Twickenham, Are You Ready for The Rugby World Cup?

It’s nearly here! After all the talking up, talking down, excitement, dread and indifference (delete as appropriate) the Rugby World Cup kicks off in two week’s time when England take on Fiji. Over the six weeks of the tournament Twickenham will host ten matches from that opening Fiji game on Friday 18th September through to the final on Saturday October 31st. Three of the weekends even have two matches in them. In other words, it’s going to be busy. An England v France warm up ‘test event’ took place recently (featuring extra road closures and pubs being asked to restrict post-match admissions) and another is planned for 5th September when England play Ireland. Basically, Twickenham is now officially in Rugby World Cup mode.

Cannes

Twickenham stadium

So folks, prepare yourself for rugby fans from around the world descending on Twickenham and not only on match days but across the whole tournament. You might even spot the odd player too as South Africa and the All Blacks will be setting up camp at St Mary’s University and the Lensbury respectively. And even if you don’t see the players you will probably be confronted by some very big coaches on the mean streets of ‘Nam. We mean coaches of the vehicular kind not the bull-necked, vein-busting, overly-shouty kind obviously.  Put simply, love it or loathe it, for the next couple of months you’re unlikely to be able to avoid the Rugby World Cup.

Oh, and talking of mean streets as we were, did you know that on match days the plan is to close the A316 between Hospital Bridge Road and London Road for three hours before each game until two hours afterwards? That’s about seven hours in total so you might want to avoid driving anywhere at all in Twickenham at those times. On the plus side, we’re told that, “Non-essential traffic will be directed away from Twickenham and Richmond”. We can’t wait to see some Second World War style “Is Your Journey Really Necessary?” posters around south west London.  Perhaps Richmond Council Leader, the Blue Baron, aka Sir Lord True, might take on a Captain Mainwaring from Dad’s Army role to assist with this task. And if he does, will Deputy Leader Geoffrey Samuel will be his Sgt Wilson and will Lib Dem Leader Gareth ‘Red Robbo’ Roberts take on the role of his nemesis, ARP Warden Hodges? It could happen.

But, hey ho, it’s not all just about traffic, we can expect some top quality rugby matches too. No doubt some of you will already have purchased tickets with your own hard cash or maybe you’re one of those El Brute council types who has received a freebie… much to the consternation of some locals it seems. Free tickets, cars at a standstill? Please put any visions of our illustrious Councillors being carried through the crowds to matches in sedan chairs out of your heads right now. It’s not helping.  Even here at twickerati HQ we’re getting in the mood and will be switching our attention from the ‘beautiful game’ to the oval balled variety for a couple of the Saturdays.

Twickenham’s pubs will be rammed to the rafters on match days and many will be screening all the games, putting on special events and the like. Expect tuneless rumblings of “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” to be accompanied by the steady and constant ‘ping’ of cash registers. Or at least that’s the theory. For the recent evening kick off England v France warm-up game, town centre pubs were asked to stop any new admissions after 10.00pm although fans at the game were advised that they could carry on drinking at the stadium. Many local pubs were distinctly unhappy about missing out on a chance for some extra customers. For those fans who can’t or don’t want to venture inside our local hostelries, a dedicated Rugby World Cup Fan Zone is being created in Richmond’s Old Deer Park to entertain the masses. Enjoy it or avoid is as you see fit.

Big balls around the borough

Big balls around the borough

By now some of you will be getting anxious about the whole rugby fan / drinking thing. Will the Police, RFU and El Brute be on the case in terms of managing the crowds?  Last May’s Marriot Sevens tournament left a mountain of rubbish in central Twickenham and a lot of angry residents however that event was not a ‘typical’ rugby crowd and we have to hope that won’t be repeated. Hell, let’s do more than just hope, let’s ‘demand’ that it isn’t!  It’s not as if the World Cup isn’t generating big revenues, including for the RFU. The Evening Standard recently cited a £500m boost to the London economy from the tournament.  And it’s here that people tend to drop in words like ‘legacy’.

While we’re talking about fixing problems then, of course, litter isn’t the only thing that needs attention.  Rugby days require enough accessible portable toilets to help reduce the popularity of street pissing. The steps by Twickenham station really are a “go to” destination for this activity and they’ve been tarted-up in readiness. Perhaps the newly installed CCTV cameras might put a few people off.  Perhaps the pictures might get streamed? And hell yeah, even Twickenham station itself has had new toilets and a new café installed and a few licks of paint here and there. Please don’t say you hadn’t noticed the ‘transformation’!

