All posts by Peter Stechman



In addition to Margaret’s earlier posting flagging up the above I feel it it is important that Grid residents are reminded of this and other major consultation deadlines that are looming regarding issues that may impact upon Grid Residents.  There is also the Plough Lane/Stadium development and Wandsworth Town Traffic.

In a recent letterbox flyer, our MP, Justine Greening, reminded us that the Airports Commission Public Consultation on the Heathrow Expansion runs until Tuesday 3rd February 2015.

There is still time to make your views known on the three basic options:
1. Expanding the airport capacity in the Southeast
2. Expansion at Heathrow including an extra runway
3. An option to expand Gatwick Airport.

Whatever the final decision, it will result in more noise and traffic for those people living in all the airport’s vicinities.    As a Grid resident for some time, I still recall Concorde flying over as it prepared  to land at Heathrow. It was an incredible aircraft, wonderful to watch, but the noise it generated when flying over the Grid was horrendous – usually on a Friday evening around 9pm.  My sympathies are with those living near airports wherever they are.

If the Heathrow expansion option is adopted there may well be a significant increase in the number of flights over the Grid and over London in general as aircraft circle and queue for a landing slot resulting in greater noise pollution and I assume if it the practice is still allowed, fuel dumping over the Capital.

My personal view and preference is, as is Ms Greening’s, for the Gatwick expansion option. It is extremely easy and fast to get to Gatwick by train – just one stop from Earlsfield Station to Clapham Junction, change platforms easily via the lifts to catch one of the many trains an hour to Gatwick and alight approximately 35 minutes later in the heart of the airport itself.  Quicker and easier than to Heathrow with its many terminals.  Ms Greening’s flyer says that the Gatwick option is also much cheaper, involves less disruption to the road network and, in terms of aircraft noise, affects a significantly smaller percentage of people.

The first consultation question is about what views people have on the three options. To respond you can email your concerns directly to the Airports Commission at: 

You can also find details of the consultation on the website at:
or telephone them direct on
0800 023 8128.

Copies of the consultation are also available at local Wandsworth Libraries



An ‘Off the Grid’ posting

Tooting Leisure Centre Crèche saved!

Tooting Leisure Centre Crèche saved!

In the proposed plan for the refurbishment of Tooting Leisure Centre [TLC], Greaves Place, the Grids’ local swim and Leisure Centre, the ground floor crèche was to be axed and replaced by a new ‘office and customer service area.’ Needless to say, this decision was not popular with all the mothers who drop their children off at the crèche while they attend an exercise class, have a swim or workout in the gym!

Following complaints and representations to the local Tooting Ward Councillors, last September a meeting was held between several early-morning swimmers, the Council, the Places for People (P4P) Centre Management and Earlsfield Councillor, Rachel Stokes [Lab] and the Council Contracts Officer Apart from the issue of the much-valued crèche, numerous complaints were raised about the poor levels of cleaning and maintenance,

At another recent meeting, Tooting Ward Councillor, Annamarie Pritchard [Lab] and P4P management announced that the crèche will not now be axed – great news.

I am also pleased to say that following September’s meeting, P4P management took positive action and the Centre is now much cleaner. Repairs and maintenance are being carried out more quickly and notice taken of users’ comments and suggestions.

The Centre refurbishment is well underway. The gym has been completed and work is currently being carried out to the ‘dry-side’ changing areas. Work on the ‘wet-side area’ is due to start at the beginning of March and be completed at the beginning of June. During this time, every effort will be made to keep the pool open, but swimmers will have to use the small pool or dry-side changing areas and there may be restricted public use of the pool while it is being used by schools. Full refurbishment details can be found on the Places for People website at:

Another meeting is planned for April and the P4P management stated that once the refurbishment is complete, they plan to hold regular customer ‘forums’ at roughly three monthly intervals.

Thanks go to Councillor Annamarie Pritchard [Lab], Dave Jolliffe (P4P Area Manager), Paul Fussell (TLC Manager) and Huw Davies, (Wandsworth Council).

