One day, a man going along Ethelburt Avenue knocked on my door to say there was a problem with my downpipe. He was accompanied by a builder, who lived in Oxford. I agreed with the builder that the flat roof of my extension needed repair and engaged him to do the job. During the job, the kitchen was flooded whenever it rained. Payment was made for a stage of the work. Eventually I dismissed him and Trading Standards got involved. It would appear that the builder was not a crook, but trying to do a job that was quite beyond him. Indeed he agreed to repay the money. But this proved an empty gesture, because he went bankrupt. As for the man who brought the builder, he disappeared without trace.
And the moral this tale: only engage a local builder recommended by someone you know, or whose previous work you can inspect and never, never a stranger that knocks on your door.
Do you still have a key?
As the tennis season has just ended, can we ask that lapsed members who still hold keys, please return them to be used by new members. Keys can be put (anonymously, if you would prefer) through the letter boxes of the following houses: 33 Stoneham Lane, 35 Ethelburt Avenue and 65 Bassett Green Road.
For details of joining the Swaythling Lawn Tennis Club please see our website www.swaythlingtennis.org.uk
Play will recommence in April, when we will welcome any new players wishing to join and make use of the excellent grass courts in Ethelburt Avenue.
We are dismantling part of the rockery at the club and are offering free stones for anyone who has a use for them. Please contact the Club on mc123456 at tiscali.co.uk, for details about collecting them.
by John Dixon
Since laying the three trial loose-gravel strips in Ethelburt Avenue, a number of people have said that they would like to lay similar gravel on their own drives or pathways. Buying gravel in bulk should be far cheaper than buying it in small quantities and so it has been suggested that we buy in a lorry load and distribute it to those requiring it.
At this stage, I cannot give you a price per (cubic) yard/metre, as this will greatly depend on how much we collectively buy. But to give you an idea of possible savings, the recent Ethelburt Maintenance delivery cost around £20 per 800Kg compared to £39.98 for a B&Q “Bulk Bag” of a similar weight.
Ring 80550064 or j.d.dixon at soton.ac.uk
The new date for the postponed AGM has been set for Tuesday 3rd December 2013. Notice of the meeting will be sent out two weeks in advance.
If you would like some daffodil or crocus bulbs to plant in the public areas of the estate, please contact your street rep or send an email.
by Ray George
There was a public meeting of the Southampton Federation of Residents’ Associations on 9th October. The meeting was on waste collection and recycling. A presentation and discussion was led by Jason Evans, the City Council’s Waste and Recycling Compliance Officer. From what I heard, we are paragons when it comes to wheelie bins. In areas with many houses in multiple occupation, the blue-lid recycling bins are frequently contaminated with the wrong things. And if the contaminated bin is then not emptied, the problem is compounded. In the Polygon, the Council even uses a Community Payback team to move the bins off the pavement after a collection. Up to now, the Council policy has been education, but a scheme of fixed penalty fines of £100 may be approved by the Council for repeated contamination of the recycling bin. The “Bin it to Win it.” scheme is underway with a chance to win something to a value greater than £30 for correct use of the recycling bin. Next year, we will get a plastic box for glass recycling.
The New Station at Swathling – This new railway station, situated between Bishopstoke and St Denys, was opened for public traffic on Monday and will no doubt prove a great convenience to the residents of Stoneham, Swathling and West End. About twenty trains stop at the new station daily.
Southampton Times and Hampshire Express, Saturday 20th October 1883.
The latest version of the Appraisal and Management Plan can be seen at www.herbertcollins.co.uk/pages/appraisal/#draft
At the time of publishing this Newsletter, the draft includes the following policies:
(1) Provided wooden windows have the correct form and size of glazing bars and other features of the original windows, double glazing would be allowed, p27 section 12.2.
(2) Metal windows in Leaside Way could be replaced by wooden windows conforming to the same pattern as the original wooden windows elsewhere in the road, p27 section 12.3.
(3) That uPVC replica cast iron guttering should be permitted, p24 section 6.2.
It must be emphasised that although being drafted by the Residents’ Association, the Appraisal and Management Plan will be a City Council document and we don’t know whether the above policies will be accepted.
Further input is still invited from residents.
The dates for the next three Ethelburt Avenue road maintenance days are as follows:
16th November 2013 for the Upper team
15th February 2014 for the Middle team
10th May 2014 for the Lower team
If you are not on the Road Improvement Group (RIG) mailing list, but wish to help out, please contact John Dixon on 80550064 or j.d.dixon at soton.ac.uk.