Hounslow Conservatives elect new leader

Image above: Conservative councillors Allan Joseph, Peter Thompson and Jack Emsley (left to right)

Chiswick Riverside Councillor Peter Thompson has been elected as Leader of the Conservative Group on Hounslow Council. Formerly Leader of the Borough of Hounslow for four years, Cllr Thompson was elected at the Conservative Group AGM on Monday evening to replace Chiswick Homefields Cllr Gerald McGregor after two years in the role.

Cllr Thompson has pledged to continue his predecessor’s policy of “constructive opposition” to the new Labour administration. In addition to “pushing the council to adopt a cleaner, greener recovery”. Cllr Thompson says he will fight for a council which listens to residents on local issues such as transport, development and the cost of living.

Peter led Hounslow’s Conservative Group between 2014 and 2017. He was not a candidate in the 2018 local elections and waited until 2022 to stand for election again.

New leader “extremely honoured” by election

“I’m extremely honoured to be asked by my colleagues to lead the Conservative Group on Hounslow Council,” said Cllr Peter Thompson. “Post-election, and post-pandemic, residents want a new deal from their local council. I am determined to act as a strong voice both for the Conservative opposition, but also for residents across the borough who want more from this council.”

In his acceptance speech at yesterday evening’s Conservative AGM (Monday 30 May), Cllr Thompson paid tribute to Cllr McGregor’s hard work as leader of the opposition both during the pandemic and throughout the local election campaign. Cllr McGregor led the local Conservative Party to keep the same number of seats in Hounslow (losing one in Chiswick but gaining another elsewhere in the borough), bucking the national trend.

Cllr Thompson will lead the group at this evening’s Council meeting, the first formal meeting of the new council since the local elections on 5 May.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: The frustration of being continually in opposition in LB Hounslow

See also: Majority of residents think Staveley Rd barrier is a success

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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Review: Pitchblack Playback at Riverside Studios: Radiohead’s OK Computer (20th Anniversary Edition)

Review by Bartley Chipchase

We all get off our ass and we drive to a theatre and sit down in silence, turn our phones off, and in the dark watch a movie. That’s incredible that we’re still doing that. I just want that same reverence for music.” – Jack White

This week, I went to Pitchblack Playback, a series of immersive listening sessions inviting the music-loving public to hear classic LPs like never before in cinemas and other intimate spaces.

Set up in 2016 by DJ, producer and promoter Ben Gomori, the events have built up a bit of a cult following in other venues across London and other cities worldwide, and fortunately have become a somewhat regular occurrence at Riverside’s 192-capacity main cinema. I had been meaning to make a trip since December when they did a play through of Tame Impala’s Currents (2015), one of my all-time favourite albums.

Since that time they have played a variety of classics such as Fleetwood Mac’s Tango in the Night and U2’s The Joshua Tree, as well as more contemporary albums such as Kanye West’s 808s and Heartbreak. I figured it was high time I went to try it out for myself, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

OK Computer is still considered by many diehard music fans as one of, if not the, greatest albums of all time. It’s one of those behemoths of the industry which is often alluded to but is very rarely equalled. It boasts a number of Radiohead’s biggest singles but also has the perfect balance of slower, softer numbers which punctuate it for a regular listening experience.

Images above: Riverside Studios’ Cinema; Pitchblack Playback’s complimentary eye-mask

The lyrics depict a world fraught with excessive consumerism, social isolation and political malaise; and it’s often seen as giving a prescient insight into the mood of 21st-century life. It is therefore no surprise that it continues to feature heavily in shows such as Black Mirror and After Life, which have a dystopian gloom that Thom Yorke seemed to allude to.

However, It’s not just the lyrics of the album which make it stand out. The unique production qualities are an essential part of the experience as the band used unconventional techniques, including natural reverberation through recording on a staircase, and no audio separation for a more ‘live’ sound. 

Songs like No Surprises and Karma Police would stand up on their own as great tunes stripped back or played acoustically, but it’s the weird, distorted sounds and synths which really warrant this album being played on a big ‘**** off’ sound system for extra detail.

Performances typically start around 8.45 pm, so there is plenty of time to enjoy a pint in the main bar which overlooks the iconic Hammersmith Bridge. The outdoor tables are hot property, so make sure to arrive early if you want one, although there is plenty of space inside if you can’t.

Image above: Riverside Studios

Once inside, after a quick, to-the-point introduction from one of the Riverside staff (a duty that we’re told is often carried out by founder Ben Gomori himself), the lights are switched off and then a quote from Thom Yorke booms across the auditorium.

What follows is an utterly captivating experience, the sheer volume is incredible. The heavy guitars of opening tracks Airbag and Paranoid Android sound absolutely monstrous, a bit like being at the front of a gig but with incomparably better quality.

On the other hand, tracks like Subterranean Homesick Alien stand out for having these weird but serene waves of synths which twist and shimmer around the room. The speakers also help instrumental moments like on Exit Music for a film really stand out and sound intimate.

One of the things that struck me most was how attentive and engaged the audience were, despite the theatre being almost completely full. This was almost the polar opposite to a recent visit to see Dr Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which had a particularly annoying horde of teenagers that whooped and cheered the entire way through. By some miracle, in Pitchblack Playback’s case, the whole theatre stayed silent for 53 minutes, savouring every detail from start to finish, even during the silences between the tracks.

I left Riverside with a new appreciation for the album, and will definitely make a return. I’d highly recommend going for an album you love already, but it will also help you appreciate less familiar albums if you want to give it a trial run. If possible, I’d also recommend booking early to get a seat in the middle of the room in order to appreciate the full stereo field at its best.

Pitchblack Playback will next be playing Taylor Swift’s Folkore at The Castle Cinema in Homerton, followed by a playthrough of Prince and the Revolution: Live at Acoustics Creations in Highgate. Keep watching our events calendar for the next playthrough at Riverside Studios.

Support The Chiswick Calendar

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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.

 

St Paul’s Church Grove Park celebrates 150 years

Image above: We are 150 poster for the St Paul’s Church, Grove Park 150th birthday celebrations

A festival of two halves

You’ve heard of a game of a two halves, well this is a festival of two halves: part one of the special festival to commemorate 150 years of St Paul’s Church in Grove Park opened in May. It has taken a two week break and will recommence with part two after the Jubilee weekend.

Part two includes concerts, talks, special services and a flower festival… I talked to the Church warden, Sara Hodson, to tell me a little more about what to expect.

“Part of the aim of this festival is to engage the wider community, not just our regular worshippers but a whole range of local groups who are interested in art, music, poetry and more” Sara said.

“One of the positive developments of the pandemic was the coming together of people in our weekly virtual socials and many of these are still continuing today.”

The church’s poetry group started during the first national lockdown and the group has kept meeting as a weekly online gathering ever since, sharing poems and prose on chosen themes. There will be plenty more opportunities to meet like minded local people in the weeks ahead.

Image above: St Paul’s Church, Grove Park

The building was consecrated on 1 June 1872 and was funded by the Duke of Devonshire, and its arrival established Grove Park as its own distinct parish, with many of the houses in the area also dating from this time.

The special six week celebrations began with Hear the People Sing (15 May) a concert of music with links to Chiswick. An adult choir of 50 and a children’s choir of 40 were joined by several West-End performers, accompanied by a rousing professional orchestra under the direction of Mike Reed. The programme varied from Chiswick Music Hall numbers to the Beatles, Zadok the Priest to the Artful Dodger.

On Saturday 28 May, The Hounslow Symphony Orchestra played a programme of Mozart and Louise Farrenc. The orchestra performed a wide ranging repertoire and are regular visitors to St Paul’s Church for their well received concerts. Sunday evening featured an evening of joyful, uplifting and reflective poetry chosen and read by the St Paul’s Poetry Group.

If you missed these, fear not, as there are still plenty of events still to come.

Images above: The Addison Singers

English Music for a Summer Evening

The festival will continue, after a two week break, with English Music for a Summer Evening on Saturday 11 June. In this event The Addision Singers will be performing a wide range of English music including works by Dyson, Stanford and Delius, with a special emphasis on Vaughan Williams who shares his 150th anniversary with St Paul’s Church.

On July 17 Local historians, James Wisdom and Val Bott, will be taking us through the history of St Paul’s Church from 1872 to 2022. Speakers will use old maps to show how the shape of the parish and family history resources, such as the Census, to introduce some of those who have lived there and worshipped at St Paul’s.

For those who can’t attend the online lecture, member Catherine Jessop has put up panels up at the back of the church explaining the long history of the parish, these can be viewed during their normal opening hours of Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm. She has also written an in depth article which you can read here.

St Paul’s Church in it’s early years

There will also be performances from Middlesex Yeomanry Concert Band and St Paul’s regulars Kew Sinfonia.

The Middlesex Yeomanry will be playing at the St Paul’s Flower Festival featuring displays from local churches, horticultural and community groups and schools.

There will be tea, coffee and biscuits and music from various local groups in the garden (weather permitting). Come and enjoy the loveliness of the flowers and then relax with a home-made cake and some music.

‘The idea is to fill the church with vibrant colours and wonderful smells’ Sara told the Chiswick Calendar. ‘There will be a range of imaginative displays from local prep schools and churches, as well as local businesses such as Wheelers’.

The festival will conclude with a Comedy Night showcasing some of the newest young London stand-ups in St Paul’s Garden. Book a table, bring your own dinner, anything from a Glyndebourne picnic to pork pies, and watch sets from some up and coming young comedians. Details are till being confirmed for the evening, which is shaping up to be a perfect finale for the festival.

Sara hopes that any leftover funds from the ticket donations can be used to improve the quality of the garden at the front of the church which unfortunately has fallen into disrepair over lockdown.

‘We hope that one of the legacies of this festival will be a basis to continue thriving as a community centre for another 150 years to come’.

See all the events in our What’s On section below for tickets and full details.

All events in Chiswick:

chiswickcalendar.co.uk/whats-on-in-chiswick

Support The Chiswick Calendar

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

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

 

Man in the Middle 89: The Day of the Empty Nester

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 obsolescence. 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, you can read No. 1: The Letter here

No 89: The Day of the Empty Nester

My wife and daughter are on the staircase organising each other. Though it’s not yet seven in the morning, they’re excitedly swopping instructions like City traders executing an insider’s tip or bossy bees who’ve just discovered a meadow positively popping with pollen a short flight from the hive.

Soon it will be my turn to be organised. So, I don’t bother listening too closely. There’s no point. I will get my orders soon enough and until then there’s no point in getting excited. Or even getting up.

You see, I am just a worker bee. And an indolent one at that. Deciding who should do what, when and how is beyond my pay grade and interest. Or, as an apiologist might put it, beyond my genetically designated social role within the hive. I just lie back and think of the honey.

As I lie half-awake listening to them chatting, I imagine my wife is a bumblebee, only dressed in an RAF Wing Commander’s uniform, about to come into our bedroom and give me instructions for the day.

‘Head 50m North Northwest, turn left at the old Oak tree and you’re there. Acres of pollen. Fill your boots and return by 19.30.’

The door opens.

‘Aren’t you up yet?’

‘Coming my little Queen Bee,’ I reply.

*

The reason my wife and daughter are up this early organising has nothing to do with the fact that:

  1. They both have jobs
  2. Their jobs require them to attend a workplace
  3. Their jobs begin before 08.30

No. The reason they’re doling out decisions at this unearthly early hour is because my daughter is moving out tonight and lots of tasks associated with that are incomplete and unassigned. Today is the Day of the Empty Nester.

Yup. She’s going tonight. She’s leaving home. She’s found a flat and packed her bags, her boyfriend and an old orange Le Creuset pan into a series of boxes and bags, which have been piling up downstairs since last night.

I don’t blame her. I was keen to leave home myself when I was her age. And, frankly, what sort of young woman wants to watch her father’s chins folding down his throat like a slow-moving glacier every night over dinner or hear the same bad jokes again and again like a Boris Johnson apology. No, she’s right. It’s time to jump off the old family coat tails.

*

The Day of the Empty Nester is also the Day of the Chauffeur. Before the door opens and my wife tells me what it is that I need to do today, I know that she will say it would be most helpful if I could help take my daughter’s boxes and bags to the flat in Maida Vale.

‘Like a chauffeur?’ I ask. ‘Or Sherpa Tenzing Norgay?’

‘Whatever helps your imagination get through the day,’ she says.

‘Aren’t you sad?’

‘No, I’m pleased for her.’

