The inaugural Twickenham Alive Film Festival sparked a lot of interest and a lot of entries. The screening and awards ceremony took place on 26th April at Twickenham Stadium in front of the assembled glitterati from among the twickerati and beyond. Having been banned from attending after an incident at another local event involving a vicar, his pet python, a bottle of tequila and a well-known Richmond Councillor (see note 1 below) your humble correspondent had to report on the evening from a safe distance. Luckily the films are now online for the great viewing public – as well as us – to enjoy. You like? We do. There’s some real talent on display from a diverse mix of film makers.
You can see a selection of the best on the Twickenham Alive website. Of the ones we’ve seen so far, we especially like The Magick of Twickenham (Toby Alington), School Run Strut (Alban Low) and Garden of Reason (Ham Youth Centre). You’ll all have your own favourites, so take a look and let us know which ones warrant a BAFTA, a Twickenham TWAFTA or would get you buffing up a couple of Golden Globes in no time.
Why not add your reviews on here?
Note 1: No such incident took place or is likely to take place.
If you’ve got a bit of spare time and you want to help people in your local community, you could do a lot worse than have a wander down to the Richmond Volunteering Fair on Thursday 9th May. What’s going on? Good question, glad you asked. There will be over 35 organisations and charities showcasing what they do and looking for new volunteers. Whether it’s helping out with arty stuff, young people’s stuff, old people’s stuff, health stuff, environmental stuff or just some other kind of stuff there’s likely to be something that suits you. We’re talking ’bout the likes of Age UK, Orleans House Gallery, Richmond Carers’ Centre, River Thames Boat Project, Victim Support, Shooting Star Chase and loads more. It all takes place at Clarendon Hall, York House and runs from 1.00pm to 7.00pm. Drop on by, why don’t you?
* The Richmond Volunteering Fair
Twickerati celebrated three whole years of existence at the weekend. Perhaps ‘celebrated’ isn’t quite the right word… more a bemused questioning of ‘just how many hours have been spent on that bloody website?’ But to make the birthday event a bit special, the kind folk at Sweetie Pies Boutique Bakery created this giant cupcake for us to mark the occasion. It’s huge, delicious… and now gone.
That’s one big cake!
(Shhh. No need to mention that it was three years not four.)
Even if you don’t live by it, go running or walk the dog by it, it’s worth getting down to the river early on a bright spring morning. Although we don’t usually say things like this… it’s actually quite uplifting.
Spring morning, Orleans Gardens
Spring arrives at last and a paddle boarder enjoys trip up the River Thames. Well we say ‘enjoys’ but we couldn’t get a close up of his facial expression. We’d like to think he was enjoying the sights of Twickenham and Eel Pie Island from the river but he could well have been in an absolutely fuming rage for all we know. Late home for dinner perhaps? Still, a nice evening for it though.
Film buffs among the twickerati might fancy a visit to Cannes, Venice or Sundance (is that even a real place?) but there’s a new kid on the block who’s going to give them a run for their money, whilst pushing the envelope and raising the bar. Do what? It’s only bloody well the first Twickenham Film Festival, isn’t it?
Organised by Twickenham Alive with support from El Brute, the R FU and the R&TT among others, the festival has seen a veritable deluge of entries. The theme for submissions of 10 minute shorts was “Where You Live” and films have been received, not just from around the local area, but from across the UK and even overseas. Among the local entries is The Magick of Twickenham, produced and directed by Toby Alington and set in Church Street and by the Naked Ladies, or ‘the Oceanides’ if you want to get all fussy about it. There are also films from The Teddington Society, students from Richmond College, Richmond Adult College and even regular, normal members of the public.
Did the team at twickerati submit an entry? Well, that really would be telling wouldn’t it. In other words, an unequivocal ‘no’.
