Mind Matters – How do you deal with disappointment?

As we get used to the fact that we are not yet free of COVID-19’s restrictions it may be worth taking a moment to think about the feeling of disappointment.

Disappointment is a feeling that becomes more and more familiar to us as we get older, we learn that disappointment is a natural part of living but that familiarity can also mean we fail to pay attention to its impacts on us.

In Buddhist teachings students are encouraged to work towards a life with an absence of desire – although paradoxically that sets up the desiring for an absence of desire – but anyway our western societies are not a comfortable fit for a life without striving and expectations.

Left unaddressed, disappointments can sit unresolved resulting in a mounting sense of disillusionment with feelings of bitterness, frustration and anger and of course we know that when negative feelings mount our behaviours tend to change in a negative way!

Conflict in relationships is always caused by disappointment and in longer term relationships disappointments that seem trivial at the time can actually be raising an alarm that something important is going wrong. This is the same in our relationships with ourselves.

One of the things we tend to do is judge disappointments not on the feeling itself but what it is in relation to and the problem with that is it assumes we can fully know what the cause of the disappointment means to either ourselves or someone else.

A key indicator as to whether you need to stop and pause is whether you have empathy and think you can understand the disappointment. If someone or yourself is feeling disappointed but it doesn’t make sense to you then you are missing something – most likely missing the underlying meaning of the disappointment.

As we experience disappointment about this latest COVID-19 news it is worth remembering that it has the potential to escalate if there are other things going on in our lives that are a source of disappointment – maybe in our relationships, work, health and our interests?

So what to do? Let’s take an example.

You have a friend who says they are feeling disappointed and goes on to speak angrily about people who have not been wearing face coverings, listening to them you notice in yourself feelings other than empathy and sympathy.

So don’t focus on the subject of face coverings but return to their feeling of disappointment, say to them you have heard they are disappointed and then see whether their thoughts lead them to speak about things differently. If they repeat their thoughts then say that you don’t understand.

By doing this, showing interest, spending a little extra time it is likely that more fundamental concerns will be expressed. Their difficult feelings probably won’t be about people not wearing face masks but how they have had to cope themselves with some difficult changes themselves, how hard it has been and how they have struggled as a result.

This is important because when we are able to be clear about why things matter to us we are able to find ways forward rather than being stuck – in this example the friend being stuck with obsessing about face coverings.

Of course it may well be that having a good rant is a good way to let off steam but you might want to consider whether that is going to make you popular with those who have to listen?

Nicholas Rose
Psychotherapist, Counsellor, Couples Counsellor and Coach

UKCP registrant, MBACP (accred), UKRCP
PGDip, MA, Adv Dip Ex Psych

Nicholas Rose & Associates
Counselling, psychotherapy and coaching for children, adults, couples and families.

nicholas-rose.co.uk

Featured image of child with dropped ice cream cone by GJ Charlet III

Read more blogs by Nicholas Rose

Read the previous one – Mind Matters – Can we change our lives in just a second?

See all Nicholas’s Mind Matters blogs here

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

We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Collections of two celebrated Chiswick residents go under the hammer

Guest blog by Liz Winnicott and Adrian Biddell

Chiswick Auctions popular monthly Interiors, Homes & Antiques sale features collections from two fascinating local Chiswick residents this June. The first collection, from the late Peggy Copper’s Victorian House on Harvard Road, affectionately known as ‘the Museum’ to friends and family, looks rather like an authentic ‘cabinet of curiosities’ and embodies the artistic concept of ‘assemblage art’.

The second collection features five large abstract works and two figural compositions from the late Jeff Hoare, who lived and kept a studio on Strand-on-the-Green for some sixty years.

Liz Winnicott, Executive Director and Head of Interiors, Homes & Antiques, discusses the fascinating life of Peggy Cooper and her collecting habits. Adrian Biddell, Head of Paintings & Fine Art, poses the question: Was Jeff Hoare the ultimate watercolourist?

Peggy Cooper’s Dolls and other curiosities

Liz Winnicott

Peggy, was born and raised in Yorkshire was an art student from City of Leeds Art College in 1950s. She had a keen eye for display and was an early proponent of an artistic concept known as ‘assemblage art’, using found and repurposed materials for model making and three-dimensional artistic displays which she went on to develop into a thriving business on her stall on the Portabello Road from the 1960s.

Peggy came to London in the late 1950s with her then husband, Alan Cooper, ‘Coops’, lead member of the famous jazz band The Temprance Seven. ‘Coops’, also a former art student, was a flamboyant type who loved the Edwardian period and usually dressed in tailcoats of the era, a passion he shared with his silver haired art teacher wife Peggy. Although their marriage didn’t last, Peggy’s verve for living a life untouched by modernity continued.

She moved into a gorgeous Victorian three-story house in Harvard Road, Chiswick and filled it with period furniture and furnishings. Every inch of the home, affectionately known to her friends and family as ‘The Museum’ is a testimony to Peggy’s passion and artistic talent.

Stepping into the hallway, you are greeted with lines of wall mounted glazed cabinets filled with taxidermy birds, framed advertising memorabilia and pictures of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, giving an immediate sense of the Victorian era.

In the numerous rooms, every shelf, mantlepiece and surface is meticulously adorned with wonderful displays of miniature dolls house furniture, Victorian crested ware ceramics, hand-made scratch-built dioramas, and cabinets full of dolls or tin plate toys. There are shelves teaming with decalcomania bottles of every size, novelty shaped biscuit tins and miniature sewing machines all cleverly arranged to catch the eye. Even the kitchen is carefully assembled, with white painted shelves laden with tins of every shape and size, jelly moulds and kitchenalia, and of course, a doll seated in a highchair positioned in the corner for company!

Peggy’s home is a testimony to both her avant-garde craft form and her passion for juvenilia and objects. The collection is eclectic and, in some instances, rather macabre, but through her use assemblage art and artistic creativity, it somehow transitions from the more sombre Victorian era into a modern day ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’, full of intrigue and fun.

Jeff Hoare – the ultimate watercolourist?

Adrian Biddell

Was Jeff Hoare the ultimate watercolourist? The self-acclaimed ‘original sea painter’, for more than fifty years he perfected the art of immersing his painted canvases in the sea, using the draw of the tide, the drag of sand and shingle, and flotsam and jetsam on the water’s surface to create sumptuous abstract compositions that explode with intense colour harmonies.

Describing his highly innovative working methods, The Times commented: ‘If you were walking at dawn or dusk along the Folkstone shingle in Kent you might have come across Jeff Hoare. In rain or shine, the larger-than-life artist would be pouring brightly coloured acrylics across a vast canvas that he manipulated in and out of the sea so the paintings were shaped by the ebb and flow of seawater.’ (The Times, 7th December 2019). Of his technique Hoare himself noted: ‘…the end result is abstract and vibrant, with subtleties of change caused by the melding of waves and colours which reflect the sea itself.’

Hoare’s appreciation for the power of the sea stemmed from his years in the navy during the Second World War. Thereafter he studied painting under Ceri Richards and Robert Medley, and attended the Royal College of Art with Julian Trevelyan. But it was the time he spent in the USA in the late 1960s that proved transformative. While teaching at the universities of Illinois and Arizona he was exposed to the freedom and boldness that characterised American post-War art. The experience liberated his approach to colour, and his use of much larger canvases on which to fuse his instinct for the colour spectrum with his love of nature.

Back in the UK, he began using the sea to manipulate the form and palette of his paintings at Lancing Beach in the late 1960s, and thereafter deployed the technique frequently when by the coast: in Kent as already noted, in the Western Isles off Scotland and in Norfolk by Burnham Overy Staithe; in the Atlantic off the west coast of Africa, off Massachusetts and in the US Virgin Islands; in the Bay of Bengal, in the Indian ocean off Goa (lot 482), and on Sardinia in the Mediterranean, at Agincourt sound.

Hoare’s charismatic approach to both life and art meant he was much sought after in the classroom. From the late 1950s onwards he taught successively at Brighton College of Art, Central School of Art & Design, Camberwell, Cambridge and Morley College, and was in demand as a visiting professor both at home and abroad. His expansive painterly style lent itself to large scale commissions, including in Shell-Mex House on the Strand, London, the University of Lancaster, and Berman and Kahlmbach, New York, as well as set decorations for the Royal Opera House. He also enjoyed many solo exhibitions: at the Piccadilly Gallery and the Marjorie Parr Gallery, London; Maddison Gallery and the New Bertha Schaeffer Gallery, New York and Galleri Birgerjarl, Stockholm.

Works from both collections will feature in Chiswick Auctions Interiors, Homes & Antiques sale taking place on Thursday 17 June at 10.00am.

Contact Executive Director and Head of Interiors, Homes & Antiques, Liz Winnicott for more information.

chiswickauctions.co.uk

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Chiswick Cheese Market, Sunday 20 June 2021

Image above: Chsiwick Cheese Market, May 2021; photograph David Insull

Guest blog by Lucy Cufflin

‘Say cheese!’ I know you’re smiling as you say it and so are we… we have recharged our inner batteries, sourced even more Artisan cheeses for your delectation and delight, and stand ready to open the gate for the second Chiswick Cheese Market this Sunday, 20 June – this time at the earlier time of 9.30am. It’s also Father’s Day and I can’t imagine a better gift than bringing your lovely Dad along to the market and treating him to something really special!

Lots of the faces you will have seen before but we’re excited to welcome the multi-award winning White Lake Dairy from Somerset. With a long history of cheesemaking they were at the forefront of goat and sheep’s’ cheese making in the UK. Their English Pecorino won Bath and West Supreme cheese champion award in 2019 and is definitely something to try. Plus, their Naked Rachael Reserva won Silver at the World cheese award in 2020 – this is an aged Alpine style Goat’s cheese with rich complex flavours. Fan of Alpine Tomme cheeses?- then this is a ‘must’ for you.

The lovely Sara Ward, from locally based Hen Corner, is bringing local honey (a must drizzled over any good salty blue cheese) and her best batch marmalade (as Jenny Linford told us in her recent podcast – marmalade and Manchego – a match made in heaven). She is also bringing a few loaves of her own sourdough baked freshly on Sunday morning so don’t miss out on that.

I J Mellis who brought us their speciality cheeses from the Highlands and Islands last time are adding a few of their ‘small producer’ Spanish cheeses. So, why not try Sara’s marmalade with their Manchego Inesta.

And who was lucky enough to buy their Sir Lancelot cheese last time? I was! And it’s on my list for a second purchase so if you want to try this exceptional Scottish, seasonally made, Ewe’s milk cheese come along early.

Image above: Chsiwick Cheese Market, May 2021; photograph David Insull

Our other regular stall holders have some truly exciting cheeses on their wagons for this market and it’s just all so exciting

Drunk Cheese are bringing ‘The Dolomiti’: a medium hard blue cheese that is soaked in Dolomiti beer and malt. Really? I mean – well – sounds like the perfect Father’s Day gift to me.

Big Wheel Cheese have something that is in short supply and many of the London mongers can’t get their hands on it – Pevensey Blue. This is a soft, creamy blue cheese made from milk from an organic herd that grazes on Wildlife Trust marshland on the Pevensey levels. Rare and utterly worth a trip to the Cheese Market. Along with this rare offering Fay, at Big Wheel, is also bringing eight different cheeses from The Sussex Golden Triangle.

Remember the Parmesan lady from the last market? – well, lovely Ewa from Emilia Ltd is, of course, again bringing the fabulous Red Cow Parmesan, but is also treating us to some very special balsamic vinegar from the same region – so a perfect partner for this perfect Parmesan.

Our jolly, fun and very French duo at Une Normande a Londres will be with us again. Included in their selection of utterly mouth-watering French cheeses is a Langres – small cheeses washed in Marc de Bourgogne (local Brandy to that region) – this cheese has is pungent but with a creamy texture – yum.

Peter at Truckle Cheese has a special for Father’s Day – spend £15 and get either a free 150g cheese or a jar of their special Pear and Vanilla chutney. What’s not to like?

Image above: Chsiwick Cheese Market, May 2021; photograph David Insull

The French Comte will be bringing their wonderful large wheels of Comte and other mountain cheeses but what about trying this unusual cheese? – Cancoillotte is a runny cheese which definitely requires a serious bread accompaniment (unless you enjoy licking your fingers) and is made from fermented whey, melted with a bit of water and a small amount of butter. So, if you’re lucky enough to get to the Market in time for one of Sara’s loaves I think they are made for each other (but Planet organic will be selling their wonderful artisan breads outside their shop too).

JG Boards will be with us again so if you missed making a purchase the first time round you’ll get a second shot at it this weekend. But we have a new board-maker joining us this month. Now, I’m a Leicester girl so am thrilled to introduce you to Bradgate woodcrafts….. from my neck of the woods (pun intended). Andy Elphick lovingly handcrafts each piece and most products are made from windfalls, storm damaged trees or recycled or reclaimed wood – no two products are the same so come along and take a look at these unique wooden boards.

Heritage Cheese will be bringing their selection of Irish and English cheeses again (don’t miss Cropwell Bishop Beauvale – a Gorgonzola-style blue made by this long established Stilton creamery) and our almost-local Marlow cheese will be bringing along their fabulous cheeses – don’t miss their outstanding butter, freshly made with unpasteurised Guernsey breed milk.

