20% off Pre-Sale tickets for the new Chiswick Prom

The Chiswick Proms, a brand-new open-air music festival celebrating comedy, musical theatre and classical music, is taking place at Chiswick House & Gardens from 7-9 June.

The festival aims to bring the Chiswick community together, with high-class entertainment in an informal setting, and includes a family show of Peter & the Wolf.

The weekend will climax with a full orchestra in a rousing celebration of British music and flag-waving, including Pomp & Circumstance and Jerusalem.

Headliners include comedian Jason Manford, award winning musical performer Ruthie Henshall, and soprano Lesley Garret.

The Chiswick Calendar Club Card holders can take advantage of exclusive pre-sale tickets with 20% discount plus NO booking fees!

Simply enter our special discount code: CAL20 at the check-out.

Pre-sale starts, Wednesday 30 January at 10am, 48 hours before general sale which launches at 10am on Friday 1 February. Buy your tickets here

Working to save Chiswick Eyot

Old Chiswick Protection Society (OCPS) reached its Crowdfunding target of £20,000 towards securing the future of Chiswick Eyot, a local nature reserve. The OCPS will employ professional gardeners to pollard the willows on the Eyot during the first two weeks in February, and have provisionally set the Community Bundling Day for Sunday 24 February.

The society has also this month cleared 101 advertising posters and a load of unsightly litter so that TfL can plant flowers at the Hogarth Roundabout.

If you’d like to help them with keeping Chiswick Mall looking lovely, check their website for details.

Local artists auction art for Royal Water Colour Society

Bidding started on 29 January to raise funds for a new gallery to house the Royal Watercolour Society (RWS) collection.

Four local artists are taking part in the fundraising exhibition: Francis Bowyer PPRWS, Liz Butler RWS, Chloe Fremantle ARWS and Ingram Pinn, cartoonist for the Financial Times, whose work you can see here on The Chiswick Calendar website.

There’s also the opportunity to buy top class, original art cheaply in the ‘Secret Postard Sale’ where 100 miniature works by RWS members will be available for £60.

Read previous blog on the background of the auction here

Rosamund Pike plays war correspondent Marie Colvin

Hammersmith born Rosamund Pike stars as The Sunday Times war correspondent Marie Colvin in A Private War released next month (15 Feb).

US born Colvin, who also lived in Hammersmith when not braving combat zones, died during a rocket attack in 2012 while covering the civil war in Syria – just hours after telling the world how Bashar al-Assad’s army was ‘simply shelling a city of cold, starving civilians’.

A Private War is adapted from Marie Brenner’s 2012 Vanity Fair article Marie Colvin’s Private War which you can read here.

Rosamund Pike’s performance has been highly commended, but Colvin’s colleague Janine di Giovanni has criticised it for glamourising and fictionalising aspects of her life.

Di Giovanni recommends Barbara Kopple’s gritty documentary Bearing Witness, released in 2005, following the lives of four female war reporters, including Colvin, which di Giovanni believes gives a more authentic insight into her extraordinary career as well as the darkness of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and alcoholism.

Chiswick cold case may be reopened

New evidence has emerged for the biggest unsolved serial murder case in British criminal history.

Dark Son – The Hunt for a Serial Killer shown on BBC Wales and available on BBC iPlayer follows an investigation to solve the ‘Jack the Stripper’ murders committed between 1964 and 1965.

There are thought to be as many as eight victims in this case, three of whom were found in Chiswick, the other bodies were discovered naked nearby.

The programme makers have identified a Welsh double child killer called Harold Jones as their prime suspect. He served 20 years in prison, changed his name to Harry Stephens, then moved to Hammersmith and worked in Acton.

Despite huge resources being given to this investigation at the time, the programme makers assert the police were unaware a convicted double murderer with similar, sadistic methods was living and working at the epicentre of the murder scenes. The victims, all petite, vulnerable women, have surviving families who are still waiting to find out who murdered them.

Scotland Yard, when asked if they were to reopen this cold case responded:

“The investigation into a series of unsolved murders in Hammersmith in 1950s and 1960s remains open. An assessment will be carried out by detectives from the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command’s Special Casework Investigation Team. Assessment of historical material/cases will take time. Anyone who wants to contact police about an offence historical or otherwise can call the police on 101.”

Media Club – Gina Miller talks to Jo Coburn

Jo Coburn, presenter of the BBC’s Politics Live programme interviews Gina Miller, who forced the UK Government to be democratically accountable over Brexit. Come and watch the interview at The Chiswick Calendar’s Media Club event in the Boston Room of George IV on the evening of Tuesday 19 March.

Gina Miller brought the court case which forced the Government to go through parliament in order to trigger Article 50.