Popular peeing point

A popular peeing point

If rugby’s not your thing there are other events including films, music, arts and sports activities taking place right through until the end of the tournament under the banner of the Try It Festival. It’s here that we point out that several of these things would be happening regardless of the Rugby World Cup, we’re talking Open House London and the Great River Race and the like, but some are new and El Brute have pulled them all together on one section of its own RWC website. Take a look in between fretting about the road closures and wondering how you’re going to get over to see Auntie Mabel in Isleworth, you might even find something you like.

So, ready or not, here it comes.  We have to say that from our vantage point in the ice cream van, we’re moderately looking forward to it. Needless to say our view is totally and utterly irrelevant, it’s how it’s all shaping up for you that really matters. And finally, remember to smile Twickenham, the eyes of the rugby world are upon you.

Twickenham stadium

Twickenham stadium

LINKS:
* England Rugby – Twickenham Community Page
* Richmond Council RWC2015 Page
* Try It Festival (Events until October)
* Rugby World Cup – Official Site
* Twickerati: The Rugby World Cup, the RFU and you (Nov 2014)

RWC Matches at Twickenham Stadium

[Saturday 5th Sept – England v Ireland warm up event (KO 2.30pm)]
[Sunday 6th Sept – Fiji v Canada warm up match at The Stoop (Harlequins) KO 2.30pm]

Friday 18th Sept – Opening Ceremony + England v Fiji (KO 8.00pm)
Saturday 19th Sept – France v Italy (KO 8.00pm)
Saturday 26th Sept – England v Wales (KO 8.00pm)
Saturday 3rd Oct – England v Australia (KO 8.00pm)
Saturday 10th Oct – Australia v Wales (KO 4.45pm)
Saturday 17th Oct – Quarter Final 2 (KO 4.00pm)
Sunday 18th Oct – Quarter Final 4 (KO4.00pm)
Saturday 24th Oct – Semi Final 1 (KO 4.00pm)
Sunday 25th Oct – Semi Final 2 (KO 4.00pm)
Saturday 31st Oct – Final (KO 4.00pm)

65 Comments

Filed under Local Issues & News

65 responses to “Twickenham, Are You Ready for The Rugby World Cup?

  1. RTT Online has: “Oi, put that penis away”: Twickenham resident tackles rugby fan urinating on her drive:

    . . A Cole Park Road resident, who asked not to be named, said she confronted one man who she saw urinating in her front garden. She said: “I couldn’t believe it – I opened the window and shouted ‘Oi, put that penis away’. In my work as a nurse, I have dealt with a lot of penises over the years and I have no problem with them or with rugby, for that matter. But it is disgusting to see people [urinating] on personal property.”

    She said a friend, who lives in Richmond Road, caught two women having a poo in the road during the Rugby Sevens earlier this year. She added: “I want to see an extra 50 toilets in place between the stadium and the station because I know people would use them.”

    England Rugby 2015 did not respond to this newspaper’s question of how many toilets will be available for fans at Saturday night’s match.

    http://www.richmondandtwickenhamtimes.co.uk/news/13782279._Oi__put_that_penis_away___Twickenham_resident_tackles_rugby_fan_urinating_on_her_drive/?ref=eb

  2. The Guardian has: ‘Rail firms seek to allay Wales rugby fans’ travel fears before England clash: . . (up to) 20,000 Wales fans are expected at Twickenham . . but the last train to depart Paddington for south Wales leaves at 10pm.

    Despite concerns that Welsh fans will be stuck in SW London . . organisers stressed that . . coaches will be on hand after the game and GWR claimed that over 98% of . . tickets have not been bought in Wales anyway . . The rail company said: “ . . Given the particularly late kick-off, and with a journey time from Twickenham to a GWR station of at least an hour . . most fans from Wales are likely to choose to travel by alternative means, or stay overnight.”

    . . (RFU) said: “ . . I discussed this Saturday’s game with GWR and I’m not sure there is a duty on the rail companies. I think the vast majority of Welsh fans . . knew that they would be planning for an overnight stay. They are not going to be leaving Twickenham till at least 10pm.”’
    http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/sep/24/wales-travel-england-rugby-world-cup

  3. Just deleted the party political comments. This is about the rugby and the comments were, let’s be frank, getting a bit boring as well as being off topic.

    • Alexis

      My apologies to Nemesis for dragging him/her over the Twickerati boredom threshold with me.
      Nevertheless I am grateful for his reference to the Fabian Window – most illuminating.
      Alexis

  4. RFU are putting out a Dear Neighbour letter – not yet on the website – re the London 7s 2016. It announces:

    a new dispersal power for the police.
    attendance cap to 35,000/day, a 40 % reduction overall.
    more street cleaning and toilets, including overnight cleaning if needed.
    no fancy dress themes.
    promotion as a family friendly event.
    restrictions on alcohol sales.

