Sunday, September 15, 2019

Pembroke Road.


The photos above - click on either for a larger view - show the large advertising posters attached to the outside of the former Cairngall Medical centre, located on the corner of Erith Road and Picardy Road in Upper Belvedere. Work to covert the building into a children's nursery has been going on for several months, and I understand it is now coming to an end. The only major external changes are that the garden to the rear of the main building has been cleared, and a number of small trees have been removed. I have thus far not been able to determine what internal changes have been undertaken. I am happy that the existing building has been retained; there had been concerns that the structure might have been demolished for yet more housing. The site is diagonally opposite the former Belvedere Police Station, which has now been completely demolished, and will shortly be replaced with a new block of flats. The Purple Willows Nursery will be opening in October. The Sidcup based company say of their new enterprise in Upper Belvedere:- "The new nursery will be offering 92 places and will be split into baby suite, toddler room and Preschool class with each room designed with modern equipment and excellent resources to meet the needs of the children. The nursery will also provide a multi-sensory room to encourage children to explore their environment and increase concentration. Building works have commenced and we look forward to welcoming nursery children into our inspiring setting". What do you think? Please feel free to Email me at hugh.neal@gmail.com.

As I predicted last year, the government's roll - out of smart energy meters has hit another barrier. Government guidance says that since the middle of March 2019 customers should only have been given second generation smart meters (SMETS2). However, eight energy companies are still installing first generation smart meters (SMETS1) say the network is not reliable enough to switch customers on to. People living in high rise flats and those sharing a service inlet, or on a pre - paid meter were especially affected. The whole smart meter deployment project has gone seriously off the rails. The second generation of meters is supposed to be able to connect remotely to a national network, which should make switching supplier possible, for the first time for many customers. In reality many suppliers are still installing first generation meters, and even where they are installing the second generation, in many cases the users are complaining that they do not connect, and also the users are still unable to change energy suppliers. The communication protocols used by different energy suppliers still vary considerably. Smart Meters send real – time power usage data back to the supplier via a 3G mobile phone signal. This means that the meter does not have to be connected to a home data network. This sounds all well and good; the power company can bill you without having to send a meter reader to your house, and you get the option to monitor your power usage in an almost real – time way. There are however, problems. The data sent from the SMETS1 first generation Smart Meters to the supplier is sent unencrypted, and “in the clear”; it is possible to intercept the data stream, and also a malicious attacker can potentially send instructions to the meter remotely. Several Smart Meter companies do tacitly admit this, but they play the whole lack of security aspect down. Some second generation SMETS2 meters do encrypt user data, but not all, and the encryption algorithm used is relatively weak. Over three thousand Smart Meter customers contacted Citizens Advice in 2017 (the most recent year for which figures are currently available) with problems regarding the meters, which the energy supply companies have been reluctant, or unable to address. Some said they had experienced problems when having a smart meter installed, with engineers failing to turn up, or being unable to fit the device into the space available. Some were also frustrated that despite having a smart meter, they still had to submit readings manually. Customers also complained about energy firms using aggressive sales practices to push them into having a smart meter installed when they didn't want one. So far more than 12.1 million smart meters have been installed. Citizens Advice warned that with 39 million smart meters still to go, the 2020 deadline was 'unrealistic'. It has now called on the Government to delay the smart meter deadline to 2023. Even Smart Energy GB, an organisation set up by the Government to promote smart meters but funded by suppliers, has produced research that indicates lukewarm interest amongst consumers. An independent survey by Populus that gathered the views of more than 10,000 people found that less than half of those who didn’t yet have a meter said they would want one installed within the next six