At the time she said it was not the idea of Brexit that filled her with dread but the idea of an unchallenged, unanswerable government taking us back to 1610 (by using royal prerogative rather than parliamentary authority) and “ripping a hole through our democratic structures”.

The decision to leave the European Union has proved deeply divisive, has thrown the UK parliament into chaos, as there appears to be no concensus on any option for leaving, and for Gina the court case has thrust her into the limelight and brought death threats.

For those who voted Remain and support a People’s Vote she symbolises independence and common sense. Jo Coburn talks Brexit and its implications for Britain with Gina Miller.

Book tickets here

Fuller’s to sell to Asahi

Fuller’s was founded in 1845 by John Bird Fuller, Henry Smith and John Turner and the families still control roughly 50% of the shares and 75% of the voting rights, with six family members in senior positions.
The brewery’s buildings could be at threat if the follow the same fate of other historic London breweries, such as in Wandsworth and Mortlake which have been turned into luxury homes and shops as property values rise. It is estimated that The Griffin site could be worth up to £100m and be ripe for redevelopment.
Chief executive Simon Emeny said protecting the site’s heritage was “particularly important” to the Fuller’s board when negotiating the sale.
Penny Barltrop, Chair of The Chiswick Old Protection Society (COPS) explained that only part of the brewery has listed status, but not the warehouse site by Chiswick Lane and Mall. COPS have asked for the brewery site in its entirety to be listed.
“What makes this area special is the mix of industrial and residential buildings of historical importance. The sale was conditional on their continuing to brew on site. It does not say specifically how many years..”
Fullers is strategically shedding its brewing, wholesaling and distribution operations will free up management to focus on its 182 pubs and more than 203 hotels which make up around three quarters of its profits.
Founded in 1845, “It’s emotional, but the logic for doing it was compelling,” Turner told the Times on Friday. “The forces of change were just too great.”’
Simon Emeny, Chief Executive of Fuller’s, commented:
“This deal secures the future of both parts of our business including protecting the heritage of the Griffin Brewery in Chiswick, which was particularly important to the Fuller’s Board.”

Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) issued a statement saying it was worried that the ongoing consolidation in brewing could lead to a “reduction in choice, value for money and quality for beer drinkers”.
“It’s a very sad day to see such a well-known, historic and respected name exit the brewing business,” said Camra’s chairman, Jackie Parker. “While the Fuller’s family has stressed it has sought to protect the heritage of the Griffin brewery, we’d call on the new owners to pledge to continue brewing operations at the Chiswick site.”
Akiyoshi Koji, CEO of Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd, commented:
“London Pride is a fantastic brand with an illustrious heritage dating back to the 1950s and we are excited about its untapped international potential which Asahi has the scale and global network to unlock.”
“Based on the agreement, we will continue to brew beers at the Griffin brewery in Chiswick. It is and always has been the home of London Pride.” However, some redundancies are expected as a result of the deal.
The deal is the latest in a series that has transformed Tokyo-based Asahi into the world’s seventh largest brewer.

The Griffin Brewery

The Griffin Brewery, owned by Fuller, Smith and Turner, but now being sold to Japanese brewing company Asahi, has its main entrance in Chiswick Lane South.
Beer has been brewed on this site for over 300 years.
In the 1665 Act of Parliament enacted to sell Bedford House to meet the debts of Edward Russell, was mentioned ‘two messuages or tenements being lately converted into a Brewhouse’.
The brewery passed into the ownership of Thomas Mawson in 1685. He had his brewery behind the houses half way along the row, near the foot of Chiswick Lane, c. 1700 and the brewery’s Red Lion, perhaps the only inn facing the river, had been licensed by 1722.
The inn stood close to a draw dock, where barges were still unloaded in the late 19th century. The Fuller’s Brewery is an important asset of Chiswick’s, and the Borough ’s industrial landscape, all the more so as it is London’s only remaining large Brewery.

See details on how you can use your club card to get a free tour of the brewery here

Madeleine Walker – Reader profile

Madeleine Walker, a classical pianist, and her husband Jonathan moved to Chiswick two years ago and have particularly enjoyed the music.

“My home town Chicago is friendly, but London is more cosmopolitan and has so much good art and music. I’ve heard the best music of my life here and go to a lot of concerts. I heard the Hogarth Singers singing Bach’s Oratorio I, II and II recently and it was fantastic. There is so much high quality amateur music in local churches and fund raisers in private homes in Chiswick.

Through the newsletter I’ve discovered a whole underground movement of musicians. I use my Chiswick Calendar Club card all the time. I used it to join the Hogarth Health Club, and for restaurants like Amorosa, one of our favourites. We also use it for The Carpenters Arms and I used it at Wheelers to buy my Christmas tree, and Snappy Snaps, to buy some frames the other day.”

