Winning photographs in the 2024 Bedford Park Festival Photography competition

Image above: Winning photograph by Karl Benzie

And the winner is …

This is the winning photograph in the 2024 Bedford Park Festival Photography competition, which took place over the past week. Karl Benzie’s picture was chosen as the overall winner by judge Clive Arrowsmith.  It was also voted best in the Portraits & People category by the public.

These are the category winners:

Chiswick Life

Winner Jennifer Griffiths

Animals

Winner Roger de Montfort

The Natural World

Winner Ljubima Woods

Landscapes and Seascapes

Winner Steve Shotton

The Built Environment

Winner Simon Ratigan

Serendipity

Winner Pat Meagher

Portraits and People

Winner Karl Benzie

 

Each of the category winners receives a £50 voucher for printing and framing from Snappy Snaps Chiswick. The overall winner also receives a voucher for £250. You can see all the entries online here on The Chiswick Calendar.

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See also:

See also:

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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Two women taken to hospital after Acton flat fire

Image above: London Fire Brigade officers attend the fire

Two women suffer from smoke inhalation

Two women were taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation following a fire at a flat at Park Rd North in South Acton on Tuesday afternoon (11 June).

Six fire engines and around 40 firefighters attended the fire in a four-roomed third floor flat in a 13-storey residential block. Crews from Chiswick, Ealing, Hammersmith and surrounding fire stations attended the scene.

The London Fire Brigade said:

“The Brigade’s Control Officers have received around 15 calls about the fire. The Brigade was called at 13.43 and the fire was brought under control by 14.29. The cause of the fire has been recorded as undetermined.”

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Planning permission secured for ‘Creative Campus’ at Chiswick House & Gardens

Image: Chiswick House, The Cedar Yards- Approach From Conservatory; image We Made That

Project will “transform” Chiswick House & Gardens estate

Planning permission has been granted for a project at Chiswick House and Gardens which will see the creation of new community, creative and learning facilities.

The Cedar Yards project will see various internal and external ‘back of house’ areas such as the car park behind the offices, which the Trust says are currently underused, repurposed to create what it describes as “creative and community campus”.

The project is being designed by architects We Made That and Chiswick House and Gardens Trust (CHGT).

Holly Lewis, Co-founding Director at We Made That, said:

“Securing planning consent for these projects will transform the estate and deliver so much value to both the charitable trust and local community – we are very much looking forward to turning our vision into a reality over the coming months and years.”

Image: Chiswick House The Cedar Yards Illustrations (We Made That)

Fruit garden, volunteer base and ‘net zero learning hub’

The plans include a new ‘net zero learning hub’, an indoor space enabling horticultural and creative learning activities for more than 7,000 participants annually, alongside office and social space for staff, gardeners and volunteers.

To support over 200 volunteers, a new volunteer base will be created on site for ‘practical amenities’.

A fruit garden will involve the conversion of a currently unused and overgrown late 17th Century ‘secret’ walled garden to provide a new outdoor garden for local groups, schools, and families to participate in horticulture-themed activities throughout the year.

The Creative Campus involves the conversion of the currently underused historic Back Sheds and Stables to create workspaces for up to 100 artists and makers.

Xanthe Arvanitakis, Director of Chiswick House and Gardens Trust, added:

“By re-working unused ‘back of house’ areas at Chiswick House, we are creating a space that will boost cultural and creative activity in the local area, create more public green space, and allow us to expand our valuable learning and community work, which is currently running at capacity.”

Six people taken to hospital after house fire near Gunnersbury Park

Image: Elderberry Road; Google Maps

Fire believed to have been caused by sunlight on a glass object

Three adults and three children have been taken to hospital after a house fire on Elderberry Road in Ealing on Tuesday evening (11 June).

The blaze saw the first floor of the two-storey house, which is close to Gunnersbury Park, fully destroyed by the fire while the ground floor was partially damaged.

All those taken to hospital were suffering from smoke inhalation.

According to the London Fire Brigade, the fire is believed to have been accidental and caused by sunlight reflecting off a glass object within a room.

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said:

“These sorts of fires are not as rare as you would think. They can happen all year around, but as we head into summer and the sun gets stronger, it’s really important that reflective items such as mirrors, crystals and glass ornaments are kept out of direct sunlight.”

The Brigade was called out at 7.01pm and the fire was under control by 8.25pm.

Four fire engines and 25 firefighters from Chiswick, Heston, Park Royal and Hammersmith fire stations attended the scene.

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Vintage Tube event cancelled due to vandalism

Image: The 1938 train calling at Acton Town station; London Transport Museum

Extent and type of vandalism undisclosed by the London Transport Museum

A planned heritage train journey on the Piccadilly line scheduled for Sunday (9 June) was cancelled after the 1938 train was vandalised.

The London Transport Museum, in an announcement made on Saturday evening, did not disclose specific details about the damage or the location where it occurred. Ticketholders were informed directly about the cancellation.

The restored 1938 Tube Stock train was set to travel from Acton Town station through central London, reaching Oakwood station. The journey, which would have taken approximately 50 minutes each way, was planned to include six return trips between 10am and 8pm.

During the journey, passengers would have had the opportunity to hear from a museum curator about the extensive work and care involved in maintaining the 86-year-old train. Additionally, a mini-talk at one station was to focus on architect Charles Holden and his significant influence on London’s station design.

The 1938 stock train was the first deep-level Tube train to house all its electrical equipment beneath the floor, merging the cutting-edge technology of its time with the distinct style of the late 1930s. These trains operated on several deep-level Tube lines in London for fifty years. The meticulously restored train comprises four cars, featuring green and red moquette seating, grab handles, and distinctive Art Deco light fittings.

Image: The interior of the carefully refurbished carriage; London Transport Museum

Funding education: is wealth transfer a good solution?

The award winning wealth management and investment experts Killik & Co have opened a new space on Devonshire Road – House of Killik Chiswick. The Chiswick Calendar is pleased to share their guest blogs on how best to plan and save to acquire the wealth to achieve your goals.

Killik & Co won “Best Discretionary / Advisory Wealth Manager’ in the 2023 FT Investors Chronicle Awards.”

Funding education: is wealth transfer a good solution?

As costs for education continue to increase, transferring wealth between generations can be a good solution for funding school and university fees.

In this article Phil Sole, Relationship Manager at House of Killik Chiswick, shares key points to consider when transferring wealth to fund education.

Building in flexibility

The most important place to start when developing a financial plan is to ensure you have a clear understanding of your circumstances and requirements. You will then need to consider how much flexibility to build into your financial arrangements. For example, the giver should consider:

  • who will require access to the funds (e.g., the parent, grandchild, or both)
  • how often the giver will need to withdraw funds from this wealth
  • any age restrictions on when they can access the funds

Asking these types of questions helps to establish the most suitable strategy to achieve these goals, as the way you manage the wealth, both before and after funds are transferred to the donee, will have implications for how much tax is payable.

Understanding tax implications

Inheritance Tax is often a concern for later life, as tax of 40% is usually payable on estates with a value of over £325,000 at the point when someone dies. Gifts given up to seven years before death may also be taxed at 40%, with a lower rate payable on gifts made earlier in this period, making it mutually beneficial for a donor to make a gift earlier to both reduce the value of their estate and to leave a generous gift for future generations.

In addition to transferring wealth tax-efficiently, families should be careful to ensure this will be received in a tax-efficient way to prevent additional tax being payable as a result of making the gift.

Knowing when to gift

Starting to save as soon as you can is usually the best course of action to achieve your financial goals, however, the tax rules around gifts made in the seven years before death, mean that sometimes it is better to wait for a time before transferring your wealth. It is also necessary to assess whether you can afford to make the gift and sustain enough income in the years that follow, should you need to fund costs for long-term care or other large expenses.

If your family’s circumstances mean you need to review financial arrangements earlier, a more suitable option may be to invest a lump sum with the aim of generating a return or income for when you need it in the future.

More ways we can help with financial planning

Wealth transfer can offer a mutually beneficial and tax-efficient way for a gifter to help fund education. However, you should carefully consider how and when the gift should be made, and we have only provided general guidance in this blog post. The actual impact on your financial arrangements will vary based on individual circumstances, and a financial plan will require regular reviews to respond to changes in expenditure (e.g., increases in school and university fees) and updates to tax legislation.

To learn more about how we can help you to save, plan and invest to meet the financial goals you have for your family, please drop into House of Killik Chiswick for a complimentary chat or email chiswick@killik.com.

Please be aware that as with all investments, your capital is at risk and you may not receive back the same amount that you invest. Please note that tax treatments depend on personal circumstances and the rules may be subject to future change.


If you have any questions about this article, or wish to discuss your financial circumstances, please do not hesitate to contact Relationship Manager, Phil Sole and House & Community Coordinator, Emma Walker.

We welcome all Chiswick residents to House of Killik, no appointment necessary.  Pop in for a chat and a coffee at 13 Devonshire Road – we look forward to meeting you soon.


