Clapham Christmas Lights – THIS FRIDAY!

Big event this Friday Clappers, the Chrimbo light switch on. And this year the local businesses are going all out. Music, stilt walkers, fire performers, historical tours, the lot! 

It all kicks off at 5.30pm at Clapham North station with a parade walking down Clapham High Street to Clapham Common tube for the light switch on countdown at 6.15pm. 

From 7 – 10pm there will be historical and wildlife tours by the legendary Clapham Society. Plus light installations around the area, the fire performers, silent cinema and lots more. 

This is a fantastic event and I hope you all get involved! Loads of effort has gone into it and we cannot wait, very exciting new Friday ahead.  

Clapham Fireworks for Bonfire Night, November 2015

Ever since the Clapham Common Fireworks were cancelled, Clappers have been in turmoil as to where to go for some whiz bangs. Well, 2015 is just the same folks. Here we go:

  1. St Paul’s Church in Clapham Old Town, 6pm Saturday 7th November: advance tickets only at £10 for adults and £4 for kiddies. If you’re lucky, you might be able to grab one of these but it’s limited to 700 people and sells out incredibly quickly. All proceeds go to the church. Bad news is, this is the only Clapham based fireworks, so we’re … probably… going to have to venture…. out of Clapham, argh!
  2. Battersea Park, 8pm Saturday 7th November: £8 advance tickets for adults, £10 on the night. Free for under 10s. Full info is here on the Lambeth site and you can buy your tickets from Tickemaster direct here.
  3. Street corners, all week 1st – 8th November: free but fired dangerously around the roads by yoofs. Just kidding! Only I’m not kidding, this is Sawf Lundun afterall. You can watch out for this but I wouldn’t advise it… Instead call the cops on these hoodlums.

And that’s it. Desperate times Guy Fawkes fans. Personally, I’m not a fan of this “fireworks on a convenient Saturday instead of the 5th of November” malarkey. For 2016 I would like a proper 5th of November Clapham Common explosive and bonfire-a-thon. Complete with jacket potatoes, toffee apples and sparklers. Let’s live dangerously right? Right? No? Just me? OK :(

Any other fireworks tips, please leave a comment below.

Clapham South Deep-level Air Raid Shelter

Clapham is one of the most historic parts of London, yet most people know nothing about Clapham’s history. Believe it or not, if you live in Clapham proper, one of the area’s secrets is beneath your feet: literally miles of air raid shelters, over 30 meters down, below the underground.

clapham south deep level shelter - 10You’ll recognise the entrances as those round buildings you’ve probably either wondered what their purpose is, or assumed were part of the tube. Wrongo. They are entrances to underground mini-cities that, when open, would have safely held 8,000 people. That’s even bigger and deeper than Infernos – but probably still better lit.

The London Transport Museum had a major breakthrough recently, receiving permission to open one of Clapham’s many Deep-level Shelters. Built during World War II as air raid shelters against the blitz. We were lucky enough to book tickets for the opening week. Without wanting to give away ‘too’ much, below is a small selection of photos.

It sold out pretty quickly but it is well worth the wait and £30 admission fee – worth every penny. It was a truly memorable experience with outstanding guides. And I hope they get to keep them open so thousands more people can experience Clapham below ground… er, belower ground than the underground and WC that is.
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Sainsbury’s open one millionth store in Clapham

Sainsbury’s has unveiled plans to buy up every single retail outlet down Clapham High Street in 2015.

Clapham Sainsbury's car park

Rumours that Sainsbury’s plans to stamp this logo on your fridge and call it a Sainsbury’s Localler are as yet unconfirmed.

In an attempt to have the world’s longest supermarket, the chain is currently celebrating the opening of their one millionth store in Clapham at Clapham North. That’s one million in Clapham alone, on top of all the others around the country.

Their aim is to have every retail shop become a Sainsbury’s Local in an attempt to repeat stock over and over again along the high street, around the common, down through Northcote Road and then back up through Clapham South and Abbeville Road.

However, every store will be linked by an underground network using the WWII bomb shelters next to each tube station. A series of travellators will allow the safe passage of trollies from one Sainsbury’s Local to another.

When viewed from space, people will see a large triangle symbol around the shape of Clapham Common generated by the lights of each Sainsbury’s Local. A state of the art projector will then project a giant Sainsbury’s ‘S’ into the centre of the triangle creating a cheeky version of the Superman logo. All to be ready just in time for the first passengers of Virgin Galactic to take Instagram photos and share on social networks as a Sainsbury’s sponsored meme.

One Clapham resident said “I just want another M&S” before sobbing into her orange Sainsbury’s bag for life.