Come along and listen to some of Chiswick’s quality music at Jazz at the George on 7 Feb

 

Chiswick Park footbridge opens

With politicians banging on about building walls and closing borders, it was great to be celebrating the opening of a bridge last week.
The new footbridge at Chiswick Park has been 20 years in the making, its creation being complicated by multiple stakeholders including the business park, the boroughs of Hounslow and Ealing, Network Rail, and Transport for London. It will make commuting easier for the 9,000 employees who work there and ease congestion at Gunnersbury Park station.

Catherine Ramsden

The 135m bridge is made up of three steel arches and Brazilian hardwood timber. The architect, Catherine Ramsden, from Useful design studio, said it would have a lifespan of at least 120 years. Its predicted longevity struck me as modest when you consider that the Cendere Bridge, still in use in Turkey, dates to around 200 CE. Those Romans knew how to build bridges.
Catherine, who helped design the Millenium Bridge, yes, the wobbly one, explained the choice of materials. The decking is aesthetically pleasing with a beautiful warm reddish brown hue, and practical, as the wood self-oils and needs minimal maintenance, a major concern in their brief as London Borough of Council are responsible for its maintenance. But won’t people slip on the wet wood? Each plank of wood had been fitted with a non-slip strip.

Tfl’s signage pushed to the left of the station could have been more helpful

Thanks to the bridge, commuters no longer have to trudge a more circuitous route via the high street to enter the 1.8 million sq ft business campus. Thousands of pedestrians are expected to use it daily. Once they find it – the bridge is not visible as you leave Chiswick Park station, and TfL had, when I visited last Thursday (24 Jan), one board directing passengers to the new bridge with an arrow pointing right and another pointing, somewhat whimsically, towards the sky and left, so I should explain that on exiting you turn right, walk down Bollo Lane, then left into Colonial Drive and then over the bridge, waving back to the easily distracted workers in a window to your left, before arriving at the North end of the park and No 7 building. Enjoy!


walk down Bollo Lane, and turn left at the white buildings shown at far end of this picture.

Heathrow consultation avoids Chiswick

Chiswick campaigners against Heathrow’s expansion have criticised the airport’s failure to hold a public consultation event in an area where the proposed changes will have a significant impact.

The consultation, which runs until 4 March, covers Runway Alternation; Airspace changes; Westerly Preference; Night Flights; Extra flights in advance of a third runway. All the proposals assume a third runway will be built.

If the third runway is built, campaigners say the level of low flights directly over the North Chiswick area could reach 47 per hour (almost 1 per minute).

Even without a third runway, Heathrow are asking for another extra 25,000 extra flights, which campaigners say would breach respite periods for those under the existing approach paths.

Ruth Cadbury, MP has called for Heathrow to provide and distribute leaflets for each affected area detailing the impact of the proposed flight paths.

She said, “We already live in the noisiest environment in the UK, and both proposals are in breach of international noise standards. It’s therefore vital that you take part in the consultation, and encourage everyone you know to as well.’’

You can respond online via heathrowconsultation.com

Via email at feedback@heathrowconsultation.com

By writing to Freepost, LHR AFO Consultation

Read the consultation summary from HACAN here

JMW Turner illustrations of Sir Walter Scott’s work go on show

Miniature Lands of Myth and Memory opens at Turner’s House, Twickenham

Step into Turner’s modest villa in Twickenham this February and you may be transported away from bleak news and grey skies, travelling back in time and space by means of the artist’s sublime images of the Anglo-Scottish Borders and Western Highlands then onto the warmer climes of France and Italy. Miniature Lands of Myth and Memory, the house’s first ever exhibition since its recent award-winning restoration shows Turner’s delicate illustrations of Sir Walter Scott’s work, part of the house’s permanent collection and normally in storage.

The house’s inaugural show celebrates the successful collaboration of JMW Turner (1775-1851) and Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832), arguably, the most influential and successful artist and author of their day , with Scott’s much quoted poetry and prose breaking publishing sales records; and Turner, who had already risen meteorically to Professor at the Royal Academy, the master of light and romantic landscapes.

Exhibition engravings photographed by kilianosullivan.com

This exhibition focuses on their last collaboration before Sir Walter’s death in 1832, Turner’s illustrations to the Poetical Works, and the artist’s next commission, Scott’s Life of Napoleon Buonaparte, penned shortly after the Napoleonic wars and Bonaparte’s death.

Combining Turner’s exquisite scenes and Scott’s powerfully evocative text, visitors can go on a time-travelling journey through the north of England, the contested Border lands of England and Scotland and the wild Western Highlands. The miniature engravings will be displayed in the rural retreat Turner designed for himself, following a trail of landscapes, antiquities, folk tales and ballads that inspired Scott’s poetry, before turning to recent history and images of France, Italy and the battle fields of Napoleonic Europe.

