September’s rail strikes expected to be most disruptive yet

Above: Gunnersbury Station

Rail travel will be “effectively shut down” 

Rail workers in the RMT union are set to stage three more strikes over four days in September, which are expected to cause the most disruption to services so far, as disputes over pay and conditions continue. London Overground trains, which stop at Gunnersbury, are among those which will be affected.

About 40,000 workers at Network Rail and 14 train operating companies will strike on 15 and 17 September.

The first date coincides with the latest Aslef train drivers’ strike announced last week, meaning virtually no trains will run across much of Britain that day. Limited services on main lines have run during previous RMT strikes. In a separate dispute, Arriva Rail London will also be taking one day of strike action on 15 September

Talks between the unions and rail industry have been ongoing but there has been no breakthrough or new offer from either Network Rail or the operators, the union said.

Image above: a South Western Railway train at Chiswick Station

Strike dates and times

Thursday 15 September:

Aslef and RMT unions both on strike. Virtually no trains will run on most lines, particularly those where drivers are on strike: Avanti West Coast, Chiltern, CrossCountry, Greater Anglia, Great Western Railway, Hull Trains, LNER, London Overground, Northern, Southeastern, TransPennine and West Midlands Trains. Some disruption is likely to persist on the morning of 16 September.

Saturday 17 September:

RMT strike – likely to see a limited service on main lines, broadly about 20% of normal schedule between 7.00am and 7.-0pm. After-effects will result in continued disruption on morning of 18 September.

Monday 26 September:

TSSA strike for 24 hours from midday by some members at Network Rail and nine train companies. Unlikely to cause significant disruption.

Image above: RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch

“No choice” but to take strike action, unions reps say

The major effect of the RMT strike is to deprive Network Rail of signallers, disrupting or stopping services across England, Scotland and Wales. Members working for train companies as onboard customer service staff, dispatchers or guards will also strike at: Chiltern Railways; Cross Country Trains, Greater Anglia, LNER, East Midlands, c2c, Great Western, Northern, Southeastern, South Western, TransPennine Express, Avanti West Coast, West Midlands Trains and Govia Thameslink Railway.

The RMT’s General Secretary, Mick Lynch, said:

“Our members have no choice but to continue this strike action.

“Network Rail and the train operating companies have shown little interest these past few weeks in offering our members anything new in order for us to be able to come to a negotiated settlement.

“Grant Shapps continues his dereliction of duty by staying in his bunker and shackling the rail industry from making a deal with us.

“We will continue to negotiate in good faith, but the employers and government need to understand our industrial campaign will continue for as long as it takes.”

Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said:

“We regret that, once again, passengers are going to be inconvenienced, because we don’t want to go on strike – withdrawing our labour, although a fundamental human right, is always a last resort for a trade union – but the train companies have forced our hand. They want train drivers to take a real-terms pay cut – to work just as hard this year as last, but for 10 per cent less.”

Image above: Transport Secretary Grant Shapps

“Frustrating” strikes are “self-defeating”, say DfT an transport bosses

Andrew Haines, Network Rail chief executive, said:

“Frustratingly, the RMT’s decision to call further action means we will again have to ask passengers to stay away from the railway on 15 and 17 September, at a time when we should be focusing on building a railway fit for a 21st century, post-pandemic Britain.”

A Department for Transport spokesperson said:

“Yet again, union leaders are choosing self-defeating, co-ordinated strike action over constructive talks, not only disrupting the lives of millions who rely on these services but jeopardising the future of the railways and their own members’ livelihoods.”

Steve Montgomery, chairman of the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train companies, urged the RMT to call off the strikes.

He said the walk outs were “cynically timed to cause maximum disruption to the very passengers the industry depends on for its recovery”.

He added: “We absolutely want to give our people a pay rise and we know they are facing a squeeze – but the RMT must recognise that with revenue consistently at 20% below pre-Covid levels, the only solution lies in long-overdue reforms that will put the industry on a sustainable footing and improve services for passengers.”

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

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

See also: BBC ruling highlights abuse against Jeremy Vine from One Chiswick

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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Episode 96: Rebuilding Ukraine cricket and children’s lives – despite the ICC

Cricket authors (and obsessives) Peter Oborne and Richard Heller launched a podcast early in 2020 to help deprived listeners endure a world without cricket. They’re no longer deprived of cricket, but still chat regularly about cricket topics with different guests each week – cricket writers, players, administrators and fans – hoping to keep a good line and length but with occasional wides into other subjects.

When Peter Oborne and Richard Heller last spoke to Kobus Olivier, CEO of the Ukraine Cricket Federation, he and his four dogs had escaped to Poland from the war-shattered city of Kyiv. A lot has happened since to him and to Ukraine cricket. He updates Peter and Richard as the first guest in their returning cricket-themed podcast.


More Platforms

He describes the bureaucratic problems which forced him to leave Poland after just eight days, buy a second-hand car and drive him and the dogs to distant Croatia. Further problems forced them to spend two nights in the car in a frozen field just inside the Hungarian frontier. They have since been settled in Zagreb for five months – and the dogs are enjoying the resumption of the peaceful routines they enjoyed in Kyiv before the war.

He outlines the impact of the war on Ukraine’s thriving cricket scene. Most of its senior players, the Indian medical students studying in Kharkiv were evacuated after a terrifying ordeal with weeks sheltering in the metro from the bombardment. He had no reliable information about their new stadium on the outskirts but thought it very unlikely that it had survived the devastation of the city. Three Ukrainian board members of the Federation had not been allowed to leave the country and were heroically delivering essential supplies under intense fire on the front line.

Before the war, Kobus had prepared Ukraine’s application for Associate Membership of the International Cricket Council. He had been confident that it had met all the ICC’s criteria and would be accepted. Despite the intervention of the war, he had hoped and believed that the ICC would accept the application in principle, accommodating Ukraine’s unique circumstances, which were not of its own making, as it had done previously for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and as the EU had done in accelerating the timetable of Ukraine’s application for membership. Given the world’s general support for Ukraine he thought that few countries would have objected if the ICC had accepted its application. He had received many messages of support for it – even from the Russian Cricket Federation.

In rejecting Ukraine’s application the ICC, in his view, had missed the chance to grow the global family of cricket and support the game in countries caught by war or other disasters.

He explains that the Russian Federation had been suspended from the ICC, for administrative failings, before the war.  The unintended consequence of the ICC’s decisions was to deliver no further sanctions on cricket in the aggressor nation but to penalize cricket in the victim nation. He agreed that the ICC might have wished to avoid passing any judgment on the war,  in alignment with the policy of its dominant member, India.

He believes that the ICC was under the false impression that all organized cricket had ceased in Ukraine because of the war. He cited the school and youth programmes that had re-started in Kyiv and elsewhere in unoccupied Ukraine where life was normal. More schools in Ukraine now offered cricket in their physical education curriculum than in many other ICC members. Despite the many visits to Ukraine of Boris Johnson and other leaders, the ICC has sent no one into the country. Nor did they visit before the war.

Kobus outlines the financial consequences of the ICC rejection. It denied the UCF a “starter grant” of US $18,000 – which would have made a major difference in a country which now had no funds to spare for cricket programmes. In spite of a promise of assistance, the ICC has released no alternative funding for any Ukrainian cricket activity.

