Christmas time, mistletoe and wine,
most of our shops sport a charity sign;
But with hand-crafted coffee and an artisan treat,
we ponder the state of our local high street.
Despite it being a time-consuming exercise involving endless Googling and plagiarising, the team has put together a quick guide to some of the events going on in Twickenham over the next few weeks. Keen observers may have spotted that Christmas falls during that period, which is a handy co-incidence given that there’s so much happening. Funny how things work out isn’t it?
St Margarets Christmas Fair – Sunday 9th Dec
The Fair takes place on Crown Road between 11.00am & 4.00pm with festive food, drinks, stalls, games and an open-air carol service. More info.
Twickenham Green – Sunday 16th Dec
Wooo! Twickenham Green is also doing a switch-on this year. There’ll be a Christmas Fayre, stalls, food & drink, carol singing, snow(!) and the presence of Mr Rob Brydon to do the honours with the lights. Yes people, Sir Robworth of Brydonshire himself will be there. In your face Teddington! Starts at 4.00pm with the switch-on at 5.45pm.
OTHER CHRISTMAS ACTIVITY THINGS
7th to 9th Dec – French Market on Church Street. You know the score by now. Du vin, du pain, du bottle of strange cider. Or was it vinegar? Hard to tell sometimes.
8th & 9th Dec – Christmas Fair at Orleans House Gallery. 1.00pm to 6.00pm. Gifts, books, cards, toys and seasonal food in the Octagon Room and Coach House. Mulled wine & music too. Sounds right proper Christmassy don’t it, Mr Scrooge? Info.
8th Dec School Christmas Fairs – Stanley Primary (12.00-3.00pm) & Archdeacon Cambridge (12.00pm-4.00pm) both have their Christmas fairs on Sat 8th.
8th & 9th Dec – Eel Pie Island Artists open studio. See below
8th Dec – Decorating Workshops, Jubilee Gardens. Save up your old plastic bottles, cartons, bags etc and take them with you to create Christmas decorations out of recyclables for Twickenham Riverside Trust’s “Diamond Jubilee Tree”. Runs from 11.00am to 3.00pm. Live music. Tree lights at 5.00pm. Ages 5 “to infinity”.
9th Dec – VSO Charity Auction. At the Winchester Room in St Margarets at 7.00pm to raise money for VSO. Tickets here or more info from email@example.com
13th Dec – For Sanity’s Sake Christmas Party. The award-winning local website for parents of pre-schoolers is hosting its Christmas Party featuring ‘Flirty not Dirty’ burlesque dancing and the Tempo Tots adult choir. Intrigued? Info here.
Strawberry Hill House – As usual there’s a whole bunch of interesting stuff going on at SHH including glass painting, paper crafts, a twilight tour and, from the 7th to the 19th December, a ‘promenade play’ of ‘The Last Great Lady’. SHH Events Info
Sat 29th Dec – Big Game 5. KO 2.15pm. The return of the Big Game to Twickenham Stadium and this year Quins take on London Irish. A good afternoon out with lots of entertainment as well as the rugby itself. Info.
Ice skating – Steady! Although the plans for a temporary rink at York House were approved by LBRuT, this is now slated to go ahead next year rather than this. So, if you want to go skating then Hampton Court is the nearest.
PANTO & THEATRE
Richmond Shakespeare Society, Twickenham – The highly respected local theatre group will be putting on ‘Dracula’ from 8th to 15th December. You can ‘Count’ on it being an entertaining evening.
* Richmond Shakespeare Society Info.
The Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond – Upcoming ‘winterval’ shows include a generous helping of French farce in ‘Sauce for the Goose’ (19th Dec to 2nd Feb)
* Orange Tree Info.
Richmond Theatre – It’s panto time and Aladdin will be wooing the audiences. Oh, no he won’t! Rub my lamp, [insert your panto own joke here], etc. Tim Vine and Suzanne Shaw star. From 7th Dec.
* Richmond Theatre Info.
Rose Theatre, Kingston – The Christmas production at the Rose is ‘Cinderella the Midnight Princess’ which runs from 30th Nov to 6th Jan. Followed by Tess of the d’Urbervilles.
* Rose Theatre
Strawberry Hill House – The Last Great Lady. A promenade play in the gothic setting of Strawberry Hill House. The play tells the true story of Lady Frances Waldegrave, the celebrated society hostess and owner of the house in the mid-1800s.
* SHH Info
Orleans House Gallery – The Building of a Borough. An exhibition exploring the built history of the borough from the 1880s to the 1960s. Runs from 2nd Dec to 3rd Feb at OHG. Info
The Stables Gallery at Orleans House – Anne Purkiss: Local Faces. Nov to March 2013. A collection of black and white photos by local photographer Anne Purkiss of people whose lives are connected with the Borough. Info
8th & 9th Dec – Eel Pie Island Open Studios. 10.30am – 6.30pm. A chance to have a nose around the artists’ studios on Eel Pie Island and do a bit of Christmas shopping into the bargain. Well worth a wander. Info.
MUSIC & COMEDY
Too many other bits & pieces to list specifics but here are three different, regular nights going on where you might find something you like:
* Bearcat Comedy Club – top comedy line ups – www.bearcatcomedy.co.uk
* TwickFolk – traditional & contemporary folk – www.twickfolk.co.uk
* The Eel Pie Club – rhythm & blues – www.eelpieclub.com
Couldn’t find anything relevant? Well, you can do your own Googling but why not consider checking out Christmas activities at the likes of Ham House, Hampton Court and Kew Gardens, all of which have Christmas events going on.
Or try one of these websites instead.
* Visit Richmond
Other useful sites:
* Twickenham Town Business Association
* Twickenham Alive
* The Best of Richmond
* Arts Richmond (for arts stuff around the borough)
* For Sanity’s Sake (for things to do with young children)
* Twickermum (site for Twickenham mums with kids but does quite a bit more. The clue’s in the name)
Check back soon for new additions. Feel free to add other things as comments below. If we like them we’ll even add them to the main text.
Been & gone….
The main events to switch on Christmas lights in the area take place as follows:
Teddington – Thursday 29th Nov
Tedders does its thing in the High Street & Broad Street between 5.30pm & 8.30pm. Lights go on at 6.00pm outside Elmfield House.
Twickenham Town Centre – Friday 30th Nov
The big Christmas lights switch-on takes place in Church Street and there’s also plenty happening in the Diamond Jubilee Gardens too. In the Gardens there will be food & drink and craft stalls from 2.30pm and live music from 5.00pm. Church Street will have Punch & Judy shows and a Santa’s Grotto in the Square by Crusader Travel, a Laverstoke Park Farm hog roast, the Kneller Hall Military Band and, no doubt, a lot of mulled wine and spiced apple juice. The tree lights will get turned on at 6.30pm outside Barclays Bank.
Richmond – Friday 30th Nov
Between 5.00pm & 9.00pm there’ll be a lot going on ‘over the water’. The big switch-on is being performed by Tim Vine and Suzanne Shaw, who are starring in Richmond’s panto, Aladdin. Among the events, Twickenham based singer Shelle Luscombe will be performing in George St at 5.15pm and then on the Riverside from about 7.15pm.
Hampton – Sunday 2nd December
Events and entertainments from about 3.30pm. Will feature the lighting of the tree by Father Christmas at the Sea Scout Hut, Station Rd 4.15pm. Roads Closed. Details here.