Gloriana Boathouse Plan Dropped

Gloriana at Twickenham in 2012

Gloriana at Twickenham in 2012

 The idea to build a boathouse and dock for royal barge Gloriana at Orleans Gardens in Twickenham has been shelved by Richmond Council. In a press release on Friday 12th, El Brute said that although the results had not been fully analysed, “It is clear a substantial majority of respondents were opposed to Gloriana’s permanent home at this site. It has therefore been agreed between the Council and the Gloriana trustees not to proceed any further with this project”.

Here at twickerati we regard this as the right decision although it did take El Brute rather a long time to get there. Nice boat, sure, but Orleans Gardens was not an appropriate location for such a large construction. There was a very active and vocal campaign against the proposal led by the team at Save Orleans Riverside. As part of their work they secured 4,500 signatures for their petition opposing the plan and, as you know, our own poll (with over 1,600 votes cast) showed over 70% against with just 13% in favour. It seems that the Council did listen to the people, eventually. It will be interesting to see whether now, after their long silence, Twickenham’s Councillors will be willing to voice their own opinions on the matter.

Lord True, who had championed the scheme from day 1, in fact from about two years before day 1 as it turned out, said, “Gloriana deserves to – and I am sure will – find a home where she is welcome and can be cherished for what she is, a working vessel serving charitable causes, a triumph of Borough craftsmanship, a future part of our national heritage and a tangible monument in centuries to come to the Diamond Jubilee of a great Queen. We wish her well”. Indeed. And many who opposed the plans to build at Orleans Gardens would agree… although most would probably not use all of those words.

So there we have it. Gloriana will be housed elsewhere, Orleans Gardens will not be built on, and we will all still get to see her pottering up and down the river doing whatever she does.

Happy Campaigners at Orleans Gardens

Happy Campaigners at Orleans Gardens

A victory for people power and common sense? Or a case of nimbys scuttling Lords True and Sterling’s grand and wonderful vision? Or indeed both? Have your say.

* There was a good turn out of the delighted ‘no thanks’ brigade at Orleans Gardens on Saturday morning and Twickenham MP Vince Cable even put in an appearance. He told this site that the decision was “a victory for common sense” and paid tribute to the work of the “passionate and well organised local opposition campaign”.

* Kingston has now expressed an interest in providing a home for Gloriana. With Brentford still in the running it will be interesting to see what the final plan looks like and how it compares to the Lords’ original scheme.

*  The results of the consultation are now on the El Brute website. To sum it up in just two words: oh dear. There were over 3,000 responses to the consultation, most of them made to the online survey. 93% of the responses were from local residents, as opposed to non-locals or interest groups. A large minority of respondents felt that it was important for Gloriana to have a proper home somewhere but a whopping 76% felt that Orleans Gardens was not an appropriate location. Sounds very much like our poll doesn’t it? That being the poll that we put online at no cost to your good selves. Anyway… when given the opportunity to add comments rather than just click on the survey options, 43% of those who added comments objected to the location with 24% opposing other aspects of the site layout and design. The report gives a selection of comments which capture the essence of the objections – location, impact on traffic, impact on the environment, inappropriate use of public money, the need to protect open spaces, etc. It does also includes a smattering of examples of the positive responses but it’s very clear from a skim through that a great many local people were opposed to the plan to build at Orleans Gardens. I think we knew that didn’t we? And what of the silent majority that certain Councillors had implied was out there? Well they obviously chose to remain silent, or maybe they simply didn’t exist at all.



* LBRuT Press Release
* Save Orleans Riverside
* LBRuT Consultation results


Filed under Council, Gloriana boathouse, Local Issues & News

116 responses to “Gloriana Boathouse Plan Dropped

  1. This thread has now been closed to new comments. That’s not because Gloriana isn’t a fascinating topic, it surely is, but because things seem to be going round and round in circles. And although things going round and round in circles is not necessarily a bad thing – ask a bicycle wheel if you need corroboration – there is a risk that the wider readership of this site (and I do hope there is one) might get put off from browsing these pages by it.

    In the interests of everyone’s sanity this is now closed to new comments. If new news comes to light it might get re-opened.

  2. mike hine

    Dellboy seems to have got on the wrong side of a view among a mercifully small number of contributors here that to be well-informed on a subject and to have an interest in it is somehow to be ‘political’ or to have ‘an agenda’, or is even bordering on the obsessive.
    An associated theme seems to be that if some aspects of an issue have been ‘settled’ in some way then the whole matter should be consigned to the past as if it’s not worth investigating how exactly the situation was allowed to come about, it can give us little new understanding of the people or processes involved and it contains no possible lessons for the future.
    All sorts of people would benefit if everyone had that kind of attitude, not least the people entrusted with the big decisions affecting our lives. It would mean that actions had no consequences and responsibility would evaporate with a brief passage of time. No one could ever be held to account for anything. What could be more convenient?

    I realise, of course, that I’m probably wasting my (metaphorical) breath.

    ( I hope the literal-minded don’t imagine that I’m putting Lord True’s actions on a par with those of a serial killer — no, not even for a moment– but someone once summed up the mind-set I’ve referred to above by suggesting what Harold Shipman might have told the court when the judge told him that he was accused of being responsible for the deaths of up to 250 people: ‘ Yes, but that was in the past. Don’t you think it’s time to draw a line under it and move on?’).

    • Sally

      You forget what usually goes with drawing lines and moving on:learning lessons. When what has happened has been so appalling that even the most determined PR can’t conceal it, well then, you will learn lessons and move forward. You can also express regret in ways which absolve you of direct responsibility. (“We regret that you have been upset by changes to..”) Yes, this would cover Shipman.

    • Alexis

      My word!
      I asked dellboy what he hoped to achieve and received not one but three very comprehensive responses from, Mike Hine, dellboy and Sally all expressing varying degrees of exasperation.

      Thank you gentlemen and lady, If I am right, I now understand that part two of the campaign, part one having been won; is all about recrimination, fault finding and blame allocation rather than ensuring that I can enjoy a half way decent panini in revamped surroundings whilst watching my grandchildren enjoy the playground. All this in the name of restoring democratic process? I’m not quite sure what this does for us because little will change whoever is in power, but then, I suppose it’s good sport for those who enjoy the grand game of local politics.

      Talking of which, dellboy commended me to the letter pages of the R&TT, so, dutifully, I had a look and, lo and behold there was a long and very well written letter from LibDem Councillor and Joint Deputy Leader, Gareth Roberts who represents Hampton. Before election he was somewhat fearsome in his defence of anything LibDem. Now that he is on the top table and probably destined for better things he is behaving himself. Nevertheless his letter bore striking similarities to those from Mr Hine and dellboy on this forum. Coincidence?