Kobus describes the softball cricket programme he initiated in a public park in Zagreb. It started with a casual encounter with a few soccer-playing Ukrainian children in exile in Croatia. It now involves over 200 Ukrainian children of five and upwards and their mothers, for two hours three days a week. Apart from physical exercise, fun and post-session pizza the children and their mothers make new friends and networks in exile and derive solace and healing from the trauma of war and the anxiety over family members still in Ukraine.

The programme is now run by Ukrainians, mothers and older children are learning to teach cricket, and, above all, the children want to continue playing cricket on their hoped-for return to Ukraine. With support from the ICC, Kobus believes that the programme could have been expanded to provide a nucleus of young cricket players and coaches in every city of a restored Ukraine. Over time, participants might have formed successful youth and women’s teams for Ukraine.

Anna, the chief coach, has just become the first Ukrainian to qualify as an ICC-recognized coach. She describes her unexpected journey into cricket and her new passion for it, and how the hours of happiness given by the cricket programme are helping the well-being of children and their families. Sveta, aged thirteen, one of the participants, eagerly describes her own new dedication to cricket and how the programme gave her new friends.

Peter and Richard have invited the ICC to appear on the podcast and explain their treatment of Ukraine. They have also invited the British embassy in Zagreb to send an observer to the programme, to see whether Britain’s substantial aid to Ukraine might include a tiny sum (by comparison) to invest in the country’s young cricketers in exile.

The programme received eight boxes of softball cricket equipment from the Lords Taverners but extra support and donations need to be found urgently. To continue through the winter it needs to rent indoor premises, and Kobus also has plans for an international tournament in which the children could represent their country in Ukrainian clothing and caps.  That would complete a journey for them through cricket from trauma into happiness and pride.

Donations to the programme can be made directly to Kobus Olivier through PayPal to @wardogsandI
We will update this page once more methods to support the programme are available.

Follow Anna’s journey on Facebook and Instagram.

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

Listen to more episodes of Oborne & Heller

Previous Episode – Episode 95: The joy of Sri Lankan cricket, expertly distilled

Listen to all episodes – Oborne & Heller on Cricket

Peter Oborne & Richard Heller

Peter Oborne has been the chief political commentator for the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, a maker of several documentaries and written and broadcast for many different media. He is the author of a biography of Basil D’Oliveira and of Wounded Tiger, a history of Pakistan cricket, both of which won major awards.

Richard Heller was a long-serving humorous columnist on The Mail on Sunday and more briefly, on The Times. He worked in the movie business in the United States and the UK, including a brief engagement on a motion picture called Cycle Sluts Versus The Zombie Ghouls. He is the author of two cricket-themed novels A Tale of Ten Wickets and The Network. He appeared in two Mastermind finals: in the first his special subject was the life of Sir Gary Sobers.

Oborne & Heller cricketing partnership

Jointly, he and Peter produced White On Green, celebrating the drama of Pakistan cricket, including the true story of the team which lost a first-class match by an innings and 851 runs.

Peter and Richard have played cricket with and against each other for a variety of social sides, including Parliament’s team, the Lords and Commons, and in over twenty countries including India, Pakistan, the United States, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, France, Greece, Australia, Zimbabwe, New Zealand and Morocco.

The Podcast is produced by Bridget Osborne and James Willcocks at The Chiswick Calendar.

Read more on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

See also: Chiswick Calendar Blogs & Podcasts

Support The Chiswick Calendar

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

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

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Pirates of the Caribbean star Kevin McNally among ‘wealth of local talent’ at local authors night at the Chiswick Book Festival

Image above: Local authors at the Chsiwick Book Festival

Supported by The Chiswick Calendar

Chiswick is so full of published and would-be published writers that come the annual Chiswick Book Festival, the organisers always face an embarrassment of riches. A few years ago they hit on the ideal solution – a fun night in which a room full of local authors would each have just two minutes to make their ‘elevator pitch’ as to why the audience should read their book.

This year the authors, whose sold out session on Wednesday 6 September kicks of the week of Book Festival events, includes journalist Simon Gompertz, whose book of short stories Limb of Satan we have serialised on The Chiswick Calendar website, and actor Kevin McNally, who has published his first novel, Sons of Sol.

Festival Director Torin Douglas and programme director Jo James will introduce 21 authors in a fast-paced evening of fun at the Boston Room of George IV in Chiswick High Road. The session is sold out but Waterstones Chiswick has their books in stock.

The Chiswick Calendar is proud to be supporting this and all the other Book Festival events taking place at Geroge IV.

In order of appearance the local authors taking part will be:

Calum Kerr

Calum has written a crime novel, Terrible Brothers which is rated of 4.7 / 5 on Amazon. The second of a series (Dirty Money, Terrible People was published in November 2020).

‘Diana Hamilton is a strong, successful, wealthy woman. She owns the most discreet, exclusive and expensive private members club in Mayfair. But when she decides to expand beyond London she encounters two truly terrible brothers. They have made millions over the years, importing heroin, cocaine, ketamine and illegal immigrants. But they want more. And her business looks like a soft target.’

Terrbile Brothers – Waterstones

Michael Parker

Michael has published My Life, My Hurdles, described as a graphic memoir, rated 4.5 / 5 on Amazon

Michael represented his country as a hurdler in the 1964 and 1968 Summer Olympics. The phrase ‘get over yourself’ could not be more apt, he says. His memoir takes us through his life from childhood to ultimate success as an adult.  From being sent to boarding school on his fifth birthday, to a career at Saatchi, to helping send the first Briton into space, this is the story of the hurdles experienced, from World War 2 till world pandemic now.  The witty, poignant, colourful illustrations throughout are by Cecily Salt.

My Life, My Hurdles – Amazon

Jo Pratt

Jo, an award winning food writer and chef, has produced the latest in her series of ‘Flexible’ cookery books: The Flexible Baker, full of foolproof and delicious recipes where ingredients can be substituted to suit all dietary requirements and eating preferences. Rated 4.7 / 5 on Amazon.

She presents a wide range of bakes including sweet & savoury, cakes & traybakes, biscuits & cookies, pastries, puddings & deserts, including recipes for Smoky bacon scones with salted maple butter, Sweet onion and blue cheese swirls, Chicken & chorizo sausage rolls, ‘Sourdough‘ for the impatient, Multi-millionaire’s shortbread, Pecan pumpkin pie and Salted honey & pistachio puddings.

The Flexible Baker – Amazon

Simon Gompertz

Simon, a former BBC journalist, has been raising money for the Trussell Trust, who support food banks in Britain, by donating the proceeds from his book of short stories Limb of Satan. We have published several of them here on The Chiswick Calendar. They are short stories in the thriller genre. Rated 4.8 / 5 stars on Amazon.

Meet a food bank fraudster, a klepto property agent, the church worker who ran off with your rent and London’s dawn squirrel hunters. They’re from a parade of people who were lucky, not so lucky or simply on the make during the lockdown years. You’ll visit a museum of knives, witness a signal box go up in flames, puzzle out the mystery of a missing grave and discover who the Limbs of Satan are, plus why we neglect them at our peril.

Limb of Satan – Amazon

Simon Prentis

Simon has written Speech! How Language Made Us Human, a Science title which examines: What makes us human? Why are we the only animals who wear clothes, drive cars, trawl the internet, and fly helicopters on Mars? It’s all because we’ve learnt to talk: yet remarkably, we still don’t know how we did it.

Rated 4.4 / 5 on Amazon

Speech! suggests an answer that’s been hiding in plain sight – the simple yet radical shift that turned our analog grunts and shrieks into words. But its consequences are far from simple: being able to share ideas through language was an evolutionary tipping point – it allowed us to link up our minds.