An ‘Off the Grid’ posting
26th January 2015

Southfields Remembers the Fallen of the Great War

Southfields Remembers the Fallen of the Great War

On Sunday 9th November 2014 at 1030am, residents of Southfields Parish gathered at St Barnabas Church for a service of Remembrance for those who were killed in the Great War that commenced 100 years ago. Officers and Men from the Royal Marines Reserve (City of London) who marched from their base in Merton Road joined those present.

The service was conducted by the Vicar, Reverend Ian Tattum and Honorary Curate Reverend Joy Boyce who reminded us that the service also honoured those killed in all previous, subsequent and present wars in the service of their Country. [No mention or recognition can be found at St Barnabas of those killed in the Second World War].

Shortly before 11am, the congregation moved into the grounds outside in the sun to stand before the War Memorial erected to those killed in action during the first Global War.

Following the 2-minute silence residents and Marines returned to the church to continue with the service. Images showed below record some of the scenes including Officers standing under the memorial plaque to 20-year-old Private Arthur Rhodes who lived at 6, Engadine Street and was killed on 13th November 1916.

Also pictured were Lincoln MC and his wife Caroline, Luthor and his wife and the service concluded with a recital by Dominic Seligman who played a Valse-caprice by Franz Liszt.

I was told about two wooden candlesticks that are brought out at Remembrance service and placed on the alter.  The candlesticks had small brass plaques mounted on the base. One of these was in memory of Corporal Harold Stammers and the other of Private John S Guy of 141 Trentham Street.  Although no relation to the family who lived there at the time, I was fascinated to note the similarities in the name to the present owner John, surname Surguy. Take out the U and the R and you would have J S G. Happily, my near neighbour, John Surguy, who has lived on the Grid since the  late 1970s’ is alive and well and as a professional musician spends his time playing Guitar in the UK and Europe.

On this day 11th November 2014, spare a thought for those 200 names inscribed on the St Barnabas war memorial stone. Many of whom lived on the Grid, maybe in your house, who stepped out of the door in the years 1914 to 1918 and never returned. It could have been a husband, son or brother and do not forget the many women who also served abroad and at home.

It is fitting that they should be remembered and as a warning that it should never happen again. Lest we forget!

Peter Stechman – 11 November 2014


Click on image for larger view

09.11.14 St. Barnabas Remembrance Service (2) 09.11.14 St. Barnabas Remembrance Service (6) 09.11.14 St. Barnabas Remembrance Service (3) 09.11.14 St. Barnabas Remembrance Service (5)09.11.14 St. Barnabas Remembrance Service (7)09.11.14 Lincoln & Caroline Jopp St. Barnabas Remembrance Service 09.11.14 Luther & St. Barnabas Remembrance Service (8) John Guy & Harold Stammers Candlesticks Harold W Stammers Candlestick John S Guy Candlestick 09.11.14 Dominic  Seligman St. Barnabas Remembrance Service




Southfields Art Trail 2014 GRID Exhibitors

The Southfields Art Trail 2014 ran for 2 weekends and  GRID people who opened their houses and shops to exhibit their work are shown below.  A big thank you to all the Exhibitors and Sponsors for their support. Images as follows of Jo, Lucy Jenni, Kay, Maryse but sorry not Tim who was not around when I called.


Kay Whiteman at ChalkKay Whiteman at Chalk

As a marvellous and wonderful rock and roll dancer I must say I liked the postcards of the dancers but couldn’t find any Jivers Stechx

Lucy Gibson 117 Astonville

Lucy Gibson –  Astonville Street

Jo Gibson 117 Astonville

Jo Gibson – Astonville Street

Maryse M Dupin 113 Revelstoke

Maryse M Dupin – Replingham Road

Jenni Lewis at Chalk

Jenni Lewis – Chalk




Wandsworth announces Leisure Centres £3.5m investment programme but Crèche to be axed in new plan at Tooting Leisure Centre

Southfields Grid swimmers and Tooting Leisure Centre users will be pleased to hear that Wandsworth Council is to fund the refurbishment of five of its Leisure Centres.  (Please see the article below from the Council’s website.)