Apart from our fabulous stall holders, our local ‘Bricks and Mortar’ are getting on the ‘cheese board’:  Urban Pantry has a new market special – a handmade burrata on toasted sourdough with heritage cherry tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, pickled walnuts, basil oil, aged balsamic, radicchio salad – book ahead so as to not miss out on this treat!

Our lovely friends at The Good Wine Shop are extending their amazing 15% off all purchases for Market visitors.  Take your cheese purchase along and they will help you match wines plus you get 15% off everything on Market Day.  Pick up a voucher at the market.

The Cheesewick burger

Honest Burger have been busy collaborating with High Weald Dairy and the lovely, local Ealing Relish company.  They are launching ‘The Cheesewick’ burger on their menu  –

Here’s what Honest have to say…….

Over 5,500 people turned up for the first market… Working with the Chiswick Cheese Market founders, our new Chiswick restaurateur Alessandro Ammirata tasted many great cheeses and settled on a combination of two cheeses from High Weald Dairy in Sussex and matched them with a sharp, handmade Smoky Tomato Relish from The Ealing Relish Company nearby. Our assistant manager Loredana Micali added salty, crisp pancetta and the ‘Cheeswick’ local special was born. 

So – we’ll be on the High Road waiting for you to join us on Sunday – see you there fellow cheeselovers!

Lucy

Lucy Cufflin is one of the Cookbook Kitchen team of local women behind the Chiswick Cheese Market, who run it as volunteers

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Adorable Dora – Rosie Ashe’s tribute to Dora Bryan

See also: Luna open air cinema returns to Chiswick House

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

 

 

 

Luna Open Air Cinema returns to Chiswick House

Image above: Luna open air cinema at Chiswick House, showing Grease

18 to 21 August

The Luna Cinema is returning to Chiswick House from Wednesday 18 to Saturday 21 August with a line-up of classic and feel-good films: Baz Lurhman’s visually stunning Romeo & Juliet, murder mystery Knives Out, classic 1970s musical Grease and smash hit movie musical The Greatest Showman.

The feelgood theme is deliberate:

“After the year we’ve had, everyone wants a feelgood classic film that can just make you forget about everything that’s gone on” their spokeswoman Katie Harding tells The Chiswick Calendar.

Luna Cinema was started 13 years ago by George Wood and has become the biggest UK provider of outside cinema. George had the idea when he was recovering from an accident in Australia. Wondering what to do next with is life, he noticed the success of outdoor cinema there and thought he would try it in Britain. A bold move, considering our notoriously unpredictable weather, but one that has paid off.

Image above: Knives Out, starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Christopher Plummer, Don Johnson, Daniel Craig, Toni Colette and LaKeith Stanfield

Screenings are only cancelled if the weather would make it dangerous, which in practice means high winds. Other than that, as evidenced by the recent pictures of desperate punters sitting outside pubs in the pouring rain, British audiences aren’t too bothered by a bit of drizzle and in the event of a little light rain, Luna Cinema provides cinema goers with waterproof ponchos. Umbrellas are banned because they spoil the view of the people sitting behind you.

Luna Cinema operates in some of the most beautiful gardens and country estates in England – at several royal palaces, including Kensington Palace and Hampton Court, Warwick and Leeds castles, Blenheim Palace and Tatton Park country estate in Cheshire.

They’ve been coming to Chiswick House for about seven years now and always get good crowds, mostly couples and groups of friends rather than families, although there’s always at least one choice suitable for children.

Image above: Romeo & Juliet, starring Claire Danes and Leonardo diCaprio

They have weathered the pandemic rather better than many businesses in the entertainment and hospitality industry, as their events are by definition outside and people are sitting down. Adding socially distanced marked pitches and a click and collect service for buying food and drink from the bar, has not been difficult. You scan a bar code with your phone and get a text when your food and drink is ready.

Most people bring chairs, and the staff seat people who prefer to sit on blankets on the ground at the front, so everyone can see. You can bring your own picnic or order a VIP hamper or just snacks from the Luna bar, such as crepes and burgers and chips.

Their ‘Retro Box’ (contents varies slightly per box depending on stock), available to pre-order, is ‘packed full of all your favourite treats and fizzy pop to make your evening even sweeter! Perfectly proportioned for two and ready for you on arrival’.

Over the past year they’ve added a number of drive-in cinema screenings. They had thought about adding drive-in cinema to their offer for several years, and lst year it seemed the obvious move to make. They’ve had huge uptake. Suddenly, sitting in glorious isolation in your car became a good thing. But not as nice as sitting on the grass at Chiswick House.

Image above: The Greatest Showman, starring Hugh Jackman and Michelle Williams

Film programme for summer 2021 at Chiswick House

Wednesday 18 AugustRomeo & Juliet

Thursday 19 AugustKnives Out

Friday 20 AugustGrease

Saturday 21 AugustThe Greatest Showman

Tickets: General Admission £17.00 (Adult), £12.50 (Child)

Available to book on Luna Cinema’s website.

thelunacinema.com/chiswick-house-and-gardens

Club Card offer

Luna Cinema is a member of The Chiswick Calendar Club Card scheme and offers Club Card holders a 10% discount off tickets. Offer code: CCAL10. Take your Club Card with you  to the screening.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: What difference will the delay in easing Covid restrictions make to Chiswick?

See also: Adorable Dora – Rosemary Ashe’s tribute to Dora Bryan

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Adorable Dora – Rosemary Ashe’s tribute to Dora Bryan

Image above: Dora Bryan

“I’ve called it Adorable Dora because nobody had a bad word to say about her” says Rosemary Ashe. The one woman show in tribute to Dora Bryan is Rosemary’s lockdown project.

“I was having a clear out and came across one of her cassettes and thought what a wonderful subject she would make”.

Rosemary, who started her own career as an opera singer and then went into musicals, has created a one woman show before, about Ethel Merman. When it came to Dora Bryan she found that she knew lots of people who had either known her or worked with her and that she had sung many of the songs in musical revues that Dora had been the first to perform.

She is performing the show at Jermyn St Theatre on Sunday 27 June, (sold out), but her performance on Wednesday 23 June in St Michael & All Angels Church will be the global premiere. Her two performances at Jermyn St Theatre will also be livestreamed and tickets for that are available to buy on their website.

“I am embodying her, not impersonating her” she tells me, focusing on the musicals but also telling her story and playing her as if she were my age now (68). Although she is not trying to mimic her subject, her take on Dora’s instantly recognisable voice is uncanny.

Image above: Rosemary Ashe

It must have been exceedingly hard to decide what to leave out, as Dora Bryan’s career spanned 70 years. Her first role on stage was in pantomime when she was only 12 and her last was in a short film Gone to the Dogs with Anthony Booth in 2006.

She trained initially as a dancer and took great pride in still being able to do the splits when she was 70. Will Rosemary be going there, I wondered? “You’ll have to wait and see” she says.

Dora got her grounding in theatre in Oldham Repertory, which she joined at the age of 16. She seemed to move effortlessly to the West End after learning her craft there for six years, performing in many West End shows, including Noel Coward’s Private Lives. She was friends with Noel Coward and Laurence Olivier.

You may remember her from her many films and TV roles, which included Carry on Sergeant (1958) and The Great St Trinian’s Train Robbery (1966), Last of the Summer Wine, Absolutely Fabulous and Dinner Ladies.

She was a brilliant comic actress but also has a tremendous list of serious acting credits to her name, including a West End production of Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party towards the end of her career. She won a Bafta for her role in the ground-breaking film A Taste of Honey in 1961 but was also known as a singer, performing in many musicals and revues.

Among the songs in Adorable Dora, Rosemary will give the audience the song which made Dora Bryan famous: Why Did You Call Me Lily? as well as Bill, Life Upon The Wicked Stage and Before The Parade Passes By from Hello Dolly. She will also read some of the best known passages from her most famous roles, including Helen, the mother with the drinking problem and the acid tongue in A Taste of Honey.

She will be accompanied by her musical director Paul Knight.

Rosie has played and created many roles in some of the most popular musicals of the past 40 years, including The Boyfriend, The Phantom of the Opera, Forbidden Broadway, Oliver!, The Witches of Eastwick, Mary Poppins and Adrian Mole. She has also enjoyed playing a wide variety of roles on the stage in opera and plays as well as on television, in cabaret and concert.

You can book tickets for Rosemary Ashe’s Adorable Dora, on Wednesday 23 June here: ticketsource.co.uk

Part of the Bedford Park Festival

bedfordparkfestival.org

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Tickets on sale for Bedford Park Festival 2021

See also: Bedford Park Festival Summer Exhibition 2021

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Episode 56: No longer underdogs but still undervalued… New Zealand’s world-class cricketers

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.

It is an almost unnoticed revolution in global cricket:  New Zealand’s cricketers have completed a journey from amateur whipping-boys to worldbeaters. They have secured an emphatic Test series victory over England while enjoying the luxury of six team changes to prepare for the ultimate prize of the World Test Championship. David Leggat, former chief cricket writer of the New Zealand Herald, gives unique insight into their modern success and the present state of New Zealand cricket, as a returning guest of Peter Oborne and Richard Heller on their latest cricket-themed podcast.


More Platforms

David understandably celebrates his prediction on his first appearance of success for Devon Conway. He tells the story of his migration from South Africa (Somerset missed their chance to sign him), and that of other migrant players such as Neil Wagner, B J Watling and Colin De Grandhomme, and why they have found New Zealand an attractive environment to develop their talents. 1-6 minutes New Zealand has also welcomed many cricketers from the Indian sub-continent, represented by Ajaz Patel in the recent Test team. He got his chance, as David explains, after some years earning a reputation for wicket-taking in domestic cricket on pitches rarely helpful to spinners. 6-8 minutes

By contrast, New Zealand cricket has been short of Maori and Pacific Island representatives compared to its rugby teams, and latterly softball. David suggests why this has happened and what cricket administrators have done in response. 13-18 minutes

There has been no equivalent in New Zealand of the recent Ollie Robinson controversy and the UK government’s intervention, which he discusses with Peter and Richard. They note the contrast in the standards expected of England’s sporting representatives to those applied by England’s Prime Minister to himself and his party. 20-28 minutes

David assesses New Zealand’s preparations for the coming World Test Championship, and reports their understated confidence that they are as ready as they can be to secure a world title after two near misses in the World Cup. Their mental strength, he suggests, was typefied by Ross Taylor’s long grafting battle for fluency in the second Test after a run of poor form. His performance offered lessons to England’s younger players. 28-33 minutes

David assesses the potential impact of a Test Championship victory on the domestic popularity and global standing of New Zealand cricket. Both would be uplifted, but he thinks that its undramatic style will continue. He reviews the pay structure of New Zealand cricketers: their earnings are far above their predecessors’ but lower than those of most other countries’ international cricketers. 35-41 minutes

He traces the rise in support for women’s cricket since a great result against Australia in 2000: the international team has been rated in the top five for a long time and several New Zealand women as the world’s best. Cricket is second only to netball as the most popular women’s participation sport in New Zealand. Women’s cricket is strongly encouraged by the New Zealand Cricket Board, and women’s sport generally promoted as government policy. 41-43 minutes David describes governmental responsibility for sport in New Zealand: the senior minister, Grant Robertson is also Deputy Prime Minister – and the Finance Minister, a situation which British sport would envy. He describes the boyhood experience which turned Mr Robertson into a “sports tragic.”43-46 minutes

Looking over the modern history of New Zealand cricket, David traces the Test team’s evolution. For years, it tended to be one worldclass player, far above his colleagues. Then in the late 1970s it continued to produce worldclass players (he reveals an astonishing fact about Martin Crowe and Richard Hadlee) but this time with talented supporting players with confidence in their abilities. Jeff Crowe, in this period, was the first to instil in his team the belief that a good collective performance could bring them victory, rather than just save them from defeat. 8-10 minutes In modern times, Brendon McCullum encouraged his teams to press for victory until the last possible moment before settling for a draw. Although a very different character, Kane Williamson has maintained his attitude of taking risks for victory (as in the first Test against England, when he made a generous invitation which England were too pusillanimous to accept.) 10-13 minutes Both McCullum and Williamson have also demanded high standards of onfield performance, without the humourless histrionic hostility of New Zealand’s neighbour or other cricket countries. 33-35 minutes

Finally, David profiles New Zealand’s travelling supporters, the Beige Brigade, astutely promoted and marketed, proud to wear the strangely-coloured one-day retro strip. Although widely regarded as the most tasteless in cricket history, it revives memories of happy Hadlee days in the 1980s. 47-52 minutes

Get in touch with us by emailing obornehellercricket@outlook.com, we would love to hear from you!

Listen to more episodes of Oborne & Heller

Previous Episode – Episode 55: No longer underdogs but still undervalued… New Zealand’s world-class cricketers

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

We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Covid rates increase in Chiswick as lockdown easing is delayed

Image above: Prime Minister Boris Johnson giving a Downing St press conference on Monday 14 June

Easing of Covid restrictions delayed by a month

The Prime Minister announced last night (Monday 14 June) that the final easing of Covid restrictions would be delayed by a month. Monday 19 July is the new date on which we can expect the last remaining restrictions to be removed.