    These measures are endorsed by the Council and the police.

    All of which is very encouraging – clearly someone senior has had a change of heart and decided it’s time to DO something to restore the RFU’s good neighbour status, even if it costs them.

  5. RTT Online has:

    Man hit by train at Twickenham station was an “accident”, police say, as investigation into how he fell continues http://www.richmondandtwickenhamtimes.co.uk/news/13773984.Man_hit_by_train_at_Twickenham_station_was_an__accident___police_say__as_investigation_into_how_he_fell_continues/?ref=eb

    . . British Transport Police . . said it was an “accident with no third party involvement”. A spokesman for . . Network Rail said a planned queuing system was in operation and an “appropriate number” of people were on the platform . .

    Chase Bridge Primary pupils record special Rugby World Cup song
    http://www.richmondandtwickenhamtimes.co.uk/news/13774017.RWC_2015__Chase_Bridge_Primary_pupils_record_special_Rugby_World_Cup_song/?ref=eb

    Richmond’s Rugby World Cup fanzone proves a hit with fans on the tournament’s opening weekend
    http://www.richmondandtwickenhamtimes.co.uk/news/13773762.PICTURES__Richmond_s_Rugby_World_Cup_fanzone_proves_a_hit_with_fans_on_the_tournament_s_opening_weekend/?ref=eb

  6. Great to see lots of families visiting the fanzone in Old Deer Park plenty of entertainment for kids. You can watch Japan tomorrow at 2.30pm in the fanzone.

    • upend

      it was lovely on Sunday – lots of kids kicking rugby balls, Kiwis watching the game and a couple of gentle beers in the “sunshine”. Recommend a trip out to have a nose round. genuinely a good advert for rugby.

  7. Joss Green

    All the moaning from residents is funny. They live in a good area yet can’t hack it when some fans come to see rugby, hey it’s a temporary thing and surely generates jobs for you which means money. I live in a deprived area nearby and nothing Of interest comes to our town. Perhaps some of these rich residents would care to swap places with me. Yes that’s right esp as my town is positively vibrant, with many tongues being spoken, reflecting certain parts of Asia – isn’t this what the liberal elites love ? If so then they ought to put their money where their mouths are and swap homes with me for a time…

  8. nemesis

    Sunday; Beautiful morning and a chance to get out and about without hordes of rugby fans – so arrange to meet with friends for a walk in Richmond Park – only to find it closed to all but the lycra-clad, Wiggins wannabees. Second time this has happened with no warnings or notices in the paper. Grrrrh!

  9. Riverside Voter

    Whilst not exactly relishing the downside of anti social behaviour and drunken incontinence the prospect of living in a lively town enjoying being at the centre of an international event was quite exciting. So what happened on Friday night? The High Street was quieter than on a normal Friday night. A lot of the fans were still under the impression that Twickenham pubs would be locked down at 10pm, and very few were taking the lane into the centre of town. Have the RFU and Council done a very good job of diverting any excitement and economic benefit away from the town?

  10. Sal Magundi

    Why do we need that flamin’ helicopter buzzing overhead now? There are no more people in the stadium than normal, all the roads are closed and there are a million stewards /volunteers/police on hand. It’s not normally flying about on match days. Very annoying for residents and not exactly conducive for a fun, relaxed evening for spectators either.

  11. Nick

    Amazing that tonight the greatest trouble requiring police attention is outside Radnor Gardens where I have just witnessed the borough’s youth collapsing on the pavement incapable through alcohol while scenes around the much maligned rugby stadium are a model of solidarity…

    • Nick

      I’m sorry to receive thumbs down, but the fact is that I saw young people collapsed on both pavements on Cross Deep, and when I called an ambulance a delightful young man said “if you call the Feds I’ll stab you”. Logically, these teenagers are from this borough.

  12. sweet-tooth

    any chance we can get rid of that helicopter – it’s noisier than the fans, starts 90 mins before games and is just ANNOYING!

  13. Your humble very occasional correspondent was thinking of doing a quirky RWC Twickenham visitors guide. Judging by the comments of Messrs Squire and Haze below it seems as it there could be a demand for such a thing or at least that current provision is a bit, shall we say, flaky. It would be even better if you lot chipped in. We’re talking about mentioning things that the average visiting fan might be interested in but would not stumble upon autmatically (i.e. not the usual town centre pubs and curry houses).

    • Ted

      Recommend my favourite quiet cafe to a horde of rugby visitors? No thanks!

    • Walkinthepark

      And perhaps enable your local quiet cafe to survive to be quiet a bit longer? Sounds a good idea. For a start I would like to send lots of people up to eat the really good Malaysian food at Chuba Rasa rather than gorge in all the Carnivore joints further into town that arrived to profit from the RWC. I’d like the former to profit as well.

