which uses all of the letters.

Strava Strava is arguably the bestknown apps for cyclists, and you can use it in two ways: as a stand-alone app to record your rides, or as an app to upload your bike’s GPS computer to. Either way you can then see how you compare to other riders: Strava is as much a social network as it is a bike app.

Pictograms Pictograms 4 words SUSANNA

Target: Excellent: 28 or more words Good: 22 words Fair: 17 words






4 words




3 words HA HA





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If you fancy a meat-free meal then look no further than this quick and easy spicy noodle dish. Serves 4

Ready in 20 mins

INGREDIENTS • 200g soba noodles • 150g frozen broad beans or edamame beans • 2 tsp sunflower oil • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed • 2cm piece root ginger, peeled and grated • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped • 2 carrots, peeled and shredded into thin strips • 100g sugar snap peas, halved lengthways • 2 tbsp light soy sauce • 1 tsp sesame oil • 1 tbsp sesame seeds • Handful fresh coriander or parsley leaves • Sriracha sauce, to serve TIP You can replace the soba noodles with rice noodles – no need to boil first, just add straight to the wok or pan with an extra splash of water.


1. Cook the soba noodles in a pan of boiling water following the packet instructions. Add the broad beans or edamame beans to the pan 2 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Drain and rinse under cold water and set aside. 2. Heat the sunflower oil in a large non-stick frying pan or wok over a high heat. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the carrots and sugar snap peas and stirfry for 1-2 minutes until just tender. 3. Add the noodles and beans to the pan or wok, along with the soy sauce, sesame oil and sesame seeds. Stir-fry for a further 1-2 minutes then toss through the coriander or parsley and serve piled into warmed bowls. Drizzle with sriracha sauce, if liked.

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0208 394 2555

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and a garden took on a completely new This time last year we were looking forward significance. Once the Chancellor had added a tax incentive the property market to an exciting new decade and trying to predict how it might start. It transpires the accelerated considerably but has not run rampant everywhere. future was far from crystal clear! 2020 was the ultimate gap year with huge voids in our lives from education to celebration, travel, meeting friends, hugs, haircuts, holidays, the list goes on. It was a year that was kind to very few and cruel to the vast majority. We have yet to arrive at the new normal but continue to thank those working selflessly to get us there and look forward to celebrating their achievements when the time comes. For some years people had been waiting for political stability and the theoretical right time to move. We were not alone in thinking that 2020 would see the release of that pent -up demand fuelling a buoyant market. If we could go back in time and revisit those predictions we would tell you that January would be a warmup act. February would be marred by two powerful storms which kept everybody sheltering inside, and March began to show promise. We all know what happened next and since then Covid-19 achieved the improbable, gathering even more headlines than Brexit! RELAUNCH Once we reopened in mid-May, one thing became clear, those waiting for the righttime were ready to make their move, but there had been a seismic shift in what they wanted from their dream home and where it needed to be. Balancing a laptop on a microwave and calling that an office was simply not going to work in the longer term,


Speaking to our counterparts around the country reveals a flow of people away from cities to the countryside. However, people already in rural locations are not so keen to move leading to a lack of supply and increased prices. Locations like the West Country have seen a huge increase in demand but not so many sellers, whilst the cities have seen plenty of would-be sellers and fewer buyers. Property with additional, or flexible, living space and a garden has been in much higher demand than flats. As a result, the London market calmed relatively quickly whilst an agent in Cornwall commented that only Andrex had gone out of stock quicker than his cottages. We sit somewhere in the middle of those two extremes. We live in an area that has plenty to offer in both the old and new normal. In the summer we did see more interest from Londoners but that became far less evident in the Autumn. Most of our buyers already live within a couple of miles of their purchase and want to remain near to family and friends. Who knows how 2021 will pan out! There are the usual range of expert predictions, both gloomy and optimistic, but as we know there is no guarantee or crystal ball! We just hope that the year is kind to everybody. We will be keenly watching the local market and are always here to help you make the property decision that is right for you and whatever your future may hold.

