Tag Archives: strawberry hill

Twickenham Festival is Back!

If you’re sick of the election and just want to spend some time enjoying life in God’s Own Outer London Suburb (or ‘the Gools’ if you prefer) then you’re in luck. Twickenham Festival is back! Other sites do far more comprehensive listings than us but we’ve included a few highlights below. It’s just the way we roll.

Twickfest 2017 just wouldn’t be #Twickfest without the Tug Off War to get things underway. It takes place at 6.30pm on Friday 9th June outside the Eel Pie pub and sees local teams huff and puff as they get a grip and try to avoid getting pulled off   their feet and across the marker on the road. Teams are cheered on by crowds of locals and, at the end of the day, the biggest yankers are the winners. Some people even film it for later viewing! [Editor: OK that’s enough!]

On Saturday 10th, new for 2017, there’s a Dog Show in the Diamond Jubilee Gardens. Registration is from 12.30pm with the main event running from 2.00pm to 4.00pm. There’s more info here on the various categories. Saturday also sees the return of the craft market in Church Street. Expect arts, crafts and a few food stalls.

On Sunday 11th between 10.00am and 12.00pm there is a children’s bike ride treasure hunt and picnic around Orleans Riverside Gardens and Marble Hill Park. You’ll need to pay and pre-booking is essential. Could be fun though?

Tugging away, Twickenham stylee

On Saturday 17th June Church Street Goes Green once again. The road will be astroturfed and filled with plants, gardening gizmos, food stalls and a generally eco-friendly mood will prevail. Let’s hope the eco-vibe isn’t soured by the groaning of planes taking off from Heathrow that day. The St Margaret’s Elastic band will be playing from 1.15pm to 2.15 pm and the Richmond Youth Jazz band will perform from 3.00m until 5.00pm. The greening of Twickenham also takes place on Sunday. Continue reading

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St Mary’s Expansion Plans Cause Local Concern

Forget trouble at t’mill, there’s trouble at t’Hill.  A plan for a big expansion of St Mary’s University is causing consternation among the residents of leafy Strawberry Hill.  The university, “off of Mo Farah”, has a grand vision to grow in size and prestige over the period to 2025. So far, so normal. So normal, perhaps until the scale of the plan becomes apparent.

The aim is to increase student numbers by close to 60% from just under 6,000 to around 9,000 and make room for them by building on the existing athletic and sports facilities at the Waldegrave Road site and developing their Teddington Lock playing fields with a new track, pitch and infrastructure.

St Mary’s University, Waldegrave Road

Concerned Strawberry Hillers (or are they Hillites?) fear the large expansion in student numbers and the accompanying new ‘student village’ will put excessive stain on their sleepy streets, fill them with students (and their cars) and generally have a detrimental impact on the area, with knock-on effects into Twickenham and Teddington. This development would also require building over Metropolitan Open Land, causing a loss of valuable green space.

Waldegrave Road sports fields and open space

Whilst we all want da yoof to get a good education ready for the exciting post-Brexit world, a 60% expansion in numbers at what is essentially a small educational establishment tucked away in a leafy suburb of a leafy suburb (yeah, deal with it, Hillers) does constitute a material change in scale.  New student halls (up to 11 in total) and new teaching blocks? Would things progress quite so smoothly if the construction work was for residential housing? We’re not so sure. But then again…

St Mary’s, Teddington Lock, playing fields

Traffic and parking is already a big issue on and around Waldegrave Road and ramping up the infrastructure at Teddington Lock will add to parking pressure in that neck of the woods too.

St Mary’s: new buildings go here. Accommodation in blue, teaching in pink

The St Mary’s “Vision 2025” states: “The intensely competitive environment for universities in the UK makes this a critical and exhilarating period in our drive to make St Mary’s a leading university. However, we start from a position of strength. We have a distinct mission and purpose, and a clear vision of the future”.  St Mary’s have worked with El Brute on a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) setting out how the estate could be developed in a way that will help deliver that vision.

However that vision is not one that chimes with some local residents.  The Neighbours of St Mary’s group are hoping to make the University and the Council take note of their concerns over the planned expansion. A representative told twickerati: “We think if the development is allowed to go ahead, it will destroy Strawberry Hill village forever, at a time when the Council themselves are trying to increase the village feel as part of their recent Village Planning… Why can’t the University do what others have successfully done, building second campus sites or spreading halls around an area using brownfield, low impact or town centre sites?”

