Andrea’s film review – Press Play

Press Play ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Review by Andrea Carnevali

A young woman has a chance to save the love of her life, when she discovers that the mix-tape they made together can transport her back in time. Streaming on Prime.

As some readers of my cinematic ramblings probably know by now, I have a particular soft spot for time travel movies and even if Back to the Future has sets the bar so high that it’s just impossible to beat it, I’m generally able to enjoy anything that plays with the space continuum. But for any 12 Monkeys or Donny Darko or Edge of Tomorrow, there is always a Terminator Genesys, a Timeline or a Freejack lurking around the corner.

Recent films on Netflix like The Adam’s Project and See you yesterday have reminded me how hard is to make a good one and this latest one on Prime is certainly not going to break any mould either, but its catchy premise and concept are both intriguing enough for me to give it a pass.

In a cross between Groundhog Day, The Lake House, The Time Traveller’s Wife, About Time and God knows how many other films like those, Press Play is about one of those mix tapes people used to make decades ago, which mysteriously (in fact, unexplained in the film) takes a young girl (Clara Rugaard) back to re-live the moments in the past when she first listened to those songs with her boyfriend (Lewis Pullman recently seen in Top Gun: Maverick), giving her a second chance to prevent a terrible tragedy.

The script is at times rather corny and the actors – however charming – are not always as strong as one would wish: Pullman is the better of the two, but Rugaard failed to make any impact on me. I saw the film only a few hours ago and I’ve already forgotten what she looks like. Having said that, the film’s heart is in the right place and all those who enjoyed Josh Boone’s previous film (here both producer and screenwriter) The Fault In Our Stars, will definitely find something to like about this one too.

Cinematographer Luca Del Puppo helps enhancing the romantic mood by making maximum use of any possible sunset on the planet and cramming as much blue-purple interior ambience lights as possible, while the energetic soundtrack plays on pretty much non-stop.

The film is doesn’t outstay its welcome and with its brisk 85 minutes make sure you don’t have too much time to question the logistics of the plot or the cheesiness of some of the dialogue (cheesiness which is pretty much telegraphed by the poster, so that shouldn’t be a surprise).

But you know what? I enjoyed watching it and despite a long first act, I eventually appreciated the concept (which actually worked because of that long intro) and found it quite sweet.

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

Press Play 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.

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Andrea’s film review – Coraline

Coraline ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2 Review by Andrea Carnevali

An adventurous 11-year-old girl finds another world that is a strangely idealized version of her frustrating home, but it has sinister secrets.

Once in a while a film supposedly for children comes along which managed to surprise me more than any other ‘grown-up’ film.

I had seen Coraline before and I remember liking it, but I had forgotten how good it actually is.

13 years after its release this stop-motion animation is still magic, immensely imaginative, impeccably stylish and yes, very dark!

Whether its PG rating is appropriate is very debatable. We watched it last night and my nine year old son was petrified. A few times he even asked me to stop it (something that only happened during Jurassic Park).

Some of the images conjured up by the film are indeed pretty nightmare-inducing: people with buttons as eyes, creepy characters, dark settings, spooky tunnels, secret doors, as well as a general eerie atmosphere which gives the whole film a bone-chilling feel thought. It all feels much closer to those dark Grimm Brothers fairy tales than anything Disney has ever produced.

A lot of that is straight from the original book (which is in fact even scarier), but many of the filming techniques and devices used throughout heightened the tension and seemed to be straight out of certified horror films, from the sound effects to the type of tilted angles and dolly shots which cram the film from the start to finish (and in my view enhance it).

The stop-motion animation is seamless and the 3D effects (which sadly today only those few with 3D-Bluray capabilities can enjoy) worked beautifully.

The film has a few tiny pacing issues here and there, which probably prevented it from becoming the great success it really should have been (as well as the fact that it was indeed a bit too dark for kids), but overall I thought it was really beautiful, clever and constantly imaginative.

Director Henry Selick’s name might not instantly ring a bell with the average moviegoer, but he’s the guy who directed The Nightmare Before Christmas 16 years before this. Many still think Tim Burton did it, but actually he was only the producer. Selick is now putting the last touches on his latest new film Wendell and Wild co-written by Jonathan Peel, after a long 13 years hiatus. A story about two demons… which leads me to believe that he’s passion for all things dark is still strong.

I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for it.

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

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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Andrea’s film review – The Boys

The Boys (Seasons 1-2-3) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Review by Andrea Carnevali

A group of vigilantes set out to take down corrupt superheroes who abuse their superpowers. Available to watch on Amazon Prime.

Warning: this review may contain harsh language, in keeping with the series.

With the superheroes fatigue we’re experiencing, both on TV and on the big screen, one might be excused for thinking “Do we really need another series about people in silly costumes and capes?” Well, having just finished watching all the three available seasons of The Boys, my answer is a resounding “Yes!”

I am also VERY aware that this might not be for everyone: if you’re particularly  squeamish, if you’re disturbed by foul language and sex on screen, if you are a bit uptight and if violence (albeit, over-the-top violence) is not for you, then you might want to skip this.

However, you’ll be missing one of the most provocative, outrageous, shocking, clever and funniest things I’ve seen on TV, probably ever.

Adapted from the graphic novel with the same name by writer Garth Ennis and artist Darick Robertson, The Boys puts a pretty dark spin on your typical band-of-superheroes storyline. The hook is pretty simple: what if the likes of Superman, Aquaman, the Flash and so on (or the equivalent of those in this case) were complete and utter arseholes? After all, why should villains always get to have all the fun?

In an imagined world run by greedy corporations (not too much of a stretch there), from the outside this group of individuals with amazing powers might look like your average X-Men or Avengers, but in fact they are a bunch of liars, egocentric, chauvinistic, misogynists, obnoxious, cocky and mostly rather dumb characters.

But this is not just a parody for its own sake. The beauty of The Boys is not just how it manages to deconstruct both superheroes and superhero culture (including its crazed fandom), but also how it is a sharp satirical commentary on corporate power, religion, military, greedy pharmaceutical companies and  exploitation of all of the above, seen through some undiluted and harsh cynicism.

This series assumes Marvel and DC are basically for kids, so here is finally something for real adults and if you have a problem with that “You can fuck right off”.

The show starts with a bang (literally) and never lets go after that. Within the first few minutes of the first season a young girl explodes right in front her boyfriend’s eyes, as superhero A-Train literally runs through her at super-speed just when the two are about to kiss. Poor Hughie, the boyfriend, is left in shock standing on the pavement still holding her hands as the blood splashes everywhere.

It’s a typical shocking, outrageous and creative death, the likes of which fills the show.

In season three Termite shrinks down and jumps into his partner’s penis to give him pleasure (yes, you heard me right). When he suddenly sneezes (irritated by the cocaine he’s just snorted), he regrows in size making his partner’s body explode.

Also in season 3, an episode called Herogasm features a massive party/orgy among superheroes, including somebody with a three metre long penis, the memory of which will probably scarred me for life.

And these are just three tiny example in some of the wildest, most visceral and entertaining 24 hours I’ve ever seen in my life.

Now you’ve been warned.

The Boys indeed dares to go not just where no other show went before, but where you never thought it would be possible even to conceive anything like this.

And yet, beyond the provocation, the ultra-violence, the gore, the profanity (one character utters so many C-words per episodes that after a while you almost become desensitised to it), this is actually a lot more clever that you might think: a real breath of fresh air and an utter delight from start to finish.

It may not always hit the mark, but it gets bloody close most times.

And this is without even mentioning the great acting from some of the cast (the guy who play the archvillain The Homelander really deserves some awards), the astonishing production values, especially the visual effects and the sharp, witty, audacious and insanely creative script.

This quickly moved from “Guilty Pleasure” to “Must watch” within a few episodes, and three seasons in, it doesn’t seem to have lost its edge.

The perfect antidote to unwind from the madness that surrounds us all in the real world.

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

The Boys is available to watch on Amazon 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

Episode 25: Choosing a replacement for Boris

In their previous podcast Mihir Bose said he thought Boris Johnson would lead the Conservative Party into the next election and not only that, but he would win it.

David and Nigel remind him of that as this week they discuss whether it will be Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak who will replace him.

Former BBC News sports editor Mihir Bose, Economics editor of the Sunday Times David Smith and political commentator Nigel Dudley discuss the week’s news.


More Platforms

Listen to more episodes here.

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

Access to Grove Park during roadworks on A4

Image above: A4 through Chiswick

“Traffic restrictions have been relaxed on certain days to make residents’ lives a bit easier.”

This story has been updated on Monday 8 August 2022.

LB Hounslow has said it will relax vehicle restrictions to Grove Park and Strand on the Green when there are multiple lane closures on the A4 during the summer and autumn roadworks.

