No trains from Chiswick station until Wednesday 17 August

Image above: SWR train at Chiswick Station

Services not running between Barnes and Feltham for four days

There are no trains stopping at Chiswick station until Wednesday, due to planned engineering work between Barnes and Feltham.

Work began on Saturday 13 August to carry out ‘essential work to improve reliability on the line’.

South Western Railway said buses would replace trains and have advised customers to check before travelling.

Trains will continue to run via Richmond.

You can plan your journey via South Western Railway’s website:

southwesternrailway.com/plan-my-journey

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: More rail, tube and bus strikes throughout August

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

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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More rail, tube and bus strikes throughout August

Image above: library image of a shuttered Tube station

Five days of significant strike action 

More strike action planned throughout August across London’s transport network is set to cause waves of significant disruption.

Members of the RMT union will stage three walk outs over the coming weeks starting Saturday 13 August, with the other two strikes on Thursday 18 August and Saturday 20 August.

Union affiliated Transport for London workers will also strike for 24 hours on Friday 19 August and Friday 20 August. During the first TfL strike next Friday, some areas of London will be unable to use any TfL services, that is London Underground, London Overground or bus services.

Rail companies, the Department for Transport and various business leaders maintain these strikes are avoidable and say unions are “hell-bent” on causing as much disruption as possible during an escalating cost of living crisis.

Workers are striking because they say they have been offered unreasonable pay increases in the face of spiralling inflation.

Many also fear that ‘modernisation’ plans could lead to redundancies across the transport network, which they say could dually impact passenger safety and workers’ livelihoods. Union leaders insist little has been done to assuage these fears, TfL have said “no organisation could meaningfully provide” these assurances.

Talks between the unions and Network Rail are expected to ramp up in the coming days as the RMT action gets closer. But it appears there is little hope of reaching a breakthrough before the walkouts start.

Rail operators and TfL recommend not travelling on strike days or to travel only if essential. If travelling is unavoidable customers are asked to check service times before travelling or plan alternative travel.

See a run down of August’s strikes below:

Image above: train tracks; photograph by Marianne Mahaffey

Saturday 13 August (national rail strikes):

The drivers going on strike are those who work for Arriva Rail London, Avanti West Coast, CrossCountry, Greater Anglia, Great Western, Hull Trains, LNER, West Midlands Trains and Southeastern.

South Western Railway services will be unaffected by direct strike action, but may be busier than usual.

The rail industry warned passengers to be prepared for very busy trains and possible last-minute changes or cancellations, with disruption expected to persist into early on Sunday.

There will be no service on London Overground all day and no Night Overground services on the evening of 13 August. TfL customers who use London Overground services are advised to use alternative routes to complete their journeys. A good service is expected on the London Overground by midday on Sunday 14 August.

Image above: Chiswick Station

Thursday 18 August (national rail strikes):

Organised by the RMT, this major walkouts is expected to include 40,000 workers – around 20,000 from Network Rail, including signalling and track maintenance workers – and the remainder from 14 train operating companies.

Chiltern Railways, CrossCountry, Greater Anglia, LNER, East Midlands Railway, c2c, Great Western Railway, Northern Trains, South Eastern, South Western Railway, TransPennine Express, Avanti West Coast, West Midlands Trains, GTR (including Gatwick Express), London Overground, Great Western Railway, Hull Trains and London Northwestern Railway will run no or heavily reduced services.

The majority of TfL’s services will continue to run, with some disruption expected. There will be a reduced service on the London Overground, Elizabeth line and some Tube lines due to the impact of the national rail strike on shared track and assets. Services running are expected to be busy and may not be able to stop at all stations.

There will be a reduced service on London Overground between 8.00am and 6.00pm, with no service outside of these times and no service at all on some sections of the network throughout the day.

There will be no service on the Bakerloo line north of Queen’s Park and the Wimbledon and Richmond branches of the District line will only run between 8.00am and 6.00pm. There is the potential for further disruption due to the strike impacting London Underground staff availability.

Image above: Northfields train depot

Friday 19 August (London Underground, London Overground and London bus strikes):

Disruption from the national rail strike on Thursday 18 August will continue impacting services into the following morning resulting in a delayed start on 19 August. Elizabeth line and Overground services will start later than usual so customers are advised to check before they travel.

Tube, Overground and bus strikes will affect the majority of TfL’s services on Friday 19 August as RMT workers strike. TfL expects “severe disruption” on all London Underground lines, with little to no services throughout the day. There will also be no Night Tube or Night Overground service from Friday evening.

Unite strike action will impact some routes in west and north west London and parts of Hertfordshire and Surrey, which will not be operating throughout the day. On affected routes, there will be no Night Bus service on Friday 19 August and Saturday 20 August.

Image above: London buses

Saturday 20 August (national rail strikes and London bus strikes):

Disruption from the London Underground strike will continue into the morning of Saturday 20 August and TfL advise customers to avoid making journeys before 8.00am. The industrial action on London buses will continue throughout Saturday 20 August and there will be no Night Bus service.

Similarly to Thursday, national rail strikes will impact TfL services due to shared track and assets. Services running are expected to be very busy and may not be able to stop at all stations. There will be a reduced service on London Overground between 8.00am and 6.00pm and there will be no Night Overground service.

The central section of the Elizabeth line will run a reduced train service after 6.00pm.

Due to shared tracks, there will be no service on the Wimbledon and Richmond branches of the District line before 8.00am and after 6.00pm. There will be no service on the Bakerloo line before 8.00am and no service north of Queen’s Park throughout the day. There is the potential for disruption due to the strike impacting London Underground staff availability.

Sunday 21 August (impacted by previous day’s strike action):

Disruption from the national rail and London bus strikes will continue to impact services in the morning on Sunday 21 August. From 8.00am, services will resume on bus routes impacted in west and north west London and parts of Hertfordshire and Surrey.

Elizabeth line and Overground services will start later than usual, so TfL are encouraging customers to avoid making journeys on affected services until after 8.00am.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Young man drowns swimming in Bedfont Lakes

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

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

New bespoke housing opens in Hounslow for disabled adults

Image above: Cllr Shantanu Rajawat (centre right) and Cllr Katherine Dunne (centre left) meet with residents at Two Bridges

New development offers 24 hour support to residents

The Leader of Hounslow Council, Cllr Shantanu Rajawat, officially opened the Two Bridges housing development in Feltham on Wednesday (10 August).

The Two Bridges development is a new 11-unit 24-hour supported accommodation, designed for residents with learning disabilities and/or autism. It aims to provide housing to residents, close to their families and networks of support.

The project has been developed in partnership with Dimensions, Octavia Housing and Hounslow and Richmond Community Health Trust.

Dimensions, a not-for-profit organisation supporting people with learning disabilities and/or autism, will provide 24-hour support to the residents which will include a management team and senior behavioural practitioners with care provided tailored to the individual’s need.

Cllr Shantanu Rajawat joined Deputy Leader of the Council Katherine Dunne with residents to commemorate the opening of the housing development.

Development has changed lives for the better, says resident

Leo Maloney, Two Bridges resident, said:

“Before this, my life was not great and I did not feel like my future mattered. Since moving in here, I have met a lot of new people and had opportunities to change my life for the better.

“I made a lot of self-destructive decisions in the past. Now, my habits have changed and my mental state is better. It has been a life-changing moment for me and for the first time in my life I believe I actually have a future to look forward to.”

Jocelyn Alderson, Regional Managing Director from Dimensions, said:

“We are proud to be part of this project with Hounslow Council and to be able to support more people to have better lives at Two Bridges. Through our specialist support we look forward to empowering them to become more independent, be healthy, safe and reach their full potential, leading fulfilling lives in and as part of their community.”

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Young man drowns swimming in Bedfont Lakes

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

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

Support The Chiswick Calendar

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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.

Hammersmith man charged with terrorism

Image above: Aine Davis; photograph Met Police

Aine Davis is alleged to be a member of the notorious ‘Beatles’ terror group 

A man who is alleged to have been part of an Islamic State group, known colloquially as the ‘Beatles’, has been charged and remanded in custody in the UK.

Davis was charged upon arrival at Luton airport after his release from a Turkish jail, where he was serving a seven-and-a-half-year sentence for membership of the terror group.

Members of the group, labelled ‘Beatles’ because of their British accents, murdered hostages while fighting with the IS in Syria.

Davis denied being a member of the group. He remains in police custody.

Group killed 27 hostages, say US authorities

The 38-year-old was arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command and taken to a police station in south London.

He was arrested in relation to offences under the Terrorism Act, 2000, including fundraising and possession of articles for terrorist purposes.

The ‘Beatles’ cell is believed to have been made up of four members – all thought to have grown up in west London – who volunteered to fight for IS in Syria and ended up guarding Western hostages.

US authorities have said the group killed 27 hostages, beheading several of them.

Davis denies being a member of ‘Beatles’ group

Davis was brought up in Hammersmith convicted and was jailed in 2006 for possessing a firearm.

After converting to Islam, he changed his name to Hamza and met Mohammed Emwazi, nicknamed Jihadi John by the media.

Davis was arrested near Istanbul in 2015 and was convicted by a Turkish court two years later of being a senior member of a terrorist organisation.

At his trial, Davis admitted knowing Emwazi from praying in the same mosque in west London, but denied being his friend, or a member of the “IS Beatles” group.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Young man drowns swimming in Bedfont Lakes

See also: London Fire Brigade tackles serious grass fire in west London

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.

 

Body of man pulled from Thames in Surrey

Image above: the River Thames at Shepperton; Photograph from Google

Second water-related death in west London this week

A body has been pulled from the River Thames in Surrey after a man disappeared under the water.

Emergency services were called to a stretch of the waterway near a sailing club in Shepperton, around 8.00pm on Thursday evening (11 August).

Members of the public reported a man had gone underwater but had failed to resurface.

“Sadly, a man’s body was recovered from the river in the early hours of this morning. His next of kin are aware and are being supported by specially trained officers,” Surrey Police said.

Another man in his early 20s drowned in west London on Tuesday (9 August), after getting into difficulties while swimming at Bedfont Lakes.

Local authorities and the Royal National Lifeboat Association (RNLI) warn against entering water to cool down during heatwaves. Rivers and lakes tend to remain cold despite high temperatures and can send the body into shock.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Young man drowns swimming in Bedfont Lakes

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

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.

Young man drowns swimming in Bedfont Lakes

Image above: Bedfont Lakes

LB Hounslow Council Leader Shantanu Rajawat offers family condolences and thanks emergency services

A man in his early 20s drowned on Tuesday August 9, after getting into difficulties while swimming at Bedfont Lakes.

Police were called to the scene at 5.20pm following concerns that the man had entered the water but not returned to shore. A wide-spread search was carried out by police and firefighters, and his body was recovered shortly before midnight.

The man’s family has been informed and the death is not being treated as suspicious. Bedfont Lakes is currently closed until further notice.

Cllr Shantanu Rajawat, Leader of Hounslow Council, said:

“This is a truly tragic incident and our thoughts and sympathies are with the man’s family and friends.

“The safety of visitors to Hounslow’s parks and open spaces is of the utmost importance to the Council and its partners. Many of our waterside locations have signs stressing the dangers of entering the water and life-preservers on-site, and our park rangers patrol the areas on a regular basis.

