Chairman's Blog - Feb 2022


As the days lengthen and green shoots appear in the ground, we can only hope that the worst days of the pandemic are over. We have been forced to close our social centre, the Pavilion, for most of the past two years, but gradually the Management Committee has been able to re-open it in a responsible and socially distanced way. 


We are pleased that the very successful Pavilion Club founded by our honorary president Jill Truman and the late, much-missed Andrea Hannan for our older residents, has been able to re-start and will, when it is safe to do so, get back to full numbers for its weekly get-together.  Andrea sadly died, too young, a couple of years ago and a rose bush has been planted, in her daughter’s presence, in her memory. There is a plaque to commemorate her along the pathway to the Pavilion. We all miss her cheerful personality. 


It is a source of real pride that we have been able to keep in touch with our members by means of newsletters, Guides, the website and Nextdoor throughout the pandemic.

The many volunteers who deliver The Guide deserve our thanks for carrying on doing so even through the worst days of semi-lockdown. 

I particularly want to mention and thank those area co-ordinators and road stewards who have retired or moved away since the start of the pandemic: Zahra Hassan & Chris Quinby (Bushey), Marjorie Reynolds (Claremont), Yvonne Sharp (Elm Walk), Carol Hicks (Heath Drive), and Arthur Holden & Chris Hollingshead (Westway). We hope to see you at our next social function to thank you for your years of service. 

Fortunately, we still have a large force of excellent volunteers – and we always like to hear from members who are able to take on some of the deliveries. 


We are due to hold a meeting on 31 January (by Zoom) with Council officers, ward councillors, and residents in the area to try and work out an achievable scheme to control the various and many problems of traffic using Grand Drive.  There are too many lorries, sometimes overweight, and often using the road out of permitted hours. 

They disturb sleep and cause vibrations and damage to local houses.  The road is clogged with too many vehicles in both rush hours.   Despite warning signs and the imposition of a 20mph limit, traffic often drives far too fast, without any consistent enforcement.

We will report more on this matter on this website. 


The Mayor of London requires all the London boroughs to provide more housing, and Merton is due to complete its local plan, which will try to assimilate the extra numbers required. 

It seems to me to be obvious that when many town centres are dying owing to the huge increase in internet shopping and shopping malls, that the emphasis should be on converting unused shops into residential accommodation. That, after all, was how town centres developed over many centuries, with shops next door to houses and flats. 

 It would make for more vibrant centres, cut down on traffic, and help to slow down the need to build ghastly high-rise developments such as that proposed on the Tesco site.

Wishing all our members a happy and healthy 2022.                      John Elvidge


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