‘But this is the Day of the Empty Nesters.’

‘You make it sound like the Day of the Dead.’

‘Well, isn’t it?’

‘No. Our son is back on Monday, you fool. And he doesn’t leave university for three years.’

*

‘I’m worried about your Mother,’ I say to me daughter.

She’s back from work and we’re packing.

‘Why?’

‘This is the first Day of the Age of the Empty Nester and she doesn’t seem to acknowledge what’s happening.’

‘Acknowledge, what? Having to spend more time alone with you once I’ve gone?’

‘No. Not that. Well, not exactly.’

‘With me gone, you’ll be autonomous adults again.’

‘That’s what I’m worried about,’ I say. ‘I mean I think that’s what she’s worried about. That maybe I can’t be that again. That maybe, you and your brother have infantilized me beyond return.’

‘You’re worried she may realise you’re not the person she married before you had kids?’

‘God, no. She realised that years ago.’

‘Would you rather I stayed?’

‘No. You must move on. But I wondered if we could come to a lease back arrangement whereby, I pay you a small fee for coming home every now and again to…’

‘Have dinner?’

‘And stay in the family WhatsApp group.’

‘Go on holiday with you?’

‘Not every year,’ I say.

‘Oh, for God sake. Just pack the car.’

*

The black Toyota Prius reverses up onto the kerb. It stops approximately six inches short of denting our new neighbour’s electric Maserati and then pulls away.

I can’t see through the Toyota’s tinted windows, so I am not sure if my daughter is waving goodbye from the backseat or turning to her boyfriend and saying: ‘Thank God, we’re finally free.’

The cat jumps up on the front wall next to me and rubs itself against my thigh. The bloody thing is insatiable I think it wants a second dinner.

My wife comes down the path, too late to wave. She said her goodbye’s indoors.

‘How long do you think until we see her again?’ I ask.

‘Two days. Maybe three,’ says my wife.

‘So soon? How come, you be sure?’

‘She’s left all her laundry behind.’

Read more blogs by James Thellusson

Read the next in the series – Man in the Middle 90: The Repair Cafe

Read the previous one – Man in the Middle 88: An Offaly nice idea

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.

 

Andrea’s film review – Psycho 4k Restoration

Psycho – 4k Restoration ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Review by Andrea Carnevali

Alfred Hitchcock’s classic horror film, Psycho returns to cinemas. A stunning 4K restoration of the original theatrical cut.

The Bates Motel has opened its doors once again this week across the UK to celebrate Psycho’s new stunning 4K restoration, which include 13 seconds of additional footage cut by censors from the original release: the new snippets don’t actually amount to much (a slightly longer shot of Janet Leigh removing her bra, a prolonged shot of Norman Bates’ hands covered in blood and a few extra knife shots on the murder of the detective) and I’m sure most fans have seen all of them before anyway, but that’s beyond the point.

The chance to re-watch one of cinema’s most iconic masterpieces in this pristine form is just too good to miss.

It seems rather pointless to stand here and review a film which is not only 62 years old, but also had enough books and essays written about it to fill my whole living room.

The stories about its marketing (Hitchcock not allowing anyone to see the film if it had already started) are now legendary, just like the iconic score by Bernard Herrmann, the silhouette image of that house on top of that hill, even that “toilet flush” shot, so controversial for the time…  and of course the shower scene!

What I wouldn’t do to see the audience’s reactions back in 1960 when they saw their leading actress killed half-way through the film in such a brutal and unexpected way.

Nobody is arguing about the film’s place in cinema history, nor about its technical brilliance, Hitchcock’s bravura in creating tension, in conjuring up some of the most indelible images of any film and in surprising the audience with some of the bravest and most astonishing twists ever seen before (or since).

And that’s without mentioning the Anthony Perkins, who made Norman Bates one of the most unforgettable characters not just in the Hitchcock filmography, but in movies in general. So much so that Perkins would struggled against typecasting for the rest of his life.

And whilst I have to say, Rear Window still takes the top spot on my Hitchcock list, Psycho is the one which I re-visit over and over and every time I see something new: still as creepy, unsettling, beautiful to watch, perfectly choreographed and as vital as it ever been.

A film that truly deserving of all the hype it’s had over the years (despite its slightly didactic speech at the end, probably the only thing that dates it).

And while I’m here, I’d like to put down a couple of words of praise for its sequels (especially the second one), which are not as awful as one would imagine, the TV series Bates Motel, which got more and more interesting as it went on. I’ll stay silent on the shot-by-shot remake by Gus Van Sant, possibly the most pointless waste of time that ever graced the silver screen.

Andrea Carnevali is a Bafta winning film maker who lives in Chiswick

Psycho 4K restoration is out in cinemas.

See all Andrea’s film reviews here: Film reviews by Andrea Carnevali

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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 nbsp;

 

Keith Porritt cycles the US coast to coast to raise money for pancreatic cancer research

Image above: Keith Porritt; photograph Anna Kunst

Coast to coast

What do Alan Rickman, John Hurt, Aretha Franklin, Patrick Swayze and Alanah Martin have in common? That they died of pancreatic cancer, the most devastating of cancers. Almost everyone who has it dies from it and more than half die within three months of being diagnosed.

When Chiswick resident Alanah died, leaving husband Keith and two sons, the suddenness of her illness and death was brutal. Ten years on Keith is planning a trip across the United States with a group of friends by bike to raise money for Pancreatic Cancer UK.

“It’s been ten years this October 2022 since we lost Alanah to pancreatic cancer a few months after diagnosis. Alanah was larger than life, hugely generous, and much loved and tragically died aged just 60. She has been with us in spirit every day since” says Keith.

Alanah, originally from Whitstable in Kent, worked as a BBC radio presenter in the early 1990s, giving up full time work to focus on the boys, Jerome and Jacob, being active in their schools and taking up pursuits such as ceramics, upholstery and screen printing.

“She was the person people turned to when they needed help, and she always responded. She was the linchpin of the family. She was a magnet, everything she did she created communities – with neighbours, with her ceramics group, no one had a bad word to say about her. She had a golden aura.”

Image above: Alanah

Keith wanted to do something life-affirming that raised money to fund research and having started long distance road cycling eight years ago to raise money for charities, has decided it is time for the big trip: coast to coast from Astoria in Oregon in early July to Portsmouth, New Hampshire in mid-September, cycling with a couple of school friends.

He, Paul Holbrook and Neville Gray are planning to ride the 3,500 miles, doing 60 – 80 miles a day, giving themselves every sixth day off and sleeping in an RV at night. Another friend, Nic Myers, will be the driver, as well as chief cook and bottle washer.

“Aren’t there mountains?” I ask, picturing the map. If memory serves, that’s right across the Rockies.

“Yes” he says, ruefully, “lots and lots of them.”

It is a well-known route and as far as possible they will be avoiding the trunk roads, mindful of the dreadful injury Olympic rower James Cracknell suffered when he was hit by a truck on a cycling trip in the US.

“It should be the cycle of a lifetime” says Keith. “Apart from forest fires, the heat, bears, lions, snakes and saddle sores – what could possibly go wrong?!

Image above: Keith Porritt; photograph Anna Kunst

Tennis ball stops training

He has been training by riding up and down Richmond Hill and out to the Surrey hills. At home he uses a Tacx, an indoor bike which, linked up to his laptop and a TV screen in the kitchen, which simulates the gradients he expects to be climbing. His road bike has 22 gears.

It was all going so well until he stepped on a tennis ball playing tennis and twisted his ankle. As we met, he had been out of training for a week and was still not allowed to ride his bike. for another few days.

“Any chance you might not be able to do the trip?” I ask tentatively. “No” came the stern reply. Clearly that is not an option.

The friends met at the Royal Grammar School in Newcastle. Keith is a media consultant, Neville a criminal lawyer, Paul was CEO of a medical equipment company and Nic a surveyor, so the trip is self-funded. Having stayed friends all these years they will be supportive of each other rather than unduly competitive, he says. They will stay together and cycle at the pace of the slowest.

They have to be in New Hampshire by mid-September. Arriving any later is not an option, as one of Keith’s sons is getting married.

If you would like to contribute to Keith’s fundraising, the Just Giving page is here: justgiving.com

Pancreatic Cancer UK, set up in 2004, is leading the fight against pancreatic cancer by finding ground-breaking research into early diagnosis and new treatments to find desperately-needed breakthroughs.

It provides specialist support and information to help parents and families cope with diagnosis and to feel supported and live well. It also campaigns for change and is calling for better care, treatment and increased research funding.

For more information about pancreatic cancer and the work the charity is doing, go to pancreaticcancer.org.uk

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar website

See also: Chiswick contingent take part in RideLondon 2022

See also: Tube strikes planned for after the Jubilee weekend

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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 23: Partygate again!

The Three Old Hacks discuss Partygate, racism in sport and the cost of living crisis.

“We’ve never had a situation in the UK where job vacancies are greater than the number of unemployed” says David Smith. “Inflation is the highest it has been since the 1980s.”

Listen to former BBC News sports editor Mihir Bose, Economics editor of the Sunday Times David Smith and political commentator Nigel Dudley discussing the week’s news with the jaundiced eye of those who have been doing it for forty years.


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Listen to more episodes here.

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

Episode 92: Cricket – a prisoner of market forces?

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.

Tim Wigmore and Freddie Wilde won major awards in 2020 for their book Cricket 2.0, tracking the T20 cricket revolution. Tim has now joined forces with one of the world’s leading sports economists, Stefan Szymanski, to write Crickonomics The Anatomy of Modern Cricket. He reveals its essential messages about the inescapable impact of economic and social change on the future of cricket, and surprising conclusions from its data, as the guest of Peter Oborne and Richard Heller in their latest cricket-themed podcast.


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He begins by answering an easy question: can first-class cricket survive? Tim notes that for most of their existence the English first-class counties have needed external financial support, latterly from their share of the international cricket revenues from the England & Wales Cricket Board. Other nations’ domestic first-class teams are even more financially precarious. However, the counties remain economically essential as the nursery of talent for England’s international matches, which generate the greatest media-derived income for English cricket. But market forces are grinding down international cricket: for all their recent successes in all formats, the New Zealand cricket team remains unprofitable and reduced to playing short series. Preserving and promoting Test cricket now requires imagination and collaboration so far lacking in national boards and the ICC. 4-6 minutes

He argues that global cricket is shifting from its historic but unusual model, in which international contests were paramount, to a system more like association football, dominated by domestic clubs. He dwells on “the strange conservatism” of Kerry Packer, whose revolution in the 1970s had never attempted such a shift, but it was now in full swing through the IPL and other T20 leagues. Although some franchises and leagues had foundered in the pursuit of short-term profits, far-sighted enterprises especially in the IPL had seen the wisdom of putting down roots in their cities and regions and opening up new pathways for talented players. In this way, they were supplanting national boards as controllers and shapers of cricket. 6-9 minutes

He predicts continued expansion of the IPL and further weakening of international cricket within the game’s economic landscape. Apart from major events like the World Cup and series between the present Big Three of India, England and Australia, international matches will be less needed as sources of audiences and revenues for cricket and to provide careers for players and generate recognition and income for the best of them. The survival of international cricket between major events (he argues) depends on creating a structure that makes victory and defeat as relevant as they are in the IPL and other successful T20 leagues. Without this, within a decade the best international players might be spending eight or nine months a year in domestic T20 competitions instead of playing first-class and international matches. 10-13 minutes

He suggests a major dilemma for all major cricket countries in keeping alive their domestic first-class teams as nurseries for their international teams, especially when most of their players will never reach international standard. There will always be argument on how best to invest in structures to develop cricket talent and how to generate more revenues for such investment and share them out. He speculates on the possibilities of presenting cricket to niche markets of connoisseurs and calls for greater promotion of Test cricket against T20, which can now look after itself. 14-20 minutes

He strongly criticizes the ICC, a member’s club devoted primarily to preserving the interests of its leading members, and not allowed by them to be more than an events organizer. It had largely abandoned its mission of globalizing the sport and the contraction of participants in the World Cup was a hugely retrograde step. Unlike those in other sports, he has found that many cricket administrators seem positively anxious not to widen the global appeal of the game. 20-27 minutes

Tim acutely analyses class issues in global cricket, especially the continued dominance of élite independent schools as pathways into the professional game. This is not confined to England, and to the annoyance of Australians he has shown how many of their top players were privately educated. Tim also suggests why such schools have generated more top batters than top bowlers. He cites access to élite coaching and its cost as the greatest early barrier to cricket careers for children from low-income families, and notes the intense efforts now being made by independent schools to entice future international players as a marketing device. 27-40 minutes

Tim attributes the recent success of Indian cricket to the discovery of talent from smaller cities and towns outside its six established main centres. The IPL and state T20 leagues have been a major catalyst for this, and so have a growing number of private cricket academies. 9, 41-44 minutes

Tim picks out the features of New Zealand’s cricket structure and strategy which have helped it defy market forces and make the most of its talent, especially the healthy relationship between the centre and the provinces. 45-52 minutes

He hails the success of women’s cricket and its leadership in innovation but worries that the (male) administrators of cricket boards and the ICC will foist on it the same inequalities between countries which he sees in the men’s game. 53-56 minutes

Crickonomics by Stefan Szymanski and Tim Wigmore is published by Bloomsbury

bloomsbury.com/uk/crickonomics-9781472992710/

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

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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.