FIND US
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Chiswick
London W4 2EU
Nearest Tube:
Turnham Green
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+44 (0) 207 337 0640
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Jaws (1975) – Review by Andrea Carnevali

Jaws ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

When a killer shark unleashes chaos on a beach community off Cape Cod, it’s up to a local sheriff, a marine biologist, and an old seafarer to hunt the beast down. Chiswick Cinema is screening Jaws on Tuesday 11 June for the Film Club at 8pm, with Q&A afterwards, and they are showing it again at 5pm on Sunday 16 June.

Five decades after its release in 1975, Jaws is still the benchmark not just for monster movies, horror, blockbusters, but cinema and film-making itself.

It is well documented that this is the film that, for better or worse, created the idea of a ‘blockbuster’ and changed the face of modern cinema forever. Never before had a film been so hyped up, so publicised, so talked about than Jaws was in 1975.

It was impossible not to be aware of the film. Ironically, even the tales of the disastrous production, with a budget spiralling out of control, shooting days growing out of proportion, a shark that never worked and a boat crew that sunk into the ocean all helped keep the film alive in the media and the public consciousness (something similar would happen more than two decades later for Titanic).

When it finally opened (in around 450 theatres simultaneously, something unheard of at the time), stories of long queues going around several blocks became part of the story too. And as the reviews, unanimously positive, started to pour in, the numbers at the box office hit the jackpot and eventually propelled the film into the number one spot in film history.

So many other films have tried to repeat the same formula and, as history proved, so many have failed. And yet on the surface Jaws looks so simple: a ferocious shark terrorizes the beaches of your average sea town in America and the new sheriff in town sets out to kill him.

The truth is that there is so much more than that.

The film takes its time in crafting well-rounded characters and depicting a lived-in town, all of which adds extra depth, layers and a surprising feeling of realism to the horror unfolding, turning Jaws into a psychological thriller, beyond the simple monster trope and making the audience emotionally connect with the characters within the story.

The shark might be up there on the poster and possibly what everyone remembers about the film, but when you break down it, there is actually very little of the big fish (and not just because the shark wasn’t working).

This is not so much a plot-driven film but more of a character driven one: it’s more about Chief Brody conquering his fears, than it is about a shark eating people…  which is probably why the film still holds up so well.

And around all that, you’ve also got the allegories about failed politics and institutions and the infinite details of family life, which brings it all to life even more.

At the same time, Spielberg’s skill in building suspense and tension, through clever storytelling and cinematic techniques (some more subtle than others) is a marvel to behold.

There isn’t a single minute in this film that isn’t worth studying, if you are a film-maker, a film student… or a simple film fan: the blocking of the actors and those long takes which help us to get closer to the characters and their emotions.

The use of large screen, with the camera always at sea level to keep us always close to (the unseen) danger.

The perfectly crafted frame, in which not a single inch is wasted, with dozens of details spread across the screen, left, right, in the foreground and at the back. And yet we never miss any of them.

Through to the use of colours and camera movements, Spielberg always lets us know where we are or what we should focus on.

Even in the midst of mayhem and action, out in the open ocean (the decision to film at sea might have been what drove the budget to crazy figures, but it really pays off) we always know what’s going on and we are never confused.

Courtesy, of course, of the Oscar-winning spectacular cutting. Editor Verna Fields’s control of the pacing of the film is perfect: she knows exactly when to cut slow, when to pause and when to be fast and inject more energy: the cutting around the quiet before the horror and the jump scares is perfectly judged and the action at sea never a single frame out of tune.

And then, we have those underwater point of view shots (many of them, contrary to legends were actually planned ahead of the shark not working on location), accompanied by the now famous score by John Williams, building and building on two simple notes, which would become some of the most iconic two-notes ever heard. So simple, so raw, so tribal and yet so effective.

I’ll be showing this film on Tuesday 11 June at the Chiswick Cinema and I might have to restrain myself before my passion for this film goes to my head, but the pure perfection of craft of Jaws makes me more excited than ever.

This is certainly one the best films of the last five decades and one of the most rewatchable.

I hope as many of you can join the fun.

Book tickets for Andrea’s film club screening: chiswickcinema.co.uk

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 2023

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.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

Woodcarving courses in W12

Image: A wood carving course

Learn a new skill and while away a few hours doing something satisfying and fun

What to get a father for Father’s Day? And how to employ your children over the long summer holidays which are beginning to hove into view?

You could kill two proverbial birds with one stone here – a whetstone presumably, if we are to make best use of the proverb, by booking on to one of Adam Findlay’s woodcarving workshops.

Image: Adam Findlay

Adam is a Design Technology teacher at a school in Hampstead and offers three hour courses to small groups (maximum of eight) of all ages over eight years old, either as a mixed age group or as a weekend / summer holiday activity for children / teenagers around the same age.

Typically they make a butter knife or a letter opener, but Adam is open to ideas, providing they are attainable within the timeframe.

“One child wanted to make a wand” Annabel told The Chiswick Calendar, so they did, and went away happy.

It needs to be something simple, so intricate carved wooden seats or bowls are not on the agenda. They use all sorts of woods, but typically soft woods for beginners, and special tools designed for children, with curved ends, for children to use.

“He is my husband, so I would say this wouldn’t I? But Adam has been teaching a long time, he’s very good at involving people and getting the best out of them.”

Image: A wood carving course

They’ve never had to take anyone to hospital yet either, (touch wood), though they do of course have a first aid kit to hand for the odd little cut.

Annabel and Adam met when they were both working at Capital Radio, when Adam was running the Help a London Child campaign. He did an evening course in woodwork and decided that was really how he wanted to spend his life.

After training at London Metropolitan University 20 years ago he became a cabinet maker, and then trained as a teacher, and has been teaching Design Technology in schools for the past eleven years.

Annabel meanwhile went on to be a private PA, so her role is to sort out the admin.

“If a child is booked on to a course on their own, that’s where I come in, to make sure they’re booked in with a group they are likely to get on with and have something in common. We get bookings for family groups and groups of friends, sometimes people come who work together.

“It’s lovely to have a mixed age group, it’s something people of all ages can enjoy together, with no previous experience, but we also have individuals who come.”

They charge £55 for the three hour workshop, and supply all the materials.

Woodcarving workshops coming up

Weekends in June & July

Saturday 22 June: 10-1pm or  2-5p

Sunday 23 June: 10-1pm or 2-5pm

Sat 29th June: 10-1pm or 2-5pm

Sunday 30 June: 10-1pm or 2-5pm

Sunday 7 July: 10-1pm or 2-5pm

Saturday 13 July: 10-1pm or 2-5pm

Sunday 14 July: 10-1pm or 2-5pm

Summer holidays 

W/c 22 July – Monday 22 to Sunday 28 July: 10-1pm or 2-5pm

W/c 29th July – Monday 29 to Friday 2 August: 10-1pm or 2-5pm

W/c 1st August – Monday 1 to Thursday 11 August: 10-1pm or 2-5pm

W/c 8th August – Monday 8 to Thurs 11 August: 10-1pm or 2-5pm

Find out more and book courses on Adam’s website:

findlayswoodcarving.com

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Eddie Izzard’s Hamlet at Riverside Studios – Review

Contrary to what the critics say …

Eddie Izzard’s one person performance of Hamlet at the Riverside Studios has taken a bit of a pasting from the critics since it opened here, which is surprising because its New York run was extended three times due to its popularity.

Arifa Akbar in The Guardian wrote:

‘It is certainly a marathon achievement, but more a feat of memory (bar a few fumbles) than performance… wrestling with 23 Shakespearean roles on an empty stage, butts up against the limits of the form – or perhaps the limit of her own acting skills, which are badly exposed.’

Ouch!

Nothing daunted, Jacqui Shreeve, a woman of independent mind, went to see it and has given us her review.

Chiswick resident Jacqui Shreeve thoroughly enjoyed it

As a critic this is a first for me, but definitely not for Eddie Izzard – alone on stage performing the entire play of Hamlet.

This highly talented actor and comic is now to be referred to as She/her. Having read and ignored some rather negative reviews I decided to cycle to the Riverside theatre Hammersmith and check it out for myself.

I’m SO glad I did – her performance was extraordinary.

Shakespeare  can be challenging until you get used to the language, but with Mark Izzard’s (Eddie’s brother’s) adaptation she manages with incredible ease and humour to bring all the characters to life, including a wonderful interpretation of Rosencrantz and Guilderstern.

Eddie’s natural ability to communicate with an audience is certainly very much part of this production. She explains in the programme notes how Shakespeare’s own troupe played in the open air directly talking to the audience – who better to bring this off than Eddie herself.

The set design by Tom Piper is simplistic and highly effective.

At the opening of the second half, and in character, she walks deep in thought quietly through the audience, house lights still on till she reaches the proscenium arch at the side of the stage and momentarily pauses – as the music fades – the play continues to it ’s ultimate catastrophic scene!

Followed by a full standing ovation and, believe it or not, she then like me cycled home. Job done !!