Speech! traces our roller-coaster ride with language from hunter-gatherer to urban hipster: the epic tale of the struggle for knowledge against the false gods of culture, religion and identity – as we teeter toward a destination we may still resist, but ultimately cannot escape.

Desmond Morris has reviewed the book and says he agrees with its hypothesis. Yoko Ono says it’s ‘compelling read.’

Speech – How Language Made Us Human

Catherine Pepinster

Catherine was the first female editor of The Tablet, the Catholoc international weekly review, as such she is well placed to comment on matters of theology and church history.

In her book Defenders of the Faith: the British Monarchy, Religion and the Next Coronation, she explores the powerful connection between the British monarchy and religion, from its earliest times, to the Reformation, the Civil War, and ‘the reconfigured wholesome family monarchy of Victoria and her successors, whose Christian faith steered their response to the atheistic regimes of fascism and communism that threatened Europe and their royal relatives’.

She asks what part religion will play in the reign of Charles III and in the coronation of a Prince of Wales in an nation which is increasingly secular and diverse in its religious beliefs. Her book is rated 5 / 5 on Amazon.

Defenders of the Faith – Amazon

 

Vyvyan Kinross

Nazis on the Nile is a history book which sheds new light on Nazi influence in Egypt; an influence which has had long lasting effects according to Vyvyan, who is also the author of Information Warriors: The Battle for Hearts and Minds in the Middle East, published in April 2020.

Seventy years on from Gamal Abdel Nasser’s revolution that changed Egypt and the Middle East, Nazis on the Nile reveals the true extent of the involvement of German and Nazi specialists in building his military state.

Using official British records and CIA files released under the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act, Vyvyan Kinross paints a compelling portrait of a country rearming and reequipping for the Cold War and rocket age with the help of former German Wehrmacht soldiers, missile scientists, chemical engineers, arms manufacturers and arms dealers.

Rated 5 / 5 on Amazon.

Nazis on the Nile – Amazon

Josephine Perry

Sport psychologist Dr Josephine Perry spends her life working with exceptional performers. In her book The Ten Pillars of Success, she has identified ten psychological pillars that the ultra-successful have ingrained within their approach. The good news, she says, is that we can all learn these mental building blocks.

She examines the methods of those who have excelled in their field, discussing their route to success. A sense of belonging, mastery, autonomy, purpose, confidence, process, courage, optimism, internal insight or gratitude – all these skills can be vital in helping us overcome setbacks that can stand in the way of achieving our goals.

‘From the double Olympic champion who is passionate about collaboration, to the James Bond Stuntman who has cultivated courage, to the Ironman athlete who harnessed the power of gratitude, each case study demonstrates how we can turn a pillar into a superpower.’

Rated 5 / 5 on Amazon

The Ten Pillars of Success – Waterstones

 

Richard Dikstra & Kay Hutchinson

Richard and Kay have written The Adventures of Captain Bobo – Bananas, the latest in a series of children’s books which are now also available as audiobooks and a Fun Kids radio series.

The Captain Bobo books tell the fun stories of a captain, his crew, a faithful wee Scottie dog and a paddle steamer. No matter what challenges they encounter the team always manages to win through. Based loosely (very loosely) on real events and ships. In Bananas an elephant goes missing. With time against them, and a tricky problem to solve before they can set sail, can Captain Bobo and the crew really save the day?

Rated 4.8 / 5 on Amazon.

The Adventures of Captain Bobo – Bananas – Amazon

SJ Garrae

This is the fifth crime novelby SR Garrae. Her author’s profile on Amazon says: ‘SR Garrae grew up in Scotland and then worked in international finance in London until her retirement. She lives in the UK with her family, who are somewhat bemused by but supportive of her complete change of career.’

This is the synopsis of her latest book, rated 4.1 / 5 on Amazon:

Acclaimed, sexy reality photographer Jamie Carval, desperately searching for a new theme for his next exhibition, stumbles upon dedicated, driven Manhattan detective Casey Clement and her hotshot team at the murder of a brilliant scientist.

Carval instantly decides that the intensity and unity of the team will form an outstanding show, with Casey as its stunning centrepiece. But Casey has hated photographs ever since a jealous fellow-recruit tried to shame her with a stolen copy of a shot from a college party, and she isn’t in the mood to play nice.

As the cops unravel the mess of multimillion dollar motives for murder, the trail leads them from the research lab to the door of big business. While Casey hunts for the truth, Carval fights to find a way past Casey’s resistance to his photos and the heat that’s building between them. But when the murderer starts to come into focus, can photographs save the day?

Death in Focus – Amazon

 

Kevin  McNally

Kevin has published his first novel: Sons of Sol, a sci-fi novel described by one reviewer as: ‘a funny, rollicking sci-fi tale, laced with political shenanigans and military intrigue.’

Tony Smith and Percival Prendergast, genius graduates of the Edinburgh Space Propulsion Academy, have developed a space engine which will revolutionize travel and trade around the colonies and beyond. A project that will do a lot of good for mankind…and be very lucrative to boot!

Many are interested but some are unwilling to pay. After being abducted from the Gagarin Space station by a glamorous but unscrupulous Bounty Hunter, Smith and Prendergast embark on an epic cat and mouse chase around the solar system. Will they become the gazillioinaires they hope, rot in a Centauran jail pressed into forced labour or be blasted into space by murderous space traders? Only space and time will tell…

Rated 4.6 / 5 on Amazon.

Sons of Sol – Amazon

 

Anita  Hamilton

Anita Hamilton is a Communications, Marketing and Organisational Change Consultant, who has written a book called: How to be A Happy Woman in Mid-Life    

Reaching mid-life is a time of enormous change – physically, emotionally and socially. How do you navigate these changes and be happy and fulfilled? As we emerge from the Covid pandemic, it is time to re-evaluate our lives, think about what makes us happy and what could make us happier.

Rated 4.6 / 5 on Amazon.

How to be A Happy Woman in Mid-Life – Amazon

Vanessa Nitsche

Vanessa is another children’s author. Her book Cocoa The Cat  is a story about a friendship made during lockdown.

It is the spring of 2020: the world is in the grip of a pandemic. In the midst of the national lockdown, a lonely, anxious woman is self-isolating at home with no one for company but the bird-slaying tom cat terrorising her garden, whose violence she detests.

Love at first sight it is not. Until one day Cocoa, the tom cat, manages to get inside her flat and all of a sudden shows his vulnerable side. Slowly, a friendship develops between these two unlikely bed fellows. Cocoa the Cat is a story about isolation, loneliness, friendship and acceptance.

Rated 4 / 5 on Amazon.

Cocoa the Cat – Waterstones

Bernard Adams & Annabel Rhys

Bernard and Annabel have written Cosmo’s War, a play about the WW1 experiences of Bedford Park artist Cosmo Clark.

His CV on the Art UK website states: ‘Studied at Goldsmiths’ College School of Art, 1912–14 and 1918, Académie Julian, Paris, 1918–19, and Royal Academy Schools, 1919–21’.

But what happened to him between 1914, when he turned 17 and the end of the war? Portrait of Cosmo Clark, owned by The Stationers Company.

Jeremy Myerson

Jeremy is a design writer and professor emeritus in the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the Royal College of Art. With Philip Ross, he cofounded Worktech and the Worktech Academy, an online knowledge platform and network on the future of work and the workplace.

