Massive, great long sagas about school sites. We can only assume these do actually form part of official national policy when it comes to the provision of school places. We just can’t get enough of them can we? Time for an update on sites for much needed local school places? Yep. Then let us begin. And put your smartphone away and pay attention at the back!
East-side: Remember the new Richmond Bridge primary school that was going to be in East Twickenham but then wasn’t and then announced that it was going to be called something else and based at London House on the A316 near East Sheen but then opened in 2016 in temporary accommodation at Richmond Adult College in Parkshot in Richmond? You do? That’s great because you’ve saved us the job of trying to explain it all. Deer Park School it’s called. Anyway, that school has just announced it’s found a permanent home which isn’t London House after all but is in fact Ryde House in East Twickenham. You’d be forgiven for wondering if that wasn’t one of the early suggestions for the school site… because you’d be right. But Lidl (off of cheap food) bought it and that seemed to scupper that. But wait! Hot news arrives from East Twickenham that Ryde House is now set to become a ‘mixed retail and school development’. It’s an interesting idea. It could work. But will it work? We don’t know (obviously) but you might. Shopping and schooling on the same site could make for a very busy little corner of the borough.
We’ve abandoned ‘Pic of the Week’ for the time being but thought this photo of the sky at sunset was just about worth a share with you. It was taken on Twickenham Green on a Sunday earlier in October. And for what it’s worth, no filters were harmed or used in the taking of this photograph.
Orange from Green
Another step forward in the regeneration of Twickenham or just another block of flats like the one down the road? Or both? Drawings are doing the rounds for a new residential block on Heath Road opposite Tesco Express. Formal plans have yet to be submitted to El Brute but are expected soon.
The first version to get an airing featured a five storey building with 40 flats and just 20 parking spaces. You know the kind of thing, the type of construction that’s unlikely to be approved but which makes the next iteration look so much more sensible. Yawn! The current version of the development looks remarkably similar to the block a hundred metres away on the corner of Heath Road and Saville Road. You’ll know it as the one with the vacant retail space on the ground floor. But, as a modern building, it looks OK.
The new block would have 24 flats, 24 parking spaces (plus a few bike bays) and would, for the most part, be a bit taller than the current building. And needless to say there’d be some ground floor retail or office space too. The working title for the development is, wait for it… Twickenham House.
So, will we see a welcome addition to the local housing stock which replaces a dated office building or a bland construction that brings little to Twickenham apart from more cars and more customers for Tesco? Only you know the answer to that. What is it?
As it is:
Heath Road (corner with Heath Gardens)
As it may be:
Possible plans for corner of Heath Road & Heath Gardens, TW1
Brrr! Corr blimey Guv’nor, it’s mighty chilly out there. Etc, etc. And now that we’ve got the preliminaries out of the way, here’s a selection of winter photos starting off with a great picture of a frosty Twickenham Green. And we’ve got some rather good snow shots too:
A frosty sunrise on Twickenham Green
Frosty January Morning (c Emma Coleman)
[Copyright: Emma Coleman (@blink_photo) / Blink Photography]
Christmas time, mistletoe and wine,
most of our shops sport a charity sign;
But with hand-crafted coffee and an artisan treat,
we ponder the state of our local high street.
Despite it being a time-consuming exercise involving endless Googling and plagiarising, the team has put together a quick guide to some of the events going on in Twickenham over the next few weeks. Keen observers may have spotted that Christmas falls during that period, which is a handy co-incidence given that there’s so much happening. Funny how things work out isn’t it?
St Margarets Christmas Fair – Sunday 9th Dec
The Fair takes place on Crown Road between 11.00am & 4.00pm with festive food, drinks, stalls, games and an open-air carol service. More info.
Twickenham Green – Sunday 16th Dec
Wooo! Twickenham Green is also doing a switch-on this year. There’ll be a Christmas Fayre, stalls, food & drink, carol singing, snow(!) and the presence of Mr Rob Brydon to do the honours with the lights. Yes people, Sir Robworth of Brydonshire himself will be there. In your face Teddington! Starts at 4.00pm with the switch-on at 5.45pm.
OTHER CHRISTMAS ACTIVITY THINGS
Although mentioning Christmas events too early should be an offence punishable by death, followed by ten years in prison and a £50 fine, we thought it worth the briefest of references to two dates for your diary. As you already know from our quest to find the most appropriate person to turn on the lights, the big Twickenham switch on is Friday November 30th. We’re talking Church Street, a tree, a local celeb, a Christmas market, food and drink, a marching band etc. It’s always a good do.
