Pic of the Week: Low Tides

It’s November and that means we’re in the zone of the annual “draw-off” at Richmond Lock and Weir. This is the time when the sluices get opened meaning that water isn’t held back as the tide goes out and so low tides between Richmond and Teddington Lock get, well, really low. What’s the point? It allows the lock, weir and sluices to be maintained and the river bed to be inspected. And, for those of us who don’t actually work for the Port of London Authority it’s a time to take photos and have a good old nose around the river bank.

Here’s a pic from Twickenham resident Garth Tucker.

Low means low. Thames at Twickenham [copyright & courtesy of: Garth Tucker]

Low means low. Thames at Twickenham
[copyright & courtesy of: Garth Tucker]

And here’s another, this time by the twickerati resident staff snapper.

Low tide just got lower

Low tide just got lower

This year’s draw-off runs from 1st to 23rd November.

LINK:

* PLA – Draw off info

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Twickenham Ice Rink to Return?

Strawberry Hill House [UPDATE at 13/11/14: The ice rink has now been approved by LBRuT Planning Committee]

After last winter’s temporary ‘Richmond Rink’ in the grounds of York House, the organisers at Twickenham Alive are hoping for the go-ahead for a repeat performance, but in the grounds of Strawberry Hill House rather than at the seat of Council power. The plans have been circulating for a while but a final decision from El Brute’s planning supremos is still pending. A committee ruling is expected at the meeting on 12th November and it’ll need to happen then if the rink is to open just a few weeks later on December 6th.

Here at twickerati HQ the verdict from the editor’s suite on the 17th floor is that this is a good idea and that the proposed location is a better choice than on top of the tennis courts at the side of York House. It may not be quite as accessible or central but it’s certainly more picturesque, or has the capability of being so, and isn’t that a large part of what these temporary rinks are all about? We also reckon the Diamond Jubilee Gardens would be a good spot but that one will have to wait for another year.

There is a fair amount of support for the Strawberry Hill House rink idea but, needless to say, there’s some local opposition too – the noise, the cars, the food, all those bloody people enjoying themselves. Last year’s temporary rink was small and particularly well suited to families with young children. Even if the proposed rink is slightly bigger (which appears to be the case) it’s unlikely to change the clientele substantially – perhaps a few more student types from St Mary’s University next door. Will there really be an influx of ‘skater louts’? We doubt it. We reckon it will be popular with normal people; people a little bit like you, perhaps. And after all, doesn’t Strawberry Hill House already get a steady stream of visitors in the summer? Why shouldn’t it continue to do that for a couple of months in the winter too?

So, is this whole ice rink malarky plan treading on thin ice or will it see you walking in a winter wonderland?

A planning committee decision is expected in mid-November and, if approved, the rink will run from 6th December to 25th January. Tickets will be available online, at the rink and through Crusader Travel in Church Street.

LINKS:
* Richmond Rink (in Twickenham / Strawberry Hill)
* Crowdfunding page
* Planning application (14/3393/FUL)
* LBRuT planning committee page

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Get Ready For… The 4th Annual Twickenham Twickerati Social Thingy

Remember, remember, the thirteenth of November. Why? It’s only bloody time for the 4th annual Twickenham twickerati hyperlocal meet up thingy, isn’t it?! Some might call it a ‘social’, others a ‘tweet up’, and others might just wonder what the hell we’re talking about.

The point of it, if indeed there is one, is to have an informal ‘buy your own drinks’ social for any Twickenham-based tweeters, ‘likers’, bloggers, scribblers, web hosters, Facebook posters, business folk and folky types who want to get together. It’s a chance to talk Twickenham (or even not), swap ideas, put faces to names, and even make some contacts. Or just have a beer or a glass of wine. And that’s it! There’s no hard sell, no presentations, no group hugs.

There have been three previous events, with the last two years attracting over 40 people. Yes, really. This year we’re delighted to be going to The Cabbage Patch, one of Twickenham’s best pubs.

As FDR might have said, had he been alive and inclined to come along, “Do not be shy. You have nothing to be shy about except shyness itself”.

Details:
Date: Thursday 13th November 2014
Time: From 8.00pm
Location: The Cabbage Patch, London Road, Twickenham (in the space at the back)

One last thing… if you do run a local website, blog or whatever and you do want people to know who you are (which might be useful) then feel free to wear some kind of name badge. It would be a great help.

Any questions? Ask them below or email us: twickerati @ gmail .com

Right then… who’s in?

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High Street Update (Updated)

It’s been a long time since our last Twickenham high street update. Has much really happened in the last 3 months? You bet your bottom dollar it has. And we’ve even added a couple of updates right at the end.

Heath Road has been a veritable hive of activity with openings (hooray) and closings (boo) reflecting the ever changing face of High Street UK.  Probably the biggest story is the closure of Albert’s Music Shop after 62 years of supporting the musical folk of south west London.  It’s a shame to see a longstanding family business disappear and the end of Albert’s will leave a big gap on the high street. These are tough times for specialist retailers and the internet’s gain is Twickenham’s loss.

Albert's Music Shop

Albert’s Music Shop

Shall we talk about 39 Heath Road again? Yes, let’s! It’s been home to restaurants with more names than Lord Voldemort but was most recently known as Istanbul Ocakbasi.  That has been shut for a while but now building work is taking place to give it a re-fit ready for its next incarnation. We hear it’s going to be an Italian, possibly a Sicilian.  Whatever it is, we wish the new business at that particular location the very, very, VERY best of luck.