In their latest book, Unworking – the reinvention of the modern office, they reflect on the need to jettison old ideas about the office and think more radically about the future.

Over the past hundred years, the office has been integral to the development of modern society. It has shaped the architecture of our cities, the behaviour of our organizations and the everyday movements of millions of people.

In 2020, however, the global pandemic brought our attendance in the office to an abrupt halt and triggered a complete re-evaluation of the purpose of the workplace. This book offers a panoramic view of the office and explores what happens next.

Rated 5 / 5 on Amazon.

Unworking – Amazon

Graham Holderness

Graham is a writer and critic who has published, as author or editor, more than sixty books, many on Shakespeare, and hundreds of chapters and articles of criticism, theory and theology. His latest book is something of a departure. Ancestors – Adventures in a Foreign Country is a novel, of which his publishers Edward Everett Root say:

‘This highly original novel by the internationally acclaimed author Graham Holderness is part historical novel, part contemporary chronicle, part autobiographical fiction. It explores the challenges of personal ancestry and heritage, and the contemporary loyalties of us all in a rapidly changing country.’

Ancestors: Adventures in a Foreign Country – Amazon

Patrick Grattan

Patrick is an expert on oasts and hop kilns. A distinctive feature of the landscape of South East England and the West Midlands, they are farm buildings for drying hops, an ingredient in brewing beer.

Published by Liverpool University Press, his book Oasts and Hop Kilns: A History  is available from Waterstones.

Oasts and Hop Kilns: A History – Waterstones

Mary West & Clara Wilkinson

Mary and Clara have written a practical guide to painting murals. Making Murals explains all the key techniques and design styles you need so that you can get creative in your own home and make your walls unique.

‘Murals are a fantastic way to breathe new life into an interior or exterior space and this book explains all the essential techniques for getting started including what kind of paints and brushes to use, how to work on various wall surfaces and how to prepare the surface area to get the best results.’

Mary and Clara both studied Fine Art anad set up Living Wall Murals in 2017 to create mural art.

Making Murals – Search Press

Geraldine Gallacher

Geraldine runs an Executive Coaching Consultancy which she started in 1994, as one of the first executive coaching providers, and now has over 50 coaches internationally serving a wide range of industries.

Her book is Coaching Women – Developing Female Leaders. It looks at changing the system rather than changing the person to introduce more women into leadership roles.

Coaching Women – Amazon 

 

Martin Venning

Following on the heels of his debut geo-political adventure, The Primary Objective, Martin Venning has written a highly topical thriller: The End of the Road.      

Terminally ill eminent Oxford professor, Des Kelly, develops a new technology for sustainable energy that can address environmental pollution and global warming. His discovery will make the global oil industry obsolete. International vested interests compete to control it and acquire his research through persuasion and harassment, trying to find the lever that will secure his co-operation.

The End of the Road – goodreads

Robert Gillespie

Robert James Gillespie is a British actor, director and writer. Notable acting credits include Keep It in the Family, At the Earth’s Core and Force 10 from Navarone. Later, he appeared in Jimmy McGovern’s Broken and Mike Leigh’s film Peterloo about the Peterloo Massacre.

He has written his memoir: Are You Going to do That Little Jump? — The Adventure Continues    

Through his many roles, the gas man in Rising Damp, the long-suffering copper in Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?, he is one of those actors who has worked with everyone you have ever heard of, and he has tales to tell about all of them.

Rated 5 / 5 on Amazon.

Are You Going to do That Little Jump? – Amazon

Waterstones Chiswick has all the contributors’ books in stock, so if you didn’t manage to get a ticket to the Chiswick Book Festival local authors’ night to buy a book there, pay a visit to Waterstones Chiswick.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Dame Eileen Atkins head line-up for the Chiswick Book Festival

See also: Six centuries of famous Chiswick poets

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

Support The Chiswick Calendar

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

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

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Crystal Palace 1, Brentford 1

Above: photograph; Brentford FC

New season: too close for comfort

Falling behind and having to play catch-up is a sequence established by the Bees in their first game of the season, when they almost squeaked a victory over Leicester. Memorable, it was, too, but this late escape – the third in five League games – was possibly one too far, no matter that temporarily left them comfortable in tenth place.

Those of us who followed the match on live TV, rather than braving the depths of south London, saw a keen contest, in which both sides threatened the opposing goal only occasionally during the first half. Palace Midfielder Michael Olise came closest with a shot that hit the post, influenced perhaps by the Bees’ near-misses against Everton.

But with around 88 minutes gone Palace demonstrated their increasing authority when Wilfried Zaha collected a pass from Cheick Doucouré and shook off Hickey for the first time before scoring what must be one of the finest goals seen in the PL so far this season.

His shot, bending wickedly into Raya’s far corner, should have been the signal for Palace to go on to greater things. Instead, they attempted to shut up shop and coast home on a slender margin. Bad call, and one that infuriated Zaha, who afterwards complained that his side should have tried to plunder another goal. ‘We just killed ourselves in the end,’ he told Sky Sport.

Well, not exactly. Palace’s rear-guard policy allowed Brentford to swarm forward and create a handful of chances, the pick of which came two minutes from the end of normal time when Vitaly Janelt’s cross was converted by Yoane Wissa, unmarked at the far post.

Then in the dying seconds Ben Dee joined the woodwork class with a header that hit a post.

‘Palace’s tactics could have made that the winner,’ I told my mate Charlie.

‘Would have served ‘em right,’ said Charlie.

Crystal Palace: Guaita; Clyne, Andersen, Guéhi, Ward; Doucouré; Olise (sub Mitchell 80), Schlupp (Milivojević 76), Eze (J Ayew 76), Zaha; Mateta (Ḗdouard, 54).

Brentford: Raya; Hickey (Ghodos 29) M Jorgensen, Mee, Henry; Baptiste (Damsgaard 58), Janelt, Jensen (Wissa 69); Mbeumo (Onyeka 68), Toney, Lewis-Potter (Dasilva 68).

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.

Brentford 1, Everton 1

Above: photograph; Brentford FC

Second season: close call

There is a dressing room superstition, it is rumoured, that the Brentford starting line-up will not set foot on the pitch until skipper Pontus Jansson has trotted out ahead of them. Fanciful? Maybe so, but if true the absence of Pontus may have explained the home team’s inability to convert a hatful of chances when Everton came to call at at the Gtech Stadium.

The Bees should not have lacked confidence, having claimed a point at Leicester and then, with myriad changes made before and during the Carabao Cup second-round 2-0 victory at Colchester, seen off the League Two side without incident.

But Everton, of sterner stuff of course, were sparky enough to go ahead through talented winger Anthony Gordon after 24 minutes, during which Brentford had offered only a soft shot by Bryan Mbeumo that drifted wide of a post.

The second half saw Everton continue to offer pretty football, but David Raya was rarely troubled. At the other end, keeper Jordan Pickford was a safe pair of hands, but remonstrated with his defence whenever Brentford looked as though they might penetrate even his skills.

Mbeumo squandered two chances and a trio of excellent efforts, from stand-in captain Christian Norgaard, Matthias Jensen and Ivan Toney all hitting various areas of post and crossbar. The rebound after Toney’s effort fell to an onrushing Yoane Willa, who most uncharacteristically ignored a gaping goal and despatched the ball high into a stand.

Full-back Aaron Hickey played in exemplary fashion once again, while visiting striker Alex Iwobi survived a penalty appeal for handball. Oh yes, and Vitaly Janelt had a header saved.