So there you have it, the conundrum of a grand educational vision but one which will have a significant impact on a quiet residential neighbourhood. Who’s right? You decide.

LINKS & INFO:
St Mary’s are running drop in sessions on from 6pm to 8pm on 24th April 2017 and again on 6th May 2017 (10.30am-4pm). Stop by if you want to find out more or have your say, or click on the links below.

* St Mary’s University – Vision 2025
* Neighbours of St Mary’s University – local residents group

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Question Time for El Brute at Village Events

Richmond Council, aka El Brute, are running a series of engagement sessions around Twickenham and Strawberry Hill to get your views on the state of the world in God’s Own Outer London Suburb (GOOLS). The sessions take different formats ranging from a Leader’s Question Time, with no less a personage than Lord True, the Blue Baron himself, via drop-in sessions and all the way through to ‘walkabouts’ where you can roam the streets pointing out all the things you don’t like, and maybe some that you do.

It’s part of LBRuT’s grand scheme of  ‘village plans’. These are all about trying to shape how your local area will develop and what the key issues, priorities and opportunities are. El Brute say these will help inform their work on improving the villages (Editor: And towns please! Twickenham is a town!) across the borough.  Previous Question Time sessions have taken place in the last couple of years at various locations, including East Twickenham, St Margarets and Whitton. Lord True’s state carriage will be travelling to Strawberry Hill and to The Stoop in Twickenham.

What’s hot? Parking, pot holes, traffic, schools, planning, noise, empty shops and dare we say the word ‘Riverside’?

Will you be having your say?

 

The seat of El Brute power

York House: The seat of El Brute power

 

 

Upcoming dates
* Wed 11th Jan 6.30 to 8.30pm. Strawberry Hill – Leader’s Question Time at Strawberry Hill Golf Club
* Wed 18th Jan 6.30 to 8.30pm. Twickenham – Leader’s Question Time at The Stoop (Harlequins Rugby Club)
* Sat 25th Feb 10am to 4pm. Strawberry Hill and Twickenham – Drop in consultation at the Emmanuel Centre, St James Church, Popes Grove
* Sun 26th Feb 10.30am to 12.30pm. Strawberry Hill Walkabout – Meet at Emmanuel Centre, St James Church
* More details and more dates in March via the link below

LINK:
* LBRuT Village Plan events

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Pic of the Week: Twickenham Ice Rink

We’re liking the look of the winter ice rink at Strawberry Hill House. It’s a better location than last year’s at York House and is actually quite picturesque if we may say so. In fact, if we’re honest, it looks a little bit like this…

In a word: whoosh!

In a word: whoosh!

And here’s a Vine to double prove it…

LINK:
* Richmond Rink (aka the ice rink at Strawberry Hill House)

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Twickenham Ice Rink to Return?

Strawberry Hill House [UPDATE at 13/11/14: The ice rink has now been approved by LBRuT Planning Committee]

After last winter’s temporary ‘Richmond Rink’ in the grounds of York House, the organisers at Twickenham Alive are hoping for the go-ahead for a repeat performance, but in the grounds of Strawberry Hill House rather than at the seat of Council power. The plans have been circulating for a while but a final decision from El Brute’s planning supremos is still pending. A committee ruling is expected at the meeting on 12th November and it’ll need to happen then if the rink is to open just a few weeks later on December 6th.

Here at twickerati HQ the verdict from the editor’s suite on the 17th floor is that this is a good idea and that the proposed location is a better choice than on top of the tennis courts at the side of York House. It may not be quite as accessible or central but it’s certainly more picturesque, or has the capability of being so, and isn’t that a large part of what these temporary rinks are all about? We also reckon the Diamond Jubilee Gardens would be a good spot but that one will have to wait for another year.

There is a fair amount of support for the Strawberry Hill House rink idea but, needless to say, there’s some local opposition too – the noise, the cars, the food, all those bloody people enjoying themselves. Last year’s temporary rink was small and particularly well suited to families with young children. Even if the proposed rink is slightly bigger (which appears to be the case) it’s unlikely to change the clientele substantially – perhaps a few more student types from St Mary’s University next door. Will there really be an influx of ‘skater louts’? We doubt it. We reckon it will be popular with normal people; people a little bit like you, perhaps. And after all, doesn’t Strawberry Hill House already get a steady stream of visitors in the summer? Why shouldn’t it continue to do that for a couple of months in the winter too?

