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Photograph - Barbara Chandler  @Sunnygran

Christmas wreath - Lucinda MacPherson

Happy New Year

I don't know about you, but my Christmas calls to mind the words of Fred Chappell, formerly Poet Laureate of North Carolina, who once wrote:

'I have had an elegant sufficiency of the numerous delicacies. Any more would be an unsophisticated superfluity, for gastronomic satiety admonishes me that I have reached the ultimate stage of deglutition consistent with dietetic integrity'.

To all our readers. Hope you had a good break and may you have a peaceful and prosperous new year. 


The Chiswick Calendar Party

The Chiswick Calendar party 2020 

The Chiswick Calendar is celebrating five years. 

Come and help us celebrate on Thursday 16 January in the Boston Room of George IV. 7.30pm (doors open 7.00pm).

Meet other people with a vested interest in maintaining all the good things about Chiswick and creating new things to make it an even more enjoyable place to live.

The most informal AGM you could possibly find! Music from the Greg Davis trio.

Tickets £8.00 + booking fee.

Book tickets

Katharine Braddick - Order of the Bath

New Year' Honours

Among those to be recognised in the New Year's Honour's List are three residents from Chiswick.

Katharine Braddick, Director General, Financial Services, HM Treasury, has been awarded the Order of the Bath for services to Financial Services.

Katharine began her career as a fast stream civil servant, after university at Warwick and Cambridge.

Her stellar career has taken her from Head of General Insurance regulation at the Association of British Insurers to Head of Banking Policy at the Financial Services Authority and Director of Prudential Policy at the Bank of England, before she joined the Treasury in 2014.

She takes the lead on all aspects of policy for financial services, which means ensuring the delivery of HM Treasury’s work programme, leading the Treasury’s relationships with the regulatory authorities and engaging with external stakeholders in the financial services industry, including consumer groups, industry groups and financial institutions.

I think that's what they call a 'Big Job'.

She, presumably, has overseen the Loan Charge mess (see story below) which has left many thousands of people in despair over huge and unexpected tax bills.


Ann Franke - Order of the British Empire

Ann Porter Franke is Chief Executive Officer of the Chartered Management Institute.

She has been awarded the Order of the British Empire for services to Workplace equality.

She started her career at Procter & Gamble and has held senior executive positions at Mars, Boots, Yell and BSI before taking over as head of the CMI.

Author of books on management, including the ‘Financial Times Guide to Management’ and 'Create a Gender Balanced Workplace'. (Despite the snappy title, the FT says it's 'useful, practical and non-preachy').

She wrote before Christmas:

'At last we have clarity over Brexit and the UK has a chance to move forward together...

'It’s clear that the new Conservative government intends to kickstart a major investment programme across the country, and make determined efforts to unite the country.

'We will see more devolution and active regional policies, especially in the north of England and the Midlands, to address voters’ concerns'.

To her that means addressing a serious gap in the UK's management skills:

'We can be one of the world’s most progressive, productive countries if we get this post-Brexit era right. That means managing and leading in an inclusive way that brings people together, rather than divides them'.


Uri Winterstein - British Empire Medal

Uri Winterstein is a survivor of the Holocaust who has dedicated his life to educating new generations about it. He has been awarded the British Empire Medal for services to Holocaust Education and Awareness.

Born in Bratislava in Slovakia in October 1943, he was protected because he was put into the care of a non-Jewish woman when he was just a month old, but he lost a large number of his family members to the Holocaust.

Uri’s sister was sent to the infamous Terezin (in German, Theresienstadt) concentration camp near the Polish border where she was one of only 150 children, out of the 15,000 deported, to survive.

He tells school children and university students now that they must be brave enough to stand up to hatred.

Time was, you wouldn't have thought it necessary for him to get up in front of school children to tell and retell his story, but in a week when Hampstead has been plastered with antisemitic graffiti, it seems the testimony of survivors such as he, is more relevant and necessary than ever.


Nell Gifford - Founder of Gifford's Circus

Tributes to Nell Gifford

Nell Gifford, founder of the hugely popular Gifford's Circus, died earlier this month of breast cancer.

Tributes from her large circle of showbiz friends have been published in the national press and in the local papers in the Cotswolds, where the circus is based.

Helena Bonham-Carter wrote:

'Giffords Circus has been, for 14 years, a beacon in my year. A sort of summer Christmas. Particularly the bit at the end when the troupe invite the audience into the ring to dance. I always try to bottle that feeling to last me for the year.

'It was so long ago now, (that she became ill) we should really have got used to the fact that she would die but for those who had the luck to know her she really was a superwoman.

