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Archive for July, 2011

Bike versus the underground and DLR

31 Jul
My bicycle

My bicycle

Having risen to the challenge posed by the Northern Line Extension claim that it would take some 15 minutues to get to the City, I couldn’t resist another real world challenge.  Having been at the London Triathlon in the Excel building (near Prince Regent Station on the Docklands Light Railway), I thought I would give the family a race back.

It took me 50 minutues by bike from the Excel building to home near the Oval arriving at nearly the same time as my family that took the train.  Keeping in mind that I had just completed a triathlon, took the scenic route back, was held up in traffic, stopped at every red light one can only conclude that the bike, yet again  compares very favourably with, in this case the Northern Line, Jubilee Line and Docklands Light Railway.

 

LondonTriathlon day

31 Jul
London Triathlon bikes

London Triathlon bikes

London Triathlon bikes 2

London Triathlon bikes 2

A few months ago, I set out to do as much triathlon training locally as possible. There are no local cyling velodromes or running tracks but its easy to make do if you don’t mind taking the risk of running the gauntlet of local traffic. Swimming is another matter-with nothing local since Kennington Park Lido shut down. Come on Lambeth, lets have a decent local swimming pool.

The swim went well against the backdrop of City airport -palnes taking off when your swimming is a bit disconcerting until you realise. Anyway, in case you were wondering what about 7,000 bikes in one place looks like here are some images of the transition area where competitors store their bikes. Having invested in some allegedly puncture proof tyres and correctly inflated my tyres I still managed to get a puncture during the cycling. Next time I’ll invest on one of those foam repairs as it is I had to change the tube. Needless to say, it was the back wheel so I got covered in grease. I don’t have any statistics on which borough has the best roads from a cyclist point of view but a colleague claims he regulalry gets punctures around the Vauxhall gyratory near the RVT.

It’s a pity Lambeth don’t put on a few more sporting events locally-it doesn’t have to be a massive event like the London Triathlon but surely something could be done.

 

Claylands Green 1949 and 2011

30 Jul

Things have changed so much it took me a while to work out where the original photograph was taken from- the corner of Trigon Road.  The original houses on the left have long since been demolished and theire modern replacement built on the former front gardens and road.  It is interesting to see picket fence around Claylands Green at that time -it looks better without it.  There seems to have been no problems with parking back in 1949.

 

Waste ‘collection’ day

27 Jul
Waste collection day

Waste collection day

Lambeth Council have very kindly published all of their waste collection daysfor every street.  Their advice is:

  • Make sure you put your rubbish out on time, no earlier than 8pm the day before your collection and by 6am on your collection day.
  • Make sure you bring your wheeled bin in by 8am the morning after your collection.

If you live in a street without wheeled bins and visited by foxes, Lambeth offers the following helpful advice

  • If you use bags for your rubbish only put them out on the morning of collection.

Better set your alarm clocks then.  Still, never mind, some residents seem to have found a solution to this by dumping their rubbish/recycling waste at the nearest bin if they miss the collection [Isn’t that illegal?]  Better leave it to the foxes, maybe they’ll create less mess.

 

Offley Works latest

26 Jul
Offley Works offices

Offley Works offices

Unless you live next door, this is a local development that is so hidden it might be finished before most of the community gets to know about it. The architects/ developers are about to apply for planning permission so lets watch this space.

Offley Works was built in 1899 for what became Sharwoods Pickles.  In 2005, I attended a mesmerising performance of the Firebirds BallWhat a fantastic way to use a derelict building!

Scooters in Offley Road

Scooters in Offley Road

Check out the Offley Works website for details of what is being proposed (mews houses, offices and work space). Unfortunately the re-development will not improve the facade in Offley Road shown here. These offices date from 1956 – a period not known for its architectural sensitivity. On the other hand – another memory from the ’50s – the scooters across the road were much more photogenic (:-)

 

Claylands Green Lunch

25 Jul
Claylands Green lunch

Claylands Green lunch

Claylands Green tree and children
Claylands Green tree and children

On Saturday 23 July, Claylands Green played host to a community lunch organised by the local resident group Impact.  The lunch was scheduled to last two hours and was attended by some 80 people.  Two local councillors attended.

Having taken numerous photographs of the event  I was outdone by a child up a tree who took the photo on the right (:-|

(Click here for more photos of this event and Claylands Green)

 
 

Northern Line Extension – a visual reminder

25 Jul
Roller

Roller

I saw this picture and it reminded me of the Northern Line Extension consultation.

(i) the problems with the original consultation are being ‘ironed’ out.
(ii) the community is being rolled over

They might need a bigger roller than that if the proposal for a vent on Claylands Green goes ahead

If you want to comment on the Northern Line Extension you have until 10 August 2011

Fill in the official NLE consultation questionnaire here

 

Who cares whether front doors get painted?

25 Jul
Should this door be painted or replaced

Should this door be painted or replaced

It is a feature of the inner city, and elsewhere no doubt, that some properties are better maintained than others.  If enough properties are badly maintained in an area then the whole tone of the neighbourhood can be lowered -gosh that sound pretentious how about- “Paint your front door regulalry and it’ll pay for itself”
If front doors are not painted regularly they will eventually need replacing.  You can try painting a door like this but very soon the paint will be flaking so don’t bother.  If you spend a £150 or so every five years or so the door will last for years.  Leave it long enough and you will end up spending a £1,000 replacing the door and getting it painted …and don’t think you can get away with putting a cheap internal door on the outside…even a cowboy builder wouldn’t stoop that low (:-)
 

‘Local’ hill training

10 Jul

Three weeks to go to to the London Triathlon and my efforts at ‘local’ training continue. I thought I’d try some hill running next. The best the neighbourhood has to offer is probably Vauxhall and Lambeth Bridges. Brockwell Park and Streatham Common are possibilities but I wanted something more challenging. Luckily there is a massive hill just off Stane Street – the ancient Roman road that passes by the Oval. That hill is Box hill -some 19 miles away. (Ok, so I was just having a weekend away with the Mrs and was checking out the area as there will be an Olympic event there). There was some very serious cycling training going on …not sure what Olympic event the guys below were training for but they were fast!

Cyclists near Box Hill

Cyclists near Box Hill

 

DIY Wall Garden

06 Jul

Riverside Court - virginia creeper

Riverside Court - virginia creeper

Do you fancy having one of those high tech wall gardens where the side of your house is covered in plants? There is an easy way. Plant a virgina creeper and a few years later the wall will be covered…and the roof…and your neighbour’s house. Check out the one at Riverside Court along Nine Elms. Thsi is probably one pof th best examples you will see.