More flowers for Turnham Green

Image above: ‘Scarifying’ the meadow in preparation for replanting

Renewing the ‘meadow’

Turnham Green is to be the happy recipient of lots more flowers. More wildflowers for the summer ‘meadow’ and more bulbs, which the Friends of Turnham Green would like your help planting on Saturday 12 November.

You may have seen a man with a tractor ‘scarifying’ the land. This has nothing to do with Halloween and everything to do with turning over the soil, ready to plant Rhinanthus minor (Yellow Rattle), to keep down the meadow grass, and 8,000 bulbs which the Friends have bought with money from the London Borough of Hounslow and Chiswick Flower Market.

The planting scheme is courtesy of one of the top landscape design firms, Tom Stuart-Smith, who have won many awards for their gardens and parks.

The Chiswick Calendar spoke to Nicola Pusterla, one of their landscape architects, about the vision they have in mind for Turnham Green.

Image above: Turnham Green in high summer; photograph Barbara Chandler

Making room for wildflowers

When I was first told about the ‘meadow’ on Turnham Green a few years ago, my reaction was: “what, that weedy bit along the side of Sutton Lne North?”

I hadn’t meant to be rude or sarcastic, (my comment was not well received) but I hadn’t realised it was meant to be a meadow because it seemed to be mainly long grass, with not many flowers in evidence.

This is now being rectified by the prestigious landscape design firm, who have designed a planting scheme at minimal cost which can be introduced over a period of time as and when there is money available.

“We are keeping the area of the wildflower meadow the same” Nicola Pusterla told me, “but the triangle of meadow feels very alien to everything else, it needs to be visually impactful.”

Image above: Yellow Rattle; photograph Ian Cunliffe

The way to do this, he told me, is to plant Rhrinanthus minor (Yellow Rattle), which will stifle the grass and make way for some flowers.

“Yellow Rattle is a parasite plant. It sucks up energy from the grass. You need open soil and a low density of grass for wildflowers to grow. Grass grows fast and tall and blocks out all the light.”

It will take a year for the Yellow Rattle to have an effect, so do not expect to see much of interest next summer, but by next autumn they will be ready to plant other flowers, said Nicola.

“There are already wildflower seeds in the soil and if we then just left it, in five or ten years’ time it would be much more interesting” he told me, in a nod to the careful work which has already been done by members of the Friends,

“but if there is funding available we could plant flowers such as field scabious and ox-eye daisies; cow parsley around the edges.”

Galium verum (Lady’s bedstraw), Centaurea nigra (Knapweed), Aucus carota (Wild carrot), Malva moschata (Musk mallow), Achillea millefolium (Yarrow), Primula veris (Cowslip), Silene dioica (Red Campion) and Silene vulgaris (Bladder Campion) are also on his list for planting next autumn.

“Poppies? Cornflowers?” I asked, warming to the theme.

“No, those are field flowers”.

Realising this is more complicated than I thought and I didn’t know a ‘field’ from a ‘meadow’ he explained flowers such as poppies and cornflowers thrive on arable land because the soil is turned each year.

This isn’t. They need to create a sustainable environment where insects can be at home with plants that have ‘naturalised’ – ie. established themselves and spread so they come up every year, left alone to their own devices.

While going for a “visually impactful” planting scheme, biodiversity and sustainability are also high on their list.

Images above: Narcissus ‘Sunlight Sensation’, photograph Peter Nyssen; Tulipa linifolia, photograph Ghislain 118; Tulipa clusiana ‘Cynthia’, photograph Salicyna

Bulb planting – help needed Saturday 12 November

Turnham Green is spectacular in spring with all the cherry trees and while we are waiting for the summer meadow to come into its own, Nicola told me they have picked a variety of bulbs to be planted in the meadow area, along the pathway and under the trees, to complement the spring show of colour.

Flowers such as daffodils and narcissi, snowdrops, tulips and scillas – 8,000 in all – and it is these that Turnham Green Friends need your help planting.

“Please join us for a community bulb planting event on Turnham Green” say the Friends.

“We need lots of volunteers to help us. Mark your diaries, tell your friends and neighbours.  Details of bulb planting as follows:

Saturday 12 November
10am until 2pm, come anytime, for as long as suits you
Meet by the rockery
Bring a trowel, spade or bulb planter if you have one and gloves.

Please sign up on Eventbrite for free. Not essential but it will give us an idea about who is coming.”

Images above: Chinodoxa forbesii (scilla), photograph Meneerke Bloem; Galanthus nivalis (snowdrops), photograph Dominicus Johannes Bergsma; Tulipa batalinii ‘Bright Gem’, photograph David J. Stang

A multi-purpose public space

The problem for would-be improvers of Turnham Green is that it is used by many different groups and individuals in a variety of different ways and the land is owned and overseen by the local council.

While flowers are lovely to look at, they can’t encroach on the area of grass without upsetting someone: the football teams who use if for a kick around, the personal trainers who use it for classes and the nursery children who have outside lessons there, to name but a few.

“We are very aware Turnham Green is used for lots of different purposes” Nicola told me,

“we are looking to enhance what there is and make everything more cohesive; we’re not talking about putting in more beds and making it into a park.”

“The problem is there is either flat, mown grass or trees on the periphery and we can make it slightly more interesting.”

The plans were presented to the Friends’ membership at their annual general meeting and with a few exceptions, they were well received.

‘We are very excited about this!’ the Friends say in their newsletter to members.

Image above: Preparing the meadow for planting; (R) Rebecca Frayn, Chair of Turnham Green Friends

“Once in a lifetime opportunity”

‘Tom Stuart-Smith is one of the UK’s leading landscape designers who has done work all over the world, who has won numerous Chelsea Gold medals and whose client list includes The Royal Horticultural Society, The Royal Academy of Arts and the late Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

‘He is based in London and specialises in deftly combining naturalism with modernity and for gardens that respond to their wider landscape setting.

‘The fact that he is happy to be involved in a community project is a delight to us and this may be a once in a lifetime opportunity to improve our much loved Green.’

The meadow refresh has been funded by an LB Hounslow ‘Your Neighbourhood’ grant.  The application was supported by local councillors Ranjit Gill and Ron Mushiso.

‘A big thank you to both of them and to LBH Community Partnerships Unit.’

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Friends of Turnham Green share plans for new proposals for more ‘naturalistic’ planting on Turnham Green

See also: Chiswick resident to be inducted into World Rugby Hall of Fame

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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Brentford 1, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1

Image above: Come on you Beeees!

Big, Bad Wolves

Sorry to report, but precious little happened in the first half at the Gtech Stadium. Josh Dasilva shot wide, Ivan Toney received a sweet cross from Bryan Mbeumo but failed to capitalise on it, Matthias Jensen developed a left-leg limp and was replaced by midfield bright spark Mikkel Damsgaard. That sort of thing.

All very ho-hum, with the only diversion from the drab football goings-on being a noticeable quirk among the Wolves players, which demands rolling about on the ground – whimpering in pain, or so it seemed – whenever despatched there by an opponent.

So let’s forget all that and concentrate on a second period that provided a couple of goals, some crackerjack attacking and defending incidents and enough bad temper displayed by disgruntled Wolves players to warrant a booking in the House of Commons.

The referee, Robert Madley, seemed unmoved by pleas from either side, which guaranteed him earning opprobrium from both as well as the more vocal of a seething crowd.

Perhaps Bobby Madley was concentrating hard on what was his first Premier League outing in four years, having been disciplined and sacked for sending an offensive video to a friend. Tsk, tsk.

Image above: Jensen closing in on goal

Brentford started the second period at a gallop and spirits soared when Mbeumo clipped a superb ball into the goalmouth and Ben Mee – what was he doing there? – beat keeper José Sá with with a volley-cum-scissors kick to put the Bees in front.

Mee, an excellent centre half recently in Pontus Jansson’s absence, had time for a brief celebration. But only very brief; inside two minutes, Wolves’ Nélson Semedo fed the lurking midfielder Rúben Neeves, whose shot arrowed past David Raya in the blink of an eye.

With Toney out of sorts – he had been unwell over the past two days, said Thomas – and an energetic Wolves side anxious to escape the relegation zone (failed!), the game swung backwards and forwards frequently enough to give every grandstand fan a crick in the neck.

Images above: Ajer in defence; Janelt and Dasilva race Wolves for the ball

Respite came as the frequency of players, mainly visitors, adopting the prone position on the pitch increased. On one occasion, Sá sat down for a while in his goalmouth, curiously until it became obvious that a teammate was having treatment for a blood injury near the dugouts.

It is a frustrating tactic, designed to interrupt and possibly negate any rhythm the opposition may have established.

‘Bet he’s fine when he gets back on the pitch,’ fumed a Bees fan when a Wolf tumbled down and remained there for an interminable time. Sure enough, he sprinted like a greyhound back into the action when waved back on by the ref.

Among the supporting cast was a valiant team carrying a stretcher back and forth along the touchline, sometimes being required more than once on the same journey. It was a wonder they didn’t sometimes meet themselves coming back.

The time added to the statutory 45 minutes in the first half had been six minutes; seven minutes was the requirement for the second.

As one might have been expected, it was a fast and furious finale, with Wolves having the best of it until an incident in the Brentford goalmouth provided a dramatic conclusion to an afternoon memorable for such episodes rather than football of high quality.

Image above: Henry and A. Traoré tussle in front of Bees manager Frank

With Wolves rampaging into the area – one splendidly defended by Raya and his soldiers almost throughout – Ben Mee was seen to take a tumble before the ball was cleared and play continued elsewhere.

Mr Madley continued with his business, whistle poised, until the VAR controllers directed him towards the pitch-side screen. There he witnessed the head of Wolves striker Diego Costa come into contact with that of Mee.

Red card delivered, and a crestfallen Costa having departed the pitch, the game continued for another minute or so. In normal circumstances, some of the players might have sunk to the turf for a breather.

‘Not this time,’ said my mate Charlie. ‘Most of them have spent plenty of time down there already.’

Brentford: Raya; Ajer (substitute Roerslev, 83mins), Mee, Pinnock, Henry; Jensen (Damsgaard, 37), Janelt, Dasilva (Onyeka, 83) Mbeumo (Canos, 83), Toney, Wissa (Lewis-Potter 75).

Wolves: Sá; Somedo, Collins, Kilman, Bueno; B Traoré, Neves; A Traoré (Gonϛalo Guedes, 83), Nunes (João Moutinho, 41), Podence; Diego Costa.

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

Support The Chiswick Calendar

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

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To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Episode 103: The cricketing car park of Beirut

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.

Fernando Sugath, a Sri Lankan expatriate, has been playing cricket in Lebanon for 25 years, in some extraordinary places and despite some extraordinary obstacles. With Will Dobson, an English expatriate and a bookseller in Beirut, he recently organized the biggest cricket tournament in Lebanon’s turbulent history. They are the guests of Peter Oborne and Richard Heller in their latest cricket-themed podcast.


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Fernando describes his arrival in Beirut in 1996 and his first job as a cleaner. Desperate for a game of cricket he was delighted the following year when a compatriot invited him to play with his group – in a tiny underground car park. In 2000 they found a better location, the open-air car park of a Roman Catholic church, and Father Martin (a non-cricketing American) gave them permission to use it. They played there for some sixteen years with the church’s blessing.

In 2005, they staged a tournament in an excavation site, watched by 500 people from a Sri Lankan community of 80,000 in Lebanon. It was ended abruptly (with Fernando’s team in a winning position) by a very threatening encounter with armed soldiers from the Lebanese army. Some thirty players were detained for supposed documentation offences and were released only on payment of fines. The incident had a chilling effect on supporters and spectators. Tournaments were abandoned and the players went back to pick-up matches in the car park.

