Chairman's Blog - July 2013

We had a well attended open meeting in June in the West Barnes Library. It was very useful having the meeting there, since there were two items of potentially major importance to Motspur Park.
The first is that there is a proposal known as Crossrail 2 being suggested by Transport for London and Network Rail for a new fast rail route from Epsom, stopping at Motspur Park and Raynes Park, and going across London via Clapham Junction to Victoria and Euston, and out to stations in north east London. It would mean you could get from this area to Euston in less than 20 minutes. Our transport expert, Rachel Skinner, explained the proposals to the meeting, and her detailed briefing note can be found here. It makes for very interesting reading. We thank her for this.  Responses are being sought to the proposals by 2nd August, and we urge everyone to send in a reply, which can easily be done over the net.
The view of those present was that while we welcome in principle the wider regional route suggested, there will be drawbacks that have to be recognised and dealt with, if possible. Those so far identified are that since there will be more trains, the barriers on the level crossings at Motspur Park and West Barnes Lane will be down for even longer periods. There will also be more noise from trains for those living nearest to the track.
The second exciting development is that permission has been given for a new “free” primary school in this area. You can see the details in Jan Bailey’s report. The school will take in two classes of 30 pupils a year from September 2014.  One of the sites identified for the school is the large office building next to Motspur Park station which is empty at present, and which would appear to have capacity for an eventual total of 420 pupils and the staff. Although the building has no grassed playing area, the Sir Joseph Hood Memorial Playing Fields are within walking distance. The School is to be known as the Park Community School, and is run by a number of local organisations, including the University of Roehampton, the YMCA, the Salvation Army, the Doxa Deo Church and King’s College School and led by a charity. It will specialise in English and Music and aims to have an inclusive Christian ethos.
I was invited to the formal opening of the Tennis Club at its new site off Grand Drive. It was opened by the Mayor, and Stephen Hammond MP played a game.  The Club is extremely pleased with its new premises, which have five state of the art hard courts, and a purpose built pavilion. They hope to be able to obtain some floodlighting.  They have been able to increase their number of courts from 3 to 5, and they are more generally visible since there is a public walkway and cycle track across the former Lessa site.  At their open day in April, they attracted 54 new people who were interested in joining. They have an active programme for juniors.  We wish them well in their new venture. They remain affiliated to the Association and were founded originally as part of the social activities set up by us many years ago.
We have now completed the major part of the conversion of the former tennis pavilion for use as a community centre, and it is open for general bookings. The centre, which we have yet to name (and we would welcome suggestions), now looks warm and welcoming, and is open for general bookings. It is ideal for small groups or parties of up to 40 people, and we have already secured two bookings from members of the Association for family gatherings.
The centre is open for booking on Friday afternoons and over the weekends, and enquiries can be made via e-mail on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 07834 986071.  Clary Hughes has kindly volunteered to manage our bookings.
The Rainbow Play Café is our core tenant and is advertised here.
We have also applied for a grant so that we can build a ramp to get full disabled access.   We have already designed the toilets so that they are wheelchair accessible.
The work to convert the premises has been difficult and time consuming, but has gone extremely smoothly. Our open meeting passed a vote of thanks to those who have carried out this major undertaking, Jerry Cuthbert, Andrew Barwick, and David Freeman. I would also like publicly to thank Christine Rowe for dealing with the insurance and the grant application, and John Townsend for arranging the finances.
John Elvidge

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