Chiswick Curve Public Inquiry: Calling All Residents

Guest blog by Marie Rabouhans As you will be aware, the developer of the Chiswick Curve is appealing against the London Borough of Hounslow’s Refusal of the 32-storey building and the media screens. The Appeal will be the subject of a Public Inquiry to be held in June. If, like me, you love living in this part of London and you appreciate the richness of our heritage, please attend the Inquiry. Over 200 people came to the public meeting we held about the Curve in April 2016 and this had an impact. The fantastic community support for, and response to, the Chiswick Timeline project is a recent example of local enthusiasm for our shared environment and history. As Chairman of the West Chiswick and Gunnersbury Society I am calling upon Chiswick residents and our neighbours in

Chiswick Curve Public Inquiry – Sign up to Attendance Rota

As you will no doubt be aware if you have lived in this area for any time, there is to be a Public Inquiry into the Chiswick Curve, a proposed 32 storey development of offices and residential units on Chiswick roundabout. Residents objected to the developers' proposals. Hounslow Council refused planning permission. The developers appealed against the decision and now there is to be a Public Inquiry in June. Leading the charge on behalf of opponents is Marie Rabouhans, Chairman of the West Chiswick and Gunnersbury Society, who is now calling on as many residents as possible to turn up to the Inquiry to show the Inspector how great is the local opposition to the skyscraper. Arguments against it range from the aesthetic to concern about the air quality for those living at a traffic junc

Parking mayhem

There are now at least four petitions circulating in Grove Park and Strand on the Green on the issue of parking. The issue has come to a head because in previous consultations Strand on the Green voted to become a Controlled Parking Zone but Grove Park didn't. The result is that vehicles which don't have permits park in Grove Park where parking is still free. It's been the case for some time that if you're not home and tucked in your house by 7.00pm you are doomed to drive around the neighbourhood looking for a space a couple of streets away and now the most recent introduction of CPZ has meant that the game of musical chairs goes on during the day as well. This has been compounded by gas works in Sutton Court Rd and street cleaning. Residents in Riverview Rd and Grove and Wilmington Av

Guerilla Gardening awards

Guest blog by Karen Liebreich MBE In 2016 Abundance London decided to create an award for the person or group that had done most to improve or create an unofficial garden around the Chiswick area. “Guerrilla gardening” includes tree pits, small dilapidated areas, and also gardens where the local community has asked permission from the council or landowner and taken responsibility to create something of worth – beautiful and biodiverse, that could create pleasure for passersby and maybe a tiny habitat for wildlife. We invited people to send in nominations if they have noticed a worthy contender, and we were delighted to receive information. You can send in suggestions for next year at any time. This year’s nominations include:  -       

Artists posing

The second weekend of the Bedford Park Festival, 15 - 17 June, sees the return of Artists At Home, the open studios across Chiswick, Hammersmith and Shepherd's Bush. The Artists At Home are a bunch of poseurs, but not in a bad way. Not in the dictionary sense that they ‘behave affectedly’ but in the more acceptable sense ‘poses for effect’. Photographer Daniel Lewis was commissioned by Artists At Home to create a series of portraits of the artists at work, and the results are stunning. The photographs were the subject of his first solo exhibition in 2914 and two of the images from this project have been recognised in the ‘British Life Photography Awards’ and were subsequently in a tou

Bedford Park Festival tickets go on sale

Photograph of Milly Forrest - Bedford Park's own soprano   The Bedford Park Festival programme has been announced and tickets have gone on sale. Festival prime mover Torin Douglas says it's "lost none of its sparkle after the excitement of the 50th anniversary celebrations last year". From the opening party at St Michael & All Angels on Friday June 8th - previewing the Bedford Park Summer Exhibition and the Photographic Competition, sponsored by The Chiswick Calendar - to the Dvorak Festival Mass and Open Gardens on Sunday June 24th, there is a stimulating array of concerts, talks, walks and drama, with something for everyone, whatever their age or taste, in aid of charities and the church. Cory Band from Treorchy, South Wales The Cory Band from Treorchy in

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)

You like me have probably been bombarded with emails about the new General Data Protection Regulation. As far as I can ascertain from reading the guidance from the Information Commissioner's Office, we don't need to ask you to re-subscribe because the system we've used from the start meets the criteria set out in the new regulations. Subscribers to The Chiswick Calendar take affirmative action when you email us or fill out the form on the website to say you would like to receive these newsletters. To receive the club card you have to go a step further and tick a box which brings up the form asking you for your address for us to deliver your card. (Which is why ironically I think so many people email us to say they've subscribed but haven't received their card! There's a second step!)