  14. Cleo Talbot

    Since I live fairly near to the Stoop, I thought I’d check what they’ve got in store for us during the “44 Days of Crazy” of the RWC. It appears they are hosting several matches, including a couple of armed forces events: the finals and semi-finals of the International Defence Rugby Competition.
    http://www.quins.co.uk/celebrationofrugby/

    Was anyone else aware of this, or is it just me who’s taken their eye off the oval ball? Let’s hope the fans behave better than those attending the Army v Navy Match.

    • Sally

      Re: said fans, does anybody have any tips for what to do if they are being anti social right outside one’s house?
      We are none too close to the stadium, but still have problems with fans blatantly using our front gardens as a urinal chucking cans over the fences, and most dreaded, deciding that the bonnet of the car or better yet the driveway is just the place to prop and have a good old yell. What to do?
      if you call the rugby line you get…um..an answering machine or ,if said yobs are considerate enough to act up at the right time, an empathic voice. This will tell you to call the community police. You do. Another answering machine. Hating wasting emergency service time but really wanting to speak to a local constable, you call 999. A bored voice says the message will be passed on. Meanwhile the yobs are really making themselves at home out the front and the children are upset..
      If you take the last two options you will either never see the police, see them a couple of hours after the yobs have finished peeing shouting and reclining on the drive, or my favourite, the police will come a day later.!
      Who do we contact if we need help with bad behaviour which while not life or death is still horrible to deal with? Is the truth that during these events we are pretty much on our own for this sort of thing?

    • Geoff Acton

      On behalf of the Ward Councillors we have been taking up issues of anti social behaviour, urination etc with the Police, Council and RFU as appropriate. Have requested Stoop to provide match day hotline for problem reporting which is 020 8410 6040 so please call them. So far nine events/screenings are planned between 26th September and 31st October. We are including an anti urination tear off slip in our latest Comments going out now for residents to use if they wish.
      Cllr Geoff Acton

    • boanerges

      A suggestion for Sally’s problem ie antisocial behaviour outside one’s house. If caught in flagrante delicto:
      camera with bright flash
      powerful water pistol (available in toyshops)

    • Cleo Talbot

      Thanks for the info, Geoff. Like me, many will now have received a card from Harlequins listing their upcoming events. But beware: it doesn’t list ALL the events taking place at the Stoop over the RWC period. Check them out here: http://www.quins.co.uk/celebrationofrugby/

      I’m intrigued by the promised “anti urination tear-off slip”, and eagerly await its arrival… 🙂

  15. LBRuT has launched a new Visit Richmond website to promote the borough:

    New website showcases Borough to tourists during RWC2015 http://www.richmond.gov.uk/home/council/news/press_office/older_news/august_2015/new_website_showcases_borough_to_tourists_during_rwc2015.htm

    It includes a Food and Drink page, which is worse than useless – it actively misleads visitors as to what we have to offer. It divides the borough into 8 areas but omits Twickenham & St Margaret’s from the choice list of area in its Food and Drink Search: http://www.visitrichmond.co.uk/food-and-drink.aspx.

    Choose Richmond and (Any category) and you get the Richmond venues (a very poor selection) and one venue only in Twickenham, on the Green, misleadingly labeled the Shaftesbury Arms, which is in Kew Road. Etcetera . .

    Who created this rubbish, how much were they paid for it, how much were venues charged for inclusion and which council officer passed it for publication without checking it was fit for purpose?

    • Purple Haze

      The official visitors guide to the 2015 Rugby World Cup barely mentions what you can see and do in Twickenham and Richmond at all. It’s all based on visiting central London, apart from a few brief mentions of the towns and cities where other matches are played around the UK. There’s a single advertisment for Strawberry Hill House, but nothing at all about the local areas’ other cultural attractions.
      I don’t know if you had to pay for a mention as well as an advert, but everything is for the usual tourist traps, bars and eateries in central London.
      Ok I know that’s the focus for the whole event for a lot of people, but I was surprised at the lack of information on our local area.

  16. Sally

    Ah-has anybody else noticed the bloated big top on steroids plus offspring going up in Old Deer Park? A large chunk of park is now behind a fence. I had read about the “fan zone” but this is a shock.
    Clearly this will be a huge boozy month long party spot and a packet will be made for this knees up away from the ground.. Where is the money then heading? Will our council make a fortune which will go straight towards schools etc? I am curious.
    I can’t think of any other sporting event which has a Local Authority so very ready to accommodate. Where does the council stand legally agreeing to shut off an arterial road for days to accommodate a sports event?i have never heard of this happening to the main roads which happen to go past other large sports venues.
    Nice plastic balls though.

