Sheila Hancock made a Dame in New Year’s Honours List

Sheila Hancock has been awarded a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the New Year’s Honours List. The actress, who lives locally, was given the award for Services to Drama and to Charity.

She told The Chiswick Calendar “I was very ambivolent about it to begin with. I didn’t think I was the type. I never thought I could go higher than a CBE, (which she was awarded in 2011) but then I was absolutely overwhelmed by people saying how thrilled they were and that it was deserved and not before time and so on, people like my dresser from 30 years ago, so I began to think ‘my God, maybe I do deserve it’.”

Sheila is best known for her work in the theatre. Having trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, she worked in repertory theatre in the 1950s before moving on to perform in plays and musicals in London, making her debut in 1958 in Breath of Spring. She was nominated for a Tony award for Best Lead Actress in Play for her role in Entertaining Mr Sloane in 1966 on Broadway.

Over the years she was nominate five times for Laurence Olivier awards: for Annie (1978), Sweeney Todd (1980), The Winter’s Tale (1982), Prin (1989) and Sister Act (2010). Finally she won an Olivier award in 2007 for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical for her role in Cabaret, at the Lyric, in the role of Fraulein Schneider. She was also the first woman artistic director at the RSC.

“I’m a working actor” she told me. “I do it for a living, not as a hobby and I was particularly pleased that this group of honours recipients didn’t feel as elitist as it can do. The other actors who got awards were proper working actors and one of the other women who was awarded a damehood, Pat McGrath, is a woman of colour”.

Sheila lived for many years beside the River Thames in Grove Park, with husband John Thaw, then at the height of his fame for TV series Inspector Morse. Her first big television role was in The Rag Trade in the early sixties. She had roles in a string of sitcoms and played opposite John Thaw in Kavanagh QC. She wrote a best selling book about their life together called The Two of Us. They married in 1973 and were together until he died of cancer in 2002. She then wrote Just Me, on how she got on with her life after he died.

In recent years she has taken part in the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, made a guest appearance in an episode of Casualty and taken part in the prequel to Inspector Morse, Endeavour, in a guest appearance  as clairvoyant Dowsabelle Chattox alongside her stepdaughter Abigail Thaw. She had one of the main roles in the Sky One comedy drama series Delicious, acting alongside Dawn French, Emilia Fox and Iain Glen. Sheila Hancock plays Mimi Vincent, mother of the celebrity chef Leo, played by Ian Glen.

She is a brilliant comedian. She takes part in shows such as Have I Got News for You and Grumpy Old Women, and is at her best in BBC Radio 4’s Just a Minute.

“I miss Nicholas Parsons terribly” she told me. “I was one of the original panellists 50 years ago”.

Her latest TV performance is soon to be seen on Sky. She plays one of the witches in the second series of A Discovery of Witches.

Sheila Hancock is a Quaker. She is Vice President of St Christopher’s Hospice. She promotes Digismart, a digital app developed by a couple of former teachers designed to stop children aged 9 – 11 from falling behind with their reading before they go up to senior school. She is also a trustee of the John Thaw Foundation, which gives grants to organisations which work with young people.

“We often go for little organisations and causes which might not get help from anywhere else – kids whose mothers have been in prison or other groups who are having a hard time of it”.

It also supports outreach projects at the Young Vic and the Royal Court theatre.

She worked with London children’s charity Kids Company until its dissolution on 5 August 2015 was also a patron of London HIV charity The Food Chain

“I used to be much more involved with that then I am now. I was one of the founders but I hate it when people claim to be involved with a charity when they do very little for it. I used to go and do cooking for them and everything, but not now”.

I didn’t like to say that that at 87 she’d hardly be expected to go and do the cooking. That didn’t seem to have occurred to her.

“I’m not going to use the title Dame” she told me “except that it might come in handy when raising money for charity”.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Chiswick Schools among those closed to majority of pupils by Covid restrictions

See also: Watermans arts centre ‘saved’ by community support

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Chiswick Schools among those closed to majority of pupils by Covid restrictions

Primary schools

Primary schools in LB Hounslow, Ealing and Hammersmith & Fulham are amongst those forced delay the start of the new term in the latest Covid-19 restrictions announced on Wednesday 30 December. Children of key workers and those defined as vulnerable will still be able to attend. The closure of primary schools will be reviewed on 13 January, Boris Johnson has said.

Early years provision will continue, but school-based nurseries in primary schools have discretion to follow the same arrangements as the primary school.

Secondary schools

The start of term will also be delayed for secondary school children, with pupils who have exams in 2021 returning in the week beginning 11 January, before the rest of the school. As with primary education, secondary schools are required to make on site education available for vulnerable children and the children of key workers from 4 January.

Schools are being told to return to teaching online. Secondary schools are also expected to use the time to develop plans for mass Covid testing of their pupils.

Covid cases ‘skyrocketing’

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson announced the delay in Parliament. He told the Commons the Government hoped the temporary shutdowns would cut rates of transmission in areas where infections of COVID-19 are skyrocketing.

The decision represents another abrupt change in policy. Two days earlier Michael Gove said primary schools would return on 4 January and there would be a staggered start to the term, with pupils in Years 11 and 13 returning on 4 January and other secondary school pupils returning a week later.  Government scientists have been urging the Prime Minister to keep schools closed. and Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT, one of the main teaching unions, also wrote to the Education Secretary on Monday saying the schools should remain closed.

“Tough decisions” needed to be made

Andrea Carnevali, a parent at St Mary’s RC school in Chiswick told The Chiswick Calendar he is in two minds about the decision:

“Obviously at some point they were going to have to make some tough decisions, because the numbers are not going down.

“Schools are completely one of the places where infections spread; I had COVID a month ago and I never leave the house; I haven’t seen another human being in ages. I’m very careful, I wash my hands and wear a mask and yet I managed to get it, so I must have got it from my son.

“The school has had some COVID cases before but have handled it amazingly in the past, doing thorough cleaning overnight and how they managed to set up remote learning for kids who are at home too, so the school is prepared. I can see the reasoning behind the decision and obviously we will comply but it will be bad for all of us parents who are trying to work.

“We just have to stick to the rules, the reason why we’re in the state that we are is because people are not taking it seriously.”

In Chiswick the rate of infection went up 43% in the week before Christmas. There were 272 cases in the week ending 24 December, compared with 190 cases in the previous week ending 17December.

Laker Okelo, whose two boys go to Kings College School in Wimbledon, told The Chiswick Calendar:

“As painful as this decision is, I do think it’s the right decision”

Their school closed early in December because the cases were doubling every day and they were told one of their sons had been exposed to the virus from a child within his cohort who tested positive.

“Schools seem to be battling alone”

Cllr Tom Bruce, LB Hounslow’s Cabinet Member for Education, Children and Youth Services told The Chiswick Calendar that the situation is “very unfortunate.”

“Given the hard work teachers and school leaders have put into preparing, there is no support measure in place.”

“The schools seem to battling alone and having done all the hard work, you would expect at least the testing part to have been done by the Government to support keeping all children at school.”

The full list of areas where schools will be closed is as follows: Barking and Dagenham, Barnet, Bexley, Brent, Bromley, Croydon, Ealing, Enfield Hammersmith and Fulham, Havering Hillingdon, Hounslow, Kensington and Chelsea, Merton, Newham Richmond-Upon-Thames, Southwark, Sutton, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Wandsworth, Westminster, Brentwood, Epping Forest, Castle Point, Basildon, Rochford, Harlow, Chelmsford, Braintree, Maldon, Southend on Sea, Thurrock, Dartford, Gravesham, Sevenoaks, Medway, Ashford Maidstone, Tonbridge and Malling, Tunbridge Wells, Swale, Hastings, Rother, Milton Keynes, Watford Broxbourne, Hertsmere, Three Rivers

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Latest Covid figures in Chiswick 

See also: Government plan for Covid testing in schools a ‘debacle’ 

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Best photographs of the year 2020

Throughout the year The Chiswick Calendar has had dealings with photographers who live locally, either reporting on their projects or using their photographs on the website. Several have taken part in The Chiswick Calendar’s exhibitions Chiswick In Pictures and Chiswick Through the Camera Lens.

We asked six photographers to pick out their favourite, of the pictures they’ve taken this year. Here’s what they’ve chosen.

Julia Fullerton-Batten

Julia’s photograph of Kostadinos was featured in Vogue magazine in December 2020. During the first lockdown Julia took a series of photographs of people inside their houses around where she lives in Bedford Park, called Looking Out from Within, to document the impact of the pandemic. When we went into the second lockdown she returned to the theme.

‘I photographed Kostadinos who I know from my local neighbourhood. He used to repair my lamps or anything electric, now he is retired. His window at home used to be his shop front. Now it is covered permanently but I asked him to open it for my shoot. Inspired by Edward Hopper who captured the solitude within the modern city and the individual’s isolation. “We are all Edward Hopper paintings now”.’

Kosta’s words:

‘I always believe in God. When the time comes, we go. Everything is in God’s hands. I always trust God. Sikhs always say “We are all ONE human being. Light is one. God is one”. God only created one light. Everyone is equal. Our temple has four doors. Any religion is welcome. He can sleep and eat and we give shelter to those in need’.

Read more about Julia’s work here. Her work has featured in galleries all over the world, but also in The Chiswick Calendar’s Chiswick Through the Camera Lens exhibitions.

Another of her projects from 2020 is Contortion, a study of how a troupe of young contortionists use their bodies to show humour, sensuality and exuberance. See Julia’s guest blog about Contortion here.

juliafullerton-batten.com

Frank Noon

Frank is also a professional photographer whose work usually takes him all over the world. He’s chosen this picture of a beach in Turkey, near where he and his family have a house.

‘It’s a tricky one but I’ve chosen this one of a beach in Kaputas Beach, Kalkan, Turkey. I shot this after I escaped lockdown and settled in Turkey for three months. Because all my work had finished here in the UK, I went out in search of work there.

‘This is my favourite beach on The Lycian Coast and is pretty much deserted in the winter even though the weather can still be fabulous and the sea still warm enough to swim in. This image shows hope to me when all around seems hopeless. It offers a glimmer of hope as there’s obviously someone taking advantage of the situation and enjoying the freedom of a swim whilst everyone else is locked away.

‘It’s a bit of a cliched look of a beautiful beach and an azure sea but you question where the people are. Footprints disappearing into the sea but where are they? I don’t normally like to see that beach busy with tourists but I would like to see it full next year!’

Four of Frank’s photographs – portraits of well known people in Chiswick – are on show at the Chiswick In Pictures exhibition at the Clayton hotel until 24 January. Under Tier 4 restrictions the hotel is open only to people who have to travel for work, but you can see the work of the artists taking part here.

franknoon.com

Anna Kunst

Anna does a lot of portrait and work professionally, often at weddings and corporate events. She also takes the most beautiful abstract and landscape pictures. She also has several photographs in the Chiswick In Pictures exhibititon at the Clayton hotel.

Asked to pick the best photograph she’s taken this year, she chose this portrait of Sir David Attenborough, taken when he opened an exhibition at the Turner’s House in the early spring of 2020.