“I urge everyone to please stay out of open water such as lakes, rivers and canals unless it’s part of an organised swim supervised by a lifeguard. There are often dangers just below the surface such as plants, branches and strong currents which could leave any swimmer in difficulty.

“I would like to thank the emergency services for their efforts and Council staff who attended to support those at the scene.”

Each year, an average of 400 people drown in an accident in or around water, according to figures from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

LB Hounslow has issued the following advice on wild swimming:

  • Do not enter any water which is unsupervised – only swim in lakes which have organised swimming with lifeguards present, or use your nearest swimming pool.
  • Take care near the water’s edge and make sure children are supervised.
  • Alcohol and water don’t mix – one in three drownings is linked to alcohol consumption.
  • Stay calm – if you do find yourself in the water, remain calm and keep your breathing under control. You can do this by floating on your back or paddling to stay on the surface. If someone else is in difficulty keep talking to them and reassure them.
  • Get help – Call 999 and ask for London Fire Brigade and Coast Guard (if on Thames) or ask bystanders to call.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

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

See also: Councils introduce new measures to prevent grass fires

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.

Leicester City 2, Brentford 2

A New Dawn?

As if it hadn’t been a bruising season that saw his squad finish an honourable thirteenth in their long-awaited return to football’s top tier, head coach Thomas Frank reminded them on the eve of the next challenge that, ‘Every team has top quality, tactically and technically.’

This in his programme note for the final friendly match, limbering up for the impending 2022/3 season, when a welcome Bryan Mbeumo goal sent the Spanish Copa del Ray winners, Real Betis, home to Seville with nothing to show for their trip other than a tourists’ view of the newly named Gtech Community Stadium.

As for the Bees, and their coach, they must have regarded the friendlies as satisfactory limbering up for the serious business due to commence on 7 August.

Which takes us to the King Power Stadium a week later and a sudden awakening to exactly what Frank had in mind when he issued his warning.

For forty-five minutes, plus added time and around thirty astonishing seconds – more about which later – Leicester time and again dismantled the Brentford defence and but for David Raya and the woodwork might well have had a goal or several.

Those who had travelled to the East Midlands and less devoted souls who found a television feed were glum. Aaron Hickey, filling the defensive role occupied by Kristopher Ajer when fit, looked capable, Ben Mee, central defender from Burnley, less so, but overall the team lacked the cohesion they had displayed against Manuel Pelegrini’s fifth-placed La Liga visitors.

Largely immaculate in defence, the Foxes – the only PL club not to have bought players during the recent transfer window – were weak up front, where Jamie Vardy was a now and then, but mostly then, force.

James Maddison, impressive in Leicester’s double over the Bees last season, was even more so here, and Timothy Castagne, scorer of the home side’s first goal with a glancing header following a Maddison corner, is getting to be a pest, having scored against the Bees in the second leg of the side’s double last March.

And so to the second half, which was less than half-a-minute long when Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, whose name suggests a stately home rather than the polished midfielder he is, drilled a shot from twenty-five yards or more that quite possibly whistled as it sped past a despairing David Raya.

Whether or not it was irritation, or simple do-or-die guts, that fuelled Brentford’s revival, we may never know, but from there on they began to command the pace and ingenuity of the play. Tactically and technically? That too.

Ivan Toney, relatively subdued until now, became the wandering hit man we love, so much so that when a charge down the left by Rico Henry ended with a cross that almost fell at his feet, the striker took a pace that lost the defence, half-turned and smacked the ball past goalkeeper Danny Ward, rather spoiling his first League game of the season in place of the departed Kasper Schmeichel.

Having supported the newly adopted five-substitutes rule, Frank was busy using up the entire allocation and it was one of these, the reborn Josh Dasilva after interminable recovery from injuries, who sealed the team’s remarkable recovery 14 minutes from the end.

Cutting into the centre of the pitch and dropping a shoulder familiar to regular students of his game, he thumped home a left-foot drive that made Ward feel even less happy with his afternoon.

Tony missed a late chance that he would normally snaffle without thought, but a draw was a fair result, I suggested to my mate Charlie. After all, it’s a triumph compared to how Christian Eriksen feels, being on the wrong end of a 1-2 loss at Brighton in his very first game for Manchester United.

‘Oh dear,’ said Charlie.

Leicester City: Ward; Forfana, Evans, Amartey; Castagne, Tielemans, Ndidi, Dewsbury-Hall (substitute Daka 73mins), Justin; Maddison; Vardy.

Brentford: Raya; Hickey, (sub Bech Sørensen 83), Jansson, Mee (sub Lewis-Potter), Henry; Janelt; Nørgaard (sub Baptiste 73), Jensen (sub Dasilva 59), Mbeumo, Toney, Wissa (sub Davutoglu 83).

Bill Hagerty is a contributing editor of the Bees United supporters’ group.

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.

August 2022 books

What’s new and good to read this month? Jessica Bloom has a look at what’s on offer and chooses The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell, So Happy For You by Celia Laskey and The Queen of Dirt Island by Donal Ryan.

The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell

The author of HamnetNew York Times best seller and National Book Award winner—brings the world of Renaissance Italy to jewel-bright life in this unforgettable portrait of the captivating young duchess Lucrezia de’ Medici as she makes her way in a troubled court.

Florence, the 1550s. Lucrezia, third daughter of the grand duke, is comfortable with her obscure place in the palazzo: free to wonder at its treasures, observe its clandestine workings, and devote herself to her own artistic pursuits. But when her older sister dies on the eve of her wedding to the ruler of Ferrara, Modena and Reggio, Lucrezia is thrust unwittingly into the limelight: the duke is quick to request her hand in marriage, and her father just as quick to accept on her behalf.

Having barely left girlhood behind, Lucrezia must now enter an unfamiliar court whose customs are opaque and where her arrival is not universally welcomed. Perhaps most mystifying of all is her new husband himself, Alfonso. Is he the playful sophisticate he appeared to be before their wedding, the aesthete happiest in the company of artists and musicians, or the ruthless politician before whom even his formidable sisters seem to tremble?

As Lucrezia sits in constricting finery for a painting intended to preserve her image for centuries to come, one thing becomes worryingly clear. In the court’s eyes, she has one duty: to provide the heir who will shore up the future of the Ferranese dynasty. Until then, for all of her rank and nobility, the new duchess’s future hangs entirely in the balance.

Full of the beauty and emotion with which she illuminated the Shakespearean canvas of Hamnet, Maggie O’Farrell turns her talents to Renaissance Italy in an extraordinary portrait of a resilient young woman’s battle for her very survival.

Images above: The Marriage Pportrait; Author Maggie O’Farrell

So Happy For You by Celia Laskey

A wedding weekend spirals out of control in this bold, electrifying, hilarious novel about the complexities of female friendship.

Robin and Ellie have been best friends since childhood. When Robin came out, Ellie was there for her. When Ellie’s father died, Robin had her back. But when Ellie asks Robin to be her maid of honor, she is reluctant. A queer academic, Robin is dubious of the elaborate wedding rituals now sweeping the nation, which go far beyond champagne toasts and a bouquet toss. But loyalty wins out, and Robin accepts.

Yet, as the wedding weekend approaches, a series of ominous occurrences lead Robin to second-guess her decision. It seems that everyone in the bridal party is out to get her. Perhaps even Ellie herself.

Manically entertaining, viciously funny and eerily campy, So Happy for You is the ultimate send-up to our collective obsession with the wedding industrial complex and a riveting, unexpectedly poignant depiction of friendship in all its messy glory.

Images above: So Happy For You; Author Celia Laskey

The Queen of Dirt Island by Donal Ryan

From the award-winning, Booker longlisted author of the number one bestseller, Strange Flowers, a searing, jubilant novel about four generations of women and the love and stories that bind them.

The Aylward women are mad about each other, but you wouldn’t always think it. You’d have to know them to know – in spite of what the neighbours might say about raised voices and dramatic scenes – that their house is a place of peace, filled with love, a refuge from the sadness and cruelty of the world.

Their story begins at an end and ends at a beginning. It’s a story of terrible betrayals and fierce loyalties, of isolation and togetherness, of transgression, forgiveness, desire, and love. About all the things family can be and all the things it sometimes isn’t. More than anything, it is an uplifting celebration of fierce, loyal love and the powerful stories that last generations.

Images above: The Queen of Dirt Island; Donal Ryan

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.

 

Jennifer’s dog training advice – How do I get my dog to stop barking at the door?

Image above: Guarding the door

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.

How do I get my dog to stop barking at the door?

Barking is a classic example of a dog behaviour which is very natural for many breeds, and something we humans have benefited from and selectively bred as a trait we like through the domestication process.

It is mostly because we now live in built up and populated areas that we see barking as a nuisance, unnecessary and something to stop. The most common time a dog barks, that we see as a problem, is when the doorbell goes, or when they hear something on the other side of the door.

There can be many reasons why a dog barks at the front door, from excitement because that means someone will be coming in to give them some love, to uneasiness because a strange noise was heard outside.

For those puppies raised during lockdown, and indeed for those dogs who were raised before but then had a huge life change during the pandemic, people coming to the front door became a rarity. They might now be scared by the noise of the bell, or of strange figures wearing masks appearing in the doorway.

Here are some general points to think about, management techniques to implement to decrease how often they feel the need to bark at the door, and a couple of training exercises to change their behaviour to something positive and noise-free!

1.    Can we reduce how often they bark  by making a few environmental changes?

Management is often overlooked in dog training. We usually want to jump straight into the ‘how can I fix this behaviour so it doesn’t happen again?’ mode and this usually means we only focus on training.

However, by changing the environment to limit how often they feel the need to bark, we can really help and speed up the training process as they aren’t exposed to their triggers as often. A couple of my go-to management techniques for this are:

White noise machines to help drown out the sounds coming from the other side of the door. I use the rain noise setting with my dog, Griffin, when he is left alone to make sure he can rest soundly and not necessarily hear neighbours and deliveries.

If you have glass panels in your front  door, cover these with a shaded translucent film to limit what they can see but will keep the light coming into your hallway.

These adhesive films are also fantastic for dogs who stare out of windows and bark at passers by. Usually with this type of alert barking, it is incredibly self-rewarding making it a behaviour that is likely to be repeated again and again:

“I saw someone or heard something come close to the house, I barked, they left…I DID IT!”.

By taking away their access to the sight of these triggers, the behaviour of barking in this context often decreases dramatically.

Image above: Jennifer’s dog Griffin window watching

2.    Change their initial response to the doorbell

A great way of helping your dog stop barking at the doorbell specifically, is to teach them that the sound is nothing to react to. Firstly, we want to change the initial emotional reaction of the dog to the sound of the doorbell into something positive, and to turn to you instead.

To start, record the sound of your doorbell on your phone, or even better, if you have a doorbell device that means you can change the sound of the bell, choose a new sound that currently has no association for your dog.

Move to a different part of the house which isn’t by the front door, and have plenty of treats ready.

Turn the volume on your phone down as low as it goes. This is very important as we want the dog to be aware of the sound, but to not feel the need to react.