RideLondon 2022

Image above: Group from west London cycling into central London to take part in the Freecycle

Chiswick contingent takes part in RideLondon

Chiswick cyclists were out in force for the RideLondon events this weekend.

About 200 riders from Hounslow, Ealing and Hammersmith & Fulham rode into London together for the FreeCycle taking people into central London for a family ride around a circuit of roads closed to traffic.

RideLondon was cancelled for two years because of the pandemic, so Sunday’s events were the first since 2019. This year’s event saw much greater participation by women, disabled people and ethnic minorities after a concerted drive by organisers to get a more diverse group of people involved.

This year the route of the long ride out to the countryside and back into London was switched from Surrey to Essex (no motorists fuming as they queued to perform U-turns when they found they couldn’t access the A316 because of a cycle race going across Chiswick Bridge).

Image above: Jan Verschuur and Ruth Mayorcas at Tower Bridge

Not all the locals in Essex were welcoming, as a petition was organised to try and stop the event and tacks were found along part of the route before the day of the ride, but it went off uneventfully except for one man with a suspected heart attack who was airlifted to hospital.

Chiswick cyclist Ruth Mayorcas, taking part with her partner Jan, completed the course, riding 102 miles and raising £1570 for The Bike Project. They didn’t encounter tacks on the ground fortunately, but it was cold, said Ruth.

READ ALSO: Ruth Mayorcas raises money for The Bike Project, giving bikes to refugees

Image above: Hannah Winter Levy and Jeremy Levy taking part in RideLondon jaunt to Essex

Father and daughter team Jeremy Levy and Hannah Winter-Levy were among more than 30 members of the Chiswick Cycling Club to take part. Highlights for them were the banana bar on route and a pint at the end. The fastest time from the Chiswick contingent was rumoured to have been four hours and 22 minutes.

RideLondon was launched in 2013 as a weekend of cycling events covering both elite sport and mass participation. It always features a professional race, which this year was a women’s world tour event held over three days. As well as the Freecycle for families in central London and the 100 mile ride out to the countryside and back there are also 30 and 60 mile routes.

Images above: Ruth and Jan; the banana bar; Group from west London headed for the Freecycle; RideLondon medal; Flying the flag for Chiswick; how it ended

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: What’s happening in and around Chiswick over the Jubilee weekend

See also: Tube strikes planned for after the Jubilee weekend

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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.

Tube strikes planned for after the Jubilee weekend

Image above: London Underground train

24 hour strike Monday 6 June

Around 4,000 London Underground workers are planning to strike for 24 hours on Monday 6 June and many of London’s tube stations are expected to close.

The walkout, organised to take place across the entire network, is part of a dispute between Transport for London and members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) over jobs, pay and conditions.

We could be in for a summer of strikes.

“They could go on for a very, very long time” Mick Lynch, general secretary of the RMT told Sophie Ridge on Sky News “because there’s no sign at the moment that anybody’s backing down on their side of the table.”

Asked whether the stikes could go on for days or weeks, he said:

“We’ll decide that as we go along. We want to make the strike action as effective as possible from our point of view.”

The RMT has accused TfL of trying to “bulldoze through 600 job losses.” Mick Lynch said his members are “not prepared to accept that.

“Station staff play a crucial role in serving the travelling public and were heroes during the 7/7 terrorist attacks” he said.

“Instead of seeking to cut jobs, TfL and Mayor Sadiq Khan need to put further pressure on the government to secure increased funding for the network so we can have a properly staffed modern 21st century tube.”

TfL chief operating officer Andy Lord said:

“On Monday June 6 we advise anyone who needs to use the Tube to consider whether they are able to work from home and only travel if necessary on this day.

“We are expecting severe disruption, which will continue into the morning of Tuesday June 7 too.

“I apologise to customers for this and understand they will be frustrated by this strike action but urge them not to take it out on those who are trying to help.

“We haven’t proposed any changes to pensions, and nobody has or will lose their jobs because of the proposals we have set out.”

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Majority of residents think Staveley Rd barrier is a success

See also: What’s happening in and around Chiswick over the Jubilee weekend

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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.

Majority of residents think Staveley Rd barrier is a success

Residents have got used to the controversial traffic measure

By the dawn’s early light on 1 October 2020, a team of Hounslow Highways workmen arrived in Staveley Rd in Grove Park and installed a barrier as part of a Low Traffic Neighbourhood initiative to stop commuters using the road as a cut through. Twice before they had tried, only to be met with protests from residents.

Now, 20 months on, the barrier has been made permanent with raised kerbs and landscaping instead of unattractive orange plastic, but some still want it ripped out and are hoping to persuade the newly elected Hounslow Council to rethink.

Is that the majority view? The Chiswick Calendar’s reporter Matt Smith has carried out a survey of Staveley Rd and Park Rd, the two streets directly affected by the barrier. The verdict? The vast majority of residents like it and want to keep it.

Image above: Staveley Rd in blossom; photograph Jennifer Griffiths

What do Staveley Rd and Park Rd residents think?

By Matt Smith

I knocked on every door on Staveley Rd and Park Rd and asked all those who answered the same questions: was traffic better or worse along their road since the barrier was introduced and did they think it should stay or be removed. I also asked them to give a few words of explanation for context.

The diagonal barrier forces drivers on Staveley Rd to turn off into Park Rd, to stop it being a direct route from the A316 to Sutton Court Rd, so Park Rd residents have always been more against the idea (see our previous survey carried out a month after in was initially installed). Prior to the installation of the barrier Staveley Rd was a wide, straight road along which commuters liked to speed. Park Rd was a quiet residential road.

Of the 64% of households who took part on Staveley Road, 85% said they wanted the barrier to stay put. 10% said they would like to see it removed and 5% said they were indifferent. 93% said traffic was better along Staveley Road, 2% said it was worse and 5% said they had not noticed a difference.

On Park Road, of the 57% of households who took part, 49% said they would prefer the barrier to stay put. 40% said they would like to see it removed and 11% were indifferent. 61% said traffic had got better along their road, 16% said it had got worse and 23% said they hadn’t noticed a difference.

This snap poll shows there is no majority for removal of the barrier on either road. Staveley Road residents are overwhelmingly supportive of it. The majority of Park Rd residents are either supportive or indifferent. Certainly the angry vocal opposition which remains does not represent the majority view.

Images above: pie charts showing survey data gathered from Park Road by (Matt Smith)

“The introduction of the barrier has literally changed our lives”

Similar to what we found with the 2020 survey, scores of respondents on Staveley Road praised the introduction of the barrier for making the road a safer and quieter place to live. Many said the pros (much less traffic) far out-weighed the cons (the inconvenience of not being able to drive from one end of the road to the other).

Some respondents told me their quality of life was “significantly better” with others saying they had been “miserable and unhappy” before.

One respondent said before the barrier was put in, his children had two near-misses during the morning school run, as cars speeding down the road had hit the door of his car as his children were climbing in.

He said he was so worried a serious accident might happen, he bought orange cones to keep cars away from his own vehicle as his children got in, which he doesn’t need to do anymore because the crossing had made the road “much more liveable”.

A different respondent said he was “a strong believer that change only happens with disruption” and said the disruption caused by the barrier has made the road safer and quieter place to live. Another respondent agreed, saying her household can sleep with the windows open now without fear of being woken up by cars driving past. She praised the council for doing “a really nice job” putting cherry trees on the barrier.

One woman who has two cats told me when she adopted them she worried whether she had made the right decision, as she lived on a busy road affected by rush hour traffic. Since the barrier was put in place she said she has been “much less concerned” and didn’t want to go back to the days when cars would speed down the road.

Another said “the house is more valuable now” because the road was quieter.

One person told The Chiswick Calendar:

“The introduction of the barrier has literally changed our lives” (for the better).

Those who wanted to see the crossing removed included an elderly lady who was worried about emergency service vehicles still being directed to turn into Staveley Road from Sutton Court Road and being forced to make a detour.

One man said the crossing had made the road more dangerous because traffic is forced into making a sharp turn, but admitted there was less traffic, which reduced the chance of a collision. Another resident who does not drive said he would be glad to see the back of the barrier because he said it was “a nightmare” to order Ubers to his house.

Images above: pie charts showing survey data gathered from Park Road by (Matt Smith)

The barrier is “a nuisance” and “unnecessary”

Plenty of Park Road residents told me the crossing should be removed because it was inconvenient for them and their visitors. While some admitted traffic was better, they also wanted to stress  the crossing was still a “nuisance” and “unnecessary”.

One respondent said the crossing should be removed because he was not able to drive directly down to Chiswick Station which “makes life really difficult and complex – fit and able people who can cycle are fine but I have disabled children.”

He praised the “pleasant looking” finished barrier but, referring to changes made since it was installed, said it was unnecessary now other restrictions had been introduced in south Chiswick. LB Hounslow closed off Burlington Lane to entry from the A316 and restricted entry to Staveley Rd (beyond the first few yards) to those with a permit between 8.00am and 7.00pm last autumn.

He also claimed the area was never a massive rat run in the first place.

Another respondent who wanted to see the crossing removed said the whole south Chiswick Liveable Neighbourhood scheme needed to be rethought. She said it takes “so long” to get to Dukes Meadows to take her son to golf and called for a “better and comprehensive solution than closing individual roads”.

One woman said it should be removed because she swims at the New Chiswick Pool and it used to just be a left turn out of Park Road but now she has to drive “all the way around”. Another woman said Hounslow council had “taken away [residents] freedom”.

Most who said the crossing should stay up also said the traffic was better, often citing prior safety concerns before the temporary barrier was set up. One man said he lost a dog ten years ago to a speeding car and said he doesn’t support any effort to remove the barrier “because it’s now a much safer place to live”. Another respondent said it was safer for her and her daughter to cross the road to go to Chiswick Park now, because there is much less traffic.

Another resident told me though it is inconvenient, they “wouldn’t want to sacrifice the quiet road to go back to the way things used to be”. Another, who has changed his mind about the barrier, told me:

“I didn’t support it when it first went in, but now I can’t see a downside to it.”

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: What’s happening in and around Chiswick over the Jubilee weekend

See also: A treasure trove of royal memorabilia from the National Archives at Kew on show for the Jubilee

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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.

What’s happening in and around Chiswick over the Jubilee weekend

Images above: ‘Stamps’ created by children in Chiswick schools to mark the Jubilee, organised by Abundance London and Make & Paint

People stopped at traffic lights on the Sutton Court Rd intersection with the A4 last Tuesday caught a fleeting glimpse of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth on her way into London from Windsor to open the Elizabeth Line. Those cavalcades have become a familiar sight in Chiswick. She is an inspiration to many, a constant presence reliably doing her duty throughout her 70 year reign.

The four day Jubilee weekend, 2 – 5 June, falls at the end of half term week and many of the celebrations are focused on families and children. Abundance London and Make & Paint have organised art competitions in local schools. In all 13 schools took part in a project to design stamps to commemorate the Platinum Jubilee and the results are to be seen up and down the length of Chiswick High Rd in the windows of 70 participating businesses.

READ MORE: Chiswick Jubilee ‘stamps’ go on show

Image above: Teddy Bear’s Picnic, Richmond Park

Tuesday 31 May

Teddy Bears’ Picnic, Richmond Park
Organised by the Friends of Richmond Park there is a Teddy Bears’ Picnic taking place on Tuesday 31 May in the Isabella Plantation. A free event between 11.00 am – 1.00 pm, there will be live music and the opportunity to make a crown and plant some Jubilee seeds to take home. Bring your teddy bear and come and have fun! Read more.

