February 2014


1448367The bypass opened in December 2006. Gone was the perpetual traffic crawl through Coulsdon town centre but some thought the town was dying. Then came the regeneration giving us new paving stones and narrow traffic lanes to make the centre more attractive. Following an abortive Sainsbury scheme on the Pinewood site opposite Waitrose, and as the recession began to ease, planning applications finally began to come in.

images-1To survive as a thriving centre, Coulsdon certainly needs new development but not all are convinced that what is currently in the pipeline is the best answer. The Coulsdon Masterplan, with considerable consultation (but precious little listening on behalf of Croydon Council) established the need for a major housing development on Cane Hill and a supermarket on Lion Green Road Car Park. Arguments persisted on linking the supermarket to the town centre, reduced parking facilities (only 150 places to be controlled by Waitrose the new supermarket tenant) and traffic problems on Lion Green Road and at the Marlpit Lane roundabout. The traffic issue will be exacerbated by 650 new houses on Cane Hill, restricted entrance to the supermarket on Lion Green Road, a new Waitrose distribution centre employing 400 planned for Ullswater Estate and new housing in Caterham-on-the-Hill bringing more traffic down Marlpit Lane.

4548224Chipstead Residents threatened a judicial review on the grounds of flawed traffic surveys and concern over local rat-running that the developments would bring. Croydon Council promptly withdrew the Masterplan. However, the planning applications are to go ahead without the benefit of the Masterplan, but after a new traffic survey. Expect them in March and there is hope that the Council will now recognise the need for an additional exit from Cane Hill on to the bypass. In the meantime the residential development on the Pinewood site is well advanced and Aldi have permission for a supermarket on the old Red Lion site.

Club News

Being 2nd of January, only 30 members could attend (the alternative would have meant a postponement for two weeks). However, we can confirm that the January 2015 meeting will not be on 1st January, and we have been able to secure the hall for the following week – 8th January.

Reg Baker, in his membership secretary rôle, issued an update slip. A complete membership list is due in April. We have just under 50 members.

In Hugh Roberts absence, Andrew Kellard reported on members.

Peter Babler is short of breath and energy and can’t walk very far.
Ken Carter is on crutches, but cheerful.

Alfred Levy continues to have to care for his wife.

Peter Mills has persistent blackouts and keeps falling – most recently against a chair.

Phil Munson has tummy trouble.

Don Wilkinson sent his apologies. He can be forgiven at the age of 95.

Roger Davis’ mishaps were reported by Jim Mulvey who was across the road when Roger turned to acknowledge him and promptly tripped and fell on his face. Jim took him to his doctor who referred him to Purley. They referred him to Mayday A&E where all the details were taken again. Hours later, being worried about his eye, Mayday sent Roger to St George where he was finally released at 4 o’clock in the morning. Fortunately, no serious damage but Roger has a hospital appointment today. We hope to see him in February.

Soroptimist Inter-Club Friendship Supper 13th March 2014

‘Celebrating Women’s Achievements’ – £29 per head including lunch and speaker. Contact pat.painting@btinternet.com / 020 8668 2681

Tchaikovsky Gala, Royal Albert Hall Saturday 10th May 2014

Our Chairman, Reg Baker (020 8660 6662) still has places available, so let him know (with cheque) by 31st January if you wish to come. The advance notice is because the Royal Albert Hall needs early payment in order to guarantee the seats which are currently reserved.

Please remember to let Andrew K. know if you can’t attend a meeting (01737 554055) because the meals are pre-booked and have to be paid for if not cancelled.

Barbara Turner, Games Maker, London 2012 Paralympics

droppedImageBarbara isn’t nervous any more having first written her story in the family history file, then a residents’ association magazine and then being terrified when first asked to speak. Nowadays she loves talking about her experiences.

Following an advertisement, Barbara was one of 240 thousand applying for 70 thousand jobs. She was interviewed at the ExCel Centre in November 2011, given an offer in May 2012 and chose a 10 day stint. Barbara held aloft the ‘Spirit in Motion’ flag of the Paralympics – it was so enjoyable, she later wished she’d chosen 20 days. Initial training in June was at Hackney Community College where Barbara got her ‘certificate’.

article_8c073547208ca90b_1359117131_9j-4aaqskAugust – collect uniform: shoes, two each of socks, trousers and t-shirt, cagoule, hat (didn’t wear), bag containing umbrella, drinks bottle and high vis jacket (red), swatch olympic watch and Paralympic Travel Card. Final training at the Olympic Park where Barbara was assigned. Shifts were half and half 5.45 am to 4.30 pm and 1.30 pm to midnight. Night bus to East Croydon for London Bridge then tube to the Olympic Park; the family were worried about walking the streets so early, but for the early shift 99% of travellers were games makers so it was a party atmosphere.