William arrived in Beirut in 2012 and soon developed the typical expatriate ambition to form a cricket club. He attracted sponsorship for it from Lebanon’s first micro-brewery, which, by good fortune, was owned by a cricket-loving American. After one of its early matches, involving English and Indian expatriates, he fortuitously encountered Fernando and his team mates playing at a rather higher level. He heard their story of the cancelled tournament, and enlisted his contacts, including the British ambassador to help them revive it. This time they were given police protection.

The British ambassador’s interest may have tipped the scales. Fernando says that although the Sri Lankan ambassador had given them constant support in organizing the tournaments his country did not have the influence in Lebanon to overcome official obstacles. He gives a vivid picture of the British ambassador, Thomas Fletcher (now Principal of Hertford College, Oxford) as a spectator, braving the rain and enjoying Sri Lankan food under an umbrella.

Tournaments resumed from 2013 at the car park but in 2017 they  encountered a jobsworth working in security for the local university, a co-owner of the car park. He made false reports against them about noise, alcohol and litter and the university banned them. No car had ever been damaged by the games of tennis-ball cricket, says Fernando, and in any case the university did not use the car park on Sundays, when they were played.

In spite of high-level lobbying and intense searching for other premises they were unable to resume cricket for four years. Fernando describes the heartbreak for the Sri Lankan community of losing such a link to their homeland. They used to go to their match venues even in heavy rain, just to feel part of a cricketing scene. He describes his childhood love of cricket and the efforts his parents made to fit work and home routines around matches.

The story got a happy ending when the church car park was restored to them by Father Richard (a Sri Lankan) after being used in April for the Sinhala and Tamil New Year festivities. He knew that the Sri Lankan community was eager to resume cricket and sought out Fernando to invite the cricketers back. The church fathers secured permission from the other owners.

With William’s help and the Sri Lankan ambassador’s he organized a fresh tournament expecting a maximum of sixteen teams. It actually attracted thirty, including four from the Alsama Project, which has expanded mightily since their memorable podcast with Peter and Richard last year. https://chiswickcalendar.co.uk/episode-39-the-sky-is-the-limit-for-alsama-cricket-club-where-refugees-from-syria-get-new-lives/

It is striking to hear Fernando compare the car park pitch and conditions to Alsama’s. In space and surface they are much closer to being “a real cricket pitch.”

The tournament received a heartwarming video message from Kumar Sangakkara, hailing the tournament as the very essence of cricket. It was typical of the great man to cut through the snobbery which tennis ball cricket often attracts.

There were several women’s teams and some from other nations, and from the UNIFIL peacekeeping forces, but cricket has yet to draw recruits from native Lebanese. Fernando plans another tournament very soon for women only from the migrant communities and to give more opportunities to Alsama.

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 102: Wendy Wimbush – fifty years of keeping but never settling scores

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.

Mind Matters – Three minute life hack?

Like all professions we undertake professional development activities and I like to mix technical training with a focus; for example over the last few years we have concentrated on psychiatric medications, psychosexual therapy, safeguarding and suicide to name some of them, as well as more experiential events.

These tend to be about having a time and space to focus on a particular concern with living, for example change and uncertainty.

Whilst we have a wonderful range and breadth of expertise in the UK, I also like to keep an eye on what my colleagues in the USA are doing and in October I was able to visit Tampa.

I had a mixture of meetings and experiential workshops planned but in the end it was an experiential therapeutic workshop that I was really left reflecting on.

Just like the experience of most other professions, the pandemic and the move to working online had a huge impact on my experience working as a psychotherapist.

Although working online was something that I was used to doing when in-person sessions were not feasible, it was rare to start and end therapy solely online.

As with other professions, a significant amount of our time is taken up with activities outside of the therapy room that are essential to how we work. Colleague meetings and our own therapy and training also adapted and moved online.

Again, as with other professions, now is a period of readjustment whereby a hybrid approach combines online and in-person interactions.

Being able to work online is something for which I am grateful. I am able to meet people and engage with their concerns when it would otherwise be impossible logistically; I am able to do more of the things that interest me and undertake training that would otherwise be impossible.

For example training in the specialism of psychosexual therapy would previously have been a logistical nightmare but working online made it possible.

However I have found myself looking for all opportunities to meet others in person and the experience of the workshop was so powerful I’ve wanted to share it.

There were a number of elements. Firstly, the title ‘Transcending your reality’ encouraged me and I saw, the other attendees, to reflect on what in life is experienced as difficult that might helpfully be transcended.

Secondly, we gathered in a lovely light space and were able to sit together in a circle with room between us which felt just the right number, creating for me an ambience that felt friendly and engaging.

Finally, there was the facilitator – Jaz. Originally born in India with a history that included moving to Hawaii and dividing his time running coaching schools both there and in Japan, he was now in Tampa and keen to share.

The event attracted other therapists and also non-therapists who had a specific concern with which they were hoping for help.

I was interested to see what the facilitator had to share and also to experience the environment he created. He welcomed everyone, offered a few words about himself and invited people to share their reasons for being there.

He attended carefully to everyone as they spoke but also the reactions of everyone to each speaker. Ultimately he was looking out for what was paining each member of the group.

Pain could be understood by dilemmas with which the sufferer felt stuck and transcendence was a possibility by finding a way to break the ‘stuckness’.

He was clear that for anyone suffering with trauma or other diagnosed mental health conditions that the group was not going to be an answer but said concerns that caused pain on a day to day basis might benefit from the workshop.

He combined dialogue with people about their concerns, information from psychology / neuroscience and exercises using the breath and meditation techniques.

It seemed to me that he looked to explore a dilemma to a point at which it no longer felt helpful and effectively find a way to move away from it and bring a new focus.

I particularly liked how he spoke about our potential to change our moods within three minutes and demonstrated this through breathing and focusing tools.

I witnessed how with a changed mood he asked people what help they needed now, asked others in the group to share any suggestions and then witnessed people finding new ideas and ways forward.

I sensed that his care and attention was crucial in him being able to respond in the right way. I cannot write about exactly what I witnessed with others as that is for them to share if they wish, but to illustrate my experience, with me he noticed when I pulled a blanket around myself (my temperature had dropped from sitting still so long and it seemed my fellow attendees were more used to the air conditioning than I) and he offered a second blanket.

I was struck by how the second blanket was exactly what was needed and that he had understood that even before I had.

As I shared goodbye hugs with the group I was left reflecting on the nature of the experience and I thought of the spirit or sense of trust and goodwill, camaraderie, that had been built in what seemed such a short period of time.

I think it was our being together in close physical proximity that in this context, as in much of my therapy work, that was crucial to what made it so memorable.

I’m not sure I would have appreciated the workshop as much as I did before the pandemic, I think about how separation often reveals to us the extent of our attachments and what has most meaning for us. It really is great to be back in person with others.

Nicholas Rose

UKCP accredited Psychotherapist

Psychotherapy, counselling, relationship therapy and coaching.

PGDip, MA, Adv Dip Ex Psych

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

nicholas-rose.co.uk

Author of Better Together 

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

Read more on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

‘Void’ discovered beneath Chiswick High Rd

Image above: Roadworks at the corner of Cranbrook Road and Chiswick High Rd

Chiswick High Rd closed between Chiswick Lane and Turnham Green Terrace westbound

Hounslow Council has announced that Hounslow Highway workers discovered a ‘void’ beneath Chiswick High Rd while they were carrying out planned works for cycleway 9 on Chiswick High Road at the junction with Cranbrook Road.

The void was discovered on Thursday 27 October. Workers closed the road as a priority measure to make it safe. LB Hounslow says:

‘The closure of the westbound Chiswick High Road between Chiswick Lane and Turnham Green Terrace is precautionary whilst council staff work with the utility companies and Transport for London to identify the cause and remedy.’

The eastbound route on Chiswick High Road remains open.

‘Staff are working hard to install improved diversions immediately and restore two-way traffic as soon as possible’ they say. ‘However, diversions will be in place for the time being.

‘There will be some disruption to traffic and the council apologises for the inconvenience.’

Further updates will be made available with relevant guidance on the Hounslow Highways and council websites.

Image above: Roadworks at the corner of Cranbrook Road and Chiswick High Rd

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar website

See also: Chiswick resident to be inducted into World Rugby Hall of Fame

See also: LB Hounslow urges residents to get Covid-19 booster as cases rise

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

Support The Chiswick Calendar

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

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

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Chiswick resident to be inducted into World Rugby Hall of Fame

Image above: Alice D. Cooper; photograph by India Roper-Evans

First Women’s Rugby World Cup organisers being given the prestigious honour

A Chiswick resident is to be inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame for her services to the sport.

Alice D. Cooper, a film maker, bee-keeper and a volunteer for various Chiswick-based groups including the Horticultural Society, Chiswick Flower Market and Dukes Meadows Trust, will become a member of the exclusive club along with six other pioneers who organised the first Women’s Rugby World Cup.

The World Rugby Hall of Fame recognises those who have made an ‘outstanding contribution’ to the game of rugby throughout their careers, while also demonstrating rugby’s character-building values of ‘integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect’.

Alice is one of six women who will be honoured at the event, which will take place during the at the Rugby World Cup 2021 semi-finals at Eden Park in New Zealand, on 5 November.

The other women who are also being inducted are Deborah Griffin (England), Sue Dorrington (England), Mary Forsyth (England), Kathy Flores (USA) and Fiao’o Fa’amausili (New Zealand).

Alice will receive a cap and a lapel pin at the private capping ceremony before the first semi final in November. Later, between the semis, she will join the other inductees in walking out of the tunnel at the Eden Park Stadium and be presented to the crowd of up to 50,000 people.

The event is likely to be covered live on ITV but, due to the time difference, it will only air in the UK around 5.00am.

Image above: Tweet from ITV to a film of Alice D. Cooper describing organising the world cup

“I’m enormously honoured”, says Alice

Alice told The Chiswick Calendar:

“I’m enormously honoured to receive this acknowledgement of the work I did alongside three others back in 1991, and to join an organisation that’s populated by all my rugby heroines and heroes. Once inducted, I will be one of 16 women in the cohort of 160 members.”

Speaking to ITV about organising the World Cup, Alice said:

“You had to make it look kosher. You had to make it look like this was a real, worldwide event. This wasn’t women trying to imitate or trying to create a parallel universe. We wanted to do something that was world-class.”

World Rugby Chairman and Hall of Fame inductee Sir Bill Beaumont said:

“It will be particularly special this year to honour those who have made an enormous contribution to the growth of the women’s game as pioneers and inspirers.

“From those who challenged the establishment to launch the first Women’s Rugby World Cup, to Kathy Flores, a pioneering driving force behind the growth of the women’s game in the USA, and a five-time Rugby World Cup participant, world champion and game legend Fiao’o Fa’amausili.

“All have made a significant contribution to the history of our sport and, it is with their pioneering spirit that we will accelerate the profile, growth and impact of women in rugby worldwide.”

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Sir Peter Blake’s Chiswick Empire artwork given to Gunnersbury Museum

See also: Shops lose up to 70% business since start of cycle lane roadworks

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

Support The Chiswick Calendar

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

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

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

LB Hounslow urges residents to get Covid-19 booster as cases rise

Image above: a vaccination; library image 

Seven percent rise in cases over the last week

LB Hounslow is urging borough residents to get a Covid-19 booster vaccination after official figures revealed a seven percent increase in the virus over the past week in the borough.

As winter approaches and pressures on local health services continue to mount, Hounslow Councils lead member for health stressed on Monday (26 October) the need for everyone to get their booster jabs.