A cycle through Southfield

The local elections reconfirmed Southfield ward in the London Borough of Ealing as a Lib Dem stronghold - the only one as it happens in Chiswick or in Ealing. As the dust settles it's business as usual for the three Southfield councillors. Guest blog by Cllr Andrew Steed Ten days ago my colleagues Gary Busuttil, Gary Malcolm and myself were re-elected as councillors for Southfield Ward (Ealing). We are grateful for the support of the residents of Southfield and for our increased majority. Election night and the count are the culmination of a long process. We started election canvassing back in February, in the hope of making contact with as many residents as possible. If you want people to vote for you, the least you can do is to try to talk to them: most people are pleased to

Portraits of local artists by Daniel Lewis

Portraits of local artists by photographer Daniel Lewis 15 - 17 June sees the return of Artists At Home, the open studios across Chiswick, Hammersmith and Shepherd's Bush. Photographer Daniel Lewis was commissioned by Artists At Home to create a series of portraits of the artists at work, and the results are stunning. The photographs were the subject of his first solo exhibition in 2914 and two of the images from this project have been recognised in the ‘British Life Photography Awards’ and were subsequently in a touring exhibition across the UK. Since then he’s been commissioned by the National Geographic Traveller to photograph the Natural History Museum and last year to take a series of portraits of Premier League footballers. Photographing the artists he sai

Out with the old, in with the new

Six new Chiswick councillors are starting work this week: Joanna Biddolph, Ron Mushiso and Ranjit Gill in Turnham Green ward, Gabriella Giles and Michael Denniss in Chiswick Riverside and Patrick Barr in Chiswick Homefields. It's all very well talking the talk in an election campaign, but can they walk the walk? Looking back over all those promises it must be a little daunting thinking about how they might actually fulfil them. Joanna Biddolph has written a guest blog for The Chiswick Calendar on what it's like to be starting out as a councillor. All a bit of a haze Guest blog by Cllr Joanna Biddolph I’d been to several counts before but there is something more intense about it being your own. Standing in front of trays marked with coloure

The Chiswick Calendar Debate

Wednesday 10 May 7.30pm, Boston Room at George IV, 185 Chiswick High Rd, Chiswick, London W4 2DR Ruth Cadbury (Labour) v Mary Macleod (Conservative). The Chiswick Calendar Election Debate 2017 rematch. Following on from The Chiswick Calendar's hugely successful election debate in 2015, the two contenders for the key marginal constituency of Brentford & Isleworth meet again. BBC News Channel presenter Rachel Schofield will be finding out what they stand for and why they think they deserve our vote. Come along and listen to them and ask them questions. We will video the debate for The Chiswick Calendar website. Tickets £10

Who needs a manifesto?

As I was writing this yesterday, the Labour party in Hounslow still hadn't published their manifesto for the local elections in two days' time. Bit last minute. Why bother now? Their poor candidates have been campaigning their socks off for weeks. Is this a major scandal or does it just show you that manifestos aren't worth the paper they're written on? Leader of the Labour group Steve Curran says "We have been campaigning on our Labour values which are well known and we published our five key pledges some time ago. These have appeared in our election literature". As to why the full manifesto has taken so long, he says: "It was delayed because we spent a long time engaging with our members to ensure the manifesto is as inclusive as possible". I wonder if that's another way of saying

Tory candidate in hot water

One of the Tory candidates has been getting into hot water with how he describes himself. Patrick Barr, standing for the Conservatives in Homefields ward, describes himself thus: 'I am a Registered General Nurse and currently work as a nurse in West London. Previously I was a Charge Nurse in A&E and I still work in A&E as required to support the NHS. As your councillor for Chiswick Homefields, I will campaign for more GP surgeries locally for a growing and ageing population'. He has come under fire from Labour candidate Nick Fitzpatrick for not declaring that he is also a disability assessor for the Department of Work and Pensions. 'It's fundamentally misleading' says the Labour candidate competing for votes in the same ward. Why does this matter? 'DWP assessor' doesn't ha

‘Spirit of Hogarth’ takes a look at the local election campaign

Guest blog by the 'Spirit of Hogarth' Chiswick until now has been a small blue enclave in an elongated sea of red. Far to the west lies Fortress Lampton, Hounslow’s civic centre, an alien stronghold peopled by distant overlords, who seem either uninterested or downright hostile to wealthy little Chiswick-shire. Chiswick perceives itself as a special and fruitful cash cow, giving forth a nutritious harvest of rates, taxes and parking fees purely for the benefit and exploitation of its ungrateful overlords and their impoverished base. Every imposition of a CPZ, every attempted traffic improvement, every over-flowing dustbin, every pothole is taken as further proof of Hounslow’s evil intentions. National parties not helping Will 3rd May change all this? Rumbling below

CS9 ‘joke’ blows up in joker’s face

The war of attrition between those who oppose the Cycle Superhighway and those who support it has become a police matter. Julian Pavey posted a spoof video on Twitter of a rocket attack on the pavement area outside Outsider Tart, in which a missile is seen blowing up a row of mobikes. The proprietor of the cafe, David Lesniak, who is notoriously against the cycle track reported him for committing 'hate crime' and posted: 'If the target of this video, which has been posted on a local public forum, was your home, how would you respond? @tfl @theJeremyVine @RuthCadbury @RuthMayorcas @willnorman @SadiqKhan Seriously, it’s time to call off the trolls #CS9 #chiswick #StopTheHate' Conservative candidates Joanna Biddolph, Patrick Barr and Chiswick Riverside Conservatives 'liked' his tweet.