Transport for London is carrying out essential maintenance on the Cromwell Rd Railway Bridge on Great West Road (A4) near Harvard Hill from 5 August until December. The works are expected to cause months of traffic congestion and traffic displacement onto other roads in Chiswick.

Cllr Gabriella Giles, one of the councillors for the Riverside ward, told The Chiswick Calendar:

“Effectively, when the closures to the A4 will be for 24 hrs … access to Hartington Road, Staveley Road and Strand-on-the-Green will be granted, and the measures will be lifted to allow for travel.”

Cllr Amy Croft, who also represents Riverside, told us:

“In recognition that the additional measures by TfL will have an impact on residents, the traffic restrictions have been relaxed on certain days to make residents’ lives a bit easier.”

There will be double lane closures on the A4 between 5 August -15 September and between 17 September – 12 October. From Friday 5 August until Wednesday 12 October there will be access permitted from the A316 into Staveley Rd and Hartington Rd and the south circular at Kew Bridge into Thames Rd without permits.

Access will also be relaxed on selective weekends in November and December when there are double lane closures on A4: Saturday 26 November, Saturday 3 December, Saturday 10 December and Sarurday 17 December.

LB Hounslow says: ‘The duration and nature of this measure will be reviewed on a regular basis throughout the duration of the works, and we will reinstate the restrictions earlier than planned, if possible. Any changes will be communicated at the earliest opportunity.’

Read the full story on the A4 roadworks here: A4 roadworks likely to cause months of traffic congestion in Chiswick

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Main section of Barnes Bridge Walkway installed

See also: Further traffic changes being considered for Devonshire Road

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 – Fire of Love

Fire of Love ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Review by Andrea Carnevali

Intrepid scientists and lovers Katia and Maurice Krafft died in a volcanic explosion doing the very thing that brought them together: unraveling the mysteries of volcanoes by capturing the most explosive imagery ever recorded. In Selected cinemas from Friday.

Fire of Love, the latest documentary by National Geographic to be released on the big screen, is as much about volcanos, with their mesmerizing beauty and their terrifying and devastating power, as it is about a love story between Maurice and Katia Krafft, a French married couple who spent most of their lives between the 1970s and ’80s studying eruptions.

Director Sara Dosa draws from around 200 hours of 16mm footage, as well as existing archival material, including interviews with the Kraffts themselves, the books they wrote and extracts from their own diaries, to chronicle their passion for volcanology and their own personal story.

The film showcases stunning images and provides fascinating insight into the workings of volcanos through their findings and their meticulous research.

A whimsical and rather dead-pan voice-over (by actress Miranda July), adds a sort of poetic feel the whole thing, capturing more the mood rather than the facts, making it feel at times more like a meditation on love than a real nature documentary.

It’s the sort of sensibility often found in documentaries by Werner Herzog (but less pompous), which is ironic since his latest one (to be released very soon) is actually exactly on the same subject and the same two people and it’s going to be called The Fire Within: A Requiem for Katia and Maurice Krafft.

What are the chances? It must have something to do with volcanos. Do you remember when Deep Impact and Armageddon got released only months apart?

Anyway, back to this film, the director calls this “a love triangle”(in the best French film tradition), between the married couple and the volcanos themselves. And love is clearly the driving force at the centre of all this.

Cleverly Sara Dosa makes a decision only to use contemporary footage, mostly filmed by the Kraffts themselves, to really immerse the viewer in what it must have felt like for them to be so close to their subjects.

Watching the astonishing footage is easy to understand their infatuation. Alas, a dangerous one, especially in the time before drones and mechanical robots which would eventually make things easier for volcanologists.

Back then the Kraffts’ were risking their lives every day, something they were very aware of and in fact they seemed to have made peace with that possibility.

Indeed only six minutes into the film we are shown the Kraffts at the base of Japan’s Mount Unzen in 1991 and we are told “this is will be their last day”.

With this knowledge, we watch the rest of the film unfold with a heavy heart as every line is tinted by a certain sadness because of that baggage.

It is still a lovely, gentle watch and with just the right amount of whimsical flair without being annoying or pretentious.

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

Fire of Love is available to watch in selected cinemas from Friday.

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

Rail strike Wednesday 27 July

Image above: Chiswick Station; photograph Michael Nolan

Passengers urged to travel ‘only if absolutely necessary’

Members of the RMT union are staging another rail strike this Wednesday (27 July).

Some 40,000 staff working for Network Rail and 14 train operators, including South Western Railway which runs services through Chiswick Station.

With Network Rail signallers and more than 2,100 SWR RMT members taking industrial action, SWR will run a severely reduced timetable on strike days, with significant parts of the network closed. A late-starting service will operate across the network on Thursday 28 July.

The railway company says: ‘You are urged to only travel by rail if absolutely necessary on this strike day.

‘We are sorry for the disruption this strike will cause and thank you for your patience and understanding as the rail industry works to bring this damaging nationwide action to an end.’

Biggest rail strike for 30 years

The programme of strikes, which saw three days of strikes in June, is the biggest in the rail industry for 30 years

The action is over pay, jobs and terms and conditions. RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said the union would continue to try to reach a deal with Network Rail ahead of Wednesday.

“If we could get a breakthrough then we wouldn’t have to take strike action but there’s a big gap between the parties at the moment,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“So I’m not going to raise false hopes but we are constantly in dialogue with all of the elements of the industry.”

On Monday the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) announced its staff had also agreed to strike on 18 and 20 August at seven train operating companies: Avanti West Coast, c2c, East Midlands Railway, CrossCountry, Great Western Railway, LNER, and Southeastern.

British Airways staff get 8% pay rise

At the weekend British Airways staff announced they were calling off their strike action after they accepted an 8% pay rise. A total of 700 workers – mostly check-in staff – had been set to strike during the summer over a 10% pay cut imposed during the pandemic which BA were not intending to restore.

The GMB and Unite unions said more than 75% of members backed the pay deal.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Main section of Barnes Bridge Walkway installed

See also: Further traffic changes being considered for Devonshire Road

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.

Main section of Barnes Bridge Walkway installed

Images above: the main span of Barnes Bridge Walkway has been installed – photographs Matt Smith

Installation went “better than expected”

The central span of the new bridge built as a walkway to connect the towpath underneath Barnes Railway Bridge at Dukes Meadows has been installed successfully, after a delayed trip upriver from Tilbury docks.

The bridge was to be brought upstream overnight on Friday 22 – Saturday 23 July but the journey was delayed due to a problem with a dock gate.

As high tide came in on Monday (25 July), Knights Brown floated the structure up the Thames from Tilbury on a pontoon. Engineers from Knights Brown, the company in charge of the build, rode the bridge upstream, passing various iconic London landmarks on their journey and arrived at Barnes Bridge at about 11.20am.

The span of bridge seated itself on its foundations as the tide receded. The pontoon left to go back downstream towards central London at around 2.30pm.

Image above: Approaching Tower Bridge; photograph Knights Brown 

Jim Devine, Community Engagement Liaison Manager for Knights Brown told The Chiswick Calendar:

“Balfour Beatty was working on the inner-lock gate at Tilbury. There was a slight problem with a release of the pin… Specialists from the Netherlands came over, they released it and then they got Balfour Beatty back on track [who] worked around the clock to get it open.

“Now the bridge has landed and has been installed, that went very smoothly, better than expected.”

The installation happened a day earlier than we were told on Friday.

Image above: Passing the Houses of Parliament; photograph Knights Brown 

Bridge expected to be completed ‘in autumn’

The bridge is one of the lowest carbon and most environmentally conscious bridges in the UK, according to its designer and it has taken four years’ planning to get to this stage. Installation is due to be completed by the autumn.

Cllr John Todd, who has overseen the project on behalf of LB Hounslow told The Chiswick Calendar he was delighted that after four years’ work the project was coming to fruition.

“It’s a wonderful engineering triumph” he said.

Brentford and Isleworth MP Ruth Cadbury Tweeted:

Really exciting bit of engineering, I wish I’d seen it go in.

“This cantilevered walkway will make for a great (& much safer) route along the north/Middlesex bank of the Thames. @LBofHounslow & partners”

Watching the installation, Michael Buckley Tweeted this video on Monday:

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Barnes Bridge span journey upriver from Tilbury Docks delayed

See also: Pedestrian walkway opened under arch at Kew Bridge

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.

Further traffic changes being considered for Devonshire Road

Image above: Devonshire Road Monday 25 July; photograph Matt Smith

Hounslow Council suggests ‘middle ground’ options for partial closure

The possibility of Devonshire Rd being closed to traffic ‘for part of the day … or perhaps for summer weekends’ has been floated by LB Hounslow to businesses in the road and a small, select group of residents.

