FYI. It’s just over a year until Twickenham will ring to the sound of Sweet Chariots of Fire, the thwack of boot on ball and the gurgle of beer in gullet as the grandest egg chasing competition of them all comes to town. That’s right, it’s the rugby World Cup! And it’s not just an event that’s at Twickenham, we can expect the whole thing to feel a bit more, err, Twickenhammy all over than your regular set of internationals. It’s a big deal. If you’ve got questions about it then you’ve now got a chance to ask someone. We mean, of course, about how it will affect you and the town rather than about the fine detail of Stuart Lancaster’s team selection. Those World Cup organising committee types are running a ‘community engagement event‘ on the afternoon of Friday 27th June and the morning of Saturday 28th to answer your questions. Want more detail about timings? The image says it all – literally. Click to enlarge it and ye shall find.
So busy has this item become that we’ve added an updates section. Click Here to go directly to it. And it’s also worth noting that the comments stretch back over two pages so look out for the ‘older comments’ button when you get to the end.
[Edit: this article has been superseded by a more up to date article here and another here.]
Previously, on twickerati…
Welcome to ‘Gloriana World’ at Twickenham! Don’t knock it, it could be coming soon to a river near you. The royal barge Gloriana ‘off of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee’ needs a home. The proposal coming from Lord True, sorry, we mean Richmond Council, is that a new, purpose-built boat house at Orleans Gardens could be just the ticket. And what’s more, we’re not just talking solely about a boat house, we’re talking about a visitors centre, new cafe and new play area too.
Here at twickerati HQ, we like to mix a bit of nimbyism with support for progress and change. It’s an odd mix. It sometimes works but it does also mean we get nervous when presented with grand solutions to problems that we didn’t know existed.
As we wait for El Brute to decide on the subject of their next consultation, TFL are doing a real consultation that you might actually want to take a look at. It’s the busy St Margarets roundabout on the A316 which is the subject. The proposal? Well, it’s to “improve accessibility to crossing facilities” at the roundabout. This would involve removing the existing footbridge and replacing it with new, improved ‘toucan’ crossing facilities which can be shared by pedestrians and cyclists. This relates only to the western side of the roundabout near the footbridge (soon to be ex-footbridge), with the other crossing points being up for only minor amendments to signage. According to TFL the result will be that “all roads on this roundabout would then have accessible crossing points”.
This is a busy roundabout on the A316, near housing and very close to St Stephens primary school. Lots of cars, lots of kids. In other words, it’s important to get this right. Here at twickerati HQ we don’t know a great deal about road crossings – it’s not our forte – so we’ll just content ourselves with saying that safer crossings sound like a good idea but that an existing, properly working bridge might also be regarded as a safe option. Perhaps it’s just cost that prevents a “both, said Pooh” solution being applied.
* TFL A316 Consultation (deadline: 4th July)
When it comes to pomp and ceremony we’re better than the Queen or at least equal to her. The changing of the guard. The trooping of the colour. What do they say to you? Tradition? Days when Great Britain really was great? Tourists getting in the bloody way? All of the above, maybe? But we don’t actually care about SW1, we care about TW1 and Twickenham now has its own version of these esteemed traditions. We are, of course, talking about ‘the moving of the bus stops’ and ‘the widening of the pavements’. These two great ceremonies have become central to Twickenham life over recent months and, judging by some of the feedback on here and on Twitter, might still be for some time to come.
It’s a TWAP thing of course (that’s the Twickenham Action Plan, btw). Under the TWAP King Street is to become a more pleasant environment with no bus stops, wider pavements, more bike parking and with vehicle traffic flowing safely and sedately through it. That’s the theory. During the work the traffic in adjacent streets like Heath Road and Cross Deep seems to have got worse. Some think it will stay like that. We must not rush to judgement. Now, we all know that to be one of the most irritating and pompous phrases around but it also carries truth. It would be unfair to rule on the success or otherwise of the plan until all the work is complete but we cannot stop people from speculating in the meantime. In fact, we actively encourage it.
Central reservation changes
But don’t just listen to us, have your say too.
