It would seem that things are happening with the former P2 Events Centre located inside Electricity House, on the corner of Pier Road and Queens Road in Erith. The P2 Events Centre has had a relatively short, and extremely controversial life. It was originally Erith Snooker Centre, but was aggressively taken over by the African church that occupied the ground floor of the building - apparently a lawsuit resulted from this, but the outcome is unknown at this point. Bearing in mind the whole of Electricity House is scheduled for redevelopment in the next few years, the fact that the former Snooker Centre site is being offered for sale is somewhat surprising. From what I have been able to determine, and understandably some of the precise details are sketchy, the operators of the P2 Events Centre would appear to have been declared bankrupt, and their creditors have forced the sale via receivership. The P2 Events Centre is going up for sale by auction on the 10th and 11th of November. You can see the full details by clicking here. More on this story in the future.
This month marks the 47th anniversary of the opening of the first McDonald's restaurant in the UK, which opened in Woolwich in October 1974. On the opening day, crowds gathered outside the shiny new fast food outlet. Inside, they found wooden seats, an ashtray on every table, and some of the cheapest meals locals had ever seen. Inside the decor was a pretty grim brown and cream colour with some massive photo portraits on the walls. But the hamburgers, which were "made with 100% pure beef, topped with pickles, mustard and ketchup, served in a freshly toasted bun" cost just 15p. A cheeseburger – they just added some "mellow cheese" – was 21p while for those with a "big appetite" you could pick up a Quarter Pounder with Cheese or a Big Mac for 45p. A McMariner, which is now called a Filet-O-Fish, cost 30p and a value meal of a hamburger, fries and milkshake, known as United Tastes of America, cost 48p. The Powis Street, Woolwich branch was opened by Ed ’Stewpot’ Stewart was the personality, along with the local mayor and hundreds of people who had already heard about ’The Difference at McDonald’s’. The serving staff were mostly middle-aged women who looked like dinner ladies, and the queue stretched down the road. One customer opened her first burger and turned to her friend, ’There’s no butter in these rolls’ she tutted. ’No, and no knives and forks, either,’ her friend replied. McDonald’s approach and brand originally traded on its American heritage and novelty factor before gradually evolving into a part of family life tailored for a UK market. When it opened its first British restaurant it had to educate consumers about this new concept of counter-service, fast eating. McDonald's management undertook a great deal of research before choosing Woolwich as the location of their first restaurant. They carried out a number of surveys and Woolwich had the greatest demographic mix of anywhere they surveyed, possibly because of the presence of both the Royal Artillery training regiment and Thames Polytechnic, which at the time encouraged foreign students, along with the influx of families working on the construction of the Thames Barrier, begun in the same year. Since 1974, more than 1.5 million people in the UK have either worked in McDonald’s and its franchises, or have been employed by its suppliers, according to the company. Today burger-chain McDonalds have more than 1200 stores open across the UK.
With the fuel delivery crisis still rumbling on and petrol prices expected to rise by around 5p-a-litre in the coming days, more drivers are reportedly considering buying an electric vehicle. The latest EV due to hit the market next year is Citroen's diminutive Ami, which is as long as a standard UK parking space is wide and has a range of just 46 miles. The Ami will actually be classed as a quadricycle. That means it can be driven by anyone over the age of 14 in France, and potentially anyone over 16 with a provisional licence in the UK and rest of Europe. It is not legally classed as a car. Citroen describes the new Ami thus:- “New Citroën AMI 100% ëlectric is a daring response to the challenges faced in today’s cities and urban environments. As a 100% electric vehicle, the AMI emits zero emissions and has a 5.5kWh battery that recharges in just three hours from a standard electric socket. With a range of 43 miles and a top speed of 28mph, the AMI is a modern solution for modern mobility needs, like nipping around cities or popping to your local supermarket with zero fuss. AMI is the mobility solution for today, and tomorrow. Taking inspiration from the Citroen 2CV, the AMI is the breakthrough response of an innovative Brand that is truly inspired by its customers. A Brand attuned to new consumer needs, the challenges of urban travel and increased awareness of the environment. AMI is accessible to all: in France for example it can be driven by 14 year olds without a driving licence!" The Ami will actually be classed as a quadricycle. The French maker, having confirmed that it will sell the tiny battery model in Britain from 2022 just a fortnight ago, says it has already taken over 1,000 reservations online. A total of 1,130 pre-orders have been placed on the car company's UK website, which requires a £250 deposit that is refunded if the driver changes their mind. These reservations were on top of the 14,000 individuals who have registered their interest in the Ami for when it arrives in the UK next spring. Citroen has referred to it as 'a daring response to the challenges faced in today's cities and urban environments', though it could also be seen as an appealing prospect for anyone who drives daily short distances as forecourts continue to experience shortages of fuel. The Ami uses a 5.5kWh battery that recharges in three hours from a conventional domestic socket. This provides a top speed of just 28mph and a claimed range of 46 miles. At only 2.4 metres long and 1.4 metres wide, it could - in theory - be parked sideways in a UK bay (2.4 metres wide by 4.8 metres long), though the tiny dimensions means there only enough room for driver, passenger and a small item of luggage. Ami's zero-emissions also means it is Congestion and Ultra-low Emissions Zone charge exempt, with the latter due to extend across London in a matter of weeks. While UK pricing has yet to be confirmed, it is expected to be priced from around £6,000. In France, the basic Ami costs €6,990 (£5,945) rising to €8,350 (£7,119) for a range-topping model. Car share and rental options are also being explored, as is already the Ami's main use in Paris, where it can be hired in the city in a range of flamboyant colours In France it is bought entirely online and can either can be delivered to your home or collected from a pick-up point, with the mantra: 'Ordered from your sofa, delivered to your home.' That is also likely to be the case for UK customers. All customers are reminded that Ami will be adapted for the UK market, but will remain left-hand drive. 'One significant benefit of AMIs left-hand drive configuration when being driven in the UK, is that it will allow for a kerbside exit from the vehicle for the driver when parking at the roadside in a city centre,' says Citroen. Motorists have for over a week faced struggles to fill their cars with petrol and diesel as panic buying across the country has sparked fuel shortages at filling stations. Online motor retailers say that for some the fuel crisis could be the 'tipping point' to ditch their internal-combustion-engine cars and get behind the wheel of EVs. Online searches for electric vehicles exploded by an incredible 1,500 per cent last week. The nation's biggest used car retailer, Auto Trader, reported a 'huge spike' in demand for electric cars said it had seen a 61 per cent rise in electric vehicle searches in the first weekend of the crisis and also saw a huge uplift in the number of people sending enquiries to retailers, with one sent every two minutes. Ian Plummer, Auto Trader's commercial director, said this suggested that 'people aren't simply flirting with the idea of electric but have been encouraged to actively pursue a purchase.' Britain's motorists face a second week of fuel crisis as people panic buy petrol and diesel over concerns about HGV driver shortages. Motor sales platform carwow also claims to have experienced an 'unprecedented boom' in people looking to switch to electric vehicles. What do you think? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your feedback.