“David Attenborough. Because he is my Hero and he is laughing, and we need more of both in this world.”

annakunstphotography.com

Jon Perry

Jon lived in Chiswick for many years and many of his pictures have been featured on this website and in annual printed calendars, which he produced for charity with fellow photographer and Belmont School parent Ian Wylie, where the two met. He has also shown his work in The Chiswick Calendar’s Chiswick Through the Camera Lens exhibitions.

“To choose my ‘photo of the year’ is very difficult. Most beautiful? Most strived for? Most successful? Funniest? Most representative of the year? And I am against sticking to one genre: people, street, still life, landscape, action, wildlife, macro, abstract? I love them all.

“I am delighted with catching Comet Neowise over many nights, and getting some really close red kite photos. I also managed another goal, coming up with new ways of using the camera. But I settled on this foggy one. Fog for me is not spooky, it is serene beauty; a quiet stillness. And this morning had sunlight, too. I have kept 230 photos from this walk – it was that beautiful!

Tech: Canon EOS 5D mkIV, Canon 24-105 f4L, 1/50th sec, f5.6 ISO 400. Davenport Wood, Marlow.

Play of Light was taken in woods near where Jon now lives, in Marlow, Buckinghamshire. You can see more photos from the same day’s shoot here.

Instagram johnpaulperry 

Barbara Chandler

Barbara Chandler is a journalist who writes for the Evening Standard’s Homes section. As a photographer her work has been exhibited and sold widely as prints and postcards. Her sell-out show Love London on Regent Street was followed by the Love London book of 180 photographs. She has also shown her work in The Chiswick Calendar’s Chiswick Through the Camera Lens exhibitions.

Barbara has chosen a photograph of a mother and child taken in the grounds of Chiswick Business Park.

‘The spectacular grounds of Chiswick Business Park are just five minutes’ walk along the High Road from our apartment. During lockdown proper, there were barricades across the entrance. But then as lockdown eased these were lifted, to be replaced with more or less open access, so long as you followed the strict social distancing rules set out on placards and marked on the ground.

‘Once again the waterfall was set in motion, decking scrubbed, and the verges of the lake pruned and cleaned. The gardeners were unstinting in their care, digging, planting, and trimming, constantly rolling out new blooms, as the old ones faded away. And the whole place was bathed in an aura of welcome – for loners, for couples, for families, for oldies, for everyone.

‘The Park’s resident wildlife laid on a constant side-show, starring a large brood of darling ducklings, parades of pompous geese, fussy moorhen and a solo heron standing guard, with fish teeming under the bridge. To this was added the man-made attraction of Chiswick’s own seaside – because “Life’s a Beach” said the cheerful placards, proclaiming “Chiswick’s Staycation”.

‘Accordingly we had an imported sand-pit for the kids, and (neatly cordoned off) a stretch of lakeside sand with “palm trees.” a thatched bar, and jaunty yellow deck chairs for the grown-ups. Of the surely hundreds of pictures I took there over the summer months, I’ve chosen this one to sum it all up’.

Instagram: sunnygran

Jennifer Griffiths

Jennifer Griffiths is an amateur photographer who lives and works in Chsiwick. You will see many of her photos on The Chiswick Calendar website, and even more next year.

Like Frank, she managed to escape London for a bit:

‘We were on holiday with close friends in Cornwall who we have not had much opportunity to see this year and had the best week of the year with them. One day was spent visiting St Ives – always a favourite with artists due to the light. We were all four sheltering in a doorway together in the rain when I leaned out to take this shot. I like the colours, light and movement’.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Looking out from within: A visual record of the Covid-19 first lockdown

See also: Chiswick Through the Camera Lens 2019

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

End of year letter from the editor

What a very peculiar year

Like lemmings we stockpiled loo rolls and started growing vegetables and then with one mind started making banana bread.

The self-improvement kick didn’t last long in this house. I have no more languages and am at least a stone heavier. On the upside we’ve had a huge chuck out (thank you Marie Kondo) and The Chiswick Calendar has survived the year.

That’s largely thanks to you. Like many another enterprise, we lost all our commercial sources of income in March. We launched a ‘Buy us a Cup of Coffee’ campaign and more than 500 people responded, which has enabled us to stay afloat. Thank you!

We still need support and if you would like to make a contribution, you can do so here:

SUPPORT THE CHISWICK CALENDAR

Image above: Strand on the Green; photograph David Clarke

Relaunch as a news / consumer website

Your donations have meant that we were able to relaunch The Chiswick Calendar as a consumer / news site, with a special section on Covid help & information and two newsletters a week during the first lockdown, keeping track of local changes.

We created lists of businesses doing food deliveries, restaurants and cafes providing takeaways and as the year went on, which pubs had outside seating and which ‘non-essential’ shops were doing click and collect.

We were also one of the first websites to feature things to do online, putting us on the first page of Google for ‘lockdown things to do’ in April.

Overnight we realised that producing an events listings website was suddenly about as useful as a chocolate tea pot and as outdated as printing encyclopedias, so instead of live theatre, music and comedy I’ve been writing about how you can get parcels posted and when and where to get Covid tests and flu jabs.

You gave us great feedback, saying how much you appreciated it:

‘Please keep up the great work supporting everyone in the local community’

‘Very helpful information during this crisis’.

Very rewardingly, engagement with the website went up 300% in April and has stayed high.

In the mid-1980s I produced You and Yours on BBC Radio 4, so it felt a bit like I was regaining my lost youth.

Images above: Julia Langdon; Keith Richards

Stellar writing team

I’d like to thank you and also the select band of journalists and writers who now contribute features and columns: Pam O’Toole, Barbara Chandler, Julia Langdon, James Thellusson (Man in the Middle), Keith Richards (Chiswick Confined), Anna Klerfalk (Books of the Month), Nicholas Rose (Mind Matters).

We’ve also ventured into making podcasts this year. Thanks to Peter Oborne & Richard Heller for making The Chiswick Calendar the home of their new cricket podcast, with recent guests including John Cleese, Ted Dexter and Henry Blofeld. And to Mihir Bose, David Smith and Nigel Dudley for the Three Old Hacks podcast.

Images above: Peter Oborne & Richard Heller; John Cleese

With a background as a radio producer, podcasts seemed like an obvious step and we were glad to help the Bedford Park Festival and the Chiswick Book Festival continue online this year, hosting the Photography Competition and the Summer Exhibition on The Chiswick Calendar website and producing podcasts, so they could continue to raise money for their charities.

We’ve managed a little bit of live music, with the Blues Engineers, Dom Pipkin, Edith Piaf Remembered and Stealing Dan & Don at George IV, thanks to Larry Pryce at Live Music To Go.

Our own art exhibition Chiswick In Pictures continues at the Clayton Hotel until 24 January, as and when it’s open.

Images above: Matt Smith; Larry Pryce, Live Music To Go

Huge thanks to our sponsors

It’s been a terrible year for businesses and hugely impressive to watch them jumping through hoops to meet every Covid requirement, changing their business models and reinventing themselves to keep going.

I must thank our sponsors John D Wood & Co, Asahi and the Hogarth Club. Thanks to their funding and their loyalty in supporting us again next year, I have been able to take on a trainee reporter, Matt Smith. Until this summer he was working in hospitality, when he was made redundant by the Savoy Hotel.

We usually have an annual party in January, which won’t be happening this year. This is the kind of thing I say in my speech, about what we’ve been doing over the past year. Normally it’s made more bearable because you’d have a drink in your hand.

Some people have had to cope with bereavement, grief and loneliness as a consequence of the pandemic.

The last couple of years I’ve done a role call of honour for some of those who have conspicuously helped the community of Chiswick. This year many people have pitched in to help those who have been particularly vulnerable during the pandemic. Special kudos to Philippa Griffin, who started the Chiswick Covid-19 Mutual Aid Facebook group in mid-March.

Image above: Chiswick Flower Market; photograph Frank Noon

A little spark of joy

I’m also very proud to have been involved with the Chiswick Flower Market, which I think is one very positive initiative which has brought a bit of colour and joy to Chiswick. Thanks to Ollie Saunders for having the idea, co-directors Karen Liebreich, Stephen Nutt and Kathleen Mitra; also Amanda Parker, Victoria Bailey-King, Hannah Winter-Levy, Ekaterina Harwood, Michael Robinson and Jeremy Day and all our marshals for all the hard work – all volunteers, giving their time and skills because they want to see Chiswick thrive.

In a year like the one we’ve just had, it feels good to be part of a community. We know we’ve been able to make a bit of a difference because of the feedback we get: from Macken Brothers last week for example when I published the piece about how 30% their Christmas turkey orders had been cancelled after we went into Tier 4.

Image above: Macken Brothers butchers; (library photograph not taken this year)

Nice to be appreciated

Rodney Macken sent us a lovely email saying:

‘I would like to show my gratitude for publishing an article on us. The people of Chiswick have been so supportive and the response has been amazing’.

Most gratifyingly, people are using The Chiswick Calendar website independently of reading the weekly newsletter.

Around a thousand people a day are looking at www.chiswickcalendar.co.uk and 6,500 receive the newsletter.

To see this week’s news stories please go to the news and features pages. Normal service will be resumed in next week’s newsletter.

All that remains is to thank The Chiswick Calendar team: Dawn Wilson, James Willcocks, Matt Smith, Alice Gilkes and Joanna Raikes.

And to wish you all a happy new year – let it be better than this one.

Bridget

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Latest Covid figures in Chiswick

See also: Watermans arts centre ‘saved’ by community support

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Latest Covid figures for Chiswick

Watermans arts centre ‘saved’ by community support

Watermans in Brentford has surpassed their fundraising target, pulling the struggling arts centre back from the financial brink.

Watermans suffered a body blow to their finances due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite securing a lifeline grant from Arts Council England and opening as soon as it safely could after the last lockdown, there was no guarantee Watermans would have been around this time next year. 

In November, Watermans launched an emergency crowdfunding campaign to #SaveWatermans for future generations by donating to and raising awareness of the crowd funder.

On Christmas Eve organisers said they were ‘humbled and inspired’ after a groundswell in community support which culminated in well-over £100,000 in donations, greatly exceeding their initial target of £60,000.

Images above: photos from Watermans’ summer arts programme 2019

‘Incredible result’

The team at Watermans said:

‘Wow! What an incredible result. Our community has got behind us in a way that has humbled and inspired us. There is really only one message for you today: you have saved Watermans. We will weather 2021. The conversation when our trustees meet in January will be a very different one.

‘We have made a grand total of well over £100,000, including your donations to our crowdfunding page, estimated gift aid and offline donations given directly to us.

‘We are so grateful to have been the recipients of true goodwill from our community and all of us here thank every single one of you who supported us – donating and sharing our appeal. For those who have become friends and patrons, our team will be in touch over the next couple of weeks.

‘And in the meantime, we wish you all the very best for a happy and healthy Christmas and New Year,
The Whole Watermans Team’.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Row over cancellation of Chiswick Antiques Market

See also: Cycleway 9 opens on Chiswick High Rd

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Brentford: ‘The shape I’m in’ photography exhibition

Image above: One of the photographs in the exhibition, by Jacinta Cook

A group of amateur photographers who are based in Brentford have put their photography exhibition online, having had their work on show to an empty room for most of the year.