The ‘stakeholder survey’ carried out over two weeks in May was not sent to residents of the Glebe estate who use the road for access from Chiswick High Rd, only to residents of Prince of Wales Terrace, Devonshire Mews and those who live above the shops in the one-way section at the top of Devonshire Rd.

Councillor Joanna Biddolph has written to residents of the Glebe estate, suggesting they let their views be known direct to the Leader of the Council, Cllr Shantanu Rajawat and Cabinet Member Cllr Shivraj Grewal by email, copied to the director of environment, culture and customer services Victoria Lawson, even though the consultation has closed.

‘Here we go again!’ she wrote. ‘It seems that the pledge to lead a listening council, made by Cllr Shantanu Rajawat, the new leader of Hounslow council, doesn’t apply to the Devonshire Road arrangements.”

The survey was sent to businesses in Devonshire Rd and other ‘stakeholders’. The Chiswick Calendar asked the Council for a list of who these ‘stakeholders’ were, but they have not provided us with that information.

Image above: Road closed to through traffic, summer 2020

Unfinished business from last summer

At the height of the Covid lockdowns the Council banned through traffic on Devonshire Rd, marking out the parking bays as areas where people could sit outside the restaurants to eat.

After a public consultation on streetspace initiatives in which some 10,000 people took part they reversed the traffic ban, retaining only a limited number of parking spaces for outdoor dining and reintroducing access for vehicles during daytime (8am – 5pm).

Businesses in Devonshire Rd were split on the subject. Some, mainly the hospitality businesses, found the pedestrianised road space with people being able to sit outside was good for trade. Others, such as the plumbing business and Frivoli gallery were dead against it, saying their customers couldn’t get to them.

Wider public opinion was also split. Some welcomed being able to use the road again to drive down while others bemoaned the Mediterranean ambiance which had been created and then lost.

Parking remains limited along the road, much to the disdain of many shop owners who say this has impacted their ability to trade.

Announcing the reversal of policy in June 2021 the Council promised ‘further engagement’.

Image above: Space for cars or for pedestrians and cyclists? 

Council defends limited consultation

The further engagement proved to be this very limited survey carried out 13 – 25 May which has not been widely publicised and does not appear on the council’s consultation portal.

The survey stated:

‘There are indications that the closure of Devonshire Road for the annual street party and on Sundays for street markets are broadly supported.

‘This suggests there may be a middle-ground option such as the current arrangement, whereby the road is perhaps closed to vehicles part of the day (as in Hildreth Street, Balham) or perhaps on summer weekends (as in Northcote Road, Clapham Junction). Do you think there should be a middle ground?’

The Council defended the size of the survey. Deputy Leader Cllr Katherine Dunne told us:

“We carried out a consultation from 13-25 May, including a wide range of local groups, residents and stakeholders, with the aim of providing a balanced and rounded set of findings.

“We focused our engagement on those who live and work on the road, as they are most directly affected, this included all residents and businesses on Devonshire Road between the junction of Chiswick High Road and Ingress Street (including Devonshire Mews and Prince of Wales Terrace).

“We are reviewing the information gained from the consultation, holding discussions within the council, and will update on the next steps in the coming weeks.”

Image above: Road closed for a street party, pre-Covid

Businesses “unaware” of consultation

On Monday The Chiswick Calendar spoke to traders on Devonshire Road to see how they had answered the Council’s survey.

Of the business owners and managers people I spoke to, most were unaware the survey had been carried out and said it was the first time they’d heard about it personally.

Anna, who manages the clothes alterations tailor shop Stitching Room searched the business’s inbox and couldn’t find the survey. She asked me if I could email her the link so she could see what questions had been asked. Asked what she would change about Devonshire Road’s traffic measures, if anything, Anna said:

“I’d be happy for [the road] to close during the summer, it’s good for the cafes but not for us. Nobody in the winter will be eating outside I think.”

She criticised the “confusing” signage too, as well as the seemingly broken traffic wands in front of her shop which people often try to park on despite this not being allowed.

Vinoteca’s General Manager, Will, said he didn’t recall the survey but Vinoteca’s head office would have dealt with it anyway. He said the outside space for extra tables “has been an absolute godsend” to the restaurant. He said he’d be happy to compromise to have some parking but would prefer to keep the tables outside every day.

Image above: Broken traffic wands outside the Stitching Room on Devonshire Road

Removing parking “a massive f*** up”

Sheleen, who works in clothing shop Wild Swans, said she was unaware of the survey but would be happy with a middle ground to allow restaurants to spread out into the street. But she said “the whole thing with the parking was a massive fuck-up” and parking should be allowed all the time at the top section of the road closest to Chiswick High Road because “[cars] stop at the top of the street because they don’t know if they’re allowed to drive down”.

Claire who works in Top Hat dry cleaners, said she’d lost count of the amount of people who’d come in asking for businesses’ opinions and “nothing changes”. She said the tables which restaurants have outside “are empty all day every day, all this space is for nothing” and added customers were still unable to park nearby to bring in larger items, such as duvets, to be cleaned.

The manager of Lark, Jiannina, new to the road this year, said she wasn’t aware of the survey but would support a middle-ground option, “that way, everyone would be winning” she said.

AALondon Gallery’s manager Hugo also said he hadn’t heard of the survey. He thought the road should go back to the way it was prior to 2020.

“Clients have been complaining and I’ve lost a lot of passing trade, I don’t put my paintings outside” he said. He also criticised the signage for people who don’t regularly ue the road “when you come up the road, because there’s so many signs, do you drive or do you read? It’s too confusing”.

Colin who runs Oldtown Deli didn’t recall the survey either. He said he had “no faith in Hounslow Council” because the measures along the road were “awful”. He supports reverting the road back to purely parking spaces. He said this was because some places weren’t even using their allocated space for tables, so it was pointless.

Antonio, who runs Beehive cafe (one of the cafes not making use of their outdoor space), said parking allocation had been given to every eligible business along the road except for him – meaning he was legally unable to put tables and chairs outside. He was unaware of the survey too. He said he would be more than happy if the road was pedestrianised or if it went back to pre-2020 parking. He doesn’t think half measures are working for anybody.

We also approached the Glebe Estate Residents Association for comment, but have not heard back from them yet.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Main section of Barnes Bridge Walkway installed

See also: Pedestrian walkway opened under arch at Kew Bridge

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.

Understanding dogs – Interview with Chiswick dog trainer Jennifer Billot

Image above – Jennifer Billot, founder / owner of Bone, Ball, Bark

What goes on in those little furry brains?

There is no recognised qualification for dog training in this country apparently. There are lots advertised but they are not regulated and there is no one, universally agreed, respected go-to organisation which every professional trainer must belong to. Finding a good dog trainer is really pot-luck and word of mouth recommendation is as good a guide as any.

I found this out talking to Jennifer Billot, a professional dog trainer originally from Kingston, who trained in the United States. Now back in Britain, she has set up her own business in Chiswick – Bone Ball Bark, to train dog owners and their pets one-to-one in London or further afield online.

It was while she was an undergraduate at Warwick University taking American Studies that she started volunteering at a guide dog training centre and became interested in canine psychology.

Their links with an organisation in the US which trained assistance dogs led her to the States, where she worked for five years with the organisation, training dogs to help people with spinal chord injuries, in Hawaii and Seattle.

She studied Canine Science in California – a two years Masters course at Bergin University, which involved a year of contact work with dogs and a year working on her thesis, which gave her an academic background to underpin the hands on experience and a bunch of letter after her name. She is Jennifer Billot MSc CPDT-KA.

Images above: Griffin asking nicely for a walk; a client’s boxer dog

Getting the better of your dog

What is ‘Canine science’? I asked, a little sceptically. “The history of domestication, psychology, physiology, a basic understanding of nutrition and a basic medical course.

“If your dog has a health problem, then a vet is the answer” she says, “but I can help with general health and nutrition (Bone), socialisation (Ball) and training (Bark).

Since she set up her business she has trained her own dog, a black Labrador named Griffin, now 20 months old. She filmed everything she did with him until he was five months old and this now forms the basis of her only puppy training package.

The average in-person courses generally involve five sessions – three over the course of three weeks and the other two within six months – for £450. There are longer and shorter courses and online training is cheaper.

Who are her clients? Most people come for puppy training, she tells me. She offers pre-puppy consultations as well as on-hands training – everything you need to know before you take the plunge, covering crate training, potty training, house manners, nutrition, introduction to the family and so on, with a shopping list of essentials included.