Advice, go see it for yourself. Note to critics  “ours was a full house.“

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Chiswick Cheese Market – Sunday 16 June

Guest blog from Chsiwick Cheese Market

As a regular reader you will already know that the Cheese Market team run the market as volunteers and the profits are donated to charity or ploughed back into the Artisan Cheese Industry – well, what you might not know is that one of the events we sponsor is ‘The Affineur of The Year’.

‘Affinage’ is the French term for maturing and looking after cheese once it’s been made. This may include washing the rind with alcohol, it might be moving it from one temperature storage to another – lower to slow the maturation, higher to bring it on, or change the humidity to help the cheese mature differently.

It is a real science, and many traditional recipes have very set maturing patterns, but sometimes it is open to experimentation and the results can, occasionally, be utterly amazing!

In the UK we have a competition each year offering four different cheeses for competitors to mature in their own way. The Cheese Market sponsors the Cheddar maturing competition and each of the competitors received their 2 week-old, Quickes Cheddar a whole year ago. On the 12th of this month the cheeses will be judged by some pretty auspicious judges, and we will be there lapping up the atmosphere of this extraordinary cheese event.

Quickes kept one of the exact same batch aside and matured it in their own ‘caves’ – this acts as a ‘control’, but the competitors are allowed to do anything they like with their cheeses.

Some will stay traditional, but some like Andy from the Courtyard Dairy in Yorkshire has been doing something very different indeed with his cheese this year.

Hold on a moment, I’m just going to set the scene here by telling you about Drunk Cheese. We all know lovely Max from @drunk_cheese who brings an assortment of differently macerated cheeses to our market each month (gin lovers try the ‘Blugin’ it’ll blow your mind) and the history of this style of cheese is fascinating.

It started in Italy during the first World War. Local cheesemakers hid their cheese from the greedy eyes of the Austro-Hungarian soldiers by tucking them under the pomace (the skins of the grapes left in the barrel after winemaking).

The barrels were obviously empty of wine at that point so of no interest to the soldiers and the cheeses remained hidden beneath the old skins. Of course, this made a very big difference to the flavour and texture of the cheese once it was released from its hidey-hole and so the art of ‘Drunk Cheese’ began. It’s not a gimmick it has its feet firmly underground in the world of real Artisan cheese – who knew?

So, where was I? ah yes, our Cheddar competition – well, Andy at the Courtyard Dairy has decided that he will give his Cheddar a bit of the same treatment, but instead of using grapes which are not local to him he is using the leftover apple skins from his neighbouring cider makers.

I for one cannot wait to try this and guess what – so can you! We are hoping to bring a large chunk of Andy’s cheese and other entries back from the competition, so that you can decide which you think was the best. Be your own judge and see what affinage is about!

See you at Market HQ on Sunday for this exciting tasting.

If you want to be part of this wondrous cheesy event then tickets are available

academyofcheese.org

It is Father’s Day on Sunday so what could be a better treat for Dad then bringing him along to the market?

No 2 Pound St are hoping to bring the British Cheese Award Supreme Champion cheese – ‘Snowdrop’ from Cote Hill Dairy  – Wow, what a wonderful treat for Dad? It’s a soft cow’s milk cheese based on a St Felicien recipe.

My cheese of the month at the last market was Golden Cross goat log – it is really at its best at this time of year and their milk gives this cheese such a mellow flavour – definitely one to try – you can buy it from Fay @bigwheelcheese. It was a very close run thing for me as Medhi @Gastronomicamarket  had his ‘Testun Castagno’ a mixed cow and sheep cheese wrapped in chestnut leaves – this is pokey yet creamy and a lovely fudge-like texture – you have to try that one!

New this market – @amusebouchelm – oh my goodness – their savoury cheese galettes are legendary at London markets so we are thrilled that they are able to join us. Home-made galettes and Artisan cheeses – definitely one for Dad?

Don’t forget our Tea towels and Totes – I think Dad might just love one of those.

We’re very excited that the fabulous Morgan McGlynn Carr has given us a recipe for this month from her The Complete Cheese Paring Cookbook. It’s a wonderful no churn lemon and ricotta ice cream – just need the weather to perk up a bit and I’ll be trying this.

Photography by Jamie Orlando Smith

No-churn honey, lemon, thyme & ricotta ice cream

When it comes to frozen desserts, cheese ice cream might not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, prepare to be pleasantly surprised by the velvety smooth texture and delicious flavours of this frozen delight.

Served inside real Sicilian lemons perched on a bed of ice, each one is a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds. With its vibrant colour and summery aesthetic, this dessert is one of my favourites.

SERVES 6

3 Sicilian lemons

2 tablespoons cornflour

250ml/9oz whole milk

180ml/6fl oz double cream

4–6 thyme sprigs

1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out (reserve the pod)

4 tablespoons runny honey

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

340g/11 ¾ oz ricotta

3 tablespoons full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature

½ teaspoon flaked sea (kosher) salt

mint leaves, to decorate

1 Halve the lemons lengthways and carefully scoop out the flesh, keeping the lemon shells intact. Transfer the flesh and juice to a bowl, cover with cling film (plastic wrap) and set aside in the fridge.

2 In a small bowl, whisk the cornflour with about 3 tablespoons of the milk to make a smooth slurry.

3 In a small saucepan, bring the remaining milk and the cream to the boil over a medium heat. As soon as it starts to boil, remove from the heat and add the thyme and vanilla pod and seeds. Cover the pan with a lid and leave to infuse for 20 minutes.

4 Strain the milk mixture into a bowl to remove the thyme and vanilla pod. Return the mixture to the saucepan and place over a medium-high heat.

5 Give the cornflour slurry one last whisk, then little by little, whisk it into the milk and cream, bringing the mixture back to the boil. Keep cooking, whisking continuously, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 1 minute).

6 Stir 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, the honey and the sugar into the thickened cream mixture, mixing until they dissolve. Remove from the heat.

7 Pour the mixture into a food processor or blender and add the ricotta, cream cheese and salt. Blitz until completely smooth, then pour into a shallow container and leave to cool. Once cold, put the lid on the container and transfer it to the freezer. Freeze for 1 hour, then remove the lid and stir the mixture (it should be part-frozen) vigorously with a fork to break up any ice crystals. Replace the lid and return to the freezer. Repeat the process, stirring every 30 minutes for 2–3 hours, until the ice cream is smooth, creamy, and firm but scoopable. (You can also churn the ice cream in an ice-cream machine and transfer it to the freezer until ready to serve.)

8 To serve, fill each shell with scoops of ricotta ice cream, then drizzle over some of the reserved lemon juice. You can return the filled lemon shells to the freezer, until you’re ready to serve them – just give them 10 minutes at room temperature to soften a little.

We can’t wait til’ next weekend – we’ll be announcing the winner of the Affineur of the Year so join us and celebrate the wonderful world of Artisan cheese – see you there!

Lucy Cufflin

chiswickcheesemarket.uk

 

Chiswick fine jeweller Marmalade celebrates 20 years

Image: Marmalade fine jewellers team at Green Days on Sunday 9 June, celebrating 20 years in Chiswick

Fine jewellers on Turnham Green Terrace

Marmalade Jewellery, the jeweller in Turnham Green Terrace, is celebrating 20 years since they opened their fine jewellery shop in Chiswick.

Husband and wife owners Simon Johnson and Nadine Meegan met 24 years ago, and since they both had an interest in the jewellery trade, decided they would go into business together.

“I started off 30 years ago, with my mum and my uncle, running a stall in Camden market”, Simon told The Chiswick Calendar. “My uncle imported jewellery from Katmandu and I helped out on the stall from the age of 12.”

Nadine, a former professional dancer who had a career in teaching, had also worked for a jeweller as a part time job in north Devon, and had worked as a sales rep and designer.

Simon’s mum opened the first silver jewellery shop at 17 Turnham Green Terrace 35 years ago, and while working with her Simon trained as a jewellery maker, a gemologist, a diamond grader and designer. He and Nadine now design the jewellery they sell at their shop three doors further up the street, and are leading figures in the business community in Chiswick.

Images: Some of the pieces from the ‘Bloom’ range of jewellery – Double leaf drop earrings; Double leaf drop pendant; Drip studs; Stepping Stones pendant; Stepping Stones studs; Mist abstract studs

Launching ‘Bloom’ range of jewellery, with a 20% donation for the Upper Room from all sales

To celebrate their success over 20 years, they are launching ‘Bloom’, 20 pieces of jewellery – “classic, simple, elegant”, from which 20% proceeds will go to the Shepherd’s Bush based charity which supports homeless people, The Upper Room.

Last year the Marmalade team raised around £12,000 for the charity by completing the six million steps challenge.

READ ALSO: Marmalade Jewellery completes six million steps challenge

The jewellery is all designed by popular UK based designers. “We spent quite a while choosing” said Simon, and they opted for the designs they thought would prove most popular.

I had to ask how they settled on the name ‘Marmalade’.

“We got very drunk one night and that’s what we came up with.”

