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Wandsworth Carer is Specsavers Spectacle Wearer of the Year Regional Finalist

A HOME carer from Wandsworth could barely contain her excitement after being announced as a regional finalist in Specsavers’ annual Spectacle Wearer of the Year competition.

Jenny McDowall had entered the contest after spotting an advert on social media and was ‘shocked’ when she was voted as a winner in the South East region’s 45-59 age category.

The 46-year-old mother of three was rewarded with a bottle of champagne, a certificate and a £150 Specsavers voucher, which were presented to her at Specsavers in Wandsworth by store director Raj Patel. 

Jenny now has the chance to book a place in the Spectacle Wearer of the Year final, where one overall winner will walk away with a cash prize of £10,000.

She says: ‘I follow Specsavers on Facebook so when I saw an ad for Spectacle Wearer of the Year, I thought I would give it a go.

‘When I heard I had been named as a regional finalist, I couldn’t believe it – it was a real surprise but exciting at the same time.

‘I rely a lot on my eyesight in my line of work, and every time I visit Specsavers the team have been really friendly and professional. In fact, the frames I wore in my winning competition picture were chosen by a member of staff from the Wandsworth store, which I never would have chosen for myself.

‘I’m definitely buying a new pair of frames with the voucher and I would be over the moon if I was nominated for the final.’

Raj says: ‘Jenny has been a regular customer at our store for more than six years and we’re delighted that she has been chosen as a regional finalist for Spectacle Wearer of the Year.

‘We’re now wishing her all the best for the next stage of the competition and hope she takes home the £10,000 prize.’

Jenny is one of thousands of glasses wearers across the UK and Republic of Ireland who have been sharing specs selfies online and visiting their local Specsavers store to enter this year’s Spectacle Wearer of the Year.

Now in its 22nd year, the competition will give regional finalists from five age categories – 16-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-59 and over 60s, plus a Facebook favourite voted by the public – the opportunity to attend a star-studded awards ceremony at London’s 8 Northumberland Avenue on 10 October, which will be hosted by former Girls Aloud star Nadine Coyle. 

Southside's Movie Guide: August 2017

It's officially Summer which can only mean that we're not quite sure what the weather will do next! So whether it is too hot or there's a sudden downpour, escape the world around you with these great films of August. There's also plenty to keep the kids happy from new releases to Movies for Juniors. Don't forget to check out Cineworld in order to book your tickets and check out the latest in 4DX and Superscreen!

Don't forget to check out our film reviews to help you decide!

4th August: The Emoji Movie

THE EMOJI MOVIE unlocks the never-before-seen secret world inside your smartphone. Hidden within the messaging app is Textopolis, a bustling city where all your favorite emojis live, hoping to be selected by the phone’s user. In this world, each emoji has only one facial expression – except for Gene (T.J. Miller), an exuberant emoji who was born without a filter and is bursting with multiple expressions. Determined to become “normal” like the other emojis, Gene enlists the help of his handy best friend Hi-5 (James Corden) and the notorious code breaker emoji Jailbreak (Anna Faris). Together, they embark on an epic “app-venture” through the apps on the phone, each its own wild and fun world, to find the Code that will fix Gene. But when a greater danger threatens the phone, the fate of all emojis depends on these three unlikely friends who must save their world before it’s deleted forever.

6 August: Autism Friendly Screening - Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie

Autism Friendly screenings at Cineworld differ from regular screenings. Some of the key differences are: Lighting will be kept on during the screening. Volume levels will be reduced. There will be no advertisements or trailers. Seating will not be allocated. Customers will be allowed to bring in their own food. Screenings will be at 11am on the first Sunday of every month. For further information please ask in your local cinema.


Based on the worldwide sensation and bestselling book series, and boasting an A-list cast of comedy superstars headed by Kevin Hart and Ed Helms, DreamWorks Animation brings audiences the long-awaited global movie event, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie.This raucously subversive comedy for the entire family tells the story of two overly imaginative pranksters named George and Harold, who hypnotize their principal into thinking he's a ridiculously enthusiastic, incredibly dim-witted superhero named Captain Underpants.