The ‘Better Pictures’ group meet once a week and take pictures all over London. In the spring of 2020 they were pleased to launch an exhibition of street photography in Watermans arts centre, featuring images taken locally in Brentford capturing changes in the area.

Their pleasure in seeing their work on display was short lived. Opening just before the first lockdown, the exhibition has had a rough ride throughout 2020, due to the varying levels of COVID restrictions. It managed about a week of being on show before the centre was closed for the second time.

The photos are now available online, and the arts centre has promised an extension of the physical exhibit once they are allowed to open again.

Image above: Better Pictures group (photograph taken before 2020). Michael Nolan third from the left.

The project aims to capture the radical changes happening in Brentford. The town centre has been under threat (or promise – depending on your viewpoint) of redevelopment for about twenty years.

Now finally the redevelopment is going ahead, under the banner of ‘The Brentford Project’, which aims to revitalise the High St, adding new shops and a cinema and extending the Thames Path to open up new walking routes down by the river.

The Grade II Listed St Lawrence’s Church, originally designed by a renowned Brentford architect, Thomas Hardwick, is also being refurbished.

The shape I’m in takes the theme of ‘reducing Brentford to basic shapes’ with use of shapes in every photograph providing a vision of the area. The photographers hope they have captured Brentford as it goes through a period of change.

I talked to Michael Nolan, a member of Better Pictures, to discuss the new exhibit.

Images above: photos by Michael Nolan

‘Richness of history’

“We’re all interested in photography, we’re all amateurs with varying abilities and we take pictures all over the place. Brentford is our kind of ‘homing base’, we always seem to come back to Brentford because there’s such a richness of history and change and interest in that area” Michael told me.

A couple of years ago, Better Pictures exhibited their work at Watermans under the theme of Reflections. The exhibit was a success and they were invited back again with a new theme: Brentford: The shape I’m in.

“There were about 12 or 15 of us who took a couple of photographs each largely around changes in Brentford, old buildings, new buildings and interesting angles” said Michael.

“The areas that have been brought back to life through redevelopment are interesting because otherwise they would just be sort-of decaying. You’ve got a 1960s former police station which is a huge, huge building and nearby you’ve got a church spire.”

In one shot taken close to the nearby pub, The Beehive, the contrast of the two buildings shows how different types of buildings and redevelopments of the past have changed the area of Brentford for better or worse.

Image above: photo by Denis Palmer (left), photo by Michael Nolan (right)

Why Brentford?

Though Brentford has become the muse of the Better Pictures group, it may come as a surprise that few of them live locally.

“We come from all over the place” Michael continued.

“I live in Ashford in Middlesex, some people live in Ealing, some people live in Teddington, some people live in Hounslow.”

The reason they’re so well acquainted with the area is because they were students on one of Hounslow’s Adult Education photography courses. Their teacher was originally from Brentford, which meant they met up there often.

“It’s sort of like our spiritual home but yeah it’s very nice. We’ll all meet up and have a coffee or have lunch and then go round and take some pictures so it’s a nice little sociable group too”.

Creative People and Partnerships is LB Hounslow’s initiative to bring creativity and culture to the borough. They have worked with Watermans to allow Better Pictures to exhibit their work by installing the exhibit and providing website access and originally earlier in 2020 some leaflets to publicise the exhibitions.

“They’re behind us and they’re encouraging us and we’ve formed this sort of link with them because we’re sort of ‘regulars’ at Watermans now. We’re very grateful for that sponsorship it means a lot.”

Image above: Photograph by Jacinta Cook

Images above: Photographs by Ian Trowbridge

Online exhibition

Due to COVID-19 the original exhibition in March was cancelled. Ongoing Tier 4 restrictions in London mean the physical event is paused until further notice.

Watermans have offered an extension of the exhibition into the beginning of February 2021, so if the restrictions are lifted in time it’s possible to see some of the photographs in person.

The event is free so no ticket is required, but you might be waiting a while for Tier 4 restrictions to be lifted.

You could instead view their work on their website by following the link below:

Brentford: The shape I’m in – 2020 Exhibition

Also, below is a YouTube video made by the Better Pictures group with Michael Nolan at the exhibition at Watermans earlier in the year.

Photographers who’s work is on exhibit are as follows: Laurence Acher, Margaret Baldwin, Dave Cook, Jacinta Cook, Paul Franklin, Rose Jackson, Amanda Kuijvenhoven, Andy Longfellow, Aseea Mahmood, Mando Mendolicchio, Petya Nikiforova, Michael Nolan, Denis Palmer, Anne Parkinson, Beatriz Pullin and Ian Trowbridge.

betterpictures.club

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Row over cancellation of Chiswick Antiques Market

See also: Cycleway 9 opens on Chiswick High Rd

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Chiswick Pier’s historic houseboats

Image above: Historic houseboats at Chiswick Pier; photograph Joanna Raikes

Chiswick Pier has a number of historic houseboats moored there on long term leases. Most of them no longer have engines and they are so much a part of the local landscape that Chiswick Pier Trust, which administers the pier, has created a sign with a brief history of each of the boats.

The pontoons where the boats are moored are private, but the boat owners allowed The Chiswick Calendar’s Joanna Raikes to have a wander round the pontoons and take some photos.

Moored on the inner pontoon are the Cube, Victory, Ventana and Cecilia.

Image above: The Cube

The Cube

The nearest ‘houseboat’ to the walkway is not a boat at all, but a prefab which has been craned onto a pontoon. According to the Chiswick Pier Trust, the lower half is believed to be a buffer pontoon, built possibly around 1930, which would have been used in one of London’s docks to moor large boats. A common sight in post-war east London, buffer pontoons were placed at the bow or stern where the boat curved away from the wharf, to provide a smooth line to moor against.

‘Prefabs’ were prefabricated houses, built after World War II as a short term solution to the housing problem. They were popular, as they had running water, inside bathrooms and electric cookers and they could be put together in as little as three hours. The designers would never have imagined that there would be some still in use today.

The pontoon is of riveted steel construction. It would originally have had a rough timber deck. It arrived at Church Wharf (the wharf then behind the pier) in October 1983 and the prefab was then lowered on. Timber cladding, portholes and a steel deck have been added. There are about 35sq metres of living space upstairs with 45 sq metres on the lower deck, but with restricted headroom. The Cube is the only home at the Pier to be built on site.

Victory

Moored alongside The Cube is Victory, a fishing trawler built in Zeebrugge in the mid sixties, which used to fish the North Sea. Previously owned by boatbuilder Jake Oliver, owner of MSO Marine at Brentford, her original wheelhouse is now the post office on Eel Pie Island.

Current owners Cathy and Duncan Haynes bought her in May 2012. They keep her seaworthy, though they’ve never taken her off the mooring, despite the fact that they are both keen on sailing. Even before Hammersmith Bridge was closed to river traffic, it was almost impossible to take her down stream, as she is too tall to fit under the bridge at anything but the lowest of tides.

Her high bows, V- shaped hull and deep bulwarks protecting her decks are all designed to withstand the rigours of the North Sea weather but as a converted houseboat she boasts five bedrooms / cabins, three open decks and a hot tub.

Images above: Cathy & Duncan Haynes aboard Victory on the anniversary of VE Day, 2020; Champagne in the galley on Christmas Day

The moorings at Chiswick Pier are a great place to watch the Boat Race. The rowers come past so near, you feel you’re almost in the river with them. It tends to make the houseboat dwellers very popular with friends and family and their friends. Cathy and Duncan usually throw a party and have had 90 on deck.

“Everyone watches the race on TV, then they rush out on deck to watch the teams go by” says Duncan. “You just have to look out they don’t all go to the same side at the same time”. Just as well the boat is on a barge bed, a levelled bit of river bed which keeps the boat stable.

“It’s the police launches that come after the rowers that really rock the boat” says Duncan.

Not in 2020 or in 2021 either unfortunately, as the Boat Race was cancelled in 2020 because of the coronavirus and moved to the River Ouse at Ely in Cambridgeshire for 2021.

Images above: Cecilia; Victory (left) and Cecilia (right) 

Cecilia

Across the pontoon from Victory is Cecilia, a Thames lighter. Of all the boats at Chiswick Pier, she is the most representative of Thames craft. Lighter boats were cargo boats with no engine or sail, so-called because they were used to lighten the big cargo vessels – to take the cargo off downstream and bring it upstream and into the canal system.

Owners Johnny and Jan Wright, who have lived on Cecilia since 2013, know little of Cecilia’s precise history, other than that she was built in 1929 and converted to a houseboat in 1960 by a local doctor. She would have been used to haul cargo such as aggregate, grain or coal and probably worked out of Brentford. Lighters were towed either by another boat, a horse or a man and occasionally steered by a man with a long sweep, with considerable skill, considering the weight of the loaded boat and the tides.

This type of boat has a long and honourable history, appearing on the river in the 17th century in the days before the docks were built. At this time the Pool of London was congested with ships moored mid-stream, all desperate to unload. Lightermen, with their intimate knowledge of tidal waters, were for hundreds of years the elite of the tideway.

In the 20th century, tugs were used to pull a succession of lighters together, carrying goods to and from the docks and along the river. Lighters are still in use today; much of London’s rubbish is towed downstream to landfill in trains of lighters and they are a common sight from Chiswick Pier.

Cecilia’s distinctive shape is typical of a design that has changed little over time. She has a flat bottom that enables her to dry out at low water – essential when working on a tidal river – and a square chine at the bilge, maximising cargo space. The bow and stern are straight angles, similar to a punt’s, and are referred to as swim-headed. An evolution of the lighter is the Thames Sailing Barge, which along with the lighter, was once the main means of cargo carrying along the estuary.

Johnny and Jan have recently refurbished Cecilia, recladding the superstructure in larch, which doesn’t weather. They downsized from a six bedroom house when their daughters grew up and moved away and they have never looked back, they say. They have a car, a parking space and a storage unit on land. The boats are far more spacious inside than people imagine and contrary to popular misconception, they say their three cabin lighter is warm and snug.

Asked about benefits and pitfalls, they couldn’t think of any pitfalls, though you are much closer to the elements, so living on a boat is a lot noisier in a storm.

Image above: Ventana

Ventana

Built in Holland in 1927, Ventana is a steel flat bottomed luxe-motor barge, formally named Vertrouwen (‘Faith’ in English), which would have carried freight on inland and coastal waters. This type of boat was popular for carrying cargo. Her sharp bow, upswept stern and a gently arcing sheer line are all the marks of this type of barge, which first appeared early in the twentieth century with the introduction of the diesel engine.

The engines of the early luxe-motors were not powerful, so the pointed bows were needed to cut through the water and deliver water to the propeller. The accommodation behind the wheelhouse was considered very luxurious, with a proper kitchen and a toilet at a time when most houses didn’t have those facilities. Unsurprisingly luxe-motor barges quickly became very popular, particularly in Belgium and the Netherlands, where families tended to live aboard.

These boats make hardly any stern wave and a 25 metre barge will usually do its cruising speed of 7 knots with very little power. Ventana was first converted to residential use in 1977 in Holland, and then underwent a major refit in 2004 which included changes to the superstructure. Later that year, she was brought from Holland to Chiswick Pier, where the interior refit was completed. She is still a fully functional craft with a working engine.

Images above: Radiant and Regatta

Moored on the outer pontoon are Radiant and Regatta, Libra and Reliance.