She wasn’t made to end. She was extraordinary. No one did chemotherapy like she did. I know no one else who would be flat out on her bed one moment and then on a horse in front of an audience the next, all smiling and in hopeful bridal white.

'She was a true warrior, a poet, a magician'.

She leaves twins who are not yet teenagers, a boy and a girl. One of the last things she did was to write a book: Nell and the Circus of Dreams which is about a little girl who had to cope with her mother being ill, as she herself had to do when her own mother was seriously injured in a riding accident.


Nell & the Circus of Dreams, by Nell Gifford and Briony May Smith, published by Oxford University Press

Had she made it to 2020 she would have been celebrating 20 years of Gifford's Circus, which she set up with her then husband Toti.

The circus will continue, as was her great wish, and will be performing their 20th anniversary show The Hooley in the gardens of Chiswick House, 25 June - 13 July.

'Come and join our dance to the timeless Celtic rhythms and drums and get down with the fairy folk'.

Thousands more being encouraged to join tax schemes likely to incur huge penalties

Tax consultants are continuing to advise contract workers to enter into tax avoidance schemes which could result in bills for hundreds of thousands of pounds in the future, according to MP for Brentford & Isleworth, Ruth Cadbury.

Not only that, but the schemes are being promoted now to workers who earn far less than those who have already found themselves having to pay hefty fines for using them.

As vice chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Loan Charges, Ruth has heard first hand about the severe anxiety, marriage breakdowns and mental health problems which HMRC penalties on those who have been caught in these schemes have caused.

There have been seven suicides known to have been directly linked.

I've been talking to Ruth, to tax experts and those caught up these schemes, including one Chiswick resident who now has a bill for £180,000 she has no idea how she will pay.

Read my report on The Chiswick Calendar website.

Read More

Dinner at Haddo House, 1884 by Alfred Emslie

Chiswick Book Festival Christmas Quiz 2019

In conjunction with The Chiswick Calendar.

We bring you an opportunity to broaden your general knowledge, with specific reference to where you live and its literary history.

Pit your wits against the best in Chiswick for a chance to win a beautiful Folio Society edition of Alain-Fournier’s Le Grand Meaulnes (in English) – a book which is the subject of one of the quiz questions - kindly donated by Stephen and Sarah Foster of Foster Books.
Stephen & Sarah Foster - Foster Books
40 questions to amuse and delight

Chiswick claims the distinction of having at least 350 published writers who have written a book (past and present, all genres) and lived in Chiswick W4, or written books about the area.

Who are they? What did they write? And did they write it in the house across the road from you?

Director of the Chiswick Book Festival Torin Douglas has put together 40 questions, and dropped some heavy hints about where you might find the answers.

Sample questions

Which Chiswick newspaper editor revealed the plot (dramatised in The Crown) to overthrow Harold Wilson’s government and replace him with Lord Mountbatten?

Who was the Star Wars actor who lived on a houseboat in Chiswick and whose wife wrote a book called ‘Swans at my Window’?

See all 40 questions and the competition rules on The Chiswick Calendar website. Entries must be submitted by midnight on Sunday 5 January 2020.

Christmas Quiz
Man in the Middle 

What to do with the elderly parent you know in your heart of hearts can no longer cope living alone? That is a dilemma for many people.

Our regular column 'The Man in the Middle' is the musings of a middle aged man on living with his family and aged mother. If you would like to read  the columns in order from the beginning, you can read Episode One: The Letter, 

Before Christmas he reported that the Festive Season Christmas was putting a strain on relations in this muti-generational household, with tension building between those (ok she) who did all the work and those who just had bright ideas about how to do it.

'We need Wife to ‘Get Christmas Done’" he wrote. "The oven is ready but the turkey is days away from being stuffed. Which is why when I hear Mother say she wants to veto Christmas crackers I start to panic..."

Did Wife 'Get Christmas Done'? Did the family survive unscathed? 

Read on ...
Read More
Club Card offer
35% off agency fees
The Chiswick Calendar  Club Card Membership 
Open John D Wood & Co's Little Black Book to see how to sell your property discreetly



Club Card offers

Scroll down to read more on our new offers or click here for a full directory of Club card deals.

Don't have a Chiswick Calendar Club Card yet? Order one
here  and you can subscribe to this newsletter too - it's FREE!
The Chiswick Calendar Club Card - offering deals & discounts from businesses
Over 50 businesses are now in the Club Card scheme.

Keep up to date with all our latest offers - just click on the links below:

Latest offers
Food & Drink
For Children

The Italian Job joins the Club Card scheme

We are delighted to say that the Italian Job in Devonshire Rd has joined our Club Card scheme, just in time for a Christmas drink or two.