      An observation: Mr Hine used the Harold Shipman case somewhat gratuitously. It might well have been a bit of petulance but I think he should apologise, it was totally inappropriate.
      PS: Yes Sally, I have never made any secret of my dislike for the way the Libdems conducted their business in the past and probably still do. Sadly I am not that impressed with the alternatives and, no, I’m not a supporter of UKIP.
      PPS: Mercifully, despite being a lone voice of dissent, I’m pleased to see that I still get a decent smattering of thumbs up.

    • dellboy

      Alexis you are being hypocritical, you want us to forgive and move on, yet you are quite happy to regurgitate the wrongs and misdemeanours of the lib dems from the past.
      who ever started this campaign for the gloriana appears to have gone behind the councils back, keeping very quiet about it.
      They should brought to book on this matter, maybe the local government ombudsman or pushed up to tory central office for the councillors and an internal enquiry for the officers involved.
      You have tried, yet again (on the anti lib dem theme) to imply that myself and Mike Hine are in collusion with Gareth Roberts. Just because there are similarities doesn’t mean we have colluded. Some of us are capable of independent thought

    • mike hine

      If it makes you happy, Alexis, I’ve just given you another thumbs up. The evident glee you derive from all the attention makes your contributions a delight and it’s always instructive to receive fair and balanced instruction on what is and isn’t appropriate.
      However, your attempts to portray yourself as a martyr to independence don’t fool me. Your comments about what you call other correspondents’ recriminations look suspiciously to me like recriminations themselves. You, dellboy ,Sally and me all recriminating. And all on the same topic. On the same blog. In the same area of south-west London. Coincidence? I think not.

      As I said, I was wasting my breath. I’m off to sit hunched and alone on a park bench while reflecting on my lack of grandchildren.
      Enjoy your panino.

  3. dellboy

    Why do you keep going on about political bias/takeovers,it is irrelevant. I don’t subscribe to any political party, I vote tactically.
    What I would like from those elected to represent us in council is not to get dazzled by frivolous ideas that waste what money we have. If you want know how it’s done it’s simple, when the money pot is divided up monies are allocated to a non specific start up fund, money can then re-allocated as and when required, if it comes to nothing it’s quietly put to rest and forgotten.
    This is the council, for as long as I have lived in the borough(35 years) has continually complained about the unfair division of central government local borough funding,yet won’t “cut it’s cloth according to it’s means”.
    Have you read the feasibility study ? if not google “adams royal rowbarge”
    Also the letters page of the R&TT today is enlightening.

    • Sally

      Actually, I think Alexis is being unintentionally funny when she goes on about political bias-given the amount of anti lib dem sniping she has indulged in on this site so far. No, I am not with the lib dems. I fought like mad to stop the riverside development,and the station high rise.,As you said, tactical voting .
      Don’t all councils of whatever political stripe need to have a constant spotlight on their spending plans? This has never been more important given how much power the councils now have. Its not just a matter of them footling around with potholes any more..
      Here are some important points, surely of interest even to the most avid fans of Lord True and Co::We ask, again,and again
      Lord True said misinformation was spread about his scheme. What was it? Either he can answer that, or he has not told the truth. Wouldn’t it be an idea to find that out?
      Councillor Fleming said that the majority of people were in favor of the scheme. Why did she say that? Either she had her own figures, or she wasn’t telling the truth either. Wouldn’t it be an idea to find that out?
      Councillor Samuel assured voters that the money was no problem. Funding for to the elderly, disabled, local schools has been brutally cut back. Are there a million plus pounds for the taking? Or did Councillor Samuel mean there is only funding for a vanity development? Or was he just prepared to fund whatever would please his Party Leader? (“Of course, there is always a table for you, Lord True, I’ll get the wine list.”)
      These unanswered questions have been raised again and again on this site and in the paper.Anybody asking them is guaranteed a storm of votes against. Why? If you believe there are perfectly satisfactory answers, lets hear them. If you believe its not our place to ask,you might be living in the wrong century.

  4. twickerman

    If only the R&TT had asked Cllr Fleming what information (or untruths) she based these statements on:

    Councillor Pamela Fleming, council cabinet member for environment, said the majority of people in Twickenham “would love to see the Gloriana”.

    She said: “It is a minority of people voicing their opposition to the proposals, we respect their views and do want to work with them.

    It’s disturbing that she considers 77% to be ‘a minority’.
    Not surprisingly, our Strategic Cabinet Member for Environment and Community hasn’t commented on the consultation results.

    See the 01 Aug article here:

    • mike hine

      I think that the title you refer to in your penultimate para is part of the problem; if we allow ordinary community representatives to start calling themselves things like ‘Strategic Cabinet Member for Environment and Community’, or even, with its echoes of Il Duce (and Gary Glitter), ‘The Leader’, we shouldn’t really be surprised if they start coming up with grandiosely vulgar legacy schemes to erect horrible great garden sheds in pretty corners of our communal land.

    • Alexis

      What a pity that some posters continue to lambast Lord True, his local Tory Councillors and anyone else who might have had anything to do with this vanity project. What’s the point of banging on – you’ve won!

      If you want to achieve additional benefit from this debacle, why not try to be a bit more conciliatory and less confrontational? Money was obviously set aside for the boathouse and more reasonable posters have suggested that some of it could be re-allocated to improve the cafe and toilets, sadly their voices were usually swamped by activists whether political or not. Wouldn’t that be a tangible way for the council to recognise the strength of support for the retention of Orleans Gardens as it is? Maybe also some improvement to the steps and installation of handrails on the Ham riverside where Hammertons ferry boat lands?

      Isn’t it time for the apolitical members of the campaign to stop sniping, sit down with the elected Council and work out a way forward which can only benefit everyone, except, of course, those who supported the project.
      PS: Thank you Purple Haze. A very good summary of the dilemma faced by local newspapers.

    • dellboy

      Unfortunately no money has been put to one side for the gloriana, if the other two thirds of the £3,000,000 (approx) could have been raised the council was going to borrow the other third, capped at one million.
      The leader of the opposition Stephen Knight is quoted in the R&TT saying Lord True did not seek the approval of the council to go ahead with the feasibility study. This is not the correct procedure.
      The council has a contingency fund specifically for these matters, it should have been brought before a committee and the £50,000 approved there.
      In April 2013 the cabinet voted through many items, the only one that appears to relate to the gloriana, among a long list, is “twickenham riverside/uplift projects”. Not as the gloriana feasibility study.
      At the May or June cabinet meeting the cap on the £50,000 for the study was lifted bringing the total money spent to £64,641 plus the same amount in council officers time.(this is the only time the gloriana has been formally mentioned in the FOI requests)
      If all of this had been discussed in open committee at the time, the problems which I think caused the cancellation, lack of funds and planning issues, might have saved some time and money.

