Sadiq Khan calls for doubling of notice periods for tenants

Image above: Sadiq Khan

Mayor calls on Government to extend notice periods further than that of emergency Covid measures

Sadiq Khan is calling on the Government to double notice periods for private tenant evictions – raising the threshold to four months, as the cost of living crisis spirals and rents continue to increase in the capital.

The proposed changes would give tenants extra financial breathing space to access support and advice, pay arrears or save for a move before their tenancies end.

The Mayor is also calling for a two-year private sector rent freeze to help struggling renters, but if Ministers choose not to implement this, longer notice periods would at least provide an important respite for hard-pressed tenants, who often face higher rents when tenancies change hands.

Rightmove Rental Price Tracker indicates asking rents for new rentals in London are growing faster than anywhere else in the UK, up as much as 15.8% annually in the past three months. The Mayor fears this inflationary pressure will only grow as more people renew or move out of contracts that may have been kept at a lower price for longer due to the pandemic.

During the pandemic, the Government extended notice periods. Short notice moves impact most acutely vulnerable households, those with children or additional needs, and those on low incomes, as they often do not have savings to rely on, or have no alternative accommodation to move into before their tenancies end.

City Hall said the Government must revisit it’s decision not to extend notice periods as part of these reforms.

Private renters to be hit with “devastating combination” of rent and bill increases

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:

“Nearly a third of Londoners are private renters, the majority of whom are set to be hit by a devastating combination of rent and bill rises in the coming months, with no sign rampant inflation is  slowing down.

“That’s why I’m calling on the Government to act urgently give Londoners breathing space by extending notice periods for tenants ahead of landlords taking possession of properties.

The Director of Generation Rent, Alicia Kennedy, said:

“With energy bills about to go sky high, renters cannot afford to be blindsided by an increase in their rent. London faces the real prospect of thousands of people being unable to find the money to cover rent, heat their homes and put food on the table.

“Renters are terrified, knowing they face a winter of destitution. Ultimately that will lead to a further rise in evictions and homelessness. Now is the time for the government to intervene and temporarily stop landlords from raising the rent, as well as pausing evictions to keep renters in their homes.”

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Just Stop Oil protesters target west London petrol stations

See also: BBC finds Jeremy Vine broke its impartiality rules after complaint from Chiswick resident

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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Higher Tube fares and bus cuts likely as TfL funding deal reached

Above: library image, London Underground

Tube fares could rise by 14%

Tube fares could rise up to 14% and bus routes will be cut, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said, after Transport for London (TfL) agreed to accept a £1.2bn funding settlement from the Government.

The Department for Transport (DfT) reached the deal with TfL on Tuesday (30 August) to keep public transport running. TfL welcomed the deal and said it would avert the “managed decline” of the transport network.

The new funding package, which lasts until 31 March 2024, is the sixth bailout for TfL, whose revenues plummeted during the Covid-19 pandemic as people stayed home.

It includes almost £1.2bn of upfront funding which will allow new Piccadilly line trains to be built, as well as upgrades to three Tube lines.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) says the settlement, which has conditions likely affecting workers pension schemes, will lead to an “attack” on Tube workers’ pay and pensions.

Image above: library image, shuttered Tube station during strikes

More strikes possible as RMT criticises deal

The deal guarantees a level of revenue until March 2024, but still will leave TfL looking for about £230m in extra savings over the next two years.

City Hall believes it has won enough concessions to head off the worst-case cuts, avoiding having to scrap free travel for under-18s and giving TfL some leeway on the controversial pension reform. It will now have to provide options rather than proposals for workers’ pensions. One of which, TfL said, would be to do nothing.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch accused the government and TfL of negotiating the deal “in secret” and said the arrangement would “likely see our members’ pensions attacked and further pay restraint in the future, coupled with driverless trains.”

“Grant Shapps’ attack on Tube workers would be unacceptable at any time but in an escalating, cost-of-living crisis it is shameful and will be resisted through further strike action,” he said.

The RMT union has called a series of strikes on the Tube this year in a dispute over pay and conditions, with members also taking part in national rail strikes.

Image above: TfL Commissioner Andy Byford, London Mayor Sadiq Khan

Deal “protects us for longer than we expected” says TfL boss

Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps said:

“For over two years now we’ve time and again shown our unwavering commitment to London and the transport network it depends on, but we have to be fair to taxpayers across the entire country.

“This deal more than delivers for Londoners and even matches the Mayor’s own pre-pandemic spending plans but for this to work, the Mayor must follow through on his promises to get TfL back on a steady financial footing, stop relying on Government bailouts and take responsibility for his actions. Now is the time to put politics to one side and get on with the job – Londoners depend on it.”

TfL Commissioner Andy Byford said:

“We have stuck up for Londoners and fought to get a fair quantum. It’s not the three-year deal we wanted, but it protects us for a longer period than we expected.

“We will need to progress with our plans to further modernise our organisation and make ourselves even more efficient, and we will still face a series of tough choices in the future, but London will move away from the managed decline of the transport network.”

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Royal Mail workers in west London strike in dispute over pay

See also: Just Stop Oil protesters target west London petrol stations

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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Royal Mail workers in west London strike in dispute over pay

Image above: opening hours of Chiswick Post Office’s Enquiry Office taped over; photograph Bridget Osborne

Chiswick Sorting Office affected by strike action

West London’s sorting offices are affected by national strike action today (31 August), as members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) protest for better pay and conditions.

Earlier this month, CWU members voted 97.6% in favour of strike action in the hope of achieving a “dignified, proper pay rise” in the face of the rising cost of living.

Today’s action by the Royal Mail Group is part of a wider package of strikes which began last Friday (26 August), with two other walkouts planned on Thursday 8 September and Friday 9 September.

Royal Mail says it has offered CWU members a 5.5% pay rise, and has cited the company’s precarious financial situation as a key reason why pay cannot keep pace with inflation.

In its financial statement for 2021-22, Royal Mail reports group revenues up by 0.6% to £12.712 billion and adjusted operating profit up by 8% to £758 million. Royal Mail’s domestic operations saw profits up by 20.9% to £416 million though revenues fell by 1.6% to £8.514 billion. The company says despite turning a profit, it is losing £1m per day.

Image above: CWU banner outside Chiswick Post Office

How are services affected?

Royal Mail has said letters will not be delivered on strike days but post offices will remain open. The company has apologised to customers, but says it has plans to minimise the disruption.

On days when strike action is taking place, Royal Mail says it will deliver as many special delivery and tracked 24 parcels as possible; prioritise the delivery of Covid test kits and medical prescriptions wherever possible but will not be delivering letters (with the exception of special delivery).

Royal Mail says it cannot guarantee delivery of all special delivery items by 9.00am or 1.00pm the next day, so it is suspending the regular guarantees while strike action is occurring.

A poster outside of Chiswick’s main Post Office in Heathfield Terrace states:

‘We’re very sorry for any disruption this may cause. We’ll do everything we can to minimise disruption and return our services to normal as quickly as possible’

‘To avoid delays, please post your items as early as you can in advance of these strike dates. Items can be posted in Postboxes or Post Offices, however, collections will be less frequent on days when strike action is taking place’

Postal workers “pushed to the brink”

Dave Ward, CWU general secretary, said:

“Nobody takes the decision to strike lightly, but postal workers are being pushed to the brink.

“There can be no doubt that postal workers are completely united in their determination to secure the dignified, proper pay rise they deserve.” Dave added:

“[Workers] can’t keep on living in a country where bosses rake in billions in profit while their employees are forced to use food banks.

“The CWU’s message to Royal Mail’s leadership is simple – there will be serious disruption until you get real on pay.”

Ricky McAulay, operations director at Royal Mail, accused the union of failing to engage in “any meaningful discussion” after months of talks. He said:

“The CWU rejected our offer worth up to 5.5 per cent for CWU grade colleagues, the biggest increase we have offered for many years,” he said.

“In a business that is currently losing £1m a day, we can only fund this offer by agreeing the changes that will pay for it.”

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Just Stop Oil protesters target west London petrol stations

See also: BBC finds Jeremy Vine broke its impartiality rules after complaint from Chiswick resident

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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BBC finds Jeremy Vine broke its impartiality rules after complaint from Chiswick resident

Broadcaster should not have given his own views on Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

The BBC has published its finding in a complaint against Jeremy Vine by a campaigner against the introduction of a low traffic neighbourhood (LTN) in Chiswick.

It found he breached the corporation’s impartiality guidelines by expressing his view. He campaigns on Twitter in favour of safe cycling and supports the introduction of cycle lanes and low traffic neighbourhood schemes. His Twitter bio says: “If cycle lanes are wrong, I don’t wanna be right”.

The BBC’s complaints unit said his Twitter activity ‘appeared to endorse one viewpoint on that topic and controvert another’ which, they said was ‘inconsistent with the BBC’s editorial standards’ since he is a journalist who works in factual programming.

Image above: Jeremy Vin’es Twitter bio

BBC under attack over impartiality

Impartiality is a key tenet of BBC journalism and it has always been the case that presenters are not allowed to express their own personal views, especially in the realm of politics, but the development of social media created a grey area in which journalists often write “my views, not the BBC’s” in their personal social media accounts, regarding that as separate from their role at work.

In October 2020 the BBC, battered by accusations of bias over Brexit and many other issues, published new guidelines for presenters and journalists governing their use of social media.

Staff and presenters were told their personal ‘brand’ was secondary to their responsibility to the corporation and that their personal social media activity must comply with the BBC’s Editorial Guidelines as though it were BBC output. They should refrain from using their BBC status to ‘pursue personal campaigns’.

‘If your work requires you to maintain your impartiality, don’t express a personal opinion on matters of public policy, politics, or ‘controversial subjects’.’

Journalists in current affairs roles were urged to “think about what your likes, shares, retweets, use of hashtags and who you follow say about you, your personal prejudices and opinions” and told that using the phrase “my views, not the BBC’s” would no longer be considered a get out clause.

They were warned that breaching the social media guidance may lead to disciplinary action and even termination “in serious circumstances”.

Last year the BBC announced it would be appointing external investigators to assess the impartiality of its coverage of contentious topics and in January Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries told parliament the BBC must fix its “impartiality and groupthink problems” as she announced she was freezing the licence fee for the next two years.

Image above: Jeremy Vine cycling to work; promoting Chiswick Flower Market

“I can speak truthfully and from my own point of view”

Jeremy Vine has not yet responded publicly to the ruling, but he gave an interview recently to the Guardian about his campaigning on Twitter for safe cycling in which he said:

“I think the general principle is, I can speak truthfully and from my own point of view about issues like cycling down this street, which I do every day, or road deaths. We’re not impartial about road death – it’s a bad thing, and cycle safety is a good thing, and it’s clear that the more segregated cycle lanes you have, the safer cyclists are.”

The statement from the BBC’s Executive Complaints Unit says:

‘For the avoidance of misunderstanding, the ECU made clear to the complainant that the finding had no bearing on any social media activity in which Mr Vine simply expressed his personal enthusiasm for cycling or called attention to its potential benefits.’

On the specific issue of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods it says:

‘The introduction of an LTN was a source of sharp controversy in Chiswick at the time in question, (mirroring controversies in other localities where LTNs have been introduced) and was the kind of topic to which considerations of due impartiality applied for the BBC.’

Vine “entitled to object” to personal abuse

The complainant to the BBC, Margie Frew, said Jeremy Vine had conducted ‘a campaign of abuse’ on Twitter against ‘a legitimate local campaigning group’, referring to One Chiswick Facebook group.

The BBC’s Executive Complaints Unit found:

‘Mr Vine had primarily been responding to posts from a Facebook group superintended by the complainant, which had been drawn to his attention by member of the group, wishing him harm and describing him in opprobrious terms.’

The BBC did not uphold this part of the complaint, saying the presenter was entitled to object to such personal abuse:

‘as he did so in terms which were not themselves abusive, his tweets were consistent with the relevant BBC Guidance in that respect.’

The BBC says it has ‘discussed’ the finding with Mr Vine.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Alex Belfield found guilty of stalking Jeremy Vine and three others

See also: Jeremy Vine back on his bike – six days after being knocked unconscious

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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LB Hounslow Local Plan to bring significant changes “failing” area near Chiswick Roundabout

Above: artist’s impression of the changes; image LB Hounslow

Power Road area ‘failing’ according to LB Hounslow

A number of significant changes to Chiswick have been revealed in LB Hounslow’s new Local Plan.

The draft plan will be presented to councillors at the next borough cabinet meeting to give an update on its progress. The National Planning Policy Framework requires every Local Authority to review or partially review their Local Plan every five years. The Local Plan is due to be published next year.

It covers a variety of planned local changes, including an update on a previous policy document for the Great West Corridor. Chiswick is in the eastern section section of the Great West Corridor, which includes Chiswick Roundabout, Chiswick Business Park and the Power Road Quarter.