11 August: Atomic Blonde

Oscar® winner Charlize Theron explodes into summer in Atomic Blonde, a breakneck action-thriller that follows MI6’s most lethal assassin through a ticking time bomb of a city simmering with revolution and double-crossing hives of traitors. The crown jewel of Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service, Agent Lorraine Broughton (Theron) is equal parts spycraft, sensuality and savagery, willing to deploy any of her skills to stay alive on her impossible mission. Sent alone into Berlin to deliver a priceless dossier out of the destabilized city, she partners with embedded station chief David Percival (James McAvoy) to navigate her way through the deadliest game of spies. “Atomic Blonde” is a blistering blend of sleek action, gritty sexuality, and dazzling style.

18 August: The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature

When the evil mayor of Oakton decides to tear down Liberty Park and build an amusement park in its place, Surly, Buddy, Andie and the rest of the animals are suddenly homeless! Surly tries to fight back, but realizes it’s not going to be easy.The mayor has got an animal control squad patrolling the park… Precious has been dognapped by the mayor’s hyperactive daughter… And Surly has offended Mr. Feng, an adorable city mouse with deadly kung-fu skills.Surly realizes that he has to put aside his differences with the animals and get everybody to work together in order to defeat the mayor, rescue Precious, and save Liberty Park… Before it’s too late!

18 August: The Dark Tower

There are other worlds than these. Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, the ambitious and expansive story from one of the world’s most celebrated authors, makes its launch to the big screen. The last Knight Warrior, Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey), determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black.

25 August: Logan Lucky

The Logans are a hardscrabble family from the hills of West Virginia, and their clan has been famous for its bad luck for nearly 90 years. But the conniving Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) decides its time to turn the family's luck around, and with a little help from his friends, the Redneck Robbers, he plans to steal $14 million from the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Film review - Spider Man: Homecoming

We’re huge fans of the Marvel series but on this one, we have to admit we’re a little torn! On the one hand, we’re a strong believer in the Spiderman origin story of him being bitten by a spider that gives him plenty of abilities including the innate ability to shoot webs. The film does reference being bitten but items like the the web, is essentially a science experiment that is used through his suit. However, the movie in itself was well done with great humour and the subtle references to the rest of the Marvel world that they are fantastic at.


Spiderman made his first appearance in the current series with a cameo in the Avenger’s series - Civil War. It is therefore quite fitting that his first solo film should be that of Homecoming as a result and to be fair, that is a great summary of what the film is about.

Not only is Spiderman trying to figure out his role as a superhero but also as a person. He has a new suit and is being mentored by Tony Stark - in a Stark, hands off kind of way! Therefore, with a yearning to do good, Spiderman is trying to help the local community. That is until he stumbles onto the use of aliens technology weaponry…

With no help from Stark, Spiderman tries to handle the situation on his own. However, his efforts only appear to cause more problems as the Vulture vows to kill him. At the same time, Spiderman is in high school with the normal problems faced by everyone - especially his interest in a popular girl. In trying to balance both interests, Spiderman completely fails - not only nearly getting himself killed but also putting his friends in danger on school trip.

Everything comes to a head when Stark eventually takes the latest suit from Spiderman, claiming that he wanted more and that he is a danger to others. This refocuses Spiderman on school and their homecoming dance - even asking out the girl he likes. As you may have guessed, upon picking her up from her house before the dance, he comes face to face with Vulture - his date’s dad!

Spiderman has a heart to heart with his current nemesis but cannot simply allow him to continuing to create these weapons. On his quest to defeat him, he must remember that he is “more than just a suit” - especially because he now has to go on this journey with his original suit (rather than the Stark suit). This results in quite the battle between the two with Spiderman as the natural winner - even saving Vulture’s life.

All appears good for Spiderman going into the future with Stark welcoming him as an Avenger (albeit that was misread as a test by Spiderman!). Back at school there are some changes but ultimately things appear ok - that is until he is discovered at home to be Spiderman!!

Look out for Karen because she is one of our favourites in the film! Great humour created because of her comments.

Film Review - War for the Planet of the Apes

We’ve gone APE for this movie! With Caesar’s clan looking to escape the humans in order to live freely, and a specific group of humans getting ever closer to finding them, there was non-stop action from the start! There was some new characters that really warmed our hearts too including Nova, a young girl that is unable to speak.


It has to be said that this film very cleverly summarised the previous two films in just a couple of sentences at the start. This means that whether you’re up to start with the series or not, you’ll be able to enjoy the film. Naturally, there are references to the previous films but it is done in such a way that means that you are not completely lost if you haven’t (or if, like us, you probably needed a refresher!). After that… ACTION.


