Chairman's Blog - June 2017


 Once a year we hold an open meeting in Motspur Park so that residents there can bring to our attention any issues that need addressing in their immediate area.

 This year we have been invited to hold it in Blossom House School, which opened in April 2015 in the heart of Motspur Park.  The School is a specialist, independent day school, which provides a highly supportive curriculum for children with speech, language, and communication difficulties. It draws in children from all over south London. We meet there by kind permission of the Principal, Joanna Burgess, who was recently awarded the OBE for her work, and we are delighted that she has agreed to speak to us during the meeting about the facilities that the School provides.  We will also be welcoming Daniel Elkeles CEO of the Epsom and St. Helier NHS Trust, who will update us on all that is going on at St. Helier and Epsom Hospitals. 

We are starting at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 14th June, to finish soon after 9pm, and we hope to see as many members as possible there. 


Our hard-working team of volunteer road stewards will be calling on you shortly if they haven’t already done so, to collect this year’s subscriptions for continued membership of the Association. The cost is again £3 for the year, and it hasn’t increased for many years.  We hope that you will want to join again, so that we can continue to protect the pleasant environment which we have chosen and been fortunate to live in. Next year we will celebrate 90 years of existence, since our foundation in 1928. 


This year we are again holding a summer party for our Area-Co-coordinators, Road Stewards, and other volunteers. This will be held in our Pavilion off Grand Drive on Saturday 8th July from 3pm to 5pm. This date is the middle Saturday of Wimbledon fortnight, and so we will be providing strawberries and cream, and prosecco as a thank you for everyone who helps keep the Association going. We look forward to meeting up again with all of you. 

During the party, we have the formal dedication of the tree we planted in February in memory of Jan Bailey, who worked so tirelessly for 20 years for the interests of local residents. A plaque will be unveiled in her memory in the presence of her partner, Gordon.   As she loved the natural world so much, this will be a fitting tribute to her. 

If anyone wishes to help us by becoming a volunteer in any capacity, please contact any member of the Committee. Our names and contact details are at the back of each copy of the Guide. You will be welcomed with open arms. 


Some huge oaks trees came down in Cannon Hill Lane during the storms this winter.  They were immediately cut into large segments by the Council’s tree surgeons.  It is well known that the age of trees can be accurately established by examining the rings of the tree, which show its annual growth. 

Someone unknown to us has done precisely that with the largest specimen. He or she has dated the tree all the way back to 1816 in this way. 

It is amazing to think that the tree has stood there since before the reign of Queen Victoria, when this area was open country, and survived all the changes since till this year.   I have a self-seeded oak sapling in my garden. It is a sobering, and yet a comforting, thought that, left to itself, it will still be here and thriving 200 years from now. 


I had the good fortune to play at Malden Golf Club this month. It is worth repeating that this Club was originally based in Raynes Park, and that the entrance to the Club House was marked by the pillars still to be seen at the junction of Grand Drive and Bushey Road.  The roads around were named for the Club, e.g. Fairway, Linkway, Firstway, and Grand Drive. 

The Club decided it had to move when the course became too wet to play on each winter - as we still see - with the flooding in Prince George’s Playing Field and under the railway bridge.  

The problem of flooding was also the reason this Association was established, back in 1928. This was one of the matters on which Jan Bailey was a true expert, and why we miss her so much. 

John Elvidge



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