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 The Purley & Woodcote Blog
 
Cllr  Simon  Brew
Cllr  Oni  Oviri
Cllr  Badsha  Quadir
 

New “Iron Horse” art installation will celebrate Purley’s proud past
16/02/2019 18:19:00......Posted by Simon Brew

 
 

Every resident of Purley knows that the town is a great place to live – but few appreciate the proud part it played in helping Britain transform from an agricultural economy to an industrial power-house.

All this is about to change thanks to the commissioning of a new world-class art installation in Purley’s Rotary Field which has been funded in part by the five local Conservative ward councillors. Professional artist Alan Potter has won a competition to design and install an art installation in Purley.  His ‘Iron Horse’ design will celebrate the heritage of the Surrey Iron Railway which was one of the very first railways anywhere in the world. The railway was established by Act of Parliament in 1801 and opened in 1802/1803. It was a toll railway on which carriers used horses to draw laden wagons most commonly full of coal, building materials, lime, manure, corn and seeds. From 1805-1837 the track ran all the way from a river dock in Wandsworth through Mitcham, Croydon and Purley to Merstham & Godstone, and parts of it are still visible in Rotary Field.

The sculpture is subject to modification depending on consultation with the local community, but is likely to comprise a series of life-sized cast iron ‘relief panels’ of a dray horse pulling loaded wagons on an iron rail.   The installation will symbolise the dramatic transformation from agriculture to industry that the Surrey Iron Railway helped to facilitate.

Many residents are unaware of the pivotal role of the Surrey Iron Railway and it is hoped that the new installation will inspire the town’s residents to find out more about Purley’s vibrant social and economic history.

The competition for the new art installation was launched last year out of a recognition that Purley carries little reference to the town’s long and proud history.  Artists were invited to respond with details of how they would capture the town’s exciting history through art and create an installation that would contribute to the area’s attractive surroundings. No less than 23 people applied, and Alan Potter was chosen because of the strength of his idea and his commitment to using this opportunity to develop and encourage local art groups and to help nurture a culture of creativity where he works.

The photo was taken on the site of the railway with a remnant of it in the background. From
Left to Right:
Diana Phiri-Whitty, LBC Purley Regeneration manager
Simon Cripps, Purley BID
Alan Potter, sculptor
Andrew Pickering, Purley Rotary
Cllr Simon Brew

 
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 Other Blog Posts
 

The sad passing of a stalwart PWRA supporter
05/06/2020 11:18:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

 
 

Beryl Gascoigne had lived in Purley Knoll for nearly 50 years until she died recently, and the extended family arranged that the cortege should stop outside her home yesterday. The event was beautifully arranged, with nearly 100 people lining the pavement to celebrate her life and to hear some reading, poems and eulogies. It's sad that it's not yet possible for friends and family to celebrate the lives of loved ones in the usual way, but this was an innovative alternative way to commemorate her long and happy life. RIP Beryl - we'll miss you. 

 


 

The BID is helping Purley businesses re-open after the lockdown
05/06/2020 10:56:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

I joined a short Business Improvement District meeting earlier this week and was delighted to hear about the BID's role in helping local businesses to re-open after the lockdown. The BID has procured lots of PPE and sanitisers etc which are being distributed to the local businesses, and here is a small sample! Let's hope that customers will eventually return to the High Street in their previous numbers, though the biggest change will come when bars and cafes can re-open. 

Click here to download

 


 

SESW A22 roadworks POSTPONED till 2021
22/05/2020 14:56:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

 
 

For some weeks , the threat of an eight week closure of the A22 from the railway bridge to Dale Road (northern junction) has been hanging over a large number of residents and local businesses. This was because SESW wanted to lay a huge pipe from the Tesco site to a connection point in Dale Road.

I'm sure many residents will remember the very severe floods which closed the A22 for seven weeks in 2014 because the Godstone road waterworks were nearly inundated by the river Bourne bursting its banks. While accepting that the works might need to be done at some time in the future, I was appalled that, until earlier this week, there was no attempt to engage with local residents, businesses, the Purley BID or any other local organisations to consider the impact that such a closure would have, particularly as we all struggle to come out of the Covid-19 crisis. I and my colleagues asked lots of questions along these lines over two weeks ago, and we never got any coherent answers.

I'm delighted that the sensible decision has been taken to postpone these works for now; when they try again in the future, it will  hopefully be with a MUCH better communications plan, and with prior engagement with all local stakeholders. 

 


 

Serious delays in handing over Government COVID grants to businesses
20/05/2020 12:34:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

Purley BID has alerted me me to four or five cases where local businesses applied many weeks ago for COVID grants, but they have yet to see any cash in their bank accounts, even though HMG paid the money to the Council in late March. 

I've chased them all up with the LBC Director of Finance and I understand that things are at last moving. I was told that The Council didn't know how to contact one business even though it has been tradig in Purley and paying business rates for at least the last thirty years to my certain knowledge! I suggested Googling the company's name, and sure enough the contact details were found in a few seconds..... 

 


 

A novel way to celebrate VE-day on Friday 8 May
06/05/2020 20:59:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

 
 

It's a great shame that all the official celebrations of VE-day have had to be cancelled, but the enterprising residents of at least one street in Purley are organising a commemoration in their own way as on this poster.

 


 

VE-day (virtual) celebrations in Croydon on Friday May 8
04/05/2020 10:24:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

A treasure trove of films, photographs, art and artefacts revealed from the borough’s archive and museum collections will be available to view online and on social media from next Friday May 8 under the Museum of Croydon’s 75th anniversary celebration of VE Day.