The Italian Job are fine exponents of the Italian artisan brewing scene, with trendy pubs in Notting Hill and the South Bank, but Chiswick is where their Italian craft beer was first introduced to an unsuspecting British public. 

Don’t be deceived by the pub’s size, they say, 'It may be small, but it’s perfectly formed! Its contemporary style and brightly lit bar enable us to showcase and celebrate the very finest Italian craft beer in a delightfully intimate setting'.

They are offering very seasonal good cheer: a 20% discount for Club Card members, all week, on production of the card.

13 Devonshire Rd, Chiswick, London W4 2EU. Tel: 020 8994 2852

Buon Natale!
Embassy Executive Cars joins the Club Card scheme

We are delighted that Embassy Executive Cars has joined The Chiswick Calendar Club Card scheme and are offering Club Card holders 10% off journeys.

Embassy Executive Cars, based in Chiswick and Ealing, runs a fleet of Mercedes of various models, including a seven-seater Viano, Mercedes S Class and Mercedes E Class, offering high-quality executive travel to corporate customers across London.

A lot of their business is for corporate events, conferences and parties, as well as the more standard airport and office  transfers. They also offer wedding transport.

Just mention The Chiswick Calendar when booking and flash your Club Card if asked.

To book a car ring them on 0208 568 5555.

Gymboree, Chiswick Town Hall
Gymboree joins the Club card scheme

We are delighted that Gymboree has joined The Chiswick Calendar Club Card scheme.

Offering play and music sessions for young children (0-5 years) daily at Chiswick Town Hall, and organised birthday parties with none of the hard work, Gymboree is offering our Club Card holders 15% off.

Windfall Natural, Turnham Green Terrace
Windfall joins the Club card scheme

We are delighted that Windfall Natural on Turham Green Terrace has joined The Chiswick Calendar Club Card scheme.

The store, which sells natural and organic products, is offering Club Card holders a 10% discount when you spend £10 or more in store. 

Windfall Natural first opened its doors in Chiswick in 1997 and over the years has developed a solid reputation for expert health advice and a carefully curated range of the best natural and organic products available.

1-3 Turnham Green Terrace, W4 1RG

Spa de Sal, Brentford
Spa de Sal joins the Club card scheme

We are delighted that Spa de Sal in Brentford has joined the Club Card scheme. 

Spa de Sal offers natural salt therapy to help children and adults reduce symptoms of various respiratory, inflammatory and skin conditions.  Repeat sessions of salt therapy helps improve breathing; expand lung capacity; strengthen the immune system; stimulate the lymphatic system; cleanse the skin; reduce inflammation; and repair muscles. 

Salt therapy is suitable for conditions such as asthma, hay fever, sinusitis, COPD, bronchiectasis, psoriasis, acne and eczema. It's also envigouraging and helps you breath more deeply even if you have no illness. 

Spa de Sal’s offer to Club Card members is 25% off the Introductory salt therapy session for every new client quoting CCCC19.

Spa de Sal
5 London Road, Brentford, TW8 8JB
T. 020 8582 8971

35% off agency fees from John D Wood & Co

Estate agents John D wood & Co is offering Club Card holders a huge discount on their agency fees.

On the sale of a £900,000 house you would save £7,560. And of course you'd have that warm fuzzy glow you get from supporting The Chiswick Calendar, as they sponsor our website. 

John D Wood & Co. have specialised in selling residential property in London and the south of England for more than 140 years.

They have a track record of success in marketing property at a national and international level, with over half of our business coming through referral and recommendation.

In Chiswick they have an experienced team many of whom have lived and worked in the area for years.
The Hogarth Club - Chiswick Calendar membership

The Hogarth Club has an exclusive offer to Club Card members.

Tucked away in Airedale Avenue, the club offers an array of traditional and modern activities tailored to suit all ages and fitness levels. You can take fitness and relaxation classes, take advantage of a range of treatments in the clinic and  work out with the very latest Technogym Artis range of cardiovascular and resistance equipment.

Club Card offer

Join The Hogarth Club's Chiswick Calendar membership with no joining fee and two months for the price of one. Benefit from free personal training sessions, a myriad classes, racquet sports and relax in the pool and spa during the hours 12-4pm weekdays and after 6.30pm on weekends. Other unique offers on different types of membership are also available to Club Card Holders. Ask on joining.

Contact the membership sales team at and be part of something special!  Tel: 0208 995 4600. Just tell them you're a Club Card holder and take your card when you go along for the first time. 


If you have any comments or suggestions, or an event you’d like us to include on The Chiswick Calendar, please contact us at:

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