Keep on Truckin’: Twickenham to Host Monster Truck Event?

Photo: LBRuT Planning application

Photo: LBRuT Planning application

At the Council Planning Committee on 25th November, El Brute planning bods were unable to decide whether Twickenham Stadium can host a Monster Jam event next summer. A decision on the plan was deferred amid discussions on CO2 emissions and pollution. Observant twickerati types may already feel as though Twickenham is heaving with Monster trucks during the school run, but the RFU has applied for a change of use for their stadium as Monster Truck racing falls without the definition of ‘sporting event’. In association with Field Entertainment, the one-time cabbage patch may host the event in the summer of 2016 with a crowd of up to 62,000 people.

Objections to the application centred around the noise that may be created by the vehicles while racing round a dirt track specially created in the stadium bowl. Residents were also worried about the ‘static showcase’ situated outside the stadium in the north car park, where amplified music will be played during the event. Some of the 49 objections to the planning application (which can be seen here) refer to an audience of ‘petrol heads’, who are notorious for heavy drinking and noise. Quite how these people differ from those who hold tailgate picnics from their Range Rovers during rugby matches is unclear. Anxiety over unbearable noise and copycat drag racing was countered by a commenter who said that the profile of a typical Monster Jam audience is 5-10 year olds, off their heads on a lethal cocktail of fizzy pop and Tangfastics. And yet the stadium has hosted cars racing around it before, although previously it was the BBC Top Gear team, playing ‘car rugby’… and just look what happened to them.

The event which is planned to last two and half hours on a Saturday afternoon will contain 12 four-ton trucks some 15 feet high with 8.5L engines producing over 1500bhp. The application contains a noise assessment that proposes that the sound from the event on the Whitton Road should be no louder than usual traffic. Given that the review says there will be 12 Monster truck races lasting up to 18 seconds each, one wonders what happens for the other 146 minutes. What isn’t clear from the application is the environmental impact on the local conservation area of the lower Crane valley and the Duke of Northumberland River.

Earlier this month the RFU announced a new partnership with the US National Football League to bring up to five NFL games to the stadium over the next three years. The first match is scheduled for 23 October 2016 with the St Louis Rams playing — likely just one or two weeks before the Autumn Internationals start.

Is this all this US themed entertainment sounding more and more like Twickenham, Alabama than Twickenham, Middlesex? While there is no doubt that the RFU is trying to recoup some its £76 million investment in upgrades to the stadium, it does start to feel that it is trying to host an event whenever there isn’t rugby on. Surely that’s something which can only stretch the accord between the Union and Twickenham residents.

The committee deferred its decision to a subsequent meeting pending more information on carbon emissions and pollution under the Council’s Core Policy on Sustainability. To be continued…

* LBRuT Planning Page

[Contributor: Bill Webb-Ellis]


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Christmas Fairs, Switch Ons, Other Twickmas Stuff!

Christmas display, Corto, Church St. We usually do a big Christmas ‘What’s On Extravaganza’ but as a result of cut backs (of effort) we’ve not done one this year.

Instead we’ve resorted to the simple yet highly effective technique of plagiarism. Yes, the good people behind the Twick Mums website have kindly allowed us to rip off the list that they have been lovingly curating over weeks, if not years.

In order to add that special twickerati Christmas vibe we’ve added a few extra bits of our own both for your benefit and to try to make us feel less ashamed of such blatant thievery. Merry Twickmas.

Scroll right on down or just click on our categories if you want to keep it simple:
Christmas lights
Other Goings On
Panto & Theatre
Music & Comedy
Other Useful Links

Twickenham-Mums-FB-profile centered square

Thursday 26th November

  • 4.00-9.00pm: Lights Up and Shopping Event, Teddington
  • Broad Street, High Street & Elmfield Gardens, Teddington TW11: Broad Street road closure 4.30-5.00pm; High Street road closure 5.00-9.00pm; Elmfield Gardens 6.00-6.30pm carols and switching on of the lights by The Mayor of Richmond Cllr Martin Seymour and Danny Care from Harlequins.

Friday 27th November

  • 4.00-8.00pm (TBC): Christmas Parade, Hampton Hill
  • High Street, Hampton Hill TW12: Details TBC, but this is usually a big event with a street long parade, live music, entertainment, lots of stalls, and children’s entertainment. Road closure at 5.30pm, parade at 6.30pm.
  • 4.45-5.45pm: Christmas Lights Switch-On, East Twickenham
  • Foot of Richmond Bridge, Richmond Road TW1: The Mayor of Richmond will open proceedings, followed by Father Christmas, carol singers, mulled wine, mince pies, children’s luck dip, music and much more.

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Panufnik Pops Up

Here’s something which may pique your interest. Art. Of the local connections variety. Of the quirky, witty and illustrative variety. Right here in Twickenham for a pop-up exhibition next weekend.
Local artist, designer and illustrator Jem Panufnik is holding a pop-up show of paintings, prints and sculpture at Riverside House near Orleans House on the weekend of 28th and 29th November. It’s a two-man show as Jem’s work will be accompanied by that of his ‘fellow breaks luminary’ Mr Rennie Pilgrem. To be honest we’re not entirely sure what a ‘fellow breaks luminary’ is – that wasn’t on the list the provided by the school careers adviser but we’re most definitely going to find out.

And who is this Jem Panufnik? As well as being an artist, film maker, graphics person and illustrator he’s also co-founder of Finger Lickin’ Records. And for those who recognise his style, he’s the man who designed the ‘Save Orleans Riverside’ poster during Gloriana-gate last year. Why did he do that? Well, for him it was personal, his great grandmother, Nellie Ionides, helped the borough acquire the area for parkland in the first place and also saved Orleans House from destruction. Not too shabby for local credentials, eh? We can only wonder what ‘Our Nellie’ would make of something as vulgar as a ‘pop-up’ art show in her old manor. The very thought of it!