months. Negative coverage of the meters including on the BBC’s Watchdog consumer affairs programme may also have dampened householders’ enthusiasm. In July 2018, MPs called on the Government to urgently review the smart meter roll-out which they said was 'over time, over budget and mismanaged'. The British Infrastructure Group of MPs and Lords warned that half of smart meters stop working when customers switch supplier, while a tenth were not functioning due to poor mobile phone signal. The average annual saving on a gas and electricity bill by 2020 was estimated in 2014 to be £26, but this has now been reduced to just £11, MPs said. Smart Meters primarily benefit the energy companies, because they no longer need to employ meter readers. The benefits to the consumer are minimal at best, and when allied to the security and compatibility concerns mentioned earlier, they don't add up for me, especially when the much vaunted money saving aspect turns out to be a white elephant. What do you think? Email me at hugh.neal@gmail.com


A regular reader who wishes to remain anonymous alerted me to something that I am not at all surprised by. The bungalow at 54 Pembroke Road Erith is to be demolished and replaced with one block comprising 1 x 1 bed and 3 x 2 bed self contained apartments with provision of amenity spaces, landscaping, car and cycle parking spaces and bin store. I feel that this has been a long time coming. In case you were wondering why a house in Pembroke Road would be demolished rather than refurbished and reused, it is because it was the scene of a barbaric triple murder back in 2015, when former Eastenders actress Sian Blake and her two young children were murdered by her partner, drug dealer Arthur Simpson-Kent in the house, and their mutilated bodies buried in shallow graves in the back garden. Sian Blake, 43, and their sons, Zachary, eight, and four-year-old Amon, after the actress, who was terminally-ill with Motor Neurone Disease, planned to leave Arthur Simpson-Kent and take the boys with her. Once he had killed the three, he buried their bodies in the garden of their bungalow in number 54, Pembroke Road, Erith. The bodies were not discovered by the Police for three weeks, when sniffer dogs were used to search the property. All three had been repeatedly beaten and stabbed in a series of frenzied attacks. Simpson-Kent, who admitted three counts of murder, was sentenced at the Old Bailey in October 2016 by a judge who said he had been convinced he should receive the most severe punishment available for his ''truly horrific'' crimes. Mr Justice Singh, when passing sentence said he had been left ‘in no doubt’ that Arthur Simpson-Kent should spend the rest of his life in prison.‘Each murder involved a substantial degree of premeditation or planning. At the very least that must be true of the murder of each of the two little boys individually, and in turn after the defendant had already killed Sian Blake. Further, and in any event, there were serious aggravating features of this case. Each of the victims was particularly vulnerable because of age or disability. There was an abuse of position of trust. There was concealment of the bodies. He made efforts to remove evidence of his crimes at the house, including repainting. He sought to lay a false trail by using Sian Blake's mobile phone. He lied to the police and others about the whereabouts of the family.’ He was thus awarded the very rare sentence of a Whole Life Tariff – which means the only way he will ever be let out of prison is on the written orders of the Home Secretary, something that has rarely if ever happened. In his case, life really does mean life in prison, with no chance of parole. I used to see Sian Blake with her children occasionally walking around Erith Riverside Shopping Centre, and every so often in Morrison’s. I did not know she was an actress, or had been in EastEnders at one time (I am not a soap watcher). I had not seen them for some considerable time before their untimely demise, I guess as her Motor Neurone Disease got worse, and she was forced to limit her mobility; the whole case was tragic. When the case first broke, I used Google Maps / Google Street View to locate the property; when I did, the image that the Google Street View camera car had captured of the house showed one of the little boys standing in the left hand window, looking out into the street. It had obviously been taken some time prior to the tragic events. I immediately decided that I would not publish or make reference to the image out of respect to the deceased and their surviving family and friends. I might have well not have bothered, as a couple of days later, the Sun newspaper published the image of the “ghostly” child in the window. I felt that this was in the very poorest of taste, but then the Sun is not exactly known for letting propriety or good taste get in the way of a story, whatever the circumstances. 


