Twickenham High Street Update (Redux)

It’s our first High Street Update of 2015 so get ready for a roller coaster ride of emotions. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll experience the deep joy of a life-affirming message of hope. But most of all you’ll probably just tut and roll your eyes.

SPOILER ALERT: This article reveals details of shops that are opening and closing in Twickenham.

Smokin! We’re all going flaming BBQ bonkers in TW1. What do you mean you didn’t know that? Well, assuming you’re not lying, you’re about to find out now. The former Hobgoblin / Grand Union pub on London Road is becoming a branch of Blue’s Smokehouse. It’s due to open in late February or early March and bills itself as an “Authentic American BBQ” selling ribs, burgers and the like. There’s already one in Bracknell which has generally favourable reviews on TripAdvisor. Across the street from Blue’s, the Twickenham Wimpy is no more. It’s gone. Finito. It’s being replaced by a Steers burger joint. Steers sounds a bit more macho than good old British ‘Wimpy’ although both chains are owned by the same company, South African giant Famous Brands. Famous who?

Further up London Road, on the corner of Arragon Road, another pub that’s had more incarnations than it’s served pints is getting a comprehensive re-fit by its new owners. The former Rugby Tavern / London Road Bar / Coady’s etc. will re-open as The Shack 68, a bar and ‘smokehouse’. In fact you might even have seen the separate smoking smokehouse bit out the back. It should do well with rugby crowds. Is there a World Cup on the way by any chance? There surely is.

And finally on the carnivore’s tour, the former Ales & Tails Bar on York Street is being turned into a Chicago Rib Shack. There are already other branches dotted around the UK with the Twickenham edition set to open in March. Here at HQ we like the look of their American breakfasts.

Yogocrush on King Street has closed. Alas, it didn’t last long. Less than a year. Perhaps the market for frozen yoghurt in Twickers proved to be less lucrative than the market research suggested. Perhaps the town was just not ready for another dedicated retailer of frozen dairy products so soon after the shortlived Yummies and Shhhakes. Or maybe there were other reasons. Either way, that’s another shop on King Street that needs to be filled.

Halfords on King Street has shut its doors!!! It’s being replaced by a new Halfords. OK, so it’s not a Halfords Halfords but rather one of their new Cycle Republic branches. OK, so Cycle Republic is not actually new either but that’s not the bloody point. The point is that Halfords used to have Bike Hut and Cycle Republic shops which they wound up a few years ago but since Wiggins, Froome and Cavendish have helped turn cycling into the new golf, they have decided to get back into that market. It’s a big store so they’ll need to crank things up if they’re going to shift a lot of gear. (Did you see what we almost succeeded in doing there?)

Cycle Republic, King St

Cycle Republic, King St

After Bathrooms4All on York Street became Bathrooms4None, we’ve waited a long time to see that space re-occupied. It’s now being refurbished and, apparently, is set to become a branch of Bensons for Beds. Where bathrooms failed, will beds succeed? Are the great twickerati more interested in sleeping than personal hygiene? Only you know the answer to that one and we’re not sure we want to hear it.

Fans of frittering their money away can take heart! When Reels ‘amusements’ closed there was a definite gap in the market for places to push coins into machines with flashing lights on them. That problem has now been rectified. Casino Gold have opened a branch in, wait for it, the old Reels place. Plus ca change, eh? Bleep, bleep, ching. Game over.

Two new restaurants on Heath Road that we mentioned last time are now up and running. Chuba Rasa – in the old Standard Tandoori place – serves Malaysian and other Asian food. Over the road, Sapori Siciliani / Flavours of Sicily (in the former restaurant of a thousand names) is, as you can probably tell, an Italian place specialising in Sicilian food. Have you been to either? Let us have your reviews.

And in other news…
The Twickenham Indoor Community Market which was operating at Mac’s Diner on Mondays and Tuesday is currently inactive pending finding a new venue. Meanhwile Mac’s Diner will launch comedy evenings on 26th March. Heavenly Dish have closed their cafe on Heath Road although they’re still operating their catering business from their Colne Road base. And we’re still waiting on more details of the food emporium / deli that’s supposed to be moving into the old Langton’s shop on Church Street. A decent deli there might do well we reckon.

And that concludes this edition of High Street Update. If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this item or need more information on them, then help is available by checking the twickerati website for updates on a regular basis.

