Blame Doris, she did it! Strong winds from Storm Doris on 23rd February brought down a number of trees in the area including this biggun in St Margarets Road. Cue much traffic disruption until it was eventually cleared away. Stuart Ramdeen (@sramdeen82) was on hand to take this photo.
Tree Down! Doris downs tree in St Margarets Road
(Pic: Stuart Ramdeen)
Twitter link: @sramdeen82
Live Music, in Twickenham, in the past
It’s June and Twickenham Festival is back! Long gone are the days when we’d do comprehensive listings of every fair, fete, and effing alliterative fun day on this site. It’s just too time consuming and your subscription fees just don’t cover it anymore. But, because you’re nice and we wouldn’t want you to miss out, we’ve dropped a few pointers to selected highlights below.
The ‘official’ start of #Twickfest is Friday 10th June with the traditional tug of war competition. It begins outside the Eel Pie pub at 6pm. Expecting lots of heaving, grunting, groaning, sweaty faces and blistered hands. If that conjures a rather troubling image then fear not, it’s actually an entertaining event.
If you’re after something a little more culturally highbrow then that same weekend sees the Conchord Festival of chamber music take place at St Mary’s Church. Not too far away, All Hallows Church is also running its own music festival across the weekend. Continue reading
A man died yesterday (Tuesday 24th May) after being hit by a train at St Margarets station. The incident happened after the morning rush hour with British Transport Police being called to the scene at 10.15am. Quoted in the Richmond and Twickenham Times, a BTP spokesman said: “Colleagues from Metropolitan Police Service and London Ambulance Service also attended, and a person was pronounced dead at the scene. The person’s death is not being treated as suspicious and officers are now working to identify them and inform their family”.
* Richmond & Twickenham Times
Our Election Result item will appear HERE.
Deja vu all over again? You betcha! The previous thread got rather overloaded so we’ve re-launched our election item to allow for three more weeks of heated debate…
May 7th is looming and you’re asking yourself the very straightforward question, “What is the twickerati position on who to vote for in the election?”. It’s a great question. Let us make our position absolutely clear. We regard elections as the very bedrock of our democracy. In fact, over the last ten years we have seen year on year increases in the number of references to democracy across the internet. Furthermore, we’ve shown our support for the use of the internet and social media by opening accounts on Twitter and Facebook and regard good communication as vital for hard working British families. So let’s celebrate the creativity and diversity we have in our midst, right here in Twickenham. To the people at home we say, ‘We hope that clearly answers your question’. Next!
Oh dear. Here at twickerati HQ we’re not very good at politics because we find it so difficult to give a straight answer to a straight question. And that is why we asked five local candidates to write 500 words each setting out their stall for the 2015 election. We said we’d include a link to their website and their profile picture too. They agreed. This is what they have to say to you… Continue reading
Good news for fans of the footbridge across the A316 at St Margarets roundabout. As you will recall, last summer TfL proposed to do away with the footbridge and install a new ‘toucan crossing’ facility at the site. Cue much outrage from regular crossing users, not least the pupils (and parents) at St Stephen’s Junior School just next door. Improved crossings seemed sensible but doing away with the footbridge, perhaps the safest way to get across the road, seemed more like a way of saving money on repairs than improving anyone’s road crossing ‘experience’.
After an online consultation and much lobbying from various quarters TfL have now announced a revised plan. The new “at-grade two stage toucan crossing facility” (their words, not ours) will be installed as planned but the bridge will now be retained (and maintained) for a further two years beyond the installation of the crossing. TfL have also announced that they will consult again in the event that further proposals to remove the bridge are put forward. So, it seems that after much debate, discussion and plenty of bridge-related photo opportunities, a sensible outcome has been reached.
The new crossing will be in place by the time the Rugby World Cup begins in September of 2015. Happy now?
* TFL A316 consultation page
Sandycombe Lodge, the house designed by the painter JMW Turner and used as his ‘country retreat’ between 1813 and 1826 will be saved thanks to a £1.4m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The villa in Sandycoombe Road, Twickenham (yeah, so what if it’s really St Margarets, deal with it!) can now be restored and opened to the public. Although the house does currently allow for some visitors, it’s on English Heritage’s ‘at risk’ list and in need of significant restoration. Turner designed the house himself although the original structure has been modified since Turner sold it in 1826. These modifications will be removed as part of the work. After the completion of the project it is expected that the house will be open for 46 weeks of the year from 2016 and will include state of the art visitor information and offer an expanded range of educational programmes.
Good news, and well done to all those Turner in Twickenham fans who worked hard to make this happen.