Images above: Jennifer with clients

How something as simple as a shiny bowl can be the source of your dog’s distress

“One of the first questions people usually ask is ‘how long will this take?'” says Jennifer. “That’s a really hard question to answer because it depends what the issue is, it depends on the environment, the dog’s age and experience, the home environment, whether the problem is medical. It depends on many factors.”

People come to her for advice on how to deal with their dog’s aggression. “It’s usually fear-based.”

Her training is force-free. It’s all reward-based – “marker training using a sound or a noise that says ‘reward’ and offers positive reinforcement.”

They might come to her because their dog isn’t eating.

“Whether or not I can help them depends on whether the problem is medical or psychological.. Sometimes a shiny bowl or a noisy bowl can put them off because it’s distracting.”

A well behaved, sociable, happy dog is what she is after but she is not a fan of the Instagram craze for making your dog pose “with treats all up their arms; it frustrates me when people ask so much of their dogs. That’s not related to real life situations.”

Jennifer has joined The Chiswick Calendar’s Club Card scheme, offering Club Card holders 10% off in-person and online three, five and seven session packages. Click here to see more details of how to claim the offer: Bone Ball Bark Club Card offer.

She has also joined our team of guest bloggers with a fortnightly column about the most common problems her clients ask her about.

Read her first blog here: Help! My dog won’t come back to me!

Contact Jennifer on 07483 263956 / jennifer@boneballbark.com
boneballbark.com
Instagram: boneballbark

boneballbark.com

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Chiswick in the sun – gallery

See also: Chiswick Repair Cafe – first meeting

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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The Chiswick Foodie restaurant review – Rock & Rose Chiswick

Image above: Rock & Rose restaurant, 270, 272 Chiswick High Rd

The Chiswick Foodie is The Chiswick Calendar’s restaurant reviewer. They eat out a lot, they pay for themselves and do not tell the restaurant they are writing a review. They prefer to be  anonymous so they can be completely honest and objective.

Rock & Rose restaurant 🫒🫒 1/2 Review by The Chiswick Foodie

Rock & Rose, 270, 272 Chiswick High Rd, Chiswick, W4 1PD

Judging by the noise amongst my friends, the opening of Rock and Rose in Chiswick seems to have been eagerly awaited. It’s a sister restaurant to the existing Rock and Rose in Richmond and under common ownership with Little Bird in Grove Park and Annie’s at Strand on the Green.

My dining companion and I visited on a Friday evening and we arrived with a minute to spare for Happy Hour priced cocktails. A strictly observed 7pm deadline is imposed.

The menu is eclectic and includes starters and mains that are British, Italian, Japanese, South East Asian and Creole with a decent range of vegan and vegetarian options. The service was welcoming but our waitress seemed to have limited knowledge about the menu details and had to refer my questions to the kitchen.

My dining companion chose the lobster and prawn cocktail for his starter. There was a disproportionate amount of iceberg lettuce to the seafood dressed in Marie Rose sauce. However, the garnish – a very flavoursome jumbo shell-on prawn – made up for this.

My Keralan chicken was wonderfully crispy, not at all greasy and the accompanying curry leaf mayo was imaginative. Unfortunately, one piece of chicken contained a long hair. Management moved into action and handled this well by providing me with an alternative starter of my choice (tuna sashimi) and offered us complimentary drinks to accompany our pudding. It was the restaurant’s own take on tuna sashimi as it was seared.

Images above: Starters – Prawn cocktail, Keralan chicken and Bloody Mary; Mains – Blackened cod in the foreground and Pork belly and Asian greens; Pavlova dessert

For mains, we had the blackened miso cod fillet and the Teriyaki pork belly with black rice, pineapple salsa and coconut greens. The pork crackling was extremely good but the meat was a little dry and unfortunately, my fish was over cooked. In addition, both dishes were over salted as was the side of Asian greens.

For pudding, we shared the passion fruit and Summer berry pavlova which was the best dish – nice sharp berries on top of perfect meringue with a decent amount of fresh cream.

I would sum up Rock and Rose as a lively place with good service, a great place to catch up with friends over drinks but not a foodies’ destination.

The bill came to £97 before service and included a bottle of Cote de Rhône rose.

Read more on The Chiswick Calendar

See Andreas’s film reviews here: Andrea’s film reviews

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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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 

Mind Matters – Feeling fine or feeling F.I.N.E?

Research out this month showed that the prescribing of antidepressants has reached yet another new record level.

From 2021 to 2022 the number of prescriptions rose for the sixth successive year so that now roughly one in every seven adults in England have received antidepressants.

Meanwhile Mind, the mental health charity, challenged the UK Government and the NHS earlier this year on the 1.6 million people on the waiting list for treatment from mental health services.

In fact, they claim another 8 million people can’t get on to a waiting list because they are not deemed unwell enough.

Scientists and researchers are trying to understand the drivers for the increases: whether we have a sick society, the awareness of emotional struggle is reducing stigma about seeking help, whether the increased availability of pharmacological options is having an impact, or a combination of all these.

Whatever the answer, we have to keep in mind that one of the things we know all too well is that when patterns of worsening psychological struggle are left unattended the return to wellbeing is usually longer and harder. So, given the apparently worsening state of our mental health it is worth taking the time to pause and reflect.

So how are you and your loved ones doing?

A great place to start is with this very question. We are really used to asking this question, the problem is that it is often used as a greeting as opposed to an actual enquiry and then we are not always ready or equipped for the answer the question might bring.

I’m sure we all have experience of answering or hearing ‘fine’ to this question where rather than the adverb meaning of ‘very well’ it might be more easily understood as an abbreviation such as Frustrated, Insecure, Neurotic, Exhausted.

Over the past year I’ve followed the campaign by the charity Time To Change where they encourage people to always ‘Ask twice’ as a way of getting past the first problem.

Of course, what we also know is that whilst it is ‘good to talk’ that is only true if it turns out to be a good talk and they offer lots of helpful information on how to ensure your talk can be a good one.

But understanding why we or those around us may not be wanting to talk is also really valuable. When there is psychological pain, it is a natural response for the sufferer to want to avoid contact with others, to want to be left alone.

Often this is an attempt to avoid feeling overwhelmed by even more negative feelings, a response to the situation where attempts to solve the underlying distress have previously failed and / or resulted in an escalation of the pain.

As therapists we know that talking about difficult things does not immediately bring relief, we also know that it is the way in which things are spoken about which is often crucial. We know for example, that with trauma there is always the potential for secondary trauma brought about by revisiting the initial trauma.

In therapy we understand that there are certain conditions that are needed for the causes of psychological pain to be understood in a way that can heal; we refer to these as the therapeutic frame. Emotional distress is a natural reaction to difficulties of living and often serves to keep us either safe and/or point the way to some kind of resolution.

When we become stuck it means there is a dilemma that needs to be understood, that we are yet to reach the level of clarity about a situation that can enable us to become unstuck.

The nature of psychological distress is such that whilst it does point the way it can also make it extremely hard to think and reflect. Indeed, it can appear counterintuitive and initially feel more painful to slow down and focus but this initial experience can give way to something more hopeful and positive as the sufferer or listener expresses something that brings something new to the dilemma. As therapists when working with significant trauma we will pay close attention to levels of emotional distress and help patients to recognise and manage them when necessary.

Ultimately the best we can ever hope to achieve is to connect with suffering with intention of understanding so that solutions for getting unstuck can be uncovered. If the situation feels unmanageable then pay close attention to that and ask the question ‘what might be helpful?’ Remember every conversation provides an opportunity to understand and at the point it feels unhelpful then take a step back and think about what to do next. Sometimes taking a break is sufficient, sometimes changing the conversation helps and then there is always professional help.

Nicholas Rose

UKCP accredited Psychotherapist

Psychotherapy, counselling, relationship therapy and coaching.

PGDip, MA, Adv Dip Ex Psych

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

nicholas-rose.co.uk

Read more blogs by Nicholas Rose

Read the previous one – Mind Matters – How big is your list of ‘micro oppressions’?

See all Nicholas’s Mind Matters blogs here

Read a profile of Nicholas here

Read more on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

Arrest made in connection with murder in Ealing

Detectives investigating a fatal stabbing in Ealing have made an arrest

Police were called just before midnight on Saturday, 23 July, to a man suffering stab injuries inside a pub on Uxbridge Road, W13. Officers attended along with ambulance colleagues.

The 58-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene. The man’s family have been informed and they will be supported by specialist officers. A post-mortem examination and formal identification are being arranged.

On Sunday, 24 July, a 58-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder. He was taken to a west London police station where he remains in custody.

Enquiries continue. Anyone with information or any witnesses who are yet to speak with police are asked to call 101 quoting reference CAD 8656/23Jul. To remain anonymous, please contact Crimestoppers.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Rail strike Wednesday 27 July

See also: A4 road works likely to cause months of traffic congestion 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.