Boris Johnson said that whereas he had seen 21 June as a “not before” date, he regarded 19 July as a “terminus” date. By then all over 18s will have been offered their first jab and two thirds of adults will have been double dosed.

“I think we will have built up a very considerable wall of immunity around the whole population by then” he said.

The Delta variant, as it is now called, was given as the reason for the delay. New variant infections are doubling week on week in the worst affected areas. There is “good evidence” to show that the vaccines work against this variant but people need two doses to provide “strong” protection. There is a 76 – 84% reduction rate in symptomatic cases amongst people who have been double dosed.

Boris announced some good news for people with summer weddings booked. They will be able to go ahead with more than 30 guests. Event planners in Chiswick heaved a sigh of relief. They were not looking forward to telling brides their wedding would be postponed in some cases for a second or third time.

Image above: Ealing Comedy Festival 2019

What difference will the delay make in Chiswick?

When I said to my 26 year old son the other day that I was struggling to remember what restrictions there were left to ease, he looked at me in disbelief and answered:

“Only everything that young people like to do – festivals, clubbing, partying. It’s alright for you!”

Lovebox festival should have happened last weekend, but didn’t and the pop-up Junkyard Market shut down earlier than planned because the Delta variant was present in LB Hounslow. The paddling pool in Dukes Meadows where usually at this time of year you can see little children happily splashing about, will remain closed.

READ ALSO: We’ve been talking to entertainment and hospitality venues to see what the effect will be on Chiswick Cinema, Chiswick Playhouse, live music, open air markets, pubs, the Bedford Park Festival, the Ealing Comedy Festival and events at Chiswick House.

Image above: Downing St press conference with Professor Chris Whitty, Boris Johnson and Sir Patrick Valance

Rate of vaccination 10% less in London than in some other parts of the country

At the Downing St press conference, the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Valance confirmed that vaccinations were running at around 10% less in London than they were in some other parts in the country.

In LB Hounslow 164,097 people have received their first dose (59.8% adult population) and 99,916 have also had their second dose (36.4%). The figures for the whole of England are significantly higher, at 69.7% first dose and 50.8 second dose.

Image above: Map showing seven day rate of new cases up to 9 June 2021; source Gov.uk

Rate of infections increasing again in Chiswick

In terms of Covid infections, the rate is creeping up again. In Chiswick there were 39 new cases recorded in the week up to 9 June, eight more than were recorded the previous week. Here’s how they break down:

Chiswick SW
Up 8 on the previous week
Total new cases 13

Chiswick SE
Up 2 on the previous week
Total new cases 8

Chiswick Park
Up 2 on the previous week
Total new cases 6

Bedford Park
Data not shown (fewer than 3 cases)

Chiswick NE
No change in rate of infection over the previous week
Total new cases 7

Chiswick NW
Down 1 on the previous week
Total new cases 5

In the week leading up to 2 June there were 31 new cases, more than double the figure in the week leading up to 26 May, when there were just 15 new cases recorded in Chiswick.

Across England as a whole, the rate of new cases of Covid-19 has climbed to its highest level for more than three months, with around one in 10 local areas now recording rates above 100 cases per 100,000 people. Two boroughs of London have rates that are back above 100: Lambeth (114.7, as of June 9) and Wandsworth (108.0).

“We must not be complacent” – Steve Curran

In response to Monday’s announcement that the roadmap out of lockdown would be extended by four weeks, Hounslow’s Council Leader, Cllr Steve Curran, said:

“We know that the decision today will come as a huge blow to many and will mean more sacrifice for our residents who have already sacrificed so much.

“All of us want to get back to a more normal way of life as quickly as possible. During the past few weeks we have seen the people of Hounslow stepping up, making a phenomenal effort to get PCR tested and vaccinated to help tackle cases of the Delta variant in the borough.

“Residents, volunteers and partners, including the NHS, are working together with the Council in true ‘One Hounslow’ spirit.

“However, today’s decision by the Government is a stark reminder that we cannot and must not be complacent when it comes to keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe from the virus. There is still more work to be done.

“We must continue to follow the rules, get tested and get vaccinated when we can and we must remember the importance of ‘Hands, Face, Space’. From tomorrow, we must keep encouraging everyone over the age of 23 to get vaccinated.

“For both myself and our Director of Public Health, Kelly O’Neill, I want to thank the people of Hounslow for everything they are doing to support one another during these incredibly challenging times and for the courage and determination they continue to show each and every day. If support is needed, we are here to help. Please just ask.”

If you are over the age of 23, below you can find a list of all our upcoming pop-up vaccination clinics over the next few days, more details of which are here.

  • Book an appointment via www.nhs.uk or call 119:
    • Brentford Fountain Leisure Centre – 658 Chiswick High Road, Brentford TW8 0HJ – Open 8.00am-8.00pm.

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

What difference will the delay in easing Covid restrictions make in Chiswick?

Image above: Downing St press conference announcing the delay in the easing of lockdown restrictions, Monday 14 June

The long anticipated ending of lockdown measures has been delayed by a month, the Prime Minister has announced, as Covid cases have been rising again around the country. What difference will this make in Chiswick?

Chiswick Cinema will still open but will run at a loss

For the new Chiswick Cinema it means that they still don’t know what new films they will show when they open their doors on 25 June. What they do know is that they will be running at a loss.

“We just need to get open” their spokeswoman Katie Gilbert told The Chiswick Calendar.

They are hoping to open with In the Heights, a musical set in New York’s Washington Heights neighbourhood by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who created the smash hit Hamilton, and British drama Supernova, with Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci as a long established couple facing dementia together.

Image above: Chiswick Ciname; photograph Jeremy Vine

After Monday’s announcement that entertainment venues have to keep social distancing measures in place, film distributors are considering whether they will go ahead and release their new films to a smaller audience or whether, like the new James Bond and Top Gun, they will be held back until they can reach the mass audiences on which film financing is predicated.

Meanwhile Chiswick Cinema has a slate of films they can show – some of the Oscar winning films we haven’t had a chance to see on a big screen, classic films such as the original Top Gun, independent films, foreign language films and previews of new films.

Social distancing measures have a greater impact on the finances of small cinemas than they do on large ones. Chiswick Cinema will operate a system based on algorithms which work out the required radius of space around groups of cinema goers who book together, but that means they can’t sell enough seats to make a profit, so until that changes they will be running at a loss.

Image above: Paddling pool at Dukes Meadows; photograph Marianne Mahaffey

The paddling pool in Dukes Meadows will stay closed

The heat wave would normally see lots of families at Dukes Meadows, with small children splashing about happily in the paddling pool. That will remain closed. Kathleen Healy, Development manager for Dukes Meadows Trust told us they have been inundated with enquiries about it, especially when the one in Ravenscourt Park was opened briefly. That closed, because it was impossible to manage numbers, and Dukes Meadows’ pool will remain closed.

Image above: Blues Engineers, Jazz at George IV

“Live music will go on regardless”

Jazz at George IV opened up on 20 May and musicians and audiences have been very pleased and excited to be experiencing live gigs again. Jazz promoter Larry Pryce, of Live Music To Go, which co-hosts Jazz at George IV with The Chiswick Calendar, said:

“It’s not an unexpected bump in the road to freedom, and live music will go on regardless. It is very frustrating as it is difficult to cover costs in these restricted social distancing conditions”.

Ben Bullman, General Manager of George IV told us prior to the announcement:

“While I understand the rationale, it will be very disappointing if we don’t get all restrictions lifted on 21 June and I just hope that we get a new date that’s not too far in the future.

“Pubs thrive on people being spontaneous – and just popping in for a pint or a quick bite to eat. At the moment we are effectively operating as a restaurant with everyone pre-booking and full table service.

“I just can’t wait for people to be sat back at the bar – there’s a whole group of, mainly older male, customers who have effectively just been missing for the last 15 months. Obviously we are on tenterhooks waiting for today’s announcement – as, no doubt, are those brides and grooms waiting to see if their weddings can go ahead with their planned guest lists. There’s a lot at stake.

Image above: Chiswick Cheese Market, May 2021; photograph David Insull

Open air markets will continue as they are

The open-air Sunday markets in Chiswick High Rd will continue as they are. Both the Cheese Market on 20 June and the next Flower Market on 3 July already have Covid safety measures in place. They operate a one-way system, starting at the Police station end of Old Market Place. Visitors and stall holders are required to wear masks and asked to keep their distance from other market goers. There is hand sanitiser available at the entrance and the stalls are well spaced out. The number of visitors in the spaces is also controlled by marshals counting people in and out.

The Sunday morning Food Market at Dukes Meadows will also carry on as it has been. They also keep an eye on the number of people in the market at any given time and operate a queue to get in when its crowded.

The new Junkyard Market which started with such promise at the end of April – ‘a bustling new open air, forward-thinking street food & drink’s market’ bringing a touch of Shoreditch to W4 at Power Road Studios, was put on hold once the Indian Covid variant was found to be present in LB Hounslow. They started as a pop-up which was supposed to be for seven weeks and although short-lived, the food court has been a success and they are applying for a longer term licence.

Image above: Gifford’s Circus 2021 show 

Chiswick House events will continue

The programme of events at Chiswick House will continue as they are at the moment, with restricted numbers. Director of Chiswick House Trust Xanthe Arvanitakis told us:

“Everything we’ve got planned will retain its Covid secure capacity. What we’re finding is that people aren’t booking ahead much. The uncertainty is unsettling, so people are leaving things to the last moment and are just booking the day before.

“So the ongoing unsettled nature of things makes it impossible to plan but on the other hand, if people aren’t able to go away this summer, we’re here, with lots going on”.

Chiswick House opened to the public on 27 May, with art installations by three major artists, both inside and outside the house. Bring into Being features the work of Jaimini Patel, Peter Adjaye and Turner Prize winning artist Mark Wallinger, who has created an interactive sun dial in the gardens of Chiswick House.

Giffords Circus is already nearly sold out, as they are selling 400 seats per show rather than the usual 600. They’ve dispensed with the usual benches and have replaced them with individual seating. As people arrive they’ll be seated, with gaps left between parties. The Life Lessons festival will also continue as planned.

Open air cinema at Chiswick House will be unaffected. Luna Cinema has done its seating plan with Covid distancing in mind and is in any case outdoors and not until August. Their line-up of classic and feel-good films includes Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet, Knives Out, Grease and The Greatest Showman. 18 – 21 August, in the Walled Garden

Image above: 2021 spring / summer season at Chiswick Playhouse

Chiswick Playhouse unsure whether summer musical can go ahead

Monday’s announcement throws everything up in the air again for Chiswick Playhouse. Up till 27 June they have planned socially distanced productions with fewer tickets sold, but their new summer musical, From Here, planned to open on 1 July is now in doubt.

Artistic producer Wayne Glover told The Chiswick Calendar:

“This makes a huge difference to us and is quite detrimental. I understand why the decision has to be made, or course and we will do our level best to make sure the shows go on, but we now have to contact all the creative freelances involved in incoming productions to see if they can still put their shows on with a reduced number of tickets.

“Our new musical for the summer, From Here, was planned for sale at full capacity and we have to check with everyone involved to see if it can still go ahead”.

Although shows planned before then have been programmed in with the expectation of Covid restrictions, Chiswick Playhouse was hoping they would be able to add a few seats for shows such as An Evening with Phyllis Logan and An Evening With Torin Douglas. Both are being put on as part of the Bedford Park Festival and both currently sold out.

Image above: Cream tea; stock photograph

Bedford Park Festival loses its cream teas

Bedford Park Festival‘s organisers hoped for the best but planned for the worst, so the only direct casualty of the announcement will be no cream teas for the Bedford Park Open Gardens. They are already planning events with social distancing in mind: entry to the gardens for Open Gardens for example is staggered. To reduce crowding visitors are asked to pick an arrival time of 2.00 pm, 3.30 pm, or after 3.30 pm.

The organisers decided long ago to cancel the opening Green Days weekend and the traditional Friday night launch party of the Summer Exhibition. Both the Summer Exhibition of art works and the Photography competition / exhibition are available to view – Summer Exhibition from Monday 12 – Friday 18 June in St Michaels & All Angels Church and the Photography competition / exhibition 19 / 20 June in the Parish Hall.

All the art works in the Summer Exhibition are also available to view here on The Chiswick Calendar and the Photography competition / exhibition entries will be available to view from Friday 18 June.

Other than that, the delay in ending Covid restrictions just means fewer people will be able to book for the events than they had hoped, which will mean less money for the church’s charities.

Image above: Ealing Comedy Festival 2019

Ealing Comedy Festival will continue, but just not make any money for the organiser

Tickets for the Ealing Comedy Festival went on sale last week, as the organiser Simon Randall (who runs Headliners comedy club in Chiswick) had to make a decision on whether to go ahead or not. He hires a huge marquee which normally seats 1,000 people, so will be running it at half capacity. Selling 500 seats will cover his costs but not make him any money, he told The Chiswick Calendar.

“We gambled and lost” he said. “We gambled, as many a wife has done before with Boris Johnson, that he would keep his word”.

The Prime Minister did say from the outset that the easing of lockdown restrictions would be “data led”. He said on Monday (14 June) that June 21 had always been a “not before” date, whereas the new date for the ending of Covid restrictions, 19 July, he regards as a “terminus date”.