Hit play, and immediately feed your dog a treat. Pause the sound after this. Wait 5-10 seconds, then repeat at the same low volume.

Once your dog is not showing any reaction to the sound (think ears flicking, turning their head to the hallway, looking uncomfortable), turn the volume up slightly, and repeat the process.

Keep going, over a period of days and/or weeks, until you can play the sound of the bell on your phone at full volume and your dog does not react or bark, and happily takes the treat from you.

You can then connect your phone to a bluetooth speaker and place the speaker in the hallway near the door, and you can be in a different room. Be ready to treat as soon as your dog hears the sound.

For another level of this training, if your dog already knows a stationing cue on a bed, you can then work on changing the sound of the bell into a cue to go lay down on their bed.

Press play on your phone, pause it after the initial sound, then give your cue that means to go to their bed. Reward heavily when they do.

Repeat many times until they start to head to their bed once they have heard the bell, and before you have said your cue word. They have got it! Where the association used to be doorbell=run to door and bark, we now have doorbell=go to bed for something amazing.

3.    Train an interrupter cue

I am actually very much okay with Griffin barking when someone comes to our door. We live in London, and I would rather people could hear that there was a dog on the other side of the door! However, this doesn’t mean I want him to go absolutely crazy and bark for five minutes straight.

Continuous alert barking is also stressful and anxiety producing for the dog and I don’t want that. When someone knocks on the door, like a delivery driver, I let him give a few alert barks then I use my interruptor cue of “Thank You”. This basically means, “Great, you can stop now!”

I like to use a snuffle mat for this exercise, as it helps decompress and relax the dog after something that is as highly stimulating as alert barking, prevents them from going back to barking again, and means there is a specific location that treats can be delivered and your dog will learn to automatically head there.

These snuffle mats can easily be bought online or homemade, and look like a shaggy rug that treats can be hidden in.

Place the snuffle mat in an area away from the front door, like in the kitchen or living room. Say “Thank You” in a nice bright tone of voice and drop a couple of tasty treats on to the mat. Wait for your dog to eat all of them, then repeat a couple more times.

Take a few steps away from the mat, pause for a few seconds, then say “Thank you” before heading back to the mat to drop some treats in.

Repeat this many times over a period of days, moving varying distances away from the mat. You are wanting to see your dog perk up at the sound of you using this cue word, and automatically moving towards the mat in anticipation of the treats.

Now you are ready to try this when your dog hears someone at the door and goes to bark. This is easiest to begin with if you know that it is a delivery as opposed to a visitor as you then don’t have to work on the greeting too and can just focus on the initial barking.

Bone Ball Bark training services are a part of The Chiswick Club card scheme, with 10% off training packages. If you need any in-person or virtual help with your dog barking at the door, please get in touch.

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.

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



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Archbishop says gay sex a sin. What do Chiswick vicars think?

Images above: Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby; Sandi Toksvig

Sandi Toksvik’s open letter to Justin Welby reignites debate over Church of England’s stance on gay sex

‘Gay sex is a sin’, says the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

‘I’m very hurt and won’t be setting foot in a church again then’, says entertainer Sandi Toksvig.

The archbishop made his declaration at the end of the Lambeth Conference, a meeting of Anglican church leaders from around the world which takes place once a decade, reaffirming the validity of the Church’s declaration on gay sex issued in 1998. He told them:

“For many churches, to change traditional teaching challenges their very existence.”

Sandi Toksvig then published an open letter inviting him to coffee to discuss it, saying:

“Seriously, with the state the world is in, that is what you wanted to focus on?”

Sandi, who has been married to her wife Debbie for 16 years, wrote about the death threats she has received for being gay and told him the lives of LGBT+ people were at stake.

A higher percentage of young LGBT+ people contemplate suicide than their non-LGBT+ peers. “Do you know why?” she asked. “For many it’s because they don’t feel loved and love, Justin, is supposed to be at the core of what you do. It’s like top of the job description.”

Image above: Fr Kevin Morris, vicar of St Michael & All Angels Church

Fr Kevin Morris, Vicar of St Michael & All Angels

What do Chiswick’s Church of England vicars think? Usually we have five resident vicars. Michael Riley has just retired so St Paul’s Grove Park is currently vicar-less, but three out of the remaining four responded to my questions.

First up Fr Kevin Morris at St Michael & All Angels Church, who does not believe gay sex is a sin but thought the archbishop was doing his best to describe the reality of the variety of opinion within the Anglican community.

Given the church is a worldwide organisation and operates in countries where gay sex is illegal, public opinion is homophobic and gay people go in fear of their lives if they are discovered, the church was doing well to agree to there being no sanctions against people in same sex marriages, he thought. “That is a major step forward.”

Image above: Fr Simon Brandes, vicar of St Nicholas Church; photograph Frank Noon

Fr Simon Brandes, Vicar of St Nicholas

Simon Brandes, vicar of St Nicholas Church in Chiswick Mall agrees: gay sex is not a sin, but the way Justin Welby brought together more than 600 people with wildly differing views was “skilfully done.”

“On a personal level I am worried this will be meat and drink to those who want to sow hatred and division. How we welcome, include and support LGBT people will be the test.”

Acknowledging those who felt what was written in scripture should be obeyed, he told us there were as many different interpretations as there were members. He does not think there will ever be agreement on this issue but feels passionately that we must learn to live with our differences.

“There is no point grandstanding. We may not be able to agree but we can still eat together and converse together. I can still treat you as a human being. We can still say we are against persecution.

“We have to be very careful how we use words as they are taken and used to sow violence and division. This is a matter of the utmost seriousness.”

Image above: Rev Martine Oborne, vicar of St Michael’s Church, Elmwood Rd

Rev Martine Oborne, Vicar of St Michael’s Church, Elmwood Rd

Martine Oborne, vicar of St Michael’s Church Elwood Rd, also had sympathy for the archbishop “as he is trying to hold together a worldwide group of churches with opposing theologies on homosexuality.”

She does not think gay sex is sinful either.

“I would say that promiscuity, exploitation and abuse are sins and sadly we find this being practised by people of all sexualities and these are the things we need to be challenging.

“Kind, loving, equal relationships between all couples should be respected and honoured.”

A safe space

Church of England vicars are not allowed to marry gay couples in church. That was written into law at the Church’s request. They are able to give a blessing somehwere else, if someone else is acting as registrar. That he cannot marry gay couples in church is a matter of regret for Kevin, who has given blessings to civil partnerships.

“I can marry divorcees and anyone else, whether they believe in the Church’s teachings or not, but I cannot marry devout Christians who are gay.

“Most of us would rather it had been left as a matter of individual conscience” he told The Chiswick Calendar.

He describes St Michael & All Angels as being “affirming and inclusive.” Gay people are “Not just accepted” he told us, “but very much part of our life.

“Our curate Graham is gay. He has been with his partner for fifty years and everyone was very generous and kind to him when his partner died.

Contrary to the beliefs of the conservative, evangelical church, he believes being able to express oneself sexually “makes people freer, more themselves. We don’t find love so often in this life that we should turn it down when we find it.”

Fr Kevin recently went to a gay Eucharist given by a gay female bishop in Wales and he would be happy to conduct one in Chiswick.

Fr Simon also wants St Nicholas Church to be known as a safe space where people can express themselves. He is gay himself and quite open about it. He has been with his partner for 35 years and been vicar at St Nicholas Parish Church for 15.

“I make no apology for who I am. My partner and I have felt nothing but welcome, affirmation and love in the time we’ve been here.”

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: London Fire Brigade tackles serious grass fire in west London

See also: Met pay out £30,000 for illegal stop & search on Chiswick Common

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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London Fire Brigade tackles serious grass fire in west London

Image above: Fire at Hereford Rd, Feltham; photograph London Fire Brigade

Residents evacuated as around 30 houses are saved

As the Met Office forecasts more hot weather this week, with temperatures in the mid 30s and “little meaningful rain”, London Fire Brigade is warning of the dangers of grass fires and the speed at which they spread.

Ten fire engines and around 70 firefighters were called to a fire on Hereford Road in Feltham on Sunday (7 August), where trees, undergrowth and decking were alight at the rear of properties. They evacuated around 60 people and managed to save some 30 homes from the fire.

Station Commander Tamer Ozdemir said firefighters had “worked incredibly hard in hot, arduous conditions” to stop the fire spreading.

Image above: Fire at Hereford Rd, Feltham; photograph London Fire Brigade

London Fire Brigade issues video showing the speed at which a grass fire spreads

The fire brigade published a video to make people aware how quickly grass fires can spread in the dry conditions. Last month was the driest July in southern England since records began in 1836.

In the past few days they have also been called to grass fires in Upminster and Newbury Park.

“This is what our crews have faced frequently in recent weeks. Help to prevent grass fires – don’t BBQ in parks & dispose of cigarettes & glass properly.”

Campaign to ban sale of disposable barbecues

London Fire Brigade is reminding people not to throw away cigarettes on grass and not to leave glass on the ground. They are campaigning to get the sale of disposable barbecues banned.

The Brigade is backing a petition set up by Toby Tyler whose son Will was severely burned by a disposable barbecue.

London’s Fire Commissioner Andy Roe said:

“Despite our grass fire warnings, we’ve still seen some people behaving carelessly and recklessly.

“We need urgent action now to see a national ban on the sale of disposable barbecues. They can be bought for as little as five pounds and can cause untold damage, especially when the grass is as dry as it has been over the last few weeks.

“Last week is another example of how we are increasingly being challenged by new extremes of weather as our climate changes and we’re developing long-term strategies to deal with more incidents like this in the future.”

The petition can be found here petition.parliament.uk

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Flat fire in Shepherd’s Bush

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

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Chiswick has a new bakery – Ma Ma Boutique Bakery

Images above: Ma Ma Boutique Bakery; Marzena and Nigel

Gluten free and largely organic

Nigel and Marzena have just opened a new bakery at 30 Chiswick High Rd. Marzena does the baking and Nigel looks after front of house. Everything they make is gluten free, baked fresh on the premises.

They’ve called it Ma Ma Boutique Bakery – Ma for Marzena, Ma in memory of her sister Margaret who died last year of Covid, Boutique because it is designed and created by them to suit their taste.

“We have taken Ma from my name Marzena and the Ma from Margaret so she will always be with us” Marzena told me.

Images above: Ma Ma Boutique Bakery bread

From Bond Broker to Baker

Marzena trained as a chef in Poland but learned baking from her grandfather, who was a professional baker.

Nigel was until fairly recently a bond broker. He gave that up when he was diagnosed with bowel cancer. A gluten free diet was an important part of his recovery.

They have spent months refurbushing the premises at 30 Chiswick High Rd, which was previously part of the premises occupied by London Auctions. The premises have been divided and the larger part where the auction house used to be remains empty.

Nigel and Marzena are loving being in Chiswick. Open only a week, already they have repeat customers.

“One of our customers who comes in every day because he likes the bread didn’t realise it was gluten free, which is great because it takes the stigma out of it. It isn’t just for coeliacs and people who have an intolerance to wheat.”

They sell loaves of bread, mainly sourdough, using the long fermentation method, but also yeasted breads, including their buttery breakfast loaf – light and fluffy on the inside, crusty on the outside.