    • Alexis

      Thank you dellboy, you clearly know your stuff so I stand corrected.
      However my point remains: Why not encourage the council to recover something from this mess by spending money on improving the existing facilities and environment rather than discourage them by continuing this campaign of vilification which will lead nowhere?
      That is, of course, assuming the campaign hasn’t been taken over by politicos for their own ends.

    • Alexis

      As a follow on to my last post it looks as though “dellboy” may well have another agenda – this is one of his two posts on the R&TT website yesterday September 24’th about this topic. There was only one other.

      “Lord True’s Q & A highlight some anomalies, if the invented untruths were the cause of the protests then surely they can be put to one side, therefore removing the problem of an unwilling public.
      The planning issues were known about some time during 2012, the feasibility study done by Adams infrastructure planning Ltd.state quite clearly the planning hurdles that have to be cleared.Planning officers have had 2 years to deal with them.
      There appears to be no business plan, what are the beneficial effects to Twickenham and the borough, will the gloriana trustees pay for the use of the boathouse and dock, who would be maintaining premises and the boat. These have not been mentioned.”

      Setting aside the fact that the project was scrapped long before the date of his recent posts, I can’t fault the logic of his argument but remain confused by them without understanding what he hopes to achieve.
      Perhaps he could enlighten us?

  5. Purple Haze

    In response to Sally’s comments, I think most credible local newspapers are in a difficult position when they are criticised for having neutral views on certain issues.
    They don’t want to appear partisan as this can not only alienate their owners, but readers, advertisers and contributors, and sometimes they don’t want to be seen as being too critical of local authorities when it comes to policy decisions. If a local council is found to have acted improperly or committed an offence then that’s fair game when it comes to reporting and exposing the facts, but otherwise taking sides can look like politicking and an attempt to undermine the status quo.
    Local newspapers can run influential social campaigns and may directly support them in their editorials, but they will often shy away from playing the political card, and try and stick to reporting the facts as they stand.
    The letters page in the R&TT always has interesting and thought provoking correspondence and of course this has dealt with issues like the Gloriana, Heathrow expansionism, council spending and the Palestine question amongst other things.
    Intelligent correspondence is a way of allowing partisan issues to be discussed and debated, and the R&TT editors seem to manage this quite well overall, although they may not agree with what is being said.
    One significant influence on how local newspapers report stories is that the local press often complain that local councils routinely bully local newspapers by threatening to withdraw advertising if they don’t like what they report.
    Newspaper Society, the voice of local media, have said up to 27% of local newspapers have received a threat from a public body to suspend advertising as a result of journalistic activity. Of those who had been threatened, 40% had seen the threat to withdraw advertising carried out.
    Up to 70% of editors surveyed said it was getting harder to get information out of public bodies.
    NS president Adrian Jeakings said: ‘Local newspapers’ ability to hold authority and the powerful to account on behalf of their readers underpins local democracy in Britain and we are in serious danger of seeing this become irreparably damaged.’
    The interview with Lord True may have come across like an article from ‘Hello’ magazine, but the R&TT are certainly not going on the attack. Differences of opinion can be published in their letters pages, whilst websites such as Twickerati can act as a conduit for more lively debate and disagreements, as they are not beholden to newspaper owners, advertisers, or directly by the local council. And again the editors must manage the content and make sure everything stays within the boundaries of decency and the law.

    • Sally

      Thank you-really interesting and informative.

    • Walkinthepark

      I actually thought on this issue the RTT did not do a bad job. You expect the Council to come out with a slick PR message and I wonder sometimes what perceptions Lord True’s oratorical masterpieces raise in the minds of readers not incensed by what he is actually saying. I doubt they rally him any more supporters. He should stick to showing off in the House of Lords. The RTT gave the Friends a fair amount of space and presented their points fairly on the whole. Perhaps that was because they were well aware of the strength of local feeling from their copycat poll and the issue was fairly simple.

      On past issues though, where perhaps it was more complicated, the quality of their research and understanding and accuracy of reporting hasn’t been inspiring enough of confidence that you could hope they would hold the Council to account successfully even if they tried. And some of the reporting has been downright lazy, irresponsible and damaging. I don’t suppose that will improve now the reporters are based in Sutton and are not even local.

  6. Sally

    Why does the RTT never ask our leaders a difficult question? The interview with Lord True in the last RTT was worthy of Hello magazine.
    If I read it correctly, Lord Ture sees the whole debacle as an illustration of his Council’s ability to listen. Its true that over £120000 of our money has gone to prove this virtue, but information is never too dear.He then says his only regret is that we were all told too soon. Does anybody have any information on this? When was the right time, in Lord True’s eyes, for us to share his secret? Two years is already quite a long time to keep quiet. When he was cutting the ribbon? When we all asked: “What the Hell is that huge shed doing there?”

    • mike hine

      Lovely final sentence.
      In answer to the question in the first line: because future access is conditional on present good behaviour, the questions are fed to him in advance and no follow-ups are allowed. Plus a thousand years of history, deferment and respect for one’s betters, no matter how (un)deserving.
      And it’s a local paper which depends on people like True and his chums for all sorts of things.
      What d’you expect, Paxman?

    • mike hine

      I think this dimwit above means ‘a thousand years of…..deference’, don’t you?

    • Sally

      You are right of course. I do get fed up with the council/RTT overlap. Residents’ protests which you know have involved hours of everybody’s time and which are on excellent grounds are boiled down to a small photo (with whoever in the group happened to be off work when the photographer showed up) and a bit of a quote. There is then a bland and full response from the other side, usually a lot of confident nonsense about working with the locals/listening to the locals/a better Twickenham etc etc.
      Although Paxo would be a dream come true, it would be wonderful if the RTT just laid out the main arguments for/against any controversial scheme. And if Lord True could be asked just one question relating to one of the protest points instead of being allowed to chunter on about taking the scheme out of the oven too soon..:

    • dellboy

      Lord true has tried to turn round his mistake of blurting it out too early to the councils advantage, complying to it’s caring and listening policy, I don’t think it worked.
      It was too early because, if you read the feasibility report it is categoric about the problems that have to be overcome.
      Just look at DM OS2, the boathouse is scuppered on this alone. Then there is the PLA, who are “interested” in how the master of the gloriana is to maneuver it into it’s dock, at both the gothic and Orleans sites.
      Nothing has been said of the stability of the ground in Orleans garden, because of the tides, will the ground be liable to subsidence.
      The heritage lottery fund imply that platts eyot could liable for funding, which could be interpreted as, not for the gloriana.
      It goes on and on, these are the reasons lord true has tried to keep it quiet until “suitable” answers could be found.
      Not looking for another place for the gloriana in the borough implies it wasn’t the gloriana, it was something to attract visitors to Twickenham.

    • Purple Haze

      The interview with Lord True is on page 2 of the R&TT, titled ‘Sad to see it elsewhere’.
      ‘…My regret is that, having heard the news they (Gloriana trustees) were minded to go ahead with a planning application, I blurted that out at the mayor-making dinner because I thought it was good news.
      We should have waited to prepare the consultation, allowing us to present the facts’.