Figures released by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) this week show there were 158 new positive cases compared with 146 for the previous week.

The NHS say the risk of both Covid and flu this winter are severe and best way to guard against them is to be vaccinated. The Council and its partners are urging residents to double up their protection by getting their winter flu vaccines as well.

Research has shown people who are ill with flu and Covid-19 at the same can become seriously ill.

The number of groups who can get their Covid-19 booster for free has expanded and now includes the over 50s.

Above: Clayponds Community Centre in Ealing – one of LB Hounslow’s vaccination sites

Where can you get your booster?

There are plenty of venues across the borough, including GP surgeries and pharmacies, where residents can get boosters.

The closest local vaccination site to much of Chiswick is Clayponds Community Centre at 168 Clayponds Gardens in Ealing, W5 4RQ.

Clayponds Community Centre offers walk-in vaccinations on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays between 9.00am and 2.00pm. On Saturdays – it’s between 4.00pm and 6.00pm.

Nationwide vaccine eligibility criteria still applies for walk-ins. You can check if you are eligible for a vaccine and book online via the NHS National Booking System or call 119. Alternatively you can contact the site directly on 07379 937600.

You can find the closest vaccination centre to where you live at nwlondonics.nhs.uk

A list of all the local vaccination sites in Hounslow can be found on hounslow.gov.uk

Help slow the spread of infection by getting vaccinated, says council

Image: Cllr Samia Chaudhary 

Reacting to the latest figures, Hounslow Councils Cabinet Member for Adults and Health Integration, Councillor Samia Chaudhary, said:

This winter, we are facing a lot of pressures around our health services and the cost of living crisis.

“We all need to do everything we can to support these vital services by taking responsibility for our health and getting the protection from these viruses we need.”

When you get your booster and vaccines, you are not only protecting yourself, you are helping to keep your family, friends and frontline workers safe.

We are seeing a slight increase in Covid cases in our borough. Working together, we can slow the spread of the infection and make sure our borough is winter ready.”

For more information on Covid-19 boosters and flu vaccines in Hounslow, visit: hounslow.gov.uk/get-winter-ready

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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South Parade roadworks delayed until December

Image above: traffic on South Parade in October

Resurfacing work that was to be done during half term will begin instead on 12 December 

The planned closure of South Parade, which had been due to take place for at least four days starting Monday 24 October to enable resurfacing work, has been pushed back to December according a local councillor.

Southfield ward councillor Andrew Steed told The Chiswick Calendar the work, which will see the road between the Fishers Lane mini-roundabout and the junction with Acton Lane completely close, had been postponed and would restart on 12 December.

Originally the work had been timed to coincide with the October half-term to minimise the inevitable traffic disruption, with the hope that work on the A4 would have been completed on time. Congestion from the ongoing work on the A4 has been creating extra pressure on South Parade as drivers seek an alternative route to travel west.

Transport for London announced earlier in October an extension to the A4’s westbound lane closures in Chiswick, after discovering the condition of the Cromwell Road Rail Bridge, the part of the A4 on the approach to Chiswick roundabout where it crosses over the railway line, was “worse than anticipated”.

It’s thought the reason for postponing the South Parade work is to prevent greater congestion in the area while the A4 works continue. The A4’s lane restrictions will now remain in place until at least Sunday 6 November.

Work has already started on the pavements and kerbs along South Parade, but this does not require any road or lane closures.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Chiswick resident to be inducted into World Rugby Hall of FameSee also: LB Hounslow urges residents to get Covid-19 booster as cases rise

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.

Appeal for information after Brentford man goes missing

Image above: photo released by Hounslow Police of Artur

Artur is thought to have gone missing around 21 October

Police are appealing for information after a man has gone missing from Brentford.

Hounslow’s police force shared a photo of Artur, 35, via their social media channels and said they were concerned for his welfare.

Artur might be driving a grey Mazda CX-5 SPORT.

The police have urged anyone who sees Artur, or has any information regarding his whereabouts, to call 101 referencing 6701/22OCT22.

Artur is thought to have gone missing at the end of last week, with police appealing for information at the weekend.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Chiswick resident to be inducted into World Rugby Hall of Fame

See also: LB Hounslow urges residents to get Covid-19 booster as cases rise

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.

Filling Chiswick with Flowers

Thousands of bulbs planted along Acton Lane

A group of volunteers planted bulbs over the weekend (22 – 23 October) along Acton Lane  in the grassy area behind the petrol station on South Parade known as Beaconsfield Gardens.

“In past years it has been somewhat neglected” says Karen Liebriech, director of Abundance London, “but last Sunday a crowd of people turned up to plant the first of thousands of bulbs to lift the heart in spring.”

Organised by Abundance London, the volunteers made a good start on planting the spring bulbs, but more help is needed, as they are by no means finished. There are 4,500 mixed daffs and narcissi to be planted in all, 500 snowdrops, 500 scilla and 500 crocuses.

Local residents Peter and Kate Evans donated the funds to buy all the bulbs; Jen Thorndycraft, a local gardener (Marlborough Garden Design) sorted the practical organisation. Later this week a corporate group will be coming to paint the “drab” low fence, newly fixed by Ealing Council.
The three Liberal Democrat councillors for Southfield ward were among those who took part in the planting. Cllr Gary Busuttil said:
“It was wonderful to see so many locals helping out and it was tough to remove the rocks to ensure the bulbs could be planted deep enough. I also would like to thank Abundance London who organised the event as well as the professional garden [sic] who came to help and direct us all.”
Abundance London thanks all those who came to help. They would be even more grateful if you would come (again) this weekend, 29 – 30 October.

So if you fancy a little gentle bending and stretching all in the pursuit of the community’s well-being, you would be most welcome this weekend, Saturday and/ or Sunday, to help out between 11am and 2pm.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Sir Peter Blake’s Chiswick Empire artwork given to Gunnersbury Museum

See also: High street retailers see footfall decline as cost of living rises

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.

World premiere of Ashley – Theatre at the Tabard, 1 – 5 November

Image above: Cast and production crew of Ashley – Theatre at the Tabard, L to R: Freya Alderson, Tony Traxler (playwright/director), Ant Foran, Edward Anderson, Elena Ferrari, and seated in front row: Angela McHale; photograph Shelly Waldman 

Based on a true story of a Catholic priest and a young gay man who went missing

Theatre at the Tabard is presenting a world premiere next week (1 – 5 November) by American playwright and Chiswick local, Tony Traxler.

Ashley is described as: ‘A darkly comic story about family, loss, religion… and office politics’. The play is based on a true story of a Catholic priest and a young gay man who went missing, Tony told me, in his home town in the United States.

“He went missing from this town in Ohio and we never heard anything more about him” said Tony.

The story is told from the perspective of an older woman who has dementia and in her demented state she lets slip the ‘true’ story of what happened to him.

“I used to be a hairdresser in New York” Tony told The Chsiwick Calendar “and I would hear all these stories. The way I’ve told it, it’s quite cheerful, until some quite ghastly discoveries are made and it becomes a nightmare.”

He has assembled some first class actors for the premiere. Angela McHale, best known for her ongoing work with Catherine Tate and Lee Mack, has appeared in Grange Hill, Eastenders, Coronation Street, Doctors and many other British TV productions.

Elena Ferrari made her UK debut with Opera North as Musetta in Phyllida Lloyd’s production of La Bohème (1995), and went on to perform Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte, Violetta in La Traviata and Miss Wordsworth in Albert Herring (2002) with the Company.

She has performed widely with English National Opera, English Touring Opera, Grange Park Opera and Opera Holland Park. She played Nettie in Rogers and Hammerstein’s musical Carousel at the Barbican.

Get tickets to see Ashley through Theatre at the Tabard’s website: Tickets

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Sir Peter Blake’s Chiswick Empire artwork given to Gunnersbury Museum

See also: Remembrance Day – Cosmo’s War

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.

Chiswick Rugby Club is recruiting

Image above: Chiswick Rugby Club

Over 18s needed

Chiswick Rugby Club is looking for new members. Since the pandemic they have dropped from three teams to two as older members have not gone back.

“28 – 32 year olds who may have played for another couple of years haven’t come back” Club Chairman Kelvin Campbell told The Chiswick Calendar.

Once people get out of the habit of playing and move on to other, less exacting, interests it is hard to get them back, he told us. The club is looking to interest over 18s to come and join them.

Contact: players@chiswickrugbyclub.co.uk

The season has seen a rather ragged start, as adult teams did not start back on time in September because of injuries. The club is lucky that it has an all-weather pitch, installed in 2018, but other clubs started the season with grounds too hard to play on because of the hot summer and lack of rain, so the RFU has started the season a week later than usual.

Image above: Chiswick Rugby Club juniors

Fireworks night

They are holding a fireworks night celebration on Saturday 5 November – a good opportunity for potential new members to check out the club.

The club is a perfect place for a fireworks celebration, since there is plenty of space and a well-stocked bar at the clubhouse. They may find they are busier than usual, since the big annual fireworks show at Ravenscourt Park has been scrapped and the free show at Chiswick Business Park is now ticketed.

Chiswick Rugby Club fireworks night in on Saturday 5 November, tickets £10 or £25 for a family ticket. The club house will be serving food and drink all night (please no alcohol to be brought in). Doors open 6.30pm. Book tickets through the club’s website: Fireworks night.

It is very much a family night as members come with their partners and children, many of whom belong to the flourishing minis (under 11) and junior (under 14) sections.

Image above: Fundraising for CRY

Raising awareness of CRY – Cardiac Risk in the Young

Chiswick Rugby Club is hoping to raise money for children’s charity CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young), after a member’s close relative died and another member was diagnosed with heart-related illness.

Former youth coach Alastair Pickering has been raising money for the charity since 2018 in memory of his sister who died suddenly while studying drama at Warwick University. Another club member, Josh Hoyle recently suffered from a heart related illness which caused him regular chest pains.

After being diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat and finally being allowed to play rugby again after a year out, Josh and the club are eager to make sure those who might have an underlying heart condition discover it sooner rather than later.

CRY offer checks for young people to see if they have any signs of heart disease or whether they have potential to develop heart disease. These check-ups give young people an opportunity to take steps which could prevent potentially fatal heart-related illnesses which might otherwise go unnoticed.

The minis will be wearing the CRY logo on their shirts this season and the club hopes to raise money to enable them to provide a heart check service at the rugby club.

Read more about CRY here: Cardiac Risk in the Young

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Shops lose up to 70% business since start of cycle lane roadworks

See also: High street retailers see footfall decline as cost of living rises

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.

Sir Peter Blake’s Chiswick Empire artwork given to Gunnersbury Museum

Image above: Sir Peter Blake’s artwork of Chiswick Empire theatre

When asked to think of an image for Chiswick “that was the very first thing that sprang to mind” – Sir Peter Blake

The collage by Sir Peter Blake of the artists who performed at the Chiswick Empire theatre has been donated to the Gunnersbury Park Museum.

Abundance London commissioned the artist to design it when they created the Chiswick Timeline mural in 2017 and raised funds to refurbish the area of Chiswick Common by the railway bridge on Turnham Green Terrace, creating a piazza, installing new public benches and replanting the area.

At the opening of the piazza they unveiled Sir Peter Blake’s collage on a large (4 x 4 metre) sheet of vinyl, establishing a place for community artworks on the railway embankment which they have dubbed the ‘W4th plinth‘.

Since then every six months or so the artwork has been replaced by a new one. Artists apply to have their work shown and the winner is chosen by a committee which includes members of Abundance London and Sir Peter Blake.

