REVISED: This item is an updated and re-vamped version of the one published on 12th July.
Twickenham riverside site from Embankment
Folks, for months we had been expecting the big reveal, the grand unveiling, or, if you will, the presentation to end all presentations! We are of course talking about the revised plans for the Twickenham Riverside development. Remember that old thing? How could you not? It’s big. Well, after trailing the pop-up shop to review the revised designs, we’re now told we’ll have a wait a while yet as more consultation is required. Apparently.
As you full well know, and do not pretend that you don’t, when El Brute presented their regency inspired ‘design concept’ for the site last year it was met with views that ranged from mild disappointment all the way to downright anger. OK, so there was indifference too and even a small smattering of delight but for the most part the ideas presented fell quite a way short of what most residents were hoping for. Be honest, have you actually met anyone who really liked the design? The much discussed town square seemed to be missing, the opening up of the King Street shops to the river via Water Lane hadn’t happened and the prospect of a regency inspired amphitheatre with up to 40 flats on top didn’t really compute with the brief of making best use of this prime riverside location. The colonnade of shops didn’t go down well either, although the creation of garden space in front of the Diamond Jubilee Gardens was generally popular… except with people who currently park their cars there. So far, so meh! For others, the fact that the plans were not a new lido also presented a major obstacle.
Extract of design from LBRuT website
El Brute sought feedback and the result was a resounding ‘no thanks’ from the hundreds who took the time to reply. Of the 754 consultation responses received just 93 said the plans met the needs of the local community. Ouch! A local Riverside Action Group was formed to try to persuade Richmond Council to re-think the whole process but the Council pressed on, telling you lot that it would listen to your views and make amendments to the designs that had been created by its chosen architects, Q&F Terry (esteemed “designers of new classical buildings”) who had won El Brute’s ‘competition’. Continue reading
If you can’t always remember what’s great about living in Twickenham then spring mornings and spring tides should be near the top of your list. Need some photos to remind you? Here’s four for you then.
Looking up river towards the Heart of Darkness (aka Teddington)
The Thames, early doors, Twick-side
Oh no, you’ve only gone and bloody parked there again.
Arriving at The White Swan in style
There are probably a bunch of other reasons too but we’ll come back to them another time (when we actually remember them).
Extract of design from LBRuT website
Arguments over the plans for Twickenham riverside rumble on as LBRuT’s 11th December deadline for feedback fast approaches. The idea for the newly purchased site running down Water Lane from King Street to the river hasn’t met with universal approval. OK, forget universal approval, it doesn’t even seem to have met with widespread Twickenham approval. We recently ran a simple 24 hour poll on Twitter. It read: “What’s your view on LBRuT’s new design concept for the Twickenham Riverside development?” and it offered a choice of two options:
(a) Broadly right
(b) Simply wrong
121 voted, not a large sample we’ll admit and not a very scientific poll but the results were:
(a) Broadly right 37%
(b) Simply wrong 63%
Interesting. Comments on other social media platforms tell a similar story. The Richmond & Twickenham Times ran their own poll and managed to find a few more people in favour, but not too many more.
The sun’s been making quite a few appearances over the last week. At bloody last. If all this sunshine has caused you to forget why you love Twickenham, here’s a quick reminder…
Eel Pie Island
Blossom at MHP
An early paddle
The ‘sports hut’
Nice to see you, to see you nice. It’s Bruce Forsythia.
Twickenham is by the river. People park their cars by the river. Sometimes there are high tides. Sometimes the cars get flooded. Oh dear. It’s not news. Get over it. It’s just a shame, a damned shame, but then we all experience a little bit of schadenfreude. You might as well just admit it.
Geese check out Audi
Golf and barge. Twickenham
Maybe these will help…
* Environment Agency
* Tide Times
Gloriana at Twickenham in 2012
After last summer’s Battle of Orleans Gardens, it looks as if the royal row barge Gloriana will be going to Kingston. The site in question is Canbury Gardens. According to the Kingston Guardian, barge boss Lord Sterling has written to Kingston Council saying that the non-tidal location would be ‘an ideal home for Gloriana’. The intention, at least on Lord S’s part, is that the project can ‘meet a deadline of June 2016’. Kingston Council are supportive of the plan. It will be interesting to see more details on exactly what’s being proposed, who’s going to be paying for it and what the locals think.
As you probably know, Canbury Gardens already has a large boathouse and pub and so whatever gets built for Gloriana would be in good company. Good location? Bad location? Most would agree that it’s a better location than Orleans Gardens.
* Kingston Guardian link
Clear skies and a low winter sun make for a warm light and long shadows by the Thames at Orleans Gardens.
December afternoon, Orleans Gardens, Twickenham
And that’s about it. There’s not much else to say about it. Actually, while we think about it, if you are after some great local photography (and not from the twickerati studio, we might add) then take a look at Andrew Wilson’s new book, Wild about Twickenham. It’s available locally in, we think, Crusader Travel and Waterstones.
It’s November and that means we’re in the zone of the annual “draw-off” at Richmond Lock and Weir. This is the time when the sluices get opened meaning that water isn’t held back as the tide goes out and so low tides between Richmond and Teddington Lock get, well, really low. What’s the point? It allows the lock, weir and sluices to be maintained and the river bed to be inspected. And, for those of us who don’t actually work for the Port of London Authority it’s a time to take photos and have a good old nose around the river bank.
Here’s a pic from Twickenham resident Garth Tucker.
Low means low. Thames at Twickenham
[copyright & courtesy of: Garth Tucker]
And here’s another, this time by the twickerati resident staff snapper.
Low tide just got lower
This year’s draw-off runs from 1st to 23rd November.
* PLA – Draw off info