Chiswick Roundabout has been identified as ‘failing’ by council officers who say in a report to cabinet:

“In the east of the borough, Chiswick Business Park represents one of the most successful business parks in the country but is immediately next to secondary locations in the GWC which are failing, this is because of the area’s generally poor environmental quality, low accessibility, not fit for purpose employment buildings and monocultural mix of uses are not attracting businesses.

“A plan-led approach for transformational change is therefore critical in the GWC to regenerate the area by introducing a mix of uses, boosting public transport provision, delivering high-quality design and radically enhancing the public realm.”

Image above: Gunnersbury Station

What is being proposed?

The plan would introduce three new public spaces. One, named Fountain Square, would be on Capital Interchange Way at the intersection with a new route to Brentford Stadium. The development would be very close to Brentford Fountain Leisure Centre, which would itself be redeveloped into a community space.

Nearby would be the Lionel Road Station Plaza, a new public space outside the proposed station for the West Orbital Line. Gunnersbury Square would be in the heart of the B&Q site development, on the route from Capital Interchange Way to Power Road, and with the potential future connection into Gunnersbury Cemetery.

Other transport additions on the wishlist include the enhancement of Gunnersbury Station, which would be made step free from the pavement to the platform.

The highest building by Chiswick Roundabout is expected be a 61 metres high tower, as opposed to 70 metres proposed previously. No indication is given of the likely heights of buildings in the Power Road Quarter.

The target for the minimum number of residential units for the Great West Corridor area generally has been reduced to 2,580 over the plan term, compared to a previous target of 3,350. The number of new jobs expected to be generated in the area has also been revised down, but it does include 100 extra at Gunnersbury Station and 150 at the Power Road Quarter.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Royal Mail workers in west London strike in dispute over pay

See also: Just Stop Oil protesters target west London petrol stations

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.

Oscar Wilde Up Close and Personal – The Bedford Park Society lecture

Images above: Oscar Wilde

The poster boy for Aestheticism

The Bedford Park Society’s Annual Betjeman Lecture is coming up and this year’s theme is the public and private life of Oscar Wilde and the speaker Giles Ramsay – an independent theatre producer, director and lecturer.

Wilde is often described as the poster boy for Aestheticism — the movement linked to the social and artistic principles behind Bedford Park’s creation. Many of his friends were early residents of Bedford Park and he first met WB Yeats at Burlington House in Chiswick when the Yeats family were living in Bedford Park.

According to Aestheticism, art should be produced to be beautiful, rather than to serve a moral or political purpose; a sentiment exemplified by the slogan “art for art’s sake.”

Aestheticism originated in 1860s with a radical group of artists and designers. It flourished in the 1870s and 1880s, gaining prominence and the support of notable writers such as Walter Pater and Oscar Wilde. It challenged the values of mainstream Victorian culture, as many Victorians believed that literature and art fulfilled important ethical roles.

In what promises to be a highly entertaining and personal insight into Wilde, Giles Ramsay examines the public and private life of one of the world’s most original and controversial artists.

Born into a respectable Dublin family, Oscar Wilde recreated himself as an international celebrity and wrote a series of short stories and plays that charmed the world. In 1890 he also published the last of the great myths — The Picture of Dorian Gray. Ten years later Wilde, ‘devoured by his fame, his demons and his decadence’, would be dead.

Image above: Giles Ramsay; Oscar Wilde

Giles Ramsay

Giles Ramsay is an independent theatre producer, director and lecturer. A former Fellow of St Chad’s College, Durham University, he is Course Leader in Theatre at The Victoria and Albert Museum and regularly lectures on the history and practice of theatre.

He specialises in creating new work with artists in developing countries and is Founding Director of the charity Developing Artists. Giles has run theatre projects in Botswana, Cape Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Kosovo, Palestine, Mexico, Thailand and Zimbabwe.

Giles regularly lectures on the Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth cruise ships and has given numerous talks at institutions ranging from The Foundation for Mexican Literature in Mexico City to The Royal College of Physicians in London. Giles combines academic

Where to buy tickets and where to go

The Bedford Park Society Lecture will be at the Andrew Lloyd Webber theatre at ArtsEd, 14 Bath Road, Chiswick W4 1LY.

Tickets are £10 per person online (plus 70p administration fee per ticket) or you can pick one up from Postmark, 53 Turnham Green Terrace, Chiswick.

Buy tickets here: ticketsource.co.uk

Drinks start from from 7.00pm and lecture starts at 8.00pm.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Yeats sculpture to be unveiled Tuesday 6 September

See also: Siân Phillips and Stephen Greif to perform a second show at Theatre at the Tabard

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.

 

Prepare for the London Marathon

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Beat your Personal Best with Ten

Guest blog from Ten Health & Fitness 

Marathon season is well upon us, and we’re now only two months away from the best marathon in the world, the London Marathon. I may be biased, but I’m unapologetically biased – a route that starts in Greenwich Park and leads you past famous landmarks like the Cutty Sark, Tower Bridge, Canary Wharf, and Big Ben, with a home straight that takes you down The Mall towards Buckingham Palace is hard to beat.

If you’re new to the marathon game, a marathon is a challenging 26.2-mile run, attempted by elite and recreational runners all across the world.  Whether this year marks your first marathon or your 10th, it’s important that you carefully consider your training, and how to best prepare yourself for the day of the run.

You can find marathon plans that will help you do that yourself but – especially for less experienced runners – we’d definitely recommend getting professional help to build and keep to your programme.

In essence, a marathon training plan should include a number of elements: running (obviously), strength, mobility, technique and last but definitely not least, injury prevention and management. Clearly that’s a lot of elements and effort to manage, especially when that usually involves different providers for each element.

At Ten Health &Fitness, we’re the exception to the rule.

At our Reformer Pilates Studio in Chiswick, we have all the disciplines in house that you need to create, monitor and maintain an effective marathon programme, all working together under one roof. From Physiotherapy and Sports Massage Therapists to ease niggles and help prevent injury to expert PT’s and Pilates instructors who can help you build the strength and mobility you’ll need to see you over the finish line.

Read on, or get in touch if you’d like help with your Marathon programme.

First, prehab

Injury is the enemy of every training plan. So, it’s important to take steps (pardon the pun) to prevent injuries, or at worst to reduce their impact. It’s an approach known as prehab – or prehabilitation.

During your marathon training, you’ll run several hundred miles, with each step putting a load through your knees, ankles and feet of around 7 times your bodyweight. So, unless you’re already a seasoned distance runner (an even if you are) it’s worth having some gait analysis done.

Most commonly this takes the form of a video recording of your running from behind and from the side, which is then then analysed by a Physiotherapist or running specialist to look for any faulty movement patterns or imbalances that could lead to injury, and to prescribe corrective exercises to rebalance them, helping you run further, more safely and with less effort.

Get in touch for more information or to book a gait analysis session with one of Ten’s Physios.

Next, running training

A marathon training plan can last upwards of 16 weeks, depending on your level of experience. If you’re new to running, you’ll need a little more time to get used to the challenges of distance running. If you’re more experienced, your body can adapt quicker. A structured training programme allows your tendons, ligaments, and joints to get used to the repetitive force of running. This allows your body to become more resilient, recover more readily, and greatly reduces the risk of injury.

An effective way to structure a marathon training programme is to focus on weekly mileage. You want to aim for consistency and limit large increases or drops in training distance from week to week. Alongside the longer target pace runs, you can improve your strength and stamina by doing interval runs and/or hill training. This means working harder for shorter periods of time, with rest in between. Doing this type of training will help you maintain your target pace for longer during the race.

Many well-structured training programmes will also include a tapering period, tapering is when you gradually reduce the overall training volume/intensity in preparation for race day. Tapering allows your body to recover and help settle any niggles you may have before the all-important race. During your taper, focus on lower intensity runs as well as movement and mobility.

Massage is an invaluable element of running training, easing tight, tired and sore muscles to help you recover faster from your training runs. And by helping rebalance the musculoskeletal system, it’s a great way to keep any little niggles in check and reduce the risk of them turning into something more serious.

Mobility work is something you can do at home if you have the knowledge and experience. If it’s something you’re relatively new to, or want to make sure you’re getting maximum benefit from the mobility element of our training, you may prefer to look something more structured.

Our TenStretch classes for example. Available at our Chiswick Studio, ­­these sessions are ideal for de-loading the body and helping keep the joints and muscles mobile. By using the Pilates reformer to isolate and lengthen the muscle you’re targeting – think quads, hamstrings, calves and lower back amongst others -­ you’ll get a deeper, more effective stretch than you could achieve unassisted.

Contact us to talk to one of our Massage therapists or book your Massage or a Stretch class.

Strength training

It may seem counterintuitive, but for any endurance event, training for strength is as important as training for stamina.

A marathon is a long distance to run, and training for such event puts strain on the body. Alongside running, the best way to increase your pace on race day is strength training. This type of training will help increase the strength of your muscles, help reduce the risk of injury by improving the resilience of the tendons, joints and ligaments, and will enable you to run faster and train for longer.

Strength training for distance runners will generally focus on:

  1. Hips and glutes. Good strength and control around these areas means you’ll have greater running economy, maintain an upright posture more easily, and can help correct issues with your running technique. Exercises like squats, deadlifts, glute bridges and lunges are good places to start. If you’re able to, try and include some form of single leg work, as this not only works to strengthen the hips and glutes, but challenges your control and balance as well. The hips also benefit from regular stretching and mobility exercises, which our personal trainers can also advise about.
  2. Trunk and core
    This area of training will improve the posture required for efficient running and help support the muscles in the lower limbs over the longer miles. Here you want to work in both lying and standing positions. Exercises like woodchop, plank, wheelbarrow and curl ups will help target the abdominals and core. In addition to the abdominals, strengthening the back muscles is vital. The back muscles help support the spine and allows the body to maintain a strong stable position when running.
  3. Ankles and lower leg
    Due to the impact between the foot and floor, a fair proportion of running injuries occur around the ankle and Achilles tendon. To reduce the risk of injury and improve the effectiveness of your training, it’s important to improve the resilience of the tissue in this area. Exercises like calf raises and single leg exercises are a good place to start. Also be sure not to neglect the ‘shin’ muscles, these muscles help support the ankle. They’re also responsible for flexing the foot towards the lower leg, which is a vital part of running mechanics. Try walking on your heels with your toes pointed up to the sky to help these muscles get stronger.

If you’d like help with a strength training programme, contact us to talk to one of our Trainers.

If you’re unsure on what areas you need to work on, a good way to start is to book in for a Full Body MOT with one of our expert physiotherapists who would help you define your goals, assess your key areas of mobility and strength, and then help form a plan on how to improve.

Pilates for runners

If you’re looking to complete your first marathon, or to shave time off your personal best, all of the above areas are really important to focus on. However, creating an effective programme that includes muscular strength, muscular endurance and mobility work alongside your regular training runs can be pretty challenging.

Fortunately, Reformer Pilates is a proven and effective way to work on all these areas, at the same. The varied tension and load of the reformer springs allow trainers to tailor movements and strengthening to you depending on your needs. And because Pilates is a low-impact exercise, you’re not putting any unnecessary stress through the joints and ligaments.

Our reformer Pilates classes are structured to ensure the legs, core and upper body are all challenged, with mobility exercises Included throughout. At our Chiswick Studio we offer a full schedule of Dynamic Reformer Pilates classes, with options for all levels of experience and fitness.

How we can help

As we’ve discussed, Marathon training is a multi-faceted and relatively lengthy process. On your journey to the start line, you’ll need to manage multiple factors, from changes in programme content, and varying levels of motivation, to managing fatigue and dealing with niggles.

Our Chiswick Studio team are here to help with all of them:

  • Picked up an injury during training? Speak to our physio team to get you back on track.
  • Unsure about how to progress your training? Book in for a Full Body MOT to talk through your goals and areas for improvement.
  • Need some guidance with your strength training? Book a 1-1 personal training session with our team to better understand your body.
  • Legs feeling heavy as your weekly mileage increases? Book a Sports Massage or drop in to a TenStretch
  • Want an effective workout that combines strength and mobility training? Have a look at our Dynamic Reformer Pilates class schedule

Ten Health & Fitness is s a member of The Chsiwick Calendar’s Club Card scheme. To see their current offers to Club Card members go here: Ten Health & Fitness Club Card offer.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Books of the month

See also: Andrea’s film reviews

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.

Abundance London brings its apple press to the flower market

Bring your apples and have them juiced for free

Abundance London is bringing its traditional apple press to the Chiswick Flower Market on Sunday 4 September. The not-for-profit was set up to make good use of fruit which otherwise might go to waste in people’s gardens and this year they have picked a lot of apples.

“We’ve got a tonne of apples to shift. And when we say a tonne, we mean a tonne!” says director Karen Liebreich.