Time Travel Craft Club: Jubilee (all ages), National Archives, Kew
The National Archives at Kew have regular events for children, especially during school holidays, in their Time Travel Club. On Tuesday 31 May they invite you to come and ‘get crafty for the Jubilee’. Create and decorate crafts which are inspired by the documents kept at the Archives on kings and queens in history.

This is a free drop-in event taking place between 11am-2pm in the National Archives’ public restaurant. Come along at any time; no need to book. Read more.

Image above: Jubilee bunting

The Weekend

Jubilee Bunting Craft Sessions, Osterley Park
Osterley Park is hosting bunting making sessions in the Stables Walled Garden from 11.00 am-3.00 pm on 2, 3, 4 & 5 June. They are asking everyone to get creative and make a bunting flag that reflects our community by celebrates something from the last 70 years.

If you’re planning a picnic for the Big Jubilee Lunch on Sunday 5 June, you can bring it to enjoy at Osterley, where they’ll have live music to add to the celebratory atmosphere. Read more.

Which pub?

The Pilot on Wellesley Rd promises a Jubilee weekend of fun, promising Tipsy Tea cocktails, special Menu items, music in the garden from 7.30 pm on Friday, with surprises and giveaways. Saturday there will be live music from Piers (1pm-5 pm) and from Simone (5.30 pm-7.30 pm) and a raffle draw. Sunday features their traditional Sunday roast, quiz night from 7.30pm and a Royal Cocktail menu. Read more.

The Crown in Chiswick High Rd invites you to sample their special Jubilee menu and themed cocktails.

The Bell & Crown and the Steam Packet on Strand on the Green will be in the thick of things on Sunday, as the Bell & Crown have organised Fuller’s Suffolk Punch horses to be there and the Steam Packet is organising the live music and the rowing race.

The George IV on Chiswick High Rd will be providing a barbeque on Sunday as part of the Chiswick Flower Market’s Jubilee celebrations.

Thursday 2 June

Family craft activity, Hogarth’s House
In celebration of the Jubilee weekend, Hogarth’s House is taking a look back at the celebrations of Hogarth’s day. Explore the chaos of his depiction of Southwark Fair using imagination and character exploration. Follow on by making double-sided bunting to showcase revellers both in the 18th and the 21st century.

Suitable for aged 5-11. Tickets £12. Read more.

The Mississippi Swamp Dogs play in the Jubilee weekend at George IV
Our very own Jazz royalty, the magnificent Mississippi Swamp Dogs celebrate the Platinum Jubilee. Showcasing the rich musical heritage of New Orleans and the Southern States, this classy band are superbly led by top swing trombonist & vocalist Jeff Williams together with one of London’s best soul voices Paul Miller on keys, Ned Bennett on saxophone, Dan Redding on guitar and Jonno Lee on drums for another of their exciting shows. Read more.

Image above: Tabard pub, opposite St Michael & All Angels Church, Bath Rd W4

Saturday 4 June

The Big Jubilee Sing
St Michael & All Angels Church
and The Tabard pub are inviting Chiswick residents to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June by singing some of the best-loved songs of her reign.

‘The Big Jubilee Sing: 70 Years of Songs’ will take place on the afternoon of Saturday 4 June 2022 on the piazza and lawn outside St Michael & All Angels Parish Hall, starting at 4.40pm. Singers will be provided with song sheets and there will be a band and an outdoor bar. Free event, just turn up. Read more.

Platinum Playlist, Gunnersbury Park Museum
Gunnersbury Park Museum 
have had the same idea. Their sing-song is from 2.00-4.00pm. Free event, just turn up. Led by baritone Maciek O’Shea and soprano Sarah Minns.

Jubilee printing workshop, Hogarth’s House
To celebrate the Platinum Jubilee Hogarth’s House is taking a look at the Queen’s iconic profile that has appeared on our stamps and currency for the past seven decades. With her profile for inspiration, participants aged 16 + will be using the drypoint printing technique and the intaglio printing press at Hogarth’s House to produce a profile-inspired print. Sessions at 12.30 and 3.00pm, Saturday 4 June. Read more.

St Mary’s Summer Sale
St Mary’s Convent on Burlington Lane is celebrating the Jubilee with their summer sale on Saturday 4 June, from 2.00-4.00pm, featuring ‘Royal Teas’, a ‘Royal Raffle’ and stalls.

Image above: Fuller’s dray horses at Chiswick Flower Market last year

Sunday 5 June

Chiswick Flower Market celebration
The flower market, taking place as usual on the first Sunday of the month, is offering traditional (free) entertainment along with the flowers and shrubs. The entertainment includes a brightly coloured 1900 Victorian carousel for traditional Mary Poppins rides for children (free), Punch & Judy shows at 12.00 and 3.00pm and a brass band from the United Social Club among the musicians providing live music.

Sit outside in the middle of the flower market with all the hustle and bustle going on around you and enjoy the celebrations of Her Majesty’s 70 year reign. Bring your own food or buy from the George IV barbecue or other cafes and restaurants.

Strand on the Green Jubilee celebration
From 12.00 – 6.00pm Thames Rd from Kew Bridge will be closed for Strand on the Green’s Jubilee celebration, with Fuller’s beautiful dray horses giving rides, local school bands performing, Morris dancers, paddle boarding and local bands providing live music. Culminating in an inter-pub rowing race at the end of the afternoon.

Jubilee Picnic at London Wetland Centre, Barnes
The London Wetland Centre is organising an epic outdoor picnic on Sunday 5 June from 12 noon – 3.00 pm. They will have an enormous picnic area set up to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee. Free access to the picnic site. Bring your own picnic or pre-order one from the Wetland Centre’s Kingfisher café. Read more.

Prom in the Park: Ealing’s Platinum Jubilee celebration
Ealing Symphony Orchestra’s sixty musicians will be serving up a unique programme, combining Last Night of the Proms favourites alongside allusions to Ealing’s history and culture, and a chance for everyone to join in as the Jubilee weekend reaches it’s grand finale. Free event. Bring a picnic or pick up refreshments from local outlets. Doors open at 7.00 pm. Concert starts at 7.30 pm.

On into the summer

If you have decided to take advantage of the Jubilee weekend to go away, there are still plenty of Jubilee activities continuing into the summer.

Friday 10 – Saturday 26 June, Bedford Park Festival

The Bedford Park Festival opens with Green Days, the two day fete on Acton Green Common, with funfair, bandstand, beer tent, cake stall and craft village among its many attractions, on 11 and 121 June. Alex Jones, co-presenter of BBC TV programme The One Show will be opening the festival at 11.00am on Saturday.

Saturday 11 June

Fancy Dress Parade, Bedford Park Festival Green Days
On Saturday 11 June this year’s theme for the Fancy Dress Parade is the Queen’s Jubilee. Age 10 and under. Meet 10.30 in St Michael & All Angels Parish Hall (upstairs – entrance facing Acton Green Common). Parade 11.00 am on the Green (opposite Turnham Green tube station). Prizes. Read more.

A cake fit for a queen, Bedford Park Festival Green Days
On Saturday 11 June the refreshment tent is holding a “Cake fit for a Queen” competition, sponsored by The Chiswick Cinema. “Prizes are exciting” says cake stall organiser Jenny de Montfort, “as the Chiswick Cinema has not only donated some tickets but is offering a classic membership as the top prize.”

It is also rumoured that an actor from the Downtown film will act as judge to fit in with the film theme. Read more.

Saturday 18 June

Jubilee biscuit decorating competition for children
St Michael & All Angels Church. Biscuits will be supplied, and decoration takes place on site. Suitable for children aged 5-11 years. Read more.

Image above: The Enchanted Cinema Jubilee Special: Royalty, Rebels & Eccentrics

Saturday 26 June

The Enchanted Cinema Jubilee Special: Royalty, Rebels & Eccentrics
Join the Enchanted Cinema for a unique Jubilee celebration with award-winning international animation set to stunning live scores. Be thrilled by the stunning Big Underground Ball – 20 minutes of breath-taking stop-frame animation from 1987 featuring elf princesses and goblin princes, Lotte Reineger’s cut-out animation Prince Ahmed from 1926 (as old as the Queen!) and Where the Wild Things Are starring Max, King of the Wild Things from 1975.

All scores have been devised by live cinema composers Cabinet of Living Cinema, but they need your help… before the film you’ll be grabbing spoons, drums and even bicycle horns to make sound effects to enhance the film further! Suitable for children aged 6+ Tickets £10. Read more.

Image above: Party on the Pier at Chiswick Pier; library photograph, Anna Kunst

Sunday 17 July

Jubilee Party on the Pier
The annual party on Chiswick Pier has a royal theme this year. As usual there will be live music, a barbeque and beer tent, free boat trips and Amanda’s Action Kids to entertain the children. Read more.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Jubilee stamps go on show

See also: Chiswick’s Big Jubilee Sing

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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.

A treasure trove of royal memorabilia from the National Archives at Kew on show for the Jubilee

Image above: Princess Elizabeth as an ATS girl (Auxiliary Territorial Service) in 1945; National Archives

Rarely-seen documents on show for the Jubilee

Rarely-seen documents, such as the coronation oath with the Queen’s signature, have been made available to view digitally for the first time, as part of The National Archives’ season marking the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee: Royalty on Record.

The Royalty on Record online portal contains digitised collections about Her Majesty’s life, coronation and reign. Among the hundreds of documents available to view is the telegram from Prime Minister Attlee on the occasion of HRH Princess Elizabeth’s 21st birthday, pictures of her as an ATS girl, her wedding, pictures of her carrying out her ceremonial role, her Commonwealth role and family life when her children were small.

Browse the contents here – Royalty on Record

Image above: Lady Frances Cole’s ticket of admission to the coronation of Queen Victoria, 1838

Royal Talks

The National Archives’ programme of talks always has an interesting mix of experts talking about aspects of British history through the documents, photographs and artefacts in their collection. This season’s talks include an opportunity to learn more about the coronations of major royal figures, explaining the importance of the ceremony and the lavishness of the day.

Topics include the coronation of King Richard III and Queen Anne and the power of medieval English monarchy and the story of Thomas Ashe, author of The Claustral Palace: or Memoirs of The Family – an unpublished Regency novel that threatened to cause a royal scandal by revealing the secret lives and loves of the daughters of King George III in their unmarried confinement at Frogmore, (best known to us as the home of Harry and Meghan after they were first married).

The season also includes a brand-new showcase display of records from the Queen’s coronation ceremony at The National Archives home in Kew, available to view for free until 11th June 2022 and craft activities for children during the May half term week as part of the National Archives’ Time Travel club.

Friday 10 June at 2pm – Crown & Sceptre: A new history of the British Monarchy (online)

Inspired by Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, Tracy Borman explores the tumultuous history of the British monarchy.

With 1,000 years of royal history from 1066 to the present day, Domesday Book to Magna Carta, the Field of Cloth of Gold to Prince Harry’s wedding, discover the real story of this institution. In this illustrated talk, Tracy will introduce some of her favourite monarchs and share a few of the secrets behind the crown’s remarkable survival.

Tracy Borman is an author, Tudor historian, broadcaster and joint Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces. She is the author of a number of highly acclaimed books, including Thomas Cromwell: The Untold Story of Henry VIII’s Most Faithful Servant, Matilda: Wife of the Conqueror, First Queen of England, Elizabeth’s Women: The Hidden Story of the Virgin Queen and Witches: A Tale of Sorcery, Scandal and Seduction.

Book tickets

Friday 17 June at 2pm – Power and pageantry: The coronation of King Richard III and Queen Anne (online)

Hear how the summer of 1483 was a spectacular celebration of the power of medieval English monarchy.

The joint crowning of King Richard III and Queen Anne in the summer of 1483 was a spectacular celebration of the power of medieval English monarchy, yet one that was short lived after Richard III lost his crown just over two years later at the Battle of Bosworth.

The coronation maintained the long traditions of royal pageantry and religious ceremony, but was also a key political step in stabilising the country after the discord and turbulence of civil war.

This talk will be presented by Dr Sean Cunningham, Interim Head of Collections – Medieval, Early Modern, Legal, Maps and Plans.  Join him to catch a glimpse of how Richard III intended to build his kingship in an insecure age of rivalries, warfare and depositions.

Book tickets

Friday 1 July at 2pm – A blackmailer at Frogmore: The adventures of Queen Caroline’s ghost (online)

Uncover the gripping story of Thomas Ashe, author of The Claustral Palace: or Memoirs of The Family – an unpublished Regency novel that threatened to cause a royal scandal.