www.JacksonNoon.com To advertise email jenny@maldenmedia.co.uk or call 020 8336 2915


Parkin’ some thoughts A Dog’s Brexfast ...

by Nick Hazell

It’s finished. Gone. No more. 2020 is in the past. Good riddance. Finally, there is light at the end of tunnel. Unfortunately, that light belongs to the runaway Brexit Express as it hurtles past, steam bellowing from its funnel with a face mask clad Boris shovelling more coal into its overheating furnace. Don’t worry. I’m not going to get all political on you. It just all feels a bit like when Geri left the Spice Girls having overestimated her ability to make it alone. I can’t shake off the lingering suspicion that whilst 2020 achieved a notable height on the crap-o-meter, the year ahead may yet find use for my stockpiled toilet paper. As we begin to dare think about maybe getting away from it all, European travel becomes just that bit more complicated. We have to get used to our new place in the world. A shout of “I’m British. Enough of your nonsense and let me through” is unlikely to shorten your stay in the socially distanced passport queue stretching back to your departure destination. Assuming you get through customs without suddenly realising your youngest child has got less than the required 6 months on his or her passport and you’ve remembered your International Driving Permit to present to the smug hire car rep before he insists on your purchase of insurance to insure your insurance, you’ll be able to spend your holiday cash having converted it to Euros at an eye wateringly bad rate. Then again, if we stay at home we’ll all apparently be exposed to the collapse of social and economic order as we know it, empty shelves, no medical supplies, the French stealing our fish and it seems, according to that journal of reliable insight, the Sun, overrun by giant man-eating squirrels. What really worries me though. What I find hard to comprehend. What, frankly is madness, is that with the economy under threat from all sides you can’t buy a puppy for less than £3,000. It’s a simple case of supply outstripping demand. This global pandemic and the fear of travel in the Covid/Brexit world has turned everyone, it seems, doggie mad. The switch to mass home-working has inspired us to look for ways to break away from the


desk or provide a distraction from the boredom of lockdown and staying at home. Not a day seems to go by without news of another puppy being added to list of Covid Canines populating New Malden and its surrounding areas. Even normally rational people whose lives don’t leave much time for looking after a goldfish, let alone a dog have sought to take on the responsibility. This of course has led to some shady practices and a debate in this household as to whether Dudders is a tradeable asset or whether he’s required for post Brexit squirrel protection. I jest. Of course, we won’t be selling him and putting him to work assisting with the supply chain is, I fear not medically or for that matter physically possible. Nor will we be adding to our family by the addition of a Pandemic Pooch, despite pressures from one 11 year old to the contrary. Mind you, if 2021 really is the year this country is going to the dogs, maybe i should reconsider. Then again, this year can’t be as bad as the one just gone. Can it??!!

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Don’t forget your feathered friends by Pippa Greenwood

A very Happy New Year to you all, and may 2021 be better than 2020! At this time of year many of us are really regretting the excesses of the last few weeks: overindulging in food and drink, too much sitting around and not getting out and about and taking exercise – and maybe not even going into the garden quite as much as usual! Combine all this with what usually amounts to a two week period of near hibernation and the bathroom scales will be daring you to step on board, with the prospect of a large meal perhaps seeming particularly unappealing. However, spare a thought for the garden birds, as you can be sure that they’ll not have been overindulging and, if temperatures have been low, they’ll have needed a huge amount of energy just to keep warm and stay alive. At this time of year they are often in desperate need of a few square meals and a supply of clean, fresh water. Most food scraps will go down well, but avoid anything which is spicy or salted and make sure that the food you use will not encourage rats or other vermin. Bread, cake or plain biscuits all make welcome treats. I also put out apples – sometimes those from the trees at home, either when I have too many or if they are starting to go a little wrinkly in store. If you don’t have this option, why not buy a bag of apples? They needn’t be anything other than the cheapest or wonkiest and they’ll make a great source of fresh food and moisture for many birds. I find that the blackbirds (and even an occasional thrush visitor) love them, but sparrows and the various tits tuck in happily too. Peanuts are very popular and the peanut feeders I have are constantly covered with nuthatches, blue tits, great tits, coal tits and even the occasional long-tailed tit or very agile sparrow. A good quality bird feeder is essential unless your garden happens to be a squirrel-free zone. I also have a small Perspex feeder that attaches to the dining room window with a sucker, which when filled with bird seed or peanuts provides a safe, squirrel-free feeding area and a wonderful way to watch the birds for us humans inside the house. Something like this would make a brilliant gift for anyone too,


