Clapham Spring News Round-up

Clapham Common Spring Sunset

Like a big bad pink boyfriend, I have let you down Clapham. Love Clapham simply hasn’t been paying you enough attention recently. With spring in the air however, it’s time for me to bring out the flowers and make things better. Yes, I am going to virtually snog you with an update on the latest Clapham news. Read on dear and loyal Clappers, read on…

First, the good news – it’s not bloody winter any more! If you’re anything like Love Clapham you will have noticed the plants are growing, the psychotic squirrels are chasing birds around our gardens again and this giant ball of burning flame has appeared in the sky which you may – quite rightly – have forgotten is called The Sun. With the re-emergence of The Sun, Clapham seems to have sprung into life and activity.

Clapham is a buzz with local events at the moment with Venn Street Market now a regular on any discerning Clapper’s social schedule. There is also a Jazz Brunch (only in Clapham, eh Clappers?), an Easter Craft Fair and Street Hip Hop Dance Classes to keep you busy in the coming weeks.

There seems to have been some local shop activity too. Over on Love Clapham’s side of town, Clapham North (aka the best part of Clapham), a new clothes shop and hairdressers have opened under the recently renovated arches. Get this: they are both coffee shops too. Yes, a coffee shop in a clothes shop and a hairdresser. Proving that in Clapham we actually DO do things by halves, we just do two things by halves and stick them together.

Of course, with all that fun comes a serious side… WAIT right where you are. Serious is good too. Elections are looming and the local parties are becoming as hyper as the local squirrels, dropping off leaflets and trying to explain why Labour, the Conservatives or the Lib Dems are the best for our community. Labour have looked after Lambeth for some time now and have done an excellent job. Whether you want things to stay that way or you want to try something different is obviously your decision – we’d welcome your opinion though.

The only leisure you'll be getting out of this Leisure Centre for the time being is destruction

The only leisure you'll be getting out of this Leisure Centre for the time being is destruction

Which leads nicely onto the bad news, if bad news can ever be introduced nicely. Clapham no longer has a swimming pool, the leisure centre is in the process of being demolished (photos here), as is the massive old grey tower block on Clapham High Street. Also, we received an email from London Underground last week informing us the Northern Line is going to be closed early on some evenings in the week and over 1 in 3 weekends for the next 18 months or so. Ouch. Wasn’t it only a couple of years ago we went through this?

On the mega plus side, the reason for the pool / leisure centre smash up is because it will eventually be replaced by a spanking new leisure centre. Although we will have to wait until the end of 2011 for it to open. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so Love Clapham can deal with this time period (although some of our Twitter followers don’t want to).

The only other bad news from Love Clapham’s perspective is that Clapham High Street’s water pipe replacement by Thames Water is still on going, and that started at least 18 months ago. It’s been a right royal pain in the Clapham ass the entire time too.

Oh, and junk mail from local businesses is still an issue.

However, and it’s a big however, it looks like Clapham is continuing to be on the up. All of these improvements will result in eventual rewards to be reaped by Clapham residents. So, all will hopefully be well that ends well. Stay tooned Clappers, Love Clapham won’t be as lazy with the updates in future and I may even right them properly instead of the annoying way in which I’ve written this story.

(Thanks to @ishra for the photos!)

6 thoughts on “Clapham Spring News Round-up

  1. Thanks for your round up of news LoveClapham. On the question of which party is best for Lambeth and Clapham, I agree that labour has done an excellent job. I still have bad memories of the Lib-Dem/Conservative ruling coalition which ended in 2005, it was awful and Clapham was a dirty area then as local services were not forthcoming. There were cuts in local spending and money was used instead for building new council offices on the Vauxhall water front. There was also that awful episode of the missing millions. The Lib-Dems/Conservatives were even going to sell off Mary Secole house to private developers instead of buidling a library! And they said there was no money to re-furbish the pool too. I’m not a labour campaigner but I think given the unique issues of deprivation facing Lambeth, Labour are best placed to tackle those issues effectively. The Lib-Dems have not done a terrific job in Southwark either and have alienated a cross-section of the population, they are more of a protest vote party in wealthy conservative areas and don’t seem to understand how to deal with inner London issues. As for the Conservatives, they haven’t done much campaigning in Clapham and one suspects that they are focusing their energies on areas they are more capable of winning. As one conservative campaigner told me before the last election, “There are just too many rich lefties, foreigners, gays, students, minorities and liberal young people living in Clapham for us to bother about the area” They did not win a single seat in the Clapham wards.

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