      Why did the image of Rowley Birkin of ‘The Fast Show’ come into my mind when I read this? 

    • mike hine

      It’s the ‘blurt’. Pure ‘Ripping Yarns’.

  7. It happens that there is considerable support for using an existing boat house in Brentford, which has been aired in the Hounslow Chronicle. This would appear sensible as it is near existing tourist attractions such as the Steam Museum and Kew Gardens.

  8. Purple Haze

    From the Richmond and Twickenham Times, Sept 19th 2014:
    ‘The council confirmed the project cost £64,641 from start to finish, excluding council officer’s time which, if included, would see the total cost doubled.
    The figure includes the feasibility study, that explored a number of sites and settled on Orleans Riverside, as well as various environmental survey and the consultation’.

    In the Letters page, Cllrs Chappell, Dias and Hill collectively state:
    ‘…we are pleased that as we promised in our manifesto, we have listened to the views of residents and agreed unanimously to drop the project’.

    • Purple Haze

      According to Building Design, 18th September: ‘Foster’s Gloriana boathouse not sunk yet’, Foster & Partners has been retained on the project to find a new location for the vessel.
      Foster’s was commissioned to do a feasibility study for a permanent home for the barge by Lord Sterling, the man who funded its construction with a £500,000 donation, along with backers Sir Donald Gosling and Galen Weston.
      As C. Squire points out in a comment on the BD article, another £1million of tax-payers money was offered by Richmond Council, and a bid for another £1million was submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund. Allegedly another £1million would have also been needed from private sources to fund the project.
      Obviously Lord Sterling doesn’t want to see his substantial investment disappear and Gloriana to end up as a rotting hulk somewhere, but where is the money going to come from if it ends up in Brentford or Kingston? Especially if the Heritage Lottery Fund declines a further request for funding.

  9. James B

    I asked three questions, which were:

    1. What were the survey results they now don’t see the need to publish – can we get them under FOI, as we have paid for them?
    2. Can the money that was to be used for this be used on services for disabled children, the elderly or a lick of paint for the cafe and toilets ?
    3. Can our Councillors explain why they knew nothing and, when they were told, did nothing ?

    The first is now answered, for which many thanks.

    How about the other two now ?

    • Sally

      Have you no consideration, asking such inconvenient questions? The Councillors who are hoping not to answer them, the people who think it is lese majeste to even ask-you’ll wear them out ,marking you down!

    • Walkinthepark

      Interesting letter from Our Councillors in the RTT. After the uncomfortably long and loud silence and sad display of knowing nothing and doing nothing NOW they are claiming that though over 60k was spent on outside experts and the same amount again on Council Officers time this was not a project well on the road to a planning application, are taking credit for listening and then have taken a chance to have a pop at the Libdems over Riverside – yawn……

    • mike hine

      Not entirely yawn. True’s answer to Q3 contains the first use of the verb ‘to blurt’ since Glen Baxter used to regularly use it in his absurdist cartoons in the 80s. Quite appropriate really.

    • michelangelo

      I realise this is meant to be light-hearted comment, but do you have to go on playing the man rather than the ball (especially when the referee has blown his whistle, and the ball is out of play)? The word “blurt” has excellent pedigree in the english language, used by eg Maccaulay, Milton, Mrs Gaskell, and means precisely what Lord True did by his own admission : “to utter suddenly or unadvisedly”

    • mike hine

      I’m afraid you’ve missed the point(s) once more:
      1. The comment from ‘Walkinthepark’ above refers to a new interview with True, an attempt to pretend that there is no trace of either yolk or albumen anywhere on his visage. This is current; the whistle may have gone but the post-match interviews are continuing (and there’s little point in criticising the ball when the player, indeed the captain, has just thrown it into the back of his own net and is now claiming that he didn’t do it but if he did it was an integral part of his game-plan anyway).
      2. I’m well aware of the meaning of ‘blurt’, though can’t match your knowledge of its recent users. I’m not familiar with Maccaulay with a double c but I can’t help but notice that the youngest of the other two cited died in the 1850s, I think. Which is the point, really. Usage and appropriateness are all about context. ‘Slugabed’, ‘jakes’, ‘numbles’, ‘poltroon’, ‘jade’, ‘doxy’, ‘postillion’ and ‘dandiprat’ all have ‘excellent pedigrees in the English language’, but I’m sure that even someone with no feel for language and totally lacking in any sense of humour would feel a little twinge of something if they came across one of them in the minutes of the next London Borough of Richmond Planning Committee meeting.

    • Walkinthepark

      Well since you mention it Michelangelo it is Lord True who is keeping the ball in play by continuing to allege it was all some massive campaign of misinformation that sunk his boat project. .

      When asked if there was anything he regretted this public servant elected on the basis of a manifesto that was supposed to set out how he would govern our community did not say that he was sorry he had misjudged the views of local people and how much they value this park and £1m of public money and wished he had consulted his own Councillors and been honest bout it in his manifesto. Instead he said he was sorry he had let the cat out of the bag when he did, being so deluded that he thought everyone would welcome his shed on their Park.

      What he presumably regrets is not having got the Plans advanced in time to present them as a Fait Accompli at the Planning Meeting which would have been nodded through by his majority on the Planning Committee….. (It is a common tactic of the Planning Officers if they want to progress a potentially contentious development to make the details known at short notice during the school holiday so local residents are at a disadvantage in organising opposition)

      So basically he regrets not hiding the ball down his trousers and popping it in the oppositions net before they realised it was there

    • dellboy

      I think what lord true wants is a stewards enquiry after the event, implying that misinformation was put about.
      The term development could be construed as building houses etc. The shifting of 1500 tons(approx.) of earth/rubble from the gardens, pouring concrete, putting in sluice gates and building a large boat house all with a perimeter fencing is a development whether lord true likes it or not.
      Therefore if he persists, why shouldn’t we do the same, if only to shine a light on the truth.

  10. twickerati

    The results of the Great Gloriana consultation are now on the El Brute website. To sum it up in just two words: oh dear. There were over 3,000 responses to the consultation, most of them made to the online survey. 93% of the responses were from local residents, as opposed to non-locals or interest groups. A large minority of folk felt that it was important for Gloriana to have a proper home somewhere but a whopping 76% felt that Orleans Gardens was not an appropriate location. (Sounds very much like our own poll doesn’t it? That being the poll that we put online at no cost to your good selves) 3,000 replies might not quite be the level of engagement that took place for the Scottish referendum but it’s a lot of feedback. And it’s a lot of feedback giving a clear message against the Council’s proposal.

