Chelsea Bridge Tea Stall / Hut - What's Happening?

Hey all,

Anyone know what is happening with the Tea Stall at Chelsea Bridge???

I know there was a fracas recently with the new flat owners getting snooty about about having greasy bikers milling about outside their £2million pads…(why did they move there then - the tea hut has been going since at least WW2…)

So they council bravely responded by making any parking impossible, likewise the Battersea Park authority defended the rich history of the place by banning bikes from parking in their entrance and calling the police who also bravely stood up for an essential part of London’s culture by turning heavy, moving bikers on and getting their notebooks out to record as many serious crimes (such as non regulation numberplates ) as they could.

Hope the Russian millionaires who live there now don’t decide to buy a flat next to Wembley Stadium anytime soon - they would close it down the next day as being noisy and disturbing their cocktail parties…

Anyway it’s always closed when I pass,what gives???

you’ve already discribed the situation. That is ‘what gives’. There is no meet there anymore

I know it’s open on Thursdays when I pass it around 6.30/7 onwards.

never been there, but the actual tea hut is still there?? well i feel sorry for whoever has a stall in there as they must’ve lost a lot of customers

chelsea bridge has been dead and buried since about 3 years ago.

reasons as per you’ve listed above.

nothing new.

That’s pants…I was hoping all that was temporary and the council / Mayor of London etc might have stood up against the foriegn investment millionaires who lived there…yeah right.

Last summer I took my 13 year old cycling along the riverfront from Putney Bridge to Vauxhall… nice views but the whole riverside is boring and DEAD…


Because it’s block after block of boring ‘investment apartments’ mostly owned by foreign millionaires WHO NEVER LIVE THERE!

It’s a series of vertical ghost towns,mile after mile, covering Putney, Wandsworth, Battersea,Vauxhall (on one side)

The Tea Hut is a victim of clearing out ‘the scum’ (ie real Londoners and real people generally) to allow the millionaires to not have to look at them
whilst stepping out of their Bent-lis…on their rare 12 monthly flying visits…Grrrrrr:crazy:

When Wandsworth Council brought in the parking restrictions they also played with the conditions of the Tea Hut’s license. This restricted their hours and days of operation. It’s a night cafe but can’t trade on a Friday (and some other days). The reason was that they know the Tea Hut was used by people meeting at the bridge so stop tea hut on the nights the meet was popular you give people less reasons to stop. At the same time they restricted access to Battersea Park at the Chelsea Bridge gate by closing it early to vehicles to stop people just moving down to the car park (no one did…).

Either way the net result was the cafe was unfairly penalised for being open when the bikes were there - as has been said that hut pre dates the motorbike let alone the flats but Wandsworth wanted to stop the meet so he had to close at times he was previously open.

As many people remember the initial action was quite heavy handed with a bus load of wardens down for civil parking enforcement. This switched to CCTV and it’s monitered (well someone moves a camera) as to whether this method of enforcement is ‘legal’ is questionable. However it’s likely that an attempt to restart the meet would just result in a clampdown on parking offences by the council again in conjunction with TFl / Traffic Plod checking tax / insurance / roadside MOT make life horrible for being on a bike in that area at that time until it dies off again.

We were contacted by the local police at the time. They contacted any group they thought were in some way responsible for it and threatened all sorts of stuff like Public Liability etc…We politely said good luck to that as it’s nothing to do with us! :slight_smile:

that tea hut might be out of bounds but nothing stopps us from using the road in mass.

Not only that, but there is parking very close to the Tea hut its just out of sight. I usually go there on my own bit of a break.

They’ve never really paid much heed to small groups on the odd night really.

However I suspect they’d react (eventually) to larger numbers. Additionally you’d likely get some reaction from the Licensed Taxis parking up there too and maybe even the Tea Hut owner - they’d be looking to protect their parking / ability to stop there and may see an attempt to re-establish a bike meet as a threat to that (Divide and conquer) . That could mean more complaints to the local police / council and a faster crack down many ensue.