It turns out to have been an inspired choice as it stands out in the jewellery world and it is instantly memorable. So much more satisfying too than spending thousands of pounds on a brand consultant.

Simon and Nadine now have a team of designers they have trained themselves, including Janina Brown, a textiles graduate they took on from university 15 years ago, who is now a fully qualified member of hte Institute of Registered Valuers (IRV), and Lucy Jupp, who has been with them 13 years and will have her IRV qualification by the end of this year.

“I want the whole team to be able to design, make, and value independently of me” said Simon. He is not only a respected member of Chiswick’s business community, but also well regarded within the jewellery industry, having twice been chairman of the National Association of Jewellers.

Last year they set up a Junior Gemology Club – “a free, on site gem lab downstairs in the shop” for children aged 5 – 11 to learn about gems. They will be holding more sessions this summer, for two days in August. Sign up by emailing janina@marmaladejewellery.co.uk

Next week they will be holding a “Gin & Gemstones” evening, a free talk upstairs at the Crown & Anchor pub between 6 and 8pm on Wednesday 19 June. Please RSVP if interested, to simon@marmaladejewellery.co.uk.

How does he see the future of Marmalade in Chiswick?

“The future is bright. We try to be as much a member of the community as possible. We are proud of our relationships with charity, co-workers and the community”.

See the Bloom collection on Marmalade’s website: Bloom Collection

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

Episode 43: Three Old Hacks on the general election

The past week has seen things go from bad to worse for Rishi Sunak, being called out for lying in the debate against Keir Starmer on the claim that Labour would increase taxes by £2,000 per household, then being accused of a lack of respect for coming home early from the D-Day celebrations, for which he has apologised.

He cancelled media interviews at the weekend as support for the Conservatives dipped even further in the polls, with a clear 22% gap between Labour and the Tories, and Reform picking up support after the announcement from Nigel Farage that he would after all be standing as its leader.

Also this week we hear from pollsters Techne UK that Britain is heading for the lowest general election turnout in modern history, reflecting mass apathy, particularly amongst young people, fed by a general mistrust of politicians.

David Smith, Economics Editor of the Sunday Times for over 30 years, records the Three Old Hacks podcast with fellow journalists Mihir Bose and Nigel Dudley, for The Chiswick Calendar. They have decades of experience and knowledge of election tactics, having been in the thick of reporting it all since the 1980s.

“What makes me quite … angry about this is that Sunak knows completely it’s wrong”, says David. “He knows enough about the numbers to know this is not a way you should present any figures of this sort, and yet still says it and denies he’s lying.”

In this week’s Three Old Hacks podcast,  David unpicks the figures and explains exactly why it was wrong for Sunak to have made the claim, and for Penny Mordaunt to have repeated it in the second TV debate. If you used the same misleading methodology on the Conservatives’ claims, says David, you would cost their policies at £3,000 per household.

Listen to the podcast on all the usual podcast platforms or on The Chiswick Calendar website.


More Platforms

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

Artists at Home 2024: Derek Siddle

Images: Derek Siddle, Derek’s painting of Hammersmith Bridge in 2015

Landscape artist Derek Siddle joins Artists at Home 2024

Artists at Home 2024 takes place next weekend, from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon (14-16 June), when around 100 local artists will be opening their homes to invite visitors in to see their work.

From painters to sculptors, photographers to ceramicists, the event offers art enthusiasts the opportunity to explore a diverse range of artistic talents within their own neighbourhood.

This year, Derek Siddle is making his debut in the event, bringing his unique perspective as a landscape painter to the community.

Image: Ionic Temple – Chiswick House Oil on Canvas A3

“Art for me has always been a solitary thing”

Though Derek has lived in Chiswick for almost 30 years, he has never sought to participate Artists at Home as since 1995 he had a full-time job working in the video game industry.

He was partly convinced to take part by his sister-in-law, who has often been to Artists At Home, along with his friends who help to organise it. He has always pursued painting as a hobby, but since resigning from the long-time role in the industry in which he made his career, he has found more time to focus on his art, and knowing many people involved with Artists at Home, his participation seemed like a natural progression.

He has showed his work at St Michael and All Angels in Chiswick, and has some on display in The Tabard pub.

“Mostly, art for me has always been a solitary thing in my spare time,” he told The Chiswick Calendar. “So it’s been great to meet up with [other artists] for coffees and meet them at the various shows and galleries that happen around Chiswick.”

Originally from Bishop Auckland in the North-East of England, Derek mostly paints landscapes, often inspired by his home town or by the River Thames and places along the Thames Path.

“For a long time, I would just paint the North-East, but as I’ve lived here over the last 20-30 years, I started to grow and love the section of river from Hammersmith near Putney Bridge all the way up to Richmond, maybe Twickenham as well.”

He is also a former long-distance runner, and has run along the river many times. On his runs, he would appreciate the beauty of the views from the towpath, especially at certain times of the day when the light filters through the trees.

“It’s just a really wonderful area to paint”.

Image: Harrods Furniture Depository Oil on Canvas 14″ X 20″

Inspired by classical landscape painters

Derek’s creative process involves heading out to familiar locations at optimal times for light and shadows, either around 10 o’clock in the morning or 4 o’clock in the afternoon. He sketches minimally but says he takes hundreds of photographs, often doing a quick painting on the spot to capture the light and shadows, then using photos to fill in the details later.

He doesn’t complete his paintings in one sitting to avoid muddying the colours, relying on his design training from art college in Hartlepool and University College of Huddersfield, where he studied Product Design.

As a child, Derek says he was inspired by the likes of John Constable and J. M. W. Turner, though stresses not by Thomas Gainsborough – something which he feels is something of a cliche.

“Turner and Constable captured the two sides of landscapes that I really liked. Constable captured the greens, while Turner seemed to capture the mornings and events and brilliant colours. I try to straddle those two.”

Now, he finds inspiration in the vast array of amazing imagery on Instagram, which he says we all are “constantly bombarded” by.

Image: Bishops park – Fulham Oil on Canvas A3

“It’s more personal because you’re exposing yourself…” says Derek on Artists at Home

Derek is not apprehensive about sharing his artwork, as he has had his work on display at The Tabard for the past six months, so he says he is used to showing his work to the public.

“I play football on a Tuesday and I know the landlady. She said, ‘I follow you on Instagram, can I put your paintings on display?’”

Despite this, he admits to feeling more nervous about the personal nature of inviting people into his home to view his art.

“It’s more personal because you are exposing yourself in a way that makes you a bit nervous.

“I’m not really nervous about my art because I think it stands up. It’s more about the event I’m nervous about rather than what people think of my artwork.”

Where to find Derek

Derek is at Studio 36 on Hatfield Road.

The studio is on the ground floor.

There are two small steps to access the property and a short corridor into the open plan back room. All artwork will be on display in that space on the ground floor.

“We have a grumpy cat who is likely to be hidden away” says Derek, “and sorry no dogs please.”

The Gunnersbury Pub to host election night party

Images: The Gunnersbury Pub

Count Binface themed event 

The Gunnersbury Pub is planning to hold an election night party when polls close after the 2024 General Election on 4 July. The pub will stay open late so punters can watch the election coverage in company. The event is being organised by residents from the surrounding streets.

“This is going to be a monumental political event… I stayed up all night to watch Tony Blair and his landslide and I thought this time I wanted to make sure everyone is around to watch it” organiser Ed Saper told The Chiswick Calendar.

The residents of Silver Crescent and Thorney Hedge Rd are famed for their street parties, but what about those neighbours who didn’t vote for the winner – how will they feel? We asked him.

To neutralise any possible conflict and to make people from all political persuasions feel welcome, the viewing party will be themed around the popular satirical candidate Count Binface, Ed told us. The event will include a quiz, other as yet undecided ‘political themed’ games, drinking games, and cardboard cutouts of the party leaders for party goers to pose with.

Image: Count Binface; BBC image

“He’s got some great policies, to be fair. We’re getting in some Count Binface merchandise to give away, but it’s open to everyone who wants to watch the results.”

Count Binface, created by the British comedian Jonathan David Harvey, has stood in various elections since 2018 including London’s most recent Mayoral election in 2024, in which he received more votes than the far-right Britain First candidate.

He stood against former Prime Minsters Theresa May in 2017 and Boris Johnson in 2019, and is continuing his tradition of challenging sitting Prime Ministers by standing in the newly formed constituency of Richmond and Northallerton against the current Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak.

Some of the Count’s policies during the London Mayoral Election included compelling Thames Water bosses to take a dip in the River Thames – which has seen unprecedented sewage discharges from the water company in recent years; granting listed status to Claudia Winkleman’s iconic fringe; and instituting controls on the price of a croissant in London (strictly capped at £1.10). He has yet to release his hotly anticipated 2024 manifesto for the general election.

After waiting for the BBC’s exit poll just after 10pm, which is famously accurate at predicting the overall results after a general election, television screens in the pub will likely be tuned into Sky News, as Sky’s Home Editor lives locally and has hinted at visiting the pub with a camera crew in search of celebratory scenes, should the Conservatives lose by a significant margin.