CS9 debate the George IV

The public meeting organised by Redesign CS9 last night in the Boston Room of George IV was well attended. The audience was clearly partisan, with only three people brave enough at the end to put their hands up and admit they'd be happy with the TfL proposals for the Cycle Superhighway to go ahead as they are. One of the candidates ventured the comment 'the audience in this room is not representative of the people we are meeting on the doorstep', to groans and jeers. Eight panellists - Leigh Edwards from the Liberal Democrats, Sam Hearn, Ranjit Gill, Joanna Biddolph and Ron Mushiso for the Conservatives, John Stroud-Turp and Nick Fitzpatrick for Labour and Daniel Goldsmith for the Green party - took part and for the most part were heard out by the audience, except for the heckling of th

Spotted on the riverbank

Sunday morning when some of us were still in pyjamas and others already in the pub I spotted these two picking up litter on the Strand. Not paid to do it, not part of any organised group, not even standing for election. Jenny does it about twice a month just because she doesn't like the accumulation of plastic and polystyrene on the shore. Gus is picking up points for his silver Duke of Edinburgh award. You can contact Jenny at if you feel moved to join her on her next litter pick.

Fancy working with The Chiswick Calendar?

The Chiswick Calendar is growing. We are looking for a part time admin assistant interested in working on the website and someone with marketing experience to help us grow the Club Card scheme and manage our advertising packages. If you're interested in all that goes on in Chiswick and like what we do, please contact us at

Don’t be an engine idling polluter

One of the issues that members of the Strand on the Green residents association (SOGA) will be raising with councillors and candidates is the issue of engine idling - running your engine while your car is stationary. It's something which people do without necessarily being aware of the damage they're doing to air quality and the impact that has especially on children, so SOGA want London borough councils to raise awareness. Alan McBride, who writes the Strand On the Green residents' newsletter, says: 'We have noticed that more and more motorists are leaving their vehicle’s engine running whilst the vehicle is stationary. Sometimes drivers leave their vehicle’s engine running for a few minutes whilst they “pop to the shop” and sometimes drivers sit in their vehicles with the engi

Who needs Ottolenghi?

The Israeli-British chef Yottam Ottolenghi is often credited with introducing us properly to vegetables, bringing out the best in them and putting them front and centre whether they’re to be eaten on their own or with meat. We’re lucky that his deli is nearby in Notting Hill, but really you don’t have to go even that far to experience a fusion of colourful, healthy, tasty vegetable dishes with unorthodox combinations to delight the palate. The vegetable revolution has come to Chiswick. ‘Chateau Dessert’ is becoming just ‘Chateau’ in recognition that people want fresh, healthy, tasty options. Owner Anette Megyaszai, who since 2013 has sold the most amazing cakes and pastries in her corner café opposite the police station, has refurbished the premises and refreshed the

Chiswick Through the Camera Lens

Our exhibition of work by eight photographers who live in Chiswick continues until the end of this week at the Clayton Hotel, Chiswick. If you haven't already been to see it and would like to, it's in the hotel atrium, so you can pop in any time. It will be coming down next Saturday, 28th April. This photograph by Jevan Chowdhury is the one which has caused most comment, mostly about the dancer's welfare. Did he survive the photograph or did he crash headlong into the bus? Jevan tells me no ballet dancers or pedestrians were hurt in the taking of this picture. It looks as if he's hurtling forward on a collision course with the bus, but the picture is deceptive, in fact he leapt straight upwards from a push

Monet & Architecture – National Gallery

I went to see the Monet exhibition at the National Gallery at the weekend. It is absolutely fantastic. To see so many of his paintings in one place and see the progression of his work as you go from room to room is a real treat. The exhibition, which opened on 9th April and continues until 29th July, shows how Monet 'consistently used architecture as a means to structure and enliven his art... his use of built structures providing anchorage, foils for the irregularity of nature and screens for the reflection of light.' He visited London several times, first in 1871, fleeing from the Franco Prussian war and catching up with his mate Camille Pisarro, who lived in Chiswick. Later in 1899, 1900 and 1901 he painted the series of canvasses of the Houses of Parliament, Charing Cross Bridge and

