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
When we ran our April fool item about Richmond Council selling naming rights to the proposed Twickenham Town Square we didn’t really expect many people to take it seriously. In fact, we didn’t expect anybody to take it seriously. Imagine our delight when we discovered that someone had written to the Richmond and Twickenham Times to complain that the idea ‘lacks class’. Quite right too! Whether they really fell for it or just wanted to build on the joke we’re not entirely sure, but either way we appreciate that they took the time to write to their local paper about it. Respect, and indeed thanks, are due to Mr or Mrs “Name and address supplied”. Sir / Madam, we salute you!
Who’s fooling who?
* The original item
(complete with a couple of very minor edits made after midday on 1st April)
Good news for fans of Turing House School, the long awaited local free school. After much searching and a few setbacks along the way it has now found a site from which to launch in September 2015. It has secured Livingston House in Queen’s Road, Teddington. No, we don’t know it either but it’s actually next to Teddington Memorial Hospital. Refurbishment work will now take place make it ready to open its doors to Year 7 pupils later this year. The site is expected to be used for the first three years of the school’s life while the search for a suitable permanent home gets resolved.
Turing House has also consulted on its admissions policy and its ‘admissions point’ – the geographical point used to determine distance from the school. That location looks set to move for 2016 admissions from its current point near Waldegrave School in Twickenham to a new location in the Teddington / Fulwell area. There is also a proposal that 80% of places would be determined on the basis of the admissions policy and the admissions point, but that 20% of places will be allocated according to proximity to the eventual permanent site itself.
And speaking of permanent sites, Turing House says it’s looking at two options on the Middlesex side of the Borough. But guess what? Not everyone is happy with the ideas being put forward. The expansive Imperial College playing fields in Udney Park Road, Teddington is one option but it has met with local opposition. However a second option, just off Hospital Bridge Road in Whitton, has caused significant consternation Whitt-side. Locals there are concerned that Turing House, with a ‘centre of gravity’ for admissions close to Teddington, could end up as a Whitton-based school but one which Whitton children have very little chance of actually attending. Furthermore, there’s additional agitation associated with this proposal because the site is classed as Metropolitan Open Land and so has a certain degree of green space protection. It is currently owned by Hounslow Council. Opponents of the Whitton idea have set up a Facebook page and a petition.
* Turing House Site
* Turing House Admissions Point
* Whitton Against Turing House – Facebook
UPDATE 17/04/15: The Council and Sandys have now reached a solution to this issue. The flowers will stay! According to an El Brute press release: “In response to the Council’s request for action Sandys reduced their A-boards to one and pulled back their plants from along the pavements’ edge. There was some continuing uncertainty over the size of the planters that the Council had suggested could be retained, but losing Sandys’ flower display was not the aim. The Council and Sandys have now agreed that the existing tiered planters will stay”. We hear that part of the original ‘misunderstanding’ revolved around differing interpretations between Councillors and Council officials of how strict the enforcement of the regulations should be. Either way, we’re pleased the floral displays will stay. Or as they might say in Sandys, “brill”.
THERE IS A NEW (NEAR IDENTICAL) ELECTION ITEM HERE OPEN FOR YOUR COMMENTS: CLICK HERE TO GO THERE
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. We hope that clearly answers your question. Next! Continue reading
Town square site, Water Lane
The saga of the Twickenham Action Plan aka the TWAP has taken yet another twist. Regular readers will be aware of the Council’s purchase of the Santander site in Water Lane with the intention of opening up the space down to the river and creating a new town square. So far, so good, you might think. But now it seems that financial pressures caused by the lengthy road and pavement work have led LBRuT to seek new solutions for completing the project and managing the costs. In a press release from York House, Richmond Council have announced that corporate sponsorship may be used to shore up the scheme and generate a stream of much needed revenue. The document quotes El Brute’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Geoffrey Samuel (from Central Casting) as saying, “We have been looking at options to keep costs down for hard pressed Council Tax payers and have agreed to sell naming rights to the new Twickenham Square in much the same way that football stadia and concert venues do. We believe this innovative approach will be welcomed by the residents of Twickenham. Furthermore, we have already agreed a naming deal with the FM Conway the contractors who have been working tirelessly to improve Twickenham’s roads and pavements for many, many months. We believe that when complete, Twickenham’s newly named “FM Conway Square” will be a real asset to the town”.
Conway: Proud sponsor?
The Council have also indicated that the naming rights would be re-tendered every five years and that there has already been significant interest in the proposal from a range of parties including various telecoms companies, Heathrow Airport and even the retailer Poundland. Naming rights to Water Lane may also be included as part of the arrangement which will almost certainly upset some vocal locals. It’s rumoured that Thames Water Plc may be considering this as an option.
So, are you looking forward to picnicking and partying in FM Conway Square? Or is it time to break out the banners and rock up to York House to campaign to get the name “Twickenham Square” placed firmly on the map?
If you want to complain to LBRuT you have until midday on 1st April in which to do so.
* Full LBRuT Press Release
* April Fools Day – Wikipedia
First we had the short-lived Church Street Canal, now it seems El Brute have opted to bring more of a Wizard of Oz feel to Twickenham. The paving stones seem to be going in at a rate of about one a day, so whether we’ll ever get to the Emerald City is debatable. And as for who might play the Wizard, the Cowardly Lion, the heartless Tin Man, the brainless Scarecrow or the Wicked Witch of the East, we can only speculate. Or perhaps you should.
We’re off to see the Wizard…
Just click your heels together and repeat, “There’s no place like Twickenhome”.
A village bike
Did you see last week’s Ricky Twicky Times? Well did you? Cor blimey! That front page all about that bloody cyclist clocking 41mph in Richmond Park. Dangerous eh? And breaking the 20mph speed limit too. The article elicited plenty of comment online. Ban ’em! Leave ’em be! What about the motorists, they’re even worse. And as for those deer, wandering around, eating bark and chestnuts like they own the bloody park: twig-headed idiots. There were no winners.
It got us thinking about cycling. Unlike that chap in the park, not everyone wants to race around wearing lycra that provides onlookers with way too much information about what goes wrong when you hit middle age. But not everyone wants to ride at a sedate pace waving at vicars whether that be on a bike or on a deer. It’s about balance isn’t it? And there are always valid arguments both for and against that.
Lycra louts on Cross Deep
How about some tolerance and respect and understanding? Why, just the other day, your humble correspondent got called a “two wheeled terrorist” for having the audacity to try to cycle through a green light whilst a group of rugby fans were attempting to cross the road despite the ‘red man’ facing them. Thanks guys. The very next day we witnessed a car braking hard when making a left turn into a side road, not because the driver had made an error when overