Chairman's Blog - Feb 2018

Our Milkman

The milkman whose round has covered the whole of the West Barnes area every week for almost 50 years is retiring at the end of February.   He is John Braden MBE who is a familiar figure to very many of our Members. We wish him and his family all the best for a long and well-deserved retirement.

John began working or United Dairies in August 1968 (now Milk & More) and has had to start 5 or 6 days a week, winter and summer and in all weathers, by 3.30 am, for a round that is not completed until the afternoon.

John’s round covers such roads as Cannon Hill Lane, Parkway, Elm Walk, Southway, Westway, Oakway, Linkway, Grand Drive, and all the roads off.

One of our Members has rightly described him as a “very reliable, conscientious, and kind-hearted man, who is thoughtful, cheerful, sociable, and has made a huge contribution to his neighbourhood and its sense of community”. 

John was awarded the MBE for his actions in noticing that an elderly lady in Southway had not collected her milk from the previous day, and saw through the letter box that she had fallen in the hall.  This saved her life. Her neighbours in Southway asked for his public-spirited action and his general community service to be rewarded, and he was presented with the MBE.

If you would like to mark your appreciation of John’s service, we are making a collection to present to him. Contributions can be sent or taken to John Townsend, our Treasurer at 128 Grand Drive, and clearly marked “Donation – John Braden”, or given to the person nominated to collect for your road.  

Wimbledon Police Station

We reported previously that the Mayor of London is to close and sell off Wimbledon Police Station, among many others, claiming that the savings are needed to protect the jobs of front line staff. The Times reported before Christmas that the university lecturer who lives in Wimbledon and who suffered horrific injuries during a raid by four thugs on his family home hopes to prevent this closure by bringing a judicial review in the High Court. He believes that his life was only saved because officers from the police station arrived within 8 minutes of receiving the 999 call from his daughter who was hiding upstairs.

The Consultation Institute, a not for profit organisation, has stated that the formal public consultation “falls significantly short in best practice standards”.  He hopes to raise £5,000 to pursue the legal challenge.   We can only wish him all the best.

Thames Water Leak

As I write there is a major water leak in Firstway which was first reported before Christmas, but which has got steadily worse since. Nothing was done to repair it till 9pm on 12 January when emergency work had to begin, since the road surface was breaking up and a pothole appeared, deep enough to damage vehicles, 12” x 12” x 3”.  The sudden increase in the leak meant that the residents in Firstway had no notice of their water being cut off. We are indebted to our Road Steward Chris Quinby for keeping us up to date with information. 

Plans had been made to repair the water main over a two-week period which would have necessitated one way working up Grand Drive and major traffic disruption over the whole area. Fortunately, the repairs were eventually carried out quite quickly and without the anticipated traffic disruption  .

London’s Polluted Air

The Mayor of London is consulting on plans to help tackle London’s toxic air pollution, which contributes to thousands of early deaths each year. These include proposals to extend tighter emission standards for diesel vehicles to the whole of London for lorries, buses, and other heavy goods vehicles in 2020, and for all vehicles within the North and South Circular roads in 2021.

If you want to comment, visit  or write to FREEPOST, TFL CONSULTATIONS by 28th February. 

John Elvidge




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