It is interesting that historical Erith based arms manufacturer Sir Hiram Maxim was not only an inventor, engineer and very astute businessman, but his son, also rather confusingly named Hiram Percy Maxim (photo above - click on it for a larger version) was also a very successful inventor, who created the first gun suppressor (often incorrectly referred to as a silencer) and also the internal combustion engine silencer. Interestingly, whilst Maxim senior moved to the UK and became a naturalised British citizen, his son stayed in the USA for all of his life. Maxim junior was one of the foremost figures in the early development of radio. Much of the information in the following piece was sourced from an article in the December 1985 edition of Shortwave Magazine, which was co - written by Maggot Sandwich reader and long time friend Colin Turner G3VTT. The ARRL is the U.S.A. equivalent of the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB). It was founded in 1914 from an idea of Hiram Percy Maxim earlier that year. Maxim wished to send an amateur radiogram from his home in Hartford, Connecticut to another station in Springfield, Massachusetts. His own radio transmitter did not have sufficient range to reach Springfield, and so he conceived the idea of having it relayed by intermediate station at Windsor Locks, Connecticut. There was nothing particularly unusual about this feat, even in the early part of 1914, as ships had been using the relay principle to get messages from mid - ocean to shore with the assistance of other ships for some time. The idea itself, therefore, had no particular significance. The application of the idea, however, had all the significance in the world. Maxim had for many months thought of starting a national radio organisation. He had not carried it further than the notional state because he could think of no prime moving force, no basic principle around which to build the structure: if an amateur organisation were ever to progress beyond the paper stage it must offer something more than one's name amongst the membership. In short, unless he could find something definite for such an organisation to do, he could not justify its existence. The morning after the Hartford to Springfield relay, while thoughts were harking back to the previous evening's success, the old ideas about the national organisation wandered through his mind, something clicked, and the problem was solved! For here, without doubt, was the idea around which the organisation could be successfully and strongly built. The missing block in the puzzle had been found and fitted. The organisation would be a relay organisation. It would have as its object the developing of relay routes over all the country among all the amateurs, so that by this means an amateur in one part of the country could send a message hundreds of miles to an amateur in another part; perhaps even send a message from one coast to another! Within a week, a name had suggested itself suitable for this new organisation, and a month later it was decided to start the ball rolling. In May 1914 Maxim, together with another Hartford amateur Mr. C. D. Tuska, sat down and wrote to every one of the amateurs listed at that time in the government call book, announcing the formation of the American Radio Relay League, (ARRL). The letter outlined the League's purposes, and solicited for membership; there were no subscriptions, as membership was free upon application. The response was immediate and very enthusiastic, with applications being returned in every postal delivery. In the early summer of 1914 the first publication was issued by the League, a little blue - bound call book listing the names, addresses, calls, radio transmitter power, range, Morse code receiving speed and operating hours of over 300 amateurs; it sold for 50 cents. Membership increased rapidly and in January 1915, the League was incorporated under the laws of the State of Connecticut as a non-commercial organisation with no capital stock. A second call book was issued in March 1915 and this time listed details of over 600 members. In the meantime attempts were being made to build up the relay routes for which the organisation had been formed, and some success was being achieved. During the late summer of 1915 a serious difficulty loomed and demanded attention. It was proving a real task to acquaint the membership with the plans and schedules by means of letters only. Increasingly it became evident that a bulletin of some kind was necessary. The League, however, had no funds; membership was still free and the call books were sold at cost. The answer came in 1915 when each member of the League received in the post a sixteen page magazine called QST. This first edition of QST announced that it was being published privately by Hiram Percy Maxim and Clarence Tuska, and was therefore the official publication of the League. Membership of the League continued to be free, but any member who wanted QST could obtain it by sending a $1 for a year's subscription. Response was again immediate and QST has been published on a regular basis ever since. Nowadays the ARRL has approximately 154,000 members. In addition to members in the US, the organisation claims over 7,000 members in other countries. The ARRL publishes many books and a monthly membership journal called QST. The ARRL held its Centennial Convention in Hartford, Connecticut in July 2014. The ARRL is the primary representative organisation of amateur radio operators to the US government. It performs this function by lobbying the US Congress and the Federal Communications Commission. The ARRL is also the international secretariat of the International Amateur Radio Union, which performs a similar role internationally, advocating for amateur radio interests before the International Telecommunications Union and the World Administrative Radio Conferences. The organisation is governed by a member-elected, volunteer Board of Directors. Each director serves a three-year term and represents the members within their particular region of the country. The national headquarters facilities are located in Newington, Connecticut. Along with the administrative headquarters, the 7-acre (2.8 hectare) site is home to amateur radio station W1AW. The ARRL Field Organisation carries out local and regional activities across the United States. All of this was down to the ingenuity of the son of local historical figure Sir Hiram Maxim.