    • The closure of the A316 Chertsey Road has been decided by Transport for London who control it and all the main arterial (‘trunk’) roads.

    • Alexis

      Mr Squire has a habit of stating the bleeding obvious – as he has done here, yet again.
      So, being a nosy whatsit, I googled him to see who he is – these sort of people usually have form. Lo and behold he seems to be some sort of member of the aristocracy, thus: Christopher James Lascelles Hutton-Squire.
      Since the Lascelles family home is Harewood House in Yorkshire and mine was a rented terrace in the back end of Hull, I fear I must doff my bonnet to this gentleman if I ever have the misfortune to meet him!
      Alexis
      PS – The “Liar, liar pants on fire” slur seems even more infra-dig than it did before.

    • Nick

      Alternately it’s somewhere for fans to hang out before and between matches, taking pressure off local amenities…

  17. Sally

    Michelangelo makes no comment on the ethics of elected representatives accepting what Lord True himself disdained as “flashy freebies”. In this case, presents worth thousands and thousands of pounds. From an immensely rich and powerful local business. Which has a profound affect on residents of the
    Borough.
    Council officials are usually not allowed to accept very expensive, high value gifts from those who may well be later asking them to pass judgement on their applications and licensing conditions. Most public servants are not allowed to accept anything more costly than a card.
    The idea of heroic, selfless councillors toiling thanklessly and so deserving expensive gifts sees rather romantic. Michalengelo could perhaps make more of a case that they deserve thousands of pounds of freebies more than other groups of residents who also work hard for others and get little reward.The entire staff of the local A and E, for example.

    • Alexis

      I’m quite amused by this hair shirt stuff about freebie RWC tickets for Councillors and Council Officers, so, here are my thoughts:

      1: The Mayor and his consort or deputy should attend the opening and closing ceremonies – I doubt their tickets will have cost the Council anything and I bet C’llr Seymour will use the opportunity to boost the funds of his charities. What’s wrong with that? If neither of them are rugby fans – that’s beyond duty!

      2: Sally and Chris Squire tell us that Council Officers have also been given freebie tickets worth thousands of pounds each. That may well be so on the tout’s market but I doubt has any relevance to the RFU face price, so it’s a bit of a red herring. Nevertheless, we do suffer from several very highly paid Council staff who may well have been given complimentary tickets. I rather hope that they have decided to be altruistic and donated them to deserving junior staff who have probably worked their socks off to make things happen, or auctioned them to benefit their favourite charity (if that’s allowed).

      3. Lord True, Tory leader of our Council. This is an interesting one – LibDem leader Gareth Roberts has been banging on about him, somewhat ineffectually, for ages. Every other City or Council leader has attended an RWC event in Paris, Auckland, Sydney and Jo’burg, to my knowledge, so, isn’t it a bit of civic pride to raise a glass to those who make the effort?
      I bet Serge Lourie or Sir David Williams would have been there like a shot, perhaps Gareth is a bit miffed that his party were hammered at the last elections, so no freebie tickets for him.
      Alexis

    • Ex-Twickenham Resident

      It’s all quite fun isn’t it? Hats off to the Lib Dems and their attempt to be volunteers – seems a bit unfair that they cannot be.

      I can also see why Lord True & Co. are given tickets. I can also see Sally’s point.

      How about if Lord True & Co accept the tickets, they buy them at face value?
      Getting tickets for the final is like gold dust, and certainly it would be an event worth attending especially if England were to make the final.

      One thing that can be said with a degree of certainty is that the El Brute representatives are likely to be well behaved!

    • The Tory council is naturally determined to deprive the Lib Dems of the chance to get themselves photographed in high-vis volunteer coats working on the streets outside while Lord T & co. are swigging RFU champagne in a hospitality suite inside. No doubt the Lib Deems will turn up anyway dressed in DIY ‘volunteer’ kit.

    • illiad1

      LOL getting tickets for ANY *huge* once a year (or less) event depends on you being enough of a ‘fan’ to be able to get the *years* before it happens..

      If you follow big rock shows, tickets are on sale a year before the event..
      To even *think* of getting tickets less than a month before is considered a bit loony… 😀 😀

    • Alexis

      Not a bad idea Mr Squeers – let’s hope they spell LibDums right on their
      Hi- viz DIY “volunteer kit” – eh?
      Alexis

    • upend

      just a quick note about the comments below – they would be World Rugby freebies, not RFU. And yes, it may well be many thousands of pounds face value – top price non-corporate tickets for the Final were I think £750. Corporate tickets are over £1k start.