59 Comments

Filed under High Street Updates, Local Issues & News

59 responses to “Twickenham High Street Update (Redux)

  1. Sal Magundi

    Really sad to see that Church Street’s Wild Goose has flown for good…And to hear the rumour that London Zu is about to close! There’ll be nothing left in Church Street at this rate.
    On the plus side, well done Waitrose for finally giving our local store a bit of a face-lift. (Both lifts, yes BOTH, were working today!) Will be great if their stock management systems get a matching make-over.
    Anyone heard anything about the planned Co-op on Richmond Road?

    • Sally

      I am so sorry for the Church St shopkeepers. As well as battling the reduction in footfall (every closed shop is one less reason to browse Church St) they are also battling the road works. These do seem to be going on for ages in Church st and of course put off customers even more. Given how much the street is struggling and how valued it is by residents ,that bit of improvement should have been done like lightening.
      The Italian cafe/deli remains a bright spot.

    • I see that Sweetie Pie Cup Cakes is also closed and empty? London Zu is winding down according to the owner who is focussing on his other store. Really no reason to go there unless it’s for a pint or pizza, which are good reasons of course but I also like to shop there. Well apart from Wild Goose who were once incredibly rude to my 10 year old daughter whilst I was trying on a pair of shoes. She was handling a pair to try on and they told her to put them back. They lost two sales and I have never set foot (both of them) in there again.

    • Sally

      Who thumbs downs being sorry for the Church St shopkeepers? Or wishing roadworks would finish sooner ,to help them? Is there someone on Twickerati with a hatred for shopkeepers and a love for JCBs?

  2. Mr Squirrel

    Tried Blue’s Smokehouse and it’s actually pretty good! Wish the best of luck to them

    • Mumto1plus2

      Ditto! We went on opening night and all 5 of us, kids and adults alike had a hearty, tasty meal. Good variety of beers too.

  3. Sapori Siciliano does dreamy authentic canoli. They make to them to order. A perfect cheap Twickenham Italian night out is a Capricicosa pizza from Rubens Refettoria with a BYO Nero D’avola from Twickenham Wine followed by crossing the road canoli and espressi from these guys. I don’t know how Twickenham has turned into little Italy

    • Purple Haze

      You want Italian? Twickenham has Italian in spades!
      For places to eat there’s Caffe Bellissimo, Sapori, La Serenata, Corto Italian, Rubens Refettoria, Masaniello, Il Vero Gusto, Rubiks Restaurant, Osteria Pulcinella, Ask Italian, Brocca Antica, A’Cena, Kamares, Caffe Del Mare and Ches’s Trattoria. There may even be more.
      There’s an Italian menswear shop too called ‘Italian’, next to Iceland. That started up there last year.
      Fantastico!

  4. F Matthews

    I’m fairly new to Twickenham. In other parts of the country I’ve seen empty shops commandeered by arts groups or interesting pop-ups. Richmond Council seems to really support pop-ups. I personally think Eel Pie artists should club together, take a shop for a few months and see how that does for sales/interest. It would certainly be more interesting to look at than a ‘Sorry we’re closed’ sign.

    • Purple Haze

      Par Ici in Church Street sold items made by local craftspeople and artists, including those on Eel Pie Island, but it closed down.

  5. Hi Anita from Mac’s Diner here, I just wanted to point out that Mac’s is an independent restaurant, we buy our meat from local butchers Robsons in Hampton Hill, so so you can get freshly made burgers and ribs in Twickenham and support independent businesses at the same time.

  6. Sally

    Two positives on the High Street today: The Auction rooms were full of happy locals interestedly looking at the lots and enjoying refreshment at the cheery cafe.What a great business for the community .
    The other is the nice Mini Bites Hungarian Deli across the road at number 40b.This really is terrific and I think deserves every encouragement. They serve great and inexpensive coffee and pastries and a range of tasty interesting delicacies. The always smiling young shopkeeper who works all hours, works hard to be part of the community and makes sure she puts up all notices for local events etc. They are well worth a visit at Christmas and Easter when they have a nice selection of not run of the festive chocolates and so on. My children love going in and seeing what’s on offer each week.If anybody is on the Hight street for a good coffee, pastry or chocolate bunny please go there!

  7. AP75

    Good luck to Halfords with Cycle Republic, hope this is a big improvement on the normal stores. I’ve just picked up my son’s first bike from the other store in Twickenham and it was in poor condition so clearly used and sold to me as new. My Boardman bike was also poorly assembled when collected, lets hope the staff and service can match the products.

    • Etta

      I have always been pleased with Moore’s cycle just around the corner.

