Merry Twickmas, Twickenham

“Christmas time, mistletoe and wine, building Trumpton one block at a time. With flats by the river and parking galore, we just have to hope that it’s better than before”.

Yes folks that’s what Councillor Pamela Fleming is absolutely insisting gets sung before all meetings at Richmond Council this Christmas. We’re not sure if she can actually hold a tune but we do know that she can hold a (party) line.

 

twickenham-christmas-tree

Christmas is upon us just as it was at this time last year. It’s a time when we look forward to wincing at our bank balances and praying that our guests will leave  (just bloody leave!) but we also look back on the year that’s ending. It’s been year of strange events, plucky Leicester City winning the Premier League, plucky Brits voting for Brexit, and plucky billionaire bully-boy businessman Donald Trump winning The Pres Factor across the pond. Here in Twickenham we’ve had our fair share of surprises too.  Surprise that LBRuT, aka ‘El Brute’, stuck with their unpopular scheme and chosen architect for Twickenham Riverside despite strong local opposition. Surprise that the high street at the end of the year looks very similar to the way it looked at the beginning, and surprise too that a new third runway at Heathrow got the nod from the government. Actually none of those three was remotely surprising but they warranted a token mention.

What of the riverside scheme? Here at twickerati HQ we’ve been disappointed that the Council have persisted with a plan that doesn’t do justice to the potential of the site, is overloaded in terms of scale and features a design that pays a traditionalist homage to a non-existent past.  After all these years of dithering and deliberation Twickenham looks set to end up with something that’s ‘sort of OK’ rather than something great. It’s a shame.  But on the bright side we do have a wonderful new station to enjoy as we go about our business. You’ve not seen it? What?? Well it was definitely going to be built after the Rugby World Cup. Definitely! The rugby world cup ended over a year ago but nothing’s been started yet. On the plus side, it’s not actually behind schedule because the phrase ‘after the rugby world cup’ applies to all dates from November 2015 to the very end of time. Hurrah!

At least the development opposite the station on the former post office sorting office site is nearly complete. It’s even got our new ‘community building’ / ‘cultural hub’ in it where things will happen that the community can do or look at or maybe wear or something. In truth, we’ve no idea. If it can support a thriving theatre-cum-performance space then that will be good but the only concrete idea we’ve had is that it might have been better to have a community building as part of the riverside development but what do we know?

On the high street, long standing Chinese restaurant Jun Ming closed,  Arthur’s is up for sale and we said farewell to the mysterious Cakes World and Marc Jason’s Shoeworld. The Press Room and Caffe a Roma arrived but so did Costa. The Heath Road restaurant that never lasts and which was most recently called Flavours of Sicily didn’t last. Former Blockbuster video store turned Morrison’s supermarket closed its doors again and is now turning into a Screwfix and a Co-op mini-supermarket has appeared in what was the Old Anchor pub. This, my friends, is the way of the world these days.

So what else happened? We had summer festivals and Christmas lights. New primary schools opened, more places are on the way in a giant new block at St Richard Reynolds College as is a whole new secondary school on the Richmond College site in Egerton Road. A man made national news when he brought Twickenham traffic to a standstill on a rugby day by throwing bricks and tiles off a roof and thieves blew up a cash point on Heath Road and made off with the contents. Richmond Council continued its merger with Wandsworth with the aim of making savings in back office costs through sharing resources. And if you wanted an ice rink to get you in the festive mood then you were to be disappointed. El Brute rejected proposals for a temporary winter rink in Radnor Gardens. Apparently school kids need the space…. even when they’re on holiday.

Here at twickerati we even managed to disappoint ourselves by living up to our recently lowered expectations. We updated the site only occasionally and focused on the same few stories over and over again.  The simple fix of finding more time, of writing with more wit and style and of securing regular contributors proved to be not quite so simple after all. But we battle on and, after all, why wouldn’t we with plenty of Twick-o-centric developments likely in 2017. Work on the riverside, maybe that new station, some new flats that look just like all the others, shops closing, shops opening, a permanent home for the Eel Pie Music museum.

This is what living in God’s own leafy outer London suburb is all about. This plus the parks, the river, the pubs, cafes and restaurants and above all else the people, i.e. you lovely lot.

As we conclude we say to you, put away thoughts of that charming John Lewis advert and think instead of the new seasonal YouTube video from El Brute Supremo, the Blue Baron aka Lord True.  Buster the Boxer’s got nothing on him.  This Council video is all about listening to Sir  True’s view of the world whilst looking at the back of his head in a giant mirror. Nothing says Christmas quite like that!

And that, little friends, is that. Have a great Christmas, have a wonderful New Year and thanks for reading this blog over the last 12 months.

