THE WANDSWORTH VOICE 

WE LET THE PEOPLE DRINK


ALES OF THE RIVERBANK

Today your riparian commentator finds himself by Wandsworth Bridge in Brady’s – a large, light, airy establishment – purveyors of chips, fish and many other forms of marine life. With a range of ales, lagers and beers from Shepherd Neame of Faversham, that noted Brewer of Kent. 

  
These are of course supported by a fine range of wines, all personally sampled and selected by the eponymous Luke Brady. And, de rigueur* these days, an interesting selection of gins.

The embankment location is terrific all the year round – riverside vistas, shimmering evening light, passing flâneurs and cyclists, the odd helicopter drifting down towards Battersea Heliport, the ever quieter planes well into their descent mode for LHR.

(And it’s even nicer when Wandsworth Bridge is fully illuminated!)

Fishes are grilled or deep-fried; fish soup/chowder and mussels are fine recent additions to the menu; potted shrimps rival those of Morecambe Bay from the writer’s youth … and the crowning glory for this gourmet/gourmand are the oysters – which can only be described as ‘shucking great’.

Puddings are proudly Anglo-traditional – (though why custard should be an ‘optional extra’ for Apple Crumble is reminiscent of optional wing-mirrors and heaters in family cars of the 1960s!)

Any culinary downsides? We Northern purists do wonder about the chips … even though they are deep-fried in dripping – but then nobody’s perfect. Anyway the fine, friendly service banishes any negativity …

All-in-all, Brady’s is a strong and welcome presence on our riverside. We’re very happy that they are here. And they rate 8 out of 10.

To find out what they say about themselves, look up Brady’s here:

http://www.bradysfish.co.uk
(* if only the French had a word for ‘de rigueur‘)

THE WANDSWORTH VOICE 

ALES OF THE RIVERBANK 

Our momentous task of reviewing some 30 separate south-west London riverside hostelries is now under way – most of which are fortunately not yet under water …


The writer’s essential prolix style and declamatory nature will be eschewed and commentary will be restricted to a mere 250 words.   


We shall indulge finally, and inevitably. in a rating system
.


Here we go

This weekday evening we find ourselves in The Cat’s Back – probably the most hidden of our riverside gems. 

Tucked down at the bottom end of the surprisingly, but now most appropriately, named street in Putney/Wandsworth, Point Pleasant – it’s totally eclectic and it’s frankly adorable. 

Beers and ales courtesy of Harvey’s of Lewes, cuisine courtesy of Jan of Tooting, bar bonhomie courtesy of Peter of Rochdale, Fanny of France, Daniel of Nottingham, Caitlin of London,Hutch of Hull and Gavin of Dent.  

And, in these wintry days, a real coal-fire. 

Culture, cuisine, cinémathèque, camaraderie, clientèle, charme, chansons …. that’s why we’ll keep on coming here.’

  

It rates 9 out of 10. So it’s now up to the many others to emulate The Cat’s Back.  

THE WANDSWORTH VOICE 

The Bridge over the River Thames.

Our comments on the parlous state of Wandsworth Bridge have now made it into the pages of this week’s Wandsworth Guardian. 

Fellow editor and pensioner, Len James, is quoted at length and reference is made to our august Wandsworth Voice site.

Photographs were mentioned … And here they are again …

   
   
Over to you Wandsworth Borough Council …. 

THE WANDSWORTH VOICE 

Cruising down the river … or possibly up the river 

Either way – with or without the tide – this has led us to consider a departure from our sometimes polemical ‘commentaires’ on life in and around Wandsworth.  Perhaps now with more reference to the social life that we can follow around here.

So … we are introducing a new weekly review of the many hostelries – one by one – but not necessarily in strict geographical order –  that trade from Putney to Nine Elms – and exist within ‘a gnat’s crotchet’ (or actually a 4 minutes stroll) of our dear Flumen Tamesis.

An initial audit suggests that there are at least 26 of these – and there are probably more.  And this will certainly fill and fuel THE WANDSWORTH VOICE for the next 6 months.

We have a name for this new feature … It is to be called …. ‘Ales of the Riverbank’.

Tomorrow ŵe shall start with our ‘alma mater’ …. The Cat’s Back on Point Pleasant.

Cheers!

THE WANDSWORTH VOICE 

Battersea Sports Centre 

http://www.wandsworthguardian.co.uk/news/14261820.Battersea_Sports_Centre_will_be_open_all_year__as_3G_pitch_is_delayed_until_2017/?ref=eb

So, perhaps our campaigning of exactly one year ago did have an effect – as we wrote on THE WANDSWORTH VOICE at the time – to close a sports facility in a sensitive area of Battersea, without providing a timely alternative, was ill-advised.

Our post from 9 February 2015 is there for all to read …

THE WANDSWORTH VOICE 

WE LET THE PEOPLE SPEAK 

It has indeed been well recorded that the editors of THE WANDSWORTH VOICE are not in favour of the second manifestation of the Formula E motor race due to be run in our dear Battersea Peak in July this year.

We are now part of the group who formally oppose the race being held in Battersea Park.

One of the editors has submitted a formal objection to the Planning Committee of Wandsworth Borough Council.

And here it is:

This is an objection to the proposed Planning Application submitted by the Formula E organisation for the holding of a motor race in Battersea Park on two days in July 2016.

To whom it may concern from John Fowler:

I started writing this formal objection to this application at around 11:15am on Saturday, 23 January 2016. It was a sunny, yet chilly, morning. I was sitting on a bench just inside the Park by the Albert Bridge Road. I was amazed, enthralled and indeed enchanted by the number of people in the park. Walking, strolling, jogging, running, cycling, skating, pushing prams, playing organised team-games, playing disorganised team-games. Or, just like me, sitting down and resting and watching my fellow-citizens enjoying their leisure-time.