    • Rufus McDufus

      Yes – a big shout-out to Moores who have been doing their thing as a great local independent for many years (60 according to their website). I hope they’re not hurting too much from the likes of Giant & Halfords.

  8. The Don

    Have tried Sapori Siciana a couple of times. The mains are just pizzas but very good ones though. They claim they’re uniquely Sicilian. Various starters, including excellent plates of mixed antipasti. Good wine by the glass at £3.50, expecially the Nero d’Avolo. But the great thing about this place is the delicatessen – excellent and unsual cheeses, good salamis and mortadellas, interesting pickles and preserves, very good olives, arancini and – ta da – canoli (for those not familiar with Sicily, these are delicious little biscuity rolls with a sweet filling, or ricotta etc.).

    All these goodies can be eaten in the cafe.

    • Mr Squirrel

      Tried Sapori a few times as well. Their pizzas are really nice, especially the Pistachio pizza which is quite unique! They seem to use quality ingredients and are quite generous with the toppings. The layout of the restaurant is a bit strange (you can’t really see what’s going on from the outside), but wish them the best nevertheless.

  9. John

    Did you see that the Giant bike store on Heath Road is now shut for refurbishment – opens again later in March.

  10. boanerges

    There seems to be some veiled and covert criticism of the Council’s role in the condition of the town centre in this thread. As we do not live in a totalitarian state, the Council can only act within the law; surely most of the properties discussed here belong to private owners? The only powers the Council has here are in the respect of public safety eg broken glass (Sally), as far as I know. Jonathan – does the Council really have “powers to clean up buildings” (reference, please)? The people to whom to complain in these cases are surely the owners, whom presumably you can identify through the Land Registry.
    Similarly, the Planning Dept must act within the legal framework, and I have been informed that for years there has been a “presumption for development” ie unless an application breaks some planning rule, permission must be granted. Jonathan – why not take your thoughts about the Conservation Area to Paul Chadwick, Director of Environment at the Council? He should be able to tell you what can be done.
    I should add I do not work for the Council!

    • Sally

      Covert? Overt!
      There’s the lethargy about keeping clean and fixing bits of the High street which ARE the council’s responsibility. Call up to report anything and you are likely to get a very bored and passive sort of response.
      Then there’s not noticing-nothing to do with our remit- properties which are derelict or neglected in the High street. Smashed windows and piled up rubbish are tolerated in spite of very clear evidence that the letting agents and owners have no interest in maintaining them. Yes, locals could search land records to hunt offenders but the Council have more resources to do so and more power once the offenders are located. (What do you think carries more weight, a council letter or that of a private individual?) To replace a glass window thus sealing a rubbish heap into a building which its owners patently don’t intend to clean is an example of this sort of foolishness.
      Then there’s the ideas which get though planning.In the past, businesses which may appeal to the rugby crowd although not to the locals have been waved through. Surely its no good relying on market forces to sort things out, we need a bigger conservation area and a council which considers what Twickenham is like to live in rather than to visit for a few glorious booze filled sports events.
      Sandys is like the Ravens in the Tower. if ever that fantastic shop, the best example of the sort of business which really DOES keep Twickenham alive should close, it will be all over for us all. We might as well let the RFU tarmac us over and turn us into an overspill car park.

    • boanerges

      The best way to report a “fault” to the Council is on their dedicated form. You will then get a ref number. If you don’t get satisfaction, go straight to the top ie Paul Chadwick if its Environment, and copy CEO (Gillian Norton). I have always found going to the head honcho produces good results (eg Richard Branson for Virgin, Charles Dunstone for Talktalk). Usually works a treat!

    • Jonathan

      The Council needs to move with the times – many other Councils use powers under section 215 of the environmental protection act – Portsmouth council being one of the most famous advocates.

      http://no-use-empty.org/case-studies/Section215

      The part of King Street that is a Conservation Area is being slowly imprived because of greater powers it gives the Council. For example WH Smiths had to install a traditional shop front and couldn’t have a plastic backlit facia board.

      With Conservation Areas there is the important principle of “preserve or enhance” which gives Councils a lot of power to say No.

      We Should also remember that ideas about what should be Conserved has also moved on – in he past late Victorian Architecture wasn’t highly regarded however views have on the whole changed, and many more area are now getting extra protection.