The curator of the exhibition, historian Dr Jacqueline Riding explained how she settled on the title; “Turner and Scott were uniquely suited; both viewed topography as landscapes of myth and memory, the silent witnesses of past ages and recent history. Turner’s exquisite engraved miniatures are a celebration of the source of Scott’s inspiration and extraordinary creativity.”

Miniature Lands of Myth and Memory, which launches Turner’s House Trust’s programme of events for 2019, will run from Friday 1 February until Sunday 28 July 2019. Turner’s House, Sandycombe Lodge, 40 Sandycombe Road, St Margarets, Twickenham TW1 2LR is open from Wednesday-Sunday: 12-4pm. turnershouse.org

Paint historian Patrick Baty discusses colours for the walls with curator Dr Jacqueline Riding

Great Scott!

Did you Know?
• Scott’s poem about the battle between the English and Scottish at Flodden Field in 1513 included his most quoted rhyme, which people often mistake for Shakespeare:
Oh! what a tangled web we weave
When first we practise to deceive!
• Scott created the modern historical novel, and helped put Scotland on the map as a tourist destination.
• He is immortalised in monuments worldwide. The Scott Monument in Edinburgh is the second largest monument to a writer in the world (after the José Martí monument in Havana) and Scott still appears on the front of Scottish bank notes.
• Scott arranged King George IV’s visit to Scotland in 1822, during which tartan, once seen as a Highland textile was firmly established as the national fabric of Scotland.
• Sir Walter Scott’s most famous works include Ivanhoe and Rob Roy which have being adapted for the screen.

Photos of Turner’s house by Anne Purkiss

 

 

 

 

Introducing our readers

Inspired by Yeats’ words: “There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.” I’d like to introduce you to some of our readers over the next few weeks.

Meet Roberto from Milan. He works in London, lives in Chiswick, and has a job which takes him all over Europe, the Middle East and Africa. But, arguably, the most important thing about Roberto is he was one of the first people in Chiswick to sign up for the Club Card!

How will Brexit affect him? “I have no idea! We don’t yet know of the practical implications of Brexit, so I am just being pragmatic and keeping an eye on developments until there is more clarity. I am renting my flat, as there is no point buying my home until the situation is clearer. Hopefully, it’s going to be managed in a reasonable way so people like me who have invested and enjoyed living in this country, made connections and paid taxes will want to stay.”

Click here to read more about Roberto

Remembering WB Yeats

Did you know the inspiration for WB Yeats’ famous poem The Lake Isle of Innisfree is said to be Chiswick Eyot? He wrote the poem in Blenheim Road and it was his near neighbour, poet and editor W.E. Henley (whose soirées Yeats visited on Chiswick High Road along with J.M. Barrie, Robert Louis Stevenson and G.K. Chesterton) who first published the poem in the National Observer.

It will be the 80th anniversary of Yeats’ death next Monday (28 January) and we’ve been catching up with poet, musician and critic, Cahal Dallat, who is the founder/organiser of the WB Yeats Bedford Park Artwork Project marking the 19th century London artists’ colony where the Nobel-prizewinning poet/dramatist WB Yeats lived.

Read more about Yeats in Chiswick on the This is Chiswick pages.

New Police initiative tackles rise in crime

Police have responded to a rise in crime in Chiswick by creating dispersal zones in Turnham Green and Homefields wards. Police can order anyone they believe to be intent on criminal activity to leave the area.

Extra back up from teams trained to use tasers and equipped with high powered vehicles are also announced for the West Area Basic Command area, which includes Chiswick and Ealing.

Treasure hunter’s rare finds in West London

Jason Sandy is one of an elite band of just 50 mudlarkers allowed to dig along the Thames.

Rich pickings can be found on Britain’s biggest archaeological site as London is the only capital city in the world blessed with such extreme tides – rising and falling a massive 7 metres – the equivalent of a two storey building.

Which means the flotsam and jetsam lying on the river bed can be buffeted below then washed up and found on the foreshore at low tide centuries later.

These treasures speak to us of times past, so some of Jason’s most precious finds have been snapped up by museums.

Those that haven’t are kept in a cabinet of curiosities at his Chiswick home which you can now see on The Chiswick Calendar website (click the green button below).

Jason will be talking about his finds in our patch of the Thames foreshore at Chiswick Pier on Tuesday 29 January at 7.30pm.

Click here to see Jason’s discoveries on the This Is Chiswick pages

What can be recycled?

Despite many Chiswick residents being committed to reducing their plastic waste, there is often confusion about which plastics can and cannot be recycled, which can have a disastrous effect on the area’s recycling efforts.

In Hounslow, over 2,000 tonnes of plastic was sent for recycling last year, however, the borough faces problems with the wrong waste being put in the blue recycle boxes. Waste such as film, crisp packets and toys cannot be recycled and if they are found in residents’ kerbside boxes, the entire box is left.