Immediately, we’re involved in a battle between humans and apes. On the one hand, we see the ruthlessness of both the humans and the apes as the war between the two rages on. There are elements of compassion at this point but soon the movie descends into a thrilling tale of revenge when Caesar’s wife and son are killed, leaving only his smallest son alive.


Caesar is the main focus of the film, and his struggle with killing another ape (in the previous film he killed another ape that did not believe apes and humans could live alongside each other. Naturally, apes would be the dominant race and hence the deep set hatred within the war) and his new found hatred for the humans.

Caesar is not alone though, with a few trusted friends - that admittedly join him despite his wishes - as the rest of the ape clan move in the hope of finding a place they can feel safe and live freely. On Caesar’s journey, we quickly find a deserted human settlement with a man who is quickly killed (both sides fearing the other). However, they discover a little girl, scared and now completely alone. She also has a problem - she is unable to speak. Again, amongst all the hatred, we now see a flash of compassion as the group take in the girl and bring her on their journey.

The little girl, later named Nova, and her inability to speak is not truly explained until near the end of the film. However, we do watch her grow within the group as she learns to speak their sign language and they grow to love each other. Later we learn that a degenerative virus plagues the human population, which takes away their ability to speak (and as the Colonel, who is hunting the apes, says) removes the higher functions that distinguishes humans from animals. The remaining human population have two schools of thought; treat and control, or isolate and kill.

The Colonel is the leader of the group of soldiers we first see attacking the apes, ordered the attack that led to the death of Caesar’s family, and is the antagonist throughout the film. His role is somewhat like that of a god, revered by his soldiers and feared by many others. How do we know this? Along the Caesar’s journey to find the Colonel not only does he find him, but finds that he has captured the rest of the apes and captures Caesar himself.

The Conoel’s hatred for the apes is filmed in an interesting manner in so much that it reflects much of history - fear of the other, slavery, fear of your own. With the apes at work to build a fortress to help fight other humans, the Colonel’s war with Caesar changes. Now it is one of David and Goliath - with starvation, physical work, beatings and death the outcome of failure.

Certainly, you wouldn’t expect the story to end just there. It is important to highlight that Nova’s role along with their new ape friend, Bad Ape, who escaped from a zoo. Certainly, Nova’s feeling that she is an ape means that she daringly (and in a childish naivety) helps Caesar and the apes. Her role continues to the end of the film as her fate is tied in with theirs.

Overall, we loved the film and the rollercoaster of action, compassion, and humour. Watch out for great sarcastic and truly British humour within the film. Our ‘Bad Ape’ is certainly one of our favourites. 

World Heart Beat Surprise

Do you remember the surprise from World Heart Beat Music Academy?

Brazilian Flash Mob in Southside Shopping Centre

World Heart Beat joined us at Southside to bring the warmth of Brazil to the cold of London as they performed for our shoppers.

With a crew of 60 performers, featuring Brazilian superstars Almir Pessoa and Pepe Barcellos  who flew in from Rio especially, the young music stars of the Academy delighted shoppers with their music which had plenty of Brazilian flair!

The entertainment began in Muffin Break and Uniqlo with children from the age of 7 playing a range of instruments including drums, flutes and violins. The sound drew in the crowds who were both surprised and enthusiastic to hear the sounds of Brazil. 

Now it's gone viral on Facebook with over 2 million views!

Krispy Kreme keeps Wandsworth sweet!

Wandsworth got a taste of the action this morning as Krispy Kreme opened the doors to its brand new store at Southside shopping centre at 10am.

The new kiosk-style store can be found on North Walk, near TK Maxx, and will offer 16 varieties of delicious, melt-in-the-mouth treats – from the classic Original Glazed to the limited-edition American Dream collection. Traditionally bought by the dozen to share with friends and family, doughnuts will be delivered fresh daily from Krispy Kreme’s Hotlight store at Shannon Corner, to provide a little moment of joy every time.

The first in line was treated to an exclusive Krispy Kreme Gold Card, entitling them to a double-dozen FREE doughnuts every month for a whole year! The first dozen in line were also treated to an exclusive Krispy Kreme goody bag.