Bexley Council has published its ‘Final Notification’ decision on BT’s proposals to remove seven public pay phones in the London Borough of Bexley, following feedback from residents. A consultation was held between 2 August and 2 September 2019, inviting comments on the proposed payphone removals. Two responses were received and taken into account in the final submission to BT. The Council objected to the removal of 4 of the 7 pay phones put forward by BT, having had regard to the criteria set out by Ofcom and the representations received from local residents - you can see the objections and consents on the table above - click on it for a larger view. BT says that overall use of pay phones has declined by over 90 percent in the last decade and the need to provide pay phones for use in emergency situations is reducing, with at least 98 percent of the UK having either 3G or 4G coverage. BT have to provide a reasonable number of working pay phones where they are most needed, but need to strike a balance between providing an effective service and running a viable pay phone business.


The images above are a bit of a sneak preview of the stand that The Erith Think Tank will have at the Erith Pier Festival next Saturday. The computer generated images were produced by the firm of architects that are advising the Think Tank - they do give a very good impression as to what the Think Tank stand will look like. Bexley Council's announcement regarding the Pier Festival reads thus:- "Enjoy a last blast of summer when the Erith Pier Festival returns to the riverside on Saturday 21 September from 11am to 9pm with a circus theme. Sample delicious street food and local beers and ciders from Bexley Brewery while listening to a variety of live music. This will include The Two Bows, Little Talks and traditional sea shanties sung by the London Sea Shanty Collective. With lots of free activities for children, including circus skills workshops, family games, face painting and mask making, there will be something for everyone. Thanks to sponsors, Wates Residential, Orbit and local eco-development The Quarry (an L and Q and Anderson Partnership) there will also be hook-a-duck, a coconut shy and a giant deckchair - perfect for selfies! Bexley Brewery are back with their ‘Beer on the Pier’ tent. There will be live music well into the evening with plenty of opportunities to sing and dance the night away as part of the September Sounds festival. For £1 you’ll also be able to buy the popular limited-edition Erith Pier Festival refillable cup. Look out for the prize draw on the Pier Festival fliers. Bring your completed entry to the Wates stall on the day for your chance to win some river-related prizes for the whole family to enjoy, kindly sponsored by Wates. Councillor Louie French, Bexley’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Growth said: “Community events such as this are just one of a range of ways we are working with the local community to help Erith become a flourishing riverside town. I hope residents and people outside the Borough will come along and enjoy the Pier Festival and its unique setting by the River Thames.” This year’s festival will feature an African Showcase Market featuring crafts and activities from all over Africa. There will also be a range of stalls where you can find out about local community organisations and what they are doing, as well as enjoying free activities. As always there will be lots of tantalising tastes from the Erith Kitchen. This will include street food from foodie favourites Lalu Catering, JW Ice Cream Co and the Spud Buddies, as well as some new faces like Meltsmiths and Foxy Pizza. Erith Pier Festival is organised as part of the Greater Erith Regeneration programme, funded by the London Borough of Bexley and the Mayor of London. Find out more or follow Greater Erith on Facebook and Twitter". I will be at the old Carnegie library in Walnut Tree Road for most of next Saturday and Sunday. As you may well be aware, in addition to the Erith Pier Festival, next Saturday is also a national event - it is the annual Open House weekend. As some will already know, I am a Director of the not for profit organisation, The Exchange - a Charitable Community Benefit Society, who are restoring the old library building and repurposing it as an arts, education and community centre. In the past on Saturday afternoons I have been running guided tours around the old Carnegie library building in Walnut Tree Road, Erith. Next weekend I will be running a number of tours as part of the Open House weekend on both Saturday and Sunday. The building tours are free, but you do need to book in advance. You can see booking details here. I look forward to meeting you.

