Huge Pop Stars on our Common? … or maybe not

If you were passing by Clapham Common yesterday, you may have noticed Katy Perry and Rihanna enjoying a rather civilized British picnic together! However… on slightly closer inspection, it appears that the two girls were infact lookalikes posing for the Breast Cancer Care’s summer campaign – Strawberry Tea.  Photographs of the pair soaking up the sunshine, catching the tube and hitching a ride in a black cab were all snapped by celebrity lookalike photographer Alison Jackson, who’s famous for her spoof images of people such as Wayne Rooney, Borris Johnson and The Royal Family. Pictures will be used to promote the Breast Cancer Care’s Strawberry Tea campaign, running from June 1 to August 31.

Prickly Pests!

The sun is blazing and we all know where we’re heading this weekend – THE COMMON!! However there are some rather unwelcomed visitors who have made parks and commons in South London their home. The Forestry Commission last week warned people not to touch caterpillars emerging from Oak trees that have formed their homes across Lambeth, Wandsworth, Southwark and other surrounding areas. These caterpillars are a new arrival in the UK from the continent and are considered a health hazard, due to their tiny toxic hairs that can cause skin irritation, rashes and in some cases trigger asthma attacks. Alison Field of the Forestry Commission said “The public should not try to remove the caterpillars or nests themselves. This task is best done by specifically trained and equipped operators.” So whilst you’re soaking up the rays this weekend and admiring Clapham at its best, steer clear of these little terrors and make sure children and pets are kept well away too. The Forestry Commission are keen to hear from anyone who comes across any caterpillar nests and are contactable via this link.

The Running School

On receiving an email invitation for a session with The Running School in Battersea, I was intrigued at the concept, so accepted and booked myself in for a Saturday afternoon slot. I must admit I was slightly sceptical, wondering what I could be taught about a skill most of us acquire from a very young age. My session trainer Amy has an impressive CV, having qualified in Physiotherapy she’s worked within the NHS, Ministry of Defence and with the GB Paralympic Cycling Team – so I was definitely in safe and experienced hands! After a chat about my overall health, physical activity and running experience, I was straight on the treadmill. Amy filmed me running at a steady pace from behind and from the side (this is the point where I decided choosing to wear lycra was a bad idea!). Then it got technical – time for my Biomechanical Movement Assessment  during which we watched the video 2 clips of me running and I was assessed looking at everything, from posture, to leg circling, gait and technique. It’s definitely an eye opener and oddities in my running style were highlighted which I wasn’t aware of at all. Amy gave me some tips there and then and suggested that to improve speed and running style I take a further few sessions. The Running School welcomes all levels of runners from either end of the ability and experience scale. So if you’re a beginner or a marathon runner and you want to improve you’re running I would recommend dropping them a line.

The Big Lunch

Amazingly ‘Jubilee Day’ is only just over six weeks away and whilst many of you are already well on the way to planning your street parties, some of you maybe at a slight loose end over the bank holiday weekend. LoveClapham was perusing the web in search exciting ideas to make our own party go off with a bang, when we came across The Big Lunch – so thought we’d share. It’s a very simple idea generated from the Eden Project, encouraging as many people as possible across the UK to have lunch, ‘fun and games’ with their neighbours. This can be anything from a small BBQ and a few quiet drinks in the garden to a full blown street party extravaganza! With support from TV and radio celebrities, people all over the country have really taken to the idea planning all sorts of exciting events, taking inspiration from previous Big Lunches. Over 10 MILLION people came out to celebrate the Silver Jubilee in 1977 so The Big Lunch are encouraging people to get in the patriotic spirit and get as many people out again this summer. Clappers – we know you love a good street party so why not have a think about requesting their free guide! Happy luncheon-ing!

3 Major Clapham Festivals Axed This Summer

3 major festivals have pulled out of taking place on Clapham Common this summer, with organisers and sponsors claiming that money and time is being invested elsewhere  in Diamond Jubilee and Olympic events. Topping the line-up of events that have faced the chop is the extremely popular Ben and Jerry’s festival which has bought in big acts to the Common for the last seven years. Also not happening this year is the Super Saturday pop concert, the Jamie Oliver Food festival and the British Gas Big Dip swimming pool. The loss of festivals will please the Park Groups who recently complained that there were too many events being hosted in the borough. However don’t be disheartened by the news Clappers, there are still a whole host of events happening in our area this summer which you can take part in including the SW4 Dance Festival, Cancer Research 5k and 10k Race For Life, Eastern Electrics Festival, and the Urban Art festival to name just a few!

Edwin Drood arrives in Clapham next week!

With a cast headed up by Natalie Day (Les Misérables, Queens) as Edwin Drood, Victoria Farley (Les Misérables, Barbican) as Rosa Budd and Daniel Robinson (Jekyll and Hyde Tour) as John Jasper with former Coronation Street star Wendi Peters as Princess Puffer, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this exciting adaptation of The Mystery of Edwin Drood was coming to the West End. But no … it’s on our doorstep!