One of the worst issues is plastic film. If not detected it tends to get stretched over conveyor belt drums and motors, causing equipment failures and increased downtime for maintenance, cleaning and repair, wasting time and money.

Hounslow Council is backing a new campaign to let people know how to recycle common plastic items at home. Click here to find out how to recycle your plastic properly.

And read one of our previous blog entries which includes a short film on the Materials Handling Facility on Southall Lane, to see how your rubbish is sorted here.

Karen Liebreich of Abundance London and author of the blog commented “Anything that gets us recycling more, and more efficiently, is moving down the right path (though I suppose it would be even better not to buy the plastics in the first place)”.

Threat to TV jobs at Chiswick Park

International TV companies are moving their channel licences for the EU out of the UK to make sure they are still valid post Brexit.

Discovery, based in Chiswick Park, is moving its channel licences for services in the EU to the Netherlands. This is potentially bad news for Chiswick Business Park which is home to six entertainment and 16 media companies.

“Given Brexit, Discovery is now applying for new broadcast licences in the Netherlands for its EU pay-TV channel portfolio,” a spokesperson for the company told TVB Europe.

But they are still committed to the UK, he said, “Discovery is retaining a large hub in the UK and has renewed on a long-term, the lease for its main London office in West London, which houses more than 1,000 people”.

“Move will send a chill through the British TV industry”

Variety, the American media magazine, commented, “Discovery is one of the major international channel operators, with a raft of services in Britain and the rest of Europe. Its Netherlands move will send a chill through the British TV industry as it grapples with the implications of the U.K. leaving the E.U”.

Not one, but two cycle lanes!

Hammersmith is set to get not one but two new cycle routes: a fully segregated cycle pathway continuing the route from Chiswick High Rd and also improvements to the cycle highway along the A4.

The news has been released from Hammersmith & Fulham Council before Transport for London’s announcement on the whole CS9 route, which is expected soon. The A4 path is expected to be faster and used by experienced commuting riders.

The council say they consulted widely, including asking the borough’s resident-led Independent Disabled People’s Commission to review the scheme to make sure it works for all. TfL has confirmed work on the new cycle pathway along King Street is scheduled to begin later this year. Details for the improvements to the route alongside the A4 are yet to be confirmed.

A spokesperson from the Hounslow Cycling Campaign said, “We welcome the news from Hammersmith and Fulham about plans for cycle routes through Hammersmith and look forward to reviewing the details when they are available.”

Jazz at George IV – February

Chiswick based 13 strong band famous for their eight strong ‘wall of saxes’, The Jazz Mondays, will be playing at George IV on Thursday 7 February. Their eclectic repertoire ranges across Jazz to Soul, Ska and Funk, from Dizzy Gillespie to Amy Winehouse. Book your tickets here

Media Club – Truth, Politics and Lies

Politicians don’t have that great a reputation when it comes to telling the truth.

The Brexit debate has been shrouded by misinformation from the very beginning, with both sides of the discussion accused of misleading the public.

Benedict Pringle is the founder of politicaladvertising.co.uk, a website which offers commentary on ‘the grubbiest part of the dirtiest business’, he campaigns for a higher standard of regulation in political advertising. He will be speaking to Greg Dawson, a reporter for the BBC’s Politics Live.

Hear what he and others have to say at The Chiswick Calendar’s next Media Club at The Pilot pub, 56 Wellesley Road, Chiswick, London, W4 4BZ on Tuesday 12 February at 8pm. Get your tickets here

The Chiswick Calendar party

Unsurprisingly, given our ed, Bridget’s HARDtalk background, there were a lot of political party animals – including BBC Politics Live presenter Jo Coburn and journalist Peter Oborne – at Chiswick Calendar’s 4th birthday bash at the George IV last Thursday.

Local MP Ruth Cadbury confessed to knowing as much or as little about what happens next with Brexit as the assembled throng, given that at this point anything could happen. She follows Laura Kuenssberg’s Twitter feed, she joked, to discover her own position.

Our Rebel Remainer revealed she was on a three-line whip for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. But as Ruth has form on following her conscience rather than the Labour line (voting to remain in the Single Market, against the whip in 2017, led to Jeremy Corbyn sacking her from the Shadow Cabinet), we will follow her actions with interest as the Brexit saga unfolds.

It was lovely meeting so many Chiswick Calendar readers at the party and you can read more tittle-Tatleresque reporting and see masses of pictures here

Brentford FC – Meet the players

Do you like football? What are your plans for half term? Brentford FC’s Community Sports Trust runs Soccer Schools, providing every participant with fun and technical football sessions during each half-term and also during term time. Along with developing their technical skills, children also improve their social skills.