Now for the weekly local safety and security updates from Bexley Borough Neighbourhood Watch Association. Firstly, the report from Barnehurst ward:- "Another great week for Barnehurst with no burglaries, long may this continue however vehicle crime continues to be a concern. In Hurstwood Avenue on 04/09/2019 a vehicle door handle was snapped off, the victim believes this was an effort to gain entry to the vehicle. In Selkirk Drive on 06/09/2019 at 12.25 two white males were seen stealing a catalytic converter from a transit van. One of the males was holding a reciprocal saw. As the witness approached the two males to ask them what there were doing one of the males swung the saw at him, thankfully missing the witness. They then drove off with the catalytic converter. In Colyers Lane between 06/09/19 and 09/09/19 sliding doors to a Peugeot van were forced open however nothing was taken. On 09/09/2019 at 06.00pm hours a motor cycle was stolen from outside Sainsbury's in Merewood Road. This was whilst the victim was shopping in Sainsbury's so it just shows how quickly your vehicle can be stolen. PC Arif and PC Tom Smith carried out a stop and search whilst out on patrol. One male with a moped was found in possession with Class B drugs and no Insurance was held on the vehicle therefore it was subsequently seized. Target patrols will continue around the Hampton House area and other areas where drug dealing has been reported. PCSOs Cathy Nolan and John Cullingham will be visiting primary schools this week as the Christmas Tree Project is now under way. Children will have the chance to put their artistic skills to paper to drawer a picture of how they see Christmas and there will be a special prize for the winner. The next Community contact session will be held on Wednesday 25th September 2019 at 11.00am in Barnehurst Golf Club. We look forward to seeing you". Belvedere ward:- "The team have been made aware of a group of males that have been gathering at a location in Picardy Road on a regular basis. When at the location, the males have been seen openly using what is thought to be cannabis and have been leaving large amounts of litter at the location, causing nuisance for the residents of nearby properties. We have been patrolling the area of late but have seen no activity of this type as yet. There has been a rise in reports of theft from motor vehicles across the ward. Details of the reports made to Police suggest that a majority of these involves vehicles being entered by persons unknown without keys to any of the vehicles. Please do not leave valuables on display in vehicles. There have also been reports of persons sleeping rough in the storage cupboard of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson House. The team have been in close contact with Orbit Housing officers and Thames Reach (homeless charity) have also visited the location, all in an effort to give assistance to whoever we might discover at the location. We have yet to find anyone however items left behind suggest that someone has been using the cupboard recently. There was a burglary at Claytonville Terrace, a house of multiple occupancy (HMO) in which unknown suspect(s) have damaged the internal front door of the flat and taken several items from within. This took place between September 2nd to September 9th. Exact dates/ times are not known. Our next street a week is on Wednesday 18th September at 6pm in Albany Road". Bexleyheath ward:- "There was a burglary reported along Woolwich Road on the 09/09/2019. Victims had found front door open but nothing seems to be taken. There has been three reports of theft from motor vehicle on the ward: Tow had been reported along Rydal Drive Bexleyheath, overnight on the same night – 09/09/2019. One had items taken and one was searched but nothing was taken. The other was reported along Haslemere Road, Bexleyheath on the 08/09/2019. Vehicle was searched but nothing taken. There was also a report of a purse being stolen from an elderly victim whilst on the bus along the Broadway, Bexleyheath. If you do wish to pass on information to Police then please contact Crime Stoppers on 0800 555111. If you are after crime prevention advice, please look at the Met Police website which has lots of information that you may find useful. Remember in an emergency please dial 999 and 101 for non-urgent reporting". Crayford ward:- "Unfortunately there were two attempted burglaries this week on our ward. On 8th September between 02.00-02.05 in Beech Walk, someone put their hand through a small downstairs window at the front of the house and opened the larger window to attempt to gain entry. The resident was woken as the suspect was speaking on his mobile phone as he was doing this. At Wolsley Close on the 8th September between 00.15 and 05.30 suspect opened a kitchen window but was unable to gain entry due to an obstruction. Theft from motor vehicle is still an ongoing issue locally. At 00.45 on 6th September a significant amount of unusual jewellery and clothing were stolen from a white BMW one series parked on a drive at Woolbrook Road. In the early hours of 7th September it was reported that a male was trying to break in to cars in the Wyatt Road area, police nearby located the male, described as IC1, gingery facial hair and missing teeth, wearing a pointed hoodie who was riding a bicycle. He discarded a white bag with several items within which was retrieved by police. Items of value were stolen from a grey Citroen parked in Maiden Lane on 7th September between 3.25-3.35. Number plates were stolen from a vehicle parked in Thames Road between 4th and 5th September, DN08ORU should be on a white Transit. BT cabling was stolen in the Bourne Road area, an alarm activation alerted police, the vehicle concerned in the crime was seized for forensics, however the suspects had already left the scene, the cabling was retrieved. An aluminium remembrance statue was bent and broken at the base at Hall Place between 6th and 9th September. CCTV captures a theft from motor vehicle in Stephen Road on 8th September between 23.10-23.15. White male seen crossing the road and entering what was believed to be a locked vehicle, after an untidy search it is believed that small change was stolen. On 10th September at 00.25 it was reported that a green coloured all terrain buggy had been stolen from Viridor in Thames Road, this is a hired vehicle and at the time of reporting full details of the buggy were not available. The crimes above are a timely reminder to ensure that all downstairs windows or easily accessed upper windows in your home are totally secured when you go out or go to bed. Also to remove anything of value from your vehicle, often this sort of crime is opportunist, the thief tries car handles until one is open or it is more sophisticated where the offender overrides the security of the vehicle to gain entry. Please don't make it easy for them, for more information on protecting your home and vehicle please see www.met.police.uk/crimeprevention We don't have any community contact sessions for a couple of weeks due to other commitments. The next one will be on Thursday 3rd October at Crayford Library between 14.00-15.00".


