Hill-climbing kids complete 100km cycling challenge for Big Red Bus Club

Daisy and Anatoliy
Would you cycle up Frances Street after riding through Kent and Essex? Daisy and Anatoliy did

Two local 12-year-olds cycled 100 kilometres through London, Kent and Essex at the weekend to raise money for The Big Red Bus Club, the family wellbeing charity based in Charlton Park.

Daisy and Anatoliy, who met as three-year olds at one of the club’s free family stay and play sessions, cycled solidly for almost eight hours – and were inspired to take on the challenge after supporting adult cyclists who have completed the same charity ride in previous years.

They cycled for eight hours on Saturday, beginning and ending at the Big Red Bus Club, including the hills and crossing the river at the Woolwich and Tilbury ferries. Daisy and Anatoliy are trying to raise £1,750 for the charity.

Daisy and Anatoliy both almost a decade ago and were inspired to take on the mammoth cycle challenge after supporting the adult cyclists who have completed this charity ride in previous years.

Daisy and Anatoliy on the ferry

Daisy said: “The best moment was the feeling of getting up Frances Street, the very last hill, and knowing at the top I was going onto the home stretch and I was going to do it. The worst moments were going up hills when I got a feeling in my legs that I couldn’t keep going, but I am so happy that I kept on and competed the whole ride.

“The Big Red Bus Club has been a part of my life since I was so little, I love walking past and seeing the new little children playing.”

Anatoliy said: “The best bit of the day was at 20 miles sitting down and having a hot chocolate on the Tilbury ferry. I can’t wait for next year.”

The Big Red Bus Club is open weekday afternoons for free stay-and-play for under-fives, run by volunteers.

To donate to Daisy and Anatoliy’s appeal, visit localgiving.org/fundraising/anatoliy-daisy-charity-bike-ride/.


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The Alexandra Players present Harvey by Mary Chase

Alexandra Players poster for Harvey

News in from Charlton’s amateur theatre group, The Alexandra Players, of their latest production:

We are thrilled to announce that to continue our successful run of bringing Broadway/West End theatre shows to the borough: our next production will be HARVEY by Mary Chase.

Mary Chase introduced HARVEY to the world in 1944. It was a huge success and in 1945, it received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The play ran for 5 years on Broadway and was also enjoyed by audiences in the West End when the production came to the Prince of Wales Theatre, London in 1949.2019 marks the play’s 75th anniversary.

Many will recount the unbeatable portrayal of Elwood. P Dowd in the movie by American Actor, James Stewart – one of the most honoured and popular stars in film history.  The actor even revisited the part, some years after the 1949 theatrical production in London and the movie in 1950 – by playing the character once again in the West-End revival that returned to London in 1975.

For those unfamiliar with the film or play, it tells the tale of Elwood P. Dowd – a gentle but wealthy drunk who starts having visions of a giant rabbit named HarveyElwood lives with his sister Veta-Louise and her daughter, Myrtle MaeVeta worries that Elwood has gone insane and in the process of trying to have Elwood committed, admits that she too occasionally sees Harvey herself. The director of the Sanatorium – Dr. Chumley, tries to reconcile his duty to help Elwood with his own growing experiences with Harvey.

Directed by Louise Gaul – HARVEY features many familiar faces from The Alexandra Players.

HARVEY is the last production in The Alexandra Players programme for 2019 and will be performed at The Alexandra Hall on Bramshot Avenue.
The play opens on Wednesday 23rd October for 4 nights only and the box office opened on Sunday 15th September 2019.
Tickets cost £10 and £8 for Concessions.
You can book your tickets right now via the WHAT’S ON page on our website, by sending us an email – alexandraplayers@gmail.com – or by calling/texting your request to us on 07867 627 987


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Kevin Nolan’s Valley View: Charlton Athletic 1-2 Swansea City

Kevin Nolan's Valley View

KEVIN NOLAN reports from last night’s match at The Valley, where Lee Bowyer’s high-flying Charlton side were given a reality check by Swansea City…

Beginning a testing run of fixtures which pits them against the best sides in the Championship, Charlton made an excellent start by edging Leeds United on Saturday. It was a victory for honest endeavour and unflagging commitment helped when and where it mattered most by a timely stroke of luck.