Promising young players are referred by the coaches to the football development department of the Trust, providing an opportunity for talented players to make the first step onto the football ladder towards elite football. The Trust runs separate male and female Football Development Centres and recently hosted a girls football festival with more than 70 girls from seven local schools taking part.

Meet the Players

 Each year the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust holds a Meet the Players Day, which this year will be at Uxbridge High School’s exclusive 3G indoor training facility from 12.45 until 6.45pm on Tuesday 19 February. The event is open to boys and girls in school years one to seven (those aged five to 13 years old).

Participants will take part in a training session with the Trust’s FA qualified coaching staff in preparation for matches in the afternoon. After the snack-lunch and a warm-up, the Brentford First Team players will arrive and get stuck in to some small-sided games with young Bees’ fans, playing alongside them and offering a bit of coaching. The day will conclude with the opportunity to meet all the Brentford FC 1st team stars, get autographs and take photographs

Meet the Players day costs £35 per-player. Places are limited and can only be booked online. A first booking period is open between 21 January and 6 February.
A second booking period will be available between 8 February and 12 February if spaces remain. For full information search for meettheplayers2019.eventbrite.co.uk

The Soccer Schools will take place on 20, 21 and 22 February. Search for febss2019.eventbrite.co.uk

Introducing guest editor Lucinda MacPherson

I’m off to New Zealand for six weeks, leaving you in the capable hands of Lucinda Macpherson, known to many in Chiswick for her involvement with Chiswick House, Chiswick Pier Trust and Emery Walker’s house in Hammersmith. 

She’ll be writing the next seven newsletters. Whereas my cultural reference points range from Steptoe and Son to Star Wars and UB 40 to Cher (seeing her in concert later this year), Lucinda’s more of a Classics and Opera kinda gal, though she does have a (blind) soft spot for the Eurovision Song Contest. 

My main proviso is that you shouldn’t like her newsletters more than mine. I’ll be back in March.

Bridget

Collision demonstrates cyclists’ vulnerability on High Rd

A cyclist was knocked off his bike by a car in Chiswick High Rd on Saturday. The 58 year old local man who is an experienced cyclist was travelling east along the High Rd in the marked cycle lane when he was hit by a car turning into Brackley Rd.

Fortunately the man went home with only cuts and bruises, so normally that wouldn’t make news. But it does highlight the point cyclists have been making loud and clear over the past 18 months: they are vulnerable and at risk.

Shocking” casualty figures

The photograph of the accident, taken from the upper deck of a bus, prompted Dr Edward Seaton, a hospital consultant who cycles from Chiswick to central London each day for work, to do some number crunching.

He found that along Chiswick High Rd (from Goldhawk Rd to Chiswick roundabout) over the 12 year period 2015 – 2017,  by far the highest group of road casualties were cyclists. There were 162 cyclist casualties of whom 14 sustained serious injuries; 95 pedestrian casualties of whom 20 sustained severe injuries with one fatality (articulated lorry); 101 car occupants injured of whom 3 sustained serious injuries.

In King St (Goldhawk Rd to Hammersmith Gyratory) there were 96 cyclist casualties of whom 14 sustained serious injuries; 88 pedestrian casualties of whom 21 sustained severe injuries with two fatalities (bus and articulated lorry); 25 car drivers injured. 

He found the results “shocking.” What is also apparent from the statistics is that it isn’t bikes which pedestrians should be most afraid of. Anecdotal evidence that pedestrians are mowed down by cyclists on the pavement isn’t supported by the statistical evidence. Of the 95 pedestrians injured on Chiswick High Rd, only five were injured by cyclists. None of those collisions took place on the pavement. Of the 88 pedestrians injured in King St., four were injured by bikes. Again all cyclist-pedestrian injuries were on the road. 

His source material, police reports of casualties, can be found here.

“The photograph (above) is a powerful image which sums up to me why cyclists need more protection” says Dr Seaton. He cycles along the High Rd but his wife Tran finds it too dangerous, especially as a good friend of hers, a consultant radiologist, was off work for 18 months having been knocked off her bike on the road and has lasting health issues because of it.

“Cyclists lives don’t seem to matter”

The other thing which prompted him to look at the figures was the dismissive question on Twitter “How many sensible cyclists are injured on the High Rd?” 

There are two things wrong with this question. Its underlying premise is that accidents are usually the cyclist’s fault.  Where fault lies in an accident can never be taken for granted. It is specific to the circumstances of each individual case. The second, far more pernicious, is the inference that if a cyclist has made a mistake or taken a risk by not wearing a helmet or a high vis jacket, then their pain doesn’t matter. It can be dismissed.

“It feels like cyclists have become this group of people who aren’t really human” says Marijn van de Geer, who cycles a lot in Chiswick.”It’s like we’re a sub-species or something. It’s upsetting and it’s hard to understand … cyclists lives don’t seem to matter”.