It was a substitute duo who unlocked the Everton cupboard. Hickey clipped a pass that found Wissa, once again uncharacteristically, unmarked in front of goal. His careful header beat Pickford easily, and Brentford chased off in celebration while the goalkeeper gave his defence some more stick.

Other than some bad-tempered pushing and shoving there was little more drama in the five minutes plus add-on remaining, leaving Thomas Frank to tell BBC Sport, ‘It’s a game we should win nine out of ten times. We created seven big chances and hit the woodwork three times.’

‘Fair enough,’ I told my my constant companion.

‘I counted eight big chances,’ said Charlie.

Brentford: Raya; Hickey, M Jorgensen (substitute Baptiste 68), Mee, Henry; Dasilva (Bech Sørensen 90+2), Nørgaard (Janelt 69), Jensen; Mbeumo (Damsgaard 78), Toney, Wissa (Lewis-Potter 68).

Everton: Pickford; Holgate (sub Keane 68), Coady, Tarkowski; Patterson, Onana (Davies 78), Iwobi, Gordon; Mikolenko (Vinagre 86); McNeil (Rondón 86), Gray.

NEW SEASON: TO CLOSE FOR COMFORT

Bill Hagerty is a contributing editor of the Bees United supporters’ group. Photographs by Liz Vercoe.

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Jennifer’s dog training advice – My dog won’t leave me alone when I am working

Image above: Working with a dog for company

Guest blog by Jennifer Billot

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

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

My dog won’t leave me alone when I am working

One of the silver linings of the pandemic was that we were able to spend more time with our pets at home! I am sure the vast majority of them were thrilled with the extra company, more attention, and longer lie in’s. However this increase in attention means that they often will look for this at inopportune moments. Below are some tips and tricks to leave you to work in relative peace.

1.    Time Management

The little time that we do have throughout the day may not feel like enough to everyone but utilizing it correctly can really help to tire out your pup and let you work in peace. Instead of grabbing a spare ten minutes break and throwing the ball crazily in the garden, think of how you are engaging your dog in the time that you do have. You don’t have to run them ragged for them to be tired enough to leave you alone.

A good way of structuring your engagement in these short work breaks are for the two of you to play together, then to train together, then for them to brain game alone. I usually employ this method; play for five minutes with some toys, do a couple minutes of training exercises, then give a nose work or enrichment activity that they can do alone.

You have worked their body, and their mind, as opposed to raising that arousal and energy level all the way up with a game, then abruptly leaving them in that high energy state when you need to get back to work. You can guarantee they won’t want to settle if you leave them like that!

2.    Food & Chews

Taking the time to select the right kinds of food and chews for your dog, and then preparing them, can give you a ton of time to take those meetings uninterrupted! Spending ten minutes the night before might seem annoying in the moment, but saves you stress the next day when you are 30 seconds from a Zoom meeting and your pup is bouncing off the walls.

  • Kongs and Licki-mats are something I use daily with my dog Griffin. He gets a stuffed Kong every morning to get rid of some of that early morning energy and keep him busy for 30 minutes while I get ready for my day (okay, drink my coffee in peace).
  • Owners often worry that using enrichment will make their dog become overweight. This is far from the truth as long as you are mindful and creative.

If they eat a dry food for their meals, you can grab a handful out of their daily meal allowance, soak in warm water or the broth used to boil chicken breasts for treats, and leave for a couple hours. Once the dry food has soaked up all the moisture, it is really easy to stuff inside Kongs or spread on licki-mats. For a harder and longer lasting treat, freeze the stuffed Kongs and Licki-mats overnight.

  • Baby food pouches like mashed bananas, pureed sweet potato or blueberries, can be a great low-calorie option to use, and cut up veggies and fruits a lot of dog will go for.
  • Chewing is another great energy expending activity. This can be anything from pizzle sticks, stuffed hooves, buffalo ears, olivewood and yak chews. These don’t have to be hugely calorific. Ostrich is a lean protein and the dried tendons and bones are low fat, great for dogs with allergies as they are a novel protein, and don’t particularly smell. Many pet stores both in-person and online sell these now, as do a local Chiswick vets, Wolfe Vets. Butternut Box, the sponsor of this blog series, also sell Yonks chews. I often use their food to stuff in Kongs too!
  • Saving your enrichment for when you need it, like before work meetings, or that 30 minutes before they are due a walk and getting antsy, takes away the frustration on both sides of the work from home life.

3.    Ten minutes of nose work

Did you know that engaging your dog’s nose for just 10 minutes is the same energy expenditure equivalent to an hour of physical exercise? I often ask clients to imagine running a 5K, tiresome but you then have the ability to go to work afterwards. Spend the same length of time on a maths exam, you would quite like to go to bed for the rest of the day! With a sense of smell that is 100,000 x better than ours, and the ability to smell a drop of something different in an Olympic sized swimming pool, we want to put that nose to work, and then they can take a nice long nap!

  • If you have a dog that is pretty highly driven, or uses their nose a lot, and loves sniffing, you can try hiding small pieces of treats around a room, then letting them in with a “find it” cue. Keep everything on floor level to begin with as this is easier for them, then place them higher up. I use JR Pet Products pate cut up into tiny cubes, sprats, or small cubes of cucumber, to play this game with my dog. If your dog is fed wet or raw food, you can use small miso sauce dishes or ramekins with a teaspoon of their daily food allowance, and hide these instead.
  • Snuffle mats are perfect sniffing aids that can be made yourself, or bought online, that look like a shaggy rug. I mentioned them in a previous post. Use one after you are done playing with your dog, or to keep them occupied and quiet during a meeting. If you don’t have a snuffle mat, using an old towel or blanket can work just as well. You can then put the towel into a cardboard box to make it harder if your dog is ready for that challenge.
  • There are plenty of great online scent courses you can take where you train the dog to indicate to a specific odour. You then can hide this odour, usually it is a small piece of red Kong, and ask them to go find it. Feel free to email me for course recommendations.

4.    Trick training

Think of this as brain games for dogs. When we are bored or need a quick dose of entertainment, besides scrolling social media which is arguably mind numbing more so than productive, we often reach for candy crush, a sudoku, or take a stab at the daily Wordle.

  • It doesn’t matter what age, breed, or skill level your dog is, there is a trick that can work for any of them! Whether that is taking a bow, playing dead, turning on and off lights, or waving.
  • Choose a trick and break it down into little steps. Often I am asked how long a training session should be. My usual response is just a couple minutes, but what is often a better way is to count out 5-10 treats to use in the session, and when they run out, the training session is over. Over training can be frustrating for a dog so keep things short, positive and fun. They are guaranteed to want to take a nap after using that brain!
  • I will be offering an online trick training course in October so look out for that.

A word of caution on enrichment. I often hear clients say that their dogs can’t be bothered with an interactive activity or toy; that they get bored and walk away from it. This is most often because we made it too hard for them initially. That they didn’t get any decent wins in first before making them sniff around for ages before finding a single treat. If your dog needs to start off with a towel laid flat and a few treats sprinkled on the top to convince them that the effort is worth it, that is fine! Once you have done that a few times, you can then scrunch the towel up slightly, then loosely fold in the corners, building the difficulty at their pace.

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

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

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

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See also: Andrea’s film reviews

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Mind Matters – To Know or Not to Know?