So it was when the Addicks shocked once-beaten Swansea City with a second-minute goal that they briefly aspired to joining the division’s elite. But their calm visitors kept their heads, reacted phlegmatically to the setback and levelled no more than a quarter hour later. Midway through the second half, they scrambled a winner and won with something to spare.

It was a sobering experience for the Addicks, who fought on valiantly but vainly for an unlikely share of the points. If a healthy-looking penalty appeal had gone their way midway through the second session, they might well have realised that ambition. Referee Peter Bankes was certainly a minority of one in ruling that Joe Rodon’s manhandling of Chuks Aneke was within the law. This clearly wasn’t Charlton’s night.

Dream start

The dream start was provided by Jonathan Leko’s second goal of the season, his firm shot finding the roof of the net after debutant Adam Matthews’ low cross from the right had been weakly cleared to his feet. With lack of goals a nagging problem since Lyle Taylor returned injured from international duty, Leko’s strike briefly inspired hope that Charlton’s scoring logjam had been breached but his rare goal proved to be a false dawn. Adding to his surprise strike brought the usual headache, with two goals in four games now their meagre tally without Taylor.

Unstinting acknowledgement for their defiant stand against a better side was the least Lee Bowyer’s bonny band of battlers deserved and The Valley responded appreciatively when Bankes signalled the end of five added minutes. They had given everything as usual, their gutsy resistance highlighted ironically by their sterling if fruitless efforts to prevent Yan Dhanda’s equaliser.

As the Swans broke swiftly from their own half, a line of predatory shooters formed at the edge of Charlton’s penalty area, each of them denied sight of goal by a resolute defender in red. Patiently, the visitors switched the focus of their attack until Dhanda found just enough space to squeeze off a low shot which had sufficient pace to beat Dillon Phillips on its way into the bottom right corner.

Dhanda’s equaliser, no more than a quarter hour after Leko’s opener, was a depressing development for the Addicks. Their new mission became the preservation of an improbable point against smooth, skilful opponents willing to bide their time until a second opportunity arrived. Just past the hour mark, as the pressure mounted, they duly made their second breakthrough in incongruously scruffy circumstances.

An inswinging left wing corner delivered by setpiece specialist Matty Grimes was touched on by Rodon and forced past Phillips by Andre Ayew at close range. Slick and sharp though they were, the South Welshmen were also prepared to score ugly. Their punchless hosts struggled to create even the sniff of a chance at the other end.

Hard slog ahead

There was, nevertheless, encouragement for Bowyer in defeat. New man Matthews made a steady debut up against tricky left winger Bersant Celina, wisely channelling the elusive Kosovan on to his weaker right foot without quite managing to subdue his threat. Fellow Welshman Tom Lockyer was immense at the back, with Josh Cullen, Conor Gallagher and Sam Field insatiable workers in a midfield where Erhun Oztumer was sadly ineffectual.

Up front, meanwhile, Leko was inspired by his goal to briefly threaten the visitors with his tricky if unpredictable skills. He quickly faded, began to take on too much and frequently put his side in trouble with poor decisions and errant passes. Alongside him, Macauley Bonne, his confidence boosted by his generously awarded matchwinner against Leeds, continued to look out of his depth.

Charlton fans can only pine for the time, just a year ago, when sharpshooters Taylor and Karlan Grant were terrorising League One defences. But you know where ifs and ands get you…

A hard slog through what promises to be a gruelling season now stretches before these gritty Addicks. With one of the lowest Championship budgets available to him, Bowyer is under no illusion that a settled side is a rare luxury. He made four changes against Swansea and will do the same for Saturday’s daunting trip to Fulham, where they will start as solid (4-1) outsiders and where, sadly, they are expected to bring capguns to a gunfight. It might be time for a plaintive prayer to St. Jude. He’s gonna be busy on Saturday, but it’s worth a shot.

Charlton: Phillips, Matthews, Lockyer, Pearce. Purrington (Forster-Caskey 71), Field, Cullen, Oztumer (Williams 66), Gallagher, Bonne, Leko (Aneke 66). Not used: Amos, Oshilaja, Prateley, Sarr. Booked: Purrington, Gallagher.

Swansea: Woodman, Rodon, Van Der Hoorn, Fulton, Grimes, Baston, Celina (Wilmott 90), Dhanda (Carroll 78), Ayew, Roberts, Naughton. Not used: Mulder, John, Routledge, Surridge, Garricks.

Referee: Peter Bankes. Attendance: 15,741 (1,122 visiting).


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