An army officer, a ghost-writer, and a royal blackmailer… A friend of Queen Caroline, Captain Thomas Ashe worked with her and surreptitiously wrote The Claustral Palace: or Memoirs of The Family, that threatened to ‘blow the roof off the Nunnery’ by scandalously revealing the secret lives and loves of the daughters of King George III.

James Travers is Cultural Property Manager at The National Archives. As an author he specialises in analysing the language of historical sources and discovering hidden literary gems in the collections at The National Archives and elsewhere.

He has published four history titles with a literary twist, A Blackmailer at Frogmore: The Adventures of Queen Caroline’s Ghost (Amberley Books 2022) Gunpowder Plot: Terror in Shakespeare’s England (Amberley Books 2019) Gunpowder: The Players behind the Plot (National Archives, 2005), and James I: The Masque of Monarchy (National Archives, 2003).

He regularly engages in media work within his field of expertise and was historical consultant on BBC2’s Gunpowder 5/11: The Greatest Terror Plot (2014). Join him as he explores the gripping story of Thomas Ashe.

Book tickets

Image above: A ticket to Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation, 2 June 1953

Jubilee display

We are lucky that the National Archives is so near to us in Chiswick, just across the river at Kew. An easy trip to see their standing display featuring records from the Queen’s coronation ceremony, which took place in Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953. Entrance to the display is free. Open 24 May – 11 June.

The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, TW9 4DU.

More details

The National Archives is a non-ministerial government department and the official archive for the UK Government, and for England and Wales. They look after and make available to the public a collection of historical records dating back more than 1,000 years, including records as diverse as the Domesday Book and MI5 files. They are also a cultural, heritage and academic organisation which promotes public accessibility to iconic documents while ensuring preservation for generations to come.

Images above: Jubilee decoration, mug, necklace, brooch and earrings from the National Archives gift shop collection

shop.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Jubilee stamps go on show

See also: Chiswick’s Big Jubilee Sing

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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.

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Andrea’s film review – Men

Men ⭐️⭐️ Review by Andrea Carnevali

A young woman goes on a solo vacation to the English countryside following the death of her ex-husband. Out in cinemas.

There’s always a bit of me that feels a bit stupid whenever I get to the end of a film and realise that I have not really understood it. Most of the times, I resent it for making me feel that way.

Men is one of those films.

Directed by Alex Garland (author of The Beach, screenwriter of 28 Days Later and Never Let Me Go, among the others and director of Ex Machina), Men is clearly some sort of provocative metaphor on misogyny and “toxic masculinity”, but beyond that I wouldn’t be able to tell you what actually happened.

Jessie Buckley, who has already proved her acting skills in The Lost Daughter, playing a young Olivia Coleman, is the young woman at the centre of this story. Her sheer presence, with both her strength and fragility carries most of the film.

She plays Harper, a woman constantly misunderstood, threatened and pushed to the brink of madness by a series of ‘men’ who all look the same and all in a way or another seem to represent variations on the same danger.

There’s a policeman, who turns out to be not as helpful as one would wish, a naked stalker, possibly harmless, but still terrifying, a vicar who behind the appearance of a kind man is all too quick to judge and blame Harper for her abusive husband. And so on…

Men is steeped in unsettling and eerie images which makes it all look more like a nightmare than anything that resembles reality and yet, the film seems to be saying “this is reality”, at least for Harper (who obviously represents many other women).

While all this plays out, the soundtrack is constantly filled with weird sounds, drones and horror-like effects, which enhance the sense of dread and fear.

A lot of this is mesmerizing, incredibly creepy, a bit disturbing and, while possibly a bit heavy-handed, it would be quite effective if it weren’t so impenetrable.

I’m sure Men has very valid and interesting messages about the relationship between men and women, particularly in this day and age, but to be completely honest, aside from raising the issues, I don’t really know what else it is actually trying to tell me.

Without giving too much away, the finale explodes into pure hallucinatory horror, with gore and rather explicit special effects.

I can see what Garland is trying to do, but by that time I was more confused and much too bored to be impressed or shocked.

An interesting exercise, but possibly more suited to a short film format than an actual feature length.

But then again… I might be a bit stupid, so don’t take my word for it.

Andrea Carnevali is a Bafta winning film maker who lives in Chiswick

Men is out in cinemas.

See all Andrea’s film reviews here: Film reviews by Andrea Carnevali

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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.

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London Fire Brigade at Chelsea Flower Show to show impact of climate change and flooding

Image above: Mylene Klass with firemen at Chelsea Flower Show; photograph LFB

Protect against flooding by improving your outside space

London Fire Brigade has been at the Chelsea Flower Show with a garden showing what a difference a garden can make to flooding. The Fire Brigade took part in the event for the first time and won a silver award for their display on sustainable solutions through ‘planet friendly’ gardening. They also had quite a bit of attention from celebrity visitors.

The Brigade’s spectacular ‘Act on Flooding’ stand, in the Great Pavilion Discovery Zone, was designed to highlight the issues of flooding in urban areas and featured a tank with a fully submerged car to show the worst-case scenario flooding incidents firefighters could be faced with.

It showed how permeable paving and extra planting can reduce the risk of flooding in people’s homes and what people should do if they are affected by flooding as well as how to prepare for it.

Image above: London Fire Brigade ‘Act on Flooding’ stand at Chelsea Flower Show; graphic LFB

Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Operational Policy, David O’Neill, said:

“Climate change means flooding is getting worse. As a result we are increasingly facing flash floods caused by heavy rain. It’s a problem made worse by poor drainage and the ongoing urbanisation of our environment.”

Paving over gardens and using plastic grass both contribute to the problem.

Image above: Joan Collins with firemen at Chelsea Flower Show; photograph LFB

Planting

The Fire Brigade had advice to give on planting:

“Planting plays an important role in managing rainfall, helping us ‘slow it down, spread it out, and soak it in’.”

  • It helps water to filter into the ground, rather than sit on the surface
  • It temporarily stores rainwater in leafy canopies
  • It allows some water to evaporate from the plant before it even reaches the ground

Guided by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), they advocate putting in plants with large, dense canopies, and rough and hairy leaves allow rainfall to be stored within the foliage, such as Yew and  Cotoneaster franchetii. They also suggest plants with higher rates of evapotranspiration (how water is consumed by a plant) such as Forsythia, Hawthorn and Privet.

For more detail, see the RHS report:  Improving the environmental resilience of UK gardens

Among the recommendations were ideas for rain gardens, which manage rainwater runoff from hard surfaces after downpours, and green roofs, which offer another surface for absorbing water.

‘A rain garden is a shallow area of ground or dip which receives run-off from roofs and other hard surfaces. It is planted with plants that can stand waterlogging for up to 48 hours at a time… Storm water fills the depression and then drains.’ RHS

See RHS ideas for rain gardens: Rain gardens

See RHS information on green roofs: Green roofs

Image above: London Fire Brigade stand at Chelsea Flower Show; photograph LFB

Alternatives to paved front gardens for parking the car

Acknowledging the need for off-street parking, London Fire Brigade suggest gravel, porous asphalt or concrete blocks and grass as alternatives to non-permeable paving, which contributes to flooding.

See LFB advice on alternatives to paving: The problem with paved front gardens

Flooding increased by 12% last year

Flooding incidents increased by 12% in London last year compared to 2020, with more than 7,000 flooding-related calls in total throughout 2021, There were several incidents of flash flooding across the city last summer, with Control Officers taking more than 1,000 calls on two separate occasions.

Images above: Ainsley Harriott and Mary Beard with firefighters at Chelsea Flower Show; photographs LFB

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: A treasure trove of royal memorabilia from the National Archives at Kew on show for the Jubilee

See also: Chiswick’s Big Jubilee Sing

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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.

22 year old fights for life after being hit on A4

A 22 year old man has been left fighting for his life after he was hit by a car on the A4 in the early hours of Sunday morning (29 May).

The collision on Hammersmith flyover happened not long after midnight. The car stopped at the scene and no arrests have been made.

The flyover was closed while an air ambulance helicopter landed to airlift the injured man to hospital. Police say hIs next of kin have been informed he had life-threatening injuries.

Roads in the immediate area were closed for several hours, opening again at around 9.30am.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Ruth Cadbury MP calls for urgent action by the Government to protect women from domestic abuse

See also: Gang who ran brothels in west London jailed

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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.

Andrea’s film review – The Bob’s Burgers Movie

The Bob’s Burgers Movie ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Review by Andrea Carnevali

The Belchers try to save the restaurant from closing as a sinkhole forms in front of it, while the kids try to solve a mystery that could save their family’s restaurant. Out in cinemas.

Bob’s Burger as a TV series has been popping up on our TV screen for more than a decade, scoring seven consecutive Emmy Awards (winning in 2014 and 2017) and steadily building up a loyal fanbase throughout 12 seasons so far, especially among Americans.

It’s those fans that the film will please more than anyone, as they will find constant reminders and winks at past characters and episodes. It is clearly more of an acquired taste (a funny thing to say when you talk about burger makers), but that’s not to say that you won’t be able to follow and enjoy the film, even if you’ve never seen a single episode in the series.

There are glimpses of the original show’s trade-mark irreverence, the razor-sharp humour and fast banter, but for somebody like me who’s relatively new to this universe, the rate of the jokes was a bit hit and miss and the satire felt too diluted in a film that clocked at 1 hour and 42 minutes, proving that this still more suited to the 22 minutes short format.

There were clearly some technological improvements from the original, both in terms of animation and musical soundtrack, but I have to say I found the action scenes, however well executed, like they belonged to an altogether different product, just like the ill-advised musical numbers, especially because none of the songs were particularly funny.

Finally, on a side note, I’m wondering if in today’s society, the gag of representing female characters with male voices may be not just a little bit dated, but actually a bit problematic too… I’ll leave it there.

In the end while my nine year old son enjoyed this much more than I did, I definitely won’t be rushing out to catch up on the series on Disney+ anytime soon.

Andrea Carnevali is a Bafta winning film maker who lives in Chiswick

The Bob’s Burger Movie is out in cinemas.

See all Andrea’s film reviews here: Film reviews by Andrea Carnevali

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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.

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To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here nbsp;

Gang who ran brothels in west London jailed

Image above: Metropolitan Police Territorial Support Group entering the address in Romford

Police alerted by trafficking victim who escaped

Members of an organised crime group who ran brothels in west London have been jailed for their part in the sexual exploitation and trafficking of women from Poland into London and the south east of England.

Specialist Crime detectives identified over 300 potential female victims and safeguarded 134 after one victim managed to escape and alert police.

The four men and one woman were sentenced on Friday 27 May at Isleworth Crown Court.

At their trial in March the court heard how the victim, who was 19-years-old at the time, alerted police in April 2020. She was denied food by one of the gang after she refused to perform sexual services with a client. In sheer desperation and determination she managed to escape and alert police.

Detective Inspector Esther Richardson, who led the investigation, said:

“This organised crime group may never have been identified if it weren’t for our brave and courageous victim, her evidence was crucial to our investigation. I give my heartfelt thanks to her, she enabled us to bring these offenders to justice.”

Image above: Victim, ‘Bella’, who gave evidence to the investigation

“I hope my story will help keep young vulnerable women and children safe”

The victim, using the pseudonym Bella, has since said:

“I hope my story will help keep young vulnerable women and children safe. Modern slavery needs to be stop immediately. After today, I will be looking forward to the future.”

The Metropolitan Police have made a statement saying:

“At the core of the investigation was a small team of specialist officers who worked for 12 months, piecing together what had happened to ensure all the organised crime group were identified. They worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic, working late into the night when the demand in the sex industry was at its highest, to gather evidence.

“In the early hours of Tuesday, 9 February 2021 officers executed five search warrants in Romford, Harrow, Hayes, Forest Gate and Harlow in Essex. They were arrested at their home addresses, along with Lozinski whose home operated as a brothel.”

Images above: Sebastian and Anna Zimoch

The gang were convicted of conspiracy to arrange or facilitate travel of another person with a view of exploitation and conspiracy to control prostitution for gain, after a ten week trial.

Sebastian Zimoch, 48, from Romford was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment.

Anna Zimoch, 45, also from Romford was given a two year suspended sentence, ordered to undertake 150 hours unpaid work and attend 30 days’ rehabilitation requirement.