The comedy festival is not till 21 July, so they may yet find that they are able to sell more tickets, but it will be a close call whether they get enough warning.

“Tickets have been selling incredibly well” he told us. “Saturday night is already sold out. If we get a bit of notice we can put more tickets on sale and we might actually make a bit of money”.

The Ealing Comedy Festival runs 21 – 25 July. Russell Kane is hosting the opening night. Paul Sinha, Sean Walsh and Milton Jones are among the comedians performing during the week, with Jo Caulfield and Rich Hall heading the line up on Saturday night.

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Chiswick House to launch new community programme

Chiswick House & Gardens Trust say they are ‘delighted’ to share the news that they have been awarded a grant of £180,000 from The Linbury Trust to support its Community Participation Programme over the next three years.

The Community Participation Programme includes a range of inclusive activities for the local community of Hounslow and West London: from learning about growing plants and identifying insects and wildlife with young children and their families, to music workshops with adults with disabilities, cooking, arts, crafts and much more. All activities will be designed with the participants of the Programme to ensure that it is relevant and meaningful to all.

The proposed activities have been designed specifically to respond to the needs of the local community and many will take place in the Kitchen Garden – which has been a vital community space for many years. This includes helping to increase knowledge about food cultivation, nutrition and horticulture, and improving mental and physical health and wellbeing and opportunities to build skills with their experienced Kitchen Gardener and volunteers.

There will be a particular focus on supporting a diverse mix of participants in terms of age, ethnicity and ability. The programme will be led by the Community Participation Manager and Kitchen Gardener as well as a new Kitchen Gardener apprentice, all funded by the grant.

Through the Programme, Chiswick House & Gardens will also be working towards ambitious biodiversity outcomes: a ‘no dig’ approach to gardening, zero use of herbicides, improving composting and water capture, 100% reuse of plastic containers and pots on the Estate, 100% reuse of natural materials arising from coppicing for fencing, supporting vegetable cultivation, creating dead hedge habitats and a 90% reduction of peat use.

Xanthe Arvanitakis, Director of Chiswick House & Gardens, said: ‘We are delighted that The Linbury Trust are supporting our community programme. We’re absolutely committed to ensuring we shape the programme with and for our local communities and this is now possible with the support of The Linbury Trust grant’.

Chiswick House and Gardens are keen to hear from community groups who would like to use their Gardens and work alongside the Trust to deliver these Programme goals. Contact Harvinder Bahra Community Participation Manager at community@chgt.org.uk for more information.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Royal Trinity Hospice launches urgent appeal for donations

See also: Gunnersbury Park parking charges set to be approved

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.

Gunnersbury Park parking charges set to be approved

Parking charges at Gunnersbury Park are set to be approved following a recommendation from a LB Hounslow planning officers.

If approved by councillors, the proposals will mean the installation of electric vehicle charge point, car park signs, pay and display machines, automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras and associated equipment to the parking areas of the Gunnersbury Park Museum.

In a 2019 statement, Gunnersbury Park stated their intentions to hire and external company to manage the car parks, but they made no mention of ANPR cameras until filing the planning application. The first application was rejected on the grounds that the signs and equipment were too large and detracted from the heritage site.

The planning officer for the current application, Leo Hall, has concluded that the cameras would cause no undue impact on the character and appearance of the listed buildings or conservation area.

The Friends of Gunnersbury Park and Museum objected to the application. Whilst accepting the CIC was in need of extra revenue, this should not override other concerns, they said.

The group said in its newsletter to members:

“Had the CIC more fully engaged in the planning process, the refusals and subsequent delays might have been avoided and prevented a significant loss of income.”

Image above: Gunnersbury Park Sports Hub (Photo by Matt Smith)

‘We need to charge users for the service we provide’ says Gunnersbury Park

The proposals to introduce parking charges go as far back as 2019. Originally, parking charges were meant to be implemented in line with the opening of Gunnersbury Park Sports Hub in 2020 to help manage the inevitable spike of traffic into the park.

The opening of the Sports Hub was delayed by Covid and only opened in 2021. Gunnersbury Park has also suffered a number of financial setbacks over the last couple of years, including the fire in Gunnersbury Park Cafe and the financial impact of the pandemic.

A spokesperson for Gunnersbury Park referred to a 2019 statement on why the parking charges were needed:

‘We, Gunnersbury Estate (2026) CIC – the not for profit organisation that manages Gunnersbury Park and Museum – are responsible for maintaining the car parks, which is a very expensive task. To do this, we need to charge users for the service we provide.

‘We currently receive funding each year from Ealing and Hounslow councils (who ultimately own the estate). However, this is currently not enough to fund the entire estate and it is also set to decline substantially over the coming years meaning further funding sources are required to maintain and improve the park, museum and its services. All revenue raised from car parking charges – as with all income generated by the CIC – would be ringfenced to be spent only at Gunnersbury Park and Museum.

‘In addition, charging for car parking and pro-actively managing the use of the car parks will mean that we can ensure that the facility is available to visitors to the estate and spaces are not taken up by commuters or unlicensed commercial users.’

All revenue from parking charges will go to Gunnersbury CIC, which manages the park, but Gemini Park Solutions keeping the revenue from fines. Gemini Park Solutions is a member of the British Parking Association and run a number of other ANPR parking facilities across the country.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Royal Trinity Hospice launches urgent appeal for donations

See also: Chiswick House to launch new community programme

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 resurgence in independent book shops

Images above: Jessica Bloom, Bookcase London 

Independent book shops are having something of a resurgence despite the pandemic, according to the Booksellers Association.

The trade body, which promotes book retailing in the UK and Ireland, reports that booksellers experienced their fourth consecutive year of growth in 2020, following two decades of decline. A total of 967 independent shops in the UK and Ireland were registered with the Booksellers Association at the end of the year, compared with 890 in 2019, 883 in 2018 and 868 in 2017.

This may represent the triumph of hope over common sense, as it is also true that while 77 new bookshops were registered, the total number of new stores was only 50 and in the same year 44 bookstores closed down, so the net increase of new independent bookstores was actually only six. But it may also reflect a new level of support for independent shops from their local communities because of the pandemic.

Meryl Halls, managing director of the Booksellers Association, reckons local communities value their independent bookshops, that booksellers coped well with the tremendous challenges thrown at them in 2020 and the net increase represents the “resilience, resourcefulness and dedication” of booksellers.

Image above: Peter Rouland, manager Bookcase London

Chiswick independent bookseller Bookcase London celebrates 28 years

In Chiswick we are lucky to have two independent booksellers in addition to Waterstones. Foster Books is a family firm which has been going for more than 50 years in the oldest shop in Chiswick High Rd. Bookcase London is a youngster by comparison, celebrating a mere 28 years last week.

Its manager Peter Rouland opened the shop the year my family moved to Chiswick, my daughter just three, and I remember spending many a happy Saturday browsing their children’s titles for new bedtime stories and beautiful books that explained the world to enquiring young minds.

Owner Adam Bloom has decades of experience in the book trade, and his father before him. Roy Bloom was one of the first five booksellers to discount books in the 1990s, when the Net Book Agreement came to an end, which had seen fixed prices for books since 1900. Supermarkets and petrol stations began selling bestsellers and Adam has always been in the business of selling discounted books.

Bookcase London’s strongest three sections remain discounted children’s books, art books and fiction. About 60% of their stock is discounted. Asked how they continue to compete, just a few doors down from Waterstones, Adam says:

“We offer the best selection of new books we can find at the same price as them and the best selection of discounted books. We have friendly, knowledgeable staff, a handpicked range of books and a very wide selection of cards”.

Top sellers at the moment are the 2020 Booker Prize winner Shuggie Bain and winner of the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction, Hamnet.

Images above: Ben Collins’ book Aston Martin; Tim Harford’s books

Suggestions for Father’s Day

What would Adam recommend for a Father’s Day gift? Tricky, because men’s tastes are as varied as they are, whatever mainstream card manufacturers would have you believe. A golfing biography doesn’t cut it for everyone, though Adam admits his own taste runs to the sports biography. As an Arsenal fan he enjoyed Arsène Wenger’s biography My Life in Red and White.

He also recommends Tim Harford’s books: Messy, How to make the world add up, Fifty things that made the modern economy and The next fifty things that made the modern economy.

He also suggests Ben Collins’ book Aston Martin: Made in Britain, ‘a love letter to an era of gears and gasoline now accelerating towards its twilight’ – Financial Times

They keep customers updated with current best buys on Twitter and Instagram: @bookcase_london / Facebook: Bookcase London.

They sell the latest best selling non-ficiton as well as fiction. Books on houseplants are very popular at the moment and he’s very happy with the introduction of the Chiswick Flower Market, which brings him a regular 25% increase on market Sundays.

Image above: Adam Bloom, owner Bookcase London

Chiswick more right wing than Muswell Hill and Hampstead

Adam lives in north London and over his career has been involved in the running of some 40 shops, most recently in Muswell Hill and Hampstead. Reading tastes in Chiswick, in his experience, are more right wing than in either of the north London stores.

“You couldn’t give away a book on Margaret Thatcher there, in fact if we put one on display they’d probably burn the shop down” he tells me.

We like royalty too apparently. Anything on royalty sells well in Chiswick. And we’re loyal customers.

“Our customers in Chiswick are very loyal” he says. “We have ladies maybe in their thirties or forties coming in who used to come here as a kid. People are very nice and we’re happy for them to pop in for a chat”.

Bookcase London joins The Chiswick Calendar Club Card scheme

The Chiswick Calendar is delighted that Bookcase London has joined our Club Card scheme, offering Club Card holders a 10% discount off all their stock, whether it is already discounted or not. And if you don’t find what you want there, cross the road to Foster Books, which has been a member of the Club Card scheme since the beginning, to browse Stephen’s second hand and antiquarian selection.

Bookcase London, 268 Chiswick High Rd, W4 1PD / Tel: 0208 742 3919

bookcaselondon.co.uk

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Fifty Years of Foster Books in Chiswick

See also: Books of the Month – Anna Klerfalk looks at what’s new each month

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Chiswick Flower Market gets double page spread in the Daily Telegraph

‘How we helped our high street bloom’

The Daily Telegraph has written up Chiswick Flower Market with a double page spread telling the story of how a group of local residents came together as volunteers to try out an idea for revitalising the economy of the local High Rd.

Under the headline ‘How we helped our high street bloom’ Natasha Goodfellow follows the Flower Market’s story from first beginnings as a gleam in Ollie Saunders’ eye as he trudged over to Columbia Rd to buy flowers every week, to last Sunday’s market, with the stalls and the handmade bunting looking its best in the summer sunshine, courtesy of Anna Kunst’s photographs.

“I’m a chartered surveyor, so I spend quite a lot of my time looking at town centres,” founder director Ollie told her, “and by late 2019, I was starting to find Chiswick quite a depressing place. A lot of shops had closed, there were high vacancy rates and there was nothing to bring people here apart from the supermarkets.”

She writes: ‘Noting that over the years of his visits to Columbia Road he’d seen the surrounding shops and cafés up their game, from instant coffee and soggy bacon sandwiches to espressos, art, and chic vintage stores, he decided it was time to act’.

His idea was picked up by Karen Liebreich, Director of Abundance London. ‘“Karen is amazing,” says Ollie, “she doesn’t hang around” and together with Bridget Osborne, editor of The Chiswick Calendar, they organised a public meeting.

Natasha has done a very thorough job, mentioning Chiswick’s its ‘illustrious horticultural heritage’ with the gardens of Chiswick House as the birthplace of the English landscape movement and the The Horticultural Society (now the RHS) having their first gardens here.

She’s talked to some of the regular traders, who’ve made some great comments about the market.

Images above: Rosy Hardy, Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants; Neil & Catherine of Pepperpot Herbs nursery

“The market has a really nice mix of exhibitors”

Rosy Hardy of Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants told her:

“Location is important. Chiswick is great because it’s on the outskirts of London and not too difficult to get to, plus it’s in an area where people have gardens and are keen to garden. The market has a really nice mix of exhibitors; they don’t have the same people coming back every month – and it’s spacious and very well organised.

“We grow everything we sell and so the market’s ethos of getting London growing just seemed right for us.”

Catherine Wallsgrove of Pepperpot Herbs nursery said:

“We like the fact that it’s a one-day market based purely on flowers, plants and related things. It being monthly means we can fit it around other events, and the plant focus means customers know why they are coming.

“It’s on a busy high street, which is good – footfall counts for a lot when you’re trying to sell something – and the fact that everyone has come together as a community to put this on gives it a really lovely atmosphere.

“I follow them on social media and know how much work they put into the publicity and how much of their own time they put into this.”

Image above: Karen Liebreich, Ollie Saunders & Victoria Bailey-King; photograph Anna Kunst

A charming idea which takes lots of work

Natasha has also talked to co-founder-director Karen Liebreich, who told her:

“A flower market is such a charming idea,” says Karen, “but even without a pandemic, you have to get the structure right and that means a lot of hideously boring stuff, from dealing with road closures and traffic management orders to licensing and health and safety.

“If we’d known how much work it would be, I’m not sure any of us would have taken it on, but it’s like having a baby – you have to go through the pain to come out with something lovely.”