    Anyway… when given the opportunity to add comments rather than just click on the survey options, 43% of those who added some free text objected to the location, with 24% opposing other aspects of the site layout and design. The report gives a selection of comments which capture the essence of the objections – location, impact on traffic, impact on the environment, inappropriate use of public money, the need to protect open spaces, etc, etc. In short, a lot of people weren’t happy. It does also includes a smattering of examples of the positive responses but it’s very clear from a skim through that a great many local people were opposed to the idea of building a large boathouse and dock at Orleans Gardens. And what of the silent majority in favour that certain Councillors had implied was out there? Well, they obviously chose to remain silent… or maybe they simply didn’t exist at all.

    * LBRuT Consultation results

    • Sally

      Thanks very much for telling us-I will certainly look forward to reading it!

    • Sally

      Also, surely one Councillor went beyond implying a slient majority out there to stating categorically that the majority were in favor-those who hadn’t been mislead by misinformation. To date she has not got back to any enquirers to say where she got her figures from, or indeed what the misinformation was.

  11. mike hine

    Thanks to all those Orleans Park defenders who were able to see the connection with the attempt by the Harlesden children and their parents to keep their playground open, especially those who visited the blog and/or signed the petition. All much appreciated –and it’s still there at .

  12. Sally

    A silght warning-
    If the results of the (very biased) consultation are made public-or ferreted out under FOI…they may not reflect fully the level of protest and thus of egg on the Lordly face.
    A worker at a Borough library mentioned to us-in puzzlement-that the box of responses to the consultation they had collected as directed by the council hadn’t been collected. They had to walk the replies over to the council. Nobody seemed to want it.At all.
    Could there be any other boxes of paper consultation forms sitting about the Borough which haven’t been picked up?

  13. mike hine

    One factor in people’s concerns about the barons’ mad scheme was the playground. Please spare a minute for a group of parents and children in an area of London which could not be more socially and economically different from Orleans Park. The people who use Stonebridge adventure playground in Harlesden, one of the most deprived areas in the south-east, nevertheless have one big thing in common with Twickenham’s parents’ and kids’ recent experience: their playground too is under threat. Please see the article here or go straight to the petition here . Dissemination by Twitter and Facebook users also would be much appreciated by all those involved. (Please ignore the ‘2011’ ref on the petition, it’s simply a hangover from the last time their playground was under threat). Thanks

    • TW1-Person

      I will second this proposal to help save this other playground by signing the petition at. I have, and please watch the video

    • mike hine

      Thumbs down knuckle-draggers flaunting their stupidity very generously of late. Haven’t the schools gone back yet?

    • Alexis

      I’m rather disappointed by the churlishness of some of the campaigners who have just won the campaign to save Orleans Gardens which is excellent news.
      Whilst Mr Bigley looked and sounded a cool dude on BBC London TV, people like Mr Hine and Sally rather let the side down by their relentless pursuit of those who dare to issue a thumb down. What’s the point and does it matter anyway? They might both like to reflect on the fact that it isn’t necessarily what’s said but the way its said.
      Mr Hines’s post was particularly offensive and earned a thumbs down from me. Come on sir – be magnanimous in victory and invite those who disagree into your tent rather than describe them as “knuckle-draggers” Thats a bit primitive isn’t it?
      I also had little time for the way ex LibDem webmaster Mr Squire, who couldn’t be bothered to read my posts properly and failed LibDem Riverside candidate Susan Burningham conducted their part in the campaign. I have saved her somewhat self indulgent letter published in the R&TT. I think Riverside voters got lucky or made the right choice.

      The good news – it’s won! How about a bit of magnanimity rather than rubbishing those who dare to thumb down – what’s the point?

    • mike hine

      I’m not sure that people downthumbing a suggestion to help out kids in a very disadvantaged area of London really warrant your 150-odd words of defence, do they?

    • Alexis

      150 words – wow, I’ve excelled myself!
      A quick recap by Mr Hine will show that he might just have moved off subject a tad?
      As it happens, if this is the same part of Wembley, I know the Stonebridge Park area quite well since, during the ’70’s I used to work in an office block right next to the Stonebridge viaduct over the North Circular – it’s now a hotel. My company sponsored two local schools with volunteer business mentors of which I was one, so please, no more petulant outbursts Mr Hine.

    • Sally

      I wondered if the slur on your activities would smoke you out Alexis!
      The point is, if you disgagree, you must surely have a different point of view which you feel you can justify. So: why you don’t want , say, the deprived playground supported, don’t want any criticism of Lord True, don’t feel the questions put up by such as James B should be asked or answered. Fine. Then put your counter argument up-or the thumbs downing looks spiteful and as if the downer has no opposing argument so is resorting to “yah, yah, yah!” tactics.
      By all means disagree but be brave enough to back it up. I am amazed at how many apparently harmless comments are frenziedly thumbed down on this thread. A playground in a deprived area in need of support? Go, on Alexis, justify thumbs downing that.

    • Alexis

      Sally writes: “I wondered if the slur on your activities would smoke you out Alexis!”
      What are those “activities” Sally? Since you seem to have something of a robust albeit narrow point of view, you clearly think you know more about me than I do.
      To set the record straight: I thumbed down Mr Hine’s offensive “knuckle dragger” post not the one about an adventure playground. Best Sally gets her facts right before lashing out at me again. In fact I probably thumb up as many times as I thumb down which is very little anyway. I wonder if Sally, who’s latest post bears out my belief that she has a somewhat unhealthy obsession with those who thumb down has got a little too bound up with herself? I repeat my point. Does it matter? I get a pretty equal number of ups and downs unless I have posted particularly controversially, in which case, the downs have it. Has anyone ever seen me whinge about it? A simple answer – never.
      Sally demands counter arguments etc etc – she might like to ask me nicely and I might try although, judging by her somewhat intemperate post, I’m not quite sure what I am supposed to do.
      PS: Thats enough from me on this – I’m much more interested in the changes to the easterly flight paths which are blighting Twickenham. Someone commented on the A380 – quite right they seem to be far lower and as noisy as early jumbo jets.

    • dellboy

      alexis Mike Hines comment about another playground in jeopardy does not rate 9 thumbs down, maybe the remark about “the mad baron” does.So differentiate between the two items by commenting.
      There was one question on the ownership of the gloriana, no political bias no name calling,just a straightforward request for information.
      Both question and answer were thumbs downed, that is childish and immature
      Throughout these comments there has been a consistent load of thumbsdown that need an explanation, otherwise those doing it are just trolls

    • Alexis

      OK dellboy, here’s my comment.
      1. Although it was a tad off topic, Mr Hine’s post about the adventure playground did not deserve 9 thumbs down however his offensive “knuckle dragging” post certainly did. As I have already said, I was one of the 10 to date. Perhaps his attack on those who dared to challenge him encouraged a flurry of TD’s to his original post. How silly was that?

      2. dellboy carefully changes what was written to suit his ends – just like his namesake from Peckham. Mr Hine did not refer to “the mad baron”, he referred to “the barons’ mad scheme” There’s a world of difference in the two but then dellboy has form for this sort of terminological inexactitude. Perhaps he’s a wannabe politico? In which case he should do well.