    • Sally

      Good idea. The convenience store across from the defunct ‘bathrooms r us’ used to be a toy shop. It boasted some lovely sections of Victorian flowered tiles from the original shop and has the original Liptons sign still in place out the front. When the convenience store moved the tiles were covered up – I very much hope not removed. There was no interest whatsoever on the part of the then council to try to preserve these features which made the shop appealing.
      A similar shop in Richmond has its tiles proudly on display as part of the shop’s decor. (Now a hairdresser, the tiles are for a dairy but look great)
      Small things, but it’s obvious that locals like to shop in places with charm and character .Look at Laverstock Park Farm which restored the original shop front and instantly made their shop a thousand times more appealing.

      Do we need to wait about for useful shops such as a Dyas or children’s clothing retailer to move in, like wallflowers at a dance? Can we ask them? I have no faith in the sort of businesses various council regimes have thought would revitalise Twickenham. A model of Croydon-but-with-added-rugby will appeal to nobody who actually lives here, but it’s what they keep trying for.

  11. Martin'O'StrawberryHill

    Decades ago I was told that Twickenham was seen as a good place to test and tweak new retail ideas. Not as flash or as expensive to start up as Richmond or Kingston, wide demographic of potential customers with disposable income, etc.
    I’m wondering if the same is still true, hence the rise of smoke-house restaurants, athough clearly frozen yoghourt is never going to sell well all year round (could have told them that for free).

  12. Cleo Talbot

    Anyone know what’s happening at the Cafe Zizou? It’s been closed on the two days I’ve passed it this week.

  13. We have ordered take away from Chuba Rasa a couple of times now and really enjoyed it! The menu may not be the biggest but what they do- they do well and at a decent price. Malaysian food makes a nice change from the usual curry houses on the high street

    • Mr Squirrel

      It’s a bit of a shame the decor looks bit bland as I think if they had a bit more inviting look it would be a lot more popular with the locals.

    • Mr Squirrel

      I did give their takeaway a try and it was pretty decent. Enjoyed the tapioca pudding quite a bit.

  14. Jonathan

    The council need to make the whole of Heath Road / King Street / York Street / London Road a Conservation Area rather than just part of King Street where the listed buildings are.

    Deciding to actually enforce the Conservation area rules in Richmond Town Centre was the turning point. If you visit the local studies collection at Old Richmond Town Hall you can see photos of Richmond in the 1980s and it looked very similar to how Twickenham looks now with scruffy shop fronts and cheap plastic shop signs.

    The council has the power to clean up the buildings in Twickenham but it lacks the will to do so.

    • Sally

      Yes. it is incredibly difficult to get the council to take any interest in / action about anything in the High street which is broken, filthy, etc. Look at the Wishbone, next to Cousins. it has been filthy with broken windows etc for years. The then empty shop next to Waterstones had its windows smashed and, had a lot of rubbish junk food etc chucked in. After few weeks and several calls to the council the glass was fixed. With the pile of rubbish now sealed in the empty shop. This meant we could all walk down our showpiece High street and enjoy the sight of rat disturbed piles of garbage behind glass. Council response? “That is for the letting agent” Letting agent:”That is for the bulding’s owner.” But the owner obviously couldn’t give a stuff. The garbage was there for months.

      A second problem is that the council hate, simply hate to refuse license applications for businesses. Either they don”t relish the though of any legal challenge or they believe the best in people but so often applications are granted with solemn understandings and rules which are quickly ignored and the pub/club then enter into a cat and mouse game with locals and the council.

      Yes we urgently need a council which can extend the conservation area and be more assertive. but what if the proposed conservation area gets in the way of another development wheeze? What brochures are on Lord True’s desk at the moment?

  15. michelangelo

    All interesting points, but the shops are in the hands of dozens of individual private landlords, the rates are set by Government and not the local Council, the Council Planning Department has to follow planning laws – how do you stop charity shops from opening or fast food cafes from appearing each time another one closes? Would love to know the answer to this endless problem.

  16. Kat

    Desperate for a Mexican really. The high street is so shoddy… we don’t need so many charity shops, smokehouses and also curryhouses really. I understand the reason for so many coffee shops because I usually see them busy but there are so many outlets that just repeatedly open and close businesses. And I would just like to say how much I miss Norma’s, I know it’s been a while but I’ve never got over the loss.

    • Rufus McDufus

      I like Mexican now and again but the ones I remember (there was quite a big one on York Street 5-10 years ago?) don’t seem to last very long.