Marzena’s cake range includes orange and almond slices, lemon drizzle, raspberry frangipani, banana cake, cinnamon swirls and Polish cheesecake, all baked freshly on the premises in the morning.

They also make open sandwiches and have a few tables for people to sit down and eat.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

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

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

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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Flat fire in Shepherd’s Bush

Image above: Scene of the flat in Shepherd’s Bush where fire broke out on Sunday; photograph London Fire Brigade

12 fire engines attend blaze

Firefighters from Chiswick were among those called to a fire in Shepherd’s Bush on Sunday (7 August).

Twelve fire engines and around 80 firefighters were called to the fire on Heathstan Road where firefighters tackled a blaze on a second floor balcony of a three and six-storey block.

Around 30 people left the building before the Brigade arrived. Station Commander Matt Brown, who was at the scene, said:

“Firefighters are working hard in hot conditions to tackle this blaze, which started on a second floor balcony.

“It has also affected a third floor balcony and the third floor flat roof.

“One of our 32m ladders is at the scene to assist firefighting operations.

“Residents in the area are advised to close their doors and windows due to the smoke.

“While there are no current road closures, we would ask motorists to please avoid the area where possible as there are a large amount of vehicles at the scene.”

The Brigade was called at 2.45pm. Fire crews from Park Royal, Chiswick, Fulham, Willesden, Richmond, Hammersmith and surrounding fire stations went to the scene.

The cause of the fire is not known at this stage.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Met pay out £30,000 for illegal stop & search on Chiswick Common

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

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.

Met pay out £30,000 for illegal stop & search on Chiswick Common

Image above: Metropolitan Police; library photograph

Incident left Zac Sharif-Ali ‘gasping for breath’

A black man illegally stopped and searched by a plain clothes policeman on Chiswick Common in 2012 has won his ten year fight for compensation.

Zac Sharif-Ali was left ‘gasping for breath’ after the officer grabbed him and held him in a strangle hold. He was then taken to a police station and strip-serached.

Zac Sharif-Ali had been out walking his dog when a white officer, PC Duncan Bullock, put him in a headlock, without giving his name or his station, making the search illegal.

A letter from the Met’s directorate of professional standards stated it was “a matter of regret” that Sharif-Ali was unlawfully searched:

“I acknowledge the anxiety and distress this incident caused you and would like to apologise to you on behalf of the Metropolitan police service.”

Sharif-Ali received £30,000 worth of damages, bringing to an end his civil claim for compensation.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) only looked into the case after the Met had carried out three internal investigations, all of which it deemed to be inadequate, Mr Sharif-Ali took civil action himself.

The Metropolitan Police paid out £19.6m over four years between 2015 and 2019 in out of court settlements to people who had been on the receiving end of unlawful police behaviour.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

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

See also: Council makes changes to over-complicated traffic management scheme in Grove Park & Strand on the Green

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.

Alex Belfield found guilty of stalking Jeremy Vine and three others

Image above: Youtuber Alex Belfield; image from his Youtube account

Dubbed ‘the Jimmy Savile of trolling’ by Jeremy Vine

Former BBC employee Alex Belfield has been found guilty of stalking broadcaster Jeremy Vine and three others.

Jurors at Nottingham crown court accepted Belfield had caused serious alarm or distress to two victims – the BBC Radio Northampton presenter Bernie Keith and videographer Ben Hewis.

They also found Belfield guilty of “simple” stalking in relation to Jeremy Vine and the theatre blogger Philip Dehany.

Earlier in the proceedings Jeremy described Belfield as “the Jimmy Saville of trolling”, saying watching his Youtube videos was like “swimming in sewage.”

Image above: Jeremy Vine

The court heard Jeremy had received 5,000 to 10,000 hateful tweets after Belfield’s comments and that his stalking had not only affected the presenter but also his family.

In his evidence Jeremy Vine said:

“I found it shocking and distressing, and it made me worried. I have in the past had a physical stalker who followed me. That is a picnic compared to this guy. It’s like an avalanche of hatred that you get hit by.”

Belfield was found not guilty of stalking Rozina Breen, the BBC’s former head of North; the former BBC Radio Leeds presenters Liz Green and Stephanie Hirst; and Helen Thomas, another former BBC worker.

He was granted bail and will be sentenced in September.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Council makes changes to over-complicated traffic management scheme in Grove Park & Strand on the Green

See also: Council extends parking restrictions in roads nearest Chiswick Cinema but not in other nearby roads

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

Support The Chiswick Calendar

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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.

Councils introduce new measures to prevent grass fires

Image above: Fire in Hanworth Park; photograph Friends of Hanworth Park

Stepping up Park Ranger patrols

Hounslow Council has said it is stepping up measures to try and prevents fires in the borough’s parks.

After blazes in Feltham and Hanworth Park last week, park rangers and other parks workers are mounting extra patrols throughout the parks during the hot, dry weather, on the lookout for potential fire hazards.

‘Vegetation is being cut back and the existing fire breaks are being doubled in size and reinforced in key areas.’

Council teams will also be conducting more litter picks to collect items that could start a fire, such as glass bottles.

The Council and its partners are putting up signs in many of the main parks reminding people about the dangers of certain behaviours at a time of heightened fire risk.

Fire in Hanworth Park

On Tuesday 2 August six fire engines and 40 firefighters and council parks services worked for more than three hours to bring a grass fire under control at Hanworth Park. Council officers and team members from GreenSpace 360 had the job of cleaning up after the fire.

The aftermath saw significant damage to a field within the park.

‘Thanks to the quick action of the partners, it is believed that the plants, trees and wildlife habitats affected will recover’ the Council says.

There were no injuries or damage to any properties. An investigation into the cause of the fire is now underway. Hounslow Council is urging residents and visitors to continue to respect the ban on barbecues and open fires in the borough’s parks and green spaces.

Hounslow Council’s Cabinet Member for Parking, Parks and Leisure, Councillor Salman Shaheen, visited the scene of the Hanworth Park blaze on Wednesday (3 August) to assess the damage and discuss the new measures being introduced.

Councillor Shaheen said:

“Visiting the scene of the blaze at Hanworth Park today, I could still feel the heat coming off the ashes. That this fire was not significantly worse was thanks to the London Fire Brigade and our own teams for their rapid response.

“The brave efforts of those involved have undoubtedly prevented more damage to this important green space.

“I could also see that the fire breaks we had put in place worked to limit the devastation and so we will be reinforcing and expanding our fire breaks in areas of risk across the borough.”

Image above: Turnham Green; photograph Barbara Chandler

Turnham Green

LB Hounslow introduced new park rangers a few months ago. There are two based in Chiswick to look after Turnham Green and Chiswick Back Common. Their job is to watch out for antisocial behaviour but they are also a first line of defence against fires.

Cllr Ron Mushiso organises regular litter picks on Turnham Green, on the fourth Sunday of every month. The next one will be on Sunday 28 August. Meet the group at Christ Church at 2.30pm if you would like to help. They finish with tea and biscuits in the church at 3.30pm.

Image above: Benches at the Turnham Green Terrace piazza; photograph by Barbara Chandler

Acton Green Common

Ealing Council has also increased parks staff. A council spokesperson told us:

“Another litter crew was added this summer and we are also helped by the wonderful volunteers with LagerCAN, who have been litter picking some of our meadows.”

The Council has also started meadow cutting because of the weather, to reduce the risk of fire.

Neither council allows the use of barbeques in parks and open spaces.

Image above: Chiswick House Gardens; photograph Alanna McCrum

Chiswick House

Chiswick House played host to Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place Festival at the weekend (6-7 August).

“There is always a lot of litter left after big events” Chiswick House head gardener Rosie Fyles told The Chiswick Calendar.

She says on the whole people have been more responsible since the start of the Covid pandemic and a lot now take their litter home with them.

“We have noticed the remains of a few small fires in the last couple of weeks” she told us “but generally people are behaving responsibly.

“We are aways managing fire risk, especially as we are looking after a historic property.

“I think there is a collective holding of breath at the moment as there aren’t the resources to be able to completely eradicate the risk of fire.

“I am also beginning to notice the effect of the drought on the park’s mature trees and shrubs”, she told us.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: London Fire Brigade tackles serious grass fire in west London

See also: Flat fire in Shepherd’s Bush

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

Support The Chiswick Calendar

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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.

Council makes changes to over-complicated traffic management scheme in Grove Park & Strand on the Green

Making access easier for residents

LB Hounslow has announced changes to the traffic management scheme for Grove Park and Strand on the Green. The changes, put forward by the assistant director of traffic, transport and parking, Jefferson Nwokeoma, are in response to representations from residents’ groups, who say the different types of access which exist at the moment for residents in the various areas south of the A4 are confusing and unfair.

The Council admits the scheme that has been in place for the past two years is just too complicated:

‘Continuing with the existing permit arrangements has been considered but is not recommended due to the difficulties for residents and businesses to understand the complexities of the zoned system.’

The Council is extending Hartington Rd permits to residents of the Strand on the Green Controlled Parking Zone. At the moment only residents with an RV (Riverview) or a CS (Chiswick Station) permit are allowed to enter Hartington Rd from the A316 at Chiswick Bridge between the hours of  8am to 7pm, Monday to Saturday (if they have registered for an access permit). The change takes place with immediate effect.

LB Hounslow is also amalgamating the Hartington Road and Staveley Road permit schemes, to provide access to all residents and other existing exemption permit holders in the RV, CS, GP, SOTG and FR CPZ areas, as the consultation on the Staveley Road and Burlington Lane trial comes to an end in September.

Image above: LB Hounslow map showing the six Controlled Parking Zones south of the A4: Chiswick Station CPZ, Riverview CPZ, Strand on the Green CPZ, Stile Hall CPZ, Fauconberg Road CPZ and Grove Park Residents CPZ

Changes welcomed by residents groups

Jefferson Nwokeoma said:

‘Given the significant reduction in traffic it is felt that the widening of the permit exemptions to incorporate the additional CPZ areas can be accommodated without adversely impacting on the primary aims of the access restriction, which was to reduce overall traffic volumes and in particular though traffic.’

Ann Collins, Chair of the Strand on the Green Residents Association commented:

“We are thankful that this change has been implemented after two years of campaigning, it will make life so much easier for some residents of our wider neighbourhood.

“More needs to be done to help businesses and visitors to the neighbourhood, who have also been badly impacted by what was implemented. We and the other residents associations will continue to engage with LBH on this.”

Rob King, Chair of the Grove Park Group of residents added:

“Finally, we have measures improving access for residents. Yet they still fall short; we now need access for visitors, deliveries and taxis, and to our local shops, restaurants and pubs and a full review of the SCLN.
with no clarification from Hounslow Council to residents.

Changes welcomed by Conservative and Labour councillors

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

“We welcome this decision from the council after two years of discussions on the South Chiswick Liveable Neighbourhood.

“While the intention of this project was always to look at the area as a whole, the execution indicated otherwise. The decision outlined here – to merge the two whitelists for access to Hartington Road and Staveley Road, and include residents from Strand-On-The-Green – is one that we have repeatedly asked for since July 2020, and I am pleased that Hounslow now have the data they require to make the decision that could have saved residents a lot of stress, time and money.”