The glittering awards ceremony is certain to be an interesting evening, so if you fancy getting along to hear the winners announced and see a selection of the best entries then you’ll need to leave your superyacht at home and get over to Twickenham Stadium on 26th April. The event runs from 7.30pm to 9.30pm. It’s free but you will need to register in advance.
“All right Mr. De Mille, I’m ready for my close-up.”
* Twickenham Film Festival
EXPO A GO GO
And if that’s not enough for you, on the same day in the very same place the Richmond Business Expo takes place. It will feature over 80 local businesses gathered in one spot to network, talk to potential customers, suppliers and even to regular punters about what they can offer. Expect a right old mix from web designers to solicitors to fitness experts to the Council. It’s also free to attend and might be worth a look especially if you want to ‘shop local’ for your business services. The Expo runs from 10.30am to 6.30pm at Twickenham Stadium.
* Richmond Business Expo 2013
We get through a lot of words on this site. No sooner has the latest delivery arrived at the twickerati warehouse near Heathrow than we’re out and about spreading them around the site. Do any of them make sense? Individually yes, but once we start stitching them together into what we like to call ‘sentences’ then the meaning can sometimes be lost. We reckoned that summarising what it all means is best done through the medium of a ‘word cloud’ and so we went onto the Wordle site and cooked up this thing. It shows the most commonly used words on twickerati at the moment. It also shows we love local Twickenham stuff. Beyond that? Not a lot, but it’s quite fun.
Twickerati “Wordle” graphic
* Make your own at Wordle
Richmond Council has launched yet another consultation. This time it’s about stepping up the work to regenerate and re-brand Twickenham. The initiative, which will form part of the overarching Twickenham Area Action Plan (aka the TWAP), is designed to promote the town as an attractive destination for businesses and tourists as well as boosting residents’ perceptions of their own community. External consultants were brought in to produce a blueprint of how best to make Twickenham an attractive visitor destination and promote inward investment. Residents will now be asked to have their say.
The main proposal, which is likely to cause anger in some quarters is to radically re-brand the town by reflecting its status as the home of Richmond Council.
Strawberry Hill is up in arms, the natives with their strange customs are revolting and beautiful maidens are fainting at the thought of Horace Walpole spinning in his grave. Is it the plot of a recently discovered gothic novel? No, it’s the latest edition of the Strawberry Hill Residents Association’s newsletter. It majors on a boundary dispute that’s rocking the Hill and putting other territorial conflicts around the world into the shade. The SHRA is outraged that Twickenham has launched a vicious land grab on parts of Strawberry Hill under the auspices of Richmond Council’s ‘village plans’.
“I remember when all this were paper.” Is that what you think when you stand looking out across the local media landscape? It often feels like the once-dominant local newspaper industry has been bulldozed to make way for a bright new media estate of tweets, blogs, microsites, listing sites, Facebook posts and just about anything else that can be used to transmit news from person A to person B. Except that it’s not quite like that because somewhere in the middle of this confusing new landscape still stands the local newspaper, like a listed building surrounded by new-build.
But even that’s not a totally fair assessment either, for two reasons. The first is that the local paper, in our case Ye Olde Richmond & Twickenham Times, is not just some thatched cottage totally overshadowed by the new. It still has an important role, significant influence and is trying to adapt to the new world. The second reason the thatched cottage analogy doesn’t work is that when the going gets tough, the local paper is not a listed building that can be propped up by English Heritage or Lottery grants for historical or sentimental reasons; it’s a business and could quite easily suddenly stop being one.
TIMES ARE CHANGING
Why mention any of that? Well, sometime ago, many months if we’re honest, a message reached us asking if anyone actually read the Richmond and Twickenham Times anymore and “wouldn’t it be good to do a survey about it”? The answers to those questions are yes and yes. People still read it, businesses still advertise in it and angry residents still write letters to it. But all three of those groups also increasingly do those things online. The business of making actual newspapers out of dead trees is in serious decline. It’s only a matter of time before the traditional printed newspaper is found only in the world of Hoxton retro-chic.