Victoria Bailey-King, who looks after a lot of the admin and manages the volunteer marshals at the market, said:

“I’ve lived here all my life but I’ve never really felt connected to Chiswick in the way I do now, thanks to the market. I feel lucky to be a part of it”.

Image above: Jeremy Vine with a bunch of peonies he bought at the June Flower Market

A really big shout out

The article has been very warmly received locally, not least by the market organisers! Broadcaster Jeremy Vine, who lives in Chiswick and is a big supporter of the market, tweeted:

‘Really big shout out to @olliesaunders1 and @Chiswick_Bridge (editor of The Chiswick Calendar) and all others involved. Karen in particular has faced inexplicable hostility from a tiny number of people and it was heartening when they actually showed up at the market. I’m so proud to know her’.

Paul Campbell writes:

‘What a smashing tribute to Karen Liebreich, Ollie Saunders, Bridget Osborne and many others who have worked so hard to make this a roaring success. And great to hear From Whitman that they have let every commercial premises on their books’.

Ed Saper says:

‘Well done Karen and Ollie! And everyone else who had volunteered, persevered and turned up on the day to turn an idea into a glorious reality!’

Suffice it to say the organisers are feeling pretty pleased with themselves!

The Telegraph article is behind a pay wall but you can find it here:

telegraph.co.uk/gardening/gardening-events/helped-gloomy-high-street-bloom

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Chiswick architect and visionary Peter Murray awarded OBE

Bedford Park resident Peter Murray has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. Peter is ‘curator-in-chief’ at New London Architecture, an independent forum for discussion, debate and information about architecture, planning and development in London which he co-founded with Nick McKeogh.

He is also a ‘design advocate’ for the Mayor of London and as such has some influence in the Mayor’s office on policy concerning the development of housing and the urban environment in London.

“I am very pleased” he told The Chiswick Calendar. “When I heard from the Cabinet Office that I was going to be awarded one I was expecting it would say that it was for ‘services to architecture’ but it also mentions city planning and the work I’ve done for charity, so I am very pleased about that”.

Peter has long been an advocate for London and the importance of good design in urban public spaces. He recently funded workshops to develop design ideas for the future development of Turnham Green Terrace, with better pavements and attractive seating and planting, which is now being considered as part of LB Hounslow’s public consultation.

The OBE citation is for ‘leadership in the arts, architecture, city planning, design, publication and charity,’ which he says “nicely describes the various passions in my life and reflects the breadth of the work carried out by New London Architecture.

“As a keen group cyclist I am well aware of the benefits of drafting behind the efforts of others and I am very grateful to the teams at Blueprint, Wordsearch, London Festival of Architecture, Club Peloton and New London Architecture who helped me arrive at this point.”

Carrying on the tradition of William Hogarth

His charity work includes setting up an annual cycle ride across France, which raises between quarter and half a million pounds for the children’s charity the Coram Foundation.

When we asked him about his charitable work, he said he was particularly proud of this, as they are now the largest single donor to the Coram Foundation since William Hogarth, Chiswick’s most famous resident and an early supporter of the Foundling hospital, as it was then.

Peter plans to celebrate the news of his OBE with a family barbecue at home this weekend, but he tells us it will be some time before he gets to go to the Palace to pick up his medal, as he’s been told Covid has put the award process very behind.

An illustrious career

Peter Murray, who studied architecture at Bristol University and the Architectural Association, has spent most of his career writing about, commenting on and teaching architecture rather than practising it.

He was technical editor of Architectural Design magazine, then editor of Building Design and the RIBA Journal. He founded the design and architecture magazine Blueprint in 1983 followed by Tate magazine and Eye, the international review of graphic design. He started Wordsearch, the global communications consultancy specialising in architecture and real estate.

He founded the London Festival of Architecture, which began life as the Clerkenwell Architecture Biennale, in 2004. With Nick McKeogh, he launched New London Architecture in 2005 as London’s independent membership organisation for everyone with an interest in London’s built environment, with a clear purpose to improve the quality of people’s lives by making London a better place to live, work and visit.

Peter curated major exhibitions at the Royal Academy including New Architecture: the work of Foster, Rogers, Stirling in 1986, Living Bridges in 1996 and Beyond Minimalism, the work of Tadao Ando in 1998. Peter has written numerous books including The Saga of Sydney Opera House, Building Passions, Architecture and Commerce, and The Leadenhall Building. Until recently he was a Visiting Professor at the IE Business School in Madrid.

He is a keen cyclist and in 2006 started Cycle to Cannes, an annual charity ride across France, with architects, developers and consultants.

In 2013 he rode 4,300 miles across America and the UK raising money for the Architects Benevolent Society and Article 25. He was a finalist for the London Cycling Campaign’s Cycling Champion of the Year 2015, is a member of the Construction Industry Cycling Commission and Chairman of the Bedford Park Bicycle Club.

For 35 years he was Honorary Secretary of the Architecture Club; he was formerly Honorary Secretary of the Architectural Association and of the Bedford Park Society.

Peter is regularly listed as one of London’s 1000 most influential people by the London Evening Standard and is included in Debrett/Sunday Times 500 People of Influence.

He is Chairman of the London Society and the Temple Bar Trust, former Master of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects and Member of the Court of Assistants.  He is a member of the The Athenaeum Club and the City Livery Club. He is a Board member of BeFirst, the regeneration delivery company for Barking and Dagenham, and of the Association of Architectural Organisations.

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

 

MP fined as dog causes Richmond Park deer to stampede

MP Danny Kruger was fined at Westminster Magistrates Court on Wednesday 9 June for not being in control of his dog in Richmond Park. The dog, a puppy called Pebble, chased after a herd of deer, many of which were pregnant, causing them to stampede.

The Conservative MP for Devizes admitted losing control of his 11-month-old Jack Russell during a walk with his family on 20 March. In a statement on his website he said:

‘What happened was at the end of a long family walk our 11-month-old Jack Russell, Pebble, got ahead of us without me noticing. He then came across a large herd of deer, and chased them round for the 45 seconds it took me to run up and put him on his lead.

‘He didn’t injure an animal and he came when I called him. But it was clearly wrong to let him chase them in the first place and I apologised profusely to the park rangers guarding the deer, to the police who (just my luck) happened to be sitting in their police car watching them too, to the other walkers and cyclists, and to the court today. Lesson learned’.

Donald Milton recorded the dog chasing the deer and has put the video on social media.

Danny Kruger was fined £120, which with costs came to £719, having pleaded guilty to the charge of  ‘Causing or permitting an animal in charge of to chase / worry / injure another animal in Richmond Park… without written permission from the Secretary of State.’

PC Samantha Riggs gave evidence that the deer were in a “panicked state”. Volunteer ranger Duncan MacCallum told the court he asked Mr Kruger to call his puppy back, “which seemed to spur him into action”.

Lawyers like to entertain the court with a witty remark if the opportunity arises. Prosecution lawyer Dominic Hockley said:

“It’s been said it only takes one pebble to start an avalanche. In this case it only took one Pebble to start a stampede.”

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: New parliamentary constituency of Hammersmith and Chiswick proposed

See also: Black blood donors urged to sign up for special donation sessions

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.

New parliamentary constituency proposed for Hammersmith and Chiswick

Image above: Map showing London constituencies including Brentford & Isleworth, Hammersmith & Chiswick and Ealing Central and Acton; Boundary Commission for England

The Boundary Commission for England has published its proposals for changes to the boundaries of parliamentary constituencies in England. It has been working to draw up a map which would make representation in Parliament fairer by giving each MP a roughly similar number of voters. Some seats have been redrawn and others renamed.

London gains two seats in these initial proposals. Chiswick would form part of the new Hammersmith and Chiswick constituency.

The Chiswick wards which fall under LB Hounslow (Turnham Green ward, renamed ‘Chiswick Gunnersbury’, Chiswick Homefields and Chiswick Riverside) would be taken out of Brentford and Isleworth and join Ravenscourt Park, Brook Green, White City, Shepherd’s Bush Green and Hammersmith Broadway in the new constituency.

Brentford & Isleworth constituency would be redrawn to include other areas of Hounslow and Heston. The Ealing Central and Acton constituency would remain largely unchanged and would still include Southfield ward.

The changes are now being put to a consultation process and the public is invited to comment on them here by Monday 2 August 2021.

Image above: Map of the proposed constituency of Hammersmith and Chiswick; Boundary Commission for England

Who benefits?

According to the BBC’s analysis, working out who would have won each of the new constituencies had they been in place at the time of the last general election, overall the changes will benefit the Conservatives at the expense of Labour.

‘However the boundaries are drawn, more seats in the East of England, South East and South West probably means more Conservative seats’.

You can see more detail of the Boundary Commission’s proposals for London on their website here. By law, every constituency they propose must contain between 69,724 and 77,062 Parliamentary electors (as at 2 March 2020).

The Boundary Commission says:

‘As far as possible, we try to have regard to local ties, geographic factors, local government boundaries (as they were known at 1 December 2020), existing constituencies, and minimising disruption caused by proposed change’.

This is what the redrawn constituency of Brentford and Isleworth would look like.

Image above: Map of the proposed constituency of Brentford and Isleworth; Boundary Commission for England

This is what the proposed constituency of Ealing Central and Acton would look like.

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Black blood donors urged to sign up for special London donation sessions

New and existing Black blood donors are being urged to sign up for special blood donation sessions at London Donor Centres, in memory of Evan Nathan Smith

People of Black and mixed Black heritage – both new and existing donors – are invited to attend special blood donation sessions on World Sickle Cell Awareness Day, Saturday 19 June and Father’s Day, Sunday 20 June, at five London Blood Donor Centres (see locations below). Sickle cell is treated with blood transfusions and is the fastest growing genetic condition in the UK, with 15,000 existing patients and 300 babies born with sickle cell each year.

Image above: Evan Nathan Smith

Donors from the Black and mixed Black communities are urgently needed as they are more likely to have Ro, the blood type needed to treat patients suffering from the complications of sickle cell disease. Ro blood is ten times more common in Black people.

Every month more than 1,300 new Black donors are needed to provide not only essential treatment for sickle cell but also life-saving blood for use in emergencies, childbirth, surgery, treatment of cancer and a range of medical conditions. Each donor can save up to three lives with one donation.

The special sessions will have an extra element of celebration in addition to the customary warm and welcoming atmosphere of the donor centre. As well as giving blood, attendees will be able to pick up a DIY kit to find out their blood group.

Trained staff, representative of the Black community, will be involved in sessions. A dedicated phone line – 0300 303 2737 – has been set up to book appointments on these sessions. Alternatively, potential donors can visit blood.co.uk to find out more and book their timed appointment slot.

The sessions are part of a nationwide appeal by United by Blood, a coalition comprising social organisations African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT), Black Mums Upfront and Cell Fe For Life supported by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), in memory of Evan Nathan Smith – a young Black man who had sickle cell disease and died following a sickle cell crisis. The appeal is designed to encourage more Black people to register and become regular blood donors in Evan Nathan’s memory.

 

Image above: Colin Anderson

Colin Anderson, Community and Engagement Lead at NHS Blood and Transplant, said:

“It is vital that Black people understand the growing need from within our own community for ethnically matched blood and that they feel comfortable coming to donate.

Sickle cell is the most common and fastest growing genetic disorder in the UK that mainly affects Black people, and many patients rely on regular blood transfusions to help treat and prevent the painful symptoms and complications.

These patients require blood that is more closely matched, and this is most likely to come from a donor of the same ethnicity. There is a rise in black people donating blood, but we urgently need more to become regular donors.

“Donation is quick and easy. Safety at collection centres is our number one priority, so people need have no worries about that.

During the pandemic we have taken extra precautions including spacing donors out, extra cleaning, wearing of masks and temperature checks. Coming out of lockdown measures, we will continue to do what is needed to protect donors and staff.”

Dates and venues of the special sessions:

Saturday 19 June (World Sickle Cell Awareness Day)

London Westfield Shepherd’s Bush Donor Centre (first floor), Shepherd’s Bush, London W12 7GF

London Westfield Stratford Blood Donor Centre (lower ground floor), Stratford City, E20 1EJ

London West End Blood Donor Centre, 26 Margaret Street, W1W 8NB

Sunday 20 June (Father’s Day)

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, N17

London Brixton – Lambeth Town Hall, 1 Brixton Hill, SW2 1RW

Call the priority booking line on 0300 303 2737 to book your appointment and our community of life-saving donors who regularly save lives. Visit blood.co.uk to find out more.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Chiswick Cinema reveals opening date

See also: Thousands of people vaccinated at Twickenham stadium

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.

Royal Trinity Hospice launches urgent appeal for donations

Image above: Royal Trinity Hospice, Chsiwick

Royal Trinity Hospice shops have launched an urgent appeal for stock donations. Since reopening in April, Trinity’s shops have had a series of record-breaking weeks as fans of preloved fashion have returned to update their wardrobes for the new season.

Royal Trinity Hospice is the local hospice for south west and central London. They provide free specialist palliative and end of life care for people living in Wandsworth and parts of Lambeth, Merton, Westminster, Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea and Richmond.