There have been several successors to Blake’s collage of music hall performers at the Empire theatre – Penny the Orangutan by David Kimpton and Richard Lawton; Stay At Home collage by students at Chiswick School; A Quiet Sarnie Under the Tree of Life by Suzan Inceer and the most recent artwork to fill the space – a photograph of the earth from space, reproduced with the permission of NASA.

Max Miller and Liberace among the artists Sir Peter saw perform at the Chiswick Empire

Chiswick resident Sir Peter became known when he designed the album cover for the Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album, co-created with Jann Haworth. Their ‘fans’ in the collage were an interesting mix of celebrities and historical figures including Hindu guru Sri Yukteswar Giri, actress Mae West, comedian Lenny Bruce, dancer Fred Astaire and the 19th century British prime minister Sir Robert Peel amongst others.

“Crowds” are a recurrant theme in Sir Peter Blake’s work. His collage of music hall artists at the Chiswick Empire, demolished in 1959, included Jimmy Tarbuck, Marty Wilde, Tommy Cooper, Laurel and Hardy, Morcambe and Wise, Max Miller, Peter Sellers and Schnorbitz the dog, amongst others – 55 performers in all.

Max Miller was one of his favourites, he told The Chiswick Calendar.

“The very first time I came to Chiswick was to go to the Chiswick Empire, I’d never been to Chiswick before. Probably to see Tommy Steele I imagine, I was a regular visitor from then on and so when I was asked to do the Timeline and think of an image for Chiswick, that was the very first thing that sprang to mind, was to do something about the Empire.

“It was a tragedy it was ever pulled down” he told us in an interview in 2017.

Video above: Sir Peter Blake interviewed by Bridget Osborne in 2016 at the Bedford Park Festival Green Days weekend

Celebrating the contribution of LGBTQ artists

Sir Peter’s collage will now be shown at Gunnersbury Museum as part of their permanent collection.

“The Museum curators approached Abundance to acquire the work which offers important insight not only into the work of our most eminent local artist, but also to LGBTQ representation in the performing arts over the past century at the nationally famous Chiswick Empire Theatre” said Karen Liebreich MBE, director of Abundance London.

“At the time we created a second vinyl, in case of vandalism, which has never been displayed. Sir Peter signed this and we have kept it in safe storage, to be sold when Abundance London is in need of funds to continue its work. If any individual or organization is interested in acquiring this piece, please get in touch. Note that it is 4m x 4m!”

Images above: Steve Nutt and Karen Liebreich delivering Sir Peter Blake’s Chiswick Empire collage to the museum

Submissions open for the next community artwork to go on show

Submissions are now open for the next community artwork to be shown on the W4th Plinth, to be displayed on the railway embankment wall at Turnham Green Terrace.

“Your chance to go big for free on a prominent local site” said Karen.

The closing date is Saturday 31 December 2022 for display next year. Apply here: The Fourth Plinth for W4.

Images above: Artworks which have been shown at the W4th Plinth

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: The West End has a new star, former Chiswick student Adam Wadsworth

See also: Chiswick In Film – Location, location, location

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

Support The Chiswick Calendar

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

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

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Episode 102: Wendy Wimbush – fifty years of keeping but never settling scores

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.

Wendy Wimbush has given a lifetime of service to cricket. She is best known as the BBC scorer in the 1970s but has also worked in other capacities in other countries and with some of the most famous names in cricket. She is the guest in the latest edition of the cricket-themed podcast by Peter Oborne and Richard Heller. In Peter’s unavoidable absence, Roger Alton takes up the attack.


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Wendy describes her entry into scoring, aged 11, as a clergyman’s daughter who was “good at sums.” When her father formed a male cricket team he set her to work with Diana Rait-Kerr’s celebrated but challenging manual on how to score. In their first match, the opposition’s experienced scorer guided her efforts and she was captivated then and forever after by the magic of cricket numbers and the complex task of making them reconcile. Blessed with great powers of concentration, she has never had to allocate imaginary runs to batters or bowlers as so often happens in lesser cricket.  1-3 minutes

Wendy did not follow any structure for progress in her career: she scored for pleasure as a spectator at county matches in Kent and would regularly answer requests for detailed information from neighbours. “I was doing my job before I even knew it existed.” She also kept scrapbooks on England and Kent cricket. One wet day at Lord’s in 1972, she was spotted by the BBC scorer, Bill Frindall, pasting cuttings in her book. He invited her to the commentary box – and just three weeks later she was scoring her first game for the BBC. Others followed and then came another surprise – an invitation to work for E W “Jim” Swanton, the legendary cricket correspondent and close-of-play summarizer. 3-6 minutes

She gives a revealing portrait of Swanton, belying his crusty image and suggesting how deeply he had been marked by his ordeal as a Japanese prisoner of war. Proudly she describes her duties (typing, editing, researching, keeping notes for him when he left the press box) as the “amanuensis” for the man she addressed for years as “Mr Swanton”. She especially relished being vindicated when he questioned her identification of a fielder who had taken a catch. 7-9 minutes

Wendy describes her meticulous preparations for meeting likely information requests in the days before the answers could be summoned by computer. Everything was typed and assembled into a pack for press people and commentators. She prepared separate cards with vital information for each player and kept four updated in readiness for each moment of play – two bowlers and two batters. She cannot remember being stumped by a request for information – or handing a colleague the wrong player’s card. Her duties also included creating captions rapidly and accurately.  She is scornful about some of the pointless statistics given out now. 18-22 minutes

Working for Swanton and earning his trust gave her authority in the male-dominated cricket world of the 1970s. She did not have to break a glass ceiling. But she narrates two sexist incidents which would now be thought shocking but were then considered routine. 10-11 minutes

She lists her three idols, Richie Benaud, Ted Dexter and Tom Graveney. She especially admired Benaud’s gift for silence in commentary and ordinary conversation. She had worked for Ted Dexter after Swanton and pays tribute to his unique and multi-dimensional personality. Travel with him was exciting when he elected to fly his private six-seater aeroplane. He prepared her to take over if anything happened. His motorbikes and cars were almost as exciting. She reveals his regular cricketing anxiety dream. 11-18 minutes

Wendy describes her experience in the press box in the English summer of 1977, when there were rumours of a secret major development for the touring Australian cricket team. It was a time of subdued conversations hastily abandoned. She was actually working for the Australian manager, Len Maddocks, and rushed to join him at Hove when the news of the Packer scheme leaked at a party given by Tony Greig. She recalls the shock and disappointment of the four Australians not selected by Packer, and her efforts to calm one of them, Kim Hughes, whom she admired deeply as a player. She also had a good relationship with Dennis Lillee, Jeff Thomson and Rodney Marsh, even after Lillee knocked her out – for once accidentally rather than deliberately, demonstrating his action in the commentary box. In common with other previous guests, she had a deep respect for the character of Ian Chappell, especially for his loyalty to former colleagues in adversity. 26-33 minutes

She had several encounters with Don Bradman, one in the aftermath of an asthma attack in the dust of Adelaide which forced her to leave the scorebox. The book for that session was in the amateur hands of Richie Benaud and Rodney Marsh. 33-36 minutes

Wendy worked in Australia for ABC in the aftermath of the Kerry Packer affair. She explains the personal and technical background to the invitation which came to her from Bobby Simpson (former Australian captain, later commentator and coach). In spite of Packer’s victory in securing broadcasting rights in Australian cricket, he did not have the reach to transmit through the huge distances of the Australian countryside, which still depended on ABC’s boosters. After a long legal battle, ABC won back the right to transmit cricket there. Wendy enjoyed eleven years of escape from English winters working for them. 22-25 minutes

Wendy describes her long service to the Cricket Writers Club as Treasurer and Assistant Secretary. The hardest assignment was organizing its annual lunch and corralling its attendees. 45-47 minutes

Returning to the art of scoring, Wendy recalls its early history with notches and sticks. Very early on in her career, she had evolved her own system with coloured pencils based on a linear grid rather than the orthodox scorebook. It made it much easier to reconstruct a game ball by ball and record optional details,  and avoided the clutter (at lower level cricket) when a bowler bowls a great number of wides and no-balls. The tempo of modern cricket, with fewer dot balls, may have made life more difficult for scorers, but she is more concerned with the loss of subtlety and intricacy which she loved to capture when scoring county games at the start of her career. She is glad to have retired before cricket became swamped with T20 – and refrains from comment on the Hundred. 36-44 minutes

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 101: Mike Coward: sixty years of great cricket writing

Listen to all episodes – Oborne & Heller on Cricket

Peter Oborne, Richard Heller & Roger Alton

Roger Alton, guest host for this episode, was formerly editor of The Observer and The Independent, and is currently the Sports Columnist for The Spectator. 

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.

Shops lose up to 70% business since start of cycle lane roadworks

Image above: Roadworks at the end of Cranbrook Rd

“Are people going to sit inside with this noise?

The owners of Parlé Pantry, the vegan cafe on the corner of Cranbrook Rd and Chiswick High Rd, say they have seen a 70% drop in business since the latest phase of work began on the cycle lane.

Thai restaurant Torthai next door has also seen a decrease in the number of customers coming in and, says Dee Taylan, one of two sisters who own Parlé Pantry, the hairdresser Livia at 97b has also been badly affected by the roadworks.

Work began on the latest instalment of the cycle lane, Phase 3b, on Thursday 13 October. The work includes new entry treatments and raised crossings at the junctions with Cranbrook Road, Brackley Road, Devonshire Road, Linden Gardens and Duke’s Road as well as new eastbound and westbound bus shelters at Cranbrook Road, Mayfield Avenue and Linden Gardens.

The work is scheduled to continue up to 2 December and then restart after the Christmas and New Year holidays on 3 January. Phase 3b is planned to be completed by 31 January, 2023.

“I have already lost 70% of my revenue” Ruken Taylan told The Chiswick Calendar.

“Are people going to sit inside with this noise? All the entrances are closed so it’s affected us a lot.

“We’ve been struggling with the pandemic for two years and with the cost of living stuff, the prices go up.”

Now this.

Image above:  Parlé Pantry at 97 Chiswick High Road

Businesses complain of lack of communication

Thai restaurant Torthai, at 99 Chiswick High Road, has similarly has seen a drop in revenue, especially at weekends.

Both businesses said they felt they had been caught off-guard by the roadworks and claim the council’s communications could have been better. LB Hounslow has refute this, saying they had been diligent with their communications.

Ruken Taylan said if she had known about the works sooner, she might have made arrangements to close the business for renovations, which would have saved on operating costs.

I’ve been trading here over four years. They said we wanted to send the letter but we didn’t find a Parlé Pantry – this is their excuse. Last week or two weeks ago they brought the letter and said: that’s the plan; we are starting work.”

Image: Dee and Ruken Taylan; photographed last year

Council “should offer compensation” says Parlé Pantry

On Sunday (23 October), which is one of the shops busiest days, Ruken said the shop made a fraction of what it usually makes and she had to send all her staff home. Asked what she would expect from the council to remedy the situation, she said compensation should be offered for the dip in sales.

“They should [offer compensation]. If I knew then maybe I’d have closed the shop and done my interior design or change something and close the business. I’m seriously just so annoyed.”

Image above: Parlé Pantry 

“It’s like starting again but worse” Cllr John Todd

We spoke to Cllr John Todd, in whose ward the shops are.

“These are major works” he said. “We can’t stop it. We’ve tried. It’s like starting again, but worse.

“The trouble is, Cranbrook Rd is narrow and the cafe relies on being able to have seating outside.

“The transport officer has told us they plan to stop work [along the whole stretch of the High Rd where they are currently taking place] from 3 December – 1 January to allow businesses to carry on trading over the Christmas period.”