Part of this can be put down to the culture of anonymous callousness evident on Twitter. Cyclists are not the only ones to have been dehumanised in the Twittersphere. But it is also a measure of how acrimonious the whole CS9 debate has become. “I find it immensely frustrating that such as sensible idea as a protected cycle lane has caused so much animosity” says Dr Seaton. 

Great new January Club Card offers

We have some fantastic January Club Card offers. We’re delighted to welcome two news businesses to the Club Card scheme: Naturalmat, makers of organic beds and bedding and Elias and Grandsons, who make beautiful leather goods. The Stable pizza restaurant is also returning with a great new offer. 

Scroll down to see their offers in the Club card News section. If you’re taking stock – getting fit, thinking about a career change or moving house, our Club Card businesses have some great offers for you.

If you don’t yet have a Club Card and would like one, go here to order one (whether you are already signed up to the newsletter or not). It will open up a world of deals and discounts in Chiswick from our Club Card members businesses. See all the offers here

Veganuary in Chiswick

Who knew that Piers Morgan would be such an advocate for Veganuary? After he made such a fuss about a Greggs vegan sausage roll on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, consumers rushed to try them. Chiswick’s bakery was not the only one to sell out.

If you are trying to eat less meat this month, or going the whole hog (pun intended) and going vegan, here are four places you can use your Club Card:

Chateau do a lovely range of really tasty mixed salads all year round. 20% off brunch or lunch.

George IV does a very nice Sweet potato, chickpea & spinach curry / Linguine with aubergine, courgettes, peppers, basil & chilli breadcrumbs / Cajun roasted chickpeas, caramelised onions & butternut squash salad. 10% off food all day Monday – Friday.

Bill’s restaurant has a special Vegan and Vegetarian menu. Manager David tells me the Moving Mountains burger – mushroom and beetroot patty with lettuce, tomato, red onion and mayo on a bun served with fries – and their Black Bean Chilli – with freekeh, spinach, smashed avocado, red chilli, pickled red onion, coriander, soy yoghurt and grilled flatbread – are both proving very popular. 20% off food, Monday – Friday.

‘Freekeh’ for the uninitiated is ‘a cereal food made from green durum wheat that is roasted and rubbed to create its flavour,’ an ancient dish derived from Levantine and North African cuisines.

The Stable pizza restaurant at Kew Bridge (rejoining the Club Card scheme – see below) offers a Green pizza – green pesto base with roasted courgette with chilli flakes, peas and vegan mozzarella / Pizza Marguerita with tomato sauce, fresh basil and vegan mozzarella / The Good Life – roasted courgette with chilli flakes, aubergine, red and yellow peppers, with onion, vegan mozzarella and fresh basil / Hazelnut pizza – spinach, field mushrooms, caramelised onion, green beans and vegan mozzarella, topped with hazelnuts. 20% off dining in or 25% off takeaway.

The Chiswick Calendar party

The Chiswick Calendar Party is definitely the place to be this Thursday evening, 17 January. Our annual bash, this year celebrating our fourth year,  is in the Boston Room of George IV from 7.30pm. Come and hear about what we have planned for the coming year. 

Meet other people with a vested interest in maintaining all the good things about Chiswick and creating new things to make it an even more enjoyable place to live. The most informal AGM you could possibly find! Music from the Greg Davis trio. Get your tickets here

Pub in the Park ticket winners

Last week I said we had five pairs of tickets to give away to the Pub in the Park, a new event taking place in the gardens of Chiswick House 6-8 September. I asked you to answer this question to win a pair of tickets: In which year was Tom’s pub The Hand and Flowers first awarded two Michelin stars? I was quietly confident that the answer was 2011, since that’s what it says on Tom Kerridge’s own website, so was flummoxed to find the inbox flooded with answers saying 2012.

Pub in the Park have very sportingly given us five more pairs of tickets because 2012 is the year in which the award appeared in the Michelin guidebook, so not unreasonably that’s what it says on Wikkipedia, but 2011 is what it says on his website. Tickets are going out to all those who said 2011 AND the first five emails we received which said 2012.

Winners

Alexandra Grace, Jono White, Nick Laul, Leo Rogers, Amanda Meyer, Christine Reside, Vola Walker, Ruthie Burgess, A Mahadevan

Tickets go on sale 1 February for the weekend-long event which is part food festival and part music festival organised by Tom, who is famous for making his Marlow pub The Hand and Flowers the only pub in the UK with two Michelin stars. Readers of this blog will have the opportunity of priority booking. Sign up to the Pub in the Park newsletter here to receive the booking link on 31 January, one day before tickets go on general release.