Images above: Michael Lozinski, Gregaor Borowka and Rafal Lacki

Michael Lozinski, 53, from Hayes was convicted of controlling prostitution for gain and was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment.

Gregaor Borowka, 44, from Harrow was sentenced to three years and nine months’ imprisonment.

Rafal Lacki, 41, from Harlow was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment, however he was released on Friday due to time already served.

The court heard how Lozinski ran five brothels in west London and Zimoch ran two brothels in the Docklands and north west London.

Image above: Male suspect arrested

The ‘business’ began in 2015, run by the husband and wife team, Sebastian and Anna Zimoch. They recruited women, employed a number of drivers and a receptionist. Lacki was one of the main drivers for the OCG along with Borowka, who also worked as a receptionist for Golden Kiss escort services. Both Borowka and Lacki were trusted members of the group.

During this time, one women aged 19 was sexually exploited and trafficked to clients addresses in the West End. On one occasion the victim was taken on a call out to Arab clients, around £3,000 was exchanged for her services for a whole night, with the victim being paid around £200.

In 2020, Lozinski and Zimoch stopped working together.

Sebastian and Anna Zimoch ran an escort website called Golden Kiss, advertising girls for sex work. He, along with his drivers, drove the women to the clients. Borowka accompanied Zimoch during these call outs.

Image above: Feale suspect arrested

This type of exploitation still happening across London

DI Esther Richardson commented:

“Unfortunately, this type of exploitation is still happening across London and the UK. The Met’s modern slavery team works around the clock to identify people involved in human trafficking and forced labour, and we play a role in protecting and supporting hundreds of victims each year.

“We need help from the public as they have an important role to play in recognising and reporting modern slavery. If you suspect someone may be a victim of modern slavery, report it. You will always be taken seriously and protection and support is available.

“Often those affected do not see themselves as potential victims of sexual exploitation and many will have been coerced into this life to make money for an organised crime network. Victims are often told the police and authorities in the UK are not to be trusted and with limited English are unable to seek help, even if they want to.

“We believe there are victims of modern slavery in every borough across London and the public may encounter them every day, possibly without realising. As well as being sexually exploited, victims have been found working in construction, domestic servitude, agriculture, cannabis factories and in places you use yourself, such as car washes, barbers and nail bars.”

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Man charged with murder of Ania Jedrkowiak in South Ealing appears at Old Bailey

See also: Police looking for two men after attack in Chiswick

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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 School teacher wins prestigious teaching award

Image above: Tommy Robinson, Head of Drama and Creative & Performing Arts Coordinator at Chiswick School

The Oscars of the teaching profession

A teacher at Chiswick School, Tommy Robinson, has won a prestigious ‘Pearson National Teaching Award’ for his “outstanding work” as the school’s Head of Drama and Creative & Performing Arts Coordinator.

Regarded as the Oscars of the teaching profession, the National Teaching Awards have been recognising excellence in education across the UK for almost a quarter of a century. Selected from thousands of entries, the awards are given in 15 different categories, from primary through to secondary and FE. Entries are either awarded a Nomination, a Bronze, a Silver or a Gold status.

Tommy was awarded bronze.

A spokesperson for Chiswick School said:

‘To be nominated alone is a fantastic achievement, but to receive a Bronze Award really shows how inspirational and impactful Tommy is to students and the wider community.

‘So far this year Chiswick School has seen 10 productions, described as “truly inspirational and outstanding performances”, with more planned for the coming weeks.

‘Tommy’s hard work, passion and dedication has had a huge, positive impact on so many of our students. Tommy’s inclusive approach in school and collaboration with the wider community is the reason the reputation of Performing Arts at Chiswick School is established as strong and well-respected.’

Their production of Oliver! earlier this month was a huge success. Read The Chiswick Calendar’s review here: Chiswick School celebrates the performing arts.

Image above: Chiswick School, Laura Ellener Headteacher

Tommy “delighted” to receive award

Tommy Robinson said: 

“I would like to thank the school, parents, students and creative community of Chiswick for the nomination, and I am delighted to be given a bronze! It is testament to the hard work of the Performing Arts and the respect that we are gaining. This is the second award nomination for us this year, and we are just getting bigger!”

Laura Ellener, Headteacher, said:

“The teachers at Chiswick School are wonderful and Tommy is no exception. I have no idea how he manages to produce so many amazing performances and I can’t wait for the next one.”

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Chiswick contingent takes part in RideLondon

See also: Majority of residents think Staveley Rd barrier is a success

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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.

Ruth Cadbury MP calls for urgent action by the Government to protect women from domestic abuse

Image above: Ruth Cadbury MP for Brentford & Isleworth

Ruth Cadbury MP has called for urgent action from the Government to ensure that public bodies such as the Police, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Probation Service work together to protect women from domestic abuse- especially from ex-partners.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Thursday (26 May) in Attorney General Questions, Ruth warned that she had seen a number of cases where the different organisations were working in ‘silos’, and were failing to protect victims.

After the debate she said:

‘‘It is vital that the Government play a central role in ensuring that public bodies work together to protect women from domestic violence and abuse, especially from former partners.

“I’ve been extremely concerned to see a number of occasions where various organisations are not working together – which means that victims are falling through the cracks and not getting the protection and support they need.

“It was extremely disappointing that when I asked the Attorney General about this in Parliament she responded with an answer to a question I didn’t ask about a recent review into rape prosecutions, and then proceeded to make a party-political point, which is inappropriate behaviour for the Attorney General, who serves as a law officer in the Government.

“This is not how they should approach these serious issues.’’

Police data shows a 19% decrease in the number of suspects of domestic abuse-flagged cases referred to the Crown Prosecution Service, despite a rise in the recorded crime.

The police recorded 758,941 domestic abuse-related crimes in England and Wales in the year ending March 2020, representing a 9% increase on the previous year, while referrals for prosecutions fell from 98,479 to 79,965.

According to research put forward by the Femicide Census, one woman is murdered on average every three days in the UK and one in every three women aged 16 to 59 will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime.

Visits to the domestic abuse website run by the charity Refuge have increased by 150% in the pandemic and the number of women killed in domestic abuse-related homicides tripled in the first six weeks of lockdown when compared with the same period of the previous year.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Man charged with murder of Ania Jedrkowiak in South Ealing appears at Old Bailey

See also: Gang who ran brothels in west London jailed

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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.

Andrea’s film review – Night Sky

Night Sky ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2  Review by Andrea Carnevali

Veteran actors JK Simmons and Sissy Spacek play Irene and Franklin York, a long-married couple who harbor a science-fiction mystery in their shed. Available to watch on Prime.

Irene and Franklin York are one of the sweetest and most adorable old couples you’ll ever meet. They’ve been married for ages, they know each other inside out and they try to live their lives in peace and harmony. But underneath they’re still grieving from the loss their son 30 years earlier.

The Yorks have also a secret. Hidden away under their shed, there is a secret portal to another world… a sort of viewing chamber overlooking a desolate planet with a skyline as beautiful as unreal and otherworldly. It is here that the couple found refuge and comfort from the grief caused by the loss of their child. “Let’s go and watch the stars” they tell each other before sneaking out at night and sitting down to enjoy the view holding each other hands.

There’s hardly a sweeter image than that in any sci-fi I’ve seen.

J.K. Simmons and Sissy Spacek are absolutely wonderful in this and their presence alone elevates the whole series. If they don’t shower them with awards there is no justice in the world.

Indeed Night Sky at its best is a poignant love story. A look at old age and mortality with a sci-fi twist to it. It is charming, sweet and heart-warming the way sci-fi stories are usually not and it reminded me a bit Cocoon, from the ‘80s, which also dealt with the same issues.

The pace is slow and peaceful, just like the lives of the couple on the screen and I probably could have watched that till the end and have been happy with it.

However, rather frustratingly, that’s not all. There’s a whole mystery at play too. In fact more than one. A mysterious young man appearing out of nowhere, an Argentinian mother and daughter somehow connected to all this, a nosy neighbour and secret societies planning something fishy.

Some of that is intriguing enough, but the truth is that whenever the story veers away from the old couple, the series suffers.

Night Sky tries a bit too hard to create a whole conspiracy of people, which actually is not as interesting as it thinks it is. In fact I really wanted it to be simpler, because that’s when it really shines for me.

Most disappointing of all is the last episode, which not only leaves many strands open for a second season, but weirdly it seems to rush to wrap up certain plotlines in the most idiotic way (which is particularly unforgiveable since the pace was so slow throughout).

If only they could find a way to tighten things up a bit and balance the splendid emotional parts with the mystery underneath, they could have a cracking season 2.

Andrea Carnevali is a Bafta winning film maker who lives in Chiswick

Night Sky is available to watch on Prime.

See all Andrea’s film reviews here: Film reviews by Andrea Carnevali

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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 nbsp;

Cargo bikes – the new cool

Image above: Chris Ghaddar at Fudge’s, Chiswick High Rd

Interview with Chris Ghaddar of Fudge’s Cycles

“When we first stocked them five or six years ago people laughed at us” says Chris Ghaddar, who runs Fudge’s Cycles on Chiswick High Rd.

“Why have you got that box from IKEA on the back?” they asked. Well they are laughing no more. Cargo bikes now account for 15% Fudge’s business, as Chiswick parents are deciding to step away from their car and transport their kids and associated clutter by bike instead.

“Cargo bikes are selling to non-cyclists, people making a green decision to step away from their cars, or at least a second car”.

They buy them rather than two wheeled bikes for the stability, he explained. The most popular brand, Babboe, is a three-wheeler; they are also mostly electric. They take up almost as much road space as a small car and you can boost the degree of support from the battery (Eco-sport / Power / Turbo) to get you out of trouble.

“Chiswick is all about families” says Chris, “moving people around and all the kids round here seem to have to take golf clubs and pianos with them.”

Babboes bikes have little seats for kids which are collapsible to make more room if you are transporting stuff rather than people. Other brands of cargo bike are available as two-wheelers for the more confident cyclist. They cost between £3,000 and £5,000. The battery is removable; it just plugs into the mains.

Image above: A Babboe cargo bike on sale at Fudge’s, Chiswick High Rd

Fudge’s position themselves as sellers of bikes primarily for transport, rather than sport or leisure.

“The bike industry is so huge now you could fill the entire high road with bike shops with different specialisms” he says. You can get a top of the range sport or leisure bike from Fudge’s but their bread an butter is bikes for transport and repairs – from as little as £5 to £1,000 accounts for 50% their business.

The market in electric bikes is growing fast but “acoustic” bikes are still far far the biggest sellers. Unfamiliar with the term, I raise an enquiring eyebrow.

“You hear that everywhere now”, he laughs, “acoustic, as opposed to electric.”

If I wanted one, I’d want to ride it not play it, but no matter, daft as it may be, that is the current terminology.

“More older women are cycling now”, he tells me (I sense a sales pitch). “There is definitely a new shift to people cycling, exchanging their cars for bikes to go to the shops.”

Image above: City bikes at Fudge’s 

They do a roaring trade in what I would call ‘sit up and beg’ bikes – more correctly termed ‘city’ bikes – push bikes with a stand, a basket and mudguards that are comfortable for the 15 minute city journey to get you to the shops.

Fudge’s are part of The Chiswick Calendar’s Club Card scheme, offering 10% off all their stock to holders of a Chiswick Calendar Club Card.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Ruth Mayorcas raises money for The Bike Project, giving bikes to refugees

See also: Katherine Dunne takes over Transport in LB Hounslow’s new Cabinet

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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.

Ruth Mayorcas raises money for The Bike Project, giving bikes to refugees

Image above: Ruth Mayorcas

Ruth Mayorcas, cycling advocate and ambassador, is taking part in Ride London this year with her partner Jan Verschuur to raise money for her favourite charity – The Bike Project.

The charity takes second hand bikes, fixes them up in their workshop and gives them to refugees.

“The reason I chose The Bike Project is that I befriended a refugee who needed a bike. The organiser of the charity West London Welcome had applied for a bike for them, but there was such a long waiting list.”

Asylum seekers live in poverty. They can claim £40.85 for each person in their household to pay for essentials: food, clothing and toiletries, but they are not allowed to work while their claim is being considered and many wait for over a year for even an initial decision on whether they will be able to remain in the UK.

The difference The Bike Project is making to people’s lives is phenomenal. Hassan Akkad, a Syrian refugee, photographer and filmmaker, has made this video to explain how liberating it is to be able to get about by bike if you have no money and what a difference it makes to people’s quality of life.