Fifty people have already confirmed their attendance and the pub’s management has applied for a late licence to sell alcohol until 2am. You do not need to make a reservation.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

Green Days 2024, Bedford Park Festival, Chiswick

Image: Bric a brac stall and the bandstand behind at Green Days on Acton Green Common; photograph Jim Cox

The two day mega-fete (Saturday 8 & Sunday 9 June) which launches the Bedford Park Festival

It is always a bit touch and go at Green Days whether the skies will open and torrential rain descend, scattering Bedford Park Festival goers, sending them running for the nearest marquee like a wet game of musical chairs.

Last year it was unbearbly hot. This year, in classic English summer fete fashion, the clouds just threatened, teasing with a few drops of rain and then moving on to reveal a sunny sky, keeping people guessing whether they needed their coat, an umbrella, or suncream. Bit of each as it turned out.

Image (above): Plant stall; photograph Jim Cox. Images (middle): Cane chair maker; photographs Lucinda MacPherson; Image (below): Fr Kevin visiting beekeeper John Chapple; photograph Bridget Osborne

There is a children’s book I used to love reading to my kids when they were young, called ‘The Same But Different’ and that’s exactly how it is at Green Days, the annual two-day mega-fete run by St Michael & All Angels Church on Acton Green Common, which signals the start of the Bedford Park Festival.

There are the same compenents each year: the bar tent and the bandstand, the craft village and the cake tent, the merry-go-round and the dodgems. Even quite a lot of the same participants come year in, year out: the bee man, the bloke who makes cane furniture, and of course the vicar, Fr Kevin, in his trademark straw hat, and master of ceremonies Torin Douglas.

The bandstand features a fresh crop of young musicians each year, but they still like to play a few Beatles numbers and a bit of Led Zep. It all feels very comfortable in a world which increasingly appears to be going insane.

Image: Lara Pulver opens Green Days, pictured with Torin Douglas and Fr Kevin Morris

Lara Pulver opened Green Days this year, an actor with a great career in TV, (Spooks, Sherlock, The Split,) film (Spooks: The Greater Good) and theatre (Gypsy), who has moved to Chiswick with her family within the past year. She told The Chiswick Calendar:

“I actually feel like a little bit of a phoney because I’ve only just moved to Chiswick eleven months ago. I think the whole ethos of the festival is to fortify kindness within the community, and that’s exactly what we’ve experienced having been here for those eleven months. People couldn’t have been more welcoming to us and our family.

“And it’s just wonderful to be celebrating the arts. The fact that all these local businesses support this in such a big, big, generous way is fantastic. I think it’s a huge reflection on the community.”

She was not the only celebrity spotted among the crowds. Michael Sheen, fresh from his success in Nye at the National Theatre, was just visiting, while comedian Al Murray lives here. See who else you can spot who you know. Thanks to Jim Cox, Torin Douglas, Nick Raikes, George Westwood and Lucinda MacPherson for photographs.

Image: Al Murray by The Chiswick Calendar stall

Images: stalls, Lara judging the fancy dress competition, theme – The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe; Threatening to rain; photographs Jim Cox

Images: Sunday morning mass on the Green; Keeping the robes out of the mud; Jim Cox

Images: Book stall; Win Mensah Larbie – preserves and African prints; Beer tent

Image (top): Stagecoach children performing at the bandstand; photograph Torin Douglas

Image (below): Watching the performers; photograph Nick Raikes

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

Young Woman and the Sea (2024) – Review by Andrea Carnevali

Young Woman and the Sea ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The story of competitive swimmer Trudy Ederle, who, in 1926, was the first woman to ever swim across the English Channel. On at Chiswick Cinema now.

I stumbled into a special preview of this, completely blind, attracted mostly by the fact that the screening was going to be followed by a massive Q&A with all sorts of people: the producer, the writer, the director, the whole cast, but mostly Daisy Ridley and the legendary Jerry Bruckheimer (the man behind Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop and a whole series of massive blockbusters).

As always, watching films without knowing much about them has its perks, and I would advise people to go into this knowing as little as you possibly can (even the trailer, which I’ve only just watched, actually shows you most of the best bits… as trailers do. So be careful!).

This is based on a true story, mysteriously lost in the mists of time, though it transpired from the above-mentioned Q&A that hardly anyone involved in the production was aware of it either. There’s a huge pleasure in watching some of the real footage that inspired the story playing over the end credits.

Daisy Ridley (from the latest Star Wars fame) here plays Gertrude Ederle, the daughter of immigrant parents in New York City who, in the 1920s, against all odds, managed to climb up the ranks of the Olympic swimming team at a time when women were hardly competing in sports at all. She will eventually set off to try to cross the 21-mile long Channel from France to England.

Even as I am writing this now, I realize how predictable and by-the-book the plot sounds. And believe me, it really is pretty basic. Just like its cliché-ridden dialogue, mostly written to appeal to the broadest crowd available, without a single hint of subtlety or cleverness to it.

However, not everything has to be Shakespeare, and certainly, not every film needs to be Citizen Kane. Sometimes one just wants to be entertained, moved, and stirred without too much brain-power… and this is really the perfect film for that.

Beyond its simplicity and predictability, what the film does so well is to draw you in emotionally, pulling all the right heartstrings at the right times. So even if you don’t really care or don’t know much about swimming (and I certainly don’t), by the time the nail-biting and emotional finale comes along, you will be completely swept away. You’ll be standing on the edge of your seat, with tears in your eyes, cheering along at the screen, like me and the whole audience I saw this with.

We were all enthralled and could hardly contain our emotional applause by the time the credits rolled (in fact, there were three rounds of applause for this one).

The film moves along at a brisk pace, is always entertaining, funny, well-made, looks good, and is peppered with some truly delightful performances, especially from the supporting characters.

If there is a crowd-pleaser this month, Young Woman and the Sea (what a terribly uninspired title, by the way… is it try to rip off Hemingway?) this must be the one!

Young Woman and the Sea is on in 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 2023

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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Chiswick Calendar Card reunites Chiswick tourist in Italy with his wallet

Image: The Palazzo Vecchio in Florence

“I’m forever in your debt”

The Chiswick Calendar received an unusual email the other day – from Claudia Celsi, at the Office of the Mayor, in Florence, Italy.

Claudia, who works in Events, City Celebrations and Protocol Service at the Palazzo Vecchio, had picked up a wallet dropped by a British tourist – Matt Adams from Chiswick.

Hoping to find some means of contacting him, she came across our signature lime green Club Card with The Chiswick Calendar’s email address.

‘If you have information – email address or mobile- to help get in touch with him, it will  be very important’, she wrote.

The Chiswick Calendar Club CardImage: A Chiswick Calendar Club Card / aka homing device

We did, we emailed him and managed to catch him the same day – the last day of his holiday, as it happended, and he was able to go and pick it up before heading home.

“I’m slightly in shock that The Chiswick Calendar of all things has notified me of this! I’m forever in your debt,” said Matt.

And the moral of the story? Carry your Chiswick Calendar Club Card at all times! You can apply for one here: Newsletter and Club Card sign-up (it doesn’t matter if you are already a subscriber. If you need a card just resubscribe. It will only send you the email with the newsletter once)

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

June 2024 books

What’s new and good to read this month? Dan Coombes has a look at what’s on offer from publishers in June and chooses The Heart in Winter by Kevin Barry, Smalltown Horror by Ronald Malfi and The Phoenix Ballroom by Ruth Hogan.

The Heart in Winter – Kevin Parry

A story of forbidden love, poetry, general debauchery and quite a lot of swearing that’s also a psychedelic Western odyssey across America’s badlands, written in a uniquely lyrical style that’s won Kevin Barry plenty of awards. It takes a lot of skill to fuse all of these different elements – and a nice streak of dark humour too – and make each one of them coalesce into something beautiful.

October, 1891. Butte, Montana. A hard winter approaches across the Rocky Mountains. The city is rich on copper mines and rampant with vice and debauchery among a hard-living crowd of immigrant Irish workers.

Here we find Tom Rourke, a young poet and balladmaker, but also a doper, a drinker and a fearsome degenerate. Just as he feels his life is heading nowhere fast, Polly Gillespie arrives in town as the new bride of the devout mine captain Long Anthony Harrington.

A thunderbolt love affair takes spark between Tom and Polly and they strike out west on a stolen horse, moving through the badlands of Montana and Idaho. Briefly an idyll of wild romance perfects itself. But a posse of deranged Cornish gunmen are soon in hot pursuit of the lovers, and closing in fast.

Images: The Heart in Winter front cover, Author Kevin Parry

Smalltown Horror – Robert Malfi

A quieter month for the traditional literary big hitters means I can sneak a cheeky horror novel in, much to everyone’s delight. A slow-burning ghostly tale that builds to a deeply disturbing climax, like all good horror should. Malfi is a top quality writer, so it’s all handled with skill and not just all salacious, lurid doom and gloom, although that’s half the fun, right?

