Sir? Madam? Can we tempt you with a brief High street update? Indeed, we would be sincerely honoured if you were to peruse the following article. Err, like, now dudes.
York Street’s in a right old state of flux. Carpet House is closing down and the Rugby Store is moving on. From all the newspaper plastered over the windows recently it looks as if Hair Design (10 York Street) is no more. Work going on inside suggests a new shop will be opening there soon selling phone accessories, gadgets, mobile top-ups, sunglasses and the like [Update: It's called Khan Communication]. Din’s Grill – the intermittently open takeaway sans pareil - is getting a refurb and a new independently run takeaway will open in its place; something a little bit different we hear. And it does seem that we may finally see some movement in what was the old Shanghai Village restaurant with the long-awaited (by some, perhaps) arrival of the estate agents Foxtons at 20-24 York Street. A few steps along, the short-lived Bathrooms4All (now Bathrooms4None) store could be getting new occupiers soon…
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.
UPDATE: Deadline for online voting is Thur 16th May.
Previously: Back on the subject of Heathrow expansion, next week El Brute will be sending out ballot cards to voters in the Borough to allow them to have their say on the matter. The poll will provide an opportunity for residents to confirm that they don’t want a third runway at the airport and nor do they want any increase in flights. The deadline for voting will be 16th May, although the precise date on which the foregone conclusion will be announced has yet to be confirmed.
Residents wanting further information about what a third runway and an increase in flights might mean for them can find out more from the Richmond Council website. There will also be information stalls set up around the Borough on specific days. In Twickenham the info-stall will appear on 23rd April at our very own ‘speakers corner’, namely on King Street outside Santander bank. And if you want to get really heated, there will be a Question Time type event in Richmond on the evening of Friday 3rd May. Expect Vince, Zac, the Blue Baron Lord True, and others to show up to express their opposition to expansion of the airport. The Council are even hoping to find a pro-expansion lobbyist or two to sit on the panel and be shouted down by residents.
Ooh. And there’s a YouTube video too where the great and the good from the local political scene voice their concerns about Heathrow Expansion.
So, will it be useful for Richmond Council to know that 83% of the people that voted (as opposed to say 79.2%) are opposed to Heathrow expansion? Perhaps. But then again, perhaps a quick opinion poll could have done it more cheaply.
* Richmond Council ‘Be Heard’ – voting deadline: Thur 16th May
* Cross party Richmond Council You Tube video
* Previously on twickerati (including Zac’s mega-runway-rally on 27th April)
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
Remember all that guff in the Council’s Highways Improvement Plan about getting rid of the cycle lanes in central Twickenham. Of course you do. It was a right old dog’s dinner of a proposal wasn’t it? Obviously some self-styled experts somewhere felt that improving the lot of cyclists and encouraging more people onto bikes would be best served by getting rid of bike lanes and forcing cyclists to mix with motorised traffic in the busiest roads in the town centre. Luckily some people disagreed. Richmond Cycling Campaign and others have lobbied for changes to the plan and, to be fair to the Council, they have listened.
According to Tim Lennon’s article on the Richmond Cycling Campaign website, the latest proposals from El Brute will see cycle lanes re-instated in the plan for King Street and London Road and will also see improvements for cyclists at the Cross Deep junction. There’s also an idea to establish a contraflow cycle lane running up Church Street to help people avoid the frantic King Street / York Street / London Road intersection (or ‘junction of doom‘ as Tim calls it) if they want to. Together with a few other bits and pieces this all sounds like a significant improvement on the previous plan. You can read more on the RCC website.
Meanwhile the rozzers have been out and about clamping down on motorists using the cycle lane on the London Road bridge. The boys in blue have been dishing out fixed penalty notices to drivers who’ve chosen to drive in the cycle lane. Good for them we say – the police that is, not the drivers – especially if it persuades school minibuses and council vehicles not to drive in the lane. A little bit like those pictured below, for example.
London Road bike (and van) lane
* Richmond Cycling Campaign Article
There’s nothing like an airport to bring out the nimby in us all. Well, maybe that or a nuclear power plant… or a new abattoir. Or perhaps even a nuclear powered abattoir with a giant picture of TV’s Nick Knowles on the side? How d’ya like them apples?!
Although Howard Davies is not due to report on Heathrow expansion until after the next election, funny dat, the war of words rumbles on with claim and counter claim from the various lobby groups. Residents and local authorities are fretting about increased noise levels from a third – and possibly fourth – runway. Millions if not billions of Londoners lives will be ruined by the roar of jet engines overhead as we all gag on a smog of aviation exhaust. Airport and business types tell us that’s all a load of scaremongering and that the extra capacity will give us a much-needed economic boost as futuristic planes take-off and land with about as much noise as feather colliding with a big fluffy ball of cotton wool at 2 miles per hour.
In other words, we can we believe any of them? Dunno. So what’s the latest anyway? The 2M Group which represents local authorities concerned about the environmental impact of Heathrow on their communities, and which includes our very own Richmond Council, has warned that, “A four-runway Heathrow could blight the lives of three million people and spoil the quiet enjoyment of huge parts of our city”. This would represent a mahoosive increase from the 1 million currently estimated to be affected. Earlier this week the Evening Standard published a ‘noise contour’ map produced by 2M showing the full noise impact of four runways. Twickenham’s already affected by noise but more runways would lead to changing flight paths and potentially more disruption. For many other areas it could lead to significant increases. Needless to say pro-airport lobbyists rubbished the map saying that the runways would not necessarily in those specific positions and that, hey, maybe just the three runways would be enough thanking you kindly.
Who’s right and what’s to be done? Well, the battle of claim and counter claim, political lobbying and carefully placed press briefings will continue. That’s a given. And as part of all of that local(ish) MP Zac Goldsmith is helping organise a so-called “mega-rally” on 27th April to show the strength of opposition to Heathrow expansion. Although it’s billed as an all-party affair with a range of speakers, Boris will show up to steal some limelight. Make of that what you will. Time to get your placards out and start waving them around? And no Boris, that’s not a euphemism.
The mega-rally takes place from 9.30am-10.30am at Barn Elms Playing Fields, Barnes, SW13 9SA.
* Evening Standard ‘Exclusive’
* 2M Group
* Zac Goldsmith and his Heathrow Mega Rally