Radiant

Radiant started life as a sailing barge, built on the Humber in the 1920s. She would have been motorised at a later date, possibly during World War II, when grants were given for conversion to engine craft and would have carried a wet cargo such as coals from Newcastle.

The interior hold is pitted by the acids; so much so that the entire underwater hull had to be replaced in ~2005 after she sank (fortunately while in the boatyard !!)

Boats like Radiant, built to a Humber keel design, were strongly built to stand the heavy cross currents and short swell of the Humber, but with a shallow enough draught to work its feeder rivers and canals. Like Thames Sailing Barges, their southern equivalent, the keels’ high broad sails caught the wind on inland waters and their masts could be lowered when passing under bridges. In the 20th century, sail and steam engines gave way to diesel, then, as road haulage took over from water transport, many barges were sold for scrap.

Fortunately, some like Radiant, were adapted for residential living. Originally Radiant was probably 74’ long, but in the 1970’s, she was shortened in order for her to fit onto a mooring at Molesey. The hull was cut in two and around 20’ of her length removed; then the the two halves were welded back together again. Later in 1980’s an upper residential level was added to make up for the lost living space. Since 2000 her interior has been completely remodelled right back to the steel hull.

Images above: Radiant and Regatta, seen from the inner pontoon

Regatta

Regatta was built in 1909 in Boom, a small Belgian town on a tributary south of Antwerp and is what the Dutch call a steilsteven or “slope-bowed ship”. For over seventy years, she was a familiar sight on the canals and rivers of northern Belgium, delivering passengers, parcels and other light cargoes. Regatta came to Britain and Chiswick in 1985.

Continental working boats, particularly from Belgium, France and the Netherlands, have traded on the Thames for hundreds of years. Until the early 1970’s, Dutch coasters passed Chiswick to deliver goods to Isleworth. Evidence of this can be seen on the pub sign at the Waterman’s Arms in Isleworth. Older people who grew up around the river in west London still remember the days when places like Chiswick, Isleworth and Brentford were busy river ports for both national and international trade.

Like many barges, Regatta’s hull is riveted steel on L-section frames. She has a gross registered tonnage of 66 and a net tonnage of 20 tons. (The former measures the overall size of the vessel, the latter indicates the space available for carrying and is used to assess harbour and canal dues for merchant ships.) She is powered by a 6 cylinder 2 stroke 175 hp General Motor diesel engine, which is believed to have come from an American army tank.

Image above: Reliance and Radiant

Reliance

Reliance is a Humber motor barge, built in 1933 by Harkers of Knottingley. This type of barge is still a familiar sight in the north east and there are quite a few Yorkshire barges to be spotted on the Thames. She and her sister ship, Venture, were built to carry coal from the Yorkshire collieries down to York. She was then sold off and spent the 1960’s doing general cargo delivery on the Humber.

Rapid industrial growth in the 19th century brought a massive demand for coal from the Yorkshire collieries. The roomy holds of these craft provided a cheap, efficient and, at that time, speedy method of transport.

Reliance is divided into three watertight compartments. The fo’c’sle originally had bunks and a stove, though it is unlikely the crew lived aboard permanently. The cargo hold was 50’ long and covered by curved wooden hatches and tarpaulins when laden. The modern steel roof follows the lines of the old hatch covers.

The engine room originally housed a Widdop, but was later fitted with a 4 cylinder Perkins diesel engine generating 58hp. The rear portion of the engine room is now divided off to provide a back cabin. Since coming down south, Reliance has cruised upriver as far as Oxford and downriver to Bow Creek and up the River Lee.

Image above: Outer pontoon

Libra

Libra is a tjalk, built at Foxhol near Groningen in Holland in around 1910. Originally, she was a sailing barge, built to navigate the Dutch canals and rivers. The unpitted nature of her riveted iron and steel hull inside the hold suggests a dry cargo such as grain was carried.

Pronounced challuk, this clog-shaped boat was a very common Dutch design. They were flat bottomed, enabling them to navigate shallow waters and to take the ground to load and unload in tidal areas. Instead of a keel, sailing barges have 2 leeboards, one on either side of the boat, to stop them drifting sideways. The leeboard is lowered into the water on the lee side, i.e. on the opposite side to where the wind is coming from.

Libra still has her original leeboards and mast tabernacle, which indicates a much larger mast was carried than the current one. A slot in the steel on the bows shows she once carried a bowsprit – a boom sticking out forward to carry a sail. The original crew’s cabin at the stern still has the old sliding steel shutters. Forward of this cabin was the hold: covered when working by wooden hatch covers, it now has a steel roof over a large saloon and 2 sleeping cabins.

The barge was first converted to residential use in 1950 when her current engine, a Gardner 6LW 6 cylinder 112hp diesel, was fitted. Further work was done in 1990. She came over from Holland to the Thames in 1994.

With thanks to Johnny and Jan Wright, Duncan and Cathy Haynes and Chiswick Pier Trust for the historical information about the boats.

chiswickpier.org.uk

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Boat Race 2021 moved away from the River Thames

See also: Party on the Pier – annual party organised by the Chiswick Pier Trust

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Episode 35: “Absent, caught fire” and other great moments from Scotland’s cricket heritage

Cricket authors (and obsessives) Peter Oborne and Richard Heller launched a podcast early in 2020 to help deprived listeners endure a world without cricket. They’re no longer deprived of cricket, but still chat regularly about cricket topics with different guests each week – cricket writers, players, administrators and fans – hoping to keep a good line and length but with occasional wides into other subjects.

To most English cricket-lovers Scotland is an exotic foreign country, but it has a rich, independent cricket history, as Peter Oborne and Richard Heller discover from an expert guide in their latest cricket-themed podcast. Fraser Simm is an author, historian, analyst and collector who has been chairman of the Cricket Society of Scotland for over 25 years.


More Platforms

Fraser speaks of his first introduction to cricket – from Richie Benaud’s Australians visiting Edinburgh at the end of their long  1961 Ashes-retaining tour. They became lifelong heroes to him for playing on through constant drizzle which (said Benaud) turned his normal legbreaks into off-cutters (he still took seven wickets with them, and scored over 70). Fraser picks out some eminent names in the Scottish team including Frank Jones, Ronnie  Chisholm, Jimmy Allan, Rudy Webster, later a sports psychologist and ambassador, and a young future England captain, Mike Denness. 1-4 minutes

He also recalls Bradman’s last two playing matches in the British Isles, in Edinburgh and Aberdeen, where he scored a century, after which King George VI invited him and both teams to Balmoral. A surviving member of the Scottish team later told Fraser that Balmoral was very untidy, that Keith Miller was seen walking with his arm around Princess Margaret and that there was a phoney press row about Bradman with his hands in his pockets talking to the King. Fraser says that the King gave permission for this but cannot answer whether Bradman gave the King permission to put his hands in his pockets. All of these scenes were mysteriously omitted from The Crown.  5-9 minutes

Fraser delves into the early history of Scottish cricket. He cites the earliest known recorded match near Alloa in 1783, but also mentions evidence that cricket was played by Scots at home and as emigrants to Georgia fifty years earlier. He traces the influence of the English soldiers in the Hanoverian army in Scotland after the suppression of the 45, and that of English workers in Scotland’s textile, paper and iron works during the Industrial Revolution.  9-13 minutes Cricket became popular all over Scotland in the nineteenth century, and had a major stimulus in 1849 when many of England’s best players in the All-England XI came to play 22 of Scotland: they won easily although Scotland’s Charles Lawrence took all ten English wickets in an innings. Fraser sets out his  interesting afterlife: he became a major cricket “missionary” to Australia and managed the first Australian tour of England, by Aborigines, in 1866. As in Italy many famous Scottish football clubs began life as cricket clubs, but cricket in Scotland was held back by lack of a central organization. 14-16 minutes Although Scotland received many visiting teams from England, including several led by W G Grace, and provided a vital two-year apprenticeship to Wilfred Rhodes,  29-32 minutes English cricket gave little support to its development.

Although largely denied first-class or professional cricket opportunities in their own country, many important Scottish personalities played cricket enthusiastically and in some cases with real ability. Fraser sets out the astonishing multi-sporting achievements of Scotland’s cricket champion, Leslie Balfour-Melville (a cousin of Robert Louis Stevenson).17-19 minutes  J M Barrie loved cricket and formed his own literary team to play it. It included Conan Doyle, who once had to leave the field on discovering his flannels were ablaze after the ball ignited a box of matches in his pocket. 27-28 minutes Hesketh Pritchard, educated at Fettes, refused a cap for Scotland in order to play for his house at school. Later as a literary explorer his search for the giant sloth inspired  Conan Doyle to write The Lost World.  26 minutes

Of the non-Test-playing countries, Scotland has supplied more Test players to other countries than any other. Although Douglas Jardine is often depicted as a quintessential lordly English amateur, he identified himself as Scottish through his family roots. 24-25 minutes Jardine, however, could not boast the pedigree of F A Mackinnon, the 35th Mackinnon of Mackinnon, who earned his solitary Test cap on Lord Harris’s 1878 tour of Australia and lived to be nearly 99. 20-22 minutes Scotland also made a major contribution to the early English women’s Test team, especially the remarkable Betty Snowball, a wicketkeeper good enough to stand up to Learie Constantine.  42-44 minutes

Scotland secured belated recognition in England’s cricket set-up in the early 1980s, with admission to the one-day Benson & Hedges and National Westminster Bank (formerly Gillette) cup competitions. But no Scottish team had as much success as Freuchie, in Fifeshire, and Fraser traces the enduring legacy of their 1985 victory in the National Village championship. 50-52 minutes

Finally Fraser reviews the progress of Scotland’s men and women since Scotland declared independence as a cricket power in 1992. The men’s highlight was posting a huge score of 371 to defeat England in a one-day international in 2018. This and other successes brought Scottish cricket a new public profile although “the media still struggle to get past the football.” 45-48 minutes.

Get in contact with the podcast by emailing obornehellercricket@outlook.com, we’d love to hear from you!

Listen to more episodes of Oborne & Heller

Next episode – Episode 36: The man who changed cricket for ever: Peter Hain

Previous Episode – Episode 34: “To take us to tea – and beyond”: the incomparable Henry Blofeld

Listen to all episodes – Oborne & Heller on Cricket

 

Peter Oborne & Richard Heller

Peter Oborne has been the chief political commentator for the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, a maker of several documentaries and written and broadcast for many different media. He is the author of a biography of Basil D’Oliveira and of Wounded Tiger, a history of Pakistan cricket, both of which won major awards.

Richard Heller was a long-serving humorous columnist on The Mail on Sunday and more briefly, on The Times. He worked in the movie business in the United States and the UK, including a brief engagement on a motion picture called Cycle Sluts Versus The Zombie Ghouls. He is the author of two cricket-themed novels A Tale of Ten Wickets and The Network. He appeared in two Mastermind finals: in the first his special subject was the life of Sir Gary Sobers.

Oborne & Heller cricketing partnership

Jointly, he and Peter produced White On Green, celebrating the drama of Pakistan cricket, including the true story of the team which lost a first-class match by an innings and 851 runs.

