THE WANDSWORTH VOICE 

YES – WE STILL LET THE PEOPLE SPEAK 

For a few months now THE WANDSWORTH VOICE has not been heard – but after a sad, self-imposed silence it is now ready to flex its vocal chords and give vent to its spleen.

In the next few days there will be a flurry of activity – former grievances and gripes will be re-aired …. new issues will be brought to the fore.

Darkened bridges, inappropriate commercial and domestic developments, tree destruction along with continuing cloth-eared council members and executives will again all be the focus of our barbs.

However those ‘Wails of the Riverbank‘ will continue to be complemented by ‘Ales of the Riverbank’, as we review in our own idiosyncratic style the multifarious groupage of local Hostelries, Estaminets and Watering Holes that abound between both Nine and Barn Elms.

We would also ask that our devoted adherents ‘share’ this site with others.  Our goal is for our voice to be heard on as wide and deep a platform as possible.

Watch these pages …

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THE WANDSWORTH VOICE 

WE LET THE PEOPLE THRIVE

It’s a golden delicious time down here by the river as Apple decides to locate its core UK activities into Wandsworth Borough in the re-imagined Battersea Power Station.


As our politicians … councillors, MPs, Mayors, Cabinet Members – seek to pat each other on each other’s respective backs, so do we, the local citizens, have reasons to be cheerful as well.

Our already pretty good transport links will only improve … let’s go for an extension to the extension of the Northern Line underground service from Battersea Power Station into Wandsworth Town via Battersea High Street, let’s campaign for a new Thames Clipper stop and an all day, 7 days a week riverboat service, let’s get TfL thinking about re-routing Crossrail via the finally developed Power Station site and Embassy Zone. 

So here’s to Silicon River and Formula A  – welcome to Battersea.

THE WANDSWORTH VOICE 

WE LET THE PEOPLE PLAY ….. ESPECIALLY IN BATTERSEA PARK  …. And stroll and run and walk and talk to meerkats and row across a lake … 

It’s always good to note that it’s not only London that believes in the intrinsic value of its public parks – whether they’re to be found in the centre of our city or in our inner suburbs … 

http://www.newyorker.com/culture/photo-booth/the-underseen-history-of-new-york-citys-parks?mbid=nl_160716_Daily&CNDID=23889429&spMailingID=9211209&spUserID=MTA5MjQwMTUzNDUwS0&spJobID=961239346&spReportId=OTYxMjM5MzQ2S0

Let our open, our green and our publicly-owned areas always remain accessible …. for ever and for every day ….  so we pray that our dear, much-valued Battersea Park will never be subjected again to naïve, crass, unprincipled, inappropriate and certain-to-fail commercial ventures … 

So farewell then … indeed  ‘Adios, Formula E’ … and we are more than pleased to remind our readers that it won’t be ‘¡Hasta la vista, Señor Agag!’

THE WANDSWORTH VOICE 

(It’s ‘Spot the deliberate mistake!’ time)

WE LET THE PEOPLE SCREAM …. 

And at the moment it’s probably ‘Help! Help!’ here on the riverside, just beyond our much-loved Wandsworth Bridge and Brady’s fish emporium towards Putney on Nickol’s Walk … when not only has their belovèd one tumbled into the Thames, but also they’ve suddenly realised that the trusty wooden life-belt that they imagined would be there is not actually there. 

As our many followers can now see below for themselves …

But fear not …. once they’ve recovered their aplomb or their paramour or from their tragedy – or a combination of these – then they can always report the life-belt to be missing by calling Wandsworth Borough Council on 081 871 6900.
So that’s alright then. 

THE WANDSWORTH VOICE 

We let the people speak 

THE WANDSWORTH VOICE has been campaigning for the last couple of years about the parlous state of Wandsworth Bridge. And the local authority’s total lack of action in terms of repairing and refurbishing it.  Both in terms of its basic fabric and its almost total lack of lighting. 


We are not alone in asking our council to do something – and quickly.  

Accordingly, we are very happy to bring to our numerous readers’ attention a new petition, started by the residents of Battersea Reach.

TO SIGN THE PETITION GO TO:
https://democracy.wandsworth.gov.uk/mgEPetitionDisplay.aspx?id=89
And here’s what they write about the bridge:

Wandsworth Bridge was completed in 1940, at the height of the Blitz. It was painted in shades of blue as camouflage against air raids, which it has retained ever since. It carries over 50,000 vehicles a day. It marks the boundary at which the speed limit for river traffic travelling upriver is reduced from 12 knots to 8 knots. It is considered the ugly duckling of the London bridges, with a “severely simple” design that “has a somewhat uitilitarian appearance with no significant architectural merit.” 

Local residents disagree. In their eyes, it has history and character and adds to the riverscape, especially in the hours of darkness when it is flood-lit – or, at least it was until about two years ago when it fell into total darkness after barges damaged its electric cabling. 

The Wandsworth Council says it might get around to replacing the flood lighting in two years time. Until then, the bridge will have to remain shrouded in ominous darkness and maintain an air of despondency for all. 