Turner’s House, Twickenham
Next stop: Rebuild the Temeraire!
* Turner’s House
* BBC News
It’s been a while since we talked schools on here. Too long perhaps. So let’s do it right now but let’s keep it brief…
Two new primary schools have been approved for the area, both of which plan to open in September 2015. Teacher’s favourite, Michael Gove has given the nod for a Richmond Bridge Primary
and a Twickenham Primary
. OK, so perhaps he didn’t study the plans personally but they’ve been given the Gove-ahead (geddit?) by his Department for Education. Richmond Bridge will be operated by Bellevue Place Education Trust, Twickenham Primary by GEMS Learning Trust. When running at full capacity these two schools are expected to provide up to 840 primary school places for local children.
El Brute are delighted. There’s a great deal of pressure on school places locally, especially in East Twickenham and St Margarets – after all, who wouldn’t want to live around here – and the addition of four new forms per year group will help alleviate some of that pressure. Both projects now need to complete the tricky task of finding sites.
“Who are the people behind these schools?” you cry. GEMS Learning Trust forms part of GEMS Education which provides a range of education related services worldwide. It’s currently also opening new primary schools in Surbiton and Didcot. Bellevue runs a number of independent schools in the UK, two Swiss boarding schools (that sounds a bit posh, doesn’t it?) and, in September 2013, it opened its first school in the state sector, Rutherford House in Balham.
Meanwhile, El Brute’s grand vision for the redevelopment of Richmond College’s Egerton Road site into an education hub has taken another step forward. The proposal for a new free secondary school there of the non-denominational, non-selective, co-educational variety has also received His Goveship’s seal of approval. The plan would involve the site operating with three separate educational establishments – Richmond College (which would provide the sixth form), the new free school and the Clarendon special school which would move across from Hampton. This new ‘Richmond Education and Enterprise Campus’ is being developed as a partnership between the Council, Harlequins and Haymarket Media. The land would also provide a new base for Haymarket who are seeking to vacate their riverside offices in Teddington. The powers that be expect construction work to begin in late 2015 and the new secondary to open in September 2017. The school would provide five forms per year group.
* El Brute primary school
* GEMS Learning Trust
* Bellevue Education
* El Brute secondary school
As we wait for El Brute to decide on the subject of their next consultation, TFL are doing a real consultation that you might actually want to take a look at. It’s the busy St Margarets roundabout on the A316 which is the subject. The proposal? Well, it’s to “improve accessibility to crossing facilities” at the roundabout. This would involve removing the existing footbridge and replacing it with new, improved ‘toucan’ crossing facilities which can be shared by pedestrians and cyclists. This relates only to the western side of the roundabout near the footbridge (soon to be ex-footbridge), with the other crossing points being up for only minor amendments to signage. According to TFL the result will be that “all roads on this roundabout would then have accessible crossing points”.
This is a busy roundabout on the A316, near housing and very close to St Stephens primary school. Lots of cars, lots of kids. In other words, it’s important to get this right. Here at twickerati HQ we don’t know a great deal about road crossings – it’s not our forte – so we’ll just content ourselves with saying that safer crossings sound like a good idea but that an existing, properly working bridge might also be regarded as a safe option. Perhaps it’s just cost that prevents a “both, said Pooh” solution being applied.
Image: TFL website
* TFL A316 Consultation (deadline: 4th July)
The recent Foodies Festival at Marble Hill House drew in punters from around the area keen to experience a wide range of stalls, watch cookery demonstrations, listen to some live music and generally stuff their faces full of food and drink. Not a bad idea if you ask us. It was a good event. But of course it was an English Bank Holiday weekend and that usually means one thing: rain. OK, so it didn’t rain for the duration but there was plenty of it. The result? Getting all those vehicles off the park left the grass in front of the house looking more like farm tracks than a suburban park – and we should know, we went to the countryside once.
Basically, a large area is a massive mess. We’re talking mud, ruts and the odd splattering of engine oil. We’re sure it will be sorted out between English Heritage and the festival organisers but it’s likely to involve some quite significant costs. The planning statement for the event indicated that it would return for a second year but we can’t see either English Heritage or park users being particularly keen on that unless something changes, and not just the weather. English Heritage’s ‘Design and Access’ statement in their El Brute submission said, “The principal physical impacts on the site are the wear and tear of vehicles during installation and dismantling, mitigated by the use of a track-way. Reinstatement of any damage to the grounds will take place immediately after the event”. Well, there was a trackway but it was clearly inadequate for the heavy rain / heavy vehicle combination over the weekend. Continue reading