Erith ward:- "No Burglaries again this week but still our number one crime is theft from motor vehicles as you can see listed below. Protect your vehicle from catalytic converter thieves: If you can, park your vehicle in a locked garage when it is unattended. If it's not possible to garage your vehicle, park it in a busy, well-lit area as close to your property as possible. Consider installing a Thatcham approved alarm to your vehicle. Ones that activate if your vehicle is lifted or tilted are particularly effective. Use a catalytic converter protection device or marking system. Catalytic converters control and convert exhaust emissions from your vehicle into less toxic substances. If yours is stolen, you will know because your vehicle's engine will sound different. If you suspect your catalytic converter has been stolen, report it to us immediately by calling 101. Crimes of note from the following week: Theft from a motor vehicle on 03/09/2019 Pembroke Road – Items stolen from car including one passport. Theft from motor vehicle on 07/09/2019 Park Crescent – catalytic convert cut out from under the car. Theft from motor vehicle on 08/09/2019 Holly Hill Road - Purse taken and card used. Theft on 07/09/2019 McDonalds Restaurant  – items stolen from locker while at work. Theft from a motor vehicle on 09/09/2019 ST. Fidelis Road – Number plates taken . Theft of a motor vehicle on 07/09/2019 West Street – Car stolen from the location of West Street". Northumberland Heath ward:- "The team have been busy this week investigating a number of crimes that have occurred on our ward, we have made good progress on a number of these crimes and gathered good CCTV footage. We have had a theft of a catalytic converter from a vehicle that was parked in Mill Road. Also in Mill Road Car park the parking pay machine was broken into and a substantial amount of cash was taken. The team are aware of a lot of theft/shoplifting occurring in the Tesco on Bexley Road. The team are now in regular contact with the staff and security and CCTV footage will be viewed, suspects identified will be dealt with. There have been no burglaries in Northumberland Heath this week. Our next community contact session is on Friday 20th September at 3pm in the Mill Road Library, please do come along and meet a member of the team and discuss any issues or concerns you have, or just pop in and say hello".