They will be rolling out the Big Press to offer free juice to passers-by from 9.30am – 3.30pm to celebrate the harvest at the flower market in Old Market Place outside George IV pub in Chiswick High Rd.

“Surprisingly, given the dry weather, this year’s apple and pear harvest has been excellent, though the fruit is ripening ever earlier, thanks to climate change” says Karen.

She asks that you bring containers – bottles for those who donate apples, cups/glasses for tasting for others.

“Bring your own cup if possible please. Last year we went through about 1,000 cups.”

Sarah and Dinis Cruz will be running the apple pressing, a sticky business which involves washing the apples, feeding them into the press, filtering the juice through muslins, doling it out to the thirsty public and clearing up the apple mush afterwards.

If you would like to spend an hour helping out, they would like to hear from you at info@abundancelondon.com.

It is also the flower market’s second birthday on Sunday. Set up during the pandemic and run by volunteers to bring business to Chiswick High Rd, it has persevered and against all odds it has flourished.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Yeats sculpture to be unveiled Tuesday 6 September

See also: Six centuries of famous Chiswick poets

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.

Pub in the Park this weekend

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Are you coming to West London’s hottest food festival?

Pub in the Park is back this weekend at Chiswick House & Gardens with its three-day extravaganza! It’s THE perfect festival for families, foodies and music fans of all ages, with a fantastic food offering and unreal music & chef line-ups! If you haven’t booked your tickets to it yet, then here’s 5 reasons as to why you HAVE to come!

  • DELICIOUS DISHES TO FEAST ON

Coming to Tom Kerridge’s food festival, one thing is for sure…you know that the food offering will be out of this world! The UK’s best eateries are coming to Chiswick House so that you can taste the very best dishes that they have to offer.

Some of the delicious dishes you can devour include The Hand & Flowers’ Deep-Fried Crispy Squida Chicken Tikka Masala Pie from Atul Kocchar’s Restaurants or Cue Point’s Banjan Naco; a vegan Smoked and Stewed Aubergine, to name but a few!

  • MEGA STAR MUSIC LINE-UP!

The scrumptious food offering is also served up with an awesome helping of live music, and the line-up this year is better than ever! Expect show-stopping performances from Craig David, Sophie-Ellis Bextor, Faithless (DJ Set), Lightning Seeds and Beverley Knight amongst others…

  • THERE’S LOTS OF TASTY TIPPLES…

Expect an impressive selection of alcoholic & non-alcoholic beverages! From refreshingly fruity G&T’s at Greenalls, to a good old-fashioned ice-cold pint at Greene King or a delicious non-alcoholic aperitif at Everleaf for those that want to go alcohol free, there’s a drink for everyone…

  • SMOKIN’ HOT CHEF LINE-UP

Look forward to seeing an awe-inspiring line-up of chefs cook up divine dishes before your very eyes on the Miele Chef Demo Stage! Line-up includes Tom Kerridge, Matt Tebbutt, Ella Mills, Sophie Ellis-Bextor & Richard Jones plus more! AND The Firepit Stage will be hosting sizzling sessions with BBQ experts Adam Purnell, DJ BBQ, Thuy Pham, to name a few…

  • SHOP TILL YOU DROP!

Pub in the Park is home to some of the best foodie businesses out there! At our Shopping Village & Artisan Market, you can discover a delicious range of sweet treats, find your favourite liquor, sample spicy sauces or invest in impressive, fancy sets of culinary tools… there’s lots of shopping to be done and this is THE place to do it.

BUY TICKETS ONLINE OR ON THE DOOR –  pubintheparkchiswick

This page is paid for by Pub in the Park

Read more on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Pub in the Park unveils menus for 2-4 September Chiswick weekend

See also: Craig David heads music line-up at Pub in the Park 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.

Six centuries of famous Chiswick poets

Images above: John Donne; James Berry, photograph from the Black History Month website

From the metaphysical poet John Donne to the Windrush poet James Berry

Guest blog by Torin Douglas, Director of the Chiswick Book Festival, who has been researching the history of writers who have lived in Chiswick through the ages

A few months ago, we added Dylan Thomas to the Chiswick Writers Trail, which features notable novelists, poets and playwrights who lived in Chiswick or had strong links here.

I was pretty chuffed when we proved that he lived for a while in the Vicarage at St Paul’s Grove Park. We also added the Windrush poet James Berry, who had lived in Bedford Park and spoken at the first Chiswick Book Festival in 2009.

READ ALSO: Poets Dylan Thomas and James Berry claimed as Chiswick writers

These were two illustrious names to add to a list which already included WB Yeats, Harold Pinter, Dame Iris Murdoch, John Osborne, WM Thackeray, Alexander Pope, Sir John Betjeman, EM Forster, JG Ballard, Anthony Burgess and Nancy Mitford.

Since we created the first Writers Trail in 2018, residents have suggested we should add other notable writers who lived in Chiswick and, after checks by local historians and others, we chose a dozen to join the list which we are gradually revealing to the waiting world.

Images above: Stephen Potter; Michael Flanders

Home to two of Britain’s most influential humourists

In May we added the humourists Stephen Potter and Michael Flanders, who were both internationally famous in their day, but less well-known now.

Partly to put that right, we shall be celebrating Michael Flanders’ legacy at a Chiswick Book Festival event on September 14 when his daughters Laura and Stephanie Flanders will be speaking, after the unveiling of a plaque on his former home by Ealing Civic Trust.

Historian Graham McCann will be expounding his view that Flanders & Swann are Britain’s most influential British comedy duo, ahead of Morecambe & Wise, The Two Ronnies and Peter Cook & Dudley Moore.

Now, as Chiswick prepares to celebrate its Nobel Prize-winning poet WB Yeats with a sculpture and a Poetry Hour event, we are marking the occasion by adding six more poets to our Writers Trail. And yes, that headline is right. Chiswick really has been home to acclaimed poets for six centuries, from the 16th right through to the 21st. Who knew?

The latest additions to Chiswick’s hall of fame

John Donne

Top of the list, and not just chronologically, is the metaphysical poet John Donne, who was the prebend of Chiswick in the 16th century. We have yet to find documentary evidence that he visited Chiswick, but the presumption by historians is that he must have done. His entry reads:

John Donne (1572-1631). Poet, priest, Prebend of Chiswick 1621-31. The Flea, Death Be Not Proud, The Sun Rising. Sermons on the Psalms and Gospels. As prebend, Donne ‘doubtless’ visited Chiswick from St Paul’s Cathedral, where he was Dean, staying in College House, the prebendal mansion house on Chiswick Mall.

College House, Chiswick Mall (demolished).

On the 400th anniversary of his ordination, the Church Times wrote:

“At St Paul’s… he preached all through the year… Among his finest sermons are five on the psalms (62-66) that he was required to recite daily as Prebendary of Chiswick.”

William Morris

Portrait of William Morris by Frederick Hollyer

In terms of fame, next on the list comes William Morris, the writer, designer and father of the Arts & Crafts movement, who is strongly associated with Hammersmith but lived in Chiswick first. His Writers Trail entry reads:

William Morris (1834-96). Poet, novelist, designer, printer, social activist, Arts & Crafts pioneer. The Earthly Paradise, News From Nowhere. Lived in Chiswick 1872-8, prior to Kelmscott House, Hammersmith.

Horrington House (demolished), near The Roebuck and Thornton Avenue.

It also carries weblinks to the William Morris Society and Morris & Company, and also a page devoted to ‘William Morris in Chiswick’ on the Chiswick Timeline of Writers and Books.

Lady Mary Sidney

Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke by Nicholas Hilliard, circa 1590. © National Portrait Gallery, London

Less well-known – but more fascinating in my view – are two pioneering women poets who lived in Chiswick in the 16th and 17th Centuries – Lady Mary Sidney and Elizabeth Moody.

Lady Mary Sidney was the daughter of a close confidante of Elizabeth I – confusingly, also named Lady Mary Sidney, nee Dudley – who lived behind Strand on the Green, from 1574 to 1586.  As a girl, the poet Lady Mary lived there, where they were visited by her older brother, Sir Philip Sidney, the godson of Philip of Spain. She married Henry Herbert and became the Countess of Pembroke.

According to the Mary Sidney Society:

“Mary Sidney Herbert, the Countess of Pembroke, was known to be a hot-tempered redhead, brilliant, multi-talented, strong, dynamic, passionate, generous, and a bit arrogant. She was born three years before Shakespeare and died five years after.

“For two decades, she developed and led the most important literary circle in England’s history, Wilton Circle, taking the mantle from her mentor, her brother Sir Philip Sidney, who died in the Queen’s Protestant war. Her work, the work of her brother, and the work of many of the writers in her circle were used as sources for the Shakespearean plays.”

There was even speculation that she wrote Shakespeare’s sonnets.

This is her Writers Trail entry:

Lady Mary Sidney (1561-1621). Poet and literary patron. Sidney Psalter. Turned Wilton House, Wiltshire, into a “paradise for poets”. Daughter of Elizabeth I’s confidante – also named Lady Mary Sidney, nee Dudley – who lived behind Strand on the Green, 1574-86.  As a girl, Lady Mary lived there, visited by brother, Sir Philip Sidney. Speculation she wrote Shakespeare’s sonnets.

Sidney House, close to Stile Hall and Strand on the Green (demolished)

Elizabeth Moody

Elizabeth Moody by Thomas Gainsborough, Dulwich Picture Gallery

Elizabeth Moody was born almost 200 years later and was married to the vicar of Turnham Green. She was a poet and critic and her poems seem as modern – and sharp – today as they must have done in the 1700s. Her poem To a Lady Who Sent the Author a Present of a Fashionable Bonnet was chosen as the Guardian’s Poem of the Week in 2018.

Much more succinct is this one:

To A Lady Who Was A Great Talker
If your friendship to take I must take too your clack,
That friendship, methinks, I could almost give back;
Yet for worlds would I not with your amity part,
Would you lock up your tongue when you open your heart.

This is her entry:

Elizabeth Moody 1737-1814. Poet and critic, Monthly Review, St James’s Chronicle. To a Lady Who Sent The Author a Present of a Fashionable Bonnet, To a Lady Who Was A Great Talker, To Dr Darwin. Married to vicar of Turnham Green; neighbour of Ralph Griffiths (ibid).

Turnham Green Terrace, W4

Revd Henry Francis Cary

Living just up the road a few years later was the Revd Henry Francis Cary, who was a Reader at St Nicholas Church, lived at Hogarth’s House and is buried in Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey. His translation of Dante’s Inferno and Divine Comedy was the best translation in any language, according to the Italian poet (and Chiswick resident) Ugo Foscolo, who was on the original Writers Trail.

His Writers Trail entry reads:

Rev Henry Francis Cary (1772-1844). Poet. Translated Dante’s Inferno and Divine Comedy – the best translation in any language according to Ugo Foscolo (ibid). 1814 Reader at St Nicholas Church, leased Hogarth’s House till 1833. Buried in Poet’s Corner, Westminster Abbey.

Hogarth’s House, Hogarth Lane (admission free, see days/times on their website)

Sir John (JC) Squire

Our sixth poet is Sir John (JC) Squire, who was a poet, journalist and one of the most powerful literary figures during the first half of the 20th Century, as editor of New Statesman and the London Mercury.

He lived on Chiswick Mall and his biography, by John Smart, was published last year – Shores of Paradise – The Life of Sir John Squire: The Last Man of Letters.

On its cover it says “He was both loved and detested… TS Eliot was an implacable foe but he enjoyed the friendship of Thomas Hardy, Rupert Brooke, Robert Graves and Siegfried Sassoon, and ruled the roost over literary society for the best part of twenty years.”

This is his entry:

Sir John (J. C.) Squire (1884-1958). Poet and man of letters; editor, New Statesman, the London Mercury for 20 years; loved (and detested) by great names of literary society; satirised by Evelyn Waugh in Decline and Fall; founder of legendary cricket club (immortalised in England, Their England). Lived at Swan House, Chiswick Mall, 1913 to 1925.

Swan House, Chiswick Mall, W4 2PS

These six poets join a list which already contained WB Yeats; Alexander Pope, who has a blue plaque in Chiswick; Sir John Betjeman, who campaigned to save Bedford Park from developers; GK Chesterton and Anthony Burgess, both well-known poets as well as novelists; and, as mentioned, Dylan Thomas and James Berry. Quite an anthology!

This year’s Festival will be celebrating the work of James Berry as well as WB Yeats and Michael Flanders.

For the past 12 years, we have run a Young People’s Poetry Competition to encourage children’s creativity. This year, we’re giving all the prize winners copies of Only One of Me, Berry’s poems for children. The book has just been republished to mark its 20th anniversary and copies have been kindly donated by the publishers, Pan Macmillan.