Peter and Richard have played cricket with and against each other for a variety of social sides, including Parliament’s team, the Lords and Commons, and in over twenty countries including India, Pakistan, the United States, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, France, Greece, Australia, Zimbabwe, New Zealand and Morocco.

The Podcast is produced by Bridget Osborne and James Willcocks at The Chiswick Calendar.

Read more on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

See also: Chiswick Calendar Blogs & Podcasts

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Residents object to German sausage stall in Chiswick High Rd

Images above: Photographs of the area where the stall would be, submitted by Hitesh Lakhani as part of the application

Residents of Thornton and Mayfields Avenues are objecting to plans for there to be a stall on Chiswick High Rd selling burgers and German sausages.

Mr Hitesh Lakhani of Fine Street Events Ltd has applied for a licence for a stall outside Barclays Bank at 153 Chiswick High Road, selling German food, sausages, chips and burgers every day of the week from 9.00am to 6.00pm.

LB Hounslow’s Licencing Panel, who are due to consider the application in early January, have received 20 representations objecting on the grounds that there are already several other food takeaway businesses near the site. They feel it’s unfair to those businesses in Chiswick which have to pay rents and rates.

There are concerns that the stall is ‘not in keeping with the area’ and the proximity to the William Hogarth statue is not appropriate.

They also say there would be the smell of food and probably litter from the trader’s customers and that there is also a potential security issue because of its proximity to the Barclays cash machine.

Most of the objections come from local residents, but the manager of Barclays Bank and the chairman of the William Hogarth Trust have also made representations, supported by Chiswick’s local councillors.

Images above: Statue of the artist William Hogarth and his dog Trump

‘Incompatible with the nature of the area’ say residents

The Thornton-Mayfield Residents’ Association say:

‘A hot-dog and burger stall is inappropriate for a position so close to a much loved and admired heritage statue such as that of our local and national artist William Hogarth. This type of stall is incompatible with the conservation nature of the area. The Statue is now included in Hounslow’s Local List.

‘It would be quite incongruous to look along popular community street Turnham Green Terrace and see, across Chiswick High Road – instead of a pleasant view of greenery and the Statue with its ancient railings – a sausage stall.

‘This hot food stall will disperse greasy deposits on the fabric of the statue, and on the surrounding buildings, necessitating regular cleaning (a cost to the Council). This stall will bring an increase in litter, which will find its way into the pits around the trees planted on either side of the statue, and will be dropped into the planters nearby (as happens to the planters in our own street). The small litter bin nearby is quite inadequate and will overflow.

‘The stall and the people around it buying hot-dogs and burgers will cause difficulty of space for people, buggies, wheelchairs’.

‘Will cause disruption’ says Barclays Bank manager

The Branch Manager of Barclays Bank has also objected, as the stall will ‘very likely cause disruption’ for the bank.

‘The queuing system for the stall causes great concern as it will result in the entrance to the bank being blocked, causing disruption to those wanting to enter or leave the bank’ writes Dacsha Panchal.

‘If both the bank and the stall were operating with queues at the same time this would make it impossible to carry out social distancing and is likely to discourage vulnerable members of society from accessing essential services’.

‘Will greatly reduce the dignity’ of the sculpture say William Hogarth Trust

Val Bott, writing as chairman of the William Hogarth Trust, which commissioned the statue of Hogarth and his pet dog Trump, said:

‘The stall will greatly reduce the dignity of the landmark and minimise respect for Hogarth and for the sculpture.

‘Secondly, we have a practical concern. A stall cooking sausages and chips will disperse droplets of fat and grease into the surrounding air. Our conservator advises that there is likely to a build-up of grease on the statue which could in the long term combine with traffic pollution from the busy High Road (especially the sulphur dioxide) to etch the surface of the bronze.

The application is due to be heard by the Licencing Panel on Wednesday 13 January at 6.00pm.

You can join the meeting here.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Row over cancellation of Chiswick Antiques Market

See also: Cycleway 9 opens on Chiswick High Rd

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Putting the cheese back in Cheesewick

The Cookbook Kitchen has put in an application to run a cheese market on the third Sunday of each month in Chiswick High Rd, where the Chiswick Flower Market takes place in the Old Market Place outside the police station.

Lucy Cufflin, one of the organisers, explains what they have in mind.

Chiswick is Cheesewick as was! The first records of the area now known as Chiswick date from circa 1000 and name it Ceswican – ‘Cheese Farm’ in the Old English and Duke’s Meadow was host to a cheese market up until the 18th Century.

The Cookbook Kitchen wants to return Chiswick to its former status as the centre for all things cheese. As the Cookbook Festival, which ran alongside the Chiswick Book Festival in 2018 and 2019 we dedicated ourselves to the celebration of cookbooks, cookery and Chiswick. Our 2019 festival culminated in the extremely successful and popular Street Party on Turnham Green Terrace which championed the local traders and brought visitors from far and wide to Chiswick.

Our goal with the Chiswick Cheese Market is to create a monthly destination event that would attract cheese lovers to Chiswick. The Chiswick Cheese Market will offer everything from extraordinary cheese varieties from small producers to far flung flavours to vegan cheese, cheese products and cheese paraphernalia.

As we will not be offering any street food, we’re sure that visitors to the market will take advantage of the superior shopping and dining opportunities in Chiswick. We also hope to include our local cheese shops with preferential rates.

The Chiswick Cheese Market will easily garner a lot of attention. The pandemic has hit British cheesemakers hard and Jamie Oliver and Neal’s Yard Dairy have campaigned to ‘Save British Cheese’ in response to the many producers that are threatened with closure. Further lockdown measures mean more closures. Through our festivals and Fran Warde’s – one of the founders – Kitchen Conversations (live interviews with food professionals on Instagram (#kitchenconversations) we have developed relationships with food producers. We care deeply about the industry and the problems they face and aim to help in any way we can.

We are a group of ten local women – chefs, cookbook authors and designers and proud supporters of the Felix Project. To date we have donated the profits from our festivals, supper clubs, food fairs and other events – and now the Chiswick Cheese Market – to the Felix project.

We are confident that the Chiswick Cheese Market will enhance the profile and prominence of Chiswick as a place for great food.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Gardeners World presenter Arit Anderson visits Chiswick Flower Market

See also: Row over cancellation of Antiques market

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Huge increase in allotment fees agreed

Image above: Allotment shed, photograph Rennie Pilgrem

Councillor Samia Chaudhary, Cabinet Member for Leisure Services, has approved and agreed LB Hounslow’s Allotment Strategy, including plans to increase the fees by 69%. The fees are set to increase from £71 a year to £120, in line with the average for London.

The London Borough of Hounslow has 29 allotment sites, with around 2000 plots. There are considerable waiting lists and interest among residents in keeping an allotment is growing. According to the Council’s Allotment Strategy, the Council recognises the benefits to residents, in terms of mental and physical well being and also the benefit to the environment, in terms of increasing biodiversity. It wants to improve facilities on allotment sites to make them more valuable.

Hounslow currently charges £71 a year for an allotment plot, with a concessionary rate of £35.40, which makes it one of the cheapest places in London (9th cheapest out of 21 Boroughs). The average cost in London is £120. What determines the costs is usually whether sites have toilets and water. The cheaper ones have neither. Hounslow is planning to provide toilets and improve the management of water on its allotments throughout the borough.

The £120 fee will be all inclusive, including water charges. Plot holders on sites which have no water provision, such as Saxon Avenue and Manor Garden, will see a smaller increase – to £90. Allotment holders who live out of borough will be charged £250 per annum.

Images above: Photographs from the Chiswick Horticultural and Allotments Society

Blanket concession for over 65s abolished

Perhaps the most controversial change is that the blanket concessionary fee for all over 65 is being abolished.  The concessionary fee will be kept at £36, but to receive it, people will need to provide evidence that they are receiving benefits, including pension benefits.

The age profile of people who have allotments is high. Most are over 45, with the biggest group (35%) aged 60 – 69. Only 4% of allotment holders are aged 30 – 44, while 27% are aged 45 – 59 and 29% are aged 70 – 84.

Chiswick has more allotments per head of population than most other parts of the borough. Chiswick Homefields ward has 91 plots per 1,000 households. The National Allotment society recommends an average of 20 plots per 1,000 households. The average for LB Hounslow is 18 per 1,000 households, but some areas such as Feltham West and Hounslow Heath have none. Chiswick also has the highest waiting lists, with 68 people currently waiting for an allotment in Dukes Meadows.

Image above: Woman and cat on her allotment; photograph by Marianne Mahaffey

LB Hounslow talked to allotment holders throughout 2019, in face to face surveys, a focus group and a seminar with 100 participants. Of the 195 respondents to the survey, 62% professed themselves satisfied with the service and 71% expressed satisfaction with their site over all. Areas for improvements were toilet facilities, waste management and security.

The Council also wants to make allotments more accessible to the wider community by involving schools and community groups, for example introducing a referral system through GPs.

Cllr Chaudhary signed off on the decision to go ahead with the changes outlined in the strategy on Christmas Eve, as a ‘Single Member decision’, rather than the strategy being discussed and decided on by the full council.

Chiswick councillor John Todd has challenged the decision. He wrote to the Chief Executive of Hounslow, Niall Bolger, before Christmas, asking him to intervene and defer the decision, because of the lack of financial detail in the policy document:

“there’s not one item of financial data, projections nor justification or contemporary budget/costings. This material omission renders the intent flawed, unsubstantiated and annoying to allotment users being asked to pay a substantial increase”.

The Chief Executive declined to intervene but has offered to set up a meeting with senior officers to discuss the impact of the Allotment Strategy further.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Londoners’ way of life changed long term by the pandemic

See also: Government plan for Covid testing in schools a ‘debacle’ 

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Corney Rd Carols

Residents of Corney Rd decided to arrange their own carol service this year – outside, socially distanced and organised by the street What’sApp group. What could better epitomise the spirit of 2020? Most of the street’s residents chose a carol and stood outside their homes to sing, with a little musical backing from a sound system at number 36.

“Even Norman, our resident homeless man (oxymoron?) who used to live in the cemetery shed came along”, said photographer Frank Noon, who lives in the street. (Thanks to help of the neighbours and Father Simon Brande of St Nicholas Church, Chiswick Mall, he has now been housed) “Despite the drizzle a lot of Christmas cheer was spread”.

Photographs by Frank Noon

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Christmas jumper hunt

See also: Find the elves in Grove Park

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

 

Episode 5: Britain and Europe – where did it all go wrong?

Mihir Bose – former BBC Sports Editor, David Smith – Economics Editor of the Sunday Times and political commentator Nigel Dudley have been friends since they first met while working at Financial Weekly in 1980s. They have kept in touch regularly, setting the world to rights over various lunches and dinners. With coronavirus making that impossible, what do journalists do, deprived of long convivial lunches over a bottle of red wine or several? Why, podcast of course.

As trade talks with Europe sink into the mire and the clock ticks down to the end of any formal partnership with the EU, the Three Old Hacks look at Europe and where it all went wrong.

Mihir thinks it’s all to do with Britain never having got over the loss of the Empire. Considering the “ridiculous talk of Britain having been enslaved by the EU” he recalls meeting Nelson Mandela, having coffee with him in his house in Soweto and understanding what it really meant to lose your freedom.