Missing man last seen in Chiswick

Police are appealing for the help of the public in the search for a 76 year old man called Stan, who was last seen in Chiswick on Sunday morning (24 July).

He was wearing a dark blue jacket and trousers. Telephone 101 with reference number 4424/24Jul if you see him.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Rail strike Wednesday 27 July

See also: Main section of Barnes Bridge Walkway installed

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.

Jennifer’s dog training advice – Help! My dog won’t come back to me!

Image above: Dog walk; photograph Anna Kunst

Guest blog by Jennifer Billot

Jennifer Billot, MSc CPDT-KA is a professional dog trainer and the founder and owner of Bone Ball Bark, a force-free dog training company based in Chiswick. Over a series of  blogs she explores the most common problems she encounters when clients first get in touch.

Whether you have had your dog for many years, acquired a lockdown puppy within the last two, or just picked up a new bundle of fluff, complete with a set of sharp teeth, hopefully this series will provide some helpful tips.

Help! My dog won’t come back to me!

We are surrounded by gorgeous parks here in Chiswick, and you would like nothing more than to enjoy them with your dog, stress free, knowing they will come back to you if and when you need them. Below are four common recall issues, and a brief description on how to solve them.

1.    You may have created a negative association with coming to you

Over time your dog may very well have learned that coming to you means something negative. This could be because you were angry with them, that the leash will go on to go home or to move them away from something they deem to be fun, or a whole host of other reasons that stops them from enjoying the park.

Ensure that when you do call your dog, you absolutely never punish them for coming to you, no matter what! Always pair it with a tasty treat, then either let them go back to whatever it is they were doing, or get out their favourite toy for a quick game with you if you are trying to get them away from something. You should provide fun on the walks too.

If you do need to put their leash on to go home, the fun doesn’t have to stop then and there. Tug games, working on your loose leash walking, scattering some treats in the grass as you head to the exit with a “find it” cue to get them sniffing and searching, can help that end-of-walk battle by giving your dog another task to focus on.

I often tell clients to put the leash on throughout the walk and do some “Find It” games, before taking it off again. Make sure the leash doesn’t only come out when the walk is over.

Image above: Dog playing in the river; photograph Anna Kunst

2.    The reward that you are offering, if you are even offering one, may not be worth their while to come back for it

Put it this way, if your other half asked you to pass them the remote and in return you were given some carrot sticks then okay, you appreciate the acknowledgement of your effort.  However, if they then asked you to take a trip to IKEA on a Bank Holiday, and gave you the exact same reward of carrot sticks, chances are you won’t be going to IKEA again. However if they gave you something you absolutely loved (think chocolate cake, red wine), you will probably be willing to visit again!

In dog terms, if your dog comes away from playing with another dog, or has to run to you from half way across Gunnersbury Park, and gets the equivalent of carrots, which he could get for just sitting when asked, you can bet that when he hears “Come Here” next time, he won’t bother.

Do you know your dog’s top reward when outside? We always assume it is chicken which is rarely true. My 18 month old Labrador will choose cucumber over chicken every time, so that is what I take with me on walks. I want to always make sure I am rewarding my recall cues with his most prized treat or toy.

Usually, the softer and squishier the treat the better. They don’t want to waste time crunching something dry and bland!

Image above: Jennifer playing with a client’s dog 

3.    You nag your dog over and over when on a walk with words your dog has learned have no behavioural association

Training a dog is building associations between a word, sound or an action from you, that they are to follow with a specific behaviour, that then brings some form of reward. If we are inconsistent with our words, expectations and rewards, you will not have a reliable cue.

Think about how many times a day you say your dog’s name, and for a hundred different reasons. Sometimes it is out of affection, sometimes you are talking about them, sometimes you are trying to get their attention, and sometimes it is because you are angry.

When you are in the park, you repeat their name over and over where they give zero acknowledgement that they have heard you, and who can blame them? They haven’t learned that that word means you want them, and quite frankly, the outside world is more engaging.

Try rebuilding the association that their name is something good that they should pay attention to. At home, with no distractions around, say your dog’s name, and immediately give a treat.

Repeat many times over a few days and build back the idea that when they hear that word, they should snap their attention to you for a reward. I don’t advise that you then use your dog’s name as a substitute for a recall cue, but getting their attention first when outside is just as important as coming to you.

You can then give your recall cue of “Come Here” and work on retraining that those words mean to run to your feet for a top quality reward.

Image above: Dogs playing in the lake at Chiswick House Gardens; photograph Jon Perry

4.    Trying to get your dog back has become a game of ‘Catch Me If You Can’

There are few things more frustrating than being in a stand-off with your dog as you are trying to get them. You take a step towards them, and they bounce back just out of arm’s reach!

Make sure you are always getting them to chase you, never chase your dog! Turn and run, and your dog should dart off after you. When they get to you, throw their toy or drop a treat on the ground, and then take off again! Make it into the most fun game you can.

Another method of stopping this game of ‘catch me’ dead in its tracks, is bending down with your back to them. Dogs are very used to orienting themselves to our front. By having your back to them and bending down to look at something on the ground, they should want to come see what is so exciting, and reorient themselves to be at your front.

When they do come round to face you, drop a treat on the floor, and move away to another spot with your back to them. Repeat a few times before you make any move to get hold of their collar or harness.

Image above: Jennifer Billot with Griffin

Jennifer Billot has a Masters Degree in Canine Sciences from Bergin University in California. She is a certified professional dog trainer, CPDT-KA qualified, and spent five years as an Assistance Dog trainer for an organization specializing in mobility assistance dogs in both Seattle and Hawaii. She offers in-person training sessions in London and virtual consultations worldwide.

Bone Ball Bark is a member of The Chiswick Calendar’s Club Card scheme – view offers here.

Contact Jennifer on 07483 263956 / jennifer@boneballbark.com
boneballbark.com
Instagram: boneballbark



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To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

A4 road works likely to cause months of traffic congestion in Chiswick

Image above: The bridge over the rail tracks on Great West Road which needs repairing; Photograph Google Streetview

First phase of work begins 5 August

This story has been updated on Monday 8 August 2022

Transport for London is warning we can expect months of significant traffic congestion in Chiswick while roadworks are carried out on Great West Road (A4) near Harvard Hill.

From 5 August until the end of the year, TfL contractors will be carrying out essential maintenance and refurbishment works on the Cromwell Road Railway Bridge over the railway line that runs between Gunnersbury and Kew Gardens. TfL says the work will improve the long-term condition of the bridge, road and pavements.

As the work is carried out there will be series of lane closures in both directions until late December on the A4 between Chiswick Roundabout and Hogarth Roundabout. There will also be some full closures of the road overnight and at weekends.

These will at times also affect the M4 between junction 3 and Chiswick roundabout.

The work is bound to displace traffic onto Chiswick High Rd at the time TfL is also starting work on the next phase of Cycleway 9, putting in bus shelters amongst other changes in the process of making the cycle lane permanent.

READ ALSO: Next phase of work to C9 to go ahead in September

While the work is going on LB Hounslow has decided to relax the traffic restrictions in Grove Park and Strand on the Green on the days when two lanes are closed. Effectively this will be from Friday 5 August – Wednesday 12 October and on four Saturdays in November and December.

Between October 12 and the end of December the traffic restrictions will be relaxed on Saturday 26 November, Saturday 3 December, Saturday 10 December and Sarurday 17 December.

READ ALSO: Access to Grove Park during roadworks on A4

Image above: Section of the A4 affected

‘Plan ahead’ says TfL

Phase one of the work begins on 5 August with the full overnight closure of the A4 westbound between Hogarth Roundabout and Chiswick Roundabout. From the following day, just one lane of the A4 westbound will be open on this section until 15 September.

The work involves waterproofing the bridge, replacing the road surface, replacing joints in the bridge and installing new crash barriers.

‘This work will help to ensure that people in the area and beyond can continue to use the bridge and the A4 for decades to come’ say TfL.

‘A series of lane and full closures is needed so that the work can be carried out safely. The schedule of work has been planned carefully to minimise disruption to people in the area, with all full closures of the road taking place overnight or at weekends.

‘Outside of these full closures, at least one lane will be kept open in both directions.  The works have been co-ordinated with other road works in the area to further minimise disruption.’

TfL say car journeys ‘may take longer than usual’ during the works and recommended drivers plan their journeys and take alternative modes of transport.