We hope they – and everyone else – will appreciate, and want to learn more about, Chiswick’s illustrious poetic heritage.

You can see the full Writers Trail (plus weblinks) here: chiswickbookfestival.net

The Chiswick Book Festival runs from September 6th to 17th 2022. Tickets are on sale here: chiswickbookfestival.net

Torin Douglas is the Director of the Chiswick Book Festival and is a former BBC News correspondent.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Yeats sculpture to be unveiled Tuesday 6 September

See also: Cahal Dallat publishes new book of poetry

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.

Great River Race September 2022

Image above: competitors in the 2018 Great River Race

Chiswick Pier Trust hosting viewing party for the race

The annual Great River Race is taking place on Saturday 10 September. The gruelling 21 mile course runs upstream from London Docklands to Ham and attracts more than 330 crews from all over the globe.

It is great to watch as the bizarre boats with their outlandishly costumed crews pull past Chiswick and Chiswick Pier is an excellent place to watch it, as you get a good view both upstream and downstream.

Chiswick Pier Trust is hosting a viewing party to watch the race. It begins at Docklands at 9.50am on a “slowest first, fastest last” handicap basis, so the first boats should be passing Chiswick Pier around 11.45am with the winners arriving at Ham by 1.00pm.

Pier House will be open from 11.00am where hot and cold refreshments including wine and beer will be on sale. There will be hot Moroccan food available from Argania and homemade organic ice creams from Non Solo Gelato.

The race is part of the Totally Thames Festival. It appeals to every level of competitor from dedicated athletes to those who enjoy fun, fancy dress and charity stunts, which makes for a good day out for both competitors and spectators.

The competition was started in 1988. The rules stipulate boats must be moved by oars or paddles and have a cox and a passenger (although both cox and passenger may alternate with rowers during the race). The range of craft that enter the race include gigs, skiffs, Celtic longboats, cutters, currachs, dragon boats, whaleboats and an assortment of novelty craft.

Chiswick Pier Trust puts on all sorts of activities to encourage engagement with the river.

chiswickpier.org.uk

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Yeats sculpture to be unveiled Tuesday 6 September

See also: Siân Phillips and Stephen Greif to perform a second show at Theatre at the Tabard

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.

Riverside Arts Group exhibition – Many Rivers to Cross

Image above: Many Rivers to Cross exhibition at the Riverside Studios

A 2D art exhibition with performance, poetry and sound as well

The Riverside Arts Group exhibition Many Rivers to Cross starts with a live ‘installation performance’ at 5.45 – 8pm on Friday (2 September, free) in the main foyer of the Riverside Studios, with dance artist Giacomo Pini.

The exhibition itself, on until Sunday 2 October, showcases the work of 30 artists who are members of the Riverside Artists Group, showing new work on the theme of the River Thames, as part of the Totally Thames Festival.

Each artist is collaborating with another maker, poet, object or app to create work ranging from visual media to performance, poetry and sound. There will also be art workshops during the month.

riversidestudios.co.uk

Image above: Work by Aude Grasset, Lucille Dweck, Chloe Freemantle, Felicity Swan and Jane Oldfield of the Riverside Artists Group

Riverside Artists Group

Riverside Artists Group was established in 1986, a not-for-profit organisation representing a diverse group of 40 practising artists. Members have exhibited nationally and internationally. New members are welcomed annually ‘to create an exciting and progressive community’.

The artists work mainly within 2D: painting, drawing, photography, printmaking and collage, with the range extending to sculpture, performance and digital art, which is why for this exhibition they have decided to branch out by pairing up with performance artists, working in other media.

Exhibiting Artists:  Mike Abrahams, Susan Bazin, Lynne Beel, Clare Belfield, Peter Blegvad, Natalia Bobrova, G Calvert, Stephen Carter, Grazyna Cydzik, Brian Deighton, Josie Deighton, Lucille Dweck, Shona Elrick, Chloe Fremantle, Máire Gartland, Saadeh George, Sarah Granville, Aude Grasset, Janey Hagger, Anton Harding, Martin Ireland, Seil Lien, C Morey de Morand, Jane Oldfield, Dee Semple, Sena Shah, Felicity Swan, Celia Toler, Miles Watson, Stephen Williams.

Collaborating partners include:  Heather Allan, Clive Barger, Kaye Blegvad, Frans van den Boogaard, Cathy Dineen, Francesca Giuliano, John Greaves, Pauline Harding, Simon Hiscock, Jackson Holmes, Langston Hughes, Geoff Lee, Shepherd Manyika, Madeline Marsh, Belinda McKenna-Bicknell, Vanessa Nassar, Araba Ocran, Rita Parniczky, Giacomo Pini, Pam Toler.

riversideartistsgroup.com

Images above: Stained glass lantern workshop; Spontaneous Art & Storytelling workshop

Workshops

There are a number of workshops durng the exhibition.  On Saturday 10 and Saturday 17 September you can take part in a stained glass lantern workshop led by participating artists Máire Gartland and Janey Hagger and on Saturday 24 September a candlelight lantern walk at dusk from Riverside Studios actoss Hammersmith Bridge and back with lanterns made at the workshops.

On Saturday 24 September there will be a Spontaneous Art & Storytelling performance and workshop, a collaboration between Riverside Artists Group member Felicity Swan and oral storyteller Belinda McKenna-Bicknell, of Curious House of Stories – a combination of intuitive drawing and storytelling.

Image above: The Great River Race; photograph Chiswick Pier Trust

Totally Thames Festival

The Totally Thames festival is an annual event throughhout the month of September celebrating the River Thames. Events in the schedule include walks and talks, exhibitions and expeditions, with subjects ranging across the arts, history and science. Here are just three examples:

‘The Settlers’ music video highlights the importance of the River Thames and Nine Elms as a popular destination over the centuries for Irish settlers seeking employment, particularly in the construction industry.

Thames Sightseeing offer a boat trip exploring the world of Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Under three Brunel bridges, through Brunel’s tunnel, the best kept secret in London.

‘A London sightseer’s checklist, from the Houses of Parliament to the Tower of London. A secret gateway for the Tsar of Russia. Six dead men on a haunted ship. Five famous riverside pubs. Broken bones by the silent Harpy. Broken slipways on the Isle of Dogs. Four white ensigns. Three Brunels. Two ideas from Isle of Dogs. And a monster ship.’

The Rewilding Arcadia Roadshow offers a fun-filled few days of activities for all the family to learn more about rewilding and the natural floodplain of the Thames.

There are 102 events listed in all which you can browse on the Totally Thames Festival website.

thamesfestivaltrust.org

Image above: Stand up paddleboarders; photograph Anna Kunst

Tidefest

Tidefest at Strand on the Green is part of the Totally Thames Festival, with river cruises, trips to Oliver’s Island and Brentford Ait, archeological walks and mudlarking, stand up paddleboarding, kayaking and a fishing competition. Sunday 4 September. Find out more from the Tidefest website.

thamestidefest.net

The Great River Race

The Great River race is also part of the Totally Thames Festival. The gruelling 21 mile course runs upstream from London Docklands to Ham and attracts over 330 crews from all over the globe. This year the race takes place on Saturday 10 September.

Chiswick Pier is a great spot to watch it as you get a good view both upstream and downstream. Chiswick Pier Trust will be offering hot and cold refreshments, and wine and beer from 11am, hot Moroccan food from Argania and homemade organic ice creams from Non Solo Gelato.

The race begins at Docklands at 09.50 on a “slowest first, fastest last” handicap basis. The first boats should be passing Chiswick Pier around 11.45am with the winners arriving at Ham by 1pm.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Chiswick In Pictures exhibition Autumn 2022

See also: Brentford’s Creative Mile

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.

Brentford’s Creative Mile

Friday 2 – Sunday 4 September 2022

Brentford is holding its second Creative Mile event – a walking trail from Kew Bridge to Johnson’s Island with artists’ work exhibited in locations along the way.

More than 70 artists are showing their work in eight venues over the mile long route during the weekend of 2-4 September.

Starting at the London Museum of Water & Steam, the trail takes in the Musical Museum, Studio Flox and Watermans Art Centre and winds its way down to the buzzing arts quarter on Catherine Wheel Road where you will find a hive of creatives spaces including The Loft, Duke of London, The Brentford Project space and Johnson’s Island.

Images above: Work by Claire Ireland, Derek Pearce, Neil Brown (Hot Metal Works), Máire Gartland and Neil Lemaire at the London Museum of Water and Steam

Sculptors, ceramicists, painters, jewellers, textile artists and metalworkers …

The London Museum of Water and Steam is home to several artists, including jewellers, ceramicists, a woodcarver, sculptor and furniture maker, a bronze caster and a blacksmith.

Artistic blacksmith Neil Brown creates beautiful objects from steel in his smithy, which is the oldest blacksmith’s in continuous use in London.

At the other end of the trail, Johnson’s Island is home to 16 art studios. The artists work in a range of mediums including painting, drawing, printmaking, collage, sculpture, mixed media, mosaics, jewellery, hat-making, music, writing, metalwork and ceramics.

The tiny island is interesting to visit just to see the higgledy-piggledy studios crammed into a space which was once used for the old station master’s and lock keeper’s offices. It originally formed part of Isambard Brunel’s Brentford Dock. Being able to peek into the studios and meet the artists is a treat.

Image above: Johnson’s Island

The artists who share the space describe it as: “a magical, creative space – where history, art and nature are woven together,” surrounded as it is by canal views with colourful narrowboats, herons and the occasional flash of a kingfisher.

Founding creative director ‘Mr Mr Pearce’ said:

“I originally got the idea of a Brentford art trail when I had a studio on Johnson’s Island. One of the things I noticed was how many people coming to our open studios would say that they had lived in the area for years and never knew we were there. This got me thinking about how we could increase awareness…”

Images above: Majoto Kushida, work by Jam Patel, Jean Terry, Julia Rosewood, Max Hatter and Angela Chan

Explore what is on offer at each of the locations on the Creative Mile website and then on foot over the first weekend in September. Friday 2 September from 6 – 9pm. Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 September from 11am – 5pm.

www.creativemile.org

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Chiswick In Pictures exhibition Autumn 2022 -exhibition at the Clayton Hotel Chiswick

See also: Yeats sculpture to be unveiled Tuesday 6 September

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.

September 2022 books

What’s new and good to read this month? Jessica Bloom has a look at what’s on offer and chooses The Bullet That Missed by Richard Osman, Nights of Plague by Orphan Pamuk and Stone Blind: Medusa’s Story by Natalie Haynes.

The Bullet That Missed by Richard Osman

It is an ordinary Thursday and things should finally be returning to normal.

Except trouble is never far away where the Thursday Murder Club are concerned. A decade-old cold case leads them to a local news legend and a murder with no body and no answers.

Then a new foe pays Elizabeth a visit. Her mission? Kill. . . or be killed.

As the cold case turns white hot, Elizabeth wrestles with her conscience (and a gun), while Joyce, Ron and Ibrahim chase down clues with help from old friends and new. But can the gang solve the mystery and save Elizabeth before the murderer strikes again?

Images above: The Bullet That Missed front cover, author Richard Osman

Nights of Plague by Orphan Pamuk

From the the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature: Part detective story, part historical epic—a bold and brilliant novel that imagines a plague ravaging a fictional island in the Ottoman Empire.

It is April 1900, in the Levant, on the imaginary island of Mingheria—the twenty-ninth state of the Ottoman Empire—located in the eastern Mediterranean between Crete and Cyprus. Half the population is Muslim, the other half are Orthodox Greeks, and tension is high between the two. When a plague arrives—brought either by Muslim pilgrims returning from the Mecca or by merchant vessels coming from Alexandria—the island revolts.

To stop the epidemic, the Ottoman sultan Abdul Hamid II sends his most accomplished quarantine expert to the island—an Orthodox Christian. Some of the Muslims, including followers of a popular religious sect and its leader Sheikh Hamdullah, refuse to take precautions or respect the quarantine. And then a murder occurs.

As the plague continues its rapid spread, the Sultan sends a second doctor to the island, this time a Muslim, and strict quarantine measures are declared. But the incompetence of the island’s governor and local administration and the people’s refusal to respect the bans doom the quarantine to failure, and the death count continues to rise. Faced with the danger that the plague might spread to the West and to Istanbul, the Sultan bows to international pressure and allows foreign and Ottoman warships to blockade the island. Now the people of Mingheria are on their own, and they must find a way to defeat the plague themselves.

Steeped in history and rife with suspense, Nights of Plague is an epic story set more than one hundred years ago, with themes that feel remarkably contemporary.

Images above: Nights of Plague front cover, author Orphan Pamuk

Stone Blind: Medusa’s Story by Natalie Haynes

In Stone Blind, Natalie Haynes – the Women’s Prize-shortlisted author of A Thousand Ships – brings the infamous Medusa to life as you have never seen her before…

‘So to mortal men, we are monsters. Because of our flight, our strength. They fear us, so they call us monsters.’