especially someone who is confined to their house – far more entertaining than watching TV! General bird seed mixes are great too, and perfect for those birds preferring seeds or finding aerial acrobatics from a peanut feeder impossible. Sprinkle the mix on a bird table, the top of a wall or perhaps a garage or shed roof and you should see it being consumed by a selection of smaller

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wild birds. If you have a seed feeder then consider getting a special thistle seed mixture, said to be a favourite amongst many of the finches. Fat balls and fat blocks, either plain or containing additional seed, peanuts, fruit etc. also provide an easily accessible form of those much-needed calories, and can either be put straight onto your bird table or placed in special holders. Nowadays the thinking is that it is worth feeding birds throughout the year (but if you do, it is essential to keep on doing it). You may then also wish to consider using some meatier live bird foods in the form of various grubs and larvae, such as mealworms especially bred to be fed as highprotein snacks to the birds. And just one last thing, research has revealed that, much as regular feeding of garden birds is to be encouraged, we should all be reminded that a bit of housekeeping is necessary too: the research reveals that both E.coli and salmonella can be found on bird tables and bird feeders if they are not cleaned regularly, and it is possible that birds could be threatened by these and other pathogens. So do remember to scrub down and rinse out any bird

feeding areas from time to time. It is also essential that any bird foods you buy are of good quality, preferably from a well-respected supplier or bearing the logo of the RSPB, BTO or similar respected authority. At Pippa’s website (www.pippagreenwood.com) you’ll find stylish cloches, practical and pretty plant supports, the fantastic SpeedHoe, gardening tools, Grower Frames, signed books and the ‘Grow Your Own with Pippa’ system. Or book Pippa for a gardening talk at your gardening club.

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Puzzle Time not so easy

fairly easy

Review Of The Year 1. Which city was due to host the Summer Olympics in 2020 before it was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic? 2. In 1974, Vito Corleone became the first character to have had Oscar-winning portrayals by two different actors. In 2020, who became the second character to achieve this? 3. In June, a statue of slave trader Edward Colston was toppled and pushed into the harbour in which British city?

6. Broadcast in January and February, in which country was the villa located that was the setting for the first winter edition of the TV show Love Island? 7. In February, who did Rishi Sunak succeed as Chancellor of the Exchequer? 8. In the 2020 series of Strictly Come Dancing, which former boxer competed as part of the show’s first same-sex couple?

4. In February, who became the first artist born in 9. The UK left the European Union at 11 p.m. the 21st century to top the UK singles chart? on what exact date? 5. Which of the following horse races did not 10. In September, Donald Fear became the take place in 2020 due to the coronavirus first person in 14 years, and only the sixth pandemic?... a) the Grand National; b) the Epsom Derby; or c) the Cheltenham Gold Cup? person overall to do what?


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Codeword Codeword Each letter of the

Each letter in this puzzle is alphabet has been represented by a different number replaced by a number between 1 and 26. The codes for shown in the grid, withyou the three letters are shown. Once havefirst filledfew these throughout grid entered for the you. you can start guessing words and reveal As the 1 other letters. 2 3 you find 4 letters enter them in the box below. 5






















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Constructing Your Future 36

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WPLife January 2021  

WPLife January 2021