      Yet again, I repeat my point – do thumbs up or down matter other than to some over-sensitive posters? After all, the message gets across regardless and will win or lose support on it’s merit – isn’t that the point of a comment on this forum?

      As others do, dellboy refers to those who dare to TD as “just trolls”. How silly is that? If anything, it is guaranteed to encourage even more TD’s from those who didn’t like a post but hesitated. They are not “trolls” they may well be interested readers who choose not to take part in the forum but, nevertheless, form an opinion – sneer at them at your peril, dellboy and Mr Hine. One day you might need their support.

  14. Purple Haze

    A good result for local residents opposed to the scheme and common sense. But why has Lord True and Richmond Council abruptly done a massive u-turn on this?
    The LBRUT press release states: “It is clear a substantial majority of respondents were opposed to Gloriana’s permanent home at this site. It has therefore been agreed between the Council and the Gloriana trustees not to proceed any further with this project”.
    A substantial majority amount of people were opposed to the extensive development of Twickenham railway station, eventually taking it to law, but it didn’t stop the council from pushing it through with the help of Eric Pickles and Boris Johnson.
    So why the climb-down after Lord True was so doggedly determined for a very long time to get this scheme built?
    It would be encouraging to think it was because of the pressure from the opposition, but I suspect there are other reasons that influenced this decision. Maybe there was moment of enlightenment when someone actually realized it was a total no-brainer. Who can tell?
    I also hope he will arrange for the thousands of pounds of public money he spent on promoting the scheme in the form of PR, public meetings, glossy brochures and leaflets, to be reinstated to the Council’s funds.
    Maybe the Gloriana will enter the realm of maritime myth and legend? Like The Flying Dutchman, doomed to sail the world forever, with Cap’n True at the helm, never to make port, and when sighted the ship is a portent of doom.
    Perhaps someone should write a ballad about it so generations to come will learn about The Great Battle of Orleans Park, fought nobly against the forces of The Blue Baron from The Hill and the poor misunderstood queenly Gloriana?
    Obviously it has to be done in the that great tradition of big beards, woolly pullovers and cupping-your-ear folk singing of course!

  15. Personally, I think Gloriana could easily be housed up the river at Brentford, where there are already plenty of docks etc. After all, this was where the boat was built in the first place.

    The remark by the ironically-named Lord True that the barge represents “a triumph of Borough craftsmanship” is only accurate if he means the London Borough of Hounslow.

    • Walkinthepark

      It is interesting that all the other offers, from Brentford and Kingston at least, appear to be of moorings, rather than some giant boathouse and canal which was always going to be a challenge technically, legally and financially wherever it was put. As others here said at the time the sensible solution was always going to be to moor it somewhere and then rent a dry dock for winter maintenance. The reason that the Lords wanted Orleans Park was to borrow the historic bucolic setting to make the Gloriana theme park more marketable as a tourist attraction and therefore generate revenue. That is why Lord True isn’t considering any other site in the borough. He knows full well that on its own no one will go out of their way to visit it ( not that the projected 50000 visitors a year appeared to rest on any sort of sound market research of even the minimal level an investor could expect in a sound Business Plan)

  16. dellboy

    I’m glad the gloriana will not be in the borough, not only will Orleans garden be saved no more money will be wasted on the gloriana.
    This is the council that has been cutting our budget yet wanted to borrow a million, so not only would we have had the debt there would be the interest as well.
    No mention of the ongoing running costs either (thankfully irrelevant now)

  17. mike hine
    Something I wrote for the local blog serving the area I have a work connection with. Local council’s behaviour is often very similar. (Apologies to Twickerati !)

  18. After a somewhat graceless cave-in by Lord True only three questions remain.
    1. What were the survey results they now don’t see the need to publish – can we get them under FOI, as we have paid for them?
    2. Can the money that was to be used for this be used on services for disabled children, the elderly or a lick of paint for the cafe and toilets ?
    3. Can our Councillors explain why they knew nothing and, when they were told, did nothing ?

    • Sally

      Go on, brave, brave little thumbs downers-answer his questions.If you don’t like them, you must have counter arguments. Otherwise you would be operating out of sheer spite.

  19. Angelina Jolly

    Yes nicer loos, with lights, soap, loo paper and that are cleaned a bit more would be nice (black hole of Calcutta / French motorway loos at mo). I always walk to the other ones. So I’d be happy to help out with any plans to put in place bit of a loo-vamp.

  20. Great job team. And I agree. Let’s use what we’ve formed to move forward with more good work for Twickenham. I for one am more than happy to work collaboratively with the Council to make this an even more amazing place to live.

  21. The right decision after a hard fight. The area concerned could do with an upgrade, let’s face it, but that is not the same as redevelopment. Not a “fake” boat, surely, which is necessarily pejorative. Can’t we be content to call it a “replica” and wish it well?

    • mike hine

      Well, no. Replica means it replicates a specific original. This doesn’t. It was based on an amalgam of impressions taken from contemporary images. It doesn’t replicate anything. Fantastic craftsmanship (though a little heavy on the gilt) but not a replica.
      And what exactly needs an ‘upgrade’? If the appeal of the place is that the area is uniquely lacking in the kind of ‘tidying-up’, redundant signage, heritage litter-bins etc which town planners think they need to inflict in order to show they’ve done something, then for God’s sake leave it as it is.
      Wasn’t that the whole point?

  22. Judy Astley

    Excellet – well done everybody! I hope they don’t use this as an excuse not to keep the playground maintained. It does need a bit of an update, really. Though not with a whopping great fake-boat next to it, obviously.

    • Not a fake boat at all. Created by proper craftsmen in the most traditional way

    • Walkinthepark

      OED definition of fake: Not genuine; imitation or counterfeit:

      From the Gloriana website: The 18-oared rowbarge is inspired by Thames ceremonial rowbarges from the 18th century.

      So an imitation created by proper craftsmen in the most traditional way AKA a fake……

      The distinction was important in determining whether the boat could legitimately be regarded as part of our heritage for funding purposes, OED definition: Valued objects and qualities such as historic buildings and cultural traditions that have been passed down from previous generations.

    • mike hine

      Given the choice between a pastiche boat and a pistachio ice-cream from the café, I know what I’d go for ……..

    • So it’s not actually a boat? That dastardly Lord True, he knew all along…

  23. twickerman

    I would have liked to have seen Gloriana in a more appropriate site in Twickenham or Richmond.

    It’s a shame that Lord True put all the Council’s eggs in such an unsuitable basket, and in his haste to wash the scrambled egg off his face has ruled out exploration of more suitable sites such as Phoenix Wharf on Eel Pie Island.

    It’s certainly been a hard boiled eggsample of how not to engage the local community.