Five childhood friends are forced to confront their own dark past as well as the curse placed upon them in this horror masterpiece from the bestselling author of Come with Me.

Maybe this is a ghost story…

Andrew Larimer thought he left the past behind. But when he receives a late-night phone call from an old friend, he finds he has no choice but to return home, and to confront the memories—and the horror—of a night, years ago, that changed everything. For Andrew and his friends, the past is not dead, and the curse that has befallen them now threatens to destroy all that they’ve become.

Images: Smalltown Horror front cover, Author Robert Malfi

The Phoenix Ballroom – Ruth Hogan

If all the psychedelic strangeness, coarse language and blood-curdling terror is a bit much, here’s something unashamedly uplifting, heartstring-plucking and emotionally balming. Anyone who says they don’t need a comfort read sometimes is an outrageous fibber, and Ruth Hogan’s latest is… well, it’s the literary equivalent of a big, comfortable and only very slightly musty jumper, while managing to be more than just a throwaway read.

When it’s time to face the music, all we can do is dance…

Recently widowed Venetia Hamilton Hargreaves is left with a huge house, a bank balance to match and an uneasy feeling that she’s been sleepwalking through the last fifty years. Determined to live fully again, she embraces life with an enthusiasm and purpose she’d forgotten she could muster.

Buying the dilapidated Phoenix Ballroom and with it a drop-in centre and spiritualist church could be seen as reckless, but Venetia’s generosity, courage and kindness provide a refuge for a touching cast of damaged and lonely people who find their chosen family. As their stories intertwine, long buried secrets are revealed, missed opportunities seized and lives are renewed as the Phoenix lives up to its name.

The Phoenix Ballroom is a story of hope and second chances across the generations.

Images: The Phoenix Ballroom front cover, Author Ruth Hogan

Blood donations “urgently needed” after cyber attack on London hospitals

Image: Blood donation centre, 26 Margaret Street, London W1W 8NB

Type O blood needed

The NHS Blood and Transplant service has put out an urgent appeal for people with O Positive and O Negative blood to donate blood urgently.

They are asking donors to book appointments at one of the 25 NHS Blood Donor Centres across England as soon as possible, to boost stocks of O type blood, following a cyber attack on hospitals in London, which has affected hospitals’ ability to match patients’ blood with the same frequency as usual.

Type O blood is needed for surgeries and procedures because it is safe for all patients.

O Negative, the universal blood type, can be given to anyone and is vital in emergencies or when a patient’s blood type is unknown. Air ambulances and emergency response vehicles carry O Negative supplies. Although only 8% of the population has O Negative blood, it accounts for around 15% of hospital orders.

O Positive is the most common blood type, with 35% of donors having it. It can be given to anyone with any positive blood type, meaning that 76% of the population can benefit from an O Positive donation.

13,000 appointments available this week

The urgent appeal for blood donations coincides with National Blood Week, during which the NHS highlights the critical need for blood donations – they need three donations every minute to keep up with the demand in hospitals to handle emergencies, childbirth, and routine treatments. Becoming a donor can be lifesaving.

Paul O’Brien Director of Blood Supply at NHS Blood and Transplant has praised the ‘amazing donors’ who help save lives everyday through blood donation and urges more donors to come forward this National Blood Week. He said:

“We are hugely grateful for the continued support of our amazing donors who help to save lives everyday by giving blood. We simply can’t do this without your incredible support and for this we truly thank you.”

There are approximately 13,000 donation appointments available nationally this week, with 3,400 slots in London alone. Blood has a 35-day shelf life, so continuous replenishment of stocks is essential.  To book an appointment, visit blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 23 23

Patients advised to to continue attending their appointments as normal, despite the problems

Professor Stephen Powis, Medical Director for NHS England, said:

“NHS staff are continuing to go above and beyond to minimise the significant disruption to patients following the ransomware cyber-attack on Synnovis earlier this week.

“Urgent and emergency services are available as usual so patients should access services in the normal way by dialling 999 in an emergency and otherwise use NHS 111 through the NHS App, online or on the phone.

“But unfortunately, we know that a number of operations and appointments have been postponed or diverted to other neighbouring hospitals not impacted by the cyber-attack, as we prioritise pathology services for the most clinically urgent cases.

“To help London staff support and treat more patients, they need access to O Negative and O Positive blood, so if one of these is your blood type, please come forward to one of the 13,000 appointments currently available in NHS Blood Donor Centres.”

Dr Gail Miflin, Chief Medical Officer, NHS Blood and Transplant said:

“We have availability for donors who know they are type O but we also welcome new donors who don’t yet know their blood type. You might have one of these special types that can be used in emergencies.”

Watermans fire being treated as accidental

Image: Fire has badly damaged one of the studio spaces inside the former Watermans Arts Centre

Cigarette butts thought to be to blame 

A fire at the empty Watermans arts centre in Brentford is being treated as accidental, Hounslow Council has confirmed.

London Fire Brigade crews were called to a blaze at the centre on Wednesday morning (5 June). Around 25 firefighters from Chiswick, Heston and Acton fire stations attended, after being called at 6.13am. They had the flames under control by 8.18am.

After an investigation by the fire brigade, Hounslow Council released a statement saying it is ‘believed to have been caused by the unsafe disposal of smoking materials outside the building which then spread inside’.

The building has been occupied by squatters since it was closed in April. LFB say the ground floor and roof of the two-storey building were partially damaged by the fire. There were no reports of any injuries.

Image: Protestors outside the former Watermans site earlier this year

Watermans was closed as an arts centre on 11 April because Hounslow Arts Trust said they could no longer afford to run it. There have been protests about the closure and attempts by local groups to continue using the space for arts activities until it is demolished.

The Hounslow Arts Trust confirmed the fire ‘has badly affected the venue’s smallest studio space’.

The charity said it had taken the difficult decision to close Watermans as ‘the best possible way of protecting both the interests of Hounslow residents and the organisation’s financial viability’ ahead of the arts centre’s planned relocation to the site of the old police station building in Brentford.

READ ALSO: Protest at closure of Watermans

READ ALSO: Save Our Watermans campaign put in bid to use the empty building

The development has been delayed because of rising building costs, and the developer LGL has recently put in a planning application to Hounslow Council seeking to demolish a single-storey motor room building at the northwest corner of the site, in a bid to prevent their original planning permission from lapsing.

READ MORE: Watermans developer seeks to avoid laspse of planning permission

Cllr Tom Bruce, Deputy Leader of Hounslow Council and Cabinet Member for Assets, Regeneration and Development, said:

“Thankfully no one was hurt, but the building has been damaged. We will now start to assess the degree of damage to the building and the next steps. We are also liaising with the Hounslow Arts Trust, who are currently based in the building, to understand the impact on them.”

Image: Smoke rising from former Watermans site

Campaign group urges council to now “act decisively” 

Watermans Community Works, a group set up following the closure of the centre, say the fire ‘has brought to the forefront the urgent need for the London Borough of Hounslow (LBH) to act decisively’.

Steve Sargeant from Watermans Community Works (WCW) said:

“We believe this incident only highlights the need for LBH to take immediate action to secure the safe operation of this vital community asset. The closure of Watermans Arts Centre was a devastating blow to Brentford. The loss of the site without any chance for reanimation would be wholly unforgivable.”

Ruby Almeida from WCW added:

“The future of Culture in Brentford was already uncertain, in part due to the lack of clarity from London Borough of Hounslow surrounding the meanwhile use application process. The subsequent fire and unauthorised occupation of the building only compound that uncertainty at a time when Brentford residents deserve clear and decisive action.”

A Hounslow Council spokesperson, said:

“The Council is working with the tenant Hounslow Arts Trust Limited to remove the squatters and regain control of the property. Our priorities are public safety and protecting the integrity of the building.”

Labour £2,000 tax figure “a nonsense” says Sunday Times Economics Editor David Smith

“What makes me quite … angry about this is that Sunak knows completely its wrong”

David Smith

The past week has seen things go from bad to worse for Rishi Sunak, being called out for lying in the debate against Keir Starmer on the claim that Labour would increase taxes by £2,000 per household, then being accused of a lack of respect for coming home early from the D-Day celebrations, for which he has apologised.

He cancelled media interviews at the weekend as support for the Conservatives dipped even further in the polls, with a clear 22% gap between Labour and the Tories and Reform picking up support after the announcement from Nigel Farage that he would after all be standing as its leader.

Also this week we hear from pollsters Techne UK that Britain is heading for the lowest general election turnout in modern history, reflecting mass apathy, particularly amongst young people, fed by a general mistrust of politicians.

David Smith, Economics Editor of the The Sunday Times, records the Three Old Hacks podcast with fellow journalists Mihir Bose and Nigel Dudley, for The Chiswick Calendar.

They have decades of experience and knowledge of election tactics, having been in the thick of reporting it all since the 1980s.

“What makes me quite … angry about this is that Sunak knows completely its wrong”, says David. “He knows enough about the numbers to know this is not a way you should present any figures of this sort, and yet still says it and denies he’s lying.”