David considers the part played by journalists in making the EU the whipping boy for any and all political and economic failures. Remembering how his generation were brought up on films in which Kenneth More singlehandedly destroyed the Nazis, he regrets that the story of EU triumphs, not least the preservation of peace in Europe and the transition of Eastern European countries to democracy on the collapse of the Soviet Union, were never properly told.

Nigel remembers working with Boris Johnson on the Telegraph under the editorship of Max Hastings, with Boris “spinning fantasies” about Europe from his office in Brussels.

They recall the glory days of journalism before computers, dictating their prose to copy takers (“is there much more of this? I’m due a tea break). Even with rose tinted bifocals they admit this lost world of journalism was not always as glorious as it is sometimes portrayed.


More Platforms

Listen to more episodes here.

Get in contact with the podcast by emailing threeoldhacks@outlook.com, we’d love to hear from you!

A Merry Online Christmas

Government plan for Covid testing in schools a ‘debacle’ 

Image above: Head teacher Laura Ellener with a pupil at Chiswick School (library picture taken before the pandemic)

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson announced last Thursday (17 December) that the return to school after Christmas would be ‘staggered’. The Chiswick Calendar asked head teacher of Chiswick School Laura Ellener what was planned. She said she had been told nothing about it.

On the same day, he announced that secondary schools would be made responsible for regular mass testing of secondary school pupils. We asked LB Hounslow’s Cabinet member for Education, Cllr Tom Bruce how it would work. He had no idea about that either, having had no time to plan or discuss it with the Department for Education, council officers or teaching staff.

“The Executive Director of Education in Hounslow had a meeting with officials from the Department for Education on Wednesday afternoon” he told us “and nothing was said”.

Now that the schools are all on holiday there is no time to organise something which is a major responsibility, of which the schools have no experience, before term starts again on 4 January, when they will be focused on mock exams. He is angry that this has been sprung on schools a day before the end of term.

‘The Prime Minister, and particularly the Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson must take full responsibility for the debacle of introducing mass testing for schools in January 2021, the day before the end of term. Another example that the Minister has no clue of how schools work.

‘As a teacher, and cabinet member for education in the London Borough of Hounslow, I know first-hand how hard schools have been working in ensuring our young people are safe and are continuing to receive the high-quality education they deserve. I am so very proud of the Headteachers, teachers, staff, parents, unions, governors and not least pupils who have shown determination and adaptability in the face of such extreme challenges.

‘I take no pleasure in highlighting that this Government at every turn have failed to provide adequate support to our schools. This comment certainly does not come with the luxury of hindsight but clearly can be seen with the piecemeal, last minute and delayed communication from Williamson and the DfE.

‘Many of the Government’s decisions and changes have had support from school leaders, staff and local politicians from across the political spectrum. But the manner of this government’s interaction, and at times inaction with our schools, shows a complete disregard for schools, parents, and more importantly pupils.

‘Their ineptitude includes the A Level and GCSE fiasco in the summer, daily changes to guidance, free school meals, laptops for disadvantaged children to name but a few, and then the late announcements regarding early closures of schools before Christmas and then when schools should return in the new year. We do expect this to change further due to Hounslow and London being in Tier 4.

‘My new year’s wish would be for the Government and the DfE to have a completely new approach on how they work with schools for the benefit of pupils and their education.

‘I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Heads, all school staff, pupils, parents and Governors for their hard work and commitment during the most difficult of circumstances and want to wish them a Merry Christmas and happy New Year.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: A critically important Covid message

See also: London in Tier 4

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Macken’s stuck with a freezer full of large turkeys

Image above: The Christmas queue at Macken Brothers’ butcher in Turnham Green Terrace (library photograph not taken in 2020)

Macken Brothers butchers on Turnham Green Terrace have had a flood of calls cancelling food orders since the prime minister announced the Christmas travel ban on Saturday.

A third of their turkey orders have been cancelled, especially those in the bigger sizes, as people expecting family and friends for Christmas lunch have suddenly found themselves without guests.

“Even though we’ve offered to cut them up into portions for people to freeze they no longer want them” Macken’s told us.

Chiswick’s best known butchers, which opened in the Terrace in 1964 are known for supplying high end hotels and restaurants in a normal year. They have provided meat for dinners at 10 Downing St and run the meat counter at Selfridges. To cap off what has been a dreadful year, they now find themselves caught holding the turkey after Boris Johnson’s last minute Christmas cancellation.

The birds been delivered from the farm; Macken’s has paid for them and now they’re stuck with them.

“The freezer is full of eight kilo plus turkeys” they told The Chiswick Calendar.

They will be able to sell them frozen, but the price differential between fresh and frozen is such that they will make around a £4 loss on each bird.

“On the positive side, we have lots of meat” they say, for all those who now suddenly find themselves staying at home, who have as yet given no thought to ordering in food, because they had thought they’d be going away.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Retailers scramble to salvage Christmas 

See also: Which shops are considered ‘essential’ and which are not?

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Cycleway 9 opens on Chiswick High Rd

Episode 34: “To take us to tea – and beyond”: the incomparable Henry Blofeld

Cricket authors (and obsessives) Peter Oborne and Richard Heller launched a podcast early in 2020 to help deprived listeners endure a world without cricket. They’re no longer deprived of cricket, but still chat regularly about cricket topics with different guests each week – cricket writers, players, administrators and fans – hoping to keep a good line and length but with occasional wides into other subjects.

For over fifty years, there have been few pleasures to compare with spending a cricketing hour with Henry Blofeld. He is the joyous guest of Peter Oborne and Richard Heller in their latest cricket-themed podcast.


More Platforms

Henry explains his philosophy as a radio commentator on TMS and elsewhere of making listeners feel part of a real cricketing event. If they hear only the events in the middle “it all becomes rather two-dimensional and not very warm or human.” Hence the buses, pigeons and colourful spectators which made his commentaries world-renowned. After his early nervous start on TMS, Peter Baxter, its long-serving producer, gave him a gentle encouragement to “go over the boundary” a bit more. “I think at times I’ve gone too far over the boundary ever since.”  1-4 minutes He has no regrets over the end of incidental detail for scene-painting in modern commentary, which he attributes in part to the demands of short-form cricket for constant updates of the score and match situation. 1-4,  57-59 minutes

He tells of his happy escape (very similar to that of Mike and Psmith in his beloved P G Wodehouse) from a joyless career in banking into cricket reporting,  through the good offices of John Woodcock, the great cricket correspondent of The Times. This was in 1962, when newspapers had far more cricket coverage and he fears that today’s trapped banker Blofelds would find it impossible to make a similar career change. 5-13 minutes  His later entry into commentary was almost equally fortuitous. 25-26 minutes

Henry’s brilliant career at a cricketer at Eton was halted by a horrific accident (with a bus). He gained a Blue at Cambridge and had a Minor County and first-class career but never reached the promised heights. He speaks candidly but philosophically about the physical and emotional impact of the accident, and his determination throughout his career never to look back on what might have been and always to seek out new sources of excitement and fulfilment. 14-20 minutes

He shrewdly analyses his “Bertie Wooster”mannerisms and style of dress – and denies strongly that his unique tones owed anything to elocution lessons. (He comes from a vocally distinguished family.) 21-24 minutes  He uncorks a startlingly good imitation of John Arlott, while paying tribute to his  personal kindness and mentorship.  28-31 minutes Brian Johnstone was cordial but detached.  28-29 minutes E W Swanton (“the demi-god of the press box”)  gave him little help, apart from one job with fagging duties. 31-34 minutes That was on England’s 1967-68 tour of the West Indies. Henry offers insight into Basil D’Oliveira’s personal problems on that tour, and believes that like Fred Trueman on an earlier tour he was poorly supported by his captain and manager, Colin Cowdrey and Les  Ames. 48-50 minutes

He gives a warm and vivid tribute to the supreme stylist of the press box, and his great personal friend John Woodcock. He had unique powers of observation and analysis. He recalls their adventurous journey overland  from London to Bombay in 1976, their transport (a vintage Rolls Royce Silver Ghost) and their clothing in sharp contrast to the lorry drivers and hippies they met on the route. The last stages were marked by an unexpected cricket match in Tehran 38-39 minutes and the accidental purchase (and ingestion) of some strong hashish in Kandahar. 43-44 minutes When they heard over the radio commentary on a Test match between India and New Zealand they realized (like the two cricket-obsessed English characters in The Lady Vanishes) that they had regained access to civilization. 34-45 minutes

After years of interviewing players, Henry explains why he thinks their answers to questions have become more guarded and boring: partly the influence of corporate sponsorship and firm media coaching and control, partly the loss of intimacy and trust between players and journalists. 46-48, 50-51 minutes

Henry relays his love of his new home in Menorca, especially watching cricket matches in the remarkable Menorca Cricket Club, built on rough fields from which a million stones had to be removed: these once belonged to Richard  Heller’s mother. 51-53 minutes

Finally Henry speaks of his long personal and professional friendship with Peter Baxter of Test Match Special. He discounts an alleged dastardly plot by Baxter to remove him – a plot foiled by a national campaign led by Peter Oborne. Baxter understood cricket (unlike his predecessor Michael Tuke-Hastings) and Henry credits him with TMS’s many advances and growth in audience appeal. 54-57 minutes.

Get in contact with the podcast by emailing obornehellercricket@outlook.com, we’d love to hear from you!

Listen to more episodes of Oborne & Heller

Next episode – Episode 35: “Absent, caught fire” and other great moments from Scotland’s cricket heritage

Previous Episode – Episode 33: New Zealand cricket’s long journey to success

Listen to all episodes – Oborne & Heller on Cricket

 

Peter Oborne & Richard Heller

Peter Oborne has been the chief political commentator for the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, a maker of several documentaries and written and broadcast for many different media. He is the author of a biography of Basil D’Oliveira and of Wounded Tiger, a history of Pakistan cricket, both of which won major awards.

Richard Heller was a long-serving humorous columnist on The Mail on Sunday and more briefly, on The Times. He worked in the movie business in the United States and the UK, including a brief engagement on a motion picture called Cycle Sluts Versus The Zombie Ghouls. He is the author of two cricket-themed novels A Tale of Ten Wickets and The Network. He appeared in two Mastermind finals: in the first his special subject was the life of Sir Gary Sobers.

Oborne & Heller cricketing partnership

Jointly, he and Peter produced White On Green, celebrating the drama of Pakistan cricket, including the true story of the team which lost a first-class match by an innings and 851 runs.

Peter and Richard have played cricket with and against each other for a variety of social sides, including Parliament’s team, the Lords and Commons, and in over twenty countries including India, Pakistan, the United States, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, France, Greece, Australia, Zimbabwe, New Zealand and Morocco.

The Podcast is produced by Bridget Osborne and James Willcocks at The Chiswick Calendar.

Read more on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

See also: Chiswick Calendar Blogs & Podcasts

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Click and collect in Chiswick

 

Images above: Foster bookshop; Book Case London

‘Non essential’ items such as clothes and books cannot be sold in person over the counter in Tier 4. Many shops in Chiswick are however offering click and collect services, where you can ring the shop or order through their website and arrange a time to go and pick up your shopping.