    Please eggscuse the puns!

    • michelangelo

      “The shouting and tumult die, the captains and the kings depart”. OK – this phase has ended. You have shown yourselves to be champion “stoppers”. May I suggest you now turn your considerable talents to being “starters”? There has been so much talk of folks being thrilled at the prospect of Gloriana being in the Borough, so how about turning a protest group into a progress group? Or smaller targets, such as raising cash to renovate the cafe?

    • TW1-Person

      May I suggest that you be the one to start the ball rolling with a generous donation, I am sure it would be most welcome

    • mike hine

      There’s nothing negative or ‘anti’ in what we achieved, as you seem to imply. It was a positive achievement in conserving an area which is a positive boon, a defeat of those who wanted to ‘stop’ the continued existence of the place. Why the sour tone?
      Why not ‘start’ to celebrate?
      (I’ll stop now).

    • Walkinthepark

      Erm Lord True and his cabinet pledged £1m of our money to this project (which I strongly suspect was “stopped” as much by the sheer weight of it’s lack of feasibility, technically, legally and in terms of funding, Lord True and Councillor Fleming admit as much in their press release, as by the efforts of the community to protect our park, impressive and positive as they were) and have already spent ££££££’s flogging the dead horse and now you imply we are in some way morally obliged to raise more cash to address the admittedly modest issues with loo and cafe? I would have thought committing some small part of the £1m of our money the Council already have already raised would be the moral path to take…..

    • Sally

      Surely somewhat begrudging, as you address the people who have stopped this development? You aren’t pleased?
      Something along the lines of FORCE would seem to be a very good idea, especially given Lord True’s difficulty in imagining any improvements to public amenities not attached to a developer’s deal.You will remember it was impossible-impossible!-to do up Twickenham station without putting a high rise on it.Similarly, the loos/playground equipment couldn’t be done up-or even noticed-until Lord Foster came into the picfture.
      I very much hope Save Orleans Riverside will turn into a group to protect and beautify. Its so irritating that the thousands already spent would have paid for any little improvements to the facilities many times over.
      I agree with TW1-Person. Lead the way !You could make a donation make some suggestions or simply ask Lord True for the use containing a million pounds we were informed was going begging.
      Meanwhile, we are off to picinc on the site.

    • michelangelo

      Yes I will be delighted to make a contribution. Tell me the name of the organization and the specific purpose that the accumulated cash will go towards; also that all of you will contribute as well. All done in the spirit of JF Kennedy’s inaugural address: “Think not what America can do for you, but what you can do for America”

    • Walkinthepark

      Well for starters you could contribute to the work of FORCE which came into existence to successfully fight a previous Council attempt to build on Metropolitan Open Land and involves the community in all sorts of projects to help conserve this other precious bit of green space within our borough Lots of specific projects outlined there, and lots already achieved, plus you could do a bit of “Balsam Bashing” yourself. I am sure all those members of the community who supported Friends of Orleans Park would be more than delighted to get involved in a similar future incarnation of the group, as they are with FORCE.

    • michelangelo

      to Walkinthe park: I am a member of FORCE, and have been for many years. Also closely involved in two local community charities.
      Now tell us your credentials?

    • Walkinthepark

      I am not sure why you think that members of the community have to have “credentials”, surely living here, enjoying the environment and paying Council tax gives them rights and the possibility of expressing their views. All very well to quote Kennedy but we do not live in a society where those with privilege and power understand to the same extent as the Kennedy’s and their ilk that with it come responsibilities. A lot of the people who wanted this crazy project stopped (and I have the credentials of considerable expertise and experience in project management and marketing to make that judgement) do not have the luxury of time and the resources to give back but I don’t think it made their wish to have this space protected, or indeed support for the elderly or school places for their children, any less valid?

      As it happens I do now have that luxury and I have spent a lot of time involved with FORCE activities, including Balsam bashing, stag Beatle counting etc over many years. I value FORCE very much, it has helped us raise a scientist, and all our children to value their local environment and the need to protect it, as well as giving us Crane Park as a lovely natural asset. And I have brought families from all over the borough to appreciate and enjoy the benefits of Crane Park, which is a bit of a hidden gem for many elsewhere in the borough (any families reading this who have not ventured over the A316 should) and certainly helped mobilise support from across the borough and beyond to help get the Lord Mayors funding. I am also involved with other local charities, I nearly plugged HANDS and SPEAR on here, and other organisations apart from FORCE and Friends of Orleans Park that have found themselves having to defend the community’s interests when the Council clearly were not going to. And all that when my day job is anything but in my local back yard, all about building understanding between two global cultures…..

      I have even taken the time to engage with and understand that some of our Councillors from both parties do achieve things for the community and know they hold personal views that they are not allowed to express. I just wish party politics didn’t get in the way of them representing their community, as it did again on this issue.

    • Andrew

      Yep fair point!

      I would like to see if the business case the council used to justify their proposed expense of building a home for Gloriana stacks up. How many people did they project would visit the replica/fake/beautifully crafted boat and how much revenue would this generate? I am trying not to be too cynical here but I am not sure many people would be willing to spend money or travel very far to visit Gloriana!

    • Walkinthepark

      50000 visitors pa was the figure given to the Heritage Lottery Fund but as far as I am aware like so much about this project there has not been any substantive analysis / evidence produced to enable anyone to make a judgement about whether the case stacked up anywhere but in Lord True and Lord Stirling’s now shattered dreams …..

      Christopher Squire has put all the info available from the Council here

  24. charles

    My feeling is that this was always a vanity project with the only people set to gain being royalist toadies. The boat, from a design point of view, was simply an example of tasteless kitsch. Apparently they want it in Brentford. They are welcome to it and maybe they need it to help their development (which is actually amazing and well thought out so far) and it may help to put the area on the map?

  25. I thought it would be nice to have the Gloriana barge in Twickenham if only the boat shed issue could have been resolved. I realise this puts me in a minority of one here, but I was rather depressed by some of the disinformation the anti brigade spread around. I live quite near the proposed site and at one stage got given a flyer saying the council had plans to develop the site which we must stop. This turned out to be the Gloriana project. It was hardly a plan for development of the land there. It is a shame that such disinformation tactics were resorted to, especially when the complaint was that the council were being underhand. Two wrongs do not make a right. Shame it could not go to Eel Pie Island.

    • mike hine

      Knocking down trees, clearing land, excavating the site, laying foundations, providing utilities, building a hugely out-of-scale structure and the access roads, car-parks etc required for it to function (leaving aside the precedent this erosion of the site would constitute); what would your definition of ‘develop the site’ be?

    • Sascha

      I can’t think of a single instance of “disinformation” that you and Lord True seem so keen to suggest. Interesting article about exactly this topic in today’s Richmond & Twickenham Times by Bev Johnson:

      Well done to all those who spread the information and exposed the plans and the council’s cynical secrecy. Particularly to the person inside the council who leaked the original plans that got all this started.