Amy Croft, the recently elected Labour councillor told us:

“It’s really great to see that we have some positive action as a result of listening to residents’ real concerns.”

Reviews of speed data and signage

Hounslow will be reviewing the speed data being collected as part of the Staveley Road and Burlington Lane trial, and subject to results, will ask traffic officers to consider engineering interventions in Burlington Lane and/or Sutton Court Road in consultation with ward councillors.

The Council is also asking officers to complete a signage audit, and subject to the results, make changes to the signage where necessary. Residents have complained from the start of the Low Traffic Neighbourhood scheme that there are too many signs and they are too complicated to understand.

Uber drivers routinely stop at the sign which describes ‘access’. Some continue to the pick-up; others give up and cancel the job.

Images above: Signs on Hartington Rd and on the A316

Numbers being fined greater than expected

The aim of introducing the Low Traffic Neighbourhood was to cut the amount of commuter traffic through this residential area. Commuters used Hartington Rd and Sutton Court Rd to shave a couple of minutes off their journey to the A4. Since the access restriction was introduced on Hartington Rd there has been a 51% reduction in vehicles travelling in the northbound direction.

The Council admits the number of drivers who have been caught out by the changes and fined is greater than it expected.

‘The number of penalty charge notices being issued for contravention of either the Hartington Road or Staveley Road access restrictions is far higher than would be expected given the length of time the restrictions have now been in place.

‘Whilst the existing signage has been found by adjudicators to be compliant and adequate a review of the signage will look at what more can be done to reduce the number of non-exempt vehicles using these roads as that is the primary aim of the restrictions.’

Rob King said:

“We are shocked by the continuing volume of PCNs, demonstrating signage is simply not working.”

Changes to access to Grove Park & Strand on the Green due to A4 roadworks

The changes have been announced just one day before major roadworks are due to begin on the A4. From Friday 5 August until Wednesday 12 October, two lanes will be closed westbound on the A4, with the exception of one day – Friday 16 September – and in an attempt to avoid gridlock the Council has lifted the traffic restrictions to Grove Park and Strand on the Green during that period.

From Friday 5 August until Wednesday 12 October there will be access permitted from the A316 into Staveley Rd and Hartington Rd and the south circular at Kew Bridge into Thames Rd without permits.

So for the time being these latest changes to the traffic scheme are academic. Residents will begin to notice the difference from mid October onwards.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

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

See also: Access to Grove Park during roadworks on A4

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.

Council extends parking restrictions in roads nearest Chiswick Cinema but not in other nearby roads

Image above: Chiswick Cinema

Residents have a change of heart and Council amends plans accordingly

LB Hounslow has responded to feedback from residents and businesses in east Chiswick, in streets near the Chiswick Cinema, and increased the period of parking restrictions in the roads nearest the cinema, but not extended them in other roads.

Currently the parking restriction in the East Chiswick Controlled parking Zone is from 9am – 7pm, Monday – Saturday.

When the cinema was first mooted, residents in nearby streets objected on the basis it would bring more cars to park in their roads. An initial consultation in 2020 indicated clear public support for extending evening parking restrictions, but one year on from the cinema’s opening, the feared invasion of cars has not materialised.

LB Hounslow issued a second consultation in May and June this year on the proposal to extend parking restriction from 7pm to 9pm Monday to Saturday and to introduce it from 5-9pm on Sundays.

Many feared the decision was a foregone conclusion and widespread parking restrictions would be introduced. Lin Leung, co-owner of Decorexi at 58 Chiswick High Rd, made sure all the business owners in the area were aware of the consultation and urged them to take part. They all said extending parking restrictions would be bad for business.

Lin told us local residents were not in favour either.

“Imposing further restrictions disproportionately affects residents who have friends/family/carers visiting beyond 7pm and on Sundays” she told The Chiswick Calendar.

Image above: Upham Park Road, Google Street View

Roads affected

As a result of the feedback the Council has decided to create ‘sub-zones’ in the East Chiswick Controlled Parking Zone

Parking restrictions will be extended to 9am – 9pm, Monday – Saturday and 5 – 9pm on Sunday in the following roads: Ennismore Avenue, Mayfield Avenue, Thornton Avenue and Upham Park Road. Chiswick Cinema is between Upham Park Road and Ennismore Avenue. The other two streets are the next to the west on the north side of the HIgh Rd.

Plans have been dropped to extend the parking restrictions in Cleveland Avenue, Homefield Road, Merton Avenue and Ravensmede Way and also in Chiswick Lane (between its junction with
Chiswick High Road and Wilton Avenue) and Cranbrook Road.

The Council received 157 representations, of which 126 were objecting to the proposals or aspects of them. Only 31 representations supported them, or aspects of them. The Council also received a petition opposing the changes, with 64 signatures.

John Todd, ward councillor for Homefields, where these streets are, told The Chiswick Calendar:

“Both councillors, traffic officers, businesses and residents worked towards what I regard as a pragmatic solution.”

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Council makes changes to over-complicated traffic management scheme in Grove Park & Strand on the Green

See also: Next phase of work to C9 to go ahead in September

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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Andrea’s film review – Bullet train

Bullet train ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Review by Andrea Carnevali

Five assassins aboard a fast moving bullet train find out their missions have something in common. Out in cinemas now.

Based on a popular Japanese pulpy novel by Kōtarō Isaka, this over-the-top, Taratinesque (Minus the sparkling dialogue), rather elaborate and pretty ridiculous action flick takes place all inside a Japanese, neon-lit, high-speed train on which various criminals, somehow all connected to the same Russian boss, seem to have converged on a hunt for a briefcase full of money.

A very simple premise which the film seems to take way too seriously it as gets more and more tied up in knots with a series of convoluted plot twists, flashbacks, and various narrative digressions and side stories which pack the film (and the poster by the look of it). So many, in fact, that they risk sucking all the fun out the film.

Given that it’s all about speed, I found surprising how much time it spent trying to explain the convoluted plotlines, most of which passed me by anyway.

In fact, to be honest, by the end of the film, I really could not care less about who did what to whom. I think the best way to enjoy this candy-colourful farce is to embraces its messy, cartoony, absurd artificiality and go for the ride.

Which is exactly what Brad Pitt seems to be doing anyway. At 58 years, his charisma and screen presence is undeniable. And if Bullet Train doesn’t derail completely off its tracks, is because of him and the huge sense of fun which he seems to sprinkle throughout the film.

The whole thing is undeniably too long, but among famous A-list cameos, the ultra-violence, snappy editing, beautifully choreographed fight scenes (Director David Leitch used to be a stunt coordinator) and a “style-over-substance” approach to everything, there is definitely stuff to enjoy… if you like that sort of thing.

I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I laughed and smiled quite a lot throughout (though I did look at my watch too)…

A hilarious sequence towards the end in which Pitt is seen flying unscathed through the train wreckage, in slow-motion, is unintentionally the perfect representation and metaphor for “bullet train” as a film: a bit of a train wreck through which somehow Pitt survives intact.

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

Bullet Train is out in cinemas right now.

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

Craig David heads music line-up at Pub in the Park Chiswick

Craig David brings his electrifying set to Pub in the Park

Craig David heads the line-up at this year’s Pub in the Park, 2 September at Chiswick House. Creating the most epic R’n’B, garage and house dance party for one evening only.

The artist who has received two Grammy award nominations and 14 Brit Award nominations kicks off a whole weekend of live music from some top bands and food by celebrity chefs.

David has 20 UK Top 40 singles to his name and seven UK Top 40 albums, selling over 15,000,000 records worldwide as a solo artist. He has just brought out his latest single ‘DNA’ with Swedish electronic production/DJ duo Galantis.

Launching the single he said:

“To me this single is a summer banger all day long. When I first started working on this album I knew I wanted every collaboration to bring something totally different and have something for everyone. I was thrilled when Galantis said they’d collab on this track and they delivered big time!! Massive vibes!”

He recently released ‘G Love’ featuring Nippa. Both tracks will be on his next album ’22’, due to be released 30 September, so Chiswick audiences will be getting alive preview.

Craig David will be joined by Chiswick’s own Sophie Ellis-Bextor and ‘British electronic royalty’ Faithless DJ set over the weekend. Organisers promise ‘the most epic dance party’.

Soul sensation Beverley Knight will be there and ’90s British rockers The Lightning Seeds.

Tickets from Pub in the Park’s website.

pubintheparkuk.com

Friday evening

Saturday afternoon

Saturday evening

Lazy Sunday

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: Meeting Bernard Cribbins

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 – Uncoupled

Uncoupled ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Review by Andrea Carnevali

Michael’s life seemed to be perfect, until his long time partner blindsided him after 17 years of being in long time relationship. He has to confront the nightmares of losing his soulmate and suddenly finding himself as a single gay man in his mid-40s. Available to watch on Netflix.

You can tell right from the start that this shares some of the same DNA with Sex and the City, or rather its sequel And Just Like That, given the age of the characters involved. After all Darren Starr is one of the co-creators of the series (the other being Modern Family’s Jeffrey Richman). He was really the brains behind Sex and the City for years and so many of the trademarks have passed onto this one: the New York settings of course, all those rich people with great clothes, who seem to do no work all day long, but spend time in great restaurants and live in amazing apartments and of course the constant talk of dating and sex…

So on the surface this is basically Sex and the City with gay people, but thankfully there’s a little bit more to it than that. It starts off promisingly as a sharp commentary on modern dating for middle-aged people in a world obsessed with eternal youth. After that it quickly descends into a much more basic “dramedy” about an estate agent, Michael, (Neil Patrick Harris) whose life is turned upside down after being dumped by his boyfriend after a 17 years relationship.

Neil Patrick Harris is the real winning card here. He’s the driving force of the series and actually a real revelation as far as I’m concerned. He’s constantly charming and his ability to balance humour, slapstick while at the same time showing a more vulnerable side of himself, make him effortlessly likeable, thoroughly engaging and even relatable.

Some of secondary characters are probably a bit over-the-top, but they add a nice contrast to Neil’s Patrick Harris more down-to-earth persona. His two best gay friends, his business partner, played by Tisha Campbell who all help him navigate his newly single life, while Marcia Gay Harden who plays a filthy-rich client who’s also recently being dumped by her husband, ends up being one of the best supporting characters.

Overall these slick and tight eight 30-minute episodes are incredibly bingeable and they managed to be both funny and emotional in equal measure.

Even if at times it’s a little bit shallow, Harris’ performance, the laugh-out-loud comedy and the show’s heart are more than enough to keep you hooked and by the time this first season ends (what a great finale!), you’ll be left wanting  more.

On a side note, while a series like this is successfully helping normalising what must be like living an open gay life in a big city like NY, making it fun and sweet,  a dear friend of mine is recovering from a homophobic attack which left him not just with broken ribs and all sorts of other concussions, but 25% deaf from both ears.

If this is the kind of world we are living, we might need more than products like Uncoupled on our screens.

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

Uncoupled 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

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

The Butterflies are being evicted

Image above: Steve Nutt at the unveiling of the Butterflies and Flowers mural, October 2021

Leaving their home after almost a year

The butterflies’ days are numbered. The community artwork organised by Abundance London went up in October last year when the police station was in the process of being sold off.