A plan of the proposals for Tooting Leisure Centre [TLC] is on display in their Greaves Place Reception.  However, Southfield’s parents should be aware that it shows that the ground floor Crèche will be axed to make way for a new office and customer service area.

Along with other GRID residents, I am an almost daily swimmer at the TLC pool and the refurbishment plans are very welcome.  A couple of weeks ago, I attended a meeting between the early morning swimmers, the Council and Centre Management (Places for People) and Earlsfield Councillor, Rachel Stokes [Lab]. The meeting was convened following numerous complaints about the dissatisfaction at the poor level of cleaning and maintenance.

The points raised were quite damming and focused on the filthy state of the pool changing rooms, lockers, toilets and the pool itself. As a result, the Centre Management has since addressed many of the swimmers’ complaints.

Southfields Councillor, Kim Caddy [Con], has previously taken a keen interest in complaints made about TLC and told me she hopes to attend any follow up meeting. A timetable and full details of the refurbishment are yet to be published. PforP Manager said that Putney may close for a while but Tooting Leisure Centre should remain open during the works.

Although ‘Off the Grid’, it is our local Leisure Centre and used by many Grid Resident. I feel it is worth reporting any issues that may affect the Southfields Grid. The following is a copy of the refurbishment details published on the Wandsworth Council website:



Wandsworth Leisure Centres to benefit from £3.5m investment programme

Wandsworth Council announced on Wednesday 6th August 2014 that five of Wandsworth’s leisure centres are to benefit from a multi-million pound programme of investment, it has been announced.

The council will be funding £3.5m worth of improvements and refurbishments at the Balham, Latchmere, Putney, Tooting and Wandle leisure and recreation centres as part of a new seven-year management contract.

The news comes shortly after £710,000 invested in new and improved facilities at the much-loved Tooting Common Lido was announced – including new space for workout and exercise classes plus new toilets and a first aid room.

As part of the new contract arrangements Balham leisure centre will benefit from an improved reception area, a bigger dance studio, new poolside sauna and steam rooms, full refurbishment of the wet changing village plus improvements to the weights room and the men’s and women’s changing rooms.

At Battersea’s Latchmere centre the fitness suite will be extended, the reception area will be upgraded and the dry changing rooms will be fully refurbished.

At Putney the village change area will be modernised and a new sauna will be installed in the health suite.

Tooting Leisure Centre will see its village changing area fully refurbished, with improved lockers and changing cubicles, improvements to the health suite including the sauna and steam rooms, full refurbishment of the dry changing rooms and upgrades to the fitness suite and “spin studio”.

And the Wandle will see remodelled and upgraded male and female changing rooms.

Under the seven year contract, which was won after a full and open tendering process by Places for People Leisure Management Limited, formerly known as DC Leisure, the council will receive an income of £22m.

Leisure spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “This is a great deal for the people who use our leisure centres and for the wider community.

“These five leisure centres, plus the Tooting Bec Lido will benefit from investment worth at least £4.2m in new and improved facilities in the years ahead.

“In return for this capital investment, the council will receive guaranteed income of £22m over seven years, which will help fund local services and help keep council tax bills low.”

Tim Hewett, Business Development Director for PfP Leisure says:

“We were delighted that we have been awarded this contract with Wandsworth Council. This is the third time we have been successful in winning the tender firstly in 2000, then 2006 and now in 2014.

“We are very proud to have had such a long standing relationship with the Council and our success is a testimony to the efforts made by our staff in producing a high quality service assisted greatly by the significant capital investment the Council and PfPL has put into the facilities over the years.  

“We look forward to working with the Council over the next seven years and seeing the benefits of the latest capital investment programme.”