Jem & Rennie’s work will be on display for your entertainment, amusement and we assume, your purchasing. Worth popping in we reckon.

Pop up Panufnik show

Pop up Panufnik show

Dates: Sat 28th & Sun 29th Nov
Time: 11.00am – 5.00pm
Where: The Studio, Riverside House, Riverside,Twickenham, TW1 3DJ (next door to Orleans House Gallery)

* Jem Panufnik website


Filed under Local Issues & News, Random Stuff, What's on

Church Street Shows Solidarity Following Paris Attacks

Twickenham’s Church Street showed its solidarity with Paris in the wake of Friday’s terrorist attacks in the French capital. The street is well known for putting out the flags for big rugby matches as well as a host of other occasions and only weeks ago the town welcomed thousands of French rugby fans during the World Cup. Decking out the road with the French tricolor made for a fitting show of support and respect after the horrific events of Friday night.

Church Street, Twickenham

Church Street, Twickenham


Filed under Local Issues & News, Pix of the Week

Body Recovered from Thames at Swan Island

This week’s Richmond & Twickenham Times lead story is the recovery of the body of Anthony Parillon-Ojeer from the Thames at Swan Island last Tuesday. The 32 year old from Ealing was last seen at The George in Twickenham on the evening of Saturday 31st October. His death is not being treated as suspicious and a post-mortem will be carried out. “Missing” posters appealing for Anthony to make contact still dot the towpath between Richmond and Twickenham, a sad reminder of this tragic event.

* Richmond & Twickenham Times

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Twickenham Riverside & Town Square Plan – Have We Come Full Circle?

Santander. King St / Water Lane

King St / Water Lane

There’s no local issue guaranteed to get Twickenham people all fired up quite like the fate of the old swimming pool site by the river. Apart from Heathrow expansion, the RFU, the Gloriana boathouse debacle, schools, cycle lanes and traffic that is, but let’s put them to one side for a second.

When it comes to the saga of the old Twickenham Baths site, or more specifically the piece of land running from Water Lane down to Embankment then this week is an important one. It’s time for the big reveal. Woohoo! This is the week when you get to see LBRuT’s plans for a town square (and other stuff) which will, so we are told, ‘give a focus to the town’ and help open up the space between King Street and Twickenham’s greatest asset. And by ‘greatest asset’ we don’t mean the twickerati ice cream van or even that giant pink rugby ball, we mean the riverside. The concept being promoted by El Brute is a ‘regency style’ development complete with covered arcade, colonnade and amphitheatre. Well, at least we can say that there’s not a lot of that in Twickenham town centre at the moment. Continue reading


Filed under Council, Local Issues & News, Twickenham Action Plan

The Future of Twickerati – Are You Part of It?

ice-cream-van-twickenham-twickeratiHi Twickenham people, you’re all looking mighty fine today it has to be said.  But then again you always do.

Way back in May I told you that I wanted to take a step back from the blogosphere for a while or possibly even for ever. In true twickerati style I did and also did not do exactly that.  Everyone in the team (of one) certainly cut right back from those heady days of trying to update the site twice a week. It was like a very heavy but strangely pleasant weight being lifted off our collective shoulders (both of them) but we still ended up doing a smattering of ‘not-so-good’ posts anyway because in Twickenham there’s always interesting shizzle going down.  In other words, I couldn’t quite bear to give up completely on something that’s time consuming, frequently frustrating but often fun. Killing off a vibrant ‘hyperlocal’ web site felt illogical. Continue reading


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Twickenham Sunset

We’ve abandoned ‘Pic of the Week’ for the time being but thought this photo of the sky at sunset was just about worth a share with you. It was taken on Twickenham Green on a Sunday earlier in October. And for what it’s worth, no filters were harmed or used in the taking of this photograph.

Orange sunset on the Green

Orange from Green


Filed under Pix of the Week

Eel Pie Museum – Catch the Pop Up Before It Pops Off

Eel Pie Island was once at the heart of a music scene that helped kick start the careers of many famous bands. Performers who went on to become known the world over included The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton and Rod Stewart. From the 50s through to the early 70s this small island in the Thames at Twickenham was central to a British jazz and rhythm and blues explosion which resonated far beyond the boundaries of south west London’s premier leafy suburb (that’s Twickenham btw).

The Eel Pie Museum explores the contribution of Eel Pie Island to Britain’s music heritage. As you know from previous pieces here on twickerati the museum is still looking for a permanent home but if you want to get an insight into what went down on the island, how it all began, who played and how it all ended then then there’s a pop up exhibition at Twickenham Library. It’s been running over the summer but if you’ve not seen it yet you’ve got until the end of October to take a look. It’s well worth dropping in.

Eel Pie Island Museum

Eel Pie Island Museum

Welcome to Eelpiland

Welcome to Eelpiland

The museum is located upstairs at Twickenham Library and runs until the end of October.
Opening times:
Mon 13.00 – 18.30
Tue closed
Wed closed
Thur 11.00 – 5.30
Fri 11.00 – 5.30
Sat 11.00 – 3.30
Sun 13.00 – 4.30

And don’t forget that if you like your music heritage on the move, there’s always the Swinging 60s Shuttle Bus to take you on a tour of the area’s musical sights. Or if you want to hear live R&B today, keeping up the tradition made famous on the island then check out the Eel Pie Club.

* Eel Pie Museum
* Swinging 60s Shuttle Bus
* Eel Pie Club

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