On target for its 10,000th bike this year

The Bike Project has just donated its 1,000th bike this year. They are projected to reach 10,000 bikes in 2022, donated to refugees since the charity was formed in 2013.

They also run a befriending scheme called Bike Buddies. As a buddy, people are matched with a refugee cyclist to meet up for cycling activities. The project aims to build confidence and knowledge of cycling, reduce isolation, improve well-being and encourage social integration and greater independence.

Pedal Power, another of their projects, offers cycling classes by women, for women, teaching cycling for refugee women in a safe, supportive and empowering environment.

No Prudential bike ride over Chiswick Bridge this year

“In the past we’ve done the Pru [Prudential bike ride] to raise money for Crisis and prostate cancer. Between us we’ve raised in excess of £2,000” says Ruth.

The Pru, from Stratford to the Surrey Hills, (passing along the A316 over Chiswick Bridge) is not taking place this year, so Ruth and Jan opted instead to take part in Ride London, a 100 mile round trip from Westminster to Essex, finishing up at Tower Bridge, taking place on Sunday 29 May.

Ruth was named one of the UK’s top 100 women in cycling last year, as an ‘influencer’. If you would like to donate to their fundraising for the Bike Project, click here.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Ruth Mayorcas named one of Cycling UK’s top 100 women in Cycling

See also: Katherine Dunne takes over Transport in LB Hounslow’s new Cabinet

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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.

Riana Development Network: a charity that has helped thousands of Chiswick’s disadvantaged families

Image above: Volunteer Joyce Wischoff and Executive Director Rodgers Orero 

When you enter Riana Development Network’s office in Edensor Gardens, you are presented a modest scene: two desks, two tables, walls scattered with posters and white board. What they have achieved is far from modest, because they have helped thousands of young, primarily local people to become self reliant and have restored their hope for the the future.

Two friendly and welcoming faces greeted me when I arrived, Rodgers Orero, Riana’s Executive Director and veteran volunteer Joyce Wischoff, who explained their work over a cup of tea.

Riana was founded in 2005, to help disadvantaged people in Chiswick, with the belief that people only need opportunities and guidance to be able to achieve independence and a reasonable quality of life.

The volunteers work to ensure people will be afforded opportunities to gain skills, build confidence and receive support to become independent and make a positive contribution to the communities in which they live.

Their namesake is a river in Africa, where warring communities on either side of the river would fight for access to the water. The elders of the communities brought the warring factions together, by offering their guidance to the younger generation.

Initially set up as an advice and guidance organisation, Riana has evolved over time to serve the community in more material ways, including workshops, supplementary education sessions, bridging the ‘digital divide’ in the pandemic and more recently helping people to deal with the ongoing cost of living crisis.

They have helped thousands of people year on year to better organise their lives, avoid crime, avoid addiction and other health issues, and fostered respect, cooperation and active interest between people within their communities.

Image above: Dancing at a summer fair

Volunteer workforce has helped thousands 

The group is largely volunteer run, led by board of trustees and supported by three part-time members of staff. A total of 30 volunteers run the show, across various different community programmes. If someone is in needs of help or guidance, they often find out through word of mouth or via their links with LB Hounslow’s social services and outreach teams, or local schools Cavendish Primary and Chiswick School.

Rodgers has over 15 years experience in community development both in Africa and Europe. He is convinced that the key to addressing poverty and equality is by educating youth and giving them hope.

Primarily working with young people, the community activities they run include social events to reduce isolation, supplementary school for children who might not be achieving their full potential, employability skills training and even education on sexual and mental health and healthy relationships generally.

Active citizenship plays a big part of the charity’s work, bringing community members together so they are participating in the community. Summer fairs, coffee mornings, youth forums and nature and allotment work have all been organised by the charity, with the overarching idea of being active in and positively contributing to the local community.

Year on year it has helped thousands of people in Chiswick, with the figure swelling as services expand and demand for them grows. Some people who Riana helps include refugees and their families, with many of these people are in supplementary school, as many don’t speak english as their first language.

Image above: educational workshops are often carried out for young people to help build life skills

“If there were more community programmes set up like what we’re doing, it would make a better world”

Volunteer Joyce Wischoff has been living on Edensor Gardens estate since 1980 but grew up on Devonshire Road. She has lived in Chiswick all her life and community spirit and togetherness mean a lot to her. She says, despite being challenging, community organisations such as Riana are driving forces for good and Chiswick needs more of them.

“People don’t really understand communities, you walk into a place you see trees you see houses but that’s not a community, it’s the people who live there…

“If there were more community programmes set up like what we’re doing, it would make a better world. You know why? People these days don’t have time because technology has taken over our world and what you get from that is you get hatred, crime and the colour problem. When you’ve got a community like ours, we’re trying to stamp that out. We’ve got refugees coming from different parts of the world, different cultures, different languages and to really and truly come to terms with that it’s a hell of a challenge.

“To be able to manoeuvre these things and to get these parents to open up and tell us their needs and tell us what we can do to help, because we understand the system as we have been brought up in a British way, in an English way. We’re trying to educate people, young people.

“Today we have knife crime, drugs you name it. The young ones they need a hero, and when you come to a voluntary organisation like this, they look up to their heroes. They go home and parents may not be able to relate to their children, but they can come and speak to one of the development leaders. Then we can put things in place.”

Image above: young people learning maths in a supplementary weekend class

Pandemic and cost of living crisis has brought challenges

When Covid-19 hit, supplementary schooling had to be put online. The charity was allowed by LB Hounslow to deliver work to people’s homes, such as booklets which could be studied and then later referred to during the online sessions.

This is when the ‘digital divide’ became apparent to volunteers, as some parents only had one computer at home and more than one child, with many others surviving low incomes unable to afford broadband. Laptop donation drives and broadband initiatives from the LB Hounslow were not enough to meet demand. Rodgers said:

“For example a school like Chiswick, which has over a thousand pupils, when we went to collect for young people who didn’t have laptops, initially there were only 12 laptops so that wasn’t enough. Luckily enough the BBC Children’s emergency support came in and we got a provision of laptops to be given to families at that time.

“As a small organisation though, we did not have the technical support in terms to keep things online.”

Spike in food bank referrals

Food bank referrals too are at an all time high, with the pandemic and the resulting cost of living crisis making life much more difficult for the people Riana helps, increasing the need for the charity to refer families to local food banks, which is something which they have not needed to involve themselves with in the past. Life becoming increasingly difficult for the people they help on a weekly basis, they say:

“Now, every week we are referring almost five, six people to food banks. We have had to sign up FairShare UK so when somebody leaves food donations at Sainsbury’s or Tesco we pick it up and give to this or that family. Things are becoming much more difficult for families, the demand is becoming high and it’s a big challenge.”

Despite the ongoing challenges, the charity’s volunteers and leadership remain undaunted and continue to greet the any problems they’re faced with optimism, their enthusiasm for helping people untarnished.

For more information on Riana Development Network or to contact their team, see below.

Hounslow Branch

Community Room, 1 Edensor Gardens, Chiswick, London, W4 2QY

E-mail: info@riana.org.uk

Phone: 0208 742 8906

riana.org.uk

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Ealing Blues Festival founder honoured with UK Blues Award

See also: Betty owner gets permission to put tables and chairs outside

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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Andrea’s film review – Top Gun: Maverick

Top Gun: Maverick ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Review by Andrea Carnevali

After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete Mitchell is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him. Out in cinemas.

Despite the fact that I’ve grown up in the eighties, I was never really a big fan of the original Top Gun.

After all, let’s be honest and put it all into prospective: the film was never really that great. Yes, it looked good, but it was rather slow, a bit monotonous and for a kid like me who in 1986 was all about Stand by Me, Ferris Bueller and Aliens (well actually… that’s still the case today!)

The film didn’t really seem to offer much beyond fighter planes (something that never really interested me) and shirtless sweaty men playing beach-volley in slow motion or riding motorbikes at sunset.

All this to say that I was certainly not craving a sequel.

So you can imagine my surprise when at the end of Top Gun: Maverick I I found myself wanting to clap and cheer together with the rest of the crowd, having to admit, despite myself, that actually this film is a lot of fun!

Of course it’s completely predictable, ludicrous beyond belief and it has more cheese than an actual fromagerie in Paris, but who cares when it works so well.

The film knows all its shortcomings, it embraces them all and makes them a virtue, improving on every single department, but mostly giving us a clear and simple story which is easy to follow and still exciting.

In an era where even some of the most basic blockbusters are so convoluted that you feel like you need a guidebook to get through it, I really appreciated how the mission and the stakes were properly explained and established well ahead of game here.

And even if sometimes you have no idea who’s behind those helmets and masks, who’s shouting what to whom and where each plane is in relationship to the other, you’ll soon find your bearings again and realise you’re on top of it all.

As for all those little elements which made the first film so iconic, rest assured, they are here too: the 80s songs, the ray-ban sunglasses, the motorbike rides, the gratuitous above-mentioned sweaty shirtless men, the advert-like cinematography, the pounding famous soundtrack (updated here, courtesy of the great Hans Zimmer), the cheesy love story, with the added bonus of those cross-dissolves during the love scene, the funeral (no spoiler here, but it’s in the trailer, which has been playing for about three years, since the film was first announced and then hold back because of Covid).

And at the centre of all that, Maverick the hero, cocky, cool as ever and the best at everything he does… basically an alter ego for Tom Cruises himself who at the age of almost 60 looks incredible!

There are very few really true movie stars out there today: Di Caprio is probably one, but Tom Cruise is certainly another. The age of the actor is clearly not a problem for the film, nor a distraction for anything that happens in it. In fact the only distraction is that whenever he takes off his shirt you might find yourself being very annoyed with yourself!

Top Gun: Maverick is one of those rare sequels which surpasses the original, soars higher than it has any right to do and delivers thrills and fun for the whole family, like all the best blockbusters should do.

I watched it on an Imax screen and it was really worth it! This must be watched in a cinema!

Let the summer season begin.

In your face Covid!

Out this week, only in cinemas (and rightly so!)

Andrea Carnevali is a Bafta winning film maker who lives in Chiswick

Top Gun: Maverick is out in cinemas now.

See all Andrea’s film reviews here: Film reviews by Andrea Carnevali

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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Future-proofing Chiswick House Gardens

Image above: Chiswick House head gardener Rosie Fyles with her very well behaved eight year old Black Labrador, Dillys

Interview with the new Head Gardener at Chiswick House, Rosie Fyles

“In five to ten years we won’t be planting anything beyond March” says Rosie Fyles, the new head gardener at Chiswick House.

“And it won’t be long before certain trees, such as the white stemmed birch trees which have thrived and been fashionable in southwest London over the past 30-40 years, won’t thrive without additional watering.”

The reality of climate change is much more apparent if you work on the land and Rosie, who has just taken over as head gardener at Chiswick House, is very well aware that there will have to be some changes if she is to keep the gardens flourishing.

She has managed a historic garden before, having come here from Ham House, a National Trust property. She understands the importance of protecting and defending the legacy of William Kent, who laid out the original gardens with the Duke of Burlington in the early 1700s, and wants to draw connections with some of the other gardens he designed, such as Stowe and Chatsworth. But she also realises we need to be looking at Barcelona and Sydney and considering what grows well in those climates now.

“With my garden conservation eyes on I’ve been looking at aspects of drawings and paintings, seeing how we can liberate views and re-establish planting that will be there in another 50-70 years.

“We need to retain that feeling of historic character but also future proof the Gardens.”

Image above: Flowers in the Italian Garden at Chiswick House

Figs and Kiwi fruit

Planting with climate change in mind means no more apples and pears on southwest-facing walls where the fruit will burn:

“It means planting more citrus, nectarines, peaches, possibly apricots, figs and kiwi fruit.

“I ask the volunteers when they go on holiday to Spain or wherever, to look at the trees and notice what thrives there.”

A lot of roses will thrive but there will be some, she says, bred for very specific characteristics, which might not.

The gardening calendar is also changing, she says. Because of the dry springs we’ve been getting, soon it will not be sensible to plant beyond March.

“A lot of traditional gardeners prefer to plant trees in October because the ground is at its optimal temperature and the trees will have the longest lead time possible until they are stressed by lack of water.”

Her intention is to plant as little as possible that will need watering.

Chiswick House conservatory has a water harvesting system, she tells me, a way of capturing the run-off and collecting it into an underground tank to be used for watering the kitchen garden.
They are working on quantifying how much water they use.