      For what it’s worth, I think there’s a big difference between a ceremonial leader like the Mayor and a council member, in terms of tickets

  18. From Private Eye’s Rotten Boroughs:

    ‘LORD TRUE, the high-mlnded leader of Richmond council in south-west London, took a dim view of other London councillors, accepting Olympic tickets in 2012 “while ordinary families in the borough have to apply in the queue”. He turned down “flashy freebies”, insisting councillors were not entitled to special treatment. But with the arrival of the 2015 Rugby World Cup on his doorstep he has changed his tune.

    Rugby chiefs have now given the council five complimentary tickets for each of the 10 matches to be played in the borough, including England v Australia and the final, which will be attended by Lord and Lady True. The rest have been claimed by 10 cabinet members, eight of their partners, the mayor, deputy mayor and senior officers.

    Tournament organisers have also given a separate donation of 500 tickets for schools and community groups but those are all for France v Italy. Meanwhile, six Lib Dem opposition councillors were barred from volunteering at the tournament, warned by officers that involvement would be inappropriate. “Clearly the, council would prefer councillors to limit their activity to freeloading corporate hospitality at matches,” complained Cllr Alex Ehmann.’

    • Sally

      Good for Private Eye. Regardless of their political stripe, local Councillors shouldn’t accept gifts worth thousands and thousands of pounds in tickets and corporate hospitality from a local business even if huge. Especially if huge. We wouldn’t want to think that our elected representatives are biased in favour of said freebie bestowing business. We need them to stand up for us and sometimes that may mean putting residents before the businesses’ profits.
      Surely even the most fervent fan of Lord True would feel a qualm after queueing and forking out hundreds to look up and see him on high like Il Duce?
      If there are tickets to the most coveted games to be given out a graceful gesture would be to pass them onto locals in need-the elderly, disabled or frail who would not otherwise be able to afford the tickets let alone manage the crowds. I am sure local services for these groups would have no trouble at all giving some names of deserving candidates.
      Chatting to staff of a local hospice local today , they said they could easily manage to find a group of terminally ill rugby fans who would be terribly happy to have this chance. Sadly the poor chaps can’t affect application of licensing laws and so on.

    • michelangelo

      I have to say I find Sally’;s comments extremely mean-minded and petty.
      A councillor’s job involves antisocial hours and is poorly paid in relation to the responsibility involved in managing other people’s money, giving appropriate support to the needy of all types and reacting to unforeseen events. They are “on call” 24 hours a day, and subject to public vilification and the vagaries of the political system. Their duties must impinge unfavourably on their family, work and social inter-relationships. I for one am grateful to those, of any stripe, who volunteer for this type of civic duty, which is the backbone of our democratic system of government.
      To begrudge them a small token of thanks from the RFU is very sad. The Rugby World Cup is a very special event for Twickenham, and must have meant a great deal of extra work over a long period of time, especially for cabinet members and officers. In my opinion, free tickets are deserved.

  19. From the Richmond Society Newsletter, Autumn 2015:

    ‘ . . There will be 19 “match days” when rugby is screened on a large TV . . and 11 “festival days” when the Fanzone will host comedy and evening music shows . . Capacity is limited to 10,00 people including 5,200 in the large marquee . . Last entry will be 10 prn, last alcohol 11 pm and last amplified sound 11 pm. (Some . . ) licensed premises have voluntarily agreed last entry at 10 pm.

    Dispersal is an issue especially on 4 evenings when there is late kick off at Twickenharn . . Our estimates . . predicted a queue of 6,000 + people at Richmond Station with wait times of over one hour and 3,000 people left after the last Metropolitan tube, although capacity exists then on Network rail. Later tube trains and coaches have now been added to reduce the risk but we remain concerned.

    A second issue is the pedestrian routes . . Fans from Twickenham may walk to Richmond along the north side of the A316 but others may use Richmond Bridge. There are issues of disturbance, crowd control and toilets. The crowd will be managed by marshals with the police only involved if there arc incidents.

    A third issue is amplified sound . . A fourth issue concerns anti-social behaviour and criminal activity . . ‘

    [http://www.richmondsociety.org.uk/]

    • Alexis

      Sorry Chris and Ed, this has a tenuous link to the RWC but a lot to do with our local politics. So I hope others will read on if interested:

      Yet again we have a letter from Ms Sandra Fayle of Hampton, in the R&TT, singing the praises of our ex LibDem MP, soon to be Sir Vince Cable. Despite the fact that Dr Cable has been our MP for the best part of the last 20 years, she suddenly pops up castigating the new incumbent Dr Tania Mathias, a Conservative, about the dire state of affordable housing in our borough even though she has only been in office for 4 months!.