Check traffic updates here: Status updates

Lane closure details

Phase one

5.00am 6 August – 10.00pm 15 September

  • Eastbound: no closures
  • Westbound: one lane open

Phase two

5.00am 17 September – 10.00pm 12 October

  • Eastbound: two lanes open
  • Westbound: one lane open

Phase three

5.00am 14 October – 10.00pm 25 November

Eastbound

Two lanes open

  • Slip road to join the A4 eastbound at Chiswick roundabout will be closed. Follow the signed diversion route to Hogarth roundabout

Westbound

No closure

Weekend directional closures

Following phase three, there will be two weekend full eastbound closures between M4 junction 2 and Hogarth Roundabout. These closures will run from 11.00pm on Friday to 5.00am on Monday on the following dates:

  • Friday 25 November and Monday 28 November
  • Friday 2 December and Monday 5 December

Signed diversion routes will be in place for local traffic.

Overnight directional closures

There will be overnight closures:

  • Eastbound between M4 junction 3 and Chiswick Roundabout
  • Westbound between Chiswick Roundabout and Hogarth Roundabout

Closures will run from 10.00pm until 5.00am the next day (except on 16 September).

There will be closures on these dates:

  • 5 August: westbound
  • 15 September: westbound
  • 16 September: westbound closure from 11.00pm
  • 12 October: westbound
  • 13 October: eastbound

Signed diversion routes will be in place.

Contingency weekend closures

If needed, there will be full directional closures with signed diversions on these weekends:

  • From 11.00pm Friday 9 December to 5.00am Monday 12 December
  • From 11.00pm Friday 16 December to 5.00am Monday 19 December

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Main section of Barnes Bridge Walkway installed

See also: Pedestrian walkway opened under arch at Kew Bridge

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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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.

Declan Donnelly and Ali Astall welcome baby boy

Baby named Jack Anthony Alphonsus

TV presenter Declan Donnelly posted this picture on Sunday, 24 July, welcoming the arrival of his baby son.

‘Shortly before 10am yesterday, 23.7.2022, Ali and I welcomed the arrival of our son, Jack Anthony Alphonsus, a very welcome ray of light. He is wonderful and Isla is beyond excited to be a big sister! D x’ he posted.

Alphonsus was the name of Dec’s father, who moved to Newcastle from Ireland with wife Anne in 1958. Anthony is of course the name of Dec’s TV partner Ant McPartlin.

Declan Donnelly and Ali Astall, who live in Grove Park, were married in 2015 and had their daughter Isla in 2018.

The past few weeks has been an emotional time for Dec. The birth comes only a few weeks after the death of his brother Dermott, a Catholic priest, who died on 8 July. Two days before that he was picking up an award in the TV Personality category of the TRIC awards – Television and Radio Industry Club – with his partner Ant.

Some famous names have been leaving messages of congratulation. Love Island host Laura Whitmore posted: “Delighted for you both! Congrats xx” with a red heart emoji.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver added: “Congratulations to you all xxxxx”.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Pedestrian walkway opened under arch at Kew Bridge

See also: Barnes Bridge span journey upriver from Tilbury Docks delayed

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.

Strand on the Green coffee cart chosen as one of the best in the world

Image above: Dear Coco owner Anthony Duckworth with Anna, his full time barista

Dear Coco receives surprise accolade from coffee magazine

Barista magazine, which should know a thing or two about coffee, has published a list of its top five global coffee carts. Dear Coco, the coffee cart at Strand on the Green, is among them.

Owner Anthony Duckworth is not sure how they came to be chosen, but he is delighted they were.

“I don’t know how they chose us” he told The Chiswick Calendar “I didn’t even know about it but suddenly our Instagram blew up.”

The magazine chose coffee carts in Sweden, France, Romania, Japan and the UK which they said were ‘endearing coffee trucks are pumping out high-quality coffee in unexpected places.’

The magazine describes the Dear Coco as being ‘nestled along the River Thames in downtown London’.

Anthony set up Dear Coco just over a year ago with his wife Emma, who is the food photographer and stylist emmaduckworthbakes. Anthony is a marketing executive with American Express.

“It’s something I always wanted to do” he told us. “It was my retirement plan. I brought it forward because my job lost meaning during the pandemic. Marketing was disrupted and I couldn’t be creative, so I invested in a dream.”

The couple took £40,000 from their savings to buy the Piaggio Ape they have converted into their coffee cart and they set up the business last May. It has been such a success they have been able to pay themselves back within nine months. Anthony combines running the cart with working as marketing director for AMEX.

They called the business “Dear Coco” because, says Anthony, it is a “love letter” to their youngest daughter Coco, who is six.

“We have three daughters. The older ones are old enough to help out but we wanted to involve Coco as well, so we decided to call the business after her.”

They buy their coffee – which is very good, I can vouch for that personally – from Australian firm The Roasting Party in Winchester. The blend they use is part Brazilian, part Columbian and part El Salvadorean.

“We were always walking along there at Strand on the Green before we opened the business. We wanted to build an aesthetically pleasing business which would suit the area. We wanted the community to wrap its arms around us, and they have” he says.

Dear Coco is open Wednesday – Sunday – except for this week – You will have to wait a week to congratulate them as this is the one week of the year Anthony takes as holiday.

Instagram: dearcocolondon

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Understanding dogs – Interview with Chiswick dog trainer Jennifer Billot

See also: Chiswick in the sun – gallery

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.

Fatal collision on A4

Police are appealing for witnesses to a fatal collision on the A4 at Cromwell Road

Emergency services were called just after 11pm on Friday, 22 July, to a report of a collision between a car and a motorcycle on the A4 at Cromwell Road near the junction with Warwick Road, SW5.

Officers attended along with ambulance colleagues. The motorcyclist – a man, aged in his 20s – died at the scene. His family have been informed.

The car driver – a 29-year-old man – did not stop at the scene. He was located and arrested by officers a short time later on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. He remains in police custody.

Any witnesses, including those with dashcam footage, are urged to call police on 101 and quote ref CAD 8814/22JUL.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Pedestrian walkway opened under arch at Kew Bridge

See also: A4 road works likely to cause months of traffic congestion 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.

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Barnes Bridge span journey upriver from Tilbury Docks delayed

Image above: Barnes Bridge Walkway main section being loaded at Tilbury Docks

Installation of Barnes Bridge walkway put off until Tuesday 26 July

The main span of the new bridge being built as a walkway to connect the towpath underneath Barnes Railway Bridge at Dukes Meadows has been loaded onto a pontoon at Tilbury docks, ready to be brought upstream to be installed.

It was to have been brought upstream at overnight on Friday 22 – Saturday 23 July but the journey has been delayed. The Chiswick Calendar understands the bridge section is stuck in Tilbury docks because of a problem with a dock gate.

An expert from the Netherlands has been brought in to fix it and having missed its slot the pontoon is now not due to float its load upstream until Tuesday 26 July.

The plan is to float the structure in at high tide and then, as the tide recedes, the span will seat itself on its foundations.

This is what it will look like in situ.

Image above: Computer generated image of what the new footbridge underneath Barnes railway bridge will look like; Moxon Architects

The bridge is one of the lowest carbon and most environmentally conscious bridges in the UK, according to its designer and it has taken four years’ planning to get to this stage. Installation is due to be completed by the autumn.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Barnes Bridge Walkway main section comes upriver from Tilbury Docks

See also: Pedestrian walkway opened under arch at Kew Bridge

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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Woman charged in Richmond murder

A woman will appear in court charged with murder following a stabbing in Richmond

Blaze Wallace (27) from Richmond will appear in custody at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court on Friday, 22 July charged with the murder of 34-year-old Samuel Mayo.

This follows an investigation by homicide detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command after police were called around 10pm on Monday, 18 July to reports of a man suffering a stab injury in Lower Richmond Road, SW14.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Fire at Sports Pavilion in Southall

See also: Sadiq Khan pays tribute to London’s firefighters

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 Gray Man

The Gray Man ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2 Review by Andrea Carnevali

When the CIA’s most skilled operative-whose true identity is known to none-accidentally uncovers dark agency secrets, a psychopathic former colleague puts a bounty on his head, setting off a global manhunt by international assassins.  Out in cinemas today.

Loosely adapted from Mark Greaney’s novel from 2009 and with an estimated budget of $200m (one of the most expensive films ever made by Netflix), this spy/action film steals from all those Bourne, Bond, Mission Impossible flicks we’ve seen many times before. It’s full of spy clichés, basic exposition and has a plot which could be written on the back of a stamp, but who cares when the action is so exciting!

The Russo Brothers, who have previously directed the latest Avengers, which made them the most successful movie makers in history, throw everything they can at the audience to make sure that every dollar of the huge budget will show on the screen.

And you know what? It does show! Flying drones (though a bit random and pointless, but very dynamic), incredible chases, massive explosions, relentless fights, loud shootouts and so many locations all around the world to shame even James Bond himself.