So, is this whole ice rink malarky plan treading on thin ice or will it see you walking in a winter wonderland?

A planning committee decision is expected in mid-November and, if approved, the rink will run from 6th December to 25th January. Tickets will be available online, at the rink and through Crusader Travel in Church Street.

LINKS:
* Richmond Rink (in Twickenham / Strawberry Hill)
* Crowdfunding page
* Planning application (14/3393/FUL)
* LBRuT planning committee page

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Coming Up: Festivals for Foodies & Film Fans

While we ponder plagiarising various local websites to create our legendary Twickenham festival season “What’s On” guide, we thought we’d mention two things coming up which might just tickle your fancy.

A Foodies Festival in action

A Foodies Festival in action

First up is a Foodies Festival at Marble Hill Park this weekend. Given that Twickenham now has an organic butchers, a farmers market, an ‘artisan bakery lab’, a proper fishmongers and, of course, a moderately large Waitrose and a KFC, it’s fair to say that we’re turning into a right bunch of foodies here on the rive gauche of the Thames. So, given that (made-up) fact you could well be interested in the Foodies Festival which takes place on 24th, 25th and 26th May. What dat? It’s a food and drink festival which features top chefs, cookery demonstrations, kids stuff, pop up restaurants, live music, a ‘real ale and cider farm’ plus wine and cocktails. There’s even a ‘feasting tent’ and a chilli food market. Sounds interesting. We’re guessing that you don’t take your own picnic. The event runs from 11.00am through to early evening each day. Tickets can be purchased online but through the magic of twickerati (and the internet) you can register below for free tickets.

LINKS:
* Register in advance for free tickets (500 pairs available. Register online and your name will be put on the guest list for when you turn up)
* Foodies Festival – Marble Hill Park

 

Meanwhile…. remember the Twickenham Alive Film Festival last year? Well, it’s back. The grand screening and prize awarding ceremony for the 2014 edition takes place on 29th May at St Mary’s University on Waldegrave Road. Eleven films will be shown over the evening covering a range of genres. As with last year, there are entries from overseas as well as from the UK to give it a bit of an international flavour. You can register for tickets through the link below. Oh, and punters will, according to the website, “have direct access to the Student Union Bar with drinks at club prices”. Surely you’re not going to be swayed by the prospect of cheap booze are you? Are you?? Tickets cost a mere £6 each or £10 per pair.

LINK:
* Twickenham Alive Film Festival

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Twickerati Makes Headlines

The twickerati website is making headlines again. It’s true! Just look at the headline above and you can see that we’ve done precisely that. It took us just a few seconds and was really very simple. And the point of that was what exactly? Well, it’s not only on this site that we’re getting some column inches this month. If you live in Strawberry Hill and parts of Twickenham then there’s a piece about twickerati in the November edition of the TW Mag – the locally produced glossy A5 magazine that should have appeared through your door recently. And if you didn’t receive one or prefer to do all your reading on one of those new-fangled computator screens then you can find the TW Mag online at the link below. Have a read if you’re interested.

Oh, and if you’re feeling all local and ‘Twickenhammy’ as a result, don’t forget that the third ‘totally informal Twickenham meet-up / tweet-up drinks thingy’ is taking place on Thursday 14th November at Ales & Tails in York Street from 8.30pm. Feel free to come on down, buy your own drinks and do some mingling.

LINKS:
* TW Mag – November 2013 edition
* Twickerati social tweet up info

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There’s Trouble At t’Hill

Twickenham House?

Twickenham House?

Strawberry Hill is up in arms, the natives with their strange customs are revolting and beautiful maidens are fainting at the thought of Horace Walpole spinning in his grave. Is it the plot of a recently discovered gothic novel? No, it’s the latest edition of the Strawberry Hill Residents Association’s newsletter. It majors on a boundary dispute that’s rocking the Hill and putting other territorial conflicts around the world into the shade. The SHRA is outraged that Twickenham has launched a vicious land grab on parts of Strawberry Hill under the auspices of Richmond Council’s ‘village plans’.
Continue reading

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