Image above: Torthai at 99 Chiswick High Road

Torthai’s sales impacted too, says owner

Torthai’s owner, Worawat Pitakpitilert, said he has noticed a drop in sales too:

“It’s a parking area, and people use this side road to come and park their cars and then come to the shops and restaurants in the area. But now they don’t know where to park and how to come into this road.”

He said he had been unaware the roadworks were about to start until the day they started.

“They didn’t give us a letter or send a letter or anything like that… I’m not quite sure what they’re doing either.

“Whatever the reason is, I just want [the roadworks] to be gone as soon as possible”

Image above: the building site at the Cranbrook Road/ High Rd junction

LB Hounslow “doing all we can” to minimise disruption but will not offer any compensation or rate rebate

The Chiswick Calendar talked to Hounslow Council. Cllr Katherine Dunne, Hounslow Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Climate, Environment and Transport Strategy told us although the work would be continuing until January, there would not be work going on all the way along the High Rd for all that time. The section at the end of Cranbrook Rd was due to be completed within four weeks of the start date – ie. mid November.

The Council says letters and construction update newsletters were sent out by post two weeks in advance of the works and information was also presented to the Chiswick Area Forum in September this year, though Jon Todd’s fellow ward councillor Jack Emsley points out this is demonstrably not true, as the September Chiswick Area Forum was cancelled, and the businesses we spoke to are not alone in saying they did not receive notice of the works.

Phase 3b was ‘publicised widely’ via the Council’s media channels, including on social media and the Hounslow Matters residents’ newsletter, which is delivered to more than 32,000 subscribers across the borough.

Image: Cllr Katherine Dunne

Cllr Dunne said:

“Hounslow Council and its partners at Hounslow Highways and Transport for London are working hard to make sure that any disruption caused by the construction work on Cycleway 9 is kept to an absolute minimum.

“Through careful planning, we have ensured that transport routes will remain open throughout the construction period… We are working hard to ensure that residents and visitors have access to parking. Where we have to suspend parking bays, we will do so as quickly as possible.

“Inevitably there will be the potential for some disruption to travel due to these works, but we are doing all we can to minimise this. We will continue to keep residents and businesses updated throughout the construction period. We thank the community for their continued understanding and support.”

The Chiswick Calendar asked the Council to confirm whether there would be any possibility of compensation or whether since these are exceptional circumstances they would consider not charging business rates for the period of the roadworks.

The Council has confirmed it “will not be offering any discount or compensation to affected businesses.”

Businesses and residents who have questions or comments about the construction for phase 3b, can email Hounslow’s Traffic team at traffic@hounslow.gov.uk.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Former Ealing Central and Acton MP awarded life peerage

See also: Bus crash near Acton Green “shook the neighbourhood”

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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High street retailers see footfall decline as cost of living rises

Image above: Chiswick High Rd; photograph Anna Kunst

Footfall 11% lower than it was in 2019

UK retailers have seen a marked drop in footfall over the past few weeks as the cost of living has risen and political uncertainty has played out in the economy.

Retail analysts Springboard measure footfall week by week at this time of year in high streets, retail parks and shopping centres around the whole of the UK. In the week beginning 16 October the drop across all those destinations averaged out at – 2.3% from Sunday to Saturday.

High streets fared worse than retail parks and shopping centres. Whereas the drop in retail parks was – 1.5% and in shopping centres it was – 0.7%, in high streets it was – 3.3%.

To put this in context, footfall in shops and restaurants bounced back after the worst of the pandemic. Compared with this time last year footfall across all UK destinations is up 5.9%, but the economy still has a long way to recover from where it was pre-pandemic. Compared with 2019 footfall it is down by 11.1%.

Several retailers have told us anecdotally that business has been noticeably quieter on Chiswick High Rd over the past few weeks.

Footfall has fallen steadily over the past few weeks

Image: Diane Wehrle

Diane Wehrle, Marketing and Insights director at Springboard told The Chiswick Calendar the drop in footfall last week was noticeable because it occurred every day and was part of a pattern which had shown a decreasing performance week on week over the past few weeks.

“It is indicative of a feeling that people are feeling pressured. Retail footfall is a very good good indicator of consumer confidence. It is a very responsive metric.”

It is responding to what is widely described as an economic crisis — ‘with increasing inflation, rising energy bills and an estimated £40bn hole in the public finances — after weeks of market turmoil following Truss’s “mini” budget’ as the Financial Times puts it.

Image: Simon Emeny

“We need Sunak’s government to focus on the basics”

As the Conservative Party announced Rishi Sunak as the new prime minister the hospitality industry were quick to make it clear what business wants and expects from him.

Kate Nicholls, Chief executive of the hospitality industry’s trade body UK Hospitality, said she hoped Sunak would “end the period of turbulence”.

“The hospitality sector continues to battle soaring energy costs, worker shortages and a cost-of-living crisis dampening consumer confidence, which is threatening the future of thousands of businesses” she said.

Simon Emeny, Chief executive of Fuller, Smith & Turner, which owns many of the pubs in Chiswick, expressed his confidence in the new prime minister:

“He is someone who is confident enough to surround himself with high quality, competent people who are capable of challenging him and we haven’t seen that for the last two or three prime ministers,” he told the FT.

Image: Andrew Dakers

“We need stability of leadership and markets”

Andrew Dakers, Chief Executive at West London Business, told The Chiswick Calendar:

“It’s been all our mantra for weeks.  We need stability of leadership and markets.  Greater stability makes it possible for West London/ Chiswick businesses to plan for the future and invest.

“We also need Sunak’s new government to refocus on the basics: Access to markets, continuing existing work to align the skills system with employer needs as well as a deep understanding of, and action on, barriers to businesses transitioning to net zero.”

Diane Wehrle said:

“For me it’s all about wanting to see support for the retail industry by dealing with the rating system, an archaic, outdated tax which penalises retail businesses by favouring online businesses unfairly.”

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Shops lose up to 70% business since start of cycle lane roadworks

See also: TfL wins court order to restrict Just Stop Oil protests in 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.

New cafe-bar set to open in old Outsider Tart premises

Image above: My Place in Soho

Soho based company set to expand with second branch in Chiswick

The owners of My Place, a cafe-bar based in Soho, are hoping to open up another branch in Chiswick on the corner of Chiswick Lane and Chiswick High Rd in the old Outsider Tart premises.

A planning application submitted to LB Hounslow is seeking permission for an all-day restaurant with internal and external seating at the 83-85 Chiswick High Road site.

My Place in Soho is an all-day coffee and dining spot ‘loved by lifestyle bloggers and travellers’ they say. The owners are particularly proud of their ‘brilliant coffee, breakfast & brunch… vibrant evenings and a well made espresso martini.’

Plans submitted with the application suggest no change is planned to the interior of the premises.

A company called FSD London Ltd is making the application and it is understood that this entity shares directors with the company that owns the Soho business. FSD London Ltd are seeking a licence to serve from 10.00am every day to 11.00pm Sunday to Thursday and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.

Image above: Outsider Tart, the previous business at 83-85 Chiswick High Road 

Outsider Tart was repossessed by the landlord earlier this year when the previous tenants failed to pay their rent.

Any comments on the application can be sent to licensing@hounslow.gov.uk. You can view the application on Hounslow.gov.uk

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Shops lose up to 70% business since start of cycle lane roadworks

See also: TfL wins court order to restrict Just Stop Oil protests in 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.

Massage – the healing power of touch

SPONSORED CONTENT

Guest blog from Ten Health & Fitness

In the UK, we are not exactly known for being a tactile nation. Especially post-Covid when even the most enthusiastic huggers and cuddlers amongst us have found ourselves more unsure or reluctant to lean in physically. Yet the benefits of touch are significant and given the impact of the past couple of years it’s more beneficial and necessary now than ever.

Our experts in Ten Health and Fitness’ Massage Team know those benefits can be even more significant and valuable when that touch comes in the trained, focused and meaningful way that a massage provides.

All too often Massage is seen as either as a luxury or a ‘nice-to-have’ service, or to ease sore, tight muscles and help heal sprains and strains. But for the expert Massage Therapists at Ten Health and Fitness, it’s also a highly effective and scientifically proven way to help alleviate symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression.

The science of touch

We all know how good it can feel to have a hug from someone close to you, or to receive a pat on the back for a job well done. That’s because of the signals these touches send to our brain, triggering the release of Oxytocin– commonly known as the love drug – as well as the two other happy hormones, Serotonin and Dopamine.

But according to Ruth McKinnon, Ten’s Head of Massage, the intentional, informed manual contact of Massage Therapy goes even further. Along with boosting the ‘happy hormones’, it has been proven to lower levels of the hormone Cortisol.

Cortisol is a key component in our stress response, essential for quick reactions in emergencies. But when present long-term, even in lower quantities, it’s harmful for the overall health of the body.

Increasingly, as Ruth explains, Massage is starting to be seen as a valuable element in health care to help relieve symptoms of anxiety, stress, and sleeping disorders. And with a greater understanding of Massage’s ability to improve both physical and wellbeing, it’s also increasingly used in cancer units and palliative care departments.

Even when there are fewer physical symptoms to treat –pain, sore muscles, twinges and niggles etc – much of the emotional benefit we receive from a massage is due to the positive effects of touch itself.

In 2013, a study was conducted that measured the effects of massage in on occupational stress experienced nurses in by Intensive Care Units. One group were given twice weekly massages for four weeks, while the second group received no massage at all. The results showed a significant decrease in occupational stress scores for the first group, compared to the group that received no massage – showing the benefits regular massage can have in combating the everyday stresses that affect so many of us.

How much massage do you need?

Ruth advises that, excluding injury recovery, an hour’s massage every 4-6 weeks is adequate for most of us, whether that’s Sports Massage for regular exercisers to keep the posture aligned, aid mobility and deal with any niggles and twinges, or Therapeutic Massage to help maintain overall physical and mental wellbeing. But having said that, if you can fit in treatments more regularly, there’s no reason not to. (Unlike exercise, Massage is not something you can easily overdo.)

Finding the right therapist for you

In terms of how to find a suitable therapist, Ruth recommends doing some research.

First, find out their qualifications or experience, but also be sure to read their bios or any ‘About Me’ pages, which will give you a better idea of where their interests and passions lie within their chosen field. (For instance, someone who works solely with sports teams may not initially seem like someone who works with the mental side of massage, but reading where their interests lie may indicate otherwise.)

Ten Health and Fitness has been part of the Chiswick community since 2008, with its friendly welcoming studio located opposite the Post Office in Barley Mow passage just off Chiswick High Road.

The award-winning fitness and wellness provider offers Massage, Physiotherapy, Personal Training and Clinical exercise alongside the trademark Dynamic Reformer Pilates classes that have kept it’s loyal clientele lengthened strengthened and toned.

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

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Books of the month

See also: Andrea’s film reviews

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

Support The Chiswick Calendar

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

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

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Andrea’s film review – Decision to Leave

Decision to Leave ⭐️⭐️½  Review by Andrea Carnevali

A detective investigates a man’s death in the mountains. Out in cinemas now.

I’m always a bit apprehensive whenever I have to write about any film which carries five stars reviews pretty much everywhere I turn, but I’ve got to be honest, even if that makes me appear a bit dumb, I found this film really hard to get into.

The South Korean writer-director Park Chan-Wook is a critics’ darling; he has a string of critical praised films on his resume (Oldboy, Lady Vengeance and The Handmaiden, just to mention a few), so it’s not surprising that this latest effort (after a six-year hiatus) ended up not just being heralded as a great film, but also winning the best-director prize at Cannes.

In its defence, Decision to Leave does indeed look very stylish and there are some great directorial flourishes (though for fans of his previous strong and daring work this is a much more restrained affair), and yet I couldn’t help the feeling that it was one of those instances where “style” was actually distracting and it seemed to overwhelm everything else, most of all and crucially the emotions of the characters at the centre of the story.