  17. Purple Haze

    It does make you wonder if some people setting up a retail or food and drink business in Twickenham actually do any proper market research. Do they understand the demographics or long-term needs of the town so that they might run a sustainable business?
    Mostly it just smacks of people thinking they can easily make a pile of money from the rugby games. Hence it’s full of bars and places to eat, which during a rugby match can have a huge cash turnover. Of course some folk would say there’s nothing wrong with that.
    However, some of the shops that have come and gone are quickly replaced by the same sort of business, just following in the footsteps of the one that has failed. Why would you spend a lot of money doing that?
    It makes you suspicious of some of them, especially when premises get expensively fitted out and then are only open for a short while or not at all. I have heard its allegedly sometimes a way of legitimising grubby money. Or maybe it’s just a combination of good old fashioned greed and stupidity?

  18. I moved to Australia a couple of years ago, but spent most of the last forty years living in (or near) Twickenham. I love my updates from Twickerati and was very virally active during the debacle with a big ‘royal’ boat yard trying to take over our best playground!
    Today I read that Wimpy had gone. 😦 So sad! I remember banana splits and coke floats there when I was a little girl, and the owners used to give me free doughnuts.
    The new grubby pavement sounds awful, and there is a sense of gloom from so many residents about the lack of individuality these days.
    I was gutted when Langtons closed, and now I see Par Ici has gone. These greedy landlords make me sick. We are losing all the character in our little town! (Is Osteria Pulcinella still there?)
    Once upon a time we had a cinema, an ice rink, a swimming pool and a good few shops with character. Slowly of time this has all gone.
    A part of me will always love Twickenham, but I am glad I have moved. It seems Twickenham is losing it’s identity these days – seeing that happen in person would make me very sad. I only hope it claws its way back from the greedy fat cats taking it down the wrong path.
    Victoria
    P.S. Your comment about ‘the former restaurant of a thousand names’ made me laugh so much! I know exactly where that is. 🙂

    • Hi. Yes Osteria Pulcinella is still there and doing well. There’s another good Italian opposite it called Masaniello. Par Ici shut a few years ago, possibly a year before Langtons even.

      As for the restaurant of a thousand names (on Heath Road) in the last decade or so it’s been Wineland Taverna, Wineland Steakhouse, Kaswani, Nights of Tehran, Pablo’s, da Vinci, Istanbul Ocakbasi (2013-14). Several of those were, apparently, the same owners trying different things. Now it has new owners. We wish it well!

      Thanks for tuning in from Oz to keep tabs on Twickenham.

  19. David

    It’s really not for the Council to say “oh, we only need the one Smokehouse and *yours* is the chosen one, so tough luck the rest but we *do* need a Mexican or a Peruvian or a Georgian” (yes please!). That’s really rather Joe-Stalin-meets-Fay-Maschler !. As long as premises have the right use-class, it’s up to entrepreneurs to vie for our custom and attention: probably all the smokehouses will boom during the World Cup and then two will close, then maybe we will get a Mexican – or something else. But if you don’t go to something you like – and who can afford to go out regularly these days? – it will close and something else will be tried. Maybe we didn’t *want* frozen yoghurt or an unhappy marriage of beer and cocktails? I know I didn’t.

    There are myriad reasons Twickenham doesn’t work for shopping, all of which have been rehearsed here: proximity to two much better centres Kingston/Richmond) plus Teddington jealously guards its own shoppers: being basically a traffic junction with shops: way too many and too small identikit-sized premises: inadequate parking; ugly buildings: no focal point (the river is a sideshow; the impossibility of shopping on Rugby days. Etc. Repaving is only a (n expensive) sideshow and the Council’s failure to provide for cleaning the new stones adequately is far from unique to them but was sadly so, so, predictable. Capex is easy, especially with the TFL pot of gold but revenue-funding more difficult.

    I’m not sure there is an answer.

    • illiad1

      well it aint over til the lady sings…. the works should be finished by may, when they will expose their brand new cleaning machine!!! 😛
      As for shopping , It all depends on how hardy you are… I avoid Kingston at peak times and weekends if I can avoid the strain of massive crowds and queues… :/
      richmond is closer, but *avoid* after 3pm, unless you dont mind waiting upto an hour in crawling traffic on the way back…
      kew and ivbridge have good shops too! 🙂

  20. Adam

    Some planning would help. No milkshake shops, then two open (and close). No Sushsi, then two open. No BBQ, then 3 open at once. Given how tough it is to stay in business, shouldn’t the council try to coordinate a little? I feel sorry for The Optical Gallery as we now have 3 opticians with Boots Optical recently opening. Are we really that blind? How many coffee shops do we need? How many charity shops! Comparing us to Richmond might be a bit unfair, but even Teddington seems to have a much better mix of shops and restaurants.