Bookshops

Foster Books – open from 10.30am – 5.30pm every day up to and including Christmas Eve for click & collect. Browse the books for sale on their website.
’50 years of selling lovely rare and secondhand books from our 18th century bookshop in Chiswick’.
Tel: 0208 995 2768

fosterbooks.com

Book Case London – open from 12.00 – 4.00pm every day up to and including Christmas Eve for click & collect. Browse the books for sale on their website.
Selling a wide range of fiction and non-fiction, children’s books and stationery. Recently refurbished. Spent all day Sunday frantically adding books to their website.
Tel: 0208 742 3919

bookcaselondon.co.uk

Waterstones – open Sunday 20 December 11.00am – 4.00pm / Monday 21 / Tuesday 22 / Wednesday 23, 10.00am – 5.00pm for click & collect. Closed Christmas Eve.
Browse their website and order online.

waterstones.com/bookshops/chiswick

Images above: Snappy Snaps

Printing and framing

Snappy Snaps Chiswick is open for click & collect and same day delivery, Sunday 20 December from 11.00am – 4.00pm / Monday 21 – Wednesday 23 December from 9.00am – 5.30pm / Christmas Eve from 9.00am – 3.00pm.

Snappy Snaps sells prints and frames off the shelf or bespoke made to order as well as printed gifts such as mugs and cushion covers.

‘Many of our products and services are online. They can be ordered on our web site, by email or simply by giving us a call. We have an innovative online framing system and our print and frame section of our website is proving very popular’.

You can read more about their framing service here: Personalised framing service online

snappysnaps.co.uk/chiswick

Images above: Greige homeware

Homeware

Greige is open for click and collect from their Chiswick warehouse, with free local delivery within W4.

Email: hello@greige.co.uk

Phone: 020 3141 9030

Decorexi are also doing click and collect and deliveries.

‘We are still sending out parcels & delivering up to and including 23rd December (last date for parcels). If we have it in the store, we can send out in time for Christmas day – just give us a call.

Email: sales@decorexi.co.uk

Phone: 0207 354 2112.

decorexi.co.uk

Image above: Tribe rugs on Devonshire Rd

Tribe rugs on Devonshire Rd is offering both click and collect and deliveries. Enquiries via their website. While you can’t buy directly from the website, if you click on the buttons at the bottom of the page, they’ll put you directly in touch with the team by email or phone.

Email:  triberugs2@btconnect.com

Phone: 0208 747 1400

tribe-london.com

Neptune say: ‘We’re still very much here to help with your home projects. Your local store team is ready and waiting with advice, ideas and any information you might need – be it via email or live chat, over the phone or face-to-face in a video call. We’re here whenever suits you best – during the day or into the evening. And don’t forget, you can also order accessories via our Call and Collect service.

Email: info@neptune.com

Phone: 0203 814 1220

neptune.com

Borough Kitchen is closed to customers in store, but open for click and collect orders. Go onto the website, click on “Chiswick Store” and if the item you want comes up, it means it’s in stock locally. Order and pay for your item and take your reference number along to the store, where they’ll hand it to you outside. Open until 4.00pm on Christmas Eve.

boroughkitchen.com

Image above: Insider Dealings

Interior design

Insider dealings say: “We may not be able to have you come in and Loulou is gong to miss you all but we are able to respond to emails, phone calls, orders and quotes. And although you can’t see it, we keep going with a smile and a woof!’

Images above: Jewellery from Frivoli gallery in Devonshire Rd

Art

Frivoli – The Devonshire Rd store is shut, but Frivoli’s eclectic mix of ceramics, paintings, clothes, jewellery and leather goods are still within reach.  View what’s available on their website; pay by phone and make an appointment to collect it from outside the store.

Email: info@frivoligallery.com

Phone: 0208 742 3255 or 07976 311874

frivoligallery.com

The AA London gallery, also on Devonshire Rd, say: ‘We will continue to operate. You can browse our windows and purchase it at the door. Buy online. Home deliveries. Click & Collect.

Email: contact@AALondonGallery.com

Phone: 07775 875790

aalondongallery.com

Image above: Lizard women’s clothing, Turnham Green Terrace

Clothes

LA Menswear on Turnham Green Terrace may be closed, but its owner, Henrik Hansen, is literally going the extra mile to satisfy his customers in the run-up to Christmas. He’s offering both delivery and click and collect up right up until the evening of Christmas Eve. Go to the website and you’ll be redirected to one of their two ebay online shops, where you can see what’s available to order. If you already know what you want, you can call Henrik and he’ll arrange a click and collect, or deliver it to you himself on his trusty bicycle.

Email: Henrik@lamenswear.eu

Phone: 07508 317618l

lamenswear.co.uk

Lizard women’s clothing on Turnham Green Terrace is also open for click and collect. You can see what they have on offer on their website, purchase items online and pick them up at the store. Email the owner, Kambiz Hendessi, to arrange a pick-up time.

Email: info@lizardfashion.co.uk

Phone: 0208 994 1423

lizardfashion.co.uk

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Retailers scramble to salvage Christmas

See also: Which shops are considered ‘essential’ and which are not?

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Which shops are considered ‘essential’ and which are not?

Image above: Windfall Natural, Turnham Green Terrace

Many of Chiswick’s shops sell goods which in Tier 4 are not considered ‘essential’ – books and clothes for example. They are not allowed to open for customers to enter the shop while Tier 4 restrictions are in place. You may be surprised though at what is included on the ‘essential’ list.

‘You can leave home to buy things at shops which are permitted to open in your area, but you should stay local. For instance you can leave home to buy food or medicine, or to collect any items – including food or drink – ordered through click-and-collect or as a takeaway, to obtain or deposit money (e.g. from a bank or post office), or to access critical public services’.

Government guidance for Tier 4

Images above: Planet Organic and Ryman, both considered ‘essential’

Essential

Among those which are permitted to remain open are food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres and Christmas tree retailers, building merchants and suppliers of building products and off-licences.

Businesses providing repair services may also stay open as well as petrol stations, automatic (but not manual) car washes, vehicle repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, and taxi and vehicle hire businesses.

Banks, building societies, post offices, short-term loan providers and money transfer businesses are also ‘essential’.

WH Smiths is considered ‘essential’ and is open to walk-in customers on Sunday 20 December from 10.00am – 6.00pm and Monday 21 – Christmas Eve from 09.00am – 7.00pm.
370-372, Chiswick High Rd

Tel:  0208 995 9427

whsmith.co.uk

Ryman is also considered essential as it is a distribution point for DHL shipping and Western Union money transfers, both within the UK and abroad. Last date for shipping to Europe – Monday 21 December. Last day within the UK – Tuesday 22 December. Ryman is open Sunday 20 December, until 5.00pm / Monday 21 – Christmas Eve, 9.00am – 6.00pm

ryman.co.uk

Images above: Fudge’s Cycles

Windfall Natural is considered essential as it is a health shop. Open Sunday 20 December from 11.00am – 5.00pm / Monday 21 December – Christmas Eve, 10.00am – 6.00pm
‘Taking care of your health the natural way has been our motto since 1997. Steeped in knowledge and fuelled by passion, we stock the best formulas on the market, and actively seek cutting-edge innovations in nutrition & natural self-care’.

windfallnatural.co.uk

Planet Organic is also considered essential as a health shop which also sells food. Open Sunday 20 December until 7.pm / Monday 21 December – Christmas Eve, 9.00am – 8.00pm.
Planet Organic is good for fresh fruit and veg and a range of alternative / ‘free-from’ foods as well as organic make up and body products which aren’t tested on animals.

planetorganic.com

Robert Dyas is essential because it sells household goods such as light bulbs and batteries as well as Christmas decorations and potential presents such as kitchen ware and tech gadgets. They are open until 5.00pm on Sunday 20 December / Monday 21 December – Christmas Eve, from 9.00am – 6.30pm.

Cycle shops are essential. They sell the wherewithal to keep your bike on the road but they also sell children’s bikes and scooters.

Fudge’s Cycles is open from 08.00am – 6.00pm, Monday 21 – Wednesday 23 December. Christmas Eve ‘hours may differ’.

fudgescycleschiswick.com

Halfords is open from 8.00am till 8.00pm, Monday 21 – Christmas Eve

halfords.com

The Good Wine Shop If you’re buying for an oenophile, the Good Wine Shop on Chiswick High Road is open, as wine shops are classed as an essential service. Until now, it has been offering both delivery and click and collect. However, the store warns it can no longer guarantee new delivery or click and collect slots before Christmas (although you can always try calling them, just in case). The good news is that if you only want a single bottle, or a few bottles, you can order online for delivery via Deliveroo.

Phone: 020 8994 8184 / Order through Deliveroo

thegoodwineshop.co.uk

Bayley and Sage If you fancy putting together some speciality foods for a Christmas present for someone, this Turnham Green Terrace deli is still open. It has extended hours up to and including 23rd December: 8.00am-10.00pm. Christmas Eve – open until 6.00pm.

Deliveries are fully booked, but you can still arrange click and collect slots. Send an email to w4@bayley-sage.co.uk and the store will assemble your order. You can pay by phone 0207199 8699 (hit option 2 then option 3 for the Chiswick store) and arrange a collection time.

Chiswick Pets If you want something extra special for your furry friend at Christmas, Chiswick Pets on Devonshire Road is still open. Deliveries, usually on a Sunday, have now finished until the New Year.  But you can still call in a click and collect order on 0208 747 0715. They’ll take payment over the phone and will even walk the order out to your car for you. Open until 4.00pm Christmas Eve.

Images above: Clothes at LA Menswear and Lizard women’s fashion, Turnham Green Terrace

Non-essential

Examples given by the government of ‘non-essential’ retail include:

‘clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, and market stalls selling non-essential goods’.

Non-essential shops can continue to operate click-and-collect services, (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services. See below for which shops in Chiswick are open for click and collect.

Images above: Book Case London – 268 Chiswick High Rd

Click and collect in Chiswick

Non essential shops are closed to walk in customers but many of them are open for a click and collect service.

See which ‘non-essential’ shops in Chiswick are offering a click and collect service here: Click and collect in Chiswick

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: London in Tier 4

See also: Retailers scramble to salvage Christmas

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

 

Retailers scramble to salvage Christmas

The announcement by Boris Johnson that London would be going into Tier 4 and non-essential shops must close, left retailers and customers scrambling to work out what they could still salvage from the Christmas chaos.

“Kick in the teeth”

Stephen Foster, owner of Foster Books described Saturday’s announcement as “a kick in the teeth”. What makes him so angry is the timing of it.

“The British Medical Association has been telling the Government it’s a bad idea for everything to be open at Christmas, yet they persisted with this idea of the five day Christmas and now they’ve left it to the last moment to cancel it. I’m furious because this week has probably three of the busiest days of the year.

Yesterday I had someone who was just passing, saw we were open and came in for a browse. He spent £400 because he just happened to see something and thought he would treat himself. We lose all that kind of custom. Today (Sunday 20 December) the phone has rung twice”.

Stephen stayed open late on Saturday, to make the most of the hours they were allowed to remain open, and like many retailers considered ‘non-essential’ they are now offering a click & collect services for anyone who orders books and cards from their website: fosterbooks.com

Images above: Alice’s Advertures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Hans Anderson’s Fairy Tales, Collected poems of Rupert Brooke, from the Christmas present selection at Foster Books

The Christmas sales boost is generally what sees retailers through the rest of the year. The ‘golden’ quarter, the three month run up to Christmas usually accounts for a large part of a retailer’s annual sales and profits.

