Sunday, 30 June 2013

Come to Wandle Park Revival Day on Saturday 6 July

Clare George-Hilley
Wandle Park

Over the past six months I have been working with local residents, schools and community groups across Waddon including Friends of Wandle Park to plan the official reopening of Wandle Park. I have been involved in this project from the outset and have been thrilled at the commitment of everyone involved in helping make these ideas become reality.

This local community day has been organised with families in mind and local school children are currently rehearsing their performances that they will share with us all on the day. A whole programme of activities including sports games and nature hikes will be taking place throughout the day alongside the main stage where live performances will occur and the animal children's farm.

Invitations have now gone out to residents across Waddon and I urge you all to join us to celebrate the official reopening of Wandle Park on Saturday 6th July, 11am-6pm as it will certainly be a community day for local residents to remember. We decided to name the day ‘Wandle Park Revival Day’ at it gives people a chance to come together and celebrate the revival of the park.

After the huge local support for the state-of-the-art leisure centre, I am sure Waddon residents will come together once again and give Wandle Park the kind of reopening it deserves.
I look forward to seeing you all there.
By Councillor Clare George-Hilley, Waddon, Croydon.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Become a School Governor Today

Aerodrome Primary School

Over the last five years I have been privileged to serve on the governing body of Aerodrome Primary School in Godwin Road (formerly Duppas Junior School) and have seen it progress considerably under the new leadership of Zoe and her team.

On Wednesday after an early morning governor’s meeting I shadowed Year 4 who were using their mathematical skills to solve some challenging puzzles and also helped some pupils read.I had a really enjoyable time with the class and I reminisced about my days at Regina Coeli. 

Being a governor is extremely rewarding and it is one of the UK’s largest voluntary groups with around 300,000 people contributing to developing and raising standards of achievements at more than 30,000 schools.

After successfully encouraging several friends to become governors I urge you also to become one as you can really make a difference.

For more information on how to become a school governor, please click here

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

New Wetland Habitat at Waddon Ponds

Friends and regular reads of my blog will know that Waddon Ponds is one of my favourite places to visit in Croydon.

I am delighted to announce that a new wetland habitat will be created at Waddon Ponds using £60,000 funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Proposals include restoring the banks to the middle pond, planting native British plant species, building of duck houses and the creating of natural habitats for amphibians, invertebrates and wildfowl. 

This is excellent news as it will give Waddon Ponds a more natural feel and encourage different wildlife species to live there.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

South End Food Festival Serves up Croydon's Finest Cuisine

About to tuck into my lunch!
After meeting residents in Waddon this morning I had built up quite an appetite so decided to head to the annual South End food festival for lunch with my husband. Croydon’s South End area is home to some of the borough’s most exciting and enjoyable restaurants, offering tasty cuisines from around the world. That includes dishes from China, France, Greece, India, Japan, Mexico, Spain, Thailand and the UK.
This year’s event also included a main stage with live entertainment, which attracted a huge turnout from people inside and outside of the borough. Many families attended, including local MP Gavin Barwell whose son tried out the face painting alongside tasty sweets and treats
After spending an hour trying to decide which of the many stalls I was going to buy my lunch from, I finally made up my mind. My tasty treat for the day was a flame-grilled burger from Brasserie Vacherin, one of Malcolm John’s restaurants. If the rest of the menu is as good as the burgers, then I recommend you try it out!
Today’s festival was another reminder of the town’s strong community spirit and culture, that makes it such a popular place to live. Look around the smiling faces of the volunteers, the guests, the families and their children and you’ll see why Croydon is still an exciting and positive place to live and work. Our town is taking huge strides forward and we have every reason to be excited about the future.  

The Mayor of Croydon at the cook off!

Saturday, 22 June 2013

South End Food Festival on tomorrow

Over the past three weeks, people from across the borough have been participating and celebrating our rich, diverse and cultural history at the first Croydon Heritage Festival.

Tomorrow is the South End Food Festival, where restaurants will offer al fresco dining and stalls where visitors can sample the extraordinary range of food and drink on offer in Croydon's South End Restaurant Quarter. There will be entertainment from a main stage, roaming street theatre and plenty of activities for all ages.

A section of South End between Aberdeen Road and Spices Yard Car Park will be closed to traffic for this event taking place between 11am to 4pm.