      Ms Fayle makes a good point about the lack of affordable housing but I fear her political affilliations have clouded her judgement. It might have helped the rest of us to know that she was once an SDP Councillor in a North London Borough when Vince Cable was also SDP, she stood for the Council as a LibDem in Hampton, in 1998, unsuccessfully, and worked for Dr Cable in his constituency office as a “case worker” for many years – perhaps until he lost his seat in May?

      Why don’t these party hacks acknowledge their loyalty rather than tax our deductive powers, it really would add strength to their argument – wouldn’t it? After all it only takes someone like me, who takes an interest in local affairs, to “out” this lady and her credibility as an impartial commentator is blown. Everyone is entitled to a point of view but wouldn’t it be so much more powerful if she had had the courage to acknowledge her party/personal loyalty? This seems to be a LibDem trait which is one of the reasons I have so little time for them.

      Since our new LibDem leader, hotshot C’llr Gareth Roberts seems to be doing little other than having a relentless pop at Tory cabinet members getting complimentary tickets to the RWC, I think that failed LibDem Riverside candidate Dr Susan Burningham may well be right when she described the LibDem opposition under Roberts as “ineffectual”. I thought anyone would be better than Knight – perhaps I was wrong, she clearly thinks so. Over to you C’llr Roberts if you are up for it.

      I wonder where these people were when Lourie and his chums were trying to sell off Twickenham Riverside for luxury housing whilst imposing the minimal amount of affordable housing elsewhere in the borough under the “linked sites strategy”. Regular readers will remember that Vince Cable was famous for saying that he didn’t get involved in local issues whenever he was questioned about his inaction, unsurprisingly that was whilst the LibDems were in power locally which was for most of the 20 or so years he was our MP.

      Perhaps Sandra Fayle and Gareth Roberts have hopes of Dr Mathias’s seat in 2020? All to look forward to!
      Alexis

  20. Purple Haze

    Has anybody heard about the RFU’s request to hold Monster Jam events at the stadium?
    These showcase massive, oversize trucks racing around and performing stunts.
    I’ve got nothing against that but I can imagine they won’t be popular with residents nearby because of all the noise and pollution.

    http://www2.richmond.gov.uk/PlanData2/Planning_CaseNo.aspx?strCASENO=15/2734/FUL

  21. George

    Surely 8.00pm kick offs given more than enough drinking time in the pubs before the game? Perhaps fans should be advised to get started on the beers extra early.

    I like the idea of being able to get ‘normal prices’ if you are a resident. Pubs & restaurants are going to make a killing over the six weeks regardless of whether they are allowed to stay open for a couple of hours after the late kick offs. Locals will remain long after the WC crowds have gone.

  22. Cooper 500

    I did see that the story about the ‘curfew’ on Twickenham pubs made the front page of Monday’s Times. I know August is a slow news month but I can’t help feeling the breweries were calling in a few favours from their journalist pals to get such high profile coverage. The clear spin seemed to be the local residents are all spoilsports depriving match attendees of a post match pint and putting the viability of local pubs in danger.

    My take on the curfew for the evening World Cup matches is its part of plan to encourage match attendees to stay the other side of the A316 and make use of the buses to get back to London or to one of park & ride venues. If a sizeable amount of the crowd did come to Twickenham then this will put pressure on the train station as most of the crowd will not go back over the A316 and get a bus (assuming they are still running after pub closing time).

  23. nemesis

    I remember when the world cup was held here in the 90’s. I think before the stadium was redeveloped. Not much fuss then – nice atmosphere, no disruption.
    Like many sports events – it seems too much money has become involved – run solely for the officials, the corporates and other bigwigs, the residents and true fans be damned.

  24. One unpleasant by-product of the World Cup I hadn’t considered was that all the pubs etc put their prices up. We had lunch in The Blucher on Saturday, and despite it being entirely free of rugby crowds (7 hours before kick-off), only the pricier (limited) match day menu was available.

    Popping to PK chippy for tea (it was a day of eating out!) while the match was on, resulted in some not-quite-as-nice-as-normal fish & chips, once again at a higher price.

    I’ve seen a few of the pubs round here on Twitter shouting “what about out loyal, local customers” when they were asked to close at 10pm. Well, what about your loyal, local customers for the rest of the day?

    • twickerman

      Kate,
      Sadly prices go up for ALL matches. Seems very greedy of most pubs (but not all) when they have so much extra business.
      PKs always oblige when I ask for normal (residents) price fish & chips.
      Pubs didn’t close at 10pm, they were still full at 11pm.

      I think Richmond card holders should be charged normal prices and given access to our own pubs (if doors are closed to visitors).
      What do you think folks?

      Alternatively, we could take the free bus service to Richmond!