It came as a severe blow that non-essential shops had to close in November. There was confusion when London went into Tier 3, with many consumers assuming the shops would be closed when they weren’t. Now they’ve had only a couple of hours’ notice that they must close for what is usually the busiest shopping week of the year.

Images above: Snappy Snaps Chiswick

“Who knew Boris would pull this one?”

Retailers are now very practiced at adapting at a moment’s notice, but they still need to know what to be able to tell their customers. John Fitzgerald, who runs Snappy Snaps, Chiswick, told The Chiswick Calendar Saturday’s announcement created total confusion:

“Its very disappointing to be given such short notice, I fully understand the need to react a rising Covid infection rate but It does make it very difficult when the guidance was released three hours after the announcement. On Saturday we were inundated with calls from customer concerned if we would be open tomorrow and we did not know.

“It was very distressing for our customers who were unsure if they could even collect their work before Christmas. Fortunately we can remain open as a click and collect site but it was after 7.00pm before that was confirmed”.

Image above: Christmas decorations at Greige

“Devastating news for us and and all fellow small independents”

John Farrant, who owns the homeware shop Greige on Bedford Corner with his wife Pauline, described being forced to close as “a blow … another one, but we will pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off and start again!

“Sadly, for the third time, we are forced to shut the door to our shop for the foreseeable future, something we really didn’t expect (this side of Christmas at least). Devastating news for us and all fellow small independents trying to make it through these uncertain times”.

They too are open online. For local customers they are offering a click & collect service from their Chiswick warehouse, with free local delivery within W4.

“If you’ve seen something in the shop which you can’t find online, call them as not everything in the shop is on their website.

greige.co.uk

Image above: Windfall in Turnham Green Terrace is considered ‘essential’ as a health store, and remains open to walk in customers

What is considered an ‘essential’ shop and what is not?

See which shops in Chiswick are considered to be ‘essential’ and which are not. Some may surprise you: What is ‘essential’ and what is not?

See more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: London in Tier 4

See also: Trains packed as people rush to leave London

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

 

Trains packed as people rush to leave London

There was an immediate rush to get out of London after Prime Minister Boris Johnson made the announcement that London was going into Tier 4 and that people should not leave to go to other areas.

On Saturday night (19 December) St Pancras station was crammed with people trying to get onto trains going north and those that did manage to get aboard found themselves on packed trains, in their determination to get home for Christmas before the Tier 4 restrictions came into force at midnight.

Image above: Harriet Klugson video of St Pancras station on Saturday night

Government has created “a very predictable stampede”

Harriet Klugson was one of those trying to get home. She posted on Twitter:

‘Last train out of Saigon. Queue at St Pancras as we wait to board the Leeds bound train. As expected, train is crammed.

‘Announcement on tannoy says social distancing “will not be possible” due to volume and to get off if you are not comfortable with that. Everyone of course has suitcases.

‘People have tried to secure social distancing by placing on seats but being asked to remove them by other passengers as the train is so full.

‘To make matters worse, we’ve been told this train will be taken out of service at Derby. We will all get off and board a new train, no doubt mixing the virus amongst ourselves as we reorganise with new seat partners.

‘Every person on this train including myself has made what is probably a very silly and irresponsible decision to travel albeit within the law. But that’s what people were always going to do to be together at Christmas. My mother lives alone and there’s no way I could not be with her at Christmas. Other will give similar reasons. What’s at fault is the handling of this by Gov – announce a midnight London lockdown at 4.00pm, obviously everyone will scramble to leave.

‘Another thing to add here – the train companies have dropped the ball. When I made my travel plans I did so assuming there would be strict limits on the number of tickets available to ensure social distancing. It was only when the queues formed at the barriers it became clear that too many tickets had been sold. The risk here is in the getting from point A to B. Of course we could have all turned around and gone home when we realised what the train companies had done, and clearly we didn’t so must take personal responsibility there.

‘Having taken a test, I did not have Covid when I boarded the train. I follow all lockdown rules and stayed indoors since last Friday in preparation for going home in the five-day window. The problem is that in taking the window away with such short notice, Gov has created a very predictable stampede of people rushing to get out before the midnight deadline.

‘It’s this that created crowds of people which increases the risk of virus transmission on the train. All these people may have been acting completely legally (I am, as I am my mother’s Support bubble) but the usual lack of foresight by Gov has created these high risk conditions’.

It was the same story at other London stations. The Press Association reported that by 7.00pm on Saturday evening, there were no spaces on trains available online from several London stations including Paddington, Kings Cross and Euston.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: London goes into Tier 4

See also: A critically important Covid message from Kelly O’Neill, Director of Public Health at LB Hounslow

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

London in Tier 4

Image above: Prime Minister Boris Johnson announcing that London is going into Tier 4

Following a meeting of the Covid Operations Committee, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that from midnight on Saturday 19 December, London, the South East and various parts of the East of England would go into a new Tier 4 of anti Covid restrictions, equivalent to the national restrictions which were in place in November.

The last minute cancellation of Christmas meant there were many tearful phone calls on Saturday night as families unpicked their plans. England’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty told the nation: “unpack your bags”.

With sharply rising levels of infection, many people were uncertain about travelling to visit relatives, but just three days before the prime minister had reinforced the idea that families would be able to spend Christmas together.

What changed his mind was the spread of the new variant of coronavirus.

Tier 4 rules

  • Stay at home, except for limited exemptions
  • Non-essential retail, indoor gyms, leisure facilities and personal care facilities must close
  • People must work from home if they can, but can travel to work if this is not possible
  • People should not enter or leave Tier 4 areas and Tier 4 residents must not stay overnight away from home
  • Individuals can only meet one person from another household in an outdoor public space
  • Unlike the November national restrictions, communal worship can continue to take place in Tier 4 areas

To see full details of Tier 4 restrictions see Government guidance.

We may be in Tier 4 for months

All areas will be kept continually under review, with the next formal review taking place on Wednesday 30 December, but Health Secretary Matthew Hancock told Sky’s Sophie Ridge on Sunday that the restrictions may have to stay in place until the new vaccines have been rolled out.

“What is really important is that people not only follow them (the new rules) but everyone in a Tier 4 area acts as if you have the virus to stop spreading it to other people”.

The prime minister said he was “bitterly disappointed” to have to cancel Christmas, but “When the virus changes its method of attack, we must change our method of defence.”

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Trains packed as people rush to leave London

See also: A critically important Covid message from LB Hounslow’s Director of Public Health

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

 

 

 

A critically important Covid message

Hounslow’s Director of Public Health, Kelly O’Neill, issued the following message on Friday 18 December:

‘Today I am sharing the latest infection rate chart for Hounslow borough. The graph below is stark. It is hard to make the risk to you, your family and your friends any clearer. Look at the recent rise. We’re currently at 283 cases per 100,000, the highest ever in the Borough. This is what the numbers show after Lockdown 2, after weeks of Tier 2 restrictions.

‘Put bluntly, these are numbers that lead to deaths. The deaths of your friends, your family and maybe yours. The rules are clear. You know the main rules. You can see them again here. You must follow them. If they are not followed, more will die.

‘Please think very hard about whether you should be visiting others this Christmas, especially where those are elderly or vulnerable. Don’t give COVID-19. Don’t make this worse than it already is’.

Kelly O’Neill, Director of Public Health, London Borough of Hounslow.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Londoners’ way of life changed long term by the pandemic

See also: Christmas carol services in Chiswick

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Christmas Carol services in Chiswick

Look out for elves

If you are spending Christmas with small children south of the A4, keep a look out for elves. There are ten elves to be found around the area of Cavendish School and Chiswick Food Market.

You have until 4 January to take part. First get hold of a map – email: cavendishelftrail@yahoo.com and make a donation to the school of minimum £2.00. The map will be emailed to you to print out.

Then wander round the area elf spotting. Each one holds a letter. Take down the letters to decode a special word. To be in with a chance of winning a prize, complete the map and give it in to the school office between 5 and 8 January – or email back by 8 January.

And raise a glass to Father Christmas, who works so hard at this time of year. Your very good elf, sir.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Christmas jumper hunt

See also: Chiswick Art School spring 2021 classes

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Christmas Jumper Hunt

A Christmas jumper hunt is to take place between 19 – 29 December in Bedford Park.

Jumper hunters must spot over 45 Christmas jumpers which are hidden around the roads of Bedford Park. The winner gets a £20 voucher for Snap Dragon toy shop on Turnham Green Terrace.

Maps cost £3 and are available to purchase from 18 December from Plum Duff on Southfield Road and The Post Room on Bedford Corner. The organisers, Southfield Primary School PTA urge you to:

‘Help save the elf! Those forgetful elves have left their jumpers all over Bedford Park and one of the elves is missing! Join the hunt to spot the jumpers and find the hidden letters that spell out the name of the lost elf.’

This is a family-friendly and COVID safe activity.

Image above: various Christmas jumpers (may or may not be included in the hunt)

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Row over cancellation of Chiswick Antiques Market

See also: Design framework published on how to improve Turnham Green Terrace

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Londoners’ way of life changed long term by the pandemic

Transport for London has released its annual transport survey, which shows how drastically the pandemic has affected the lives of Londoners.

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted normal daily life in London to an extent that is unprecedented in modern times, the report says.

In the week of the lockdown announcement in mid-March 2020, demand on all networks fell rapidly, but the scale and timing of the reduction was different for each mode.

• London Underground saw the biggest and quickest drop in demand, which at the lowest point, in the days following the lockdown announcement, reached a maximum of 97 per cent (ie. only three per cent of normal patronage remained).

• Bus demand also fell sharply, with up to an 86 per cent drop at the lowest point.

• The fall was smallest and latest for motorised road traffic on the TLRN strategic road network, which at the lowest point only saw a maximum 65 per cent reduction with respect to 2019 at the London-wide level.

Road traffic began to recover relatively quickly from mid-April. The pace of recovery then slowed down through July and August, flattening at just above 90 per cent of normal.

Increases in walking and cycling

Transport for London’s annual survey shows a marked increased in cycling. A greater proportion of London residents are cycling more frequently since lockdown. The survey showed 30 per cent of respondents would consider cycling to work, and, of those, one in three would consider cycling all the way.

Walking in 2019 was estimated to account for 25 per cent of all travel in London. The survey showed people are walking more as consequence of the pandemic.

Image above: Julia Langdon, who has worked from home for nearly 30 years

Working from home set to continue

The whole pattern of travel is changing, with the trend for working from home looking set to continue. A GLA survey in September found that almost three-quarters (72 per cent) of the workforce in central London office based businesses are predicted to work from home for the next two years.

It also found that 40 per cent of central London office-based businesses thought they would downsize their office accommodation in the next six months. Many employees have a desire to work remotely in the long term, at least part-time.

The report concludes that ‘the balance of residents and workers inside and outside London could be quite different as a result of the pandemic’.

This has been born out by evidence of flat and house sales, with people moving out of central London to the suburbs and people moving out of outer London for the countryside.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Design framework published on how to improve Turnham Green Terrace

See also: House sales up 26%

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.