And talking about de-throning Bond, there’s a spectacular and rather insane action scene in Prague about half-way through the film, which seems to go on forever and it’s probably one of the most exciting chases I’ve seen in while.

Basically, if action is all you want, this is definitely one for you, but please, don’t take it too seriously, otherwise it’ll fall to pieces.

Yes it’s derivative, it makes very little sense, it’s predictable and it’s got a video-game sensitivity throughout, but it is still a lot fun!

The whole thing is also further elevated by the presence of Mega-stars Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans.

Gosling plays Sierra Six, a CIA mercenary who after uncovering murky secrets about the agency he works for, becomes the primary target. On the run, he is hunted by Lloyd Hansen (Chris Evans), a moustachioed sociopath assassin who will stop at nothing to get his man.

Clearly the former Captain America is having the time of his life with this role, turning up all the knobs to 11. He’s so over the top that one cannot help laughing. In contrast, Gosling’s detached and deadpan delivery brings a different kind of humour to the hero and in the process makes him even more charming that he already is.

The cast also includes Ana de Armas, Billy Bob Thornton and Alfre Woodard.

The original novel has spawned multiple sequels, so it’s safe to bet that the Russo brothers are aiming to create another franchise. Whether the huge spectacle can translate on the smaller screen of Netflix remains to be seen.

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

The Gray Man is out in cinemas today.

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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Pedestrian walkway opened under arch at Kew Bridge

Image above: Archway under Kew Bridge opened as a pedestrian walkway

12 years and £60,000 to clear out an archway and give it a coat of paint

The walkway under one of the arches at Kew Bridge connecting Strand on the Green and Brentford has officially been opened to the public.

The space beneath the arch had been used by developers St George as a marketing suite for their apartment complex at the north end of the bridge, but the arch remained boarded up for years after the office closed.

Local councillors suggested it should be used to give residents of the new flats access to Strand on the Green when the development was in its initial planning stages.

It has taken 12 years and a great deal of persistence from the Strand on the Green residents association (SOGA) for the plan to come to fruition.

The bridge is owned by Transport for London, whose commercial property department tries to maximise revenue from such spaces. They were not keen to relinquish the prospect of commercial revenue it might have brought in but were eventually prevailed upon to release the arch space for public use.

It is now leased to LB Hounslow for 25 years. The council has spent £60,000 clearing the space and renovating it.

It has been in use since the Jubilee weekend but Friday (21 July) saw the official ribbon-cutting by Deputy Leader of Hounslow Council, Cllr Katherine Dunne, with Ruth Cadbury MP for Brentford & Isleworth and Will Norman, the Mayor of London’s Commissioner for walking and cycling.

Image above: Ruth Cadbury MP, Cllr Katherine Dunne, Will Norman, Cllr Gabriella Giles

Will Norman thanks “Stroud on the Green” residents

It was all going so well, with Will Norman describing how he had enjoyed walks along this stretch of the River Thames with family and stressing the importance of having an uninterrupted path for pedestrians along the river without them having to take a detour up and over the road through the traffic to cross to the other side.

All going so well that is, until he thanked the ‘Stroud on the Green’ residents association. There was an embarrassed pause as the assembled company considered whether it would be rude to correct him. They decided they would anyway.

Unperturbed, he continued:

“When I first came into the job this was one of the first things that landed on my desk. I thought it would be straightforward. Actually it wasn’t. This was one of the weakest links along the Thames Path but the Commercial development team have to balance commercial and community interests.”

Cllr Katherine Dunne said how pleased she was.

“We have this wonderful wide space to continue the journey along the river without having to negotiate traffic.

“I’m especially pleased that people in wheelchairs and with buggies can get through.”

Image above: Ruth Cadbury MP addressing group at opening of the pedestrian walkway 

Lots of people pushed for this to happen

Ruth Cadbury MP, who was a councillor for Brentford before she became its MP in 2015, said:

“There are lots of people who have pushed for this.” Tony Arbour, Conservative GLA member, was one who deserved special mention for continuing to push for it, she said.

She thanked SOGA for “nagging” when it kept dropping down the priority list: “Thanks for waking us up every now and then.”

She thanked local councillors Mel Collins, Sam Hearn and Guy Lambert for seeing it through.

Paul Lynch, one of the original Riverside ward councillors who had thought it a good idea, was there to see it opened. Current Riverside ward councillor Gabriella Giles said she was glad TfL had recognised community need and put it ahead of profit.

“Taking 12 years for something quite simple is not the way we’d like things to be done in local government” she said.

Making sure it was called the ‘Platinum Jubilee Arch’, not the ‘Active Travel Arch’

The campaign to get the walkway open has bookended Richard Griffiths’ time as chairman of SOGA. He was first involved when he took over as chairman of the residents’ association in 2014.

His last act as chairman was to get the arch named the ‘Platinum Jubilee Arch’ (organised by Fiona Sparkes, general manager of the Bell & Crown and painted by Fuller’s sign-writer) before TfL and the council could organise themselves to label it the ‘Active Travel Arch.’

The walkway restores the historic connection that has always existed between riverside residents at Strand on the Green and Brentford. When the bridge was built in 1903 people were able to walk through the arches to give access to the market that used to be where the piazza is now.

In Edwardian times the piazza outside One Over the Ait was the site of the biggest vegetable market in Western Europe. What is now the Western International Market started there in 1892. It moved to Heathrow in 1982.

The market was here because of the fruit and vegetables grown here in the days when Brentford was known for its market gardening and the Royal Horticultural Society was based here.

Image above: Canoeists on the strand by Kew Bridge; photograph Anna Kunst

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Chiswick In Film festival planned for autumn 2022

See also: Dame Eileen Atkins heads line-up for Chiswick Book Festival 2022

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Fire at Sports Pavilion in Southall

Image above: Fire at sports pavilion in Southall; photograph London Fire Brigade

Smoke drifted across west London

Smoke was seen across west London from a big fire at a sports pavilion in Southall in the early hours of Friday morning (21 July).

Residents were advised to keep their windows shut as eight fire engines and around 60 firefighters tackled a blaze at a sports pavilion in Tentelow Lane, Southall. Part of the sports pavilion was alight.

Station Commander Brett Loft, who was at the scene, said:

“Crews worked hard to bring this fire under control. Due to the weather conditions the fire has created a lot of smoke in all directions.”

The Brigade was called at 2.37am and the fire was under control by 6.57. Fire crews from Southall, Heston and surrounding stations were at the scene.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Sadiq Khan pays tribute to firefighters

This week has been the busiest for firefighters in London since the Second World War. On Tuesday London Fire Brigade were tackling with several fires at the same time and dealing with more than 2,600 emergency calls.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan paid tribute to them, praising their “incredible efforts” in tackling blazes across the city during this week’s extreme heat.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Sadiq Khan pays tribute to London’s firefighters

See also: Planning permission now needed to change houses to multiple occupancy in LB Hounslow

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.

Sadiq Khan pays tribute to London’s firefighters

Image above: Result of fire on Tuesday 19 July; photograph London Fire Brigade

Busiest week for London Fire Brigade since Second World War

This week has been the busiest for firefighters in London since the Second World War. On Tuesday (19 July) London Fire Brigade were tackling with several fires at the same time and dealing with more than 2,600 emergency calls.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan paid tribute to them, praising their “incredible efforts” in tackling blazes across the city during this week’s extreme heat.

On a normal day, the fire service will get 350 calls, Mayor Khan said. On a busy day, the London fire service would get 500 calls. On Tuesday, the London fire service received more than 2,600 calls.

The Brigade’s Assistant Commissioner, Jonathan Smith also praised his staff:

“Firefighters across London worked in very difficult conditions to protect Londoners and their heroic actions mean no lives were lost. I am immensely proud of them and their dedication in such unprecedented heat.”

More than 40 houses and shops were destroyed in the east London village of Wennington after a number of grass fires spread to nearby buildings. Four fire engines and around 25 were called to a grass fire at a golf course on Staines Road in Twickenham. Around two hectares of trees and undergrowth were damaged by the fire.

“It is important for us to recognize that one of the consequences of climate change and these sorts of temperatures that lead to the fires you are seeing,” Mayor Khan said.

“The challenge in London is we have a lot of grass, a lot of green spaces and a lot of that impinges on properties. And when you have not had rain for a long period, when the grass is incredibly dry, fires can start very quickly and spread even faster because of wind and that leads to properties being destroyed.”

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Ruth Cadbury slams Government over NHS waiting lists in west London

See also: Planning permission now needed to change houses to multiple occupancy in LB Hounslow

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 in the sun – gallery

Image above: Girl in the shade of a tree at Chiswick House; photograph Jez Oakley

Phew what a scorcher

Never has the tired old newspaper phrase appeared so sinister. Fortunately we didn’t have fires, unlike other parts of London. Sadiq Khan has paid tribute to London Fire Brigade, who had their busiest day since the Second World War on Tuesday 19 July.