The intricate narrative with its nonlinear editing and the constant time shifts was confusing to say the least and more than once I found myself completely lost wondering whether I was just not clever enough to follow it all.

The subtitles didn’t really help much, there was so much to take in: graphics, text, actors, dialogue that I wanted to pause and rewind the film more than once.

The film clearly aims to be a modern noir (with a great Wei Tang as the “femme fatale” too), with echoes from Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, David Fincher’s Zodiac, mixed in with a romantic erotic thriller (minus the sex part), police procedural and even slapstick.

It begins with a mystery as a businessman / climber is found dead at the bottom of a mountain. Did he jump? Was he pushed?

It’s all very promising stuff and it has the potential to be a gripping story, but while it was often very atmospheric and mesmerising, it was also very slow and confusing.

I can’t shake the feeling that Park Chan-Wook seems to mistake intriguing ambiguity with complete disorientation and bafflement.

And then all of a sudden, another story comes into play, with another murder… And it all looks a bit disconnected from what I’ve just been watching. What is Park really trying to say? Why are there so many subplots and unnecessary characters?

When you really stop and look at it, it all makes very little sense and not in a trashy entertaining way.

Yes, there is some good chemistry between the central leads and many skilful cinematic moments, but at 138 minutes it was all just too long. I waited and waited for an explanation at the end, which never came.

Decision to Leave is out in UK cinemas now.

Andrea Carnevali is a Bafta winning film maker who lives in Chiswick, and a co-creator of the Chiswick In Film festival.

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

Chiswick In Film festival: Chiswick In Film festival will be back next year

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

Support The Chiswick Calendar

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

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To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here

Don’t waste your pumpkin! – Jo Pratt recipe for pecan pumpkin pie

Images above: Jo Pratt’s latest book The Flexible Baker; her recipe for pecan pumpkin pie

An autumnal dessert from Jo Pratt’s latest book – The Flexible Baker

I dread to think how many tons of pumpkin is wasted every year at Halloween. It is quite a thankless task hollowing out the stringy innards and the big ones farmed specially for carving do not make very good eating, but if you buy one that is labelled for eating, the sweet flesh makes great soup and also a lovely autumnal dessert.

Jo Pratt has recently published the fourth in her ‘flexible’ cookbook series, The Flexible Baker. In it she offers her recipe for pecan pumpkin pie.

“I haven’t come across the two together” she tells The Chiswick Calendar. “I’ve had pecan pie and I’ve had pumpkin pie and I thought I would try mixing the two. It was quite challenging getting the right amount of sweet and savoury.

“The family had to eat five pies before I got the recipe right, and as I wrote this during lockdown I kept leaving parcels on neighbours’ doorsteps to get them to try it as well.”

Image: Jo Pratt

“It shouldn’t be that if you are vegetarian you have to eat something different”

Jo is a chef who lives in Acton and has been involved in various foodie initiatives locally, including the Cookbook Festival and organising supper clubs in Chiswick.  She has worked with big name chefs such as Jamie Oliver, Gary Rhodes, Gordon Ramsay, and John Torode on TV and earlier this year hosted food demonstrations at Pub in the Park in the gardens of Chiswick House, which she will be doing again next year.

Her flexible series – The Flexible Vegetarian, The Flexible Pescatarian, The Flexible Family Cookbook, and now The Flexible Baker are designed to be adaptable for a family or group of people who have different dietary requirements.

“It shouldn’t be the case these days that if you are vegetarian you have to eat something different” she says.

“This is designed for people who like to do a bit of baking but find they come up against a brick wall when they have someone coming round who can’t eat eggs or is gluten intolerant.”

The 75 baking recipes offer adaptable options for gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free and vegan baking, ranging across savoury and bread baking, cakes and traybakes, biscuits, cookies, pastries, puddings and desserts. Each recipe has little icons on the page and there is a dietary index at the back of the book so you can see at a glance what is suitable to bake for whom.

Pecan pumpkin pie is not suitable if you have a nut allergy of course, but is good for vegans and those who are gluten intolerant as it is egg-free and wheat-free.

Images above: Jo’s Pecan pumpkin pie; Jo baking

Pecan pumpkin pie recipe

Jo’s introduction

Pecan pie and pumpkin pie are both well-loved, classic recipes, though traditionally neither are suitable for vegan or gluten-free diets, so I have come up with one pie to suit all. My husband Phil wasn’t convinced about this working when I explained my idea. He had a slice … and very quickly went back for more, so in my book, that’s a winner.

The pastry is made using pecan nuts and has a toffee sweetness from the addition of dates. To top it off there are maple-coated pecan nuts for the crunch.

Ingredients

For the pastry

175g/6oz/1 3/4 cups pecan nuts
35g/1 1/4oz porridge (oatmeal) oats (gluten-free)
100g/3 1/2oz/ 3/4 cup pitted dates
70g/2 1/2oz coconut oil, melted
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp fine sea salt

For the filling

425g/15oz pumpkin purée – fresh *
(or you can buy tinned pumpkin puree so you can make this at any time of year)
200ml/7fl oz/generous 3/4 cup almond milk
40g/1 1/2oz/ 1/2 cup cornflour (corn starch)
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
3 tbsp maple syrup
100g/3 1/2 oz / 1/2 cup dark brown muscovado sugar

* Jo says pumpkin puree is very straightforward to make. You will need a cooking pumpkin (not one that is being sold for carving), around 20cm / 8 inches in diameter. This is her recommended method (though if you are using the pumpkin for decoration you will have to find another way of scraping out the flesh!)

Cut in half and scoop out the seeds and any stringy parts from the inside. Place cut side down on a parchment lined baking tray. Bake at 200 degrees C / 180 degrees C fan / 400 degrees F / gas 6 for around 40 – 50 minutes until the flesh is really tender when you insert a sharp knife, and it starts to come away from the skin.

Once it’s cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh from the skin into a blender and blitz until really smooth (you may need to do this in batches). Cool completely before using or storing in the fridge for up to one week.

For the topping

4 tbsp maple syrup
100g/3 1/2oz/1 cup pecan nuts

Prep

25 minutes, plus 30 minutes chilling

Cooking 

65 minutes

Serves 

8-10

To make the pastry, put the pecans and oats in a food processor and blitz to a fine crumb. Add the dates, coconut oil, nutmeg and a pinch of salt. Blitz really well until you have a think doughy consistency.

Press the dough into a loose-bottomed 25cm/10 inch tart tin, pushing into the edges and up the sides to evenly line the inside of the tin. Place in the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 180 degrees C / 160 degrees C fan/350 degrees F/gas 4.

Line the pastry case with a piece of baking parchment, making sure the edges of the pastry are loosely covered. Cover the base with baking beans or rice and put in the oven for 15 minutes, then remove the parchment and baking beans.

Return the pastry case to the oven and cook for a further five minutes until the pastry case is firm and lightly golden.

For the filling, place all the ingredients into a large bowl and whisk together until smooth. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the pastry case and spread into an even layer. Bake for 35 minutes until the filling is starting to set.

For the topping, mix together the pecans and maple syrup, until the nuts are coated. Arrange on top of the pie and return to the oven for a further ten minutes until golden.

Cool the pie completely in the tin, for a couple of hours at room temperature, before turning out and cutting into wedges to serve.

You can buy The Flexible Baker from all good bookshops and online from Amazon here: The Flexible Baker

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: School’s Out – book review

See also: Chiswick In Film – Location, location, location

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.

MPs back Rupa Huq’s plans for buffer zones around abortion clinics

Image above: Rupa Huq with counter-protestors outside Marie Stopes clinic on Mattock Lane in 2016

Anti-abortion protestors face criminal record should they breach buffer zones

MPs have backed Rupa Huq’s proposals to install buffer zones around abortion clinics in England and Wales, which campaigners hope will deter protestors from harassing women from seeking abortions.

The Ealing Central and Acton MP has long campaigned for buffer zones to be introduced outside abortion clinics. She was was among the 297 MPs to vote in favour of the NC11 amendment to the Government’s Public Order Bill, with 110 MPs voting against. The bill still has several stages to clear before becoming law, including scrutiny in the House of Lords

Under the legislation, harassing, obstructing or interfering with any patient attending an abortion clinic will become a criminal offence. Protesters found guilty of breaching the buffer zones, which would extend 150 metres from the clinics, could face up to six months in jail.

Ealing Council established the country’s first buffer zone, around the Marie Stopes clinic in 2018. Since then, other councils have proposed similar schemes.

Rupa Huq “delighted” amendment was passed

Dr Huq said she had witnessed the protesters at the Mattock Lane clinic blocking the pavement in the past and said the issue was very close to her heart, as it was an issue specific to Ealing.

After the vote, Huq said she was “delighted” the amendment passed and that the newly appointed Home Secretary Grant Shapps voted in favour. “Finally”, Huq said, “National protection from harassment for abortion clinic users passed by Commons”. She added:

“I’ve spoken countless times on this issue in Parliament and across the media. I’m grateful to my colleagues for backing this legislation.”

“Many MPs came up to hug and congratulate me yesterday in the aftermath of the vote,” she added.

“What began in Ealing now leads the nation.”

Above: Tweet by Rupa Huq

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Former Ealing Central and Acton MP awarded life peerage

See also: TfL wins court order to restrict Just Stop Oil protests in 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.

Brentford 0, Chelsea 0

Image above: Before the match

How refreshing to see two gentlemen coaches respecting one another and two teams battling ferociously, but mostly fairly – not a punishment card in sight – to draw a thrilling match at the Gtech Stadium last Wednesday at the end of which nobody could seriously dispute the outcome.

First, the camaraderie between Brentford’s Thomas Frank and the recently appointed Graham Potter, of Chelsea. Before kick-off they shared a pitch-side microphone to swap compliments about each other and their opposing teams.

The warmth Brentford fans feel towards Frank is well known throughout the Premier League – ‘We’ve got super Thomas Frank’, sincerely, if somewhat tunelessly sang the home crowd – and Potter, with a reputation already established at Brighton, had gone off like a rocket at Chelsea, with his team unbeaten after their first six games.

Then came the match, with the Bees supplying the fireworks for the first half-hour and both Ivan Toney and Bryan Mbeumo testing the vigilance of Spanish keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, who, it transpired, was to dominate his area from then on.

Frank was later to claim the Bees had the best of the first period and he might well have been right.

Image above: What’s the plan?

Three consecutive corners each came close and constant pressure from Frank Onyeka and thoughtful distribution from Mathias Jensen made sure Chelsea’s talented defence – like most of the side, with unpronounceable surnames – had to concentrate fully while the midfield supplied slick and speedy passes to fuel breakaway attacks.

After 15 minutes, midfielder Conor Gallagher departed from the action, apparently unwell rather than injured, which peculiarly saw him stopping on his way to the dugout to tie a bootlace. Hoots of derision from home fans were about as contentious as they got and Mateo Kovaĉić proved an energetic stand-in.

If Chelsea had more possession, Brentford created the more clear-cut chances throughout and Mbeumo came close, but not that close, when clipping a long-range effort from around the halfway line designed to catch Arrizabalaga way out of his goal.

The shot didn’t travel far enough, and the keeper retreated to collect it without difficulty, but ten out of ten to Bryan for ingenuity reminiscent of Toney’s similar final goal of his hat-trick against Leeds.

Image above: Closing down Cucurella

England star Mason Mount showed class continually testing Brentford’s resolute back three and the same can be said of Toney, whose opposing trio were as capable as their tongue-twisting names were poetic. César Azpilicueta, Trevoh Chalobah and Kalidou Koulibaly? My case rests.