    • Rufus McDufus

      I can always remember (rather foolishly) going for a curry on a match day and virtually all restaurants had/have a match-day menu with bumped-up prices. The portions are often smaller too. Been happening for as long as I remember.

  25. twickerman

    Fot those of you demanding answers to your questions there’s a Follow-Up meeting to the RWC Briefings and last Saturday’s Trial arrangements.
    It’s a drop in session at Clarendon Hall this Thursday Aug20 from 4-7.30pm.

    If you can’t wait til then, take a look at El Brute’s informative RWC pages (see twickerati’s link).

    There you will learn stuff like:

    *Road closures are needed because the trains can’t cope with all the extra fans decending on Twick & Rich for the matches & related events (approx 120k/match). Also a much higher % of fans will be coming by public transport (i.e. not the usual Range Rover/Barbour/prawn sandwich car park brigade. Ra-ra-ra).

    *Hundreds of buses will be stopping/going to Richmond, Hounslow, Waterloo and Park & Rides at Kempton and Hounslow from the closed section of A316.

    *The town centre pubs had an agreement with the police and council not to allow entry after 10pm.

    My impression was that the arrangements worked better than expected on Saturday, but it was relatively quiet at HQ and in town, with just 63,100 at the match.

    It was also good to see more portaloos and bins provided in the town centre (on London & Arragon Roads).
    Coming home after the match I noticed the streets were generally pee-free with much less litter than recently.
    The rugby pubs on London Road all looked full at 11pm.

  26. Sally

    Twickerati [Editor: well it’s Twickenham actually but it’s a nice thought] get a mention in today’s Guardian. Residents, it seems are daring to ask what exactly our area gets from the World Cup disruption as a permenant legacy.
    Some of the comments are from charmers assuming we are all Tory spoilsports and that peeing over garden walls is”part of the fun”. Anybody who thinks the fans give a stuff about Twickenham as an area will be once more disappointed by the behaviour it seems fans expect to engage in,
    I do think the ” spoilsport Tory “comments are unfair ,when residents who wish to go to the World Cup can take their minds off the eye watering ticket prices by drinking in Lord True, up there like Il Duce luxuriating in a smashing free seat. No killjoy he !

    • Sally

      Editor, sorry you are right.Time for reading glasses!
      I did manage to make out the commentator’s phrase “screw them..rich white wankers..” Referring to residents, of course.

    • Purple Haze

      There has been a lot of ranting about this on things like the rugby blog site ScumV.
      ScumV is like the ARRSE website where the army rugby folk go on about the residents of Twickenham when it’s the Babcock Trophy game.
      They are full of witty observations like Twickenham is full of miseries, old people, kill-joys and poshos etc, (that’s being polite) so it’s pretty tedious.
      So it’s ok for drunken, middle-class blokes to pee all over your garden, abuse you, vandalise your car and get into a fight at Twickenham because it’s all done in ‘high spirits’?
      I bet you if it was a bunch of folk from a local council estate having a stooshie in the middle of Twickenham they would all be seen as chavs that needed locking up for good.

      http://www.scumv.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=3&p=2943891

  27. The council have as usual totally messed up. Exactly why must the A316 be closed for 7 hours. What about locals over a 6-week period? Are we supposed to hibernate; go nowhere, see no one? Why is it any different to the usual big matches which don’t require road closures? All very OTT – but then what else would we expect for El Brute – either too much interference or not enough action! Do El Brute members actually live in Twickenham? I sometimes wonder…

    • Rufus McDufus

      And I supposed this means the parking at the side of the A316 (quite a few spaces) is no longer available? I’ve always been surprised how efficiently 85,000 or so people manage to get to and from the ground using a mixture of train/car/bus/unicycle etc.. It strikes me as a little foolish to modify a system that’s known to work pretty well.

    • On Saturday the buses ran normally. St Margaret’s was very quiet – I didn’t go into central Twickenham though.

    • Harry

      Why don’t you educate yourself on the reasons for the closures before asserting that the Council has messed up? As far as I have read, the whole of South-West London didn’t grind to a halt on Saturday when the closures were first trialled. The Council and RWC have put out literature explaining the need for the closures and are trialling the system, saying that they will adjust, same as the organisers of the 2012 Olympics did with the road closures they put in place. The A316 is going to open 96% of the week so it’s hardly as though anyone needs to hibernate for six weeks, and access passes have been given to those living in the area.

    • illiad1

      If you read the lido posts, there are some who live a few yards from richmond bridge, and still call it ‘Twickenham’ and wonder what ‘all the fuss’ is about… Central Twickenham (the part near twick station, guys!!!) could disappear into a smoking crater, they would not know or care… 😥