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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Hyde Park concerts coming to Clapham Common?

Live Nation’s large live concerts look to be moving from Hyde Park to Clapham Common from summer 2014.

Clapham Live Nation festivals?

We were first alerted over the weekend on our Twitter account by a fellow Clapper and this morning the report looks to be confirmed by a press release from our local community group, the Friends of Clapham Common.

Friends of Clapham Common are very clear on their position: “We are objecting in the strongest possible terms to Lambeth Council’s proposal to permit an events company to put on large-scale events on Clapham Common that could see 45,000 people a day descending on the area.”

Their Chairman, Melanie Oxley, went on to say “The commercialisation of Clapham Common has reached new heights. Lambeth Council risks converting our heritage landscape into an enterprise platform. Despite clear objections from ourselves and others, Lambeth is welcoming all kinds of unsuitable events.”

How do you feel? Will the cultural benefits of concerts from major music artists like Lady Gaga and Coldplay improve our area? Or will yet another influx of revellers destroy what makes Clapham Common so special already?

Clapham Library looking for Volunteer Administrator

Clapham Library

Fancy working for this landmark Clapham building? Well, you can if you can volunteer two days a week to be an administrator for Clapham Library as it transforms into a community arts centre and moves to the new building on Clapham High Street. Read on for the full job description. Continue reading

Twitter Tweet Cookoff

Twitter cook off

Now for something totally random! BBC journalist, Maggie Philbin, and her sister Nickie are organising June’s Twitter Tweet Cookoff. What the tweet is that you ask? Well, each month a challenge is set for Twitter users to bake and post their photos of a certain dessert. Entries are then judged by the previous winner and local Clapham celebrity chef, Adam Byatt of Trinity London. June’s dessert is a “summer tart” and entries have to be in by Midday tomorrow, so get cooking! Last month’s winner, chosen by Nickie and Adam, was local Clapper, Edward Clarke – can Clapham claim the crown twice in a row?! Read on for further details. Continue reading

Supernova Korfball Club Tournament on Clapham Common

Korfball Clapham Common

In the summer Clapham is awash with sport, and our first report of the year is in. Earlier this week Clapham Common played host to the Supernova Korfball Club Tournament. What’s Korfball? In a nutshell, it’s a game with two teams, two zones and you score by getting the ball into raised rings with similarities to both basketball and netball. Supernova, a Clapham based club, holds the tournament each year. Continue reading

Clapham sport clubs

Clapham sports clubs

Like sports? Live in or near Clapham? Then you really have no excuse not to get off your backside and get involved in some Clapham sports. It probably hasn’t escaped your attention that Clapham has a huge common and guess what, local residents definitely make the most of it. You can walk, run, cycle and skate around it and the many local parks for free, but if you fancy a bit of group or one-on-one action, this page lists some of Clapham’s sport clubs. Clubs and teams range from football, frisbee and lacrosse all the way to canoeing. Yeah, canoeing. Believe it! Continue reading

Twittering Mayor recognised for web use

Jason Cobb and Mayor of Lambeth

Local Twitterer (is that a proper noun yet?) Jason Cobb caught up with our on and offline social networking Mayor of Lambeth for an interview that you can listen to in the rest of this post. We’ve noticed the Mayor, Christopher Wellbelove, has been using the likes of Twitter and Facebook to full effect, encouraging more and more people to interact with Lambeth Council in loads of different ways. It’s a refreshing change that we hope spreads throughout other local authorities. Continue reading

MSF Clapham Treasure Hunt

MSF Clapham Treasure Hunt

Here’s a cool thing, this month the sixth MSF Clapham Treasure Hunt takes place to help raise money for MSF, a charity that supplies medical aid around the world to people who might otherwise not receive it. It gets better because it’s held in Clapham, organised by local resident Sarah Turtle and you can support it by taking part and donating. Continue reading

Ben & Jerry’s Sundae on Clapham Common festival

Ben and Jerry's Sundae on Clapham Common festival

The best tasting festival in London is coming back to Clapham Common! Ben & Jerry’s Sundae on the Common festival will be gracing Clapham Common on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th of July. No acts or attractions have been announced yet, you can’t even buy tickets, so there’s not much to say other than to pop it into your diary. You can be guaranteed of free icecream however. Check back on Love Clapham soon for the latest info but in the meantime, register your interest on the Ben & Jerry’s Sundae on the Common website.

Christopher Wellbelove, Mayor of Lambeth (part 2)

Christopher Wellbelove Lambeth Mayor Clapham Town Ward and Jack Wallington

If you’ve read Part 1 of our interview with Christopher Wellbelove, Mayor of Lambeth and councillor to the Clapham Town Ward, you’ll be familiar with his background. In part 2 he explains the importance of young people’s voices being heard, upcoming plans for Clapham and things he enjoys in his spare time. Continue reading

Christopher Wellbelove, Mayor of Lambeth (part 1)

Christopher Wellbelove Lambeth Mayor and Clapham Town Ward

This week Love Clapham met with Christopher Wellbelove, recently elected as the Mayor of Lambeth and councillor for the Clapham Town Ward since 2006. It was an enlightening and hugely enjoyable discussion about local projects, Twittering for Lambeth and Eurovision – finger on the pulse? More than you’d imagine. Continue reading

Clapham Junction has police injection

Clapham Junction Platform

Awesome news for Clappers today as blonde bombshell Boris Johnson announced an influx of security in the form of a new police force in Clapham Junction. The nine person strong team will patrol the Clapham Junction area and its public transport. This is very welcome news for Love Clapham because not only are more Bobbies on the Beat a visible sign of reassurance, the size of the team means there’s some serious policing business to be had. Wrong doers begone! On a related note, the Clapham Town Safer Neighbourhoods Team has been in touch to say that “if anyone wants to speak to us in confidence regarding any criminal activities etc, just give us a call on the team number: 0208 721 2825.”