Can it really be that time again when we have to scour other people’s websites and publications to find the best of what’s on in Twickenham and then pass it off as our own hard work? Yes, yes it can. So here we go with some quality stuff to keep you occupied over the festive season. Meanwhile we’re off to sort out our legal defence with our lawyers. Whether it’s Christmas lights, festive fairs, artists’ studios, a pantomime or rugby at Twickenham Stadium that you’re after, when it comes to #twickmas, we’ve got it all below. Or at least, we’ve summarised some aspects of it…
When seminal indie art-rockers The Sugarbabes sang ‘Push The Button’ way back in 2005 it’s unlikely they were aspiring to be the ones who switched on the Christmas lights in Twickenham some nine years later. And to be honest, they’ve had so many changes of personnel that having a stage big enough to fit them all on would be difficult, especially as they’d also need to make space for assorted local dignitaries and Star Wars Storm Troopers. Come to think of it, do we actually know who’s inside those Storm Trooper outfits? Mutya? Keisha? The other one? Is that you lot in there??
Twickenham – Friday 21st November
Twickenham Town Centre Christmas Lights – from 4.00pm
Busy, much? Expect plenty of Twicker-types down in Church Street for Twickenham’s Christmas lights. Events kick off in the afternoon. There will be stalls, Punch & Judy shows, face painting, the band from the Royal Military School of Music at Kneller Hall and more. Given that the presence – or at least the clearly identifiable presence – of The Sugarbabes is highly unlikely, you will see, Don Craine of 60s (and current) rhythm & blues outfit Downliners Sect doing the honours when it comes to pushing the button at 6.30pm. It was on Twitter; it must be true! Expect plenty of mulled wine, mince pies, festive music and a whole lot of good-natured milling around. Worth a visit. More info (coming soon) at TTBA
Festive Family Fayre at the Diamond Jubilee Gardens – 4.30pm to 7.30pm
There will be elves. There will be reindeer, Santa, children’s crafts, stalls, carol singing and live music from Nark Drool and the Shudders to keep you entertained at the Diamond Jubilee Gardens on Twickenham Embankment. More info from Twickenham Riverside Trust.
OTHER, LESSER PLACES…
Whitton – Sunday 23rd November
Whitton gets the Christmas lights treatment on Sunday 23rd. The High Street will be closed from 11.00am. There’s a 5k fun run at midday and there’ll be lots of other entertainment including the Kneller Hall Military Band. The lights go on at 4.45pm and it’ll all be over at 5.30pm. More info.
Teddington – Thursday 27th November
Teddington – are we even allowed to mention that place – does its thing in the High Street & Broad Street. Includes late night shopping from 4.00pm to 10.00pm Lights go on at 5.45pm. Broad Street, Teddington.
East Twickenham – Friday 28th November
East Twickenham will be doing its own button pushing or switch flicking on Friday 28th November with support from Mayor Jane Boulton (off of El Brute). It’s taking place at the Christmas tree (obviously) just by Richmond Bridge at 5.00pm with carol singing, mulled wine and, of course, mince pies. More.
Hampton Hill – Friday 28th November
28th November festive fun is not the sole preserve of East Twickenham. Hampton Hill will be getting into the Christmas spirit too. Events take place from 4.00pm, with its famous parade at 6.00pm. Expect a hog roast, craft stalls, booze, you name it. More.
Richmond Christmas Lights – Fri 28th November
Oh blimey, there’s also loads going on ‘over the water’ on Friday 28th. Richmond’s Christmas Lights event runs from 3.00pm to 8.00pm. We’re talkin’ food market, live music, Father Christmas, and lots of promotions in the local shops, especially around Hill Rise. The lights will go on at 6.30pm with Jerry Hall doing the honours. Younger readers will remember that Jerry first found fame when she appeared on Strictly Come Dancing a few years back and she’s also starring in Richmond’s panto this year. Oh yes she is. More.
Hampton Village – Sun 30th November
Food, drink, local choirs, live music and more at the Hampton Village Christmas Celebration. Santa will be leaving the Jolly Coopers at 3.45pm (hopefully not after a long lunchtime sesh!) and heading to the Sea Scout Hall on Station Road to turn on the tree lights at about 4.30pm. The event ends at 7.00pm. Full details.
Twickenham Green – Sun 7th December
A Christmas tree, some carols and some mulled wine. Your chance to get festively communal on Twickenham Green. 6.30pm (we think).
Teddington Christmas Lantern Procession – Sun 14th December
Bloody Teddington, eh? Always trying to have the final word, aren’t they? This will be their second event of the season. The Christmas Lantern Procession returns for its second year. The clue’s in the name really. The procession starts at 4.00pm at Teddington Memorial Hospital and wends its festive way through the town centre. Santa will be leading the way. He’s certainly being kept very busy in the Borough isn’t he, boys and girls?! More details.