And I said to myself … not only ‘What a Wonderful Park’ … but also, if this number of folk are using the park and its many facilities on a cold winter’s morn, just think how many more will be looking to enjoy it to the full in the months of June and July. 

And how this will not be the case when new roads are being constructed and then deconstructed, when ugly, drab concrete barriers are put in place, when access to several areas will be restricted, when sound systems are being tested, when large flat-bed trucks are queuing up to first deliver and then take away temporary stands and accommodation … in order to host a fairly insignificant motor race.

Battersea Park does have a fine history of hosting events, large and small. But this race is simply being held in the wrong place. As has been said my many before me.

Others will raise objections based on and around dangers to public safety, contravention of key health and safety issues, noise pollution from hovering helicopters, air pollution from delivery trucks. My objections are predicated on the more emotional aspects of depriving people of the joy and satisfaction of simply going into their park at their leisure.

To hold this race here is a crude and shallow compromise. The organisers didn’t want it here (their TV trails still show their cars driving over Westminster Bridge) nor were the citizens of Battersea, Wandsworth, Clapham Junction and Chelsea clamouring for it to take place in their fine Park.

I am a long-term resident of Wandsworth Borough (a mere 47 years) and, with recent boundary changes, I am now also a Battersea parliamentary constituent. I know the Park pretty well but over the years perhaps did not take sufficient advantage of it. 

But times change and things happen.

In my case it is that my dear wife has now been a resident in the Meadbank Nursing Home in Parkgate Road for the last two years. She had a lengthy teaching career, initially in Earlsfield and then in Battersea itself at Chesterton School. One of the few joys in her now sadly restricted and proscribed life-style is for me to take her in her wheel-chair into the Park. When she was placed in Meadbank we found the Park so convenient, so accessible, so pleasant to commune with nature and to have a few cups of tea in the charming, timeless lakeside cafeteria. And it’s become quite a ritual for both of us.

This will be marred this summer, as it was last summer, by building works, barriers, noise and actual closure.

The Park exists for all in perpetuity. By shutting it, by restricting access, by changing its ambience, by holding an event which was never intended for a public park, by apparently ignoring or contravening its own environmental and pollution objectives Wandsworth Borough Council – who merely manage the Park on our behalf – is doing itself a major disservice in addition to doing a massive disservice to the people who visit the Park for whatever purpose.

I ask you to reject the application to hold the Formula E event.

Just as you let down users of and visitors to the Park, so are you letting yourselves down by not listening properly to me and my fellow objectors and by not taking fair and proper note of the depth and quality of our feelings in the context of this event. 

THE WANDSWORTH VOICE 

Formula E will return to Battersea Park next summer – well, what a surprise.

July 2 and 3 are the dates.
Let our mimed joy resound.  Our silent prayers have been answered … our Trappist imprecations to Saint Frances of Rome, the renowned Patron Saint of the (Tesla) Motor Car and all those who drive therein, have been acknowledged. 

And even greater news … it’s just before the school holidays – at the time when local schools will be having their annual Sports Days.  In Battersea Park. 

New events will include “Free Climbing on the Concrete Barriers”,  “Riding bikes between silent cars going at 115mph”, “Shouting Louder than the PA systems” and “Spotting the Helicopter Numbers”.
The Dogs and Cats Home are going to be offering specially discounted canine and feline anti-stress therapy sessions and additionally members of our local meerkat clan in the Battersea Park zoo are being encouraged by their keepers not to stand up and look around quizically for quite a few days.

But … hang on … Just think if the mammoth delivery trucks bringing in tons of kit and stuff were E-powered …  and the perpetually hovering helicopters were as well  …  Now that would make a point …

As it is / as it will be … we look forward to a totally immemorable event featuring immemorable participants … which will take place when the UK sporting community will be preoccupied by the football events taking place in France in Euro 2016. 

And an apparently irrelevant F1 event in Austria over the same weekend. 

Good timing – now that’s what we may call it – because as we now realise … our dear (seen here slumbering?) Wandsworth Borough Council Leader (Number 6 below) will still be able to go to the Wimbledon tennis final the following week – as he is clearly wont to do …

 

THE WANDSWORTH VOICE 

The Wandsworth Voice

BATTERSEA REACH

How appropriate the name …. as indeed all local inhabitants this very evening (19 November 2015) are reaching for their earplugs. Whether in the site itself or all along the road opposite.  

Why?   

Because Wandsworth Borough Council, in its infinite wisdom, has rolled over in its usual supine manner and has allowed the infamous developer, St George (there’s an irony – he’s only our patron saint) to work the night through because they have to undertake a bit of ‘concrete power floating’ … 

The normal working hours, so often abused, are between 0800 and 1800. But if there are ‘special circumstances’ … guess what… the council and its Environmental Health people in their even-handed wisdom will always acquiesce.  

IAnd you know what – it’s been just like this since 2003. Only 12 years. 

This time … were residents apprised in good time? Were residents consulted? Were the views of construction consultants taken into consideration? … Especially those who state that there is no real justification for work during the night. 

The cycle could be completed during the day … though that would impact on other schedules on the site.  

So who suffers? 

Not our Patron Saint. Not our saintly Borough Council. 

But local people whose lives are thoroughly and totally disrupted as they prepare for their working day ahead.  

And here’s an anecdote … a resident of Battersea Reach was spotted in the local Tesco buying 4 bottles of Bulgarian Blanc – as opposed to her usual 2 – so that she and her friend might be guaranteed a good night’s sleep.

On a very serious note – we do encourage all local people to complain in the strongest possible terms about this infraction … people do have a right to sleep and Wandsworth Borough Council don’t have the right to deny it.