Burgers and American BBQ restaurants in Clapham

Clapham is fast becoming THE place to go for burgers and American-style barbecue restaurants. Clapham High Street alone is home to the ever popular Bodean’s, posh burgers at Haché, the old faithful Gourmet Burger Kitchen, as well as a large new branch of Byron. Other recent newcomers are the lively Honky Tonk bar and diner near Clapham Common and the brand new Chicago Rib Shack which is underneath the arches by Clapham High Street station and is running opening discounts.
We popped into Red Dog South recently, which opened opposite Clapham North station a few months ago. It was a warm summer evening when we visited so we sat outside until late at one of the tables out front. We also had a peek at the restaurant area inside which is decked out in wood panelling giving it a bit of a wild west feel in keeping with the American saloon theme.
The menu covers everything from ribs and burgers to fried catfish and southern fried chicken. We particularly enjoyed a juicy blue cheese burger and a side of original buffalo wings which were tasty and tangy with just the right amount of spiciness, plus the blue cheese sauce that comes with the wings is not to be missed!
If you’re feeling particularly hungry (or competitive) Red Dog has a couple of challenges for you to sink your teeth into! The mighty Devastator burger is made from steak mince, pulled pork, 6 rashers of bacon and 6 slices of cheese (phew!) The challenge is to finish the burger and a milkshake within 10 minutes.
And if you can stand the heat there’s the hot wing challenge which allows 10 minutes to eat 6 chicken wings made with red hot naga viper chillies.  On our visit there was a brave contender getting stuck into the hot wing challenge complete with latex gloves to protect from the fiery chillies! Winners receive a t-shirt and a proud place on the restaurant’s ‘wall of flame’ leader board….
With a range of newbies opening up alongside the established chains, if it’s ribs, wings, pulled pork and burgers you’re after, then you’re spoilt for choice for places to get your fill in Clapham.
Where’s your favourite place for burgers and BBQ? Will a branch of MeatLiquor be next to come to Clapham High Street?! Completed any of the man vs food challenges?
Share your favourites on the community forum >>
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WC: Wine & Charcuterie – coming to Clapham Common toilet!

Very exciting news arrived this week Clappers. Exciting for two reasons. Number one, the 100 year old toilet – the UK’s most famous toilet – directly next to Clapham Common tube has been converted into a posh wine and charcuterie bar. Who knew! I certainly didn’t spot any works happening, but then it is underground. Now you’ll hear the trickle of wine instead of… No! Stop there.

It seats 40 people downstairs and, amazing news, another 40 people outside on the previously derelict grassy island. This will make such a difference to the area – the developers, local organisations and council should be commended for making this happen.

Number two, and most exciting of all is that they’ve kept ‘some’ original features (hopefully this is one refurb where most ‘features’ don’t still exist). Including some love letters found behind some tiles during the work. They are housed in the new toilets in the bar.

So, a new place for people to meet and have a good time, this time out in the open air. Best of all, it’s totally local and not a big brand chain.

It opens its cubicles from early July.

Summer events on Clapham Common

Ignore the unpredictable weather, Clappers – summer is coming and Clapham Common has some amazing events lined up to keep us entertained over the coming months. We’ve rounded up the best festivals taking place on your doorstep…


Sub Audio
Love dance music but your friends are more into indie?  Sub Audio festival may have the perfect solution… The guys from Gigalum bar are hosting Clapham’s first ever silent disco on 24th & 25th May. DJs will be playing music ranging from indie to techno, but you select whatever takes your fancy on your own wireless headphones. With 3 channels to choose from there’ll be no arguments with your mates about whether to head to the acoustic tent or stay raving at the dance stage.


Alongside the music there’ll be 8 marquees with fun stuff going on including a powder paint fight, glitter wrestling and a shisha lounge, as well as a range of food stalls. The fun takes place on the common next to Clapham South tube and tickets are available here


Food glorious food!
The Foodies Festival returns to Clapham on 6th-8th June. You’ll find plenty of food and drink to sample, with street food stalls serving up dishes from around the world, live music, cooking demonstrations, wine tastings and a farmers market to buy your own ingredients. For tickets and to find out more, visit the Foodies Festival website  


Calling Festival
Formerly known as Hard Rock Calling, the live music event moves to its new location on Clapham Common this year. Soul legend Stevie Wonder will be headlining on Saturday 28th June with vintage rock stars Aerosmith topping the bill on Sunday 29th June. And if that’s not enough, there’ll be more rock from Bon Jovi’s Richie Sambora, laid back guitar tunes from Jack Johnson and hits from quirky pop princess Paloma Faith. Find out more here


South West Four 
The annual dance festival kicks off over the August bank holiday weekend. Top dance music DJs from deadmau5 and Above & Beyond to Sasha and Pete Tong will descend on Clapham Common bringing you house, electro, techno and trance beats. Join the SW4 party on 23rd and 24th August.


Disney movies showing at Clapham Picturehouse

LionKingCast Great news film fans!  The Vintage Sundays film season has returned to Clapham Picturehouse and this season they’ll be screening classic Disney movies. You can relive your childhood memories and sing along to your favourite songs like When You Wish Upon a Star and Hakuna Matata, or take your little ones to experience the animations on the big screen for the first time. The season runs until 20th April and the cinema will be showing some of Disney’s best loved musicals and fairy tales. Upcoming films are:

30 March – Cinderella
6 April – Pinocchio
13 April – Beauty and the Beast
20 April – The Lion King

Screenings are at 12:00 noon every Sunday and ticket prices are £8.00 for adults and £6.00 for children. Book your tickets here

Free bike checks on Clapham Common


Lambeth Council’s Dr Bike clinic returns to Clapham Common on 5th February.

Bring your bike along to get checked out and have simple maintenance work, like brake adjustment or gear tuning, taken care of for free. Cycle mechanics will also be on hand to answer questions and offer advice on keeping your bike on the road during the winter months.

The session on 5th February will run from 4.30-7.00pm on Clapham Common Northside. You’ll find Dr Bike at the junction with Cedars Road, on the near side of the cycle path that crosses the common.

The team will also be running bike clinics in Brixton and Kennington; returning to Clapham Common on 5th March.