As the game progressed, substitutions were introduced by both sides, with Raheem Sterling beefing up the Chelsea forwards and – surprisingly – Mount being replaced by Carney Chukwuemeka, possibly on the grounds that Mount was too difficult a name to pronounce.

Coach Frank, usually a five-subs man, restrained himself to four pairs of fresh legs, including those of a lively Shandon Baptiste.

Four added minutes awarded by passive referee Jarred Gillett resulted in Frank sending on Saman Ghoddos for all of two of them and striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – name of the day in my book – strive even harder for that elusive goal, having replaced the impressive Kai Havertz.

Image above: Bee together

Post-match, coach Potter told the BBC: ‘Over the course of the game, a point is fair. They had chances and we pushed at the end.’

And coach Frank commented: ‘Kepa was fantastic. Every time Chelsea come here, their goalkeeper is man of the match.’

My mate Charlie joined the applause of an appreciative crowd before observing: ‘Great stuff. But I wish I’d brought an interpreter.’

Brentford: Raya; Zanka, Mee, Pinnock; Roerslev, Onyeka (substitute Baptiste, 60), Janelt (Ghoddos, 90+2), Jensen (Dasilva, 73); Henry, Mbeumo (Wissa, 73), Toney.

Chelsea: Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Chalobah, Koulibaly; Loftus-Cheek, Gallagher (Kovacic, 15), Jorginho; Mount (Chukwuemeka, 62), Cucurella (Pulistic, 61); Havertz (Aubameyang, 81; Broja, (Sterling, 62).

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

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 – Bros

Bros ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Review by Andrea Carnevali

Two men with commitment problems attempt a relationship. Out in UK cinemas from 28 October.

Bros may just be the ultimate modern rom-com: on the one hand it follows the winning formula and all the clichés of romantic classics like When Harry Met Sally and You’ve Got Mail (both of which are actually acknowledged in the film itself), while on the other it brings an open and honest gay love story to mainstream cinema.

A bold and welcome move by a major Hollywood studio (the film is being released by Universal), but sadly didn’t seem to have quite paid off in the US when the film only grossed less than $5 million on its opening weekend.

It remains to be seen whether the international audience can warm up to it more than the Americans did.

Bros might be a little bit long but it’s packed with enough humour (with some laugh-out loud moments too) and smart and witty dialogue to rattle along without too many hiccups.

Not everything may be as clever and ground-breaking as they thinks it is, but there’s a honesty and real heart at its centre, plus some great chemistry between the two main characters, played by Billy Eichner (more famous in America for his appearances in the Saturday Night Live show) and the likeable Luke MacFarlane (Some of you may remember him in the hit TV series Brothers & Sisters) which keeps it soaring and eventually makes you warm up to it.

Having said that it’s impossible not to notice how at times Bros feels just a little bit too preachy and heavy-handed for its own good, as if the film makers were constantly thinking of carving a little place in history for themselves and the film itself.

There’s an air of self-importance, which permeates it all and I just wished it could have followed more the template of the Netflix series Uncoupled, which essentially does the same thing as this film, but without forcing it down your throat.

Ironically, despite all its ambitions, Bros feels already a bit late in the game, but hey, better late than never.

Bros is out in UK cinemas from 28 October.

Andrea Carnevali is a Bafta winning film maker who lives in Chiswick, and a co-creator of the Chiswick In Film festival.

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

Chiswick In Film festival: Chiswick In Film festival will be back next year

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

TfL wins court order to restrict Just Stop Oil protests in London

Image above: Just Stop Oil protestors block traffic at Baron’s Court on Tuesday morning

Injunction gives greater powers to police to use against protestors

Transport for London has won a court order which will restrict the ability of Just Stop Oil protesters to block roads in the capital, making it easier for police to take pre-emptive action against protesters and to secure jail sentences.

The decision came hours after activists blocked the A4 at Barons Court Tube station for two hours on Tuesday morning (18 October) in their ongoing campaign which demands the Government halt all new oil and gas licences.

The TfL injunction was approved by the High Court on Tuesday after the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan was involved in a meeting with Home Secretary Suella Braverman, Cabinet Office minister Nadhim Zahawi and the Metropolitan police on Sunday (17 October) to discuss the disruption being caused by the eco protesters.

Tuesday’s protest resulted in congestion eastward back as far as Warwick Road and westward past Hammersmith Flyover to Sutton Court Road in Chiswick. Transport for London then closed the A4 eastbound at the Hogarth Roundabout.

Protestors were on Talgarth Road from about 7.45am. Some were sitting in the road, while others either glued themselves to the road or locked on to each other. Metropolitan police officers attended and unglued those who had stuck themselves to the road or each other, 26 people were arrested on suspicion of wilful obstruction of the highway.

Image above: Mayor of London Sadiq Khan

“Protest is a cornerstone of our democracy… but it’s got to be done in a peaceful, lawful and safe way”, says Sadiq Khan

Mr Khan told the Evening Standard on Tuesday:

“As far as Just Stop Oil and other protesters are concerned, I accept that there is a climate emergency and I accept we have got to take action, and I accept protest is a cornerstone of our democracy.

“But it’s got to be done in a peaceful, lawful and safe way. It’s not benefiting our wish to change public opinion if you are stopping buses or stopping public transport or causing criminal damage to pieces of art – or on a new Elizabeth line.

“We are trying to encourage people to walk, cycle or use public transport to join the cause tackling climate change. It’s made the cause much harder when stories emerge of ambulances being delayed, fire engines being delayed, people not being able to get to hospital appointments.

“It’s really important we try to educate people about the dangers of climate change and air pollution, change public opinion but also change the opinions of Government. My worry is the tactics of Just Stop Oil are achieving none of these things.” The mayor added:

“It is a very specific injunction. This is not stopping Just Stop Oil protests. What it is saying is: you have got to understand the parameters of protest, and that means it should be peaceful, lawful and safe.”

“We will not be intimidated by changes to the law”, says Just Stop Oil

A Just Stop Oil spokeswoman said:

“We will not be intimidated by changes to the law, we will not be stopped by injunctions sought to silence non-violent people. These are irrelevant when set against mass starvation, slaughter, the loss of our rights, freedoms and communities.

“The greatest threat to law and order is the climate crisis and the Government is seeking to extend UK fossil fuel extraction, planning to make the lives of ordinary people worse, planning the deaths of millions. This is a criminal act.

“The government is criminally failing in its fundamental duty to protect the people. The social contract is broken. As citizens, as parents and children we have every right under British Law to proect ourselves and those we love.

“We will continue to resist until the government makes a meaningful statement to end new oil and gas.”

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Former Ealing Central and Acton MP awarded life peerage

See also: Bus crash near Acton Green “shook the neighbourhood”

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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Fireworks at Ravenscourt Park scrapped

Image above: fireworks in Ravenscourt Park in 2018

Fireworks cancelled this year, to be replaced with a laser display for 2023

Hammersmith and Fulham council has decided not to hold a fireworks display in Ravenscourt Park or Bishops Park this year. They have plans to introduce a new laser light display in 2023 to celebrate Bonfire Night.

The council says the new laser display will be less disruptive and more environmentally friendly, as Bonfire Night is often the most polluted evening of the year, with smoke from bonfires and fireworks building up in the atmosphere.

The smoke contains a unique mixture of metal particles used to propel and colour fireworks. These include red (strontium or lithium), blue (copper) and bright green and white (barium).

A council statement says:

‘‘We thank you for your patience while we develop this major new event.

‘‘If you do plan to celebrate with fireworks this Bonfire Night, please do so safely and courteously to your neighbours.’’

The council’s statement recommended people follow advice from London Fire Brigade, who have suggested alternative ways to celebrate Bonfire Night at home, with ideas including making your own Guy Fawkes and bonfire crafts, decorating the home, purchasing glow sticks and baking.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Former Ealing Central and Acton MP awarded life peerage

See also: Bus crash near Acton Green “shook the neighbourhood”

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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Council offers “Network of warm spaces” for people struggling with heating bills

Image above: Chiswick public library; photograph A McMurdo

Council offers libraries as somewhere to go to stay warm

Hounslow Council is looking at ways to support residents who will find the cost of heating their home a struggle this winter.

With energy prices rising dramatically, inflation at a 40-year-high, interest rates rising and the energy price cap increasing after April, Hounslow Council hopes that by offering a network of warm spaces in public buildings across the borough they will help people who cannot afford to keep their heating on at home.

Everyone is welcome, they say, to come whenever the buildings are open. They will be able to have a hot drink, use the wifi and relax without having to have a more specific purpose for being there.

The ‘warm spaces’ on offer initially are libraries, from Monday (24 October). The Council is also liaising with voluntary organisations about using their facilities too, and have plans to extend the scheme to some council-run leisure centres, such as Brentford Leisure Centre, many of which have recently been installed with energy-saving upgrades.

Brentford Fountain Leisure Centre is one of 29 public buildings in LB Hounslow which was recently installed with low carbon-energy efficiency sources, which the council say saves millions of kilowatts of gas and electricity, meaning energy costs in these buildings is significantly cheaper.

Image above: solar panels on top of Brentford Fountain Leisure centre – which was recently retrofitted with energy saving upgrades to reduce costs

‘[We’re] making it easier to find support’, says council

The Borough is also running Cost of Living sessions ‘to give residents access to guidance and support on everyday issues connected with the rising cost of living in a pressure free environment.’

They held the first ‘Cost of Living Marketplace’ in September and have announced details of further events taking place over the next two months, with more sessions planned through to April 2023.

There are six sessions coming up in Chiswick before Christmas:

Wednesday 26 October at St Nicholas Parish Church hall (St Denys Hall), W4 2PH, from 9.30 – 11.30am

Thursday 3 November at Chiswick Library from 4 – 6pm

Thursday 17 November at Chiswick Library from 4-6pm

Wednesday 30 November at St Nicolas Parish Church hall (St Denys Hall), W4 2PH, from 9.30 – 11.30am

Thursday 1 December at Chiswick Library from 4-6pm

Thursday 15 December at Chiswick Library from 4-6pm

See the full list of dates and places around the borough here: Cost of Living Marketplace Roadshow

Councillor Shantanu Rajawat, Leader of Hounslow Council, said:

“With the continued threat of Covid-19 and flu season upon us, I would urge people to make sure they are doing all they can to stay well this winter. Nobody should be exposed to freezing temperatures in their own homes.

“Please look out for information about our warm spaces, and make sure you protect yourself, your family, and our NHS this winter by getting fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and flu. The last thing anyone needs this winter is to be suffering from avoidable seasonal viruses.”

Councillor Shivraj Grewal, Cabinet Member for Communities and Equalities, said:

“We know this winter will be an extremely difficult time for many people in our borough, including families who have never struggled with money before. It’s incredibly important that we rise to this challenge and ensure we provide people with support so that they can access the help and advice they need.

“Our first Cost of Living Marketplace event successfully helped over a hundred people find out about the support available to them and I’m pleased that we can now roll out more events of various sizes at different times and locations across Hounslow.”

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: TfL wins court order to restrict Just Stop Oil protests in London

See also: A4 westbound lane closures extended as bridge condition “worse than anticipated”

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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Award-winning musicians performing in Chiswick Friday 21 October

Image above: Ben Goldscheider, Imogen Royce

Ticket prices going towards efforts to make St Peter’s church more accessible

Three award-winning young musicians are performing at St Peter’s Church in Chiswick this Friday at 7.30pm (21 October). St Peter’s Acton Green on Southfield Road said they were “delighted” to be welcoming the three musicians.

The programme includes a range of music, including from solo flute through to horn, flute and piano, including Debussy Syrinx, Dukas Villanelle, Schubert Auf dem Strom and Mozart Selections from The Magic Flute and Horn Concerto No 4 in Eb major.