Continue reading

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Twickenham Theatre to Close?

twickenham theatreThe new Twickenham Theatre above the London Road bar (on London Road, obviously) has closed after its very first run. Why? Well, it wasn’t down to lack of interest from west London theatre goers. Its first production, Sweeney Todd, received excellent reviews and even added extra dates to meet demand. The closure is all about the venue. The London Road has been sold by its owners and, according to the theatre’s Executive Director Tony Green when quoted in The Stage, “The new landlords do not ‘figure theatre as part of their plans’.” Here at twickerati HQ we reckon that’s a big shame.

Mr Green is now looking for a new venue in the area to build on the success of Twickenham Theatre’s first, but hopefully not last, production.

LINKS:
* The Stage
* Twickenham Theatre

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Richmond Literature Festival

RICHMOND LIT FEST logo (with dates_colour)Words. They didn’t come easy to singing Frenchman F.R. David in his boring yet surprisingly successful early 80s hit of that name but there are plenty of them coming up in the Borough over the weeks ahead. Why? It’s the return of the Richmond Literature Festival, that’s why. Here at twickerati HQ we thought that a quick preview of the event would work well and would work even better if we could get someone else to write it for us. Carla Bromhead from the London Borough upon Thames Arts Service has volunteered to be just that someone. These are her words…

“The Richmond Literature Festival will once again take place throughout November, bringing a range of exciting literary events to the borough. This year’s main programme features a range of literary figures and personalities covering a variety of subjects including history, music, art, politics and war. Highlights include the esteemed actor Sheila Hancock at the Orange Tree Theatre and British Museum curator, Irving Finkel discussing his discovery of an ancient Babylonian tablet which was the subject of a Channel 4 documentary recently.

As part of the festival, the Richmond Shakespeare Society (usually based at the Mary Wallace Theatre in Twickenham) will be celebrating the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth with a special performance titled Love’s Fool in the Octagon Room at Orleans House Gallery. Twickenham will also welcome Charles Beauclerk whom will be discussing his biography of the pianist John Ogdon.

Strawberry Hill House will be the atmospheric location for an evening delving into the English obsession with vampires in a talk with acclaimed writers Essie Fox and Lynn Shepherd. It will also be the venue for BBC Antiques Roadshow’s Marc Allum to tell the tales of his discoveries in the intriguing market of antiques. And at the end of the festival, when you’re starting to feel slightly Christmassy, Kneller Hall will host an evening with Andrew Gant, composer and former choirmaster at Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal, to dissect the stories behind our well known carols and kick start the Christmas season (mince pies included!)

The Literature Festival is also very proud to be working in partnership with St Mary’s University on a series of events held examining the art of writing.

Tell us which festival events you’re looking forward to or add your reviews in the comments below.”

LINKS:
* For more information on all the events in this year’s festival programme and to book tickets: visit www.richmondliterature.com or call 020 8831 6494

* Keep up to date with festival news and share your thoughts on Twitter @richmondlitfest

* ‘Words’ by FR David (Warning: contains tedious repetition)

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And in Other News… Schools (Again)

Another month, another bit of school news. Or in this case, not one, not two but three pieces of schools related information that fall under the banner of FYI.

Richmond College

Richmond College

You’re already familiar with the plan to develop a Richmond Education and Enterprise Campus on the current Richmond College site at Egerton Road in Twickenham aren’t you? It’s the joint partnership between the College, El Brute, Harlequins and Haymarket Media. As part of the plans a new secondary school will be established, opening in 2017. In fact, you’re probably already thinking, “Didn’t I already comment on that proposal a while back?” And you’d be bloody right too. There was indeed an opportunity to feedback on the initial plans but now you’ve got another one. Yes really. This time it’s a chance to find out more about the detailed proposals. Deja vu all over again? Maybe, but in more depth. The consultation will be on the REEC website and there will also be drop-in sessions at Richmond College on 21st October and 4th November.  The canvassing of views about a revamped site comes at time when the college has garnered more column inches in the Richmond & Twickenham Times. On this occasion it’s about drug taking and dealing in the playground on Craneford Way allegedly by college students. Continue reading

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Nice One, Geyser!

Nice one, geyser. [Photo courtesy of @DPBedford on Twitter]

Nice one, geyser.
[Photo courtesy of @DPBedford on Twitter]


A plume of water rises into the air outside Sandy’s Fishmonger. A new idea as part of the Twickenham Action Plan or simply a burst water main? We reckon the latter but it made for quite a sight on a rainy Monday in October. Cue plenty of traffic disruption and local shopkeepers digging out their insurance policies.

Richmond Council have just announced that the temporary road closures and diversions will remain in place for 24 hours while Thames Water carry out remedial work. Here’s their page about it.

Thanks to @DPBedford on Twitter for the photo.

And here are a couple more…

This one’s from @originalrobyn

And this via @becksbake

The hole, complete with a fixed pipe, pictured on Tuesday morning:
IMG_6348

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Heathrow announces early cancellation of current airspace trials

twickerati:

A useful update from Teddington Town on the recent Heathrow departure trials and the airport’s decision to bring them to an early close after significant adverse feedback from local residents (including the TT initiated petition), groups and MPs.

Originally posted on Teddington, Middlesex, UK:

NewsHeathrow announced today that it will be ending the current airspace trials on two months early, on the 12th November 2014.

This is in light of residents feedback (thanks to all those that signed the petition and included comments) and meetings with local groups, authorities and MPs. Yesterday we met with Heathrow to discuss the trials and their effect on the local community – full write-up of the meeting & other info will follow soon.

LHR then expressed their wish to end the trials early due to the massive number of complaints they had received but also needed to ensure enough data was recorded to have results analysed.

The reasons for not widely publicising the trials in advance included not wanting to skew results, also the first trial Jan-June this year only received just over 100 complaints. LHR thought feedback to the second trial would be similar numbers so thought…

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