But if you’re not done with that, then on Sunday 16th December there will be a community event on Twickenham Green. Mulled wine, misteltoe, chestnuts, carols, Cliff Richard, the Sally Army band, kids rides and, wait for it, maybe, just maybe, snow! Don’t knock it, it could happen. Well, forget about Cliff and all of those things might very well happen, including the white stuff. We’ll do more soon on local festive activities coming up but we don’t want to face the indignity of the whole execution, prison, fine business. It’s simply not the twickerati way.
Langtons, Par Ici and Dapper on Church Street. Card Factory and Clintons on King Street. Laura Ashley on Heath Road and HMH Electrical on Cross Deep. No spotter’s badge for guessing what they all have in common. That’s right, they’re all closed or, in the case of Langton’s, are just about to. Need more examples? Just take a look at London Road. Indian restaurant Indus has cleared the decks after just 18 months or so in business, and the financial adviser across the street is no more. On Heath Road, Karahi Spices “new management” seemed to have opted for a locked door policy and the nearby “doomed from the start” Internet café has now closed its shutters to the world. (Given that most people actually have their own computers these days and some even have internet access both at home AND on the move through wifi and via their mobiles, it was just never gonna happen. Let’s leave the internet cafes back in the late 90s, please.)
So what is happening then? Work is underway to fit-out the old Laura Ashley shop as a Sue Ryder charity store. The Harlequins Shop at Twickenham Green is gone and is being replaced by bridal wear shop Emma Elizabeth. Meanwhile Belmont Bakery on Queen’s Road has an “under new management” sign up but we await details of what’s going on. Let’s just hope mouse dropping are not part of the new set up. And, wait for it, even the tiny JoJoLoo café is now open. It ain’t busy but it’s certainly now open. At the moment.
More interestingly what was The Ranch (and before that the Hook, Line & Sinker) on York Street is to re-open as Ales & Tails giving Twickenham a bar which features specialist beers and cocktails. Sounds interesting. Something a little bit sophisticated for the twickerati, perhaps? It’s due to open from July through to August as a “pop up” bar but could stick around longer. Who knows, it might even become the quintessentially totes amazeballs bar of Twickenham. It’s being set up by the people behind Citizen Smith in Putney so they’ve got a little bit of history in catering for the drinkers of south west London. Power to the people, n all that.
That’s probably enough to be going on with for now. We’d like to be more positive but we just can’t, although do check back soon to cast your eye over more letters strung together to form words about shops in Twickenham town centre.
Btw, check the Index side bar for previous High Street Updates. Or have your say on regenerating Twickenham, the Twickenham Action Plan and El Brute’s new “Village Plans” on our longer article here.
UPDATE: Many of the events we’d featured on here have been and gone but we’ve added a few jolly exciting new ones which are pretty nang so it’s worth a look… Aye. Respect!
Twickenham: Spring 2012
And one more time… we don’t do listings here. Way too hard for the likes of us. But here are some plagiarised and edited highlights. Selected extracts, if you will. Always read the label and always, ALWAYS check a proper site for proper details. Here we go then…
If you’re interested in what might happen next on the old Royal Mail sorting office site in Twickenham then there’s a public meeting where the developers will be giving feedback on their recent “community planning weekend”. It’s on Wednesday 25th April at 7.00pm at Richmond Adult Community College on Clifden Road.
Meeting on 25th April 2012
You’ll get the opportunity to find out just whether your concerns, considerations and contributions have been taken on board or quietly put in a box marked “Thanks for your time. Drive home safely”. The sorting office is a big site and one would expect that St James, the developer, is quite excited about all that lovely land in downtown ‘Nam. It’ll be interesting to see the next phase of the project and just how well it fits with what the locals might want and with El Brute’s Twickenham Action Plan, including options (or otherwise) for a yoof facility to replace Heatham House. [Note to developers: not ridiculously tall and no ice-rinks, thanks.]
Over in St Margarets there’s good news for those trying to keep Twickenham Film Studios as a hub for the film industry rather than seeing it turned into posh flats. Developer Taylor Wimpey has withdrawn its bid for the site. The company’s regional land and planing director is quoted in the Richmond & Twickenham Times as saying: “We have recently been advised that a number of potential bids have come forward to run the studios as a going concern. Should these bids be successful we consider this to be the most preferable option. As a responsible developer who is committed to working with the local community and stakeholders, we have decided to formally withdraw our bid for this site”. The fate of the studios is still very uncertain but some of the most immediate pressure seems to have lifted to allow commercial proposals to be worked through. It’s a good result for the Save Twickenham Studios campaign.
And elsewhere on the development front, the new block of flats that is replacing the old DSS building on Heath Road is nearly complete as indeed are Lionel Blair’s retirement flats on the Green. In the latter case we assume they’ll be called something appropriate like “Sunset Court” or perhaps, as a tribute to the veteran entertainer himself, “Dundancin”.