Medusa is the sole mortal in a family of gods. Growing up with her Gorgon sisters, she begins to realize that she is the only one who experiences change, the only one who can be hurt. And her mortal lifespan gives her an urgency that her family will never know.

When the sea god Poseidon commits an unforgivable act in the temple of Athene, the goddess takes her revenge where she can – and Medusa is changed forever. Writhing snakes replace her hair, and her gaze now turns any living creature to stone. The power cannot be controlled: Medusa can look at nothing without destroying it. She is condemned to a life of shadows and darkness.

Until Perseus embarks upon a quest to fetch the head of a Gorgon…

Images above: Stone Blind: Medusa’s Story, author Natalie Haynes

Jessica Bloom

Jessica Bloom is a bookseller at her family bookshop, ‘Bookcase London’, an independent bookshop open in Chiswick since 1993.

See Jessica’s and Anna Klerfalk’s book choices from previous months here.

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 Pictures exhibition – Clayton hotel

Image above: The temple at Chiswick House; Jane Price

A picturesque place to live

Chiswick is full of artists, many of whom use the west London landscapes and people of their own neighbourhood as inspiration for their art. Whether you are looking for a memento of somewhere you know well to decorate your own home, or a present for a friend, the Chiswick In Pictures exhibition is a good place to come and look at the work of local artists and to buy if the mood takes you.

We are grateful to the Clayton hotel at  626 Chiswick High Rd for hosting our exhibition. They have a lovely large, airy atrium with lots of light, which is on the ground floor behind the bar and reception area, open 24/7, so you can browse the art works at your leisure.

The exhibition will run from Monday 4 September until the end of October 2022. Here are the artists taking part; some are showing two or three pictures, others more.

Image above: Photographs from the Chiswick Flower Market; Anna Kunst

Anna Kunst

Anna Kunst is a professional photographer who lives and works in Chiswick, doing portrait, wedding and corporate photography professionally and landscape photography for pleasure. If you are a regular reader of The Chiswick Calendar you will have seen many of her photographs on these pages.

She is a member of our Club Card scheme, offering a discount on portraits for our Club Card members. She has also become the Chiswick Flower Market’s regular photographer and will be showing a selection of some of the photographs she has taken at the monthly markets as well as some of her other work.

annakunstphotography.com

Image above: Barnes, Hammersmith, Chiswick; Arabella Harcourt-Cooze

Arabella Harcourt-Cooze

Arabella Harcourt-Cooze is a landscape artist “obsessed by water, seas, rivers and above all The Thames.” She catches the light on the water during all seasons along our stretch of river from Kew Bridge to Hammersmith, working largely in oil on canvas.

saatchiart.com

Image above: Dukes Meadows allotments; Christine Berrington

Christine Berrington

Christine Berrington has worked as an illustrator on numerous high profile commissions in advertising and publishing. She exhibits her work in several London galleries and has won prizes in the Royal Watercolour Society Open Competitions.

christineberrington.com

Images above: And then there was one / Autumnal flora / Before summer passes; Eve Pettitt

Eve Pettitt

Eve is drawn to uplifting, bright colours in her paintings, which range across portrait, still life and landscape subjects. She has exhibited widely, including with the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, The Societyof Women Artists, National Open Art, The New English Art Club and the Chelsea Art Society.

She took part in Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year and her portrait was chosen by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson.

evepettitt.co.uk

Image above: Fig tree; Gina Balakrishnan

Gina Balakrishnan

Gina Balakrishnan’s work celebrates the often overlooked and ordinary by staying as true as possible to the inherent persistence and elegance in life forms across natural micro and macro worlds. She often works in monochrome but occasionally surprises with a punch of colour. She enjoys Chiswick in all seasons and is often accompanied by her immensely patient dog.

Image above: Agapanthus August; Isobel Johnstone

Isobel Johnstone

Isobel Johnstone’s work is full of colour and light and is inspired by riotous gardens in particular and the English countryside in general.

Isobel was for many years the curator of the Arts Council Collection at the Hayward Gallery, South Bank Centre. Since leaving that job she has been able to focus on her own creativity, producing paintings, drawings, pastels and prints, which she sells framed or unframed.

She usually shows her work at the Rowley Gallery, 115 Kensington Church St, London W8 7LN or at the Russell Gallery, 12 Lower Richmond Road, London SW15 1JP.

isobeljohnstone.co.uk

Image above: Chiswick House Gardens; Jane Price

Jane Price

There is a bit of a theme going on here, apart from that of Chiswick and west London. I love bright, gaudy colours and bold, expressive brush strokes and quite a few of the artists I have chosen paint in that way.

Jane Price uses mainly acrylics on canvas: “my process is quick & deliberate, in the hope of capturing a sense of energy & movement.” Her work is shown in several galleries and has been selected & shortlisted for the RA Summer Exhibition.

She has created this lovely series of paintings of Chiswick House Gardens specially for Chiswick In Pictures.

instagram.com

Image above: Kew Railway Bridge in winter; Jennifer Griffiths

Jennifer Griffiths

Jennifer Griffiths is another photographer whose work you will see all over The Chiswick Calendar website. She is a natural photographer who takes pictures everywhere she goes. She often takes pictures along the shores of the River Thames, at Chiswick House Gardens, Gunnersbury Park and Chiswick Business Park.

instagram.com

Images above: Wetlands, Barnes / Along the river between Chiswick and Hammersmith; Jill Spearman

Jill Spearman

Jill Spearman is a landscape artist with a very wide range of subjects including cityscapes and seascapes, drawing on a lifetime spent travelling. Now settled in London she says:

“Instead of painting and sketching the well known landmarks of London and around the world I seek to find the small places that provide visual tension – an evening light on a building, an allotment in winter, a tree in Richmond park.

These two river scenes from Chiswick Mall and Barnes wetlands are among the paintings she is showing at Chiswick In Pictures autumn show.

jillspearman.com

Image above: Back Gardens; Joanna Brendon

Joanna Brendon

Joanna Brendon is irresistably drawn to water. A lot of her paintings are of the ‘ever-changing image of moving water, and the point where it hits the land – liquid meeting solid’ in an array of blues and greens: turquoise, aquamarine, cobalt, midnight … But in the absence of cliffs and waves, living as she does in Chiswick, she has given us a charcoal drawing of urban back gardens, with that same freely expressive sense of movement and depth.

joannabrendon.com

Image above: Madeleine Marsh’s ‘Madlark’ mirror

Madeleine Marsh

Madeleine Marsh is a sculptor, painter, jeweller and mudlarker. She collects bits and pieces from the Thames foreshore and creates mirror surrounds with what she finds. Her mirrors are both works of art and historical records. She researches her trophies and provides a record of their provenance with the mirrors.

madeleinemarsh.com

Image above: The Consideration of Time; Naila Hazell

Naila Hazell

Naila Hazell is the RSA Winner of Lyon & Turnbull Award 2021. Her speciality is portraits, often painting people in busy London bars and markets. Growing up in Baku, Azerbaijan, she was taught by renowned Soviet social realism painter Boyukagha Mirzezade while getting her MA at the Azerbaijani Fine Arts Academy.

nailahazell.com

Image above: Chiswick Bridge; Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison studied traditional film and digital photography, maths and computer science in Australia before moving to the UK. He enjoys experimenting with technology to create images using techniques such as photo mosaics, time lapse, high dynamic range, augmented reality and artificial intelligence.

Picnic

Polly Nuttall

Polly Nuttall studied at St Martins School of Art and likes to represent ‘what silently unites us, the common shared unspoken experiences that are stronger than our apparent differences’, which includes a love of London parks.

pollynuttall.co.uk

Images above: Kew Night Flight / Kew After Dark / Moonlit Palm House; Rachel Busch

Rachel Busch

Rachel Busch is a printmaker whose work has been selected for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. She produces completely hand made lino cuts, cardboard cuts and mono prints. Her subject matter is the local scenery: Tube stations, Hammersmith Bridge, Voysey House and most recently the Palm House at Kew Gardens.

She often picks up architectural details in her art. Her prints often delve into the history behind the buildings she portrays, but her main interest is to interpret three-dimensional architectural form and shape onto two-dimensional paper.

Rachel’s most recent work shows off the architecture of The Palm House at Kew Gardens as imagined during the night, in a series of three prints, deliberately composed to hang together to form the whole building.

buschstudio.com

Image above: Early; Sarah Granville

Sarah Granville

Sarah Granville is a London based artist whose work draws on her background in architecture. Her paintings and prints have been exhibited at the Royal Society of British Artists, Chelsea Arts Society, Royal Academy (Summer Exhibitions 2019, 2018, 2013), and Bankside Gallery.

Sarah is an Associate member of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers (RE) and a member of the Royal Society of British Architects.

She has recently been awarded the St Cuthberts Mill Award (Chelsea Art Society, 2022), the Baohong Artists’ Watercolour Paper Prize (Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, 2021) and the
Julian Barrow Award (Chelsea Art Society, 2019).

For the Chiswick In Pictures exhibitions she has chosen allotment pictures.

sarahgranville.com

Image above: Keeping Afloat 1; Suz Hartman

Suz Hartman

Suz Hartman has a passion for combining a variety of different texture and materials. Her work springs out of ‘an excitement about the present and an equally strong impulse to embed and reconfigure elements physically taken from past pieces.’

It is this re-configuring of past experiences, she says, moments in a personal history recorded and expressed through drawings and paintings, that has become pivotal to her practice.

For Chiswick In Pictures she has given us a series of five paintings called Keeping Afloat, which are fantasies, to be interpreted as you like.

Thank you to Clayton hotel and Snappy Snaps

Our thanks to the Clayton Hotel Chiswick and Snappy Snaps Chiswick for sponsoring this exhibition, the Clayton by providing the space and the wherewithal to hang the pictures and Snappy Snaps for offering hugely discounted printing and framing rates and for printing our exhibition programme.

Both the Clayton Hotel Chiswick and Snappy Snaps Chiswick are members of The Chiswick Calendar’s Club Card scheme: Clayton hotel Club Card offer and Snappy Snaps Club Card offer.

Thanks also to Sipsmith for providing the drinks for our Private View to launch the exhibition. Sipsmith offers Chsiwick Calendar Club Card members a free tour of the distillery.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Yeats sculpture to be unveiled Tuesday 6 September

See also: Siân Phillips and Stephen Greif to perform a second show at Theatre at the Tabard

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.

Siân Phillips and Stephen Greif to perform a second show at Theatre at the Tabard

Image above: Stephen Greif and Siân Phillips

Stephen Greif and Siân Phillips agree to a second performance of Tears, Treachery… and Just A Little Murder at Theatre at the Tabard

When Simon and Sarah Reilly announced earlier this summer that they were taking over Chiswick’s theatre – the little studio space above the Tabard pub – it was something of a coup to be able to say one of their first productions would feature Dame Siân Phillips and Stephen Greif.

The show, on Sunday 25 September, has almost sold out, unsuprisingly, but Theatre at the Tabard is pleased to announce they have agreed to a second show on Sunday 2 October.

Siân Phillips is well known to audiences for her work in theatre, film and TV, but she might have been an even bigger star if she had not turned down several offers from Hollywood on leaving RADA, preferring to work on stage.

Born in South Wales, the daughter of a teacher and a steelworker, in a Welsh-speaking community, she won a scholarship to RADA in 1955, where her peers were Glenda Jackson and Diana Rigg. She toured the country as a member of the BBC Repertory Company and the National Theatre Company and made a big impression with London theatre critics in 1957 in the title role of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler. She went on to perform with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Her TV and film roles include Livia in the popular BBC adaptation of Robert Graves’ novel I, Claudius (1976), for which she won the 1977 BAFTA Television Award for Best Actress, and Lady Ann, the unfaithful wife of Alec Guinness’s character George Smiley, in the BBC1 spy thrillers Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1979) and Smiley’s People (1982).

Of all the many roles she has played, the one I remember most fondly is that of the horrible housekeeper Mrs Driver in the BBC’s serialisation of The Borrowers (1992), alongside Ian Holm as Pod and Penelope Wilton as Homily Clock.

Images above: Siân Phillips as Livia in the BBC production of I, Claudius and as Mrs Driver in the BBC production of The Borrowers; photographs BBC

Siân Phillips was married to Peter O’Toole, acting with him in Goodbye Mr Chips, for which she won a nomination as Best Supporting Actress in the 1969 Golden Globe awards and won the Best Supporting Actress award in the National Society of Film Critics awards the following year.

She has published two volumes of autobiography – Private Faces and Public Places – in 1999 and 2001, respectively. She was made a dame in 2016 for her services to drama and is still working hard in her late 80s, making three films in 2020 and appearing in TV series Keeping Faith and Silent Witness last year.