Months of negotiation with the Metropolitan Police should have ensured a smooth installation but in classic ‘left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing’ style, they forgot to tell the handful of police who were still working in the building.

“Stop that at once” came the commanding tone from an upstairs window as Steve Nutt started drilling. It took some persuading for him to avoid being nicked for criminal damage.

Then two weeks later they received a phone call from the property department of the Met saying they had to take it down. Someone evidently decided it might not be conducive to sales to have a community artwork in situ.

They hung in there, giving great satisfaction to the many children and adults who painted and varnished a flower or a butterfly, who saw their contribution on the wall every time they passed by.

The building has now been sold for development as flats for older people and Abundance has been told, as they always expected, the art work will have to come down now the new owners want to start work, in September.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Abundance London launches Butterflies and Flowers artwork on Chiswick police station

See also: Meeting Bernard Cribbins, The actor who spent 70 years of making audiences happy

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.

Meeting Bernard Cribbins

Image above: Bernard Cribbins with Barbara Windsor, Charles Hawtrey and Kenneth Williams in ‘Carry On Spying’ 1964. Copyright: Carry On Films Limited

Caroline Frost met the actor whose career spanned seven decades, who died last week aged 93. He gave her what would have been one of his last interviews for her book on the Carry On films, Carry On Regardless.

The actor who spent 70 years of making audiences happy

Guest blog by Caroline Frost

When I was setting out to write my book, a completely brand-new history of the Carry On films, a couple of years ago, I had to write a list of all the important people to speak to. At the top of that list: Bernard Cribbins.

It was a wonderful excuse, really, to have a chat with someone for whom the phrase ‘national treasure’ seems almost an understatement. Like so many of my generation, I’d grown up with Bernard Cribbins a familiar character – on TV, where he’d been the most prolific storyteller, on film where he’d been the gruff but clearly kindly stationmaster in the 1970 classic Jenny Agutter film The Railway Children, and as a man of many voices in The Wombles, where he brought us the sounds of characters Great Uncle Bulgaria, Tobermory, Orinoco and Madame Cholet.

So it was with a full nostalgic heart that I first tried to get hold of Bernard Cribbins, but I have to say he proved an elusive character, clearly happier working into his 90s than talking about it to journalists. Fortunately, I attended an evening at Chiswick’s ArtsEd celebrating the life of Richard Briers, where I met The Good Life star’s biographer James Hogg, who had also helped Cribbins write his memoir, Bernard Who? 75 Years Of Doing Just About Anything.

Image above: Bernard Cribbins in ‘Carry On Jack’ 1964. Copyright: Carry On Films Limited

I contacted James and he very kindly suggested I write a letter for his pal Bernard, which he promised to deliver to him. A few weeks later, I was sitting at my desk when my phone rang, “Is that Caroline? Bernard Cribbins here.”

And we were off. It was one of the very last interviews he did and, although it was clear he was determinedly unsentimental about his work – “it’s a job” – he couldn’t help but delight in fans of all ages continuing to talk to him about his decades of work and the place it had in their lives. Faced with such a national treasure and with so many things to talk about, my challenge was to concentrate on the task at hand, namely Bernard’s memories of taking part in the Carry On films.

Basking in the “afterglow”

Fortunately, he was quick to recount everything he could remember, good and bad, of those times when he featured in three of the titles. He made his debut as midshipman Albert Poop-Decker in 1964’s Carry On Jack, filmed in Frensham Ponds, Surrey as well as in the studios at Pinewood. Although he described it to me as “just another job” in an already long and varied career, he admitted he spent “a very happy few weeks” jumping around on the boat on set, swinging between ropes and performing his own stunts.

His duties as hapless secret agent Harold Crump in Carry On Spying the same year were less pleasant, it seemed, particularly as he was injured when he was accidentally hit at close range by the blank from an extra’s gun. He clearly remembered the shock of it decades later, telling me, “A blank is not a safe gun at close range, because it shoots out burning particles. One hit me in the lip. Agony!”

He wasn’t a fan, either, of the breakneck speed at which the film was shot, with director Gerald Thomas determined as ever to bring it in on time and within budget. Bernard’s great solace was working alongside his friend Barbara Windsor, whom he described to me as “a breath of fresh air”.

Carry On Columbus, the last in the series and the third to feature Bernard, was a film unloved by many of the series’ long-time fans but one that many of the cast were thrilled to do as a favour to Carry On’s long-time director Gerald Thomas. It was a reunion for some old faces, alongside new stars like Rik Mayall and Julian Clary. Gerald’s daughter Debbie told me of her father’s final Carry On outing, “I know working with Jim Dale and Bernard Cribbins again made my father very happy.”

As for the legacy of the Carry On franchise, even the ever-pragmatic Bernard couldn’t hide how special it all was. Like so many of his fellow Carry On stars who spoke to me during my research for my book, he delighted in the fact that, over half a century later, he could still get a letter from a middle-aged fan telling him, ‘I remember you in Carry On Jack!’ He told me happily, “I’ve received lots of very long-term applause.” Bernard had a beautiful word for it, too. He called it “an afterglow”.

Caroline Frost will be discussing her bestselling book ‘Carry On Regardless: Getting to the Bottom of the Carry On Films’ at the Chiswick Book Festival on Saturday 10 September. Information  and tickets from the Chiswick Book Festival website.

chiswickbookfestival.net

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

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

See also: Plans afoot for a green pedestrian walkway alongside Barnes Railway Bridge

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

Support The Chiswick Calendar

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

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

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

As the nation celebrates women’s football success, Actonians ask Ealing Council for somewhere to play

Image above: Actonians at Wembley on Sunday night

Now can we have a stadium to play in please

Members of the Actonians LFC were at the final on Sunday to watch the England women’s team beat Germany 2-1 at Wembley. Ten years ago they did not imagine it would be possible, Linda Fox, chair of Actonians LFC told The Chiswick Calendar.

“It was amazing. It was very emotional. I didn’t realise I would feel that emotional, but as anyone who has been involved in women’s football knows, it has been a struggle. There aren’t many resources and there hasn’t been much interest in the women’s game but a lot of people have invested their time and energy in women’s football.”

She has seen a phenomenal rise in interest in the women’s game since she started playing in London more than 20 years ago, particularly since 2016. Now she would like to see Ealing Council provide somewhere for them to play where they can welcome spectators.

READ ALSO: Surge in demand for women & girls’ football in run up to Women’s EURO matches

Linda, now 47, grew up in Sweden where there were football teams for younger girls, so she learned to play as a child from the age of nine. When she came to London at the age of 23 there were no teams for girls but there was a women’s team, Chiswick United, formed in 1998 which she joined in 1999.

“We trained on Chiswick Common on uneven ground next to people having picnics, with dogs running around. There were no toilets so you had to remember to go to the loo before you left the house.”

Image above: Actonians; photograph Ying Pan Wu

Now they train at the new facilities at Gunnersbury Park which she says are fantastic and very much in demand. Already the pitches are under pressure from the number of teams wanting to book them at peak times, after work and before it gets too late.

“Ten years ago we started having teams for girls. We have an under nines team and an under 17 team. They start playing aged five.

“There was a big surge in interest in 2016. It was another big tournament I think. We doubled in size from three to six teams and this year again we’ve seen an increase in interest. All age groups want to play, especially women in their 30s who have never played before. We welcome anyone who is interested.

“We have a senior women’s team and beginners’ matches. A big group from the club went to the final at Wembley; there was a real buzz. People have been watching the tournament and thinking about coming back to playing football, realising how much they have missed the camaraderie.”

Image above: Actonians Under tens team

The Actonians play in tier four in the National League, but they have had players who have played internationally. Their main problem is that they have to go quite a long way to play their first team matches. To play at that level they need a stadium that has a dugout and a stand. They need a hospitality room to offer a drink to the opposing team, changing rooms and parking facilities.

The nearest place is Rectory Park in Northolt, which is a bit of a jaunt and means that getting people to go and support them is problematic.

“I have been in talks with Ealing and the FA at County level. The men’s team need it too so we are hoping we will be able to persuade them to give us a stadium, to play in.”

Their first game of the season will be on Sunday 21 August. Tickets are £5 and you can book in advance or pay online. Keep an eye on Twitter @ActoniansLFC and Instagram @actonianslfc for ticket links.

Image above: Actonians Reserves

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Plans afoot for a green pedestrian walkway alongside Barnes Railway Bridge

See also: Next phase of work to C9 to go ahead in 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.

Next phase of work to C9 to go ahead in September

Image above: C9 as it is now, with temporary bollards in place along Chiswick High Rd

C9 phase 3B goes ahead despite major roadworks on the A4

LB Hounslow is still planning to go ahead with the next phase of work on C9 in Chiswick High Rd in September despite major roadworks on the A4.

Transport for London is carrying out essential maintenance on the Cromwell Rd Railway Bridge over the railway line that runs between Gunnersbury and Kew Gardens. The works starting on Friday 5 August will last until the end of the year.

Traffic is likely to be displaced from the A4 onto Chiswick High Rd at the same time as they are putting in new bus shelters and digging up side crossings in the next phase of work on C9 to make the cycleway a permanent fixture.

Image above: C9 at the Hammersmith end of Chiswick High Rd where permanent paved barriers have been installed

Work to be carried out in the next phase of C9

The works on Chiswick High Rd will take place all along the main shopping area from the junction of the High Rd with Chiswick Lane in the east to the turning on Heathfield Terrace to the west.

  • The current temporary cycleway segregation measures will be replaced with with permanent paved barriers.
  • New entry treatments and raised tables will be installed at the junctions with Cranbrook Road, Brackley Road, Devonshire Road, Linden Gardens (entry & exit) and Duke’s Road.
  • New eastbound and westbound bus shelters will be put in at Cranbrook Road, Mayfield Avenue and Linden Gardens.
  • Turn left exit only for motorised vehicles will be installed at the junction of Duke’s Road and the High Rd.
  • New parking spaces installed near Duke’s Road Junction and a new advanced stop line for cyclists installed near the junction with Acton Lane.
  • Junction resurfacing and installation of yellow box junction marking at Chiswick High Road junction with Turnham Green Terrace & Annandale Road and at Junction with Duke Avenue
  • New Zebra crossing on Chiswick High Road junction with Linden Gardens one way exit.
  • Resurfacing of westbound carriageway of Chiswick High Road at Heathfield Terrace.

We will take action “should the need arise”

Image: LB Hounslow Leader Cllr Shantanu Rajawat

In their press release about the A4, TfL say:

‘The works have been co-ordinated with other road works in the area to further minimise disruption.’

Council Leader Shantanu Rajawat confirmed to The Chiswick Calendar they were still planning to go ahead with the C9 works in September. He told us the traffic management plan would be kept “under regular review.”

“We are working closely with Transport for London (TfL) on the next phase of construction for their temporary Cycleway 9 scheme” he said.

“We are working closely with TfL regarding traffic management plans in order to keep disruption to all road users to an absolute minimum.

“Roadworks on the A4 and Cycleway9 will be managed together effectively to minimise impact on traffic flow and we will keep the traffic management plan under regular review, taking action should the need arise.”

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

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

See also: Access to Grove Park during roadworks on A4

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.