Alex Drysdale, Operations Director at Krispy Kreme, said: “We have had a great opening day here in wonderful Wandsworth! It’s been great to meet some of our newest guests as they get their first experience of Krispy Kreme treats. Thank you to everybody who came down – we look forward to welcoming lots more Wandsworth residents in store in the coming weeks!”

GBK- The All Rounder

Get a classic burger, small fries and fresh and fizzy for £9.95. Offer valid from 5pm only.

Film Review - Despicable Me 3

At Southside we are bananas for Gru, the girls and (of course) the minions! That’s why we couldn’t wait for the latest Despicable Me 3 – complete with a great ‘80s soundtrack from the latest villain.


From bad to good, we’ve seen Gru struggle in this film especially once he learns about his twin brother Dru and his family history of villainy. His latest career, in the Anti-Villain League, takes a tumble after failing to capture Balthazar Bratt – a former ‘80s child star living out his character. This results in both his firing and that of his wife, Lucy. The minions think this is Gru’s return to villainy and turn against him once he makes it clear it isn’t.

Our two favourite moments in the film include Agnes and unicorns, and the minions. Our first has to be the journey we’re taken on to find a *real* fluffy unicorn! After hearing a story about unicorns in Dru’s town pub, Margo and Agnes go on the search for a real unicorn that will only appear to the ‘true of heart’. With a camera and plenty of unicorn bait (sweet – duh!) it was only a matter of time before the girls found… a one horned… goat! The most heart-warming part was when Gru had to explain that the animal was a goat rather than a unicorn, to which Agnes replied it’s only a goat if you see it as a goat (and it’s still fluffy!!).

What happened to the minions? They feature less and yet have a huge impact. Once the minions leave Gru (all but two), they soon get into their own kind of trouble – chasing down pizza through Hollywood, conducting an amazing audition for America’s Got Talent (or similar show) and finally being arrested. With the whole minion gang in jail, where they seem completely at home, their mischievous side becomes apparent to everyone including the other inmates! That is, until they start seeing visions of Gru in their mashed potatoes. They plan their escape and are soon back with Gru to fight Bratt’s bubblegum terror.

Although not a long movie, we can guarantee a lot of laughs from adults and kids alike (and maybe a few good tunes in your head). So get your dancing shoes on as we get into the groove and watch these smooth criminals dance fight!

Southside's Movie Guide: July 2017

July 2017

It's officially Summer which can only mean that we're not quite sure what the weather will do next! So whether it is too hot or there's a sudden downpour, escape the world around you with these great films of July. There's also plenty to keep the kids happy from new releases to Movies for Juniors. Don't forget to check out Cineworld in order to book your tickets and check out the latest in 4DX and Superscreen!

5th July: Spider-Man: Homecoming

A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who made his sensational debut in Captain America: Civil War, begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging super hero in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.). Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine – distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man – but when the Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened.

12th July - War For The Planet Of The Apes

In War for the Planet of the Apes, the third chapter of the critically acclaimed blockbuster franchise, Caesar and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel. After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the Colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both their species and the future of the planet.

14th July - Cars 3

Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician, Cruz Ramirez, with her own plan to win, plus inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage!

21st July - Dunkirk

“Dunkirk” opens as hundreds of thousands of British and Allied troops are surrounded by enemy forces. Trapped on the beach with their backs to the sea they face an impossible situation as the enemy closes in.“Dunkirk” features a prestigious cast, including Tom Hardy (“The Revenant,” “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “Inception”), Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies,” “Wolf Hall”), Kenneth Branagh (“My Week with Marilyn,” “Hamlet,” “Henry V”) and Cillian Murphy (“Inception,” “The Dark Knight” Trilogy), as well as newcomer Fionn Whitehead. The ensemble cast also includes Aneurin Barnard, Harry Styles, James D’Arcy, Jack Lowden, Barry Keoghan and Tom Glynn-Carney

24th July - Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie

Based on the worldwide sensation and bestselling book series, and boasting an A-list cast of comedy superstars headed by Kevin Hart and Ed Helms, DreamWorks Animation brings audiences the long-awaited global movie event, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie.This raucously subversive comedy for the entire family tells the story of two overly imaginative pranksters named George and Harold, who hypnotize their principal into thinking he's a ridiculously enthusiastic, incredibly dim-witted superhero named Captain Underpants.