Be Part of Art

Members of the Royal Watercolour Society are holding an online auction to raise money for a new gallery to house the RWS collection. The auction pieces are available to view here and will be exhibited at the Bankside Gallery. Both online bidding and the physical exhibition are open from 30 January – 3 February. There’s also a fantastic opportunity to buy top class original art really cheaply in the ‘Secret Postard Sale’. One hundred miniature works by RWS members will be available for £60. The ‘secret’ bit is that you don’t know whose work you’ve bought until after you’ve paid for it.

These are all part of the ‘Be Part of Art’ campaign to raise funds for a new gallery. The RWS will be returning to its original home in Whitcomb Street, alongside the National Gallery, where it was based for 115 years from 1823. Currently they have no space to show work from their Diploma Collection. Since 1860 almost every member has contributed work, including John Singer Sargent, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Samuel Palmer, Arthur Rackham, Edward Burne-Jones and more recently Elizabeth Blackadder and Patrick Procktor, so they now have a huge archive which never sees the light of day.

Four artists from Chiswick are taking part in the fundraising exhibition: Francis Bowyer PPRWS, Liz Butler RWS, Chloe Fremantle ARWS and Ingram Pinn, cartoonist for the Financial Times, whose work you can see below. “I’m incredibly excited” says Francis “at the prospect of the new gallery. It’s the most wonderful opportunity for the society to show the members’ works in such a prestigious position in London”. The gallery is part of a wider development taking place in Whitcomb St. So far the RWS, which is a charity, has raised £200,000 but they need to raise at least another £300,000.

Image above – Evening Light on the Blyth River by Francis Bowyer.

Images below – Wood Lane by Chloe Freemantle, Brussel Sprouts Under Nets by Liz Butler, Cartoon by Ingram Pinn

Chiswick’s best kept secret

There’s a building right in the middle of Chiswick with a well-equipped gym, martial arts studio, sound studio, kitchen area and two large halls, one with a stage, the other with a basket-ball court marked out, with flooring perfect for dancing or yoga or a range of other activities. Until a couple of days ago I wouldn’t have been able to guess what it was, much less where it was, despite having lived here for 25 years. “It’s Chiswick’s best kept secret” says Patrick Brougham, one of the Hogarth Community Centre’s trustees.

The building is sandwiched between Hogarth Primary School and St Mary’s RC Primary School at the end of Duke Rd and you could be forgiven for thinking it belonged to one of the two schools, as it started life in 1884 as Hogarth’s Infants School. Closed as a school in 1991 it has been home to youth groups for more than 20 years, dating back to the days when the Glebe estate was considered ‘rough’ rather than desirable. Hogarth Youth Centre still runs youth clubs four evenings a week for juniors, intermediates and seniors ranging from 8 – 18 years old which are valued hugely by those who use them.

“We provide a safe and nurturing environment” says trustee Fred Lucas. The centre also provides half term programmes and residential trips in the summer holidays. Cllr John Todd says the centre plays a crucial role. “There are hidden pockets of deprivation in Chiswick” he says. “The centre offers comfort and security to children and parents, some of whom are very poor. They have the opportunity to do and see things they wouldn’t have the chance to do otherwise. Having somewhere to go makes these kids less vulnerable to the temptations of drug-dealers and gangsters”.

Photographs – Denny Anthony (on right), trustees Basil Fraser (on left), Patrick Brougham (in centre) and Fred Lucas (on right), ‘Oliver’ and the lounge

The centre lost its funding at the end of last year and now has to survive as an independent business. Hounslow Council, which ran it for many years had its youth services budget slashed from £860,000 to £212,000 – a cut of 75% and despite a hard fought campaign led by Cllr John Todd, the youth service has been cut loose to fend for itself, albeit with a transitional budget to cushion its launch into the free market.

The council owns the building but the Trust has to find the funding for two youth workers, support workers and the centre’s running costs. The shortfall is some £60,000 a year, explains the Trust’s CFO Fred Lucas, who has himself used the Dojo (martial arts school) to practice karate for many years. It sounds like a lot of money but it is not unachievable he explains. When they saw which way the wind was blowing they began to capitalize on their asset and over the past two years they have already doubled the revenue the centre receives from licencing out space.

This is not a charity playing the victim card. Once they were sure they were not being closed down they regrouped and set about working out how to survive, retaining Denny Anthony as the lead youth officer, with assistant Naomi Alleyne. Now they are setting out their stall wanting the rest of Chiswick to get involved, demonstrate the oft quoted pride in community and put some skin in the game. They’re after new trustees – especially if you have some experience of youth organisations; volunteers to add to the range of activities on offer to young people, which currently include cookery, art and drama sessions; big businesses which might like to send a little corporate social responsibility money their way; individuals who would like to donate money and small businesses and clubs who are looking for space to hire in the heart of Chiswick.

If you are interested and think you might be able to help with any of the above, contact the centre’s manager Jamilla Amra at jamilla.amra@hogarthtrust.org.uk

Hogarthtrust.org.uk