Ben Goldscheider, (Barbican ECHO Rising Star 2021/22 and BBC Young Musician Finalist 2016), Imogen Royce and Imma Setiadi, who play horn, flute and piano respectively will giving the concert to support St Peter’s and its ‘Community Hub’ project to create an ‘accessible, flexible and welcoming space’ for wider community use.

Tickets are £15.00 for adults and £5.00 under 25s and students. Free admission for under 18s accompanied by a ticket holder (a maximum of four under 18s per accompanying adult). For full programme details and to book tickets, click here.

Father Fabrizio Pesce, Vicar of St Peter’s Acton Green said:

“We are very grateful to Ben, Imogen and Imma as this is a charity concert in support of St Peter’s Community Hub project. So please, do join us! And bring your family – it’s free for under 18s. It’s going to be a fantastic concert and while you’re enjoying the music you’re also supporting a charity, so thank you very much.”

Image above: St Peter’s Church on Acton Green, Imma Setiadi

More information about the performers

Ben Goldscheider is an internationally acclaimed soloist and chamber musician. Nominated by the Barbican as an ECHO Rising Star 2021/22 he gives recitals at concert halls across Europe and made his BBC Proms concerto debut earlier this year. He is a member of the Pierre Boulez Ensemble and principal horn of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra.

Ben was a prize-winner at the 2019 YCAT International Auditions and a BBC Young Musician Concerto Finalist in 2016. Born in London, in 2020 Ben completed his studies with honours at the Barenboim-Said Academy in Berlin with Radek Baborák.

Imogen Royce performs as a freelance flautist with many of London’s most prestigious orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the English National Opera Orchestra. She is a past member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe Academy and a prize-winner in Eastbourne’s Young Soloist of the Year.

Imma Setiadi performs as a soloist and chamber musician across the UK. She has been a prize-winner at the BPSE Concerto Competition and Royal College of Music Beethoven and Piano Chamber Music competitions and has been selected for LPO Foyle Future Firsts, and as a young artist for the Park Lane Group and Leeds Lieder Festival.

She is currently a Leverhulme/Pro Corda Fellow in Chamber Music at the Royal College of Music.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Former Ealing Central and Acton MP awarded life peerage

See also: Bus crash near Acton Green “shook the neighbourhood”

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

Support The Chiswick Calendar

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To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

A4 westbound lane closures extended as bridge condition “worse than anticipated”

Image above: Traffic on the A4

Lane restrictions in place until at least 6 November

Transport for London has announced an extension to the A4’s westbound lane closures in Chiswick, after discovering the condition of the Cromwell Road Rail Bridge, the part of the A4 on the approach to Chiswick roundabout where it crosses over the railway line, is “worse than anticipated”.

The bridge has had no major refurbishment since it was built over 80 years ago, and it has gradually deteriorated over time. TfL says the works will ensure the bridge is safe for years to come and will avoid the need for more disruptive and expensive repairs at a later date.

Originally scheduled to be back to three lane operation on Sunday 23 October, the A4’s lane restrictions will now remain in place until at least Sunday 6 November.

There will now be a full closure of the A4 westbound between Chiswick Roundabout and Hogarth Roundabout on Saturday 5 November from 10.00pm to 5.00am and a full closure the following night eastbound 10.00pm to 5.00am. A planned closure of the eastbound road from junction 3 of the M4 to Chiswick Roundabout overnight on Sunday 23 October is no longer taking place.

Work on the road was suspended for a few days to clear the road for the Queen’s funeral procession to pass by on route from Westminster to Windsor. TfL have not mentioned this as a reason the work is taking longer, but it is also a contributing factor.

Although Phase Two of the project is one week behind schedule, TfL says it still intends to have the work completed before Christmas.

Image above: the Cromwell Road Railway Bridge

Timeline of work… and possible delays

Phase Three of the project will start two weeks later than intended, but TfL say this will be less disruptive as the westbound carriageway will be fully reopened.

From 7 November to 9 December the eastbound carriageway of the A4 will be reduced to two lanes between Chiswick Roundabout and Hogarth Roundabout. The slip road to join the A4 eastbound at Chiswick Roundabout will be closed.

After Phase Three, there will be two full directional weekend closures on the A4 eastbound between M4 junction 2 and Hogarth Roundabout to enable the completion of the works and the safe removal of traffic management measures.

These will take place from 11.00pm on Friday 9 December to 5.00am on Monday 12 December and from 11.00pm on Friday 16 December to 5.00am. on Monday 19 December.

If there are further delays due to weather conditions and unforeseen circumstances the plan is for two additional full directional closures from 11.00pm on Friday 6 January to 5.00am on Monday 9 January and from 11.00pm on Friday 13 January to 5.00am Monday on 16 January. No work will take place on Christmas and New Year weekends.

The pavement on eastbound carriageway side between Oxford Road North and Harvard Hill will be closed from 7 November to 9 December. Diversion routes, via the subway at Harvard Hill and the underpass on Wellesley Road, will be signposted.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Former Ealing Central and Acton MP awarded life peerage

See also: Bus crash near Acton Green “shook the neighbourhood”

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.

Remembrance Day – Cosmo’s War

Images above: Cosmo Clark; Remembrance Day at St Michael & All Angels Church, Bath Rd

A play based on the World War 1 letters of the artist Cosmo Clark

By Torin Douglas

St Michael & All Angels Church will mark Remembrance Day next month with a staged reading of Cosmo’s War, a play based on the World War 1 letters of the artist Cosmo Clark, to and from his family at 44 Rusthall Avenue, Bedford Park W4.

Cosmo Clark, who volunteered for active service with the Artists’ Rifles at the age of 17, won the Military Cross and so did his brother Percy. He documented his experiences in drawings and letters from the front and later became a well-known artist. His work is held in a range of collections including the Government Art Collection and the Imperial War Museum.

Cosmo’s father was also a well-known artist.  James Clark painted The Great Sacrifice, described as “the most popular painting of WW1”. It depicted a dead soldier in British uniform at the foot of a ghostly figure of Christ on the Cross: millions of copies were sold and it was used in stained glass windows and as a war memorial in public buildings.

Read more at James & Cosmo Clark: WW1 artists in Bedford Park: chiswickbookfestival.net

After the war, in 1922, James Clark painted The Salutation mural which is displayed in the north aisle of St Michael & All Angels Church. It depicts the Visitation of the Virgin Mary to her cousin Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist. The Remembrance Day reading will mark the painting’s centenary.

Bernard Adams, the writer of Cosmo’s War and a former BBC producer, says:

“The play is, literally, a documentary. Every word spoken, other than by the narrator, is taken from the marvellously preserved letters the family exchanged, detailing their deeply contrasted lives.”

Father Kevin Morris, the vicar of St Michael & All Angels, says:

“This is a remarkable story of World War 1, rooted in the artistic community of Bedford Park, and powerfully told through the family’s letters. It seemed appropriate to read the play on Remembrance Day in the centenary year of The Salutation, which James Clark painted for St Michael & All Angels.”

The staged reading, with music and images, will take place at 7.30pm on Friday November 11th in St Michael & All Angels Church. Refreshments will be on sale from 7pm and in the interval. There will also be a collection for the charity Combat Stress, which supports veterans. Tickets, costing £10 for adults and £5 for under-20s, are on sale here: smaaa.org.uk

Cosmo Clark’s granddaughter Annie Davis, a graphic designer, will attend the reading with her sister Francesca and other family members. She designed the book of Cosmo’s War, which will be on sale in the church, and she and Bernard Adams spoke about it at the Waterstones Local Authors Party in the Chiswick Book Festival: chiswickbookfestival.net

The play was originally performed in 2018 as a rehearsed reading at Christ Church, East Sheen. It was due to be performed at St Michael & All Angels in November 2020 but the church was closed because of COVID.

Torin Douglas is a member of St Michael & All Angels Church, one of the organisers of the Bedford Park Festival and Director of the Chiswick Book Festival.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Frank Henry Glanville obituary

See also: The West End has a new star, former Chiswick student Adam Wadsworth

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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Frank Henry Glanville obituary

Images above: Frank Glanville in celebratory mood; with his wife Maureen

Frank Henry Glanville, born 6 January 1934, died 30 September 2022

Obituary by Julia Langdon

Frank Glanville, who has died aged 88, was a man who saved people’s lives. He did so – literally – for most of his working life as a member of the London Ambulance Service for over 30 years, retiring with a distinguished record both on the road in active service and thereafter as a station office manager.

In retirement he saved even more lives – but this time it was figuratively – as a one-man chauffeur who could always be relied on for rescue in a crisis.

Frank made the wheels go round for everyone. He took people shopping – and if they couldn’t manage on their own, he did the shopping for them. He drove old people to hospital and sometimes young people to appointments their parents couldn’t manage. He took expectant mothers carefully to the clinic and he brought their new born babies home.

He would take travellers to the airport and brides to the church. He was always punctual but he would wait without complaint if his fare was late. He had the patience of the saint that he was. He was kind and sweet and always pleased to see everyone. He had a smile that came from the bottom of his heart.

In a tribute to Frank his (unofficially) adopted son, the Welsh musician Steve Balsamo called him “a proper old school gent” who never lost his cool and was always level-headed.

“He used to say to me: ‘Never panic unless you have to – and you’ll know when that time is – as it’s a waste of time and energy’.”

Many of the memories of Frank posted on the London Ambulance website reference his reputation as “a true gentleman”. His appointments in the service included working at St George’s Hospital, Hyde Park Corner, as an officer at Waterloo Station, and as a station officer in Fulham and Isleworth.

His own fund of stories included rescue work at the horrific Kings Cross fire in 1987, taking Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull to hospital after what he described to Steve Balsamo as “a drug-fuelled domestic” and trying to save Judy Garland from herself during what was to be her last stay in London for her final shows at the Talk of the Town.

Frank had been called many times to take the legendary singer to the Priory in an attempt to help her overcome her addiction to alcohol and prescription drugs; and it was he and a colleague who were called to her Belgravia house when she died as a result of an accidental overdose. Frank told Steve: “She was tiny, like a little bird, but still very beautiful.”

Frank and his beloved Maureen lived in Geraldine Road, Strand on the Green, for as long as anyone could remember. Maureen was the indefatigable receptionist at Strand dentists, who ran the show with an unflappable charm and occasional help from Frank on technology issues. They both loved their work and lived for each other.

They had no children of their own but they were wonderful with those of others. They had countless friends in the neighbourhood, in the street and in the ambulance service; friendships they nourished with warmth and hospitality.

And then Steve and Tracy Balsamo moved next door and into their lives. Frank used to say that Steve, the singer and songwriter, famed for starring in the 1990s London production of Jesus Christ Superstar, was the son he and “Mo” would like to have had.  Steve called Frank his second Pa.

After Maureen’s death in 2016, Steve and Tracy looked after Frank, who became as much a part of their family as their children Issy and Frankie – who was named in Frank’s honour. When it was no longer practical for him to stay in Geraldine Road or at home in Wales with Steve and Tracy, he moved to Glasfryn House, a care home in Swansea.

And when he could no longer go to Annies or the Bell and Crown for a steak, he went to Verdis in The Mumbles, Swansea, for a glass of prosecco and home made tiramisu. Steve kept all his Chiswick chums cheerfully in touch with a WhatsApp group called Frank’s Welsh Adventure. He died peacefully, with Steve at his side, and he was still smiling.

Julia Langdon is a political journalist who lives in Strand on the Green.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: A constitutional outrage’ writes Julia Langdon

See also: Chiswick In Film – Location, location, location

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.