Image: The tree of knowledge, depicted in many forms in different cultures

Nicholas Rose is away for the month of September and will be returning to write for The Chiswick Calendar on 14 October. Meanwhile, Nicholas’ colleague, Evangelos Raptis, will be writing the Mind Matters blog on his behalf.

The anxiety of knowledge and what to do about it

As a schoolboy, I experienced the first days of September as a period of heightened anxiety: racing heart palpitations, sweaty palms and stomach cramps. Maybe it was the first drops of autumn rain on the windows of our living room, or the transition out of a summer filled with careless play and chocolate ice cream. More ominously, September marked the beginning of the academic year – a time when I had to go back to school and “learn new things”.

Back then, to know was to possess information: the spelling of obscure words, the capitals of Europe, the dates of ancient battles. Fourty years later, memorisation sounds passé: schoolchildren are now supposed to sharpen their analytical skills and critical thinking, be ready for their TedX talk. Yet, somehow, they still have to grapple with information – in ever growing volumes and complexity. As much as we may have progressed, “knowledge” remains a source of anxiety, for young people and adults alike.

This paradox has not escaped the contemporary field of self-improvement. In a recent LinkedIn post, Robert Glazer, a leadership expert, makes an interesting connection between milk cartons and children’s unstructured play in the 1990s in the US. In response to an isolated child abduction incident in 1981, milk manufacturers sought to heighten parental awareness by printing photos of abducted children on their cartons. The “stranger danger” campaign did not reduce the number of – already rare – incidents of child abduction in the US.

A subsequent study however, showed a significant decline in the levels of unstructured, free play among young children, a crucial element of their social and emotional development. His post concludes that “while it’s never a bad thing to be informed… it also usually puts our focus on things that we really can’t control, which creates a feeling of helplessness.”

Such visceral anxiety is not limited to our social media driven world. In his “Commentaries on Living” in 1956, Indian philosopher  J. Krishnamurti laments:

“Addiction to knowledge is like any other addiction: it offers an escape from the fear of emptiness, of loneliness, of frustration … The mind is frightened of the unknown and so it escapes into knowledge [which becomes] a hindrance to the understanding of the unknown.”

This comment brings to mind images of world maps produced in the Dark Ages: though no European had ever set foot on the savannas of Africa or the steppes of Central Asia, maps were often filled with sketches of exotic plants and wild animals. It seems that the cartography patrons of the Catholic Church could not tolerate the stress of admitting to “not knowing” what these lands actually looked like.

Oddly enough, ignorance may be the key to the anxiety of knowledge. Yuval Noah Harari, in his book “Sapiens” makes the argument that the emergence of empty maps in the 14th and 15th centuries was a major contributing factor to the age of exploration and the ensuing Enlightenment. In his words:

“The empty maps were a psychological and ideological breakthrough, a clear admission that Europeans were ignorant of large parts of the world”.

I am not suggesting that ignorance is bliss – quiet the opposite. I argue that the pursuit for knowledge needs to be grounded in a sense of comfort with the psychological void of the unknown, the uncertain. It needs to kindle a child-like curiosity about the world within and around us – what Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki calls a Beginner’s Mind. Our world is too invested in “getting the answer”: this demand lies at the heart of our anxiety at the personal and social levels. For true knowledge to happen, we need to place the emphasis back to “asking the question” and trust our capacity to explore. For this, we need to discover the joy of not knowing.

Evangelos Raptis is a psychotherapist working at 34B Chsiwick High Rd, W4 1TE. evangelos@myredtree.co.uk

Read more blogs by Nicholas Rose

Read the previous one – Mind Matters – Feeling fine or feeling F.I.N.E?

See all Nicholas’s Mind Matters blogs here

Read a profile of Nicholas here

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Interview with Conrad Shawcross, designer of Chiswick’s new sculpture Enwrought Light

Image above: Conrad Shawcross at his workshop in East London

Mad about geometry

Interview with Conrad Shawcross, creator of Enwrought Light, a sculpture to celebrate Irish poet W.B Yeats in Bedford Park

Walking into Conrad Shawcross’s workshop in Lower Clapton you get the impression straight away that this is somewhere very special, where interesting things happen. More like a motor mechanic’s garage or an engineering workshop than an artist’s studio, everywhere you look there are hoists and bits of machinery, above our heads the huge arms of a rope winding machine for Conrad’s next project, which involves making massive ropes several metres in diameter.

Down some homemade metal stairs is the basement where all the welding, cutting and heavy work is done and he explains the ceiling is made of panels which fold back so he can build tall structures and hoist them up to the floor above when he’s ready.

Image above: Conrad’s workshop in Lower Clapton

He bought the disused factory in the days before this part of the East End became too trendy to be affordable, and designed himself a workshop specifically to meet the needs of building sculptures. The result is a light, airy space where engineering meets art and the most inspiring office I have ever encountered, full of geometrical shapes, both natural and man (Conrad) made.

He is fascinated by mathematics, especially geometry, and inspired by science and philosophy. It takes a certain confidence to commit to being a sculptor from a very early age.

“I went to art school at 18. I was always making stuff. I didn’t have the patience for architecture – building codes and planning applications – anyway seven years’ training was too long, although actually I did six years’ training to become a sculptor. I love what I do.”

Conrad is the son of biographer William Shawcross and the novelist and cultural historian Marina Warner. He studied at Chelsea School of Art, the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art and the Slade School of Fine Art (University College London).

Images above: Some of the interesting geometrical bits and pieces lying around the office

Conrad, the youngest living member of the Royal Academy of Arts, (he’s 45), was commissioned by Cahal Dallat to create a sculpture which celebrated W.B. Yeats, who lived in Bedford Park as a young man, spending his formative years here with his family, during which he wrote some of his most famous poems.

Cahal, one of Ireland’s best-known living poets, who lives in Bedford Park now, has campaigned for years to get Yeats’ presence in Chiswick recognised. After getting St Michael & All Angels vicar Kevin Morris and Director of the Chiswick Book Festival Torin Douglas on board, and having secured the approval of the Bedford Park Society, the Yeats committee applied for planning permission and raised the requisite £184,000 in funds by crowdfunding, no mean feat.

Images above: Paradigm, at the Francis Crick Institute; Exploded Paradigm at the Comcast Technology Centre

Enwrought Light is one of a series of sculptures Conrad has created which are essentially stacks of tetrahedons (a polyhedron with four triangular faces, like a pyramid only with a triangular base).

Previous structures in the series include Paradigm, a permanent installation at the Francis Crick Institute, a biomedical research centre in NW1, dedicated to Francis Crick, the molecular biologist contributed hugely to our understanding of DNA, and Exploded Paradigm at the Comcast Technology Centre in Philadelphia.

Conrad describes ‘our’ sculpture as ‘fractured.’ I had the impression from the CGI image it would be quite fragile, but actually it is very robust and solid. What is clever is the way the gold and silver coloured facets reflect light so they seem ephemeral, making Enwrought Light ever-changing, reflecting the seasons and the conditions around it.

Images above: CGI of Enwrought Light; sculpture newly installed on Friday 2 September 2022

Chiswick’s new sculpture has its origins in 2014, when Conrad met Cahal as he was working on the Francis Crick memorial. They started talking about concepts and ideas. Conrad started reading Yeats.

“What resonated with me most was the phrase ‘widening gyre’ [Turning and turning in the widening gyre / The falcon cannot hear the falconer – The Second Coming] and the first four lines from Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven.”