Slade Green and Northend ward - a report from Bexley Borough Neighbourhood Watch Association office worker Claire Tack:- "On Thursday 5th September I had the pleasure of meeting 3 of the new coordinators for the Rainbow Road development, in Slade Green (photo above - click on it for a larger version). PCSO Mark Pigott and myself explained their role and responsibilities of being a coordinator. A huge welcome to Derrick, Abdoul and Tracy. I look forward to meeting the fourth coordinator, Andrew in due course. The estate is huge and would benefit from more residents willing to become coordinators, so if you know of anyone who lives there please ask them". The main Slade Green and Northend ward report continues:- "There was a believed attempted burglary on Sunday 08/09/2019. At 2330 hours the victim saw his security light come on at the front of his properly, when he went downstairs he heard footsteps running away and found his very small downstairs toilet window open. This window is too small for anyone to climb in through but it may have been a starting point for the suspect(s). Number plates were taken from a car in Alexandra Road during the evening of Monday 09/09/2019. A white van was seen driving off as a neighbour came out just after they were taken. A car parked at Turquoise Court close to Crimson Road, Slade Green, was subject of a break in overnight from the 10th to the 11th of September. Fortunately nothing was taken. Please remember to take all valuable items from inside your vehicles. This will also include not leaving empty bags on sight or charger leads, even a few pennies, please leave nothing on display. Along with Claire from Bexley N.Watch, we met three of the four new coordinators who have taken up the responsibility of our watch in the Rainbow Road estate. It was nice to put names to faces etc and we look forward to keeping in regular touch with them in the future. Our next community contact session is from 12pm on Tuesday 17/09/2019 at the St Augustines Welcome Café, inside the church". Thamesmead East ward:- "No burglaries this week. Vehicle Crime: Between the hours of 3:30 am and 10:00 of Sunday 08/09/19 a vehicle parked in Eastgate Close had the drivers window smashed , vehicle searched, no property taken. Monday 09/09/19 between the hours of 1:40pm and 2:00pm a vehicle parked in the car park Holstein Way had the front drivers window smashed, a wallet and mobile phone taken. Bledlow Close Monday 09/09/19 between the hours of 09:45pm and 05;40 am Tuesday 10/09/19 , a vehicle was broken into, a wallet was taken. Overnight of Monday 09/09/19 and Tuesday 10/09/19 a vehicle parked in Mangold Way was broken into. Monday 09/09/19 at 11:40pm the drivers window of a vehicle parked in Surlinham Close was smashed loose change and a mobile phone was taken.Tuesday 10/09/19 a vehicle parked in St Helens Road had the drivers window smashed, an untidy search, nothing reported stolen. Between the hours of 02:00am and 12:48 pm a vehicle parked in Seacourt Road had the front number plate stolen. A piece of good news - PC Pruden arrested a male for failing to appear at Maidstone Crown Court, in Relation to being in Possession of an offensive weapon/knife. The male was kept in custody overnight to appear at Court the following morning. After investigation a robbery that occurred in Sedgemere Road, SE2, a female has been arrested/interviewed. Further enquires continue". West Heath ward:- "There were no reported burglaries on West Heath Ward between 04/09/19 and 11/09/19, but there have been 13 reported thefts from motor vehicles and two motor vehicle interferences (attempted theft) during the same period. The thefts were not confined to one area but dotted around the ward. On 05/09/19 at about 0630 hours the informant reported theft his tools were stolen from his car in Chessington Avenue Bexleyheath. On 05/09/19 at 0420 hours the informant reported that two white males broke into his father's car and stole cash outside Malvern Avenue Bexleyheath. One male stood on the drive and the other stood keeping watch. Males had no intention to steal the car only looking for money inside the car. On 05/09/19 at 0300 hours outside Bostall Park Avenue, Bexleyheath. The informant reported that an unknown suspect had broken into their car and stolen items after an untidy search inside the vehicle and cash stolen. The informant did not know how the suspect broke into the car as no damage was done to the doors which were left ajar by the suspects. On 04/09/19 at 2200 hours outside Cranbrook Road, Bexleyheath an untidy search took place inside the vehicle but nothing was taken. On 08/09/19 at 1500 hours outside Preston Drive, Belvedere. The vehicle was broken into and an untidy search was carried out and a watch was stolen. On 08/09/19 at 2200 hours outside Dry Hill the informants number plates of his vehicle a black BMW X5 index MPS55GMU were stolen. On 08/09/19 at 0200 hours outside Mayfair Avenue Bexleyheath informant reported that their car was broken into and cash stolen. On 08/09/19 at 0100 hours outside Mayfair Avenue Bexleyheath the informant left their car unknowingly unlocked and suspect stole items from the vehicle including a navy boys Tommy Hilfiger coat, a black women's Barbour coat and a pair of blue NIKE trainers. A car was also broken into at 2300 hours on 07/09/19 in King Harold's Way, Bexleyheath and tools stolen".

Following my earlier piece on next Saturday's Erith Pier Festival, and the Open House Weekend tours of the old Carnegie Library in Walnut Tree Road, here is a short CGI video showcasing how the the Erith Think Tank stand at the Pier Festival should look when it is in place. Whilst I will be at the library conducting free guided tours of the historic listed building for much of the day, I do hope to pop along to the pier when tour bookings permit. Leave a comment below, or alternatively you can Email me at hugh.neal@gmail.com.