    • mike hine

      Unfortunately s/he’s now had to seek refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy ……….

    • Angelina Jolly

      I too would have been pleased to see the Gloriana in a suitable location along the river in the borough; I’m with you there Folly.

      I am utterly delighted the Council saw the light though, this was not a good location – good on them. But Folly, digging a 20ft wide trench from the river-fronting up to the cafe, was a large engineering project costing millions of pounds (more than the forecast £3m), and putting a boat house with visitors centre, cafe and toilets there (the size of 7 terraced houses), IS developing the land, it was not dis or mis-information. If anyone did use underhand tactics it could be argued it was the other camp. Providing not-to-scale drawings for your public to consider, depicting the Gloriana as a 4 man long barge in a small boathouse, with 1/4 scale narrow canal, was more than misleading. And not declaring your well established, researched plans before the local elections, and not telling your fellow Councillors about these established ideas, may be considered somewhat less than upfront.

  26. Mark

    Can all the children have their protest pictures back please!

  27. EastTwickWitch

    Fantastic news! The Friends of Orleans Riverside were absolutely tireless in their mission to save a tranquil piece of genuine (as opposed to paint-still-wet) heritage: an unspoilt, much-loved piece of land.

  28. mike hine

    Excellent! Though it’s still worrying that such a brash, flashy, self-advertising vanity-project could be hatched in secret and then get as near to implementation as it did.

  29. Chris Dearle

    Well done everyone. Fabulous community spirit and tenacity. A particular huge THANK YOU to all those who spoke so eloquently at public and council meetings and who worked so tirelessly to ensure we kept our beloved, green space the way it is. Today is a good day!

  30. Walkinthepark

    From the email to those who replied to the consultation “Due to this decision, there will be no report submitted to Cabinet next week.” Do we take it the world will never know just how overwhelming the opposition expressed in the Consultation was or how much egg Lord True has on his face? Or how few of the local people, apart from the ones Lord True and Councillor Fleming evidently surround themselves with, actually supported the proposal. Some face being saved?

    • Sally

      I am at a loss to who would thumbs down the above-its very reasonable. Just for interest’s sake and even with such a hopelessly biased questionnaire-results, please? We all paid for the Counsultation. Thousands have gone West trying to sell this turkey. Lets see the results.

    • Sazzy

      Mike H, Chris, Twickerman et al – Its great news and your comments are spot on. I just wonder who the thumbs downers are! Nasty little trolls with an agenda that has nothing to do with democracy. Hope they thumbs me down LOL

    • TW1-Person

      I have a sneaky feeling that the thumbs downers have found a way of cheating.

  31. twickerman

    This is great news.

    Well done to the Friends of Orleans campaign team.

    Let’s hope the Council now invest some of the £1millon earmarked for the big boathouse on smartening up the cafe and smelly loos (that they so willingly criticised).

  32. Ex-Twickenham Resident

    Well done to the opposition! We can still wave to it as it chugs by…

  33. Walkinthepark

    Whoop whoop indeed. It must have been an overwhelming majority even with a loaded manipulative questionnaire. If you look at the petition there is no justification for saying it was an opposition made up of NIMBYs, people from across the borough, country and world signed up out of concern that this valued green space was to have this giant structure inflicted on it. I also wonder to what extent the other strategic activities implemented by the friends contributed to the decision, investigating and flexing the legal framework and making sure that the environment for getting funding from the HLF and sponsors was not favourable. We shall never know what went on behind the scenes and Lord True will claim this as an example of him listening to the community. It is certainly a victory for our community and for everyone who signed petitions, wrote letters to anyone with influence, joined Facebook pages, delivered leaflets, constructed giant poles, photoshopped pictures and even Lego to show the size of this thing, took photos, painted or coloured in pictures etc etc etc. Thank you. Now we all will appreciate our walks in the park a little more …..

  34. Sascha

    Great news! Party in the playground? Its a pity that Lord True and Councillor Fleming (if indeed they are her words) felt they had to include the spiteful remarks in their press release.

  35. I’m willing to bet if we had that hypocritical shower of LibDems in power the public would not have been listened to.

  36. vanw1ck

    Superb news and the correct decision. It was always a bad idea. I still think less of the current administration for proposing it, backing it and trying their best to force it through. But, to be fair, I also give them a lot of credit for listening to the overwhelming public opinion and quickly dropping the idea. The real heroes here though are the people that fought it, especially those who ran facebook pages, organised events, spoke at meetings and did all the hard work. Thank you from me and loads of others who can now continue to enjoy one of the best places in the borough without it being bulldozed for a big unwanted boathouse. One more thought – surely this whole bizarre episode just highlights how voiceless and pointless our local councillors are on the whole. They apparently knew nothing about it, then apparently had no opinion on it, then apparently did nothing to fight it. Pretty useless then.

  37. G

    Soooooo HAPPY! :-)))))

  38. Yvonne Hewett

    For one awful moment, I thought it was April fool’s day.

    Thanks for breaking the news.

    Whooo heeeee!


  39. Thank you to everyone – what a family of fighters we have been. I think a party (lower case ‘p’) is called for. Mandie and Paul deserve gongs. Special thanks too to Alex Ehmann and Vince Cable who have quietly lobbied on our behalf.
    I think we need to fight for the independence of Orleans Park and preserve it in perpetuity from the planners.

  40. Mumto1plus2

    Although the current cafe does make great coffee and sell a huge range of icecreams, can we still have a nicer looking cafe and some decent toilets please?

    • Chris Dearle

      I like the cafe the way it is. I agree about the toilets though.

    • Eleven years ago FORCE was formed in response to council proposals to build on local open spaces along the Crane valley. When we were successful at Public Inquiry we pledged to stick around and improve the spaces so that they would be better appreciated by everyone – council included. Developing a Friends group and working to improve the space for nature and community would be a “Glori(ana)ous” legacy of the last few months

    • Sally

      It seems its very difficult to have anyhting in public use done up-the money already thrown at the Glorianna mess would have paid for new loos decorating etc etc many times over. Unless the decoration can be presented as a plus for a development.

  41. galya14

    BRILLIANT!!! Great result and all thanks, I think, to Twikerati ‘s campaigning apporach on this issue, Well done! my granddaughter and many many other children will be delighted.

    • Thanks for your thanks. It’s true that we opposed the plan and made a bit of a thing about it but the Save Orleans Riverside brigade did much more in terms of mobilising people and raising the profile of the issue. A good day for lovers of open space in Twickenham.

  42. Michael

    This is such good news, and so (to me) unexpected that I thought it must be April 1st when I saw the headline.

  43. Great news but very out of character for the Bad Baron.

  44. Andree Frieze

    Good news, sense prevails at last!

  45. David

    Woo-hoo! People power!