Images above: Stephen Greif in Cassanova, Touchstone Pictures, and as Travis in the BBC’s Blake’s 7

Stephen Greif also studied at RADA. He was a member of the National Theatre Company, working with Laurence Olivier and Peter Hall.  He acted alongside Elaine Stritch in The Gingerbread Lady, Denholm Elliott in The Paranormalist, Felicity Kendal and Frances de la Tour in Fallen Angels, and Lesley Manville in Six Degrees of Separation.

He is best known for his roles as Travis in Blake’s 7, Harry Fenning in three series of Citizen Smith, Signor Donato in Lasse Hallström’s Casanova and Commander John Shepherd in Shoot on Sight.

He appeared with Fenella Fielding OBE in Tears, Treachery.. and Just a little Murder at Crazy Coqs at Zedel’s Brasserie in 2016-18. When Fenella Fielding died, Siân Phillips took over the role. Written and directed by David Stuttard, it is a tour around some of the darker purple passages of Greek literature:

‘In an afternoon where laughter is underscored with searing pathos, Phillips and Greif interact brilliantly to weave moments of wit and humour with wisdom and high drama.’

The show, produced by Simon McKay, promises tears and treachery, sex and seduction and of course, murder.

Book tickets on the theatre’s website: tabard.org.uk

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Yeats sculpture to be unveiled Tuesday 6 September

See also: Local celebs Sophie Ellis Bextor and Jo Pratt to host food demonstrations at Pub in the Park

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.

Life and work of Michael Flanders celebrated with a green plaque

Celebrated humourist – one half of Flanders and Swann

The life and work of Michael Flanders, the humorist and disability campaigner who was one half of the famous Flanders and Swann comedy duo, is being recognised with a green plaque at 63 Esmond Road W4, where he lived from 1971 to 1975 with his wife Claudia and daughters Laura and Stephanie.

Flanders and Swann were hugely successful in the 1950s with their repertoire of comic songs such as Hippopotamus (‘Mud, mud glorious mud, there’s nothing quite like it for soothing the blood …’), The Reluctant Cannibal and The Gas Man Cometh.

Michael Flanders (1922 – 1975) was the lyricist, actor and singer, Donald Swann (1923 – 1994) the composer and pianist. They first worked together in a school revue in 1939, wrote more than 100 comic songs together and over the course of 11 years, gave nearly 2,000 live performances in shows such as At The Drop of A Hat.

As he lived in Chiswick in the final years of his life, Michael Flanders is being celebrated also at the Chiswick Book Festival. His two daughters, now both prominent journalists, will discuss their father’s impact on comedy and the world of disability with Comedy Chronicles writer Graham McCann and the Festival director, Torin Douglas.

Stephanie Flanders, the former BBC economics editor, made a Radio 4 programme about her father in 2007 and wrote about it for BBC News in an article, ‘Rediscovering my father’:

“I think the fact you’ve got Michael Flanders in a wheelchair sitting up on stage is pretty pioneering,” his biographer and archivist, Leon Berger told her. “I can’t think of a single example, certainly not in the UK, of a public figure who’s been disabled.”

Graham McCann has called Flanders & Swann “the most influential British double act” in comedy, ahead of Morecambe & Wise, The Two Ronnies and Peter Cook & Dudley Moore. He wrote:

“Michael Flanders and Donald Swann have had a profound and lasting impact not only on British comedy and music, but also on just about every other major point and place in the panorama of British entertainment over the last sixty years. The sad thing is: it’s sort of a secret. Flanders and Swann just don’t get mentioned much these days”.

‘Celebrating Michael Flanders (& Swann)’ will be held at 7pm on Wednesday September 14 at the ActOne Cinema in the Old Library, Acton, not far from the Michael Flanders Centre in Church Street, which Claudia opened in his honour after her husband’s death.

Tickets, price £8, are on sale on the Chiswick Book Festival website: ticketsource.co.uk

Read more on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Yeats sculpture to be unveiled Tuesday 6 September

See also: Siân Phillips and Stephen Greif to perform a second show at Theatre at the Tabard

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.

Yeats sculpture to be unveiled Tuesday 6 September

Image abaove: CGI Yeats sculpture

The culmination of years of work and fundraising

A sculpture celebrating the Nobel Prize-winning Irish poet WB Yeats, titled ‘Enwrought Light’, is being installed in Chiswick and will be unveiled on Tuesday 6 September.

Artist Conrad Shawcross was commissioned to create a design for a piece of art work to stand on the corner of Bath Rd and The Avenue, outside St Michael & All Angels Church to celebrate the famous poet, who lived in Bedford Park with his family when he was a young man.

A committee set up to commission and organise the creation of the sculpture, led by poet and broadcaster Cahal Dallat, raised £184,000 in funds by crowdfunding, attracting support from high-profile celebrities, local residents and arts organisations.

The WB Yeats Bedford Park Artwork Project @YeatsBedfordPark has set up a website and social media accounts to promote a programme of educational and cultural events to accompany the creation of the sculpture in celebration of the great poet’s time in Chiswick.

The unveiling will be at 4.30pm on Tuesday 6 September. The free public event, hosted by Cahal, will have Yeats poems read by local schoolchildren, music by Irish Heritage, and an address by former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who is himself a poet.

READ ALSO: W B Yeats, Nobel prize winning poet and one of the foremost figures of 20th-century literature, profile by Lucinda MacPherson

Image above: WB Yeats; Yeats’ family house in Bedford Park

Sinéad Cusack and Ciarán Hinds celebrate the unveiling with readings of Yeats’ poems

After the unveiling there will be a ticketed event (sold out) in St Michael & All Angels Church with actors Sinéad Cusack and Ciarán Hinds among those reading Yeats’ poems.

One of Ireland’s best known theatre actors, Sinéad Cusack won the Critics’ Circle and Evening Standard Awards for her performance in Sebastian Barry’s Our Lady of Sligo. She has twice been nominated for Tony awards and five times nominated for Oliver Awards.

Her first acting roles were at the Abbey theatre in Dublin, which was founded by Yeats in 1904 as a national theatre for Ireland.

Ciarán Hinds is one of Ireland’s best known film actors (The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989), Persuasion (1995), Oscar and Lucinda (1997), Road to Perdition (2002), Munich (2005), There Will Be Blood (2007), In Bruges (2008), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) and many more).

He was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in this year’s Oscars for his performance as the grandfather in Belfast, but lost out to Troy Kotsur, in Coda.

Musician Bob Geldof has also supported the Bedford Park celebration of Yeats, saying:

“Bedford Park is where the National Poet understood what it was to be impoverished, alien, exiled, became obsessed with a woman who would haunt his life and give rise to the greatest poetry of the 20th century.

“Surrounded by his extraordinary family and his radically revolutionary neighbours, Bedford Park whipped the beautiful young poet into the maelstrom of poetry that would give rise to a nation.”

Inspiring the west London community to enjoy poetry and take pride in its cultural history

Cahal Dallat said he hoped the sculpture would inspire young people locally, students and schoolchildren to enjoy, engage with, and participate in, poetry, drama and visual arts, as well as honouring a local resident who became a major international literary figure.

He and his fellow committee members, who include the Director of the Chiswick Book Festival Torin Douglas and the vicar of St Michael & All Angels Church Fr Kevin Morris, want to encourage the West London community ‘to take pride in the area’s unique cultural and artistic heritage’ and to provide ‘a London place-of-literary-pilgrimage for poets, academics, Yeatsians and all who love art and culture.’

Information panels will link to online content on WB Yeats and the talented Yeats family (painter father, John Butler Yeats, artist sisters, Lily and Lolly, and brother Jack B Yeats, Ireland’s greatest 20c painter) and on Bedford Park itself as a social-experiment/architectural-gem, on the Arts & Crafts movement, and on the area’s many fascinating poets, painters, playwrights, publishers, philosophers, folklorists and anarchists.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Cahal Dallat publishes new book of poetry

See also: Bedford Park – the hotbed of radical free-thinkers

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.

Just Stop Oil protesters target west London petrol stations

Image above: a protestor Hammers a petrol pump at Esso garage in Brentford; photograph Just Stop Oil

Petrol pumps rendered inoperable after protest

Environmental protesters have taken action at petrol stations in west London, vandalising pumps, blockading entrances and spray painting “no new oil” across signs.

The Just Stop Oil campaign said 51 of its supporters took part in the protests at seven petrol stations on Friday morning. Some groups staged sit-down protests at entrances or glued themselves to pumps, while others moved from station to station damaging pumps.

The Esso garage at the junction of the A4 and Ealing Road was one of seven stations across central and west London which were targeted by the environmentalist group.

From 6am around 50 activists moved from station to station with some of them being arrested before others moved on to a new target. Met Police officers were filmed swearing at and physically restraining the protestors.

Protestors uses hammers, mallets and spray paint to vandalise petrol pumps at the Esso garage rendering many inoperable causing potentially thousands of pounds worth of damage. Access to the station was blocked by sitting protestors at entry points who unfurled banners. At other stations they glued themselves to pumps.

Images above: a sitting protestor blocks the entrance to the petrol station, police arrest a protestor; photographs Just Stop Oil

“No new oil and gas, because it’s killing us”

The protestors are demanding that the UK government end new oil and gas projects in the UK. They say that approval has been given for 46 new oil and gas projects. They timed their protest deliberately to coincide with the increase in the energy price cap.

One protestor, speaking outside the Esso garage, said:

“We want no new oil and gas, because it’s killing us. We’ve chosen this place because it’s the most polluted area of [west] London. Everyday 11 Londoners die of pollution related diseases like asthma and strokes unnecessarily.

“Oil is killing us all and is causing a cost of living crisis that’s the worst in 40 years, it doesn’t cost the oil companies more to produce the oil than it ever has and they’re just creaming off obscene profits while the Government is giving them obscene subsidies. Every week, our Government gives the oil companies £362 million in subsidies on top of the obscene profits they’re making.

“Oil is killing us, it’s killing people around the the world, it’s causing the climate and ecological emergency. This is an emergency and it requires an emergency response from our Government, and our Government is missing in action.”

Above: Tweet from Just Stop Oil

Arrests made

The police attended and a number of arrests were made at the Brentford station.

Police said they were called at 6.30am and arrested four men and one woman on suspicion of criminal damage at a petrol station on Talgarth Road in Hammersmith. They remain in custody at a west London police station. Officers are at each of the targeted locations, where there have been more arrests and specialist teams are removing those who are glued to pumps.

Just Stop Oil said in a statement:

“This is the moment to come together and resist. We are not prepared to just watch while they destroy everything we love. We’re done with begging. Voting has changed nothing. We are going to stop new oil whether those in power agree or not.”

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Thames Water release diluted sewage into the Thames

See also: A4 roadworks already causing “misery” and conflict around 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.

LB Hounslow GCSE students outperform national average

Image above: Chiswick School students opening their results slips

Pupils sitting public exams for the first time

Students from schools across Hounslow have received their GCSE results, with 77.4% of pupils achieving grade 4/C or better in Maths and English, outperforming the national average of 71.4%.

For the first time in two years, the grades are based on examination performance rather than teacher assessment. Results across all subjects saw improvements on pre-pandemic results, with significant boosts in Maths and English attainment.

Nationally, 73.2% of GCSEs were marked at grades 4/C and above this year, down from 77.1% in 2021, when grades were based on teachers’ assessments. The results are still substantially higher than in 2019, the last year exams were sat before Covid, when exams marked at grades 4/C and above represented 67.3%.

The proportion of top grades – 7/A and above – is 26.3%. Again, that is higher than 2019 (20.8%) and lower than 2021 (28.9%).

In Maths over 80% of students received a grade 4/C or above and 65.4% receiving the more challenging grade 5/B or above. In English, over 86% of students received a grade 4 or above, with 73.7% receiving the more challenging grade 5/B or above.

Performance in the English Baccalaureate (comprising five subjects including English, Maths, Science, a language, and a humanities subject) also made improvements above the national average.

The results day celebrations were not just limited to young people in the borough. Adult learners also sat GCSEs with Hounslow’s Adult and Community Education Service – which provides a range of accessible learning opportunities for adults in Hounslow. The adult learners recorded a 100% pass rate in both English and Maths GCSEs.

Images above: GCSE students at Chiswick School pose with their results slips; photographs Chiswick School

Chiswick School praise “splendid set” of GCSE results

Chiswick School praised their Year 11 students for a “a splendid set of GCSE results” as Students were awarded a record number of Grade 9s, 175 in total.

Overall results were considerably higher than the national averages, with over a third of grades at 7-9. Against a national picture of a drop in results from 2021, all Chiswick School’s outcomes “significantly increased” and faculty said students had worked incredibly hard and shown amazing resilience sitting examinations after two years of Covid disruption.