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS ALL

Some Twickmas going on

Some Twickmas going on

20 Comments

Filed under Local Issues & News, Random Stuff

20 responses to “Merry Twickmas, Twickenham

  1. Ben Makins

    Late salutations Twickerati and all the best for the New Year. Great job in 2016, much needed when our local independent press seems to be weakening. Love the wit, intelligence and perspective you bring to all things Twickenham. Thanks for providing the space for our rantings.

  2. Twickenham station may not have lifts or be finished but Whitton station’s refurbishment is complete.

    All is needed now is the return of Brian the station cat for all to be well.

    • A. Robot (Mrs)

      Be careful what you wish for. It’s still 2016 remember, so first day back Brian the cat will quite likely be flattened by the 8.14 to Waterloo.

  3. Sally

    Thank you Twickerati. A light in grim times. Merry Christmas everybody!

  4. A. Robot (Mrs)

    Could I just slip in a plea here for anyone who hasn’t done so to sign the petition opposing the wrecking of the magical view from King Henry’s mound in Richmond Park to the dome of St Pauls, which I’m sure many twickerati followers have enjoyed and would hope to preserve for others to enjoy in the future? Petition is here, further information is on Friends of Richmond Park website:
    https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-destruction-of-historic-st-paul-s-view
    Thanks

  5. Ex-Twickenham Resident

    Merry Christmas Twickerati. Over on this side of the river we began December with a new MP. For the first time in my life I joined a political party (LD’s) and amazingly the good people of Richmond Park Constituency voted the former MP out. Of course Brexit was the catalyst for this and trust when the opportunity comes on the Middlesex side you will all do the same.

    Merry Christmas!

  6. Anonymous

    Thank you, Twickerati. Your posts are always very informative and enjoyable to read and long may they continue. Merry Christmas and all the best.

    • Alexis

      Twickerati,
      Thank you very much for keeping this blog going, it’s such a wonderful forum for ill/well judged opinion and information. I look forward to popping up and ruffling a few more feathers next year, hopefully constructively and critically in equal measure – I’m sure there will be opportunity for both.
      Happy Christmas to you all.
      Alexis
      PS: I’m with E-TR on Brexit

  7. Riverside Voter

    Thanks Twickerati, this site is always a refuge of wit and good sense. Speaking of the lack of both in some parts of Twickers, am I right in thinking the rear of our Leader’s Head talking to a door is extolling us to care for others in the hope we will then be too busy to keep calling him out on hijackinging our community in the interests of gaining favour with his more powerful friends? One might even call them, if we were not all such nice liberal types in Twickers (a majority of whom would have liked to see him list Brexit alongside the go ahead to Heathrow expansion as one of the disasters of 2016) and not given to such right wing rhetoric, the “establishment elite” …..

  8. Anonymous

    Thanks R

  9. stellagdb

    I agree that the back of his head rather dominated that video. Also, I kept expecting the door to be flung open to admit some surprise. Anyway, thanks to Twickerati for keeping us informed and entertained – two things which don’t always go together! Merry Christmas to all at Twickerati and also to all your readers.

  10. Anonymous

    Thanks Twickerati and Merry Christmas!

  11. Thanks Mr. Twickerati for your excellent posts, always a pleasure to read. Merry Christmas to you, your family and all the other Twicker peeps who enjoy and contribute. xx

  12. Anonymous

    Very nicely summed up! All the best to you and yours twikerati dude and keep up the good work!

  13. twickerman

    Merry Twickmas twickerati, and thanks for an excellent summary of another interesting year which ends with a cultural centre with nobody to run it, a station development with nobody capable of starting it, and a Tweekenham riverside development and architect with nobody wanting it (apart from a couple of councillors from across the water).
    And just to top it off a video of his Leadership addressing a closed door. That really does sum it up!
    Happy New Year

  14. A. Robot (Mrs)

    Listening to The Leader’s dynamic address, I suddenly realised what had happened to E.L.Whisty. He looks remarkably young, all things considered.
    Thanks, twickerati, for helping lighten the collective load in 2016. And don’t give up on the vocative comma. We’ll all need something stable and reassuring to cling to in 2017 and thereafter.

  15. Anonymous

    Thanks for the fun, laughs and information. At times when we are far from twickenham we really appreciate the news.
    Happy Christmas to you all and happy 2017. Let’s hope the world is a more peaceful place.

  16. Anonymous

    Twickerati, your blog always makes my day! Witty, warm, informative and very, very enjoyable with a coffee and a croissant – the perfect distraction when one should be working, but can’t quite muster the energy before 10am. Season’s Greetings to you and please keep up the good work!

  17. Thanks for all your fine work Twickerati. Quality posts as ever. Seasons Greetings

  18. I couldn’t stick more than a minute and a half of Lord T. Does he always talk like that, like a swarm of bees? Meanwhile I thoroughly liked your witty take on the local year. In the wake of Berlin, Brexit and the inability of English batsmen to play spin, one can only finish up the Californian wine (not buying that for 4 years – that’ll teach ’em) and hope for the best. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year