Based on the unfinished novel by Charles Dickens, The Mystery of Edwin Drood is a compelling and comical play within a play following the exploits of the Theatre Royale Music Hall Company. Wendi Peters, best known for playing Cilla Battersby-Brown in Coronation Street, is delighted to be returning to the stage as the Princess Puffer. LoveClapham caught up with her and here’s what she had to say:

“The Mystery of Edwin Drood is a wonderful mix of Music Hall, murder, mystery and

musical Theatre all rolled into one evening. I’m really enjoying being in my 1st

musical for 15 years, although some of the dance routines are scaring me a little !!

We have a wonderful company of 13 actors and 5 musicians and guarantee you a fun

evening with an ‘X Factor’ ending … The audience decide the outcome and the

murderer !! Hope to see you all there …. Best wishes and ‘VOTE FOR ME ‘ !!!”

Edwin Drood runs from April 11th to 5th May at the Landor Theatre , Clapham North. Tickets start from £10.

Six live bus stations in our Old Town?!

MP Kate Hoey and a small group of residents are vigorously lobbying TfL bosses for a LIVE bus station in the square in the heart of Clapham Old Town. This scheme will involve up to six live bus stands with platforms, shelters, signage and commercial lighting, taking up the majority of the square and leaving the Old Town Square open to development as a transport hub. Save Clapham Old Town has set up a site and Facebook page in an effort to try and stop these plans going ahead, by making Clapham residents aware of how it will change the area and asking people to sign their petition.

They are very supportive of the overall Regeneration Project that will widen pavements, slow traffic, improve crossings and  generally better public spaces, however they are against the plans to put 6 live bus stands in the square. Please have a look at the plans and let us know what you think.

Hamper Winner!

Congratulations to Leoni Munslow who is our Whole Foods Hamper winner. We thought her poem about why she should win was excellent!

My boyfriend’s had a tough old year, His father passed away, I’d really like to cheer him up, Especially Christmas Day.

 His sport is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, He is a British Champ,  But torn a tendon in his knee, His winter’s looking damp.

He teaches kids in Battersea, Including those with special needs, Then heads off up the Lavender Hill  To get his special feed.


His diet is clean and fresh and whole, Junk food goes in the bin, He eats at Wholefoods every week, That’s why I’d like to win!

Ho Ho Ho…here comes Christmas in Clapham


Want to get in the festive spirit without travelling any further than Clapham? … Abbeville Road will be playing host to the 2011 Christmas Feté  which takes place from 4pm to 9pm on Thursday 15th December. Local shops will extend their trading, with stalls out on the pavements offering fabulous Christmas specials, along with plenty of complimentary food and drink. There will be treats on offer such as mulled wine, mince pies and roasted chestnuts and musical entertainment including carols by candle light.  Festive fancy dress is encouraged, with prizes for the best boy/girl/dog (yes really!) outfits.  And don’t forget to stop by Santa’s grotto…

WIN a Whole Foods Christmas Hamper!!!

The bite-sized Clapham Junction Whole Foods Market store is a one-stop shop for everyday essentials, from fresh fish and just-baked breads, to meats, cheeses and all of your general groceries. They only work with producers that share their commitment to great tasting food that is fresh, wholesome and safe to eat, seeking out and promoting organically grown foods. They also have a section called Whole Body which features their organic skincare range for the whole family including make-up and natural remedies. Whole Foods Market Clapham Junction is also a great place to eat. They pick the freshest ingredients; add a dollop of local flavor, a pinch of seasonal flair and the skill of a trained chef to bring a taste of fine dining to Clapham Junction. Plus you can create your own fresh juice, smoothie or coffee at their juice bar. THIS IS THE BEST BIT…they are giving away a Christmas Hamper to one lucky LoveClapham reader …YAY! All you have to do is send us an email explaining why you deserve to win the hamper in no more than 100 words and we’ll pick the best! The winner will be announced on the 15th of December. Good luck!

Pretty Pregnant Pamper Evening

 Pretty Pregnant would like to invite local Mums and Mums to be to their exclusive Autumn/ Winter 2011 Sale Preview with discounts of up to 70% off at their Northcore Road Store on the 1st December between 5-7pm. Therapists from Neals Yard Remedies will also be on hand to offer you complimentary mini taster treatments to alleviate any shopping fatigue. Not only that, but all attendees will receve a goodie bag with lots of lovely Neals Yard and Pretty Pregnant products to take home. Shopping, pampering and a goodie bag! What more could you ask for?! To attend this event, simply email to book a pampering treatment. RSVP only.

Lambeth’s Library

Proposals to reform Lambeth’s library services are being heard by the Council today. The plans, drawn up by Lambeth’s Library Commission, propose to give residents more say in how libraries are run. This is on the back of Lambeth Council’s heavily publicised plans  to become a co-operative council. The commission – set up to recommend how Lambeth’s libraries could bring about a £750k reduction in the library budget – has suggested that, rather than close libraries, staff structures should be remodelled, waste reduced, and more self service technology brought in. Under the plans, Brixton and Streatham libraries will be open seven days a week fully equipped with the latest IT and a full range of specialist library staff. West Norwood, Minet, Carnegie, Durning and South Lambeth libraries will all remain open and be developed into community libraries, run in partnership with the residents who will decide how they are managed, how budgets are spent. Clapham’s new library will open in the New Year.