“Any gardening site or project must now involve how to harvest water.”

She is also looking to mitigate the effects of air pollution by encouraging plants which absorb the pollutants, such as ivy and broad leafed trees.

“Every little thing I can do to be aware and address climate change is a step forward.”

“Creating gardens can make people feel better about themselves.”

Image above: Notice explaining to the park’s users: ‘This handsome, mature cedar tree had to be felled due to serious health issues. It posed a danger to people and the landscape around it. We are thinking about interesting ways to use the massive timber inthe garden, rather than removing it completely from where it grew.’

A “flippant” decision

Rosie became a professional gardener almost by chance. Having worked for many years doing PR in international corporations, helping them improve their internal communications, she was helping a friend of her mother’s, pruning her roses in a beautiful garden by the sea and trying to explain what she did for a living, when she thought:

“Life would be so much easier if I were a gardener.”

It was a “flippant” decision she says, but one which turned out well. She studied NVQ level 2 part time, while still running her own business. This is the accepted route into gardening, she says, particularly if you are a career changer.

“I am fascinated by every aspect of plants, but especially in how they can improve people’s lives.

“Creating gardens can make people feel better about themselves.”

What she values most about taking over the running of Chiswick House Gardens is the inclusivity of working somewhere which has historic significance but which is free for the public to use.

Having worked in historic gardens where you have to be a member to share in the experience, she loves that these gardens have been through many different uses.

“It is my absolute conviction and intent to share it and make it as enjoyable as possible.”

She is impressed by the number of people who have come up to her or emailed her since she took over the job in April, to say how much the Gardens mean to them.

“One man told me he has come here to walk for 45 minutes every day for 30 years.

“It is exciting to me that people have that degree of involvement.”

Image above: Volunteers working in the Italian Garden

A shout out to any potential volunteers who have specialist knowledge

The volunteers who maintain the Gardens alongside a small professional team are what makes the high standard of their upkeep possible.

The Trust has paused recruitment temporarily while Rosie evaluates the skills they most need. She would love to hear from anyone with a specialist knowledge, either from their experience as a domestic gardener or from gardening professionally, who would like to volunteer.

“Chiswick is full of people with high levels of skill and interests which could be useful. It’s a question of how much time they have.”

The pandemic hit revenue so badly Chiswick House had to stop doing anything which did not directly bring in money. Now they are looking to reorganise the way the volunteers work.

“I’m looking to develop a large and diverse group of volunteers so volunteer groups can be self-led and we can give more value to those who want to get stuck in and be here a lot.

“One of the things I most like is the ability to learn from and engage with people who have a deeper knowledge of the place.

“There’s an energy about the place” she says. “I hope people feel there’s a sense of energy and purpose to what’s going on here.”

Image above: Volunteers working in the Kitchen Garden

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Three Gold awards for Chiswick House Gardens in London in Bloom, October 2021

See also: Three hundred years of Chiswick House Gardens

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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

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Chiswick Jubilee ‘stamps’ go on show

Image above: Artwork by students at Chiswick School

Chiswick Schools get busy decorating the High Rd for the Jubilee

The artwork designed by children at schools in Chiswick to celebrate the Jubilee will be going up in shop windows all along Chiswick High Rd on Friday (27 May).

The creation of the 70 large posters has been organised by Make + Paint, in partnership with Abundance London. These are a few of the specially designed Jubilee ‘stamps’.

Images above: ‘Stamps’ designed by children in Chiswick schools to be displayed in shops along Chiswick High Rd for the Jubilee

The display of Jubilee stamp posters is part of LB Hounslow’s Summer of Culture.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Strand on the Green preparations for the Jubilee

See also: Chiswick’s Big Jubilee Sing

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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

Click here to support us.

Council Leader Shantanu Rajawat announces his new Cabinet for LB Hounslow

Images above: LB Hounslow Leader designate, Shantanu Rajawat; Deputy Leader designate, Katherine Dunne

Katherine Dunne takes over the Transport portfolio

The Council Leader designate for LB Hounslow, Shantanu Rajawat, has announced his new Cabinet.

Cllr Katherine Dunne, his deputy leader, is keeping her Environment portfolio but combining it with Transport, which used to be Hanif Khan’s portfolio before the elections. Katherine has been one of the staunchest supporters of the C9 cycle lane and Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) and is a member of the Hounslow Cycling Campaign.

She announced she was: “delighted I can continue to work for sustainable and healthy borough via transport strategy prioritising walking, cycling and public transport.”

She also said: “I’m committed to making this work for residents and will be engaging with people across the borough on existing, experimental and proposed LTNs.”

LB Hounslow has been accused of not listening to public opinion on the traffic restrictions, which they introduced in a hurry under emergency Covid regulations. They eventually undid the changes in Turnham Green Terrace and Devonshire Rd after thousands of people petitioned against them. Shantanu Rajawat has said the newly elected Labour Council would be a “listening” council.

Residents in ‘south Chiswick’, ie. Grove Park and Strand on the Green, want them to think again about the traffic restrictions there. The Strand on the Green Residents Association (SoGA) and the Grove Park Group (GPG) carried out surveys of their membership and found a large majority (70%) were in favour of some measures to restrict traffic, but an even larger majority (87%) wanted  changes made to the current measures, brought in over the past two years to stop commuters rat-running through a residential area in their thousands every day.

The system is complex, with access to Burlington Rd from the A316 blocked by a barrier, access to Staveley Rd severely time limited and access to Hartington Rd limited to the first 320 yards only to anyone without the requisite residents’ permit, to allow access to the Roko gym and playing fields opposite.

Different rules apply to residents according to whether they live north or south of the railway line. Some Uber drivers still refuse to come into the area and visitors (and residents) are bewildered by the signs, even if they are able to read all the information quickly enough. Many people continue to be fined because they do not understand the rules.

“I am prepared to listen and make adjustments”

We asked Katherine Dunne if she would be prepared to review the scheme and she admitted:

“There’s a lot of complexity, which I am not a fan of.”

While she clearly has every intention of sticking to the Council’s policy, which has drastically reduced the amount of commuter traffic through a residential area, she also told The Chiswick Calendar:

“I’m happy to keep a constant eye on how it’s working. I am prepared to listen and make adjustments. If things are not optimal and need changing we can look at that. If people can’t understand what they’re supposed to do, we can address that.”

She intends to keep to the “core principles” of reducing traffic flow through the area and encouraging people not to use cars for short journeys. In her day job she works for the Medical Research Council managing a programme which funds research into the wider determinants of poor health – air pollution, diet and poor housing for example – so the effect of traffic congestion on people’s health is something she has studied in depth.

“But it is also a core principle that people have to have access to their homes. I have had questions asked about things like visitors which we have to look at. I understand that some people need to use their cars and what we want to do is make the roads less congested so that those who need to use their cars can do so.”

“I certainly want to come and talk to people”

She told us she had seen how the Waltham Forest system worked when it was introduced:

“They went for a lot of hard closures, which have a simplicity to them – people know where they can and can’t go – but there are downsides as well. You can’t make exceptions and you have to think of access for emergency vehicles.”

That is why LB Hounslow tried a more nuanced approach, she explained. But it is a bit too nuanced for some residents and visitors who still can’t get their heads round it and find the signage incomprehensible.

SoGA+GPG+Burlington Lane+Park Road Residents are organising a Public Protest to draw attention to residents’ objections to the current South Chiswick LTN. The demonstration will take place outside LBH Council Offices on Tuesday 31 May when the newly elected council meets for the first time.

Katherine told us she wanted to come and talk to people “to see how we can simplify things that have got fairly complex.”

“I will commit to coming and speaking to people.”

Images above: Cllr Guy Lambert; Cllr Sue Sampson; Cllr Salman Shaheen

Other Cabinet appointments

Cllr Guy Lambert, who also supported Hanif Khan in introducing the traffic restrictions, keeps his portfolio of Highways, Environment and Operational Services.

Cllr Salman Shaheen, new to the Cabinet, takes over Parking with the portfolio of Parks and Leisure, and responsibility for allotments. He has been instrumental in the fight by residents in Isleworth to keep land currently used for allotments from being sold by the Duke of Northumberland to developers.

Cllr Tom Bruce is moving from education to Regeneration and Development, while Cllr Lily Bath, (who was Deputy Leader to Steve Curran before the elections), takes over his old portfolio of Children, Learning and Employment.

Cllr Samia Chaudhary, (who used to have responsibility for Leisure Services), takes over responsibility for Health Integration (links with the NHS and Public Health). Cllr Shivraj Grewal is taking on Communities and Equality while Cllr Ajmer Grewal takes responsibility for Safety.

Cllr Sue Sampson takes over the portfolio for Housing management and Homelessness, while Leader Shantanu Rajawat will keep Finance himself.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Amy Croft “surprised to have been elected” as Chiswick’s first Labour councillor in 30 years

See also: Anger but no consensus on what do to about regulating traffic through Grove Park

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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Man charged with murder of Ania Jedrkowiak in South Ealing appears at Old Bailey

Image above: Ania Jedrkowiak

A man charged with the murder of 21 year old student Ania Jedrkowiak, who was found stabbed in an alleyway in South Ealing on Tuesday 17 May, has appeared at the Old Bailey.

Dennis Akpomedaye, 29, of Blewitt Street, Newport, was charged on the evening of Wednesday 18 May and appeared by video-link at the Old Bailey on Monday 23 May. He will stand trial in May next year.

Ania, a Polish national, was found with a number of stab wounds in Roberts Alley off Church Gardens shortly after midnight on Tuesday. Paramedics attended the scene but despite their best efforts, she was pronounced dead at the scene. Police are supporting her next of kin.

Ania had left her work at Las Iguanas restaurant and was walking home with a friend when she was attacked. Police remained throughout the day on Tuesday carrying out searches and forensic examinations. Patrols have been carried out in the local area since the attack. They are planning to return to the crime scene in the hope of finding more witnesses.

A 20-year-old man who was arrested on suspicion of murder has been released with no further action.

Image above: A police cordon at the scene of her murder in South Ealing

Incident has “come as a a shock to the local community”, says police chief

Ealing’s top officer, Chief Superintendent Sean Wilson, said the killing was a “tragic incident” that has “come as a shock to the local community”.

“We are grateful to those who live and work nearby for their support and understanding as we continue our work. We recognise the inconvenience it has caused,” he said.

“Where possible we have taken steps to allow businesses and other venues such as the local church to reopen as soon as our investigation allowed.

“I am particularly mindful of the proximity of this incident to a local school – something which meant the school had to remain closed on Tuesday.

“I know parents will be apprehensive and I’d like to reassure them that we are working with the school to make sure children can continue their learning with minimal disruption.”

Enquiries by the Met’s Specialist Crime Command are ongoing. Information can be provided by calling 101 or by calling Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111. The reference for the incident is 77/17May.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: ‘Betty’ owner’s application for expanded alfresco dining meets resistance

See also: LB Hounslow investigating “environmental mess” at Dukes Meadows

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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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.

New theatre company poised to take over at The Tabard

Image above: Theatre space above the Tabard pub.

“They get the kind of shows I think the community wants” – Tabard General Manager John Higginson

A new theatre company is poised to take over the theatre space above the Tabard pub in Chiswick.

Chiswick Playhouse closed in March when pub owners Greene King did not renew the lease of the company that ran it, Sightline, owned by Chiswick resident Fred Perry. Fred had been involved in the running of the theatre since 2005, taking over as sole leaseholder five years ago and rebranding it as The Chiswick Playhouse in 2019.

Greene King advertised the studio theatre, which seats 90 people, to let with property agents James A Baker and they had a lot of interest. They interviewed five candidates at the end of April out nearly 70 applicants, 18 of whom were “serious bids” according to the pub’s general manager John Higginson.

A panel of four – John, his area manager at Greene King, the estate agent and a surveyor – made a unanimous choice based on the offer presented by the theatre company, which will not be named until the legal contract has been signed.

“They get the area. They get the kind of shows I think the community wants” John told The Chiswick Calendar.

“They are very community minded and they get Greene King’s values – to pour happiness into people’s lives.”

Their presentation promised new writing and high production values. They have a good track record in theatre and local roots, says John.

“These people really stood out.”

Once the legal agreement has been signed, they are hoping to get in and start putting on shows as early as June or July, he says.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Chiswick Playhouse closes

See also: Man charged with murder of Ania Jedrkowiak in South Ealing

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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.