Twickenham Ice Rink to Return?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Filed under Council, Local Issues & News, What's on

8 responses to “Twickenham Ice Rink to Return?

  1. Yvonne Hewett

    I had a letter from the council this morning. It goes to Planning on 12 November. And yes, I’m in favour.

  2. Sally

    The site last year didn’t seem to work. I know the weather was gainst the organisers, but the location-perched on a couple of tennis courts-seemed awkward.I thought it was going to be on the sunken lawn -a nice big flat bit-but seems not.
    Strawberry Hill does seem a slog from the town centre. In my view it could work IF, and only if there were strict rules about opening hours, music, refreshments etc etc and if the staff at Strawberry felt it wouldn’t damage their hard work. They have a wonderful team who are painstakingly restoring the original Georgian gardens.How do they feel about the idea?

    • michelangelo

      Au contraire – last year’s event was superb. Not the ideal venue, but great fun for all. Just a try out, to see how the concept would go down.. All encouragement to Twickenham Alive for their initiative

  3. Caroline Brook

    Yes please! I live opposite and we could do with promoting the house and surroundings!

  4. Pat Pending

    It’s a good idea.

    I expect the level of disruption will be significantly less than those opposing it expect. I walked past last year’s rink at York House a couple of times and it was quite a small scale thing. No loud music, just one small drinks kiosk, mostly families, no traffic jams. It would be useful to hear from people living next door to last year’s site in Sion & Richmond Roads whether it was a problem for them.

    And if it turns out to be a problem this year then I agree that it should not happen again.

  5. JoeyG

    ‘All those bloody people’ enjoy themselves all year round in the grounds of Strawberry Hill House and the neighbouring St Mary’s College. Many, many events take place at weekends, throughout the Summer, in the evenings… But you wouldn’t know that unless you were a neighbour of said properties. I love a bit of enjoyment and I love hearing all those bloody people enjoying themselves. There’s just something wrong with this ice rink project though: we haven’t watched the house and gardens get lovingly restored into a thing of beauty just to have it trashed unnecessarily by an ice rink. I love the diverse and plentiful community life in Twickenham but I can’t support such an inappropriate use of venue. I dunno, call me boring but an ice rink with 24 hour generators, inadequate parking, food and drinks vendors, music PAs for 12 hours a day, 7 days a week for around 2 months…definitely not a Winter Wonderland for me and many others.

    • Boss

      Ok, I’m calling you boring, as requested. Let’s cancel the Strawberry Hill music festival while we’re at it.

  6. Kingfisher

    I really hope it happens!