Plans afoot for a green pedestrian walkway alongside Barnes Railway Bridge

Image above: Computer Generated Image by Moxon Architects

Using the original Barnes Railway Bridge

Residents in Barnes have got together to promote the idea of transforming the old railway bridge over the River Thames at Barnes into a green pedestrian walkway.

The original Grade II listed cast iron railway bridge was in use for 50 years before it was closed in 1895 and it still exists beside the newer bridge which carries trains from Waterloo to the south of England.

Peter Banks, Emma Robinson and James Kelly would like to turn it into a green walkway along the lines of the High Line in New York.

Peter first suggested the idea at an event in 2013 where residents were asked to put forward their ideas for improving their area. A team of residents has since joined forces and volunteered their time to see how they could transform the idea into reality, united ‘with a passion to see this historic structure restored to community use.’

They are talking to LB Hounslow and LB Richmond, who own the land on both banks, and have been working with Network Rail, who own the bridge, since 2016.

More recently, specialist award-winning consultants Moxon Architects have been appointed to progress the project. Moxon designed the walkway which is currently being installed underneath the Barnes Railway Bridge on the north shore, to create a continuation of the towpath.

READ ALSO: Main section of Barnes Bridge Walkway installed

Image above: Computer Generated Image by Moxon Architects

The team behind the project

Peter is a retired housebuilder and engineer who has lived and worked in and around Barnes for over 50 years. A number of his property development projects have won awards for design and construction. His passion in retirement is restoration projects – bringing antique clocks, classic cars and disused buildings back to their former glory.

Emma is the Barnes Town Centre Manager, working for the Barnes Community Association. Her role is match funded by Richmond Council. It was at the ‘community visioning’ event she organised when she first came into the job that Peter first put forward the green bridge idea.

James Kelly is a finance professional, offering commercial and strategic advice to a wide variety of individuals, business and charities, through his consultancy. Prior to semi–retirement, he was a director of Science Limited, which managed the affairs and business activities of contemporary artist Damien Hirst.

Together they have the skillset to manage the project, called ‘The View at Barnes’, which would see the old bridge restored with a two metre-wide pedestrian walkway installed and planting, creating a linear park similar to NYC’s High Line, linking the north and south banks of the river at Barnes.

Key objective to make The View accessible to all

“The View will see the existing disused rail bridge restored to community use. Landscaped planters and seating will give visitors a chance to enjoy a newly opened up view of the river.

“A key objective of the project is to make The View accessible to all. This aim is at the forefront of all our planning and design processes.”

Surveys have confirmed the structure of the bridge is sound, they say, and would be able to stand the load of a walkway.

The work required to convert the bridge would include repositioning high voltage cables that power the existing rail services, removing rotten timber beams, installing new steel decking to take the planters and integrated seating and removing the “ugly metal parapet” and replacing it with glass or similar, to enable an unobstructed view.

The next step is to raise funds to pay for it and to proceed to applying for planning permission.

You can read more about the project on their website.

theviewatbarnesbridge.org

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Main section of Barnes Bridge Walkway installed

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

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

Support The Chiswick Calendar

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

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

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Bedford Park – the hotbed of radical free-thinkers

Image above: Bedford Park in Victorian times

Guest blog by Cahal Dallat

How strange, as Russian shells landed on Dnipro, Ukraine, this week, to think of Sergius Stepniak, born just west of that city, campaigning to overthrow the Russian tsars from a Queen-Anne-retro semi in Bedford Park’s Blandford Road 130 years ago.

Anarchists in Queen Anne Architecture

Image: Sergius Stepniak

By the time he settled in Chiswick, Stepniak’s anti-monarchism had led him to fight against the Ottoman empire in Bosnia, to join Malatesta’s small, failed uprising in Italy, and to assassinate the Tsar’s Moscow police-chief with a dagger.

Strange, when tree-lined Bedford Park with its winding avenues and Queen-Anne-period road names (Marlborough, Blenheim, Woodstock…) is the perfect, quiet realisation of a traditional English village.

Yet it was the desire to create a more connected way of life in a healthier and greener neighbourhood, that brought together in Bedford Park so many who wanted – in so many different ways – to create a better world, not just in a Utopian commuter suburb beside the new District Line railway, but around the globe.

And not simply by making Bedford Park an architectural/social model to be copied in housing projects elsewhere, but by finding fairer ways of living, politically and economically, by reckoning with class and colonialism, and by engaging with other cultures’ wisdom, teaching and spirituality – in ways we don’t normally associate with Victorian Britain’s imperialism.

Image above: Ukrainian landscape by Constance Markiewicz

Little Ukraine

Stepniak happened to live directly behind the Blenheim Road home of the young Irish poet WB Yeats, one of whose closest friends was Constance Gore-Booth from Sligo, socialist, Irish nationalist and first woman elected to Westminster. She married Kyiv-born playwright and painter Count Casimir Markiewicz (her Ukrainian countryside paintings are enjoying a sudden social-media vogue!)

Another Ukrainian influence in 1890s Bedford Park was Theosophist Helena Blavatsky. And Stepniak’s co-editor on his Free Russia newspaper (published in Shepherd’s Bush), was Cork-born Lily Boole whose father’s invention, Boolean algebra, made computers possible, and whose Polish-Lithuanian nobleman husband, Wilfrid Voynich, discovered the 15thcentury codex now known as the Voynich Manuscript.

As Lily Voynich, she wrote The Gadfly based on the adventures of Sidney Reilly, “Ace of Spies”, who was not Irish as the name suggests, but Ukrainian, born in Odessa. The thriller sold millions and became both an opera by Zhukov and a 1958 film with score by Dmitri Shostakovich.

Another regular at Bedford Park soirées was Mannheim-born Mathilde Blind whose translation of Ukrainian Marie Bashkirtseff’s Journal was the literary sensation of 1890 according to Yeats.

Images above: Constance Markiewicz; Lily Voynich; The Gadfly; Marie Bashkirtseff

Refuge and refugees

It wasn’t simply that Bedford Park was, culturally, “a little Ukraine”. Stepniak was in good progressive and internationalist company at William Morris’s Kelmscott House on Upper Mall too, where he would meet with local radicals and reformers, including George Bernard Shaw and Annie Besant, both Irish, and Scottish socialists, RB Cunningham Grahame and Keir Hardie, as well as Eleanor Marx (Karl’s daughter) and Moscow-born anarchist Prince Peter Kropotkin.

But then Chiswick – long before Bedford Park was built – had always attracted reformers and agitators. A retreat from the grimy Victorian city, of course, but just far enough from politics and intrigue, back then, for Jean Jacques Rousseau and Ugo Foscolo, both earlier political exiles from their own countries, to keep under the intelligence-services’ radar.

Hence GK Chesterton’s vision of Bedford Park, and Chiswick’s riverside pubs, as anarchist hotbeds in The Man Who Was Thursday. Rather like Quentin Tarantino’s Mr Orange, Mr Pink and Mr Blue in Reservoir Dogs, GKC’s characters were named for days of the week but most proved, in Chesterton’s tale, to be double agents, police spies or provocateurs.

Image above: The Bedford Park Club; now the Buddhist Vihara

Progressive politics

Progressive thinking was in the rarefied Bedford Park air in which Yeats grew up.

The world’s first garden suburb having been created for artists, writers and intellectuals, and based on a progressive approach to how a community should live together, it was the first speculative housing development to have included church, pub, stores, sports ground, art school, a weekly community newspaper and a social club in its plans.

And while the Bedford Park Club (the building that is now the London Buddhist Vihara) provided billiards, am-dram evenings, and grand balls, it also took seriously its role as a hub for contemporary thought, debating the day’s hot topics: female emancipation (the only club in London admitting men and women on an equal footing, it allowed both to smoke!); animal cruelty and vegetarianism; the land question; disestablishment; capital punishment; Empire; and home rule for India and Ireland.

One Club member, a Mr Mosenier, ‘a native of Calcutta’, spoke of the liberation, in India, of opening up factory jobs there to women. Virginia-born Moncure Daniel Conway moved here to Bedford Park after fighting to abolish slavery in America; and Jamaican-born Bedford Park resident Henry Fox Bourne was a prominent campaigner against the Belgian atrocities in the Congo first exposed by Irish humanitarian, Sir Roger Casement.

Image above: Sergius Stepniak; Sir Roger Casement; Mancherjee Bhownagree

Irish nationalism and anti-imperialism

Casement was a regular Bedford Park visitor, his sister Nina living a few doors along from Stepniak. He became involved with the Yeats’ sisters, Lily and Lolly, in founding Ireland’s version of William Morris’s Arts-&-Crafts movement and, as an honorary consul, reported on mistreatment of indigenous people in the Congo and Peru, though his later involvement in the struggle to end injustice in Ireland led to his being hanged after the Easter Rising.

But in 1890s Bedford Park, anti-imperialism, anti-tsarism and Irish nationalism were all up for discussion. Another frequent guest was John O’Leary, friend of WB Yeats’s father, John Butler Yeats. Back after twenty years exile in Paris for his 1860s Fenian campaign, his revolutionary ideals didn’t trouble a Bedford Park community used to having Stepniak in their midst.

But Bedford Park wasn’t all anti-imperialist: York Powell commuted between Bedford Park and his Oxford professorship, finding his Bedford Park weekend talking companions more stimulating than fellow-Oxonian-academics: he was an expert on both ancient Scandinavian sagas and ‘modern’ French Symbolist poetry. And he was resoundingly pro-Empire.

And while Bedford Park’s well-meaning radicals were campaigning for better treatment of British subjects and demanding majority rule in countries with overwhelmingly indigenous majorities, there were actually three Asian MPs in Westminster back then, all in London seats, and all Parsis.

Of the three, Dadabhai Naoroji, Mancherjee Bhownagree and Shapurji Saklatvala, one was Liberal, one Conservative and one Communist. It was the Tory, Bhownagree, ironically, who lived in radical Bedford Park, opposing independence for his native country.

Images above: WB Yeats; Lily and Elizabeth Yeats – photograph Board of Trinity College, Dublin; George Bernard Shaw – photograph Britannica.com

Celtic Dawn

Yeats remembered his father saying – before they moved here – that there would be a wall around Jonathan Carr’s new village, that it would be a world apart. And GK Chesterton thought the suburb so fantastically unworldly that the world would somehow conquer it, but revised his opinion to suggest that Bedford Park had in fact conquered the world.

Certainly the Bohemian suburb’s ideals, feminist, egalitarian and communitarian, would become the template for the latter half of the twentieth century and it would be the 1980s before another Asian MP appeared in Westminster after these three turn-of-the-century Parsi politicians.

Seeing Bedford Park as a meeting-place for Russian, Ukrainian and Lithuanian artists and anarchists, as a colony for French and German painters such as the Pissarros and Manfred Trautschold, and as a cosmopolitan community of wide-ranging intellectual enquiry, exploration, debate and discovery, is, however, only half the story, when we consider where the suburb’s spiritual and political questing led.

George Bernard Shaw maintained that the Irish literary revival was born in Bedford Park. Yeats’s father’s Trinity College Dublin contemporaries, playwright John Todhunter and historian Goddard Henry Orpen (and his American novelist wife) lived nearby.