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

“A widening gyre is a spiralling form – a spiral or a vortex and the gold and silver cloths of heaven gave me opportunities to play around with materials.”

Image above: Conrad showing me a prototype piece of Enwrought Light; geometric shapes around the office

Enwrought Light is made from steel: “very durable, it won’t rust and shouldn’t tarnish”, but conscious of the potential for vandalism he was quick to add the ‘gold’ and ‘silver’ were Rimex metals – marine grade stainless steel and added rather wryly:

“We hope it will be respected. We are gambling that the geometric truth of it will give it protection.”

The core is engineered in Duplex, the strongest of stainless steels.

He likes to think Yeats would have appreciated his sculpture and preferred it to a more traditional statue in his name.

“We have in common that we are both abstract artists interested in the metaphysical and the philosophical. He wouldn’t have liked a sad looking bust. You want someone to conjour what you’ve created and pay homage. Hopefully he would have liked it.”

He hopes also that the sculpture will be a ‘destination’ – that people will come to Chiswick specially to see it. It is after all right by the Turnham Green tube station.

“I have made about 15 public sculptures. This one I am really excited about – the way the light bounces off it and the sky is reflected off it is exciting.”

It was six months in the making and he describes it as a tetrahedal stack – “a spine with a floating exoskeleton, almost like light bulbs that have shattered and are hanging.”

He showed me how he had cut out the leaves and linked them to the internal spine.

As I arrived back in Chiswick to take a picture of the newly installed sculpture, with the stonework inlaid with words from the poem still drying around the base, Cahal was there with the workmen from Wootton and Dawe just finishing up.

“All the comments we’ve had so far have been very positive” he told me. “People are delighted by it.”

Peter Murray OBE, Chairman of New London Architecture and the London Society and resident of Bedford Park commented on social media:

“Great to see this taking shape, ready for unveiling next week: Enwrought Light by Conrad Shawcross RA, which will honour W B Yeats’ sojourn in Bedford Park. Congratulations to @CLDallat for making this happen.”

Enwrought Light will be unveiled on Tuesday 6 September at 4.30pm outside St Michael & All Angels Church on the corner of Bath Rd and The Avenue.

If you would like to hear more about Conrad Shawcross’s work, his show Cascading Principles, 35 works exploring geometry, tetrahedons and philosophy, is opening 27 September in the Maths Institute in Oxford.

conradshawcross.com

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See also: Bedford Park – the hotbed of radical free-thinkers
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Community art project reimagines the world map

Images above: the world map in tiles in progress, a young person paints give tiles displaying central Europe

Project sought to “inspire creativity” in young people

Over the past few weeks, Chiswick-based multidisciplinary artist Gala Bell has been working with Hogarth Youth and Community Centre on an art project which ‘reimagines’ the world map.

Gala, a professional artist working in painting and sculpture, became interested in social and participatory art through artists she admires such as Francis Alys, Alan Kaprow and writer Claire Bishop.

“I developed an idea to paint ceramic tiles of a ‘reimagined’ world map that would be painted by various groups in the community’, Gala told The Chiswick Calendar,

“Creating socially engaged artwork with communities performs multiple functions to inspire creativity in young people, creates bonds through collaborative work with those living in the community, practices respect and appreciation towards others, it teaches people about art and leaves behind something lasting.”

Supported by a grant from LB Hounslow as part of their ‘Summer of Culture’, which aims to promote the wealth of arts and cultural events and activity in across the borough, Gala received enough funding to produce 1,000 painted tiles – around £5,000.

The project is nearly half-finished, with approximately 450 tiles completed. The second part of the tile painting with refugee charity West London Welcome will take place in September, with the final installation to be unveiled on a permanent wall at the Hogarth Centre.

“Wonderful generosity” of Hogarth Youth Centre workers

Over a period of four weeks in two hour slots, between 40-50 young people who were part of Hogarth Centre’s Summer Youth Programme, worked on the project with Gala – racking up around 30 hours of work in total.

Though she describes the process as “laborious and time consuming”, Gala said the project has shown the “wonderful generosity” of the people who work at Hogarth Youth Centre. Explaining the process, she said:

“Each tile is painted uses ceramic glazes in a workshop-classroom style environment looking at various atlases and maps for inspiration, each person’s work is their own. The map metaphorically sought to create bridges between different geographies, showing the participants the vastness of cultures and countries.

“Each person had to be aware of whoever was creating their neighbouring tile to ensure the contour lines matched up –  although no pressure was put on anyone needing to make friends, the process of meeting someone new was important.

“Each tile is then processed with a transparent glaze, cleaned and sanded individually by hand before going into a kiln.

“The process of the project has been really important in connecting individuals, and I had not expected to have experienced some of the wonderful generosity of people who work at Hogarth Youth Centre, who have been cooking amazing meals for the children daily, allowing them to partake in activities such as sports, dance, drama, music and art.”

Images above: Gala Bell, young people working on the tiles in the Hogarth Centre

Young people pleased to see their work in a permanent mural

Naomi Alleyne, a youth worker at the Hogarth Centre, said even if some young people were initially reluctant to take part, once they were told the finished product was going to be a mural on a wall outside the centre, which and would be seen by plenty of people every day, their attitude changed rapidly and soon they were getting stuck in. Naomi told The Chiswick Calendar:

“Half of them loved it and just continued going… the kids really enjoyed it. Considering it was repetitive, they did basically the same thing every day for four weeks, they really did love it. You know what kids are like, they’d say ‘oh we did this yesterday, I don’t wanna do it’. But I think because they really wanted to see the end product, they were like ‘yeah I’m gonna keep coming back!’.

“They were coming in with ideas about what part of what country they were gonna do, it all got a bit complicated. They said ‘I wanna do this part of the country because my family are from there. But then Gala had to work out a system for them to do it in order.”

Gala was full of praise for the staff at the Hogarth Centre.

“Seeing the care between staff and visitors has been invaluable to witness; the important work that people these people have done in the community has had a lasting impact through generations of people going there.

“The centre nurtures socialising and communication, benevolence and compassion and has a lasting impact on memories for both the adults and children who go there.”

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

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

See also: BBC ruling highlights abuse against Jeremy Vine from One Chiswick

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Eco-friendly opticians to open up in Chiswick

Image above: store design as pictured on the planning application

Plant based glasses

A new optician which sells plant-based glasses has applied for planning permission to open a shop on Turnham Green Terrace.

LB Hounslow received a planning application from French-owned chain of opticians Jimmy Fairly, looking to open a shop at 68/70 Turnham Green Terrace in the former premises of John D Wood & Co. estate agents (which has moved across the road).

Jimmy Fairly have ten branches in the UK, and market themselves as the “coolest optician in town”. Though popular for their French styles, Jimmy Fairly’s latest claim to fame is their range of eco-friendly glasses frames, which they say are produced by combining acetate with a biodegradable plant-based compound.

While other eco-friendly plant-based eyewear brands do exist, many specialise in sunglasses rather than prescription glasses frames.

Image above: prior tenant John D Wood & Co. at 68/70 Turnham Green Terrace

‘Quality eyewear at a fair price – while having a positive impact’

Jimmy Fairly’s website sets out the company’s ethos:

‘Our idea from day one has been to put a smile on your face, by offering you quality eyewear at a fair price. While having a positive impact.

‘But, this year more than ever, we want it all: more dreams, more love, more life, more mutual help, more freedom, more transparency, more travel, more solidarity, more laughs, more smiles, more quality and sharing moments.

