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News and Comment June 2012

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17 June - Weekend roundup

Our train expert Colin Tandy was quite right to remind us of the loopline trains from the north to the south of the borough at the Public Realm meeting last March. Abbey Wood to Sidcup by train is far quicker than the 229 bus and wanting to be there as well as Bexley and Crayford yesterday it was the obvious route for me to take. A pity I failed to check for planned engineering work but it only caused a 20 minute delay. Still quicker than bus and less chance, in my experience, of encountering someone with an aversion to soap.

Mrs. Grootendorst's hedge Mrs. Grootendorst's hedge MAC Construction. 07956 305345My first port of call was Mrs. Rita Grootendorst’s house to see if it could really be true that she took my advice to cut her hedge. I found her still working on it. There is still a way to go and the front facing bit needs to come down further but it is progress. The first photograph was taken at the beginning of the month and the second yesterday. The hedge used to be high all round; the neighbour should be pleased.

The third photograph reveals the name of the construction company that has wrecked - there is no other way to describe it - Mr. & Mrs. Grootendorst’s house. I have asked ‘MAC’ if it can be true that Bexley council put him under pressure to pull out of the contract but he refuses to confirm or deny it. I’m inclined to think that if it is true, he has, leaving money issues aside, done Rita a favour. A bigger shambles would be hard to imagine. The time is fast approaching when more photos of MAC’s work must go on line.

Jackson House Bexley CabsTwo stations down the line in Bexley I tried to find evidence of what had been reported in connection with Bexley Cabs. I hope my informers appreciate that I cannot publish information without firm evidence, it doesn’t mean I don’t believe them but I must be as sure as I can be that what is written here is correct; so I was pleased to hear from an impeccable source that I know I can trust that on Friday Bexley Cabs did indeed have a sign outside their office stating they were open for business - but it wasn’t there yesterday.

What I heard in Bexley Village yesterday was exactly what I’d heard from others by phone. Either they have a very well coordinated story or it is true. How is it that a man can attract 23% of the votes cast, a majority of close to 3,000 over his Labour rival, and be described as “the most hated man in Bexley” and linked so frequently by detractors to buff coloured letter wrappers? All the more reason to keep plugging away I suppose.

The first photograph aims to show the local environment. On the left is Jackson House, soon to be converted to flats I believe; then there is the wood merchant and cab office and beyond the pedestrian crossing the Bar Lorca and the clocktower above Freemantle Hall. Guess who controls that? The advertising boards are for the Ironing Shop, not Bexley Cabs. The truck was parked there for quite some time; a good job there were no taxis plying for trade at the time.

Crayford Fun Day Weight liftersCrayford was next on the tour only because I was so close and the Rotary Club was holding some sort of Fun Day in the Water Gardens alongside the River Cray. At least the weather was kind to them. This was what the Erith Riverside Festival should have been like if it wasn’t for the day long deluge. There were numerous stalls set out by local charities and a group of ‘strong men’ flinging weights into the air with varying degrees of success.

I had hoped to see more councillor support but I spotted only Howard Marriner adorned in Rotary Club garb - a T shirt or vest - doing his bit for the community. No sign of Melvin Seymour whose patch it is.


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