The Irish Literary Society was founded in 1891 at Yeats’s Blenheim Road home. And the world famous Abbey Theatre grew, in Yeats’s mind, from seeing pro-am productions at the Bedford Park Club and imagining an Irish National Theatre ‘for the people’, though the idea only became possible with finance from Annie Horniman (whom he met through actress and Bedford Park friend, Florence Farr) and with support from actors Frank and Willie Fay, and playwright Augusta Gregory (whose late husband had been governor of Sri Lanka).

An Irish arts-&-crafts renaissance developed alongside the literary and theatrical strands, out of the Yeats sisters’ experience with William and May Morris’s Kelmscott House craft industries, and with the encouragement of Roger Casement.

That cultural Celtic dawn would play its soft-diplomacy part in Ireland’s exit from empire a couple of decades later while people like Constance Markiewicz, Maud Gonne (who first visited Yeats at Blenheim Road) and Roger Casement, all from Anglo-Irish families as were the Yeatses, all took a less diplomatic route.

Image above: Annie Besant, Anagarika Dharmapala (centre) and Henry Steel Alcott

The Journey to the East

The connection with Eastern religion and politics is more interesting still.

Bedford Park’s ‘alternative’ ethos was very much influenced by American Transcendentalists Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau who were inspired by Buddhist teaching. Their writings had an impact on Walt Whitman, whose poetry not only featured in Breaking Bad but was the poetry to be seen reading in 1880s Bedford Park.

Whitman’s London translator was Michael Rossetti, his publisher was Yeats’s next-door neighbour, Elkin Matthews, and his London agent, Moncure Conway from Virginia, lived just across the road from the Bedford Park Club.

Conway himself had progressed from Methodist minister to Unitarian and later, freethinker, which led to his inviting Theosophist Henry Steel Olcott to lecture at the Club in 1889. The lecture was attended by a young WB Yeats who also met Olcott’s disciple, the Brahmin, Mohini Mohun Chatterjee, and his fellow Theosophist Helena Blavatsky. She had written of her travels in ‘Hindustan’ and, with Olcott, had visited Sri Lanka where they became the first westerners to convert to Buddhism.

A later Sri Lankan disciple, Anagarika Dharmapala, followed Olcott’s lead in spreading Buddhism in the west and founded the London Buddhist Vihara which, many years later, took over the Bedford Park Club premises in 1994, renaming it the Anagarika Dharmapala Building – without knowing that Olcott had lectured there 105 years earlier – a clear example of good karma at work in Bedford Park!

The obvious question is whether this 1890s interest in Eastern spirituality by Ukrainian Blavatsky, Olcott from New Jersey and Yeats from Dublin by way of Sligo and Bedford Park, was simply a ‘fad’ like the 1960s interest in Eastern religions and meditation, which many have since dismissed as superficial.

It certainly wasn’t a passing phase for Yeats. His exploration of Eastern spirituality was lifelong. He remained a subscriber to the magazine Eastern Buddhism all his life; his great, late poem Lapis Lazuli has Buddhist thought at its heart; and his poem for Mohini Chatterjee, remembering the Brahmin’s wise words to him as a young man, was written in his sixties.

Images above: Rabindranath Tagore; Sarojini Naidu; Gitanjali

Connections with Rabindranath Tagore and Sarojini Naidu

More significantly Yeats got to know the young Sarojini Naidu, whom his painter father sketched in Bedford Park (the illustration became the frontispiece for her first published poetry collection) and who would become known as ‘the Yeats of India’.

Later Yeats would befriend Calcutta poet Rabindranath Tagore, staging his play The Post Office at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin (the Yeats sisters published the play at their newly-founded Cuala Press). He also wrote the introduction for the first English publication of Tagore’s Gitanjali, as he also fostered – and introduced – younger Indian poets Govind K Chettur and Manmohan Ghose.

Yeats also wrote an introduction to Bhagwan Shri Hamsa’s spiritual autobiography, The Holy Mountain, and spent some of his latter years working with Shri Purohit Swami translating the Upanishads, the Sanskrit texts that are at the heart of Hindu philosophy.

Much of this happened while he was a senator in the new Ireland he’d helped create through his role in the cultural revival.

Image above: Annie Besant

As with Ireland, literature and political independence went hand in hand in the subcontinent. Poet Manmohan Ghose’s guru brother, Sri Aurobindo, was an Indian nationalist, Tagore wrote India’s and Bengal’s national anthem, inspired Sri Lanka’s, and renounced his knighthood after the Amritsar massacre. And Sarojini Naidu would become president of the Indian National Congress.

More surprisingly, socialist and feminist reformer Annie Besant, a regular Bedford Park and Kelmscott House speaker, was the first woman to become Congress president.

Another of Yeats’s circle, James Cousins, who acted alongside Maud Gonne at the Abbey Theatre, moved to India at Besant’s invitation, with his former-suffragette wife Margaret (who founded the All India Women’s Conference with Kamaladevi, who was married to Sarojini Naidu’s younger brother).

And Yeats’s Bedford Park friend, Florence Farr – whose sister had been at art college with John Butler Yeats, and who was George Bernard Shaw’s leading lady – after years of performing Yeats’s poetry to music, sold all her possessions and left London to teach in a girl’s school in Sri Lanka, dying there in 1917.

Image above: Bedford Park in Victorian times

A better, happier, fairer, safer and more equal place

So Bedford Park’s multicultural ethos wasn’t simply a case of absorbing from world culture, wasn’t merely a chance to indulge in Orientalist ‘cultural appropriation’, but showed a real openness to other ideas, mythical, spiritual and political.

In many cases it demonstrated a desire not simply to insist on democracy and better conditions throughout the Empire as it was then, but a willingness to go out and make the world – whether in Ireland, the Indian subcontinent, Italy, the Ottoman empire or Ukraine – more like the world that Bedford Park itself had set out to be: a better, happier, fairer, safer and more equal place for everyone.

Among the many meanings of London sculptor Conrad Shawcross’s dazzling Enwrought Light to be unveiled with ceremony and celebrations on Tuesday 6 September on the green triangle outside St. Michael and All Angels Church, is the sense, not just of Yeats’s genius spiralling up from the “romantic excitement’ of Bedford Park, but of the spinning-out into the wider twentieth-century world, of the enlightened, communitarian, multicultural and spiritually-questing ethos of this unique London neighbourhood.’

Cahal Dallat is one of Ireland’s best known poets, a resident of Bedford Park and the organiser of the Yeats sculpture and programme of education about Yeats and his place in Bedford Park. You can read a review of Cahal’s book Beautiful Lofty Things here: Cahal Dallat, Beautiful Lofty Things and find out more about the Yeats sculpture being created for Bedford Park here: Yeats sculpture hits fundraising target

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Bedford Park, the first Garden Suburb

See also: The London Buddhist Vihara, Chiswick 

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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75% officer time spent on mental health issues says Police Superintendent

Image above: Daily Express front page, Wednesday 27 July

Frustration at Liz Truss’s ‘No ifs no buts’ jibe

A Superintendent in the Metropolitan Police has gone public on social media about the amount of time the police have to spend dealing with mental health issues.

‘Heading home after night shifts responsible as Duty Super for 15 South & West London Boroughs I’d estimate at least 75-80% of officer time spent helping people & other agencies with suicidal, despondent & mental ill health, almost all of which hasn’t any bearing on actual crime’ writes Superintendent Dan Ivey.

He itemises 22 calls he received from officers overnight and writes:

‘Each of these calls is an officer ringing me to discuss a high risk missing person, asking for authority to use phone data, or seeking advice Between 12 > 6am there are 22 calls – (another 4 before that, plus 3 voicemails) And these are just the highest risk cases. Staggering.’

The police have become the emergency service of last resort.

‘Having been called, they can’t, legally or morally, just leave’ wrote Richard Taylor in response. ‘If someone is suicidal, giving birth or having some sort of major health crisis like a heart attack or stroke, they have to stay until they can hand off to others.’

Picking up the pieces

A report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in 2018 ‘Picking up the pieces’ said:

‘We have significant concerns about whether the police should be involved in responding to mental health problems to the degree that they are. The police need to be clearer about the extent of this problem.

‘Too many aspects of the broader mental health system are broken; the police are left to pick up the pieces.

‘The fact that almost every police force now has its own mental health triage team indicates that there isn’t nearly enough emphasis on early intervention and primary care to prevent the need for a crisis response.

‘This is letting down people with mental health problems, as well as placing an intolerable burden on police officers and staff. It is a national crisis which should not be allowed to continue; there needs to be a fundamental rethink and urgent action.’

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: As the nation celebrates women’s football success, Actonians ask Ealing Council for somewhere to play

See also: Plans afoot for a green pedestrian walkway alongside Barnes Railway Bridge

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

Support The Chiswick Calendar

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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.

Andrea’s film review – DC League of Super-Pets

DC League of Super-Pets ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Review by Andrea Carnevali

Krypto the Super-Dog and Superman are inseparable best friends, sharing the same superpowers and fighting crime side by side in Metropolis. However, Krypto must master his own powers for a rescue mission when Superman is kidnapped. Out in cinemas right now.

The film has already been out for a few days, so I’m pretty sure all the possible jokes about this this being “A dog’s dinner” must have been made already… And while of course it’s not that great,  I have to confess that having come to this with the lowest of expectations, (I have hated all the previous Secret Live of Pets movies, to which this owes a lot), overall I was mostly won over by the anarchic style of comedy (even though The LEGO Batman Movie plays a lot of the same tricks with often better and funnier results) and generally entertained by the idea.

The film is clearly made by people who love and care for comics and superheroes, as proven by the many in-jokes, references to past events and even music cues which remind us of other previous films (including bits from the immortal soundtrack by John Williams from the original and un-matched Superman the Movie).

I recognise this is certainly not a film made for me, but my son seemed to enjoy it and so did all the other kids in the cinema today; they are the target audience for this.

The animation and action is vibrant enough, the irreverent comedy, though fairly predictable, is amusing throughout and the voice cast is well beyond what’s expected from this sort of film: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Diego Luna, John Krasinski are only some of the big names to populate the film as well as a criminally underused Keanu Reeves as Batman.

In retrospect this is possibly the best Superman movie I’ve seen in quite a while, possibly because let’s face it, Superman is a pretty boring character so that fact that he’s kidnapped in this story and he needs to be rescued by his “super-dog” Krypton, means that he’s actually out of the picture for most of the running time and that can only be a good thing.

Obviously there’s no escape from the fact that this is a superhero movie masked off as a “pet movie” (with all the trappings you would expect from both kinds of products), but underneath all that it’s about the relationship between a pet and human. And that when the film works at its best, when it slows down a bit, gets quieter and less chaotic and stops being just another super-hero mash-up.

Given the horrible Marvel (and DC) output we’ve had to endure of the past few months, this is one of the least offensive. At least it doesn’t hide the fact that it’s a film aimed at children and doesn’t pretend to be anything else.

It’s still miles away from Into the Spiderverse from 2018, which is still one of  the best animated superhero movie I’ve ever seen, but then again, most films are.

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

DC League of Super-Pets is out in cinemas right now.

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

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

Support The Chiswick Calendar

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

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