He unpicks the figures and explains exactly why it was wrong for Sunak to have made the claim, and for Penny Mordaunt to have repeated it in the second TV debate, and says if you used the same methodology on the Conservatives’ claims you would cost their policies at £3,000 per household.

Audio clip: David Smith speaking on the Three Old Hacks podcast

“The £2,000 figure is of course a nonsense”

The row over the claim that Labour would increase taxes by £2,000 per household, which he hammered home repeatedly in Monday’s ITV debate with Labour Leader Keir Starmer, blew up when it was revealed in a leaked letter from the Treasury’s senior official, Permanent Secretary James Bowler, that Treasury officials had not produced the figures, as the Conservative Party had claimed.

‘As you would expect, civil servants were not involved in the production or presentation of the Conservative Party’s document ‘Labour’s Tax Rises’ or in the calculation of the total figure used.’

Discussing the row in Friday’s recording of The Three Old Hacks (Friday 7 June), Mihir Bose asked David Smith to explain how the £2,000 figure was arrived at. Here’s what he said:

“The £2,000 figure is of course a nonsense. It breaks at least four rules, four fundamental rules of trying to calculate these things.

“The first is that the assumptions behind it were from Conservative special advisers. Not all the calculations – some of them were – but not all the calculations were done by Treasury officials, which is why they’ve denied responsibility for it.

“This adding up – you only get to £2,000 by adding up £500 a year and multiplying it by four, and this kind of quadruple counting – it was actually triple counting in the late nineties – used by Gordon Brown, and it really is a completely discredited way of doing any calculation of any tax increase.

“If you want to say that Labour has increased taxes, you take the fourth year, you say that taxes are £500 more than they otherwise would be and that is then the number.

“But also, if you take what is already planned by the Conservatives, and the Spectator did this, you get to a much larger figure than £2,000. By using the same methodology you get £3,000 from what is already planned by the Conservatives. And there’s another way of doing it, which has been done by the Sunday Times, by which you can get to an even higher figure than that.

“Of course, taxes have gone up a lot, they are still going up a lot under Conservative plans, so this was a real example of a prime minister shooting himself in the foot, in many ways.

I think the aim is quite simple, which is to lodge it in the public consciousness in the same way that a similar figure which was completely wrong – the £350m weekly contribution to the EU was completely wrong, but stuck during the referendum campaign. I think they’re hoping that the £2,000, however wrong it is, will stick this time.

“I think what makes me quite, not upset, but particularly angry about this is that Sunak knows completely it’s wrong. He knows enough about the numbers to know this is not a way you should present any figures of this sort, and yet still says it and denies he’s lying, and says the Labour Party’s rattled and so on.

“So I think it’s really bad form. I don’t think it’s done him any good. The polls certainly don’t suggest that. So it shouldn’t have been said, but I know why it was said.”

Image: Houses of Parliament; UK Parliament

Reporting the election – Chiswick Media Club, Wednesday 19 June

The polls have led the coverage of the election campaign so far – the 20% gap between Labour and the Conservatives has framed the whole debate.  Everything that is said and done by the leading figures in the campaign is scrutinized and assessed against that backdrop.

The Lib Dems appear to have the most popular policies so far: awarding blue flag status to rivers and reducing sewage discharge scored 87% approval, and free school meals for all primary school pupils in England received 74% support in a You Gov poll.

Voters are split on the Labour and Conservative pledges not to raise the three main taxes. They like Labour’s policy of charging VAT on private school fees (61% support), and creating a publicly owned renewable energy provider (74% support), but they don’t like the Conservatives’ plans to bring back National Service (52% against to 39% in favour). The least popular policy appears to be Labour’s policy of lowering the voting age to 16.

The role of pollsters is critical during an election, as is that of journalists in ascertaining fact from rhetoric.Our event on Wednesday 19 June features one of the country’s top pollsters – Joe Twynan, who after heading up YouGov’s Political and Social Research department went on to set up his own company Deltapoll with others.

BBC Political correspondent and presenter Carolyn Quinn talks to Joe and Katy Searle, who was the head of the BBC’s Westminster newsroom during three election campaigns, two referendums and the Covid crisis.

Come and hear what goes on behind the scenes and ask them about some of the tricky issues involved in election coverage.


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How important is polling and TV news reporting in an election campaign?

Image: Houses of parliament; picture UK Parliament

Reporting the election – Chiswick Media Club, Wednesday 19 June

The polls have led the coverage of the election campaign so far – the 20% gap between Labour and the Conservatives has framed the whole debate.  Everything that is said and done by the leading figures in the campaign is scrutinized and assessed against that backdrop.

The Lib Dems appear to have the most popular policies so far: awarding blue flag status to rivers and reducing sewage discharge scored 87% approval, and free school meals for all primary school pupils in England received 74% support in a You Gov poll.

Voters are split on the Labour and Conservative pledges not to raise the three main taxes. They like Labour’s policy of charging VAT on private school fees (61% support), and creating a publicly owned renewable energy provider (74% support), but they don’t like the Conservatives’ plans to bring back National Service (52% against to 39% in favour). The least popular policy appears to be Labour’s policy of lowering the voting age to 16.

Images: Carolyn Quinn; Joe Twynan; Katy Searle

The role of pollsters is critical during an election, as is that of journalists in ascertaining fact from rhetoric.Our event on Wednesday 19 June features one of the country’s top pollsters – Joe Twynan, who after heading up YouGov’s Political and Social Research department went on to set up his own company Deltapoll with others.

BBC Political correspondent and presenter Carolyn Quinn talks to Joe and Katy Searle, who was the head of the BBC’s Westminster newsroom during three election campaigns, two referendums and the Covid crisis.

Come and hear what goes on behind the scenes and ask them about some of the tricky issues involved in election coverage.

Book tickets: Reporting the election – Chiswick Calendar Media Club

Lidl announces plans for new store in Brentford

Image: Site of former Morrisons on Brentford High Street to become a Lidl

Lidl set to take over site of former Morrisons 

Budget supermarket chain Lidl has submitted a planning application to Hounslow Council to bring a new store to Brentford High Street at the site of the former Morrisons.

The plans represent a multi-million-pound investment and Lidl says a store opening there will provide those living in the area with access to the discounter’s high quality, best-value products. It will boost the local economy, creating up to 40 new jobs.

With a proposed sales area of 1,430m2, plans for the new store feature the supermarket chain’s famous bakery – recently crowned the UK’s most popular supermarket bakery, beating both Tesco and Sainsbury’s – along with the popular Middle of Lidl aisle, baby changing facilities and ample car parking spaces.

Grant Shulton, Regional Head of Property at Lidl GB, said:

“We know how much those living in the area value having a supermarket on this site, so we’re delighted to confirm our plans for a Lidl in Brentford. If planning permission is granted it would mark a multi-million-pound investment, whilst providing the community with easy access to our high quality, affordable products.”

Angie Hooper, New Business Director at housing association L&Q, said:

“We are very pleased to welcome Lidl on site at our Brentford High Street development scheme. At L&Q we are not just in the business of building homes, but also ensuring our communities are thriving, so we are very excited about the local opportunities for investment and employment, as well as filling the gap previously left by Morrisons.”

Lidl has been expanding rapidly in the UK and was recently named the fastest growing bricks and mortar supermarket for past nine months in a row resulting in its market share reaching a new high of 8.1%. It is now the third largest supermarket chain having overtaken Asda last year.

Devonshire Day Nursery staff staying overnight in nursery raise over £600 for charity

Image: Devonshire Day Nursery staff members during their sponsored ‘stay-awake’

Staff took part in sponsored ‘stay-awake’ charity event for the British Heart Foundation

Staff working at Devonshire Day Nursery in Chiswick have helped to raise money for charity by sacrificing their sleep for a sponsored ‘stay awake’, which involved them staying overnight in the nursery.

After completing their Friday shift at the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Bennett Street, the seven staff members including Joshua Elliott, Emmy Avery, Tasher John-Baptiste, Nicole Johnson, Louise Harding and Anna Ball powered through the night, playing games, enjoying snacks and sharing stories to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation.

As a result of their efforts, the team said they were ‘delighted’ to raise a total of £601.60 thanks to donations from their supporters, which will now go towards funding vital research into congenital heart disease and supporting babies and families in need.

The sponsored stay awake is the latest in a series of fundraisers for the Devonshire team, who have recently also taken part in the British Heart Foundation 10k race at Kew Gardens, bake sales, dress down days and raffles to raise money for the charity.

Devonshire Day Nursery Manager, Emmy Avery said:

“This experience truly embodies the spirit of our team, who are always thinking of exciting new ways to raise money for the causes we support. I am grateful to have such compassionate colleagues who are willing to give up their sleep to help others, as well as an amazing support network of nursery families who are always incredibly kind and generous.”

Devonshire Day Nursery have adopted the British Heart Foundation as their sponsored charity for a year-long fundraising drive.