‘We are working on lots of projects which bring all these feelings together. We will take you on this journey with us, explaining it as sincerely as possible. We are not perfect, but we want to improve every day.’

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

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

See also: BBC ruling highlights abuse against Jeremy Vine from One Chiswick

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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Chiswick resident arrested after confrontation with police

Image above: James Watson; photograph Hounslow Council

Watson threatened officers with a baton

A Chiswick resident has been jailed after threatening local police officers with a baton.

James Watson, who lives on Stonehill Road in Chiswick, was found guilty at Ealing Magistrates’ Court for possession of an offence weapon, criminal damage and fear of provocation of violence.

The court heard that on Saturday 20 August, around 6.10am, police were called to a disturbance near Nallhead Road, Feltham. When officers arrived at the scene they found an intoxicated Watson nearby. He then took out an extendable baton from his pocket, and began to threaten them before going into smash the window of a passing car.

Watson was subdued with the officer’s taser and sprayed with pepper spray. He was arrested and was subsequently charged with possession of an offensive weapon, fear and provocation of violence and criminal damage. He was remanded in custody to appear at Ealing Magistrates’ Court on Monday 22 August, where he was sentenced to nine months in prison.

Image above: the baton Watson used

Violent, anti-social behaviour “will not be tolerated in Hounslow” say Met Police

PC Ed Griffiths, Emergency Response Policing Team, based at Feltham said:

“It is a good result all round as he was causing a disturbance early in the morning as people when local residents should be able to have a peaceful start to their day and not have to encounter his violent behaviour.

“The swift action taken by police, CPS and courts demonstrates that such violent anti social behaviour will not be tolerated in the borough of Hounslow.’’

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

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

See also: BBC ruling highlights abuse against Jeremy Vine from One Chiswick

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BBC ruling highlights abuse against Jeremy Vine from One Chiswick

Presenter gives his reaction to the ruling

The finding by the BBC’s Complaints Unit that Jeremy Vine breached BBC rules on impartiality by expressing his opinion on a Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) in Chiswick has highlighted the abuse he has received repeatedly from members of the One Chiswick Facebook group.

Commenting on the ruling, Jeremy Vine said:

‘I’m grateful for the impartiality ruling by the Editorial Complaints Unit of the BBC. Most importantly, the ruling identifies the complainant as the person who “superintends” a West London Facebook page which has spent years targeting named cyclists, like me, with abuse.

“By accident or design, the complainant’s role in the personal vilification of cyclists in my area – “wishing me harm” – has been exposed by the BBC ruling, which goes on to confirm that the abuse was all one way, and I never responded in kind.”

Margie Frew, one of the moderators of the Facebook group, complained to the BBC that Tweets by Vine represented “a campaign of abuse” against a legitimate local campaigning group.

The BBC did not uphold this part of her complaint. The Complaints Unit response said:

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

‘In the ECU’s view Mr Vine was entitled to object to such personal abuse and, as he did so in terms which were not themselves abusive, his tweets were consistent with the relevant BBC Guidance in that respect.’

Vine has published on Twitter a selection of the personal abuse he has received: ‘What an utter c–t’… ‘Should have pushed him off. What a cock’ … ‘Maybe we could have a new sport – cyclist josting.’

Abuse continues

The complaint against Jeremy Vine was made last year but the comments continue.

YouTuber Alex Belfield was found guilty of stalking Jeremy Vine and three others in August. 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.

During the trial Maggie Dodge, who posts as @mortonpeas and comments regularly on One Chiswick, posted in support of Alex Belfield: ‘Here’s hoping you win this. You’ll do us all a favour.’

David Giles, another frequent contributor, posted: ‘Anyone who dislikes Jeremy Vine is welcome to donate to OneChiswick.’

Jeremy Vine is often seen around Chiswick on his bike – a normal bike – but also enjoys riding a pennyfathing. When he fell off it in February and was knocked unconscious, Claire Morton wrote:

‘Amazing news. Self-appointed entitled cyclist fanatic falls off bike. Couldn’t happen to a nastier person.

‘Never mind Jeremy, if you are permanently brain damaged and suffer irreversible physical damage from this episode (not apparently the case) that won’t be any excuse in your book for not cycling everywhere. Karma.’

Image above: Jeremy Vine on his pennyfarthing

Jeremy Vine asked One Chiswick to ‘tone down the constant abuse’

Government figures from the Department of Transport show that on average two pedal cyclists died and 83 were seriously injured (adjusted) per week in reported road casualties over the period 2015 to 2020.

A van driver Tweeting as Stokesie80 posted in response to a Twitter thread by Jeremy Vine about One Chiswick:

‘I clip 3 or 4 cyclists a month in my van. Yesterday I clipped one into a verge in the countryside. I find it extremely relaxing afterwards.’

Vine wrote: ‘This Tweet shows how the abuse on the site can permission actual violence on the roads’.

He says he has asked OneChiswick to tone down their rhetoric.

As mentioned, the site is superintended by @Margiefrew. When I asked a mutual friend to reach out to her and discreetly ask if she could tone down the constant abuse on the ‘One Chiswick’ Facebook page, I was given the message: “Margie says she doesn’t do secret squirrel.”’

The role of a moderator on Facebook is to police its content. The moderator has power to approve or deny membership requests and posts in the group, to remove posts and comments on posts, and to remove and block people from the group.

Facebook’s published line on hate speech is:

‘We aim to prevent potential offline harm that may be related to content on Facebook. While we understand that people commonly express disdain or disagreement by threatening or calling for violence in non-serious ways, we remove language that incites or facilitates serious violence.

‘We remove content, disable accounts and work with law enforcement when we believe that there is a genuine risk of physical harm or direct threats to public safety. ‘We also try to consider the language and context in order to distinguish casual statements from content that constitutes a credible threat to public or personal safety.

‘In determining whether a threat is credible, we may also consider additional information such as a person’s public visibility and the risks to their physical safety.’

Image above: Cycle lane in Chiswick High Rd

‘I will keep talking about my local cycle lane’ – Vine

Jeremy Vine campaigns for cycle safety. He does it by filming examples of what he considers to be bad driving on his way to work and making them into video stories in his social media. The way he exposes the behaviour of drivers divides opinion. Fellow Chiswick cyclist Nigel Walley posted this after the BBC’s impartiality ruling was published:

‘He really is the worst advocate for cycling. Sneering and confrontational, he does more damage to the cause of cycling than anyone I know.’

The BBC’s guidelines say what staff publish in social media should meet the standards of what it broadcasts, to ‘avoid unjustifiable offence’ and to be ‘sensitive to, and keep in touch with, generally accepted standards’.

In general terms the BBC guidelines say staff should ‘avoid bringing the BBC into disrepute’.

The BBC’s finding in this complaint was that Jeremy did not carry out “a campaign of abuse” against One Chiswick. He himself was not abusive and his Tweets about One Chiswick met BBC guidelines.

The part of Margie Frew’s complaint that was upheld was that the BBC found Jeremy Vine had breached its rules on impartiality by expressing his view on an LTN.

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

In response to the ruling, Vine wrote:

‘The Judgement is about comments I have made about LTNs. I understand that I am still allowed to praise cycle lanes, which are different. I can certainly praise the cycle lane which runs down the end of my street.

‘I’m happy to accept that I should not praise LTNs that I haven’t used myself. This is helpful guidance for me.’

We have asked One Chiswick for a comment.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

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

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.