It’s an age old argument - large numbers of people will overcome the systems in place at some stage but very quickly different bits of legislation would be employed to stop this. Section 59 of Police Reform Act springs to mind and generally labeling the meet as Anti-Social behaviour etc.

I’m not saying it’s right for them to do that just saying what is likely to happen. Now if there’s hundreds there they won’t get everyone but would you take the risk of a fine / bike confiscated for the sake of a cup of tea? This is the angle that the authorities would go for - to make people going to the meet fear for the money in their pocket through fines / fixed penalties.

Wow I didnt realise there was that much history behind it - thanks for the update…

Section 59 vs The 59 Club eh???

ps where is the hidden parking spot Ricco???

as an afterthought - Why are the Police suddenly so interested in restricting it after all these years?

I suppose they have some ‘public order’ excuse prompted by the new residents?

Ditto the council?

If the council decided to put a huge long parking bay along the road then the Police would have much less ground to enforce matters - but of course they won’t - is the councils reasons the same as the Police I wonder … ie the handful of complaining residents???:Whistling:

I can guess why but I’d like to see an official answer.

I remember the Police 'intervening on the Chelsea Cruise some 20 years ago and basically killing it.:angry:

Once the 1st phase of flats were completed complaints intensified.

Although Wandsworth has one of the lowest levels of Council Tax they had to respond to residents complaints regarding what was described as anti-social behaviour and even suggestions that it might delay emergency services in responding to a callout. Basically anything that made the people at the meet look bad.

There were various incidents leading up to the crackdown - eggs thrown off balconies - abuse by ‘brave’ residents 6 floors up and equally abuse by people at the meet.

There were massive numbers of bikes - all over the pavement on both sides of the roads so it was easy meat to portray as anti-social especially since there wasn’t an official organiser etc…

The residents Association were very vocal and well connected and there was an infamous piece done on BBC London that showed traffic Police attempts at handling things on a Friday as pretty crap (single car - public address saying please be considerate and banter - laughter from the crowd…) Interview with residents saying how their lives were being blighted every Friday - balanced up by motly crew of bikers saying it’s always been like this. Didn’t go down to well on TV made police look daft and the residents as the victims (in some ways they were really).

Following this much more robust response from Police and then joined by Council Wardens and heavy restrictions on parking and stopping. People were warned the 1st week then they were out in force the next. result no more meet.

Council don’t care about people who don’t pay Council tax. Police don’t like being labelled as ineffective by well connected people so the result was a forgone conclusion. I’d say that any official response from Wandsworth would contain a lot of references to road safety anti-social behaviour / low low level crime and the need to support local residents.

I heard that after the meet was ended the main voices of opposition moved away anyway.

For info it’s nearly 7 years since the Chelsea Bridge was a regular meet on a Friday.

Here’s a flavour of how it was portrayed.

The Youtube account is a former LB’er (RIP) :frowning:

I think it’s unfortunate that the meet was closed down. I don’t believe that objecting to people doing wheelies and burnouts outside your house in the small hours is purely something that “rich people” do. No one wants that outside their house.

The latest thing is foreign clowns racing round Kensington in their Super Cars driving like d1ckheads. People say, “oh the poor rich people being inconvenienced” but they’d be equally upsed if it was in their neighbourhood.

The location worked well when the area was mainly industrial. The development was built on a former transport yard / warehousing so obviously no one around at night time to disturb. Problems only (naturally) arose when the area became residential and it was obvious this was going to end.

As you say no one would want that outside their front door. I am sure many people living there now wouldn’t even be aware of the activities that went on so would be doubly shocked if people tried to kick it off again and who could blame them?

Triang, here its…

Thanks - many sides to this…

4th May might be interesting

The Spirit 59 Club have organised a tribute run for the late Father Hullett, from the old club house in Paddington to The Dudley Arms via Chelsea Bridge, they refer to the route as ‘The old burn up route to Chelsea Bridge’. I guess that’ll be pre CCTV, Safety Camera and traffic calming measures burn ups :wink:

inter webby wotsit here