  21. David

    Admittedly new to the area so some of this may be wrong but this is how I see it: Unfortunately if you don’t give non-residents a unique reason to visit the area (other than the occasional rugby game), shops will continue to close, investment will be limited and the high street will continue to worsen. Indie shops can only really survive with a high footfall, big chains also aren’t interested in investing in areas that don’t attract tourists. Transport and parking into the area is also an issue that needs to be addressed. If you were visiting London or lived elsewhere in the city, why would you bother coming to Twickenham?

    Another small gripe but the shop signage/frontage on the high street is embarrassing. is that Cycle Republic sign really going to be permanent? It’s shoddy as are most shop fronts in the area. Can’t the council subsidise an improvement?

    Last one, I’m not an expert in planning but in the space of a 100 yards by Twickenham Green (not strictly High Street I know) there are three newsagents. Go a bit further and there’s another one. Do we really need so many burger/smokehouse joints in such close proximity? (I know it’s trendy at the moment) but there are reasons why places close down. Surely replacing like for like doesn’t work?

  22. Terri

    Good article. I am an American who loves living in Twickenham, but I do wonder how many rib shacks and smokehouses this town needs. Like many of the readers here, I find it sad how few indie shops survive here, even on Church Street. Is it high rents? Parking issues? I still miss Langton’s and Par Ici. I’d swap a few burger joints and arcades to see them back.

    • Tina Cooke

      [Editor: this post has been edited]

      … and the answer is (particularly in Church Street), ‘yes, it is the high rents’. Stone, Rowe & Brewer has a property ‘branch’ to it’s outfit. They own several properties in Church Street.

      Speak to shop owners and ask them how they feel about the rental costs & negotiating with landlords in order to maintain viability as an indie business.

    • David B

      Interesting. I use SRB for my conveyancing, as I’m sure others do and if that were true and to become well-known, I’m sure we can take our business elsewhere. I have posed the question via Twitter, copying Twickerati: maybe others could do the same?

    • David B

      SRB have not replied. Anyone else care to ask them the question?

    • One of the reasons for editing the previous comment was that the property concerned was not owned by them at the time that shop closed.

      More broadly, it’s unlikely SRB will respond to twitter or blog requests for information on what properties they may or may not own, or on the rents charged. It would be interesting to know but we’re unlikely to get to know it.

    • Ellie Weld

      I completely agree with what you say — I’m an American who has lived in Twickenham for 37 years and has seen many changes, some of which I deeply regret.

  23. Sally

    And look at the pub which housed theTwickenham theatre, home of award winning Sweeny Todd? Now yet another booze barn with a sad, tacky neon sign out the front. Reels ,which at least was quiet and had silly Tutankhamen masks to amuse us is now a slick,nasty clip joint stuffed with FOBT machines .
    I have been to several council licensing hearings considering applications for tacky sleazy businesses anybody can see will pull the area down and cause trouble.Always,always the licensing bods are deeply impressed by the bods backing the businesses talking about highly trained staff excellent security and so on and allow them through, to be astonished with the predicted problems duly happen.
    Yest again it’s the difference between a high street for the locals-the theatre was popular-or the Rugby visitors.

  24. mjk

    The High street is depressing and feels neglected.. Where did it all go wrong? Can’t the council do something to give it a much needed revamp. Beyond getting essentials, I tend to spend my money elsewhere.

    • Anonymous

      Read all the ‘back issues’ here, and you may see the council only seems to care about how much money developers will pay them…. 😦

  25. Whoever approves business plans and loans for aspiring Twickenham businesses must have a wicked sense of humour.

  26. Lucy

    One of the most affluent areas of London with one of the least desirable high streets. I’ve lived here 15 years and I think it has worsened during this time. I have money and time (well some!) I want to spend on the high street and about the only decent place to do that is Ruben’s Bakehouse… oh and some of the pubs… why!!??

  27. An original, authentic and fun Mexican restaurant wouldn’t go amiss round here.

  28. It’s all a bit depressing, as was my walk through the high street in the rain this morning.

    • Cleo Talbot

      We can only hope the rain will wash the new pavements clean 😉

    • Sadly the rain won’t get rid of the chewing gum, which looks exceptionally bad on the york stone. Is anyone tasked with removing the gum?

    • boanerges

      I think there a strong case for banning chewing gum, as, I believe, in Singapore under Lee Kwan Yu
      If Andrew really wants to know the answer to his question (or perhaps it was rhetorical?), at the sake of repeating myself, I suggest asking the Director of the Environment. It is vanishingly unlikely that anyone outside the council would know the answer.