The recent Foodies Festival at Marble Hill House drew in punters from around the area keen to experience a wide range of stalls, watch cookery demonstrations, listen to some live music and generally stuff their faces full of food and drink. Not a bad idea if you ask us. It was a good event. But of course it was an English Bank Holiday weekend and that usually means one thing: rain. OK, so it didn’t rain for the duration but there was plenty of it. The result? Getting all those vehicles off the park left the grass in front of the house looking more like farm tracks than a suburban park – and we should know, we went to the countryside once.
Basically, a large area is a massive mess. We’re talking mud, ruts and the odd splattering of engine oil. We’re sure it will be sorted out between English Heritage and the festival organisers but it’s likely to involve some quite significant costs. The planning statement for the event indicated that it would return for a second year but we can’t see either English Heritage or park users being particularly keen on that unless something changes, and not just the weather. English Heritage’s ‘Design and Access’ statement in their El Brute submission said, “The principal physical impacts on the site are the wear and tear of vehicles during installation and dismantling, mitigated by the use of a track-way. Reinstatement of any damage to the grounds will take place immediately after the event”. Well, there was a trackway but it was clearly inadequate for the heavy rain / heavy vehicle combination over the weekend. Continue reading
The 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings seemed like an appropriate time to highlight the role that Camp Griffiss, located in Bushy Park, played in the build up to the invasion. The Teddington Town website has a given a potted history of the camp. We liked it and so we decided to ‘re-blog’ it.
Originally posted on Teddington, Middlesex, UK:
In 1942 construction began on Camp Griffiss, a 60 acre site created on requisitioned land in Bushy Park to house the Eighth Air Force, a strategic bombing force. This base was later was chosen by General Dwight Eisenhower as the location for Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF), deliberately away from central London to minimise the risk from air attacks.
In addition to anti-aircraft batteries being placed in the park, Diana Fountain, Leg of Mutton pond and Heron ponds were drained and covered with camouflage netting so as to not aid enemy bombers with navigation and bomb-sighting of the base.
Camp Griffiss from the air, along Sandy Lane, looking North. Click for larger version.
View original 274 more words
Twickfest has arrived! It was heaved into life in the traditional way – the tug of war – outside The Eel Pie pub on Church Street. As in previous years teams from around the town are battling it out for the title of top tuggers. In fact, with the election dust still settling we can’t help but think that some kind of political party based theme might have been appropriate. Or, given the relatively low turnout for local elections, perhaps introducing tug of wars into the democratic process could be one way to drum up a bit of excitement.
Meanwhile, there’s a wide range of events going on across June to keep you busy. You can check our listing of what’s on when by clicking here. Or if you just want to see photographic evidence of ‘stuff’ then we’ll be adding photos of assorted festival shenanigans to this item over the weeks ahead.
Tug of War
A few weeks ago we began the search to find Twickenham’s cutest pet. We said there was no prize on offer. We lied. Such was the torrent of fine looking felines and cute canines that you drew to our attention that we asked a few local businesses if they’d like to judge the contenders and offer a prize. And guess what? Those friendly folk at Sweetie Pies Boutique Bakery on Church Street took up the challenge. Better still, they’ve offered not one but two prizes. God, don’t you just love this whole local thing? You can see the mighty Twickenham pet parade via the link below but… drum roll.. the winner and runner up are:
First place – and the recipient of a voucher for afternoon tea for two at Sweetie Pies – is… Muffin! Or rather Muffin’s owner @rainbowlem. Top snapping Rainbowlem!
— Rainbow (@rainbowlem) May 14, 2014
The runner up – doing it for the dogs is… or rather are… Little and Large as pictured by Dave. Result! Dave’s just got himself a £10 voucher to get all caked up at Sweetie Pies. Nice work Dave.
A big thanks to all who took part in the non-competition, to our prize giver, of course, to our winner and runner up.
HELLO! The weather might be a bit so-so but the great twickerati (that’s you btw) won’t be deterred by a cloud or two. You’re better than that. What the hell, let’s re-phrase it… we’re better than that!
Twickenham Festival and a load of other summer fun is upon us. We don’t do proper listings on this site (it’s just too hard and we’re just too lazy) but we have pulled out a few highlights for you. And of course, as you’d expect, we’ve provided copious links to sites which contain not only more, but better, information than you’ll find here. So let’s get to it, let’s get ready to #Twickfest!
[UPDATE: And now that things are underway, we've created a new item for festival pictures so take a look.]