New Clapham Leisure Centre Open

Clapham has been without a swimming pool for over a year but the new leisure centre (which looks something like the above drawing) is open. And dagnamit, it’s only got a swimming pool with a moving floor to change its depth! This probably entitles Clappers to say we have a ‘state of the art’ leisure centre. It also has a large gym area and a sports hall above it. Fabulous. For those of you going “whaaa? A new leisure centre? In Clapham?” you can find it on Clapham Manor Street next to the equally healthy KFC. Have you been yet, what do you think? Tell everyone below…

Clapham Junction Riots

Monday 8th of August 2011 will be the day all local residents remember wanton violence coming to our much loved streets. Worst hit was the Clapham Junction area around Lavender Hill caught in its early throes in the below video.

Of course, the most familiar image to us all is now the gutted Party Superstore – which Love Clapham has frequented for many a fancy dress party – ablaze.

Other shops were smashed, looted and destroyed in a disgusting abuse of our local area. Clapham High Street was largely unaffected, although Blockbuster near Clapham North has had its windows smashed, and property destroyed and stolen. Love Clapham witnessed a gang of 20 or so hooded youths lurking behind KFC at around 11pm – they may have been entirely innocent, but last night was not the night to be hanging around in gangs.

Riot police eventually turn up en masse captured in this resident’s video:

No one involved had any intentions of delivering a political of social message, they just wanted to enjoy themselves by destroying people’s livelihoods. It was disturbing to watch on television, and terrifying for some of our residents stuck in the thick of the violence. Personally, the worst image for me was that of the young girls in the attack laughing at their friends tearing a TV off the wall in Ladbrokes. Such a depressingly pathetic display of ignorance and stupidity.

But the local community has come together in a tear jerking response as residents supported those affected today with broom in hand to clean up. Something to be proud of. Take care Clappers.

Read more on the following websites:

Sainsbury’s on Abbeville Road controversy

If you live in the Clapham South / Abbeville Road area you may have heard that Sainsbury’s would like to open a new local store on Abbeville Road itself amongst the local shops. It will go in the large retail space that used to be Dexters restaurant (where you could amazingly buy a full English breakfast with the works, tea, coffee and a fruit just for about £8 – no wonder it went under!) This development is proving to be fairly controversial, dividing residents right down the middle. Some want to keep the road local shops only, while others welcome the idea of an affordable local supermarket. No doubt the supermarket will get its way regardless – but what do you think? Interestingly, the even more controversial betting shop that opened on Abbeville Road has now closed, after only a couple of years of poor trade.

Let’s hope you have a sense of humour

Bored Clappers. WE HAVE BEEN BORED. With a lack of things to do in the evening in Clapham, us Clappers have had to turn to either binge drinking, paying extortionate prices for meals or jogging around the common. All of which sound good in principle but leave you with an empty, soul destroying feeling afterwards in their own unique ways. So it’s with a massive sigh of relief and a cheer that Love Clapham can announce that The Funny Side… of Clapham Common comedy nights are now every blinkin’ Thursday at the Alexandra on Clapham Common south side (by the bus stops!) Check it out, it’s a bargainous £12.50 and you can still binge drink, eat and perhaps jog home. Wonderful.

Clapham History: past local disasters

Love Clapham has received an email from the disasters historian, John Withington, who has a book out called London Disasters. In the book is a piece on Clapham disasters which is an interesting, if tragic read. In the book John explains how at the Arding & Hobbs store in Clapham Junction (now Debenhams)  in the run-up to Christmas in 1909, a fairy light bulb exploded in the window and set fire to tinsel and cotton wool decorations. Continue reading

Join the Clapham Community!

Love Clapham has just launched a new, better, easier to use online community to help our mission of bringing everyone in Clapham together using this site.  Whether you just want to see who’s in the area or voice a concern about Clapham issues, please join to talk and meet other people in your area. We have a new community events section and an improved directory on the way soon as part of the community. Together we are better connected, better informed and a stronger voice.

Join the Clapham Community!

Clapham Common Festivals 2010

It’s that time of year again when we all head to Clapham Common, strip off most (in some cases all) of our clothes and burn our skin to the sound of amazing music from some of the world’s best artists with an alcoholic bevvy in hand. Yup, it’s time for Clapham Common Festival season – just another typical summer eh? There’s tonnes going on and here’s a brief run through of what’s been, gone and coming up… Continue reading

Clapham Cycle Superhighway

Love Clapham is prone to the odd over-the-top superlative here and there (obviously!) but believe it or not, that is the actual name of those new blue streaks down Clapham High Street. Yes ladies and gentlemen, thanks to the heads up from Clapper @XanderBrown, say hello to Clapham’s section of the Cycle Superhighway! Continue reading

Two cult novels by local author

Brixton Clapham author Helen Smith

Exciting news! Local author Helen Smith, who lives on the border of Brixton and Clapham, has just had her two novels based in the area republished ten years after their original release. The first, Alison Wonderland, is about a woman who joins an all-female detective agency in Brixton – it includes a scene on Clapham Common and another in Battersea Park . The second, Being Light, is about a man who flies away on a freak gust of wind while setting up a bouncy castle in Brockwell Park. Love Clapham has managed to get our grubby paws on two signed copies of the books to give away to two Clappers. If you’d like to win them, email in the answer to this question: what other famous female author spent some time living in Clapham? Winner to be announced on Friday 16th July. Learn more about the two books below. Continue reading

Clapham Junction Station revamp scaled back

Clapham Junction Platform

As you may have heard by now, Network Rail has had to cancel a number of major UK station redevelopments after having its £100 million budget reduced in the new Government’s budget cuts. The busiest station in Europe, our very own Clapham Junction, was the first and possibly most high profile of the station improvement works to face the chop. So, the severely run down station will stay that way for a long time to come. Given how bad it is already, Love Clapham dreads to think how it will look over the coming years and that’s not even taking into account safety – some of those platforms are incredibly uneven and dangerous. The London Evening Standard has more details of some works that will still take place, but still, it’s a blow given how many people use this station every single day.

Clapham Junction hotel approved!

Clapham Junction Hotel approved

Well blow me down – will you just look at this Clappers! It’s only the bloomin’ phoenix of an approved hotel rising from the ashes of the rejected plans from last year.  Yep, this revised plan of a seventy room hotel with, from what I can tell, seven floors (it’s actually 8 – thanks Cyril!) has been approved by planners. A fantastic result for all concerned because not only does Clapham Junction receive a much needed development in a tired corner, local residents can now enjoy the service without the worry of the high sky line.

Clapham High Street Fire

Clapham High Street Fire

If you were walking or driving through Clapham on Sunday 4th July you no doubt saw the chaos caused by a fairly severe fire opposite Clapham Common underground station on Clapham High Street. The start of the fire, in the Float Centre health clinic, is under investigation, but The Sun is reporting it may have been started by a sun bed. Thankfully no Clappers were seriously injured although a 70 year old lady was taken to hospital for smoke inhalation and the two ladies photographed had a fairly traumatic experience perched on a second floor window ledge. Well, we do like a bit of drama in Claps, don’t we? (Source: Daily Mail)