 It is unfortunate that the planning consents (Wandsworth application 2005/3442 and Fulham & Hammersmith appeal APP/H5390/A/07/2033961) lapsed. These were for internally illuminated glass cones rising to 10 metres from the plinths on each end of the bridge which would change colour to correspond with the height of the tide. The consents recognised that the lights would be a feature in the regeneration of the riverside sites. 

The Mayor of London is promoting a project (“The Illuminated River”) to make the 17 bridges between Tower Bridge and Albert Bridge the world’s longest “free outdoor river gallery” 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-36436263 and illuminatedriver.london/ 

Why is Wandsworth Bridge excluded? What has the Mayor got against Wandsworth Bridge? 

 Why should it be left in the dark? Why is the Wandsworth Council not a participant in this project?

THE WANDSWORTH VOICE 

WE LET THE PEOPLE TALK …. and when they do it’s terrific that their voices are heard.

THE WANDSWORTH VOICE has always made it very clear that it was against the Formula E motor race being held in that most noble of open spaces, Battersea Park.

And this very day there is good-ish or good news, depending on ones expectations … 


The event will NOT be taking place next year in Battersea Park and maybe not at all in London, if Señor Agag and crew don’t achieve their stated ambition of now running the event up and down the Mall, around the Buckingham Palace Garden, in front of Westminster Abbey and starting and finishing by a specially re-painted Cenotaph.

And whilst Señor Agag is not particularly gracious in ‘defeat’, he does acknowledge that not being able to ‘see the cars for the trees’ is not the perfect recipe for success and audience participation in a spectator sport.

The event will still take place this July in Battersea Park – so the ‘victory’ of The Battersea Park Action Group is not total … but nor is it hollow. And your writer is pleased to have been a late-joining member of the group, whose staunch efforts have all been rewarded – ranging from case-making and letter writing to ejecting unwelcome/uninvited local politicians from a group meeting – all in all, they clearly did a jolly good job.

For those of you who are really interested – here’s a formal up-date from one of the few media sources who have shown a modicum of interest in this sorry, mal-placed event.

 http://formulaspy.com/formula-e/wandsworth-council-confirm-final-battersea-race-new-location-horizon-26211
A final thought …. we wonder what Murray Walker would have had to say about all this … perhaps he has said something – if so we’ve missed it.   

But commentating on another event a few years ago he notably said …. “He’s obviously gone in for a pit stop. I say obviously, because I cannot see anything.”  

He’s clearly the chap for the Battersea procession. 

THE WANDSWORTH VOICE 

We let the people drink 

ALES OF THE RIVERSIDE 

DOING THE PRINCE ALBERT

Our reviews of quite-close-to-the-Thames-hostelries-in-the-Borough-of-Wandsworth continue with The Prince Albert – which, unsurprisingly and eponymously, finds itself on the Albert Bridge Road by Battersea Park, just by the Albert Bridge, only a few miles due south of the Royal Albert Hall and the Albert Memorial … and of course at a strolling distance from Albert Mansions.

This last week or so your Wandsworth Wanderer has become your Battersea Boulevardier and has been to The Prince Albert on some four separate occasions – albeit mostly around the same early evening time in order to splice the mainbrace as he prepared to sail along the Thames from Cadogan Pier to Wandsworth Riverside. (Your Thames Tar?)

Again, as with many of our riverside gin-joints, its very location deals The Prince Albert a winning hand – especially if you like Bridge. Or quaintly enough, if you play backgammon. The Battersea Backgammon Brigade appear to be permanently ensconced as they crash, bang and wallop their ‘counters’ around the board. Oblivious to such naïve counter-attractions as a ‘Quiz’ they resolutely strive to counter being ‘gammoned’ or, heaven forfend, counter-attack in order to avoid suffering the ignominy of being ‘back gammoned’.

(And now we spot that there is an afternoon club as well. Perhaps there will soon be a Battersea Bézique Battalion as international games of yesteryear appear to flourish therein.)

The early evening clientèle currently consists of chaps wearing Chelsea football shirts (Eden Hazard’s half-time cast-offs?) or people (of all genders) in suits recovering from 8 hours on the office treadmill and telling each other how hard they’ve been working and how dependent their company’s fortunes are on them …

It’s a Geronimo managed house … and in addition to its fine range of beers and first-rate jugs of highly flavoured tomato juice it offers fine fodder …. Gastro-this and Gastro-that … we are spoiled indeed – perhaps it should now be known as a ‘Gastronimo‘ house, such are its culinary delights!
Our readers may well ask … ‘Surely there must be some irksome downsides?’ Well there are … but only really a couple …. for this crusty old codger, there is a preponderance of perambulators perpetually pushed and pulled by Prosecco-pouring parents during the day.

And the recently refurbished outside ‘garden’ area looks like the set of a joint Ronseal and Homebase promotional TV ad from the 1980s – particularly fetching, we feel, is its new diarrhoea coloured fencing …

Service is well up to local standards so overall its rating must be 8 out of 10.

To see what they say about themselves have a look at ….

http://www.theprincealbertbattersea.co.uk

And of course it does boast one of the best pub signs in London ….

.