After almost six years of war with Germany, Victory in Europe was declared on 8 May 1945, and the borough archivist and staff from the Museum of Croydon will celebrate 75 years

The online event, which will run from 11am to 1pm on Friday 8 May, includes:

• Two films charting Croydon’s wartime life in general and VE Day itself

• An exhibition including works from Croydon Art Collection by artists such as Norman Partridge’s Croydon Courageous, a war memorial from the Second World War and illustrations by John Harris Valda 

• A question and answer session on Twitter where residents can find out about what Croydon people did, ate and even wore on VE Day 1945

• An online handling session of wartime artefacts

• A recording of events in 1945 from the official history of the Second World War edited by the-then chief librarian W.C. Berwick Sayers, which included a VE Day thanksgiving event on the Croydon town hall steps

The Museum of Croydon has been a partner in the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Home Front project which has remastered historic footage of Croydon during the Second World War and recorded wartime childhood memories narrated by Croydon residents to create a nine-minute feature called Home Front Croydon. This film includes scenes of recognisable Croydon backdrops such as Surrey Street market, trams in North End and the town hall.

The online event will end with the première of a new five-minute film focussing on VE Day itself.

More info on the Council website:  https://museumofcroydon.com/events/vedaycelebrations

 


 

Ever heard of Phishing?
03/05/2020 09:53:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

It's the term used to described fake emails that try to persuade you to send cash to Nigeria, to log on to fake banking sites or otherwise to disclose your personal details to people who are not entitled to have them. I received a convincing email recently which looked as if it was from Virginmedia; it asked me to re-verify all my personal details including even my passport details and to send a photo of both sides of my credit card, but fortunately I spotted it was fake.

There are plenty of online criminals out there trying their luck during the lockdown and I'm delighted that the Government has introduced a National anit-phishing email service. Further details are shown on the attached document, so PLEASE read and take note. 

Click here to download

 


 

> 200 flats in Whytecliffe Road South?
30/04/2020 18:02:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

There was a webcast yesterday from the developer who wants to replace the row of terraced houses just North of Purley station, the station car park and other local buildings (but not the multi-storey car park) by over 200 flats, with NO car parking provided for the new homes (except a few for the disabled). The staion car park will be closed during building works and a reduced size car park will reopen when building is ciompleted. This caused a lot of concern to those who were listening, partcularly when compared with the current houses which generally have one space each. As usual, we were told that because the site is so close to excellent public transport, car parking is unnecessary, but try telling that to a family with two or three young kids who need to be transported to school, or perhaps need to commute West to Epsom for example. 

A formal plan will be submitted in the Summer, but given the Labour council's enthusiasm for continued and reckless overdevelopment of Purley, it's almost certain to be approved, whatever scheme is proposed. 

 


 

Flytipping in Smitham Bottom Lane
27/04/2020 15:06:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

A resident contacted me to complain that he had seen a neighbour dumping rubbish on the pavement outside his house and to request that it be cleared. I advised the resident that the Council would be delighted to take action against the offender, IF they had evidence such as a photo of it actually being dumped, or some evidence that the rubbish actually came from the offender's house, but they can't prosecute on the basis of one person's word against another. I also urged him to report all such events to flytip@croydon.gov.uk or by using the excellent Lovemystreets app which works on any smartphone. 

 


 

2 More Close - invalid planning application
26/04/2020 17:47:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

Earlier this month, I blogged about a plan to put two one-bed houses in the front garden of 2 More Close Purley, which already has planning consent to be replaced by yet another block of 9 flats. On careful inspection of the plans, it turns out that the new application proposes to pinch some of the space currently allocated to parking for the consented scheme! It's therefore invalid, because each application must be self-contained and "stand on its own two feet", and not encroach on adjoining properties. I have therefore objected in the strongest possible terms and recommended that the plan be rejected outright. A new plan needs to be submitted which considers both sites, if that it is indeed what is intended. 

 


 

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 Older Blog Posts
16/04/2020
67 Higher Drive - replacement by 17 flats ?
07/04/2020
Two more one-bed houses in front garden of an approved scheme :-(
01/04/2020
Mindless vandalism at Croydon Airfield :-(
31/03/2020
Council tax and housing benefit: new reliefs announced
31/03/2020
All parking charges suspended
27/03/2020
Warning - COVID-19 Fraud alert
26/03/2020
Transport difficulties? Try renting an (e) bike
25/03/2020
Covid-19: Help is at hand OR Thanks for volunteering
10/03/2020
Purley Rotary Swimathon - 80 lengths completed!
06/03/2020
Purley Masjid (mosque) presentation
06/03/2020
Croydon Community Consortium meeting at St Michaels, West Croydon
05/03/2020
Retirement of Richard Pacitti, CEO of Mind in Croydon
29/02/2020
FOUR more large family homes bite the dust :-(
15/02/2020
IT advice to SECHC
14/02/2020
SWLLC celebrates its 45th birthday
13/02/2020
Packed meeting in Sanderstead to launch DEMOC campaign
07/02/2020
Young Croydon seminar
01/02/2020
Purley's Iron Horse project: Commemorative mugs on sale!
01/02/2020
Mayoral celebration of Purley's Iron Horse Sculpture
29/01/2020
Abandoned rentabike reported
29/01/2020
Celebrating the Chinese new year of the Rat
27/01/2020
Today is Holocaust Memorial Day
24/01/2020
Only one week to the launch of the Iron Horse in Purley's Rotary Field
24/01/2020
Croydon Community Consortium (CCC) - an interesting meeting
08/01/2020
Pension committee - totally unnecessarily loss of £300,000.
06/01/2020
Panto has returned to the Fairfield Halls :-)
20/12/2019
Planning - more destruction of family homes in Higher Drive :-(
14/12/2019
A visit to Kenley Revival mini-museum
15/09/2019
Lots of beehives in the heart of Purley
12/08/2019
Kenley Airfield Flypast Sunday 18th August
 
 
 
 
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