Headteacher Laura Ellener said:

“We are delighted for the students who have worked so hard. This is another step on the way to earning our place as one of the top schools in London. Students, parents and teachers can celebrate great achievements today and we hope that we are making the community proud.”

Head of Sixth Form, Mr Williams said:

“After last week’s outstanding A Level results we knew we would be busy during enrolment and it has lived up to expectations. We were delighted to see so many happy students excited to join our Sixth Form.

“We have been overwhelmed by the number of students from Chiswick School and other secondary schools that are wanting to undertake their studies with us and we are committed to ensuring their academic success”.

Every student “has made all of Hounslow proud”

Cllr Lily Bath, Cabinet Member for Children, Learning and Employment, said:

“Every student receiving their GCSE results has made all of Hounslow proud. After what has been a challenging couple of years for schools and students, they have shown fantastic resilience and commitment to achieve such amazing results.

“The time young people spend in school is such a formative part of their lives and I’m proud that Hounslow – where every school is rated ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Good’ by Ofsted – is equipping young people with the tools to succeed.

“It was great to meet the students, to see the smiles on their faces and hear all about their next steps, which include A-Levels, a diverse range of vocational courses and apprenticeships. The future is bright for Hounslow.

“The success of our adult learners showcases that it’s never too late to sit your GCSE’s and gain vital qualifications that will help you progress in your career. We have a vast range of flexible courses for adults, and I hope other residents in the borough will be inspired to sign up and realise their full potential.”

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Hounslow students celebrate results day with 98.3% A level pass rate

See also: More bus strikes this weekend

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

Support The Chiswick Calendar

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

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

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

More bus strikes this weekend

Image above: library image of London buses

Strikes coincide with Notting Hill Carnival 

Over 1,600 bus drivers based in West and South London are set to walk out for a second time on Sunday 28 August and Monday 29 August.

Initial strike action by Unite took place on west London’s buses on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 August, contributing to the significant congestion along Chiswick High Road.

The strike will coincide with Notting Hill Carnival and many of the affected routes are in that area.

Sixty-three routes London’s bus network will be affected, mainly in west and south London. 480 bus routes will be operating as normal.

The routes affected by strike action are:

9, 18, 33, 49, 65, 70, 71, 72, 85, 94, 105, 110, 116, 117, 148, 203, 211, 216, 220, 223, 224, 235, 258, 265, 266, 272, 281, 283, 290, 293, 371, 404, 406, 411, 418, 419, 423, 440, 465, 467, 470, 481, C1, E1, E3, H17, H22, H32, H37, H91, H98, K1, K2, K3, K4, K5, N9, N18, N33, N65, N72, N266, S3.

Image above: bus driver picket at Stamford Brook bus garage

RATP refuse to pay decent wages, say Unite

The striking workers are employed by a British bus company, London United, which is wholly owned by the French company RATP. RATP had a turnover of £4.8 billion in 2021 recording a profit of £174 million.

The dispute is a result of the workers only being offered a pay increase of 3.6% for 2022 and 4.2% for next year. With the real inflation rate currently standing at 12.3%, which Unite say amounts to a substantial real terms pay cut.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said:

“RATP is an incredibly wealthy company it can fully afford to pay its workers a decent pay increase but it is refusing to do so.

“Our members play a vital role in keeping London moving and they are not going to accept a real terms pay cut when they are already worried about how to make ends meet.

“Our members will be receiving Unite’s complete support until this dispute is resolved.”

TfL call for solution to dispute

Louise Cheeseman, Director of Buses at TfL, said:

“There still will be options for people to travel in west and southwest London and parts of Surrey, but other routes may be busier than normal. We’re encouraging everyone who is aiming to travel in and around these areas this Sunday and Monday to plan ahead, check before they travel and leave more time for their journeys.

“Our website is a really easy way to check your travel, whether you’re planning to visit the Notting Hill Carnival, out and about on the bank holiday weekend, or just need to adapt your journey on the go.

“We encourage both parties to find a solution to this dispute to avoid disruption to Londoners.”

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: A4 roadworks already causing “misery” and conflict around Chiswick

See also: Acton Lane to remain closed for rest of the month

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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West London Elizabeth Line to be linked up with central London by November

Image above: Elizabeth Line 

Trains will run all the way from Reading and Heathrow to Abbey Wood

The different sections of the Elizabeth Line will be joined together in November, meaning passengers will no longer have to change trains at Paddington or Liverpool Street.

Since the line opened three months ago it has been split into three sections. Passengers travelling in from Acton Main Line or Ealing Broadway have had to change at Paddington in order to use the central London section.

From 6 November, trains departing from Reading and Heathrow will run through London to Abbey Wood, meaning west Londoners will have access to unhindered speedy journeys into central London.

The frequency of trains will also increase with the start of a Sunday service. Between Paddington and Whitechapel the number of trains per hour will increase to 22 during peak times and 16 trains in off-peak times.

Ahead of the autumn changes, from Monday 5 September, extended opening hours will run on the Elizabeth line between Paddington and Abbey Wood from around 5.30am to around 11.00pm.

Bond Street Elizabeth line station will be open by November too, meaning journey times to the West End will fall significantly.

Image above: the Elizabeth Line tube map

Elizabeth line opening “landmark moment” says Mayor of London

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:

“The opening of the new Elizabeth line has been a landmark moment, not just for London but for the entire country, helping to contribute £42bn to the national economy.

“It’s great news that from November, Elizabeth line trains will run directly from Reading and Heathrow to Abbey Wood, and from Shenfield to Paddington, seven days a week. Services running on Sundays through central London will also make thousands more journeys quicker, easier and more comfortable.

“This enhanced capacity on the Elizabeth line will play a crucial role in encouraging people to make the most of the capital and will help support businesses in the heart of our city.”

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: A4 roadworks already causing “misery” and conflict around Chiswick

See also: West London Crown Courts expected to grind to a halt as criminal barristers strike

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Acton Lane junction with Chiswick High Rd to remain closed for rest of the month

Image above: roadworks at Acton Lane

Works ‘should’ be completed by 31 August

Update 28 August – the roadworks have been completed and the junciton is open

The Acton Lane road closure is to remain in place for the rest of the month, according to LB Hounslow.

Since Saturday 20 August, there has been no entry to Acton Lane from Chiswick High Road due to Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) installing a new connection to the side of 440 Chiswick High Road. As a result eastbound traffic cannot turn left from Chiswick High Road into Acton Lane and westbound traffic cannot turn right.

Hounslow Council says further work to provide a sewer connection to new buildings in Essex Place is set to continue until Wednesday 31 August. The Traffic Order issued by Hounslow Council allows for the closures to be extended up to six months to allow for remedial works or delays.

Cars are being diverted via Chiswick High Road, Turnham Green Terrace, South Parade and Acton Lane. The closure has added to heavy congestion on the High Road already caused by roadworks on the A4.

More bus strikes are planned over the bank holiday weekend. Traffic came to a standstill on the High Rd on Saturday (20 August), with frayed tempers leading to lots of beeing and people shouting at each other .

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: West London Crown Courts expected to grind to a halt as criminal barristers strike

See also: A4 roadworks already causing “misery” and conflict around Chiswick

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.

Andrea’s film review – Friends (seasons 1-10)

Friends (seasons 1-10) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Review by Andrea Carnevali

Epic TV sitcom series with the endearing ensemble cast who have been part of our lives for decades. Aired first on NBC from from September 22, 1994, to May 6, 2004. Currently available to watch on Netflix.

You’re probably wondering… Aren’t you a bit late to the game?

Well, of course I had seen it before, in fact, a lot of it more than once (it’s pretty hard not to stumbled across it, either on a plane, or constantly repeated on tv), but a few months ago we decided to start it all again, about two episodes a day (236 episodes in all, you do the maths) and watch it for the first time with our son.

Some of it went way over his head (I had forgotten how many sexual innuendos are there), but he was still able to enjoy it (quite a lot in fact), though on a slightly different level as my wife and I.

What can I say that hasn’t really been said about this sit-com over the past 28 years?

Nothing really, aside from stating the obvious: there is actually a reason why this is, to this day, one of the most watched and always-quotable sit-coms ever made.

Beyond the slightly inappropriate jokes for today’s sensibility and the fact that it’s an all-white cast (which apparently never really bothered anyone back then), it was way ahead of its time and today it still works as it did then.

Part of its success of course is the cast: not a single bad apple in there. A real ensemble, with each of six members having the space and time, throughout the ten seasons, to shine above everyone else at one point or another, which is why for those who know it all so well, watched it many times over and over again, and have loved it over the years, it’s still quite hard to pick one over the other as their favourite “Friend”.

As for those 236 episodes, we all have our favourite moments (the one where the boys get the girls’ apartment by winning the quiz and the one where no one is ready are my top choices), and I could go on forever talking about the best jokes, the funniest one-liners, the most hilarious slapstick, the cameos and so on, but what I noticed on this viewing and what surprised me more than anything else, was how wonderfully moving some of the more emotional bits were.

And so, there we were, two 50 years old people (who had seen it all before) and their almost-ten years old boy with tears in our eyes and slightly choked up as Ross and Rachel were on and off their relationship (“they were on a break!”) or as wedding proposals, divorces, break-ups came and went and as memories of easier times glided by (those quick inserts of the Twin Towers in New York, really speak of such an innocent time).

I don’t know how many people I know who said “Friends really helped me when I was down”… in fact they helped me too.

Yes, of course sometimes it stretched credibility and occasionally it felt more like a farce than anything else, but it’s to the cast and writers’ credit that we are still able to smile, laugh and cry at these characters: they’re all so lovable and actually feel like real people.

And for a brief moment (or at least for those 22-23 minutes of each episode) we can pretend they are our friends too.

You can still catch all the episodes of Friends on Netflix, though apparently not for long as the series will soon heading to HBO Max when it finally gets here in UK too.

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

Friends is available to watch on Netflix.

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

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To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here

Andrea’s film review – Friends The Reunion

Friends – The Reunion ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Review by Andrea Carnevali

An unscripted Friends reunion special made in 2021. Available to watch on Sky or Now TV.

If you’re reading this, it’s most likely that Friends holds a special place in your life and your heart just as much as it does in mine. I’ve re-watched this, after I finished watching all the episodes from the ten seasons in the actual series, all over again.

READ ALSO: Andrea’s film review – Friends (seasons 1-10)

I still remember the first time I became aware of the series: I was actually in New York working as the 1st AD on friend’s feature film. It was obviously low budget, guerrilla style film-making and we were all constantly exhausted working flat-out day and night, but and we used to huddle up at night every week in a sort of ritual and watch the latest episode.

My English at the time was still pretty poor and I remember the frustration of missing so many of the jokes. And then back in London living with some of the best people I’ve ever shared a house with: our relationship, our camaraderie, our bond so strong that it almost seemed an extension of what was on the screen.

So watching this special reunion tonight was more than just an excuse to revisit one of the warmest and funniest sit-coms ever made, but was also a bit of a journey back to a time when all I wanted was to be able to make a film or two and be happy, stay close to my family, my friends and fall in love, just like those people on the TV screen.

This “special” plays a lot on the idea of nostalgia, in fact it’s a real Tear-Jerker with not one but two capital letters!

There are some lovely moments here and there, mainly when the main six  actors are allowed to be themselves, as candidly as possible, visibly emotional as they step back onto the set and re-stage and read some of the scenes from the series.

Not everything is great, but even the annoying little bits away from our six  stars are done with respect and huge fondness towards the series.

I have to be honest, I could have watched this for hours and hours and never been bored.

Beyond the painful realisation that some of those people have aged not too well and that time moves on for everyone, it’s also a poignant reminder of easier times. Times with fewer responsibilities and many dreams.

All I can say is that there’s nothing like Friends, both the TV series… and the real ones.

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

Friends – The Reunion is available to watch on Sky or Now TV.

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

Andrea’s film review – Thirteen Lives

Thirteen Lives ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Review by Andrea Carnevali

A rescue mission is assembled in Thailand where a group of young boys and their soccer coach are trapped in a system of underground caves that are flooding. On Prime Video and selected cinemas. 

Say what you will about Ron Howard, but the guy is a consummate professional who certainly knows how to tell a story and while his directorial efforts are usually deemed to be without much style and not really recognisable, but I have to say that in this film I found it, precise, competent, to the point, unfussy and surprisingly unsentimental.

This might be one of his best films, up there with Frost/Nixon and Rush and Apollo 13 (I also have a soft spot for Cocoon).

The story centres around the 2018 rescue mission to save the Thai soccer team who remained trapped in the Tham Luang cave during an unexpected monsoon rainstorm.

The film doesn’t waste any time getting into story and within ten minutes or so, the 12 kids and the coach are stuck inside the case.

For the next two hours and twenty minutes, Howard keeps us, the audience, glued to the screen as the rescue mission unravel in a race against time before the heavy rain starts again.