OTHER CHRISTMAS EVENTS
Christmas Craft Fair – Sat 22nd November
Handmade items and Christmas gifts on sale from 1.30pm to 5.00pm at St Mary’s Church Hall, Church Street, Twickenham. Free entry.
Christmas Shopping Weekend at Orleans House Gallery – Sat 29th & Sun 30th November.
Runs from 12.30pm to 6.00pm on both days. Shop for gifts, books, cards and festive foods whilst sipping mulled wine and taking a look around the gallery to ensure you have an atmospheric-yet-relaxing shopping experience. There will even be children’s art activities to keep the smaller ones occupied. Info.
French Market, Twickenham – Fri 5th to Sun 7th December
The return of the French Market to Church Street. A good place to stock up on cheese, cider, those big, strange looking sweets (or is that actually soap?) and the like.
St Margarets Christmas Fair – Sun 7th December
The annual Christmas Fair takes place on Crown Road between 11.00am & 4.00pm with lots of festive food, drinks, stalls, games, entertainment and an open-air carol service. More info.
Eel Pie Island Artists Open Studios – Sat 6th & Sun 7th December.
Open from 11.30am to 5.30pm. Want art and crafts for your nearest and dearest? Head over the footbridge to Eel Pie Island for their pre-Christmas open studios. Yule find that mulled wine and a few mince pies add a festive atmosphere to the proceedings. Recommended. Info.
Ice Skating, Twickenham – 6th December to 25th January.
The ‘Richmond Rink’ returns to Twickenham(ish) for six weeks. It will be in the grounds of Strawberry Hill House which should make for a picturesque location this year. And look out for the Storm Troopers too. In fact, there’s a bonus point for anyone who can recite the famous ice skating scene from Star Wars. Anybody? And there are double bonus points on offer for anyone who can interpret last summer’s Great Gloriana Saga through the medium of ice dance. Richmond Rink Link.
Strawberry Hill House at Christmas
The House is closed for the winter but a few special events will be taking place in addition to the ice skating (above). There’s a Christmas concert from local chamber choir Caro, festive flower arranging and art workshops, and an evening of ghost stories. Boo! SHH Events Info
Christmas at Kew Gardens – 26th November to 3rd January.
Not Twickenham but we always like to give Kew Gardens a mention. Includes a “glittering night time trail”, a Santa’s Grotto, Christmas rides and festive treats. And plants, lots and lots of plants. Requires booking in advance. More from Kew.
Premiership Rugby: Big Game 7 – Sat 27th December.
KO 4.30pm. The return of the Big Game to Twickenham Stadium and this year Quins take on Northampton Saints. It’s an entertaining, family focused afternoon. Oh and there’s an important rugby match on too. Info.
PANTO & THEATRE
Richmond Shakespeare Society, Twickenham – Twickenham’s very own theatre group will be putting on Egad! The Woman In White a “phantasmagorically festive feast of farce & fun!” It’s a spoof on Wilkie Collins’ famous mystery novel and runs from 13th to 20th December. Richmond Shakespeare Society Info.
Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond – The winter season sees a new play, Pomona, by young writer Alistair McDowall and George Bernard Shaw’s Widowers’ Houses but if it’s a festive treat you’re after then there’s a special one-off one-man production of A Christmas Carol on November 30th. Orange Tree Info.
Richmond Theatre – Jerry Hall stars in a panto production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Hmm, now which character might Jerry Hall be playing? Runs from 5th Dec to 11th Jan. Richmond Theatre Info.
Rose Theatre, Kingston – The Rose’s Christmas production is The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. It runs from 30th Nov to 4th Jan. Rose Theatre
Hampton Hill Playhouse – Teddington Theatre Club will be putting on their interpretation of The Snow Queen at the Playhouse from 6th to 13th December. Hampton Hill Playhouse
MUSIC & COMEDY
We’re not going to spell it all out for you but here are a few links to the regular nights going on locally where you might find something you like:
* Bearcat Comedy Club – Top comedy line ups week in week out. And look out for its special New Year’s Eve show. – www.bearcatcomedy.co.uk
* TwickFolk – Traditional & contemporary folk on Sundays at The Cabbage Patch – www.twickfolk.co.uk
* Twickenham Jazz Club – Based at The Bloomsbury pub on Staines Road and offering a range of jazz and big band music – www.twickenhamjazzclub.co.uk
Couldn’t find anything above of any relevance whatsoever? Not one tiny thing? Really?? You’re lying, basically. Or you don’t live in Twickenham. Feel free to do a Google in your own time but don’t forget to check for Christmas activities at the likes of Ham House, Hampton Court and even Syon Park where there are often 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
* Totally Richmond
* Arts Richmond (for arts stuff around the borough)
* For Sanity’s Sake (locally based award-winning site for things to do with young children)
* Twickermum (the clue’s in the name)
Check back soon for new additions. Feel free to add other events as comments below. If we like them we’ll even add them to the main text. Possibly.