National disgrace

It is a national disgrace that the Home Office has been hounding and harassing and threatening to deport West Indians who entered this country legally 50 or 60 years ago, who have worked all their lives for employers like London Transport and the National Health Service, paid their taxes, brought up families, and who are now being told they're here illegally because the Home Office has failed to keep records. David Lammy, MP for Tottenham, has kept the pressure up so that politicians across all parties are now on the offensive for the appalling treatment of people, like 61 year old Paulette Wilson who came here from Jamaica when she was 10 and has never applied for a passport, so had no papers proving her right to be in the UK. According to Guardian journalist Amelia Gentleman 'she was

Rupa Huq calls for a second Brexit referendum

Rupa Huq MP has called for a second referendum on Brexit. The Labour MP for Ealing Central and Acton does not use the 'R' word, but in an article for Business Insider she writes: 'If the cost of Brexit reaches a point where the British people decide it’s not worth it, then they’re perfectly entitled to change their minds about whether it’s the right path. No politician and no government can insist otherwise. The future of the country is for the people to decide'. You can see the whole article here. Lib Dems oppose Brexit Rupa does not reflect her party's line in calling for a second referendum. The on

Ealing Council may be the first in UK to ban anti abortion protests

Ealing Council may be the first in the country to ban anti abortion protests outside abortion clinics. The cabinet is meeting tonight to vote on the issue after nearly 4,000 residents have signed a petition organised by a group called Sister Supporter. Anti abortion groups protest outside clinics like the Marie Stopes clinic in Ealing, upsetting women who have appointments there, who have to run the gauntlet of protesters to go in to see their doctor. The protesters, who call their demonstrations 'vigils' are usually religious groups. The practice has gone on in Ealing for some 20 years, but now many councillors think it's time to put an end to what many see as harassment of women who have made a hard choice to have what is an entirely legal procedure.

Polish Pride and Renew among local election choice

We now have the official list of persons nominated as candidates for the local elections in Chiswick and there are a couple of interesting ones. Maria Kempinska is standing in Riverside ward for the Polish Pride party and Iain Charles Howell in Homefields for Renew, both parties born of Brexit. Since over 70% Chiswick voted for Remain in the EU referendum, it should come as no surprise that UKIP didn’t consider it worth standing. Renew is the new party which is attempting to offer an alternative to the status quo: “Political parties have failed us… We need a new generation of people from outside politics to stand for election, lead our country and renew the British dream”. They are campaigning for a second referendum on the final deal negotiated with the EU. Polish Pride is a

Not on the list

Not on the list of candidates any longer is Tom Dragicevic (pictured left), a civil engineer who has lived in Chiswick for 53 years who was on Labour's provisional list. He's not now standing and the reasons are slightly opaque. A Labour party source told me he wasn't selected, despite an appeal. He told me he pulled out because of a family matter. In his place is Tom White (pictured right).         Pact between the Greens and the Lib Dems

Leader of Conservatives attacks Labour record in Hounslow

Leader of Conservatives attacks Labour record in Hounslow The folly at the heart of Labour’s record in Hounslow - Guest blog by Sam Hearn Few things illustrate more effectively the incompetence of Hounslow Council under Labour than the miasma of failure that surrounds Lampton 360 Ltd. This company was set up in 2012 as Hounslow’s trading arm and has with its subsidiaries soaked up millions of pounds and delivered very little. Lampton 360 Development plans to build 844 new homes. Although a start is soon to be made on one site it has so far failed to lay a single brick. Financial viability means that less a quarter of the planned units being built on council owned land will be made available as social housing. On these developments there will be separate entran

Leader of Labour councillors defends record

Leader of Labour councillors defends record Guest blog by Steve Curran Cllr Hearn’s article on Hounslow Council displays the usual Tory trick of distorting the facts for their own political benefit. There are numerous inaccuracies. Labour has secured 3000 new affordable homes, including 400 council homes ahead of schedule during the current administration and building on this success, the Council has recently approved a new 4 year target to deliver 4000 new affordable homes by 2022. There will be no ‘poor doors’ that the Conservatives refer to, which is frankly offensive given the assault the Tory Government has inflicted on those struggling to survive in the face of savage Government cuts. Since waste and recycling services were brought in house in 2016, rec

Bull’s Head under new management

Barbara took over as General Manager in February and is delighted to be managing a riverside pub. Her influence can already be seen in the pots of primulas outside on the tables and live jazz to mark the Boat Race, She's been running pubs for 30 years. Her last pub, the Grange on Ealing Common, was a huge, extremely busy pub with five function rooms and four flights of stairs up to the office and the private living space. Even the dog Puggle (half pug, half beagle) found that a challenge. Barbara has family connections with Strand on the Green. Her dad's great aunt had a house here, which he visited as a child and her great grandmother was a char lady in the Bull’s Head. She is related to the Pitts, the eighteenth century statesmen William the Elder and William the Younger, thoug