It is so handsomely and skilfully told and made, that even knowing the outcome of the story doesn’t make it any less gripping.

Howard wisely keeps the focus from the point of view of the people outside the cave, the rescuers, newscasters and the parents and relatives avoiding speculative and possibly cheap dramatization of what might have happened in the days before the kids were found, but also without exploiting the pain and suffering of those who were waiting to hear whether their children were dead or alive.

It is a pretty straightforward re-enactment of what happened during those interminable and agonizing 18 days with no whistles or bells and even very little music. In fact I was surprised how restrained was the scene when everybody found out the kids were alive after ten days with no food.

No music, mostly foreign dialogue (a lot of that without subtitles). It’s as if Howard is trying to keep Hollywood out of this as much as he can and yet the end result is just a stirring and moving.

What it really all boils down to is eventually a story about those rare people who can really be called heroes. Not just the incredible rescuers, here portraited by Colin Farrell, Viggo Mortensen, Joel Edgerton (seemingly effortlessly) but the many Thai people who chose to ruin their crops (and their  possible livelihood) by diverting the water from the mountains towards them and away from the caves, in order to save the kids.

At the end of the film we are told that more than 5,000 people from 17 countries contributed to the rescue effort: an incredible, gripping, suspenseful heart-warming story about goodness in people (yes there are a few out there apparently), which is treated with the maximum respect it deserves (it is dedicated to the two Navy SEAL people who sadly lost their life during the rescue).

Highly recommended, unless of course you suffer from claustrophobia, in which case, stay well away from it.

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

Thirteen Lives is available to watch on Prime Video and in selected cinemas.

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

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

Support The Chiswick Calendar

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

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

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here

Jennifer’s dog training advice – ‘My puppy is biting and chewing EVERYTHING!’

Image above: Butter wouldn’t melt 

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.

‘My puppy is biting and chewing EVERYTHING’

Puppies bite. There is no changing that. They are exploring their environment with their teeth, much like a human baby does when they want to put every object in their mouth. The difference being that puppies have needle sharp teeth, and babies thankfully do not!

What also can ramp up the biting and chewing is the fact that puppies will start to go through the teething process at around 16 weeks old. They will lose all of their 28 baby teeth (watch out under foot as while they mostly swallow them, you don’t want to step on one of these) to make room for the 42 adult teeth that are coming in. Their gums will be sore and chewing and biting helps alleviate the pain.

As humans, our usual response to a puppy biting us is to say “no!”, “stop”, push them away with our hands, or try to hold them back. These tactics rarely do anything helpful, and in fact add to the experience for the puppy and they are more likely to see it as a game. This is the same with the old tip of yelping or saying “OW” in a high pitch tone to mimic the sound of a yelping litter mate, however in my experience this high pitch sound from a human tends to spur them on even more.

While you cannot stop 100% of puppy biting and chewing, I have listed the following methods and tips on how to greatly reduce it and get you and your home through the puppy stage in one piece!

1. Prevent

Prevention and management is the best course of action to minimise the damage to your belongings, clothes, and skin.

Try to remember that this stage in your pup’s life is short lived. For a few months, you may have to change habits and ensure that your shoes are always put away, the TV remote put into a drawer, not wear your favourite clothes, and don’t make any new furniture purchases for a while.

Use pens, crates and barriers to block access to things like wires by the TV. Pens don’t have to only be used to keep your puppy in one space, they can be used to keep him out of places too!

Resist the urge to let your puppy nibble or mouth your hands at any time. Also try not to roughhouse or tease your puppy with your hands during play. You do not want to confuse your puppy that in some instances teeth on skin is okay, but at other times it isn’t. I think it is easier, especially if the puppy has joined a busy family, to set some suitable rules around interactions with the puppy for everyone that limits how often the behaviour you aren’t wanting gets to be practised.

Most puppy owners are very familiar with the witching hour during the evening where your puppy becomes full of crazy energy and extremely bitey. Preparing for this beforehand by having a licki-mat or Kong ready to go to direct that energy on to. Repetitive licking is also relaxing so can help get them to sleep too. A lot of the overzealous puppy biting is from being overtired and overstimulated. Helping them calm down with licking or sniffing in a snuffle mat, stops them from biting, and then they can nap in their pen or crate.

2. Distract

It is easy to shout and get angry when your puppy is biting something they shouldn’t be, but your puppy doesn’t understand the word “no”. “No” is a concept, not a specific behaviour we want performed.

Keep a few toys of different textures on the floor that are in easy reach for him, but also ensure you have plenty of other toys up high or in a cupboard that he doesn’t have access to. Novelty is key here. Think of a child with all the toys in the world in a playroom, but they choose to draw on the walls. Take away a toy for a few days and reintroduce it, and suddenly it is engaging again! When your puppy is on his way to bite something you don’t want him to, like a table leg, get his attention and grab a toy he hasn’t seen for a while to give him.

Tug type toys are a great option as they are long and can keep him at arm’s length. The closer to our bodies that we play with a puppy, the more likely we are that they will decide your clothing, hair or arms are things to latch on to.

Play around with different puppy safe textures of toys, ones that crinkle, or squeak, soft and cuddly, rubber, and everything in between.

3. Teach

When your puppy is biting or chewing on something that is appropriate and allowed, praise! Praise a lot!

There are plenty of things that your puppy can bite and chew! For those older than 12 weeks, buffalo or pigs ears can be a wonderful natural chew to get their teeth into.

If your puppy starts to get interested in biting your trousers or ankles when you are walking, try to distract from that behaviour and teach something different by using a treat by your side, or dog-safe peanut butter on a long spoon, and work on walking nicely by your side. By teaching them that there is another far rewardable behaviour they can do around your legs, this will help prevent the biting.

A favourite cue of mine to help teach puppies to interact with your hands with their mouths closed, is “Touch”. Rewarding them for coming to you and touching your hand with their nose, is a great example of ‘behaviour that is rewarded will be repeated’, a main principle in dog training, and also makes for a fantastic recall cue. There is a free download on how to train this cue on my website.

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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See also: All Blogs and Podcasts

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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Local celebs Sophie Ellis Bextor and Jo Pratt to host food demonstrations at Pub in the Park

Images above: Jo Pratt, Chris Baber, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Richard Jones

Who else but the Kitchen disco queen to host a cookery demonstration?

Chiswick’s own disco queen Sophie Ellis-Bextor is appearing at Pub in the Park this year. Her music set is on Saturday night (5 September) but she and husband Richard Jones (also better known for his music – The Feeling) will also be hosting a cookery demonstration during the weekend of good food and music in the grounds of Chiswick House 2 – 4 September.

Sophie’s Kitchen disco became famous as a way to enjoy family nights in during the pandemic and to keep our spirits up. She ended it with a 24 hour danceathon on BBC Breakfast for Children in Need.

Chef Jo Pratt, cookbook author and restaurateur, is another well known local personality among the impressive line-up of chefs Pub in the Park has brought together for this year’s event.

Hosting the festival weekend is the originator of Pub in the Park Tom Kerridge, alongside Matt Tebbutt from Saturday Kitchen. They will be popping up around the festival doing demos.

Most of the food action takes place on the Miele Chef Demo Stage, where some of the best chefs in the business will offer their culinary tips and tricks. Among the chefs showing off their skills will be Ella Mills, director of Deliciously Ella, Atul Kochhar, Nitisha Patel, Karan Gokani, Maunika Gowardhan, Chris Baber and Dominique Woolf.

Image above: Tom Kerridge, Ella Mills, Matt Tebbutt

Improve your barbecuing skills

This year the Firepit Stage makes a return after its debut in Chiswick last year. These sessions will of course be ‘smokin’ hot’ and led by some of the best barbecue experts in the business. The host, Adam Purnell (aka Shropshire Lad) is billed as ‘the coolest chef around’. He will be joined in presenting demonstrations by DJ BBQ, Ben Tish, Joshua Moroney, Thuy Pham, Karan Gokani and Joy Philips.

See the demonstration, taste the food and then buy the book so you can (in theory) replicate the tastebud experience at home. Meet the chefs at the Pub in the Park bookshop and have your copy of their recipe book signed in person, with a selfie if desired. (Though I’m not sure an image of the chef looking reproachfully at me as I mess up their recipe would really help!)

If this has whetted your appetite, you can find tickets here: Pub in the Park

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Sophie Ellis-Bextor raises £1m in 24-hour Children In Need danceathon

See also: Try out recipes from Jo Pratt’s new Flexible Family Cookbook

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.

Thames Water hosepipe ban starts Wednesday 24 August

Image above: Library photograph of a hospipe in use

The hosepipe ban in the Thames Water area starts tomorrow. Thames Water say they have more teams reducing leakage than ever before, ‘working 24/7 to find and fix more than 1,100 leaks every week’ but after the driest July on record, the ban is necessary.

We have had below average rainfall in ten of the last 12 months and water levels in our rivers and reservoirs are much lower than usual. The recent heatwaves have meant that demand for water is also at record levels.

‘With low rainfall forecast for the coming months, we now need to take the next step in our drought plan’ say Thames Water. ‘Everything we do now will help protect supplies next summer and help the environment.’

The ban is legally enforceable, so using a hospipe for the list of chores they itemise is prohibited, but in their statement they ask ‘please’ don’t use your hose for:

  • Watering your garden, allotment or plants
  • Filling or maintaining your paddling pool, swimming pool or hot tub
  • Cleaning your vehicles
  • Cleaning windows, walls, paths, patios and other artificial outdoor surfaces like artificial grass
  • Recreational use like water fights and water slides

The ban applies to hosepipes, and anything attached to them, like sprinklers and jet washers.

Using mains water from a watering can or bucket instead of a hose is permitted – but, they say:

‘Please make every drop count and help protect the environment and our precious supplies by only using water where you really need to.’

The Temporary Use Ban does not apply to businesses, but Thames Water is asking businesses across its area to be mindful of the drought and to use water wisely, for example, by not washing commercial vehicles or turning off water features on their properties.

Sarah Bentley, Thames Water CEO said:

“Implementing a Temporary Use Ban for our customers has been a very difficult decision to make and one which we have not taken lightly. After months of below average rainfall and the recent extreme temperatures in July and August, water resources in our region are depleted.

“Despite investing in the largest leakage reduction programme in the UK, customer demand is at unprecedented levels and we now have to move into the next phase of our drought plan to conserve water, mitigate further risk and futureproof supplies.”

Sarah who joined the company towards the end of 2020, launched an eight-year Turnaround plan in May 2021 ‘to begin reversing years of under-performance.
‘The plan has three pillars: fix the basics, raise the bar and shape the future.’

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Thames Water release diluted sewage into the Thames

See also: A4 roadworks already causing “misery” and conflict around Chiswick

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Former Chiswick School student to make West End debut

Image above: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child poster

Adam Wadsworth takes over one of the lead roles in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Adam Wadsworth, a former pupil from Chiswick School, is joining the cast of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in the new cast line-up taking over on 13 October.

Adam plays one of the two joint lead roles – Scorpius Malfoy.

“It is a dream come true. Absolutely amazing to be part of such a wonderful story and to work with such talented, wonderful people” he said in a video for production’s social media.

Image above: Adam Wadsworth at the first rehearsal, from the production’s social media 

Multiple award winning production

The two-part play picks up the story of the Harry Potter books and films 19 years later with the next generation, Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy’s sons. It has been a smash hit, running in London since 2016 and on Broadway since 2018, picking up nine Olivier awards in 2017and six Tonys in 2018.

Currently playing at the Palace theatre, the special effects especially, with dementors floating out into the audience, are spectacular.

As they met for the first time for rehearsal, Adam was asked what he was most excited about:

“I think I’m most excited to explore such a complicated, wonderful character like Scorpio” he said.

Scorpio (son of Draco and Astoria) and Albus (son of Harry and Ginny) meet on the train on their first trip to Hogwarts and become friends. Both bullied at school, because of their parents’ fame, they bond and using a time-turner they go back into the past events from the Harry Potter stories.

Thomas Grant, who is taking over the role of Albus Potter said:

“My-11 year-old self would be absolutely screaming right now, [it’s] like going to Hogwarts.”

Image above: Adam in My Phone Genie

Acting professionally since he was at school

Adam, 28, was at Chiswick Community School from 2005-2012, growing up with the Harry Potter books and films. He studied politics at Manchester University, then acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA).

He was already acting professionally while he was at Chiswick school, playing the lead role in My Phone Genie, a children’s TV series produced for ITV.

He has since had parts in Marple (2004), Inspector Lewis (2006), Billy the Kid (2015) and short film Budapest, Closed City (2021). His theatre credits include Patterns at Leicester Curve.

Image above: publicity still from the production with the current cast

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Theatre returns to the Tabard in July

See also: Hounslow A Level students celebrate results day with 98.3% pass rate

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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