Jez Oakley was out taking pictures in Chiswick on the hottest day on record. Here’s a gallery of his photographs.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Sadiq Khan pays tribute to London’s firefighters

See also: Fire at Sports Pavilion in Southall

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 House Pink Ribbon walk raises £80,000

Image above: Walkers taking part in the Pink Ribbon walk to raise money for Breast Cancer Now

Walkers raise money for Breast Cancer Now

More than 270 people took part in the sponsored walk at Chiswick House Gardens at the beginning of July and raised over £80,000 for the charity Breast Cancer Now.

The final fundraising walk in the series was put on hold for two years because of the pandemic, but took place finally on 2 July. Fundraisers wearing their trademark pink T shirts walked ten or twenty miles to raise money for Breast Cancer Now, which supports research into secondary breast cancer.

The charity’s research projects look at different aspects of secondary breast cancer – from finding ways to stop breast cancer spreading to finding more effective ways to treat it.

70-year-old Christine Turkington from Glasgow, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001 and after being supported by Breast Cancer Now, has volunteered for the charity for 18 years. She appeared on stage before she took on the 10-mile walk herself and said:

“I am delighted to be here today walking 10 miles in this beautiful location.

“I was diagnosed with breast cancer over 20 years ago, after finding a lump in my breast at the end of 2001.

“Throughout my treatment, Breast Cancer Now [known then as Breast Cancer Care] provided me with peer support, where I was able to talk to someone who had the same diagnosis as myself and I attended information sessions, which empowered me to face the challenges of breast cancer with less fear, greater control, and more knowledge.”

Claire Pulford, Associate Director, Community and Events at Breast Cancer Now, said:

“It’s always an incredibly emotional day and, after the COVID-19 pandemic forced Breast Cancer Now to cancel events for the last two years, seeing everyone walking together for a joint cause felt even more special.

“People took part for so many reasons – we had people walking who are currently having breast cancer treatment, people who’ve had treatment, and friends and family of people affected by the disease.

“We’re so thankful to everyone who signed up to take part in a Pink Ribbon Walk and fundraise for Breast Cancer Now.

“Every year in the UK 55,000 women and 370 men are diagnosed with breast cancer and sadly these numbers are rising. These vital funds are helping us to ensure we’re here for anyone affected by breast cancer, funding world-class research and providing support to anyone affected by this devastating disease.”

The charity organises walks all over the country. They have walks coming up in the Peak District and Scotland, the South West Coast to Coast walk over the summer and the October ‘walk 100 miles in a month’ challenge.

Find out more about the charity from their website.

breastcancernow.org

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Fire at Sports Pavilion in Southall

See also: Sadiq Khan pays tribute to London’s firefighters

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.

RNLI warn people not to swim in River Thames after body of 14 year old boy found

Image above: RNLI boat at Strand on the Green

“His death is a tragedy”

The RNLI have warned families in London not to underestimate the risks of swimming in the Thames in the hot weather.

The body of a boy (14) who jumped into the river on 18 July was found 24 hours later.  He entered the water at Tagg’s Island, Richmond. Paramedics and police officers were alerted but were initially unable to find him.

A spokesperson for Richmond police wrote on Twitter:

“We are sad to report that the body of a 14-year-old boy has been recovered from the Thames this afternoon. Our thoughts are with his family, who are being supported by officers.”

Superintendent Richard Smith, from the South West Command Unit, said:

“His death is a tragedy and I cannot begin to imagine what his family will be going through. All our thoughts are with them. I know that on days like today when temperatures are at a record high, it might look appealing to jump in and cool off in rivers, reservoirs, lakes or other open water.

“Please don’t. The dangers are real and this evening in Richmond we have seen the terrible consequences of what happens when it goes wrong. To young people in particular, I would urge you to be the person in your group of friends who says no and reminds others about the dangers. Your intervention could save a life and save another family from experiencing such an awful loss.”

Every year there are drownings as people dive into cold water in hot weather, underestimating the shock of the cold.

With the school summer holidays just beginning, the RNLI is highlighting the high proportion of children saved by the charity’s lifeguards around the coast.

New figures released by the RNLI reveal that during the summer holidays* last year, of the 41 lives saved by RNLI lifeguards 39% were children under 13. In total RNLI lifeguards last year aided a total of 11,959 people during the school summer holidays.

In London it is the Thames which represents a threat. The RNLI has two stations on the River Thames, one of which is at Chiswick. They are the busiest stations in the whole of the UK and Ireland.

‘As a tidal river the Thames rises and falls twice a day by up to 7 metres meaning anyone entering the river risks hitting many of the structures and debris which lie beneath the surface. The river can flow as fast as 5mph which would overpower even an Olympic swimmer,’ said Gabbi Batchelor Water Safety Education Manager for London and the South East.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Chiswick House Pink Ribbon walk raises £80,000

See also: Sadiq Khan pays tribute to London’s firefighters

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 slams Government over NHS waiting lists in west London

Image above: Ruth Cadbury MP in the House of Commons on Tuesday 19 July

Nearly 50,000 people on waiting lists in Chelsea and Westminster hospitals

The MP for Brentford and Isleworth, Ruth Cadbury, has attacked the Government over soaring NHS waiting lists in her constituency and nationwide.

Figures from the NHS show that 48,548 people are waiting for NHS treatment at Chelsea and Westminster hospital trust (which includes West Middlesex hospital) with 583 people having to wait for more than a year, under the watch of three separate Health Secretaries.

At the outbreak of the Covid pandemic, following a decade of the Conservative Party being in Government, there were 4.4 million people on the NHS waiting list in England, at that time a record high. Nationally, the standard of 92% of people seen within 18 weeks of a referral has not been met since 2016.

“The NHS went into the latest wave of Covid infections with the longest waiting list ever, understaffed and overstretched” she said.

“Last week the Government published its elective care recovery plan for the NHS but failed to set out how it would address the workforce shortages the NHS is facing. The plan set the Government’s ambition as beginning to reduce waiting lists in 2024.

’24 Hours in A&E used to be a TV Show’

Above: Ruth Cadbury’s Tweet showing her question to the Government about A&E waiting times

“Record numbers” across Hounslow waiting for care

Speaking before PMQs Ruth Cadbury MP said:

“Record numbers of people across Hounslow are waiting for care and they are waiting longer than ever before, often in pain and distress.

“Our local health care staff at West Mid and across the borough worked heroically throughout the pandemic to keep us all safe and they went above and beyond to provide life-saving care. This hospital backlog is not their fault – it is the fault of Governments across the last decade who have failed to invest in our NHS.

“As the Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries admits, a decade of mismanagement left the NHS “wanting and inadequate” when Covid struck, and patients are now left to wait too long as a result. Our NHS is being stretched beyond capacity, yet the Government is asleep at the wheel.

“Our NHS is crying out for a change in government to give us the fresh start we need.’’

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Free or cheap meals offered for kids at pubs, cafes and restaurant chains

See also: Planning permission now needed to change houses to multiple occupancy in LB Hounslow

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Planning permission now needed to change houses to multiple occupancy in LB Hounslow

Image above: Victorian-era houses are often turned into multiple occupancy tenancies

More thorough checks on landlords

Hounslow Council has introduced new measures for landlords who want to convert family homes into houses with multiple occupancy (known as HMOs) for three to six tenants. They will now have to obtain planning permission from the Council.

This new measure, the Article 4 Direction, aims to address the increasing concerns among residents about the negative impact of houses with multiple occupancy in local communities. Many community groups and residents’ associations have highlighted how HMOs in their area have blighted their streets with an increased level of anti-social behaviour, fly-tipping and noise.

This new measure is part of wider policy that ensures HMOs contribute positively to local neighbourhoods. The HMO Licensing Policy, which was approved at Cabinet in October 2021, includes more thorough checks on landlords who have HMOs.

Due to legal requirements, the new measures will come into effect in a year’s time. A statutory consultation period will take place from Friday 15 July to 9 September.

HMOs having ‘detrimental impact’ on the local community

Councillor Tom Bruce, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Development, said:

“I would like to stress that for many residents in our borough HMOs is an affordable housing option, which is low-cost and flexible.

“However, is it clear that many HMOs are having detrimental impact on the local community and this new measure will ensure thorough oversight – protecting both the tenants in HMOs and the communities that surround them.

“Every resident in the borough deserves to live in a safe and pleasant community and this new measure will contribute to making this a reality for countless residents.”

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Pedestrian walkway opened under arch at Kew Bridge

See also: Engineering work set to cause further disruption to SWR services

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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