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.

Clapham Markets

The Clapham area is now completely spoilt for choice when it comes to markets. From posh nosh to fresh flowers, we Clappers have it all. Given the number of chain supermarkets and restaurants in the area, it’s no wonder the Clapham markets are increasingly popular with local residents. We want choice dammit! With three markets in the direct vicinity and others close by, there really is no excuse to shop local and benefit from better quality. Continue reading

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.

Clapham Common Fayre 2012

Here’s a date for your diary Clappers, the Clapham Common Fayre 2012. Every year the Holy Trinity Church on Clapham Common is transformed into a hub of community with local produce and entertainment. Last year there were even donkeys! It’s great fun and we highly recommend you make time for it on Saturday 16th June from 11.00am. The church itself is such an important local landmark, it really is fab that the fayre is run each year.

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.

Clapham News Roundup

Happy summer Clappers! Well, almost. It’s still a bit chilly but the sun’s out, the flowers are in bloom and we at Love Clapham HQ are feeling it. There have been quite a few developments around Clapham over recent months leading us into what promises to be a better summer in Claps than ever. Here’s the roundup…

WHSmith has opened on Clapham High Street, which might not seem like a huge deal but it’s significant as the first big brand shop to open since Boots took over from Woolworths a couple of years ago. Given that Clapham High Street has very limited shops compared to bars and restaurants, we’re happy about this.

Of course, the new Clapham Leisure Centre has been open for a few months now and is being heavily used – a great success after eighteen months without it, albeit with mixed feedback from our loyal readers.

Venn Street has really transformed the Clapham High Street area. Bringing a weekly market on Saturday’s with very high quality produce and snacks, but most noticeably for pedestrianising the road creating a community hub. We love it.

As you’ll see in the previous posts there’s huge debate about the bus station situation in Clapham Old Town – should more busses be stopping in one of Clapham’s prettiest spots?

Finally, Love Clapham has been hit with a series of stray cats, luckily they’ve all been re-homed. But where are they coming from?!

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.

Lost Cat Clapham

Is this your cat, or do you recognise him? He arrived in our back garden near Clapham North, between Edgeley Road and Clapham Manor Street, on Saturday night and hasn’t left – which makes us think he may also come from an end terrace. He’s relatively large, fairly fluffy and very friendly, wanting attention – we believe he’s male but not confirmed. Has a deepish miaow, a tortoiseshell coat on top and all white underneath. While he seems in relatively good shape, he’s clearly been outside for a while with a scratch on his face that’s healing. He’s miaowing a lot :(

Update: we’ve now taken him to the vet and onto Battersea Cats and Dogs Home where he is currently housed and being cleaned up should you recognise him or want to adopt him. He is lovely!