For more information please click here  

Monday, 17 June 2013

Old Town Masterplan- Public Exhibition

Following up on the workshop held in March on The Old Town Masterplan, Croydon Council is inviting local residents to a public exhibition on initial ideas to help improve Croydon's Old Town.

At: Connected Croydon project Shop, 81 Church Street
On: Thursday 20th June, 5.30pm-9pm & Saturday 22nd June, 11am-3pm

I hope that many residents from Old Town and across Waddon attend as it provides an opportunity to view initial proposals for the area. Over the next 20 years, the master plan will guide the development of Old Town and guide how its historic places including Croydon Minster and Surrey Street and their setting can be preserved and enhanced. 

The master plan will also suggest how movement in, out and around the historic area could be better, for example by improving pedestrian and cyclist crossings over Roman Way.

The Old Town Masterplan will also guide £1.5m of investment from the Mayor of London for upgrading streets, buildings and public spaces in the area, as part of the wider Connected Croydon programme.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Waddon's Hidden Gem

Yesterday a long-standing friend from Waddon told me that he had never visited Waddon Ponds and had no idea where it was, when I described it as one of Waddon's hidden gems. I was very surprised by this as he lives close by in Old Town and takes his dog for daily walks at Duppas Hill. However, in case he isn't alone I have decided to write a post on Waddon Ponds as it is one of my favourite places to visit in Waddon.

The ponds are located between The Ridgeway, Waddon Court Road and Court Drive and are home to a variety of ducks that enjoy being fed with lots of bread! 

When Tony, Simon and myself re-stood for election in May 2010 we pledged to continue investing into Waddon's local parks, especially Waddon Ponds. I am delighted that we have achieved this and have improved Waddon Ponds under the Parks to be Proud of Project. 

Wandle Ponds has benefited from a number of improvements over the past few years, including:
  • Major repairs to the pond bank
  • Refurbished toilets
  • New mature shrubs
  • New benches, spring bulb and tree planting

A local resident described it as a "Home of extensive ponds centrally positioned in this hidden gem of a park- inhabited by a wide range of aquatic birds and surrounded by an ornamental garden."

Access to the park is from The Ridgeway, Waddon Court Road or Mill Lane. 

To view the variety of ducks, click here 

Friday, 7 June 2013

Croydon's Heritage Festival

On Monday 3rd June, Croydon's three-week Heritage Festival began.

The festival celebrates Croydon's past, present and future with activities taking place across the borough. This week, various exhibitions and tours took place that give an fascinating insight into Croydon's heritage. 

Next week, I am really looking forward to attending the evening tour of Old Town and also hear from historian Ray Wheeler on Waddon's history. As a local Waddon girl I already know that 'Waddon' is thought to be derived from wad-dun or woad hill and that the Domesday books mentions Waddon Ponds but would like to learn more about Waddon and Old Town. 

If you have a particular interest in a certain part of Croydon like myself then click here to view the programme of events for the next fortnight. 

Tomorrow, I will be heading to the main event in Croydon Town Centre as there will be a variety of activities and entertainment on offer, including:
  • Street entertainers
  • Heritage society displays & information
  • Live music and performance
  • A fancy dress competition for all ages at 2pm, with winners judging and announcement by the Mayor of Croydon at 2.25pm
  • Historic tours
  • Heritage challenge for Croydon's youngsters

Monday, 3 June 2013

The Mayor of Croydon attends Waddon's Street Party

The Mayor, her consort Natasha & Andrea Wallace
Yesterday, local residents in Vicarage Road got together and organised a street party, as part of the Big Lunch.

It was also the 60th anniversary of the Queen's coronation, which made it an extra special occasion for many residents in Waddon, who came together in their thousands last year to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

The Big Lunch began five years ago, from the Eden Project, with the aim of getting as many people as possible across the whole of the UK to have lunch with their neighbours once a year in a simple act of community, friendship and fun. 

Croydon Council has supported this project and covers the cost of a road closure and adequate signage. 

As well as partying, residents in Vicarage Road also had displays of kickboxing, zumba and a talent show! 

Funds were raised for Cancer Research UK and a big congratulations to Andrea Wallace for organising the day.

The Mayor and members of the kickboxing display team