On signing in, each games maker was given food vouchers and an area for the day – ‘yellow cross’ meant World Square. Instructions to put litter in the bin were hardly needed – Barbara only found one piece of litter in ten days. The Event Services Pocket Guide was essential, but paramount was the Emergency Map with grid references to answer questions such as where is . . .?

300px-London_Paralympics_2012.svgEach day the Games started with a team briefing outside the Aquatic Centre. Types of work included giving directions, giving out maps, ticket scanning (there’s always someone with the wrong time or wrong place or even without a ticket), filling in lost property forms (in triplicate – sacks of it). One day, Barbara was asked to click visitors going out of Stratford gate. It was impossible as one couldn’t click fast enough and HQ kept phoning for numbers. They started making up numbers and gave it up after one hour.

Highlights were “can’t find toilets” moan, “we’ve had a lovely day” plus kiss and two sheep that refused to go through the hedge. Barbara was lucky to see the dress rehearsal for the main opening ceremony and a ticket for Orbit from which the athletes looked like ants. She saw the closing ceremony on a screen in the canteen and then fireworks, hugs and kisses. The next day the games makers were thanked by the athletes at their procession through London. Games Makers were presented with a baton and certificate and received a thank you letter from the Prime Minister.

Barbara was on a high for weeks afterwards re-telling her story. The memories will remain with her forever, however, Barbara has regained the 5 lbs in weight she lost during the games.

Speakers and AGM

Today:Michael Corrigan tells of Felons and their fingerprints.

March 6th:AGM: Reg Baker talks about his Chairman’s Charity

           Don’t forget: All positions fall vacant – please nominate         or self-nominate. In particular, we need a new Vice Chairman and Committee Members.

April 3rd:Harry the Wheelbarrow Man by Harry Townsend


by Ian Payne

When we first went to school, this country used imperial measurements – miles, yards, feet and inches, pounds and ounces – not to mention fahrenheit, pounds, shillings and pence and many more. We knew things about our environment such as gravity = 32 ft per second per second, the earth has a radius of 4000 miles, the sun is 93 million miles away and the speed of light is 186,000 miles per second.

mEhrk5iPr9DX-JJTcYpjQ5gWe learned parrot fashion 12 inches make 1 foot, 3 feet make 1 yard,  22 yards make 1 chain, 10 chains make 1 furlong, 8 furlongs make 1 mile and 5½ yards make 1 rod, pole or perch. These all still come skipping off my tongue as do the abbreviations in or “, ft or ‘, yd, oz, lb, £sd. We’ve also lost a richness of language in old saws and rhymes: ‘give him an inch and he’ll take a mile’, ‘half a pound of tuppenny rice’, ‘I’ve got sixpence, jolly jolly sixpence’.

At school in physics we used imperial, but also the centimetre/gram/second system, these being the base units, but one could use millimetres, metres, kilometres etc., if required. On metrication, we adopted the SI system
(le Système International d’unités) with base units metre/kilogram/second
(mks as opposed to cgs). Unfortunately, we also adopted the engineering practice of using millimetres (mm) rather than centimetres (cm). How ridiculous that we are always quoted lengths and heights of boxes, equipment etc. in millimetres, e.g. 325 mm or 1125 mm, why not 3.25 cm or 1.125 m? In case you were wondering, the circumference of the earth is 40,008 km (the metre was originally defined as 1/10,000,000 of the distance from the pole to the equator), and the speed of light is about 300,000,000 m/s (or ms–1).

coinsThe loss of our pounds, shillings and pence in 1971 was inevitable, but it was touch and go that we kept the pound. The Australians had already metricised on the basis of one dollar equals ten shillings and we were seriously looking at a new unit equal to 8/4 (8 shillings and 4 pence) – that’s 100 old pennies. The old symbols of £ s d stood for libra, solidus, denarius – latin for pound (weight) and two coin denominations. The new abbreviations of £ and p are fine but what a pity that we’ve lost the old language and say ‘p’ instead of penny, pennies or pence – and what about ha’penny, tuppence, thrupence, tanner, bob and my bus fare to school of three ha’pence.

weather_stationW8681One of our Christmas presents was a weather station. It transmits automatically from the garden to a receiver and display in the house. It’s a great new game to play each morning paging back over the last day. We changed the date from the American mmddyy to ddmmyy, plumped for temperature in centigrade (sorry, celsius) and left the pressure in hectopascals (hps) – standard atmospheric pressure is 1013.25 hps or 1013.25 millibars or 101325 pascals. However, I confess, we set the rainfall to inches and the wind speed to miles per hour.

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