TfL offers free and unlimited Santander Cycle rides for all Londoners every Sunday in June

Image above: Santander Cycles

TfL offering free and unlimited 30 minute rides for all Londoners on every Sunday in June

Transport for London and Santander are offering free and unlimited 30 minute rides for all Londoners on every Sunday in June to celebrate the launch of TfL Cycle Sundays. The offer comes as Santander e-bikes recently celebrated one million hires.

TfL Cycle Sundays is a new programme of leisurely cycle routes that aims to support and encourage Londoners who are new to cycling to explore the capital, following bike ‘friendly’ routes.

The scheme has been developed in collaboration with cycling organisations, and is backed up by a range of support to make it easier to try out cycling for the first time.

The Walking and Cycling Commissioner, Will Norman said:

“The boom we’ve seen in cycling in the capital over recent years has been fantastic, and we are determined to make cycling as accessible and affordable as possible, to encourage even more Londoners to give it a go. This is why I am delighted that Santander Cycles will be offering unlimited free rides every Sunday in June, as part of Cycle Sundays.

“As the weather gets warmer, this is the perfect time to give cycling a try, for free, taking advantage of our growing network of cycleways, low traffic routes and off-road routes. This is just one of the ways the Mayor and TfL are working to build a better, fairer and greener London for everyone.’

Leisure cycling can be a way of providing people with an easy and sustainable way to maintain their mental and physical wellbeing and build up confidence.

David Eddington, Head of Cycle Hire at TfL, said: “TfL Cycle Sundays offers a range of leisure routes across London which are perfect for beginners looking to get into cycling.

“Cycling is not only brilliant for your mental and physical health, but also a great way to explore and see more of London. We hope that enabling all Londoners to use Santander Cycles for free every Sunday will get more people out cycling, as well as giving them a chance to try out our brilliant bikes.”

The TfL Cycle Sundays offer can be claimed by downloading the Santander Cycles app or heading to a docking station terminal, choosing a Day Pass, and using the code CYCLESUNDAYS.

Santander e-bikes will be available to app users for an additional £1 per half hour journey. Hires longer than 30 minutes incur an extra £1.65 for each additional 30 minutes for pedal bikes, and £3.30 for e-bikes.

Santander bicycles are restricted to areas in and around central London. The closest cycles to Chiswick are in Fulham and Kensington.

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Teenager stabbed in Isleworth

Image: Police library image

17-year-old stabbed on Woodlands Rd

A 17-year-old boy has been taken to hospital after being stabbed in Isleworth on Wednesday (5 June).

Police were called to Riverside Court on Woodlands road at 7.38pm after reports of a stabbing. A 17-year-old boy was found with stab injuries and was treated by paramedics from London Ambulance Service and a helicopter from London’s Air Ambulance landed on St John’s Gardens to assist.

There is no further information at this time on the boy’s condition, and no arrests have been made.

Anyone with information that might assist the police with their enquiries including footage or images should call 101 or post @MetCC on X using reference CAD 7274/5 Jun

Brentford’s Ivan Toney called up to England Euros squad

Image above: Ivan Toney; Photograph: Brentford FC

Brentford striker makes 26-man squad for Euros

Ivan Toney has been named in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the European Championships. The Bees striker made the 26-man final squad, after seven players were omitted yesterday, (Thursday 6 June). The Euros begin for England on the 16 June against Serbia. The tournament is being held in Germany.

Toney has three England caps, coming on as a substitute for nine minutes in a Euro 2024 qualifying win against Ukraine, and against Belgium in March when he started and scored after 17 minutes. He also played in England’s final warm up game against Iceland, coming off the bench for Harry Kane.

He was banned for half of the season after breaking the Football Association rules on betting. He was also fined £50,000 by an independent panel after admitting 232 breaches. He scored in his first game back against Nottingham Forest, and then went on to score three in four games, but ended the season on a 12-game goal drought.

READ ALSO: Brentford’s Ivan Toney suspended for eight months

In a press conference, Gareth Southgate said:

“The different profile of strikers is the reason for three. They all offer something different. We know Harry [Kane] is the starting guy, but Ollie [Watkins] and Ivan have different attributes and different strengths that we might need at any given time in a game.

“I think the way the game is now — five changes for competitive games, the demands on squads across the season — the squad is going to be tremendously important. We’ve got different options, and we’ll use them.”

Toney isn’t the only Brentford player to feature at the tournament this month. Club captain Christian Norgaard, Mathias Jensen and Mikkel Damsgaard have all been chosen to represent Denmark, they play in the same group as England.

Goalkeeper, Mark Flekken will also be at the tournament, representing the Netherlands. Backup goalkeeper, Thomas Strakosha is also at the tournament representing Albania.

Brentford fans delighted with Toney’s inclusion

The Chiswick Calendar spoke to Brentford fans about Toney’s inclusion in the squad. Here’s what they had to say:

Sam: “Very proud. He’s the first player to represent England whilst playing for Brentford. It puts our ‘bus stop’ on the map. Obviously we have players representing their nations, but having an England player there feels amazing.

“I did feel it was unfair that he wasn’t selected in 2022 for the World Cup squad, when he was in true form. I’m just hoping Southgate gives him a chance to play and proves all the doubters wrong. We’re behind Ivan all the way.”

Donna: “Me and my son Max have been on tenterhooks waiting of the final squad to be announced. Max idolises Ivan and was at his debut against Ukraine. He also went with his dad to the game against Iceland, when Ivan came off the bench.

“As Brentford fans we couldn’t be more proud. I told Ivan this at the awards night. His debut bought a tear to my eye. I can’t believe my dad didn’t get to see a Brentford player represent his country in a major tournament but I hope he knows and is looking down proud as punch as we all are.

“So proud to be a Brentford fan right now and always.”

Jonathan: “It is a proud moment for all Bees fans, but also surreal. Ivan has done so much for us, firstly helping us get promoted, but also helping us become an established Premier League team.

“After following the club for forty years, I didn’t think I’d see the day that we have a number of internationals playing in the Euros. When we play Denmark there could potentially be four Brentford players on the pitch, it’s unbelievable.”

Fire at Turnham Green shuts down District and Piccadilly lines

Severe delays across the whole Piccadilly Line

A small fire at Turnham Green tube station has caused rush hour chaos this morning on the District and Piccadilly lines, with both shut between Acton Town and Barons Court westbound.

Transport for London say there have been severe delays on the Piccadilly line as a result, and minor delays on the District line.

There are also minor delays on the Circle and Hammersmith & City lines. Underground tickets are being accepted on London buses and the Elizabeth Line.

London Fire Brigade told The Chiswick Calendar the fire had been a small track fire about 300 metres away from the station, reported to them at 07.34. They had it extinguished by 09.23, but it burned long enough to cause disruption to rush hour services.

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Fire at Watermans arts centre in Brentford

Image: Fire at Watermans this morning; photograph from social media

Empty building awaiting redevelopment, no one hurt say London Fire Bridgade

There has been a fire at Watermans arts centre in Brentford this morning (Wednesday 5 June).

London Fire Brigade officers attended the fire and extinguished it. Cllr Tom Bruce, Deputy Leader of Hounslow Council and Cabinet Member for Assets, Regeneration and Development, has issued a statement saying:

“Thankfully no one was hurt, but the building has been damaged. The cause of the fire is being investigated by LFB, and our officers are at the scene to support them as required.”

The arts centre was closed in April amid protests from local people. The Hounslow Arts Trust, which ran it, said keeping the building open was no longer viable as costs had risen so much.

READ ALSO: Watermans arts centre in Brentford closes

READ ALSO: Watermans closure “the only viable option” for Hounslow Arts Trust, says Ruth Cadbury

Image: Fire at Watermans this morning; photograph from social media

Degree of damage yet to be assessed

Several local groups had expressed an interest in using the building to continue arts activities there until the site is redeveloped. Developers received planning permission four years ago to built apartments there and to provide a new arts centre on the site of the old police station in Brentford.

READ ALSO: Protest at closure of Watermans

READ ALSO: Save Our Watermans campaign put in bid to use the empty building

The development has been delayed, also because of rising costs, and the developer LGL has recently put in a planning application to Hounslow Council seeking to demolish a single-storey motor room building at the northwest corner of the site, in a bid to prevent their original planning permission from lapsing.

READ MORE: Watermans developer seeks to avoid laspse of planning permission

Cllr Bruce said:

“Once the site is safe and handed back to the Council, we will assess the degree of damage to the building. We are also liaising with the Hounslow Arts Trust, who are currently based in the building, to understand the impact on them.”

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Body found near Hammersmith Bridge

Image: Towpath cordoned off; photograph Matt Smith

Thames Path cordoned off

Police have confirmed a body has been found near Hammersmith Bridge.

They cordoned off an area of the tow path on the Richmond side of the River Thames after the body was found there on Saturday 1 June.

This suggests they are looking at it as a crime scene rather than a suicide, but police at the scene today were not prepared to give further details. Nor could they say when the Thames Path would be reopened, as investigations are ongoing, they told The Chiswick Calendar.

Image: Towpath cordoned off; photograph Matt Smith

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