All their services are free of charge to patients and their families. This year, They need to raise over £9million to deliver outstanding care, and supplement the funds they receive from the NHS. They rely on donations and now, as many people are getting their wardrobes summer-ready, the charity is calling on its local community to help keep their shops stocked. It specifically needs quality men’s and women’s fashion and accessories.

Daniel Holloway, Director of Retail at Trinity said:

“Since reopening in April the response from our customers has been phenomenal. After a year of such uncertainty for the hospice, it is fantastic that our shops have enjoyed so much support.

Now we are asking our community to help us sustain that success by donating their quality preloved goods – we’re especially looking for menswear, womenswear, and accessories.

Royal Trinity Hospice’s shops play a major role in funding our expert care and we rely on generous donations from our supporters to keep them full of great stock. Not only do your donations enable us to care for everyone who needs us in our community, donating your preloved goods is the best thing to do for the planet as well.”

Images above: Display at Royal Trinity Hospice Chiswick; The Charity providing in-home care to a patient

Trinity now offers more ways to donate than ever before, including a free collections service across central and south west London, and a free postal donations option for extra-special items.

More details on what kind of donations will be gratefully accepted: royaltrinityhospice.london/from-individuals

Information on the collections service can be found at: royaltrinityhospice.london/collections

Information on making donations by post: royaltrinityhospice.london/donations-by-post

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Ealing Council’s cost cutting ‘putting women at risk’

See also: Heathrow opens separate Red route arrivals “too late”, says Ruth Cadbury

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.

Man in the Middle 68: Escape to the country?

Man in the Middle is the fictional diary of a Boomer coping with the demands of an ageing mother with dementia, his millennial children and his own impending obsolence. Bowed down by Brexit, Covid and self-pity, all he wants is more ‘me time’.  Will he succeed? Or is he destined to be stuck forever in No Man’s Land in the war between the generations?

If you’d like to begin at the beginning and missed the first instalment, you can read
No. 1: The Letter here

No 68: Escape to the country?

As a child, I hated watching ‘Last of the Summer’s Wine’, the BBC sitcom about old men with nothing much to do with their lives but fool around. Now, I’m living it.

Once upon a time, I pitied poor old Compo, the clownish one of the three old boys. Wrapped in tweed and a cloth cap, his relentless joie de vivre was as tedious as a recurring hernia. Now, I wish he was here with me on this pub balcony overlooking the Thames along with the other old toads, who pass for friends, who have gathered to muse away this sunny afternoon.

This party needs pumping and Compo might have provided the spark to get it going. We’ve been sitting around for half an hour and barely a word has passed between us, let alone anything jovial or stimulating. It feels like we’re at an induction meeting for Trappist monks where everyone has had to leave their best gags in a locker outside.

‘Too old to rock and roll, too young to die,’ whispers one of my mates down into the froth at the top of his pint glass, breaking the silence.

‘Chin up,’ I say.

He lifts his eyes, smiles and says nothing.

‘Anyone got any good jokes,’ I ask.

‘Yes. Coventry’s the new capital of culture,’ says another.

This august body of ancient mariners and Compo wannabes is what my children would call ‘a friendship group.’ We call ourselves ‘Mischief Club’. The name is a self-conscious, ironic joke, of course. The most mischievous thing we’ve done in the five years since we incorporated was to return a corked bottle of wine to a snotty sommelier.

If we were honest or valued accuracy, we would rename ourselves ‘The Dull Men’s Club’. Or disband. We’re so wet we could extinguish the flame of fun at the Hell Fire Club’s Christmas bash if they were stupid enough to ask us.

‘Got stuck next to two Covid-idiots on the train here. They spent the entire journey without a mask, sitting next to a sign saying: ‘Wear a mask.’ Moaned on and on and on about their human rights being infringed to their friends on their bloody mobile phones,’ says one of the group.

‘U-Kippers?’

‘Millennials,’ he replies.

A fizz of energy passes through the assembled members of Mischief Club as if Doctor Frankenstein has plugged us directly into the mains. Nothing is guaranteed to reanimate the lifeless conversation of a group of bored Boomers faster than the chance to whine about Millennials. Mischief Club is no exception.

‘Wouldn’t know their Human Rights if they bit them in the arse,’ says one.

‘Exactly,’ says another, with the triumphant air of a barrister concluding a case.

Excited by the positive reaction to his train story, the storyteller puffs on.

‘One was a dead-eyed, man child of about 18 with a scar on his cheek. The other a girl in a fake tan and furs. About the same age. Both ghastly.’

‘Just wanted to provoke you, I suspect.’

‘Did you report them to the ticket inspector?’

‘There wasn’t one.’

‘Typical,’ sighs everyone.

‘My father didn’t fight in the War so the young could travel on trains in fake tans and furs,’ I say.

The conversation halts. A few heads shake.

‘Is that your idea of a joke?’ says one.

‘We’d just started to get up a head of conversational steam,’ says another. ‘Now you’ve ruined it.’

‘Sorry,’ I say.

A man in a motorboat with a megaphone shouts at a rowing eight who have fluffed their strokes.

At the beginning, we set out with high aspirations for Mischief Club. It wasn’t just an excuse to meet pals for a boozy lunch. It was going to be a place to foster fellowship among a band of friends, to go boldly into our Third Age, full of an intellectual, questing spirit. Like the Fellowship of the Rings only with Museum cards, not swords.

‘Do you remember we used to go to galleries before we started drinking?’ says one. ‘Now we just start drinking.’

‘Do you remember we had £300 in the club kitty and until he blew it all on a duff tip at Newmarket,’ says another pointing at the club’s self-appointed Treasurer and Chief Investment officer.

Mischief Club is in danger of turning into the Salem Witch trials. Silence descends, again.

‘I’m going to be on ‘Escape to the Country’,’ says one.

‘The TV series?’ I ask.

‘Yes.’

‘Where are you planning to escape to?’ I ask.

‘Scotland.’

‘I don’t advise that. Don’t like the English. Worse diet in Europe,’ says one of the club.

‘Nonsense. Friendly people. Beautiful countryside. Not like here.’

He points at the brown sludge passing for a river below the pub balcony and the overbuilt riverside next to us. Car horns bleat in the street.

Escape to the country.

Four simple words that capture the dream that nestles in the collective subconscious of so many Londoners, who have an equity nest egg built up over a couple of decades of undeserved inflation.

So many now, in their night sweats, longing to become Sarah Beeny or Jeremy Clarkson. So many, whose only remaining ambition is to stride around their newly acquired country estate in green wellies with a gun dog, shouting at their newly acquired estate manager: ‘Buy more owls for the barns’ and ‘Rewild everything’.

Escape to the Cotswolds or Cornwall. That makes sense. But escape to Scotland? That’s a different country, even if the Government wants to stop us saying so. He’s been a Londoner all his life. Will he understand a word they say? Will they understand him? What happens if Scottish independence happens? Will he start to wear kilts? This is a lot of unknowns to take on so late in life. Compo would never be so silly.

‘Tired of London, tired of life,’ says someone.

‘Nonsense. I’ve got my eyes on a trout farm with 10 acres and still have money over to pickle my liver.’

Ten acres and trout. Plus money over for pickling your entrails. Hmm. The cogs inside the greying minds of Mischief Club’s membership turn this over silently.

A young waitress hovers at the edge of our table with menus. She’s hesitant to interrupt. Perhaps she’s shy or new to the job? Or, perhaps, she’s never seen so many dinosaurs together outside of the Natural History Museum and isn’t sure if we are for real?

Read more blogs by James Thellusson

Read the previous one – Man inthe Middle 67: Not all that’s said is clear

See all James’s Man in the Middle blogs here

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

We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

 

Trial of rental e-scooters begins in London

The boroughs of Ealing and Hammersmith are both taking part in a trial which makes e-scooters available for rent. The trial, which started on Monday 7 June, will enable riders to pay between £3.25 and £3.40 for a 15 minute ride. The trial will last for a year.

Transport for London says the trial is initially launching in Canary Wharf, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea and Richmond, with Tower Hamlets acting as a ‘ride through’ area.  The trial will begin with this core group of boroughs, with more expected to join throughout the summer.

Scooters are only allowed to be ridden on roads, not pavements.  They can only be parked in specified locations, not obstructing the pavement, and cannot be taken in certain areas, such as tunnels. Each operator will charge a fee to unlock as well as a fee charged per minute for each ride.

The Government recently announced that rental schemes for e-scooters woud be legalised across the country. TfL says the safety standards required in London will go further than those set out at a national level, by requiring:

  • A lower maximum speed of 12.5mph, compared to the 15.5mph set nationally
  • Lights at the front and the rear of the vehicles that are always on throughout any rental
  • Larger wheels at least 12 inches in diameter, meaning they can navigate road surfaces more easily

The operators will also have additional safety mechanisms in place, including ‘first ride policies’, meaning riders must take an e-learning safety course before they hire for the first time, and lower maximum speeds in place for their first ride.

The e-scooter operators working with TfL are Dott, Lime and TIER.

Will Norman, London’s Walking & Cycling Commissioner, said:

“As we look to our capital’s future, we want to ensure a green and sustainable recovery from the pandemic. We know that a huge portion of car journeys in London are for very short distances, and we want to explore how e-scooters can act as an innovative alternative.

“E-scooters have been on our streets for some time now but with very little regulation. This trial will have safety at its heart, bringing in rigorous precautions and parking measures while taking the needs of all road users into account and seeing what role e-scooters can play in London’s future.”

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Ealing Council’s cost cutting ‘putting women at risk’

See also: Heathrow opens separate Red route arrivals “too late”, says Ruth Cadbury

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.

Frederick the Fox – debut children’s book by Chiswick sisters

Frederick The Fox, a children’s book written and illustrated by two sisters who live in Chiswick, has gone on sale in local shops.

The rhyming tale of Frederick’s adventures has been written by Kim Ansell and illustrated with beautiful water colours by Lisa Read.

Frederick The Fox is aimed at children up to six years old and offers them the chance to follow the adventures of the fox in his quest to find happiness. Frederick is a ‘grumpy old fellow, fed up with being at home and wondering if there is more to life’. He says goodbye to his friends Rabbit, Owl, and Mouse and goes on a journey to find happiness.

The book follows Frederick on his push bike as he visits many different places where his fur gets matted from a trip to the beach, he catches a cold in the Arctic, encounters a shark while deep sea diving, rides a slide at the park, spins around in space and is rained on at the fair.

Reminiscent of Janet and Allan Ahlberg’s Each, Peach, Pear, Plum, the story is told in rhyming verse:

‘He got to the beach and he laid out his towel,
But the sea made him itch and the sun made him scowl’

‘He got to the fair with a big helter skelter,
But it started to rain and he had to take shelter’.

Rabbit, Owl and Mouse take care of Fox’s home while he is away and the book highlights the relationship between the friends and the wider importance of these bonds to happiness.

Frederick soon realises where he wants to be and turns around and heads home. Home is where his heart is and his key to happiness is being with his friends.

Images above: Frederick riding his push bike; promotional artwork for the book

Out of lockdown the creative process was born

The moral of the story is fitting, as the emphasis on friendship and community has been so important during the last year, during the pandemic which gave the sisters the opportunity to write and publish the book.

Lisa, who has lived with her husband in Chiswick for 16 years, was furloughed at the beginning of 2020 and was eventually made redundant from her job as a Senior Textile Designer with a leading British retailer.

Kim has a degree in IT and had been working for a distribution company in Hertfordshire since graduating, but happened to be taking maternity leave at the same time as Lisa was off.

“She has always had a love of books and enjoys reading to her two boys” Lisa told The Chiswick Calendar.

“Her eldest particularly enjoys rhyming books and finds these the most fun to read together.

“Kim always thought that one day she would get me to illustrate a story for her, but I’ve never had the time due to a very busy work life and Kim never actually had a story!!” she told us.

Neither sister had any experience of writing or illustrating a book, or of publishing before last year, but used their lockdown time not only to write and illustrate the story, but to learn about self-publishing and printing.

“Working together with my sister has been amazing. We have always been close, but this has brought us even closer together” said Lisa.

The book has been printed and bound in the United Kingdom using paper from responsibly managed forests and vegetable-based inks. It is available to buy from their website inkyflamingo.co.uk

Images above: Lisa in front of the Outsider Tart display; the side of Outsider Tart’s display

Support from local shops

As part of the launch, local cafe Outsider Tart has been redecorated with a colourful display of quotes and illustrations from the book. Copies are available to buy at the café and also at Bookcase London on Chiswick High Rd and Snap Dragon toy shop on 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.

A brilliant idea for solving some of the smaller problems in life

Sometimes you read about an idea developed by an entrepreneur that it’s hard to believe is not being done already, or you think ‘why didn’t I think of that?’

Dara Chen, who lives in west London, has just set up a business based on such an idea. Her company, HiiGuru, offers clients advice virtually, in an online, On Demand, face to face exchange, with a range of experts in different fields.

It may be that the plumbing problem which would have cost you a fortune, had you called a plumber to visit the house at his earliest convenience in a week’s time, is something you could have solved for yourself straight away, with a little advice from a professional.

When stuck with a crying baby and at your wits end, imagine how useful it would be to have a Norland nanny just a Zoom call away.

Dara is offering Chiswick Calendar Club Card holders 50% off three HiiGuru sessions across any of the categories in which her ‘Gurus’ offer their expertise.

Problem solving ‘a grey area’

You can see the pitfalls straight away – how do you know you can trust this ‘Guru’? What if you’re not happy with the advice they’ve given you? What if, despite giving it their best shot, you still need someone to come to the house?

Dara has thought it through. Her Gurus (she’s American, so they’re ‘Gurus’ rather than ‘experts’, and Guru’s with a Capital G what’s more, as she’s very proud of her stable of savants) are well qualified and experienced.

She reviews the recordings of sessions, looks at client feedback and observes them working for about a month before she’s satisfied they can represent her.

She admits that advice is something of a grey area. What if the Guru says they’ve given you the right advice but you’re not convinced it’s the right advice or you didn’t find it helpful?

If you’re not happy, she guarantees your money back and she says all her clients so far have been 100% satisfied. If you need a home call from a plumber after all, and you’re in London, she will guarantee to provide the follow up visit. She reckons 80% people are able to solve the problem themselves with the right advice.

Talking to someone and maybe showing them the problem on your phone or webcam certainly beats trawling the internet for ages finding other people’s views on problems that are similar but not quite the same as yours.

What’s clever about HiiGuru is that it benefits the professional as well as the customer. Your expert can save commuting time and earn money during their downtime.

An interesting mix of expertise

HiiGuru offers an interesting mix of expertise born, Dara says, of her own experience. Raised in the US, she moved to Taiwan at the age of 12 and has worked in New York, London and Taiwan for big corporations including L’Oréal, The Body Shop and Reckitt. She moved to London almost nine years ago, planned on staying a couple of years, but found she liked it here.

She has always wanted to start her own business, so this year she’s gone for it. She started the business in March and so far she’s found that 40% her clients have used HiiGuru more than once and 17% use it at least once a month.

The categories she’s chosen reflect the issues she’s faced herself in finding a home and settling down and she says are typically the areas where people in their mid 20s to mid 40s, maybe also living out of range of helpful family, could use a bit of help.

Her Gurus provide high quality, personalised advice across multiple everyday topics, including:

Home (for repairs and plumbing, interior design and cleaning)

IT (for IT equipment and networking support)

Baby (for general advice, sleep tips, lactation help, weaning, potty training and challenging behaviours)

Beauty (for skincare consultations and makeup tutorials)

Club Card offer

Dara is offering Chiswick Calendar Club Card holders 50% off three sessions across any of the HiiGuru categories.

Contact

Tel: 07787 860 884
Email: hello@hiiguru.com

hiiguru.com

Go on to the website, select your category & Guru. Book a session at a time that works for you and connect over Whatsapp or Zoom (your preference) to solve your problem.

Register for your unique promo code here:

www.hiiguru.com/the-chiswick-calendar

(please check your junk mail)

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Summer dining in the Garden Pavilion at Chsiwick House

See also: Chiswick Cinema reveals opening date

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.

ArtsEd investigates ‘historic misconduct’

ArtsEd is investigating ‘very serious allegations of historic misconduct.’  Director of Development Sue Sandle told The Chiswick Calendar:

“As we understand, they relate to incidents that took place between 2012 – 2017 in the Higher Education institution”.

There is to be an external investigation and while that happens the Principal of the performing arts school Chris Hocking is standing down.

On Monday 7 June Arts Ed posted a public statement on its website saying:

‘ArtsEd can confirm that we have been made aware of allegations of serious historic misconduct. As we understand, they relate to incidents that took place between 2012 – 2017 in the Higher Education institution, with students 18 or older.

‘While we do not yet have the full detail of the allegations, the Trustees of the school have opened an external investigation into the matter and have engaged an independent QC, Rebecca Tuck, to lead that process.

‘In order to ensure this investigation is as rigorous and independent as possible, our Principal Chris Hocking (pictured above) has agreed that it is appropriate for him to temporarily stand down. We support his decision and have appointed our current Deputy Principal Jane Morton to take on the role of Principal while the investigation is carried out.

‘The welfare and safety of our students is our highest priority, and we have a zero-tolerance policy towards any form of discrimination or abuse. We have robust policies and procedures in place to protect the welfare of our students, and as part of this process, we encourage staff and students to bring any incidents, of any kind, to our attention.

‘Any information that comes to light within this investigation will be shared with the relevant authorities and we are already working to make contact with the appropriate stakeholders’.

ArtsEd did not confirm whether the allegations concern Chris Hocking personally.

Spate of allegations published about abuse in schools

There has been an outpouring of allegations of abuse and bullying in schools from current and former students and at universities, following the publicity around the death of Sarah Everard. Latymer Upper School, St Benedict’s School, and Notting Hill and Ealing High School were all listed by students on the Everyone’s Invited website as places where students had made accusations against staff.

Last week the Telegraph published an investigation into drama schools, including East 15, Guildford School of Acting and the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts, which revealed accusations of sexual harassment, bullying and assault.

The journal of professional theatre, The Stage has also exposed harassment and bullying in theatre. A report published by The Stage in 2018 found one in five students reported having experienced sexual harassment.

ArtsEd is a hugely popular institution with an outstanding academic record and has continued to be popular with students and parents despite the lack of prospects in the performing arts during the pandemic. In 2020 the ArtsEd schools were over-subscribed. They are also very successful at placing students in West End shows and film and TV work.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: West London schools names in students’ accounts of sexual abuse

See also: ArtsEd ‘over-subscribed’

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.

Summer Dining in the Garden Pavilion at Chiswick House

Image above: The Garden Pavilion, Chiswick House

Chiswick House has launched a new fine dining experience for the summer months. The Garden Pavilion is a collaboration between Food Show Events and Chiswick House and Gardens Trust in the big marquee which they also use for weddings.

Chefs-Patrons CEO Andrew Gosling and partner and Chef Director Max Uyanik are serving lunch, dinner and afternoon tea using seasonal British produce including fruit and vegetables fresh from the Kitchen Garden.

Max told The Chiswick Calendar they have been working with Chiswick House for years, catering weddings and commercial events. In 2019 they won the contract to provide sole catering for Chiswick House, which turned out not to be quite what anyone expected in 2020.

So this year they’ve come up with something new for the people who are tentatively coming back to dining out. The Pavilion is large and spacious and there is also outside seating.

Opening times

Lunch, 12.30 – 3.30 pm, Friday / Saturday / 12.00 – 6.00pm Sunday

Afternoon Tea, 3.00 – 5.00 pm, Friday / Saturday / 3.00 – 6.00pm Sunday

Dinner, 5.30 – 9.00 pm, Thursday / Friday / Saturday

Reservations are recommended.

Images above: Garden Pavilion at Chiswick House; Afternoon Tea

Sample menu – Afternoon Tea

The menu will be constantly changing, but a sample at time of writing is:

Afternoon tea, from £34.50 per person

Finger sandwiches –  Corn fed Coronation chicken and mango emulsion on granary bread / Organic Burford bown egg mayonnaise and mustard cress on white bread (V) / Forman’s organic oak-smoked salmon and lemon fromage on brown bread / Baby cucumber and minted cream cheese on campagrain bread (V).

Sweet pastries – Home made plain and raisin scones with Cornish clotted cream and strawberry conserve / Valrhona chocolate and salted caramel eclairs / Raspberry and almond financier / Black Forest gateaux / Green tea parfait yuzu gel and black sesame ash.

Served with a selection of Twinings Loose Tea Infusions.

Sample menu – Lunch / Dinner

Lunch, Prix Fixe menu, two courses, (main and dessert) £38.50 per person / Dinner, Prix Fixe menu, three courses (starter, main and dessert) £48.50 per person.

Starters – Foie Gras and Gressingham duck terrine, pickled garden pears, candied pecans and warm brioche / Passionfruit cured organic salmon, mango salsa and lime crème fraîche / Nutbourne heritage tomato salad, burrata, black garlic, basil ice cream and sea coral buckwheat tuile (vegan option available).

Main courses – New Season duo of lamb, cannon and pressed crispy belly potato galette, braised garden peas, grilled baby courgettes and lamb jus / Pan seared fillet of Cornish sea bass, risotto primavera, Wye Valley asparagus and Parmigiano-Reggiano snow / Wild mushroom and summer truffle pithivier, pommes purée, wilted spinach and cep purée (vegan option available).

Desserts – “Edible flowerpot” carrot cake, carrot fluid gel, carrot spaghetti, cream cheese frosting and coffee crumble / Deconstructed pina colada, coconut pana cotta, passionfruit fluid gel, compressed pineapple and rum sorbet (vegan option available) / Chocolate and raspberry delice, roasted hazelnuts praline, raspberry sorbet and cacao nib crisps.

Club Card offer

Holders of a Chiswick Calendar Club Card will be offered a free glass of fizz (sparkling wine) or soft drink, such as non-alcoholic cider, with lunch, dinner or afternoon tea.

Images above: Food Show plates and Chef Director Max Uyanik

Chefs – Patrons

CEO Andrew Gosling founded Food Show in 1987 and has built up the business to provide high end catering for special events.

‘Our energy, passion and creativity are evident in our innovative food and event concepts, all of which are tailor-made and designed to delight both the palette and the eye. We pride ourselves on excellent customer service, maintaining the very best client experience with skilled staff who continually exceed expectation with their passion for delicious, elegant food and stunning events’.

Max Uyanik became Andrew’s partner and Chef Director in 2010, after working at some notable London restaurants including Bibendum Kensington, Bluebird Chelsea and Troubadour on Old Brompton Road.

Andrew says Max is ‘one of the most innovative chefs in the industry and is driven to create excellent modern menus which are visually stimulating and exceptional in flavour’.

Max has focused on menus with British/European influences, making the most of stunning seasonal ingredients and cutting-edge cooking techniques.

Image above: Garden Pavilion at Chiswick House

Contact

The Garden Pavilion at Chiswick House and Gardens, Burlington Lane, Chiswick, London W4 2RP
Tel: 07759 495245
gardenpavilion.co.uk/

To make a reservation see gardenpavilion.co.uk/reservations

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Chiswick Cinema reveals opening date

See also: Chiswick Flower Market gallery of pictures, June 2021

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

 

Episode 55: Cricket’s clarion call… from the man who delivered it

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 about fifteen years no England Test match seemed complete without the golden notes of Billy Cooper, the professional trumpeter who accompanied the Barmy Army. It made him the best-known musician in the cricket world since the celebrated pianist Don Bradman. He shares his memories of matching music to the many moods of cricket with Peter Oborne and Richard Heller in their latest podcast.


More Platforms

Billy shares his early cricket life, interrupted at secondary school when the demands of music crowded out sport, but resumed in his thirties in the Players team of “musicians and oddballs.” Cricket is an easier sport for trumpeters if they protect their teeth than for keyboard players, who cannot afford to risk a professional career with broken fingers.

Billy describes his recruitment into the Barmy Army in 2004 when he went to Barbados to watch the penultimate England Test against the West Indies. He lost his unusual blue trumpet – but then spotted it among the Barmy Army supporters at the far side of the ground in Barbados. To reclaim it they made him play an audition piece. It led to a free ticket to the next match – when Brian Lara made 400 – and the rest is musical history.

The following summer he helped the Barmy Army to sing England to victory in the great Ashes series. In recognition of their contribution, they were invited to joined the massive public celebrations in Trafalgar Square. Billy describes crouching nervously behind Marcus Trescothick and the warmth he experienced from him and the England captain Michael Vaughan. The whole team signed the trumpet he used in the series, which is now in retirement as a historic artefact.

In 2016 he also enjoyed a special invitation to join the England team sing-song (led by Jimmy Anderson) at the end of their South African tour.

Billy outlines the transformation of the Barmy Army from a loose-knit bunch of supporters into a slick business with a strong brand identity. The founder, Paul Burnham, registered the Barmy Army as a business name after its foundation in the 1990s, an astute move given that its  Australian equivalent, the Fanatics, was recently valued at over $6 billion as a private company.

Billy responds to common criticisms of the Barmy Army as noisy louts who drink too much and blight matches for others. He describes its efforts to police “the odd idiot” and his own role, through music, in preventing its dissent into mindless chanting. In recent times, Afro-Caribbean campaigners have suggested that English cricket authorities have shown preference to the predominantly white Barmy Army at English grounds when West Indian steel bands have been excluded. Billy notes that the Barmy Army includes black and Asian England supporters and suggests that its predominately white middle-class composition may reflect the general drift of English cricket into being a white middle-class sport. He thinks that every Test side should be able to enjoy its own vocal and musical support within a crowd, especially (as had become usual before the pandemic) if there is enough space for other spectators to avoid them if they wish. Lately he has witnessed the noisy and percussion-led support for India of the new Bharat Army: the Barmy Army is now playing parallel “Test series” against them as well as their “Ashes” contests against the Fanatics.

Before “retiring” from the Barmy Army last year, to give more time to his young children, Billy had travelled to nine different countries to watch England play Tests, including Dubai and Abu Dhabi during Pakistan’s long international exile. He describes his favourite and least favourite grounds, and the ones which banned him (including Brisbane after a performance of the theme from Neighbours), but nearly all overseas grounds have welcomed him and the Barmy Army. He is generally saddened by the relocation of grounds away from city centres where they could draw casual spectators and by the consequent disappearance of traditional caterers and vendors. In England, Lords and Trent Bridge were generally closed to him, but he was able to add them to his roster during the 2019 World Cup, when they lost their jurisdiction to the ICC.

Ashes tours were becoming increasingly expensive and regimented for the Barmy Army, and he had most pleasure in visits to outlying grounds in other Test-playing countries. He went on England’s last tour of Pakistan before its exile. Expecting a dry tour, he was delighted to discover the International Club in Lahore – for foreigners only – with the atmosphere and refreshment of a rugby club bar at home. He met the overseas umpires and officials as well as the England team, and beat two of its players on its pool table. Occasionally he met and jammed with local cricket supporters, including the brilliant St George’s brass band in South Africa, made up of young underprivileged musicians learning to play by ear.

Billy was famous for matching music to players and settings. Neil Wagner of New Zealand, Dean Elgar of South Africa were always greeted with their namesakes as was Andrew Strauss (Johann rather than Richard). In Dubai he produced the theme from Lawrence Of Arabia, especially appropriate since both Peter O’Toole and Omar Sharif were enthusiastic cricketers. He plays out the podcast with a few of his favourite matchup tunes and titles for players (including Abba’s Moeen Me, Moeen You) – and a famous signature tune.

Get in touch with us by emailing obornehellercricket@outlook.com, we would love to hear from you!

Listen to more episodes of Oborne & Heller

Previous Episode – Episode 54: George Headley and a supporting cast of two emperors, one king and Evita Peron, in Latin America’s cricketing drama

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

We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Bedford Park Flower Festival

Images above: Flower arrangements in St Michael & All Angels Church

The Bedford Park Festival 2021 begins next Saturday (12 June). No Green Days weekend sadly, but the usual entertaining mix of classical music concerts, theatre productions and talks, children’s activities and Open Gardens. Plus the Summer Exhibition (in person and online) and the Photography competition / exhibition (also in person and online).

One event revived with the post-lockdown theme of ‘New Beginnings’ is the Bedford Park Flower Festival, celebrating 50 years since it was first held in St Michael & All Angels Church. They’re looking for flower arrangers, young and old, to contribute an arrangement.

The Flower Festival will take place in the church from 25 June -27 June.

The organisers say: ‘We want to adorn the church with flowers’.

The flower show is open to all (adults and under 16s) who wish to contribute an arrangement on the theme “New Beginnings.” For the adults there are three categories, pillar, pedestal or table arrangement and for the Under 16’s a table arrangement.

The competition for the best in each category will be judged by the public. Wheelers Garden Centre is generously donating prizes for the adults and Waterstones bookshop is donating prizes for the under 16’s.

Complete novices welcome

‘It doesn’t matter what level of skill entrants have’ the organisers say, ‘the more entries the better. Complete novices are most welcome. Please use fresh flowers and foliage (bought, or from the garden) and you may add any items which illustrate the theme (eg a written quote or other materials)’.

To enter an arrangement costs £5.00 (£2.00 for under-16s) and to visit the Flower Festival in the church (including a voting form to choose your favourite display) costs £2.00. All monies collected will be distributed amongst the Church and its three charities.

Deadline for entry – 14th June.  Entry form here: bedfordparkfestival.org

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Bedford Park Festival Photography Competition 2021

See also: Bedford Park Festival Summer Exhibition

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.

June 2021 Flower Market Gallery of pictures

A lovely sunny day for Chiswick Flower Market on Sunday 6 June 2021

Thanks to Frank Noon and Anna Kunst for some beautiful pictures.

Images above by Frank Noon – FrankNoon.com

Images above by Anna Kunst – annakunstphotography.com

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Tabard Pilgrims Cricket Club seeking new recruits

See also: From Hogarth to Peter Blake

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Walk-in vaccinations for all ages available on Sunday 6 June

The vaccination clinic at Brentford Leisure Centre has Pfizer jabs available for walk-in adults aged 18 and over on Sunday 6 June from 9.00 am – 4.00pm.

The clinic has published a message saying they had low take-up for their sessions on Friday 4 and Sunday 6 June.

‘In order to avoid wastage we have decided to open up the clinic for walk ins just like the Twickenham clinic. Please let your freinds and family, everyone 18+ know to come down and get their vaccine. I am also asking everyone who is on social media to post in social media, post in Whatsapp groups to help fill our clinics’.

There has been some confusion in social media as to whether this message is correct, with contrary messages from official looking sources. But The Chiswick Calendar has heard of several young people turning up on Friday and being vaccincated. This is one message we received:

‘Hi all, it’s real. A friend’s son (18) was turned away as a walk-in this morning but was successful this afternoon. It’s based on the number of people who turn up, so be persistent.

Nigel Walley (Chiswick resident) tweeted on Friday:

‘I have seen tweets saying there are no walk-ins. This is not true! My son aged 22 just did a walk-in and got jabbed. Very pleased. Thank you @NHSEnglandLDN’

If you’re 18+ and would like to be vaccinated, it’s clearly worth going along and queuing. Take ID and your NHS number.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Chiswick Cinema reveals opening date

See also: Thousands of people vaccinated at Twickenham stadium

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.

 

 

 

Plaques stolen from First World War memorial bench

Image above: The memorial bench at the last Remembrance Day; photograph David Beresford

A number of plaques have been stolen from the First World War memorial bench outside St Michael & All Angels Church, on the corner of Bath Rd and The Avenue in Bedford Park.

Eight of the 17 metal plaques that name the dead have been prised from their place on the back wall of the stone seat, which was created by subscription of Bedford Park residents, and specially designed by architect Inigo Triggs in 1918.

David Beresford told The Chiswick Calendar the Church is not sure whether the motive for defacing the memorial was vandalism or theft. The plaques are only about eight inches square and each bear the name of a man associated with the local parish who died during the First World War while serving as a member of the armed services.

It is not the first time plaques have been taken from the bench. Those that have been removed now were themselves replacements for the original plaques, which were stolen in the 1980s.

Image above: The memorial bench with eight out of 17 plaques removed; photograph David Beresford

“I’m very dispirited that somebody should want to do that” he told The Chiswick Calendar. “There can’t be much value to them”.

David was the principal researcher when St Michael and All Angels Church undertook a centenary project to discover the lives of the Bedford Park Parish’s casualties. The results of his research can be seen here: St Michael and All Angels World War One Project

In and around the church there are memorials with the names of 128 men and women who died in the war and were somehow connected to the church and/or the local area.

“I’ve come to know a lot about these people. They’ve become real and I’ve come to look on them as chums, with affection” David told us.

Image above: Close up showing where the plaques have been prised away; photograph David Beresford

The site of the memorial belongs to Hounslow Council rather than the Church and both the council and the police have been notified.

When he was doing his research David got in contact with quite a few distant relatives of those who were memorialised. It was the families of the fallen who made sure their names were added.

“Their families got them included because they felt they should be respected and remembered”.

These are the names of those memorialised on the bench. Those with asterisks against them are on plaques which have been stolen.

1. Dudley Cecil ALDIN
2. Cyril F AUSTIN
3. Rowland Hurst BOURNE
4. C Ernest Brooks WARD
5. Hubert C deZ COLLIER
6. Maurice CLIFT
7. Alfred H COATSWORTH
8. L Drummond COLLINS
9. Oliphant DOWN
10. Arthur Edward FOSTER
11. George FULTON
12. Conrad Michael GIBSON
13. Arthur Rowlett GILL
14. John Henry GRAYSON
15. Kenneth HALLWARD
16.Archibald HOLLAND ***
17. Kenneth KEMP ***
18. Arthur Greenwell LAX ***
19. Noel Oliff LEE
20 Norman LITTLE
21. Harold LONGHURST
22. Derek LUTYENS
23. Reginald Walter MCKWELL ***
24. Maxwell MALLALUE ***
25. Clive Guise MOORES ***
26. Peter NASH ***
27. Lionel F C NEILL ***
28. Frank NEWINGTON ***
29. George Constantine PAUL ***
30. Rolly PIFFARD ***
31. Ivor R POGESE ***
32. Hubert Arthur POPE ***
33. Albert Alexander ROBINSON ***
34. Wilfred ROWE ***
35. G Philip ROWLANDSON ***
36. Charles William SCHWABEN ***
37. Henry Robert SCHWABEN ***
38. Carlos STEVENSON ***
39. Arthur Brian WHITE ***
40. C Edgar A WILSON ***
41. Laurence T WILSON ***
42. Joseph George WOOLF ***
43. Richard F C YORKE ***

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: WW1 – How Chiswick fared during the Great War

See also: Tabard Pilgrims cricket club seeks new recruits

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 Cinema reveals opening date

The team behind Chiswick’s long-awaited new cinema has announced that, subject to Government guidelines, they will open their doors on Friday 25 June 2021.

There will be priority booking for Founder Members and then Gold Members. Founder memberships, which offer perks such as invitations to screenings, previews and discounted tickets, were launched in 2018 and were all sold by the end of 2019. Gold and Classic memberships went on sale in December 2020 and are still available.

The various membership packages offer a certain number of free tickets and discounts. Founder Members are being invited to a series of ‘soft launch’ screenings and will then be able to exercise their right to priority booking. Chiswick Cinema also offers an Under 25s Membership which includes £5 tickets until 5.00pm, no online booking fee, 10% off food and beverage and £1 off selected drinks.

Image above: The Founder Members’ Terrace at the new Chiswick Cinema, featuring the green wall; photograph Jeremy Vine

Opening with crowd pleasers, including James Bond and Top Gun

When the cinema opens, film fans will be able to choose from three cinema screening rooms seating around 100 people each and two smaller screens, one of them for hire as a private screening room seating 15 people, with a private dining space adjacent.

The Chiswick Cinema tells us:

‘Highlights for the coming months include big screen blockbusters such as James Bond, Top Gun: Maverick, House of Gucci and West Side Story, alongside smaller independent offerings such as Riders of Justice, and The Reason I Jump.

‘Paramount to The Chiswick Cinema’s programming will be event cinema with live broadcasts from The Met Opera, Bolshoi Ballet, music events and the National Theatre’.

Image above: Close up of the green wall; photograph Jeremy Vine

One of the features of the cinema is its ‘green wall’, recently installed. At over 100 metres squared and using over 5000 plants, the Living wall, which enhances the Founders Members’ Terrace, has already become a feature of Chiswick High Rd. The organisers say the biodiverse habitat is already attracting local wildlife.

Two and a half years in the making

The cinema has been two and a half years in the making. Work on the site of the old Ballet Rambert studios at 94-96 Chiswick High Rd started at the end of 2018. Construction was held up first of all by squatters and then by the pandemic.

Lyn Goleby, the woman behind the project is formerly of Picturehouse cinemas and has years of experience in the cinema industry. During the second lockdown in 2020 she told The Chiswick Calendar that small, independent cinemas were particularly affected by the need to enforce social distancing.

“It’s probably a good thing that we won’t be ready to open until next year” Lyn Goleby told us then. “Every cloud has a silver lining and this is ours. With all that’s going on in the cinema industry at the moment we would probably be mothballing it if it were ready to open now.

“There will be a really good film schedule for next year” she added, “with all the films that have been put back as well as all those that were scheduled for release next year”.

The programme will include a carefully cultivated selection of modern blockbusters, independent films, event cinema and special events.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Bedford Park Festival 2021

See also: Thomas Becket exhibition at the British Museum: Troublesome priest or people’s martyr?

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Abundance London gives up Town Hall garden

Image above: The Flagpole Garden in full flower; photograph Abundance London

Abundance London will no longer look after the garden outside Chiswick Town Hall. The voluntary organisation, which carries out environmental projects, has looked after the Town Hall garden since 2015.

Abundance volunteers look after a number of patches of public and council land in Chiswick. They recently published a ‘treasure map‘ of locations where they have created ‘pocket gardens’ to teach children the value of caring for the urban environment in which we live, awarding prizes to those who visited all the gardens on the map.

Karen Liebreich, Director of Abundance London, said:

“The group is currently reviewing the gardens it looks after around Chiswick and as part of this review it has decided to hand back the Town Hall Garden to the care of LB Hounslow at he end of the month.

“London Borough of Hounslow recently took back the running of the leisure centres and Town Hall buildings throughout the borough from Fusion Lifestyle.

“Fusion had covered the Town Hall garden in concrete and plastic grass and installed a large advert. Abundance London – in partnership with the Friends of Turnham Green – took over the area, sledge-hammered out the concrete and restored the garden. For the past six years we have funded, planted, weeded, litter picked and watered the garden”.

Image above: Planting the Flagpole Garden in March 2015; photograph Abundance London

The central feature of this garden is the flagpole, so this area represents the heart of Chiswick’s formal municipal presence. The current formal knot garden style planting was designed by Jutta Wagner.

“Cheryl Lanyon, assisted by Julie Aldridge and Jennie Figaro, have looked after it beautifully” said Karen.

“Cheryl’s departure from London, in conjunction with a review by Abundance, mean that the time has come for Abundance London to hand over this garden to the care of the London Borough of Hounslow”.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Heathrow opens separate Red List arrivals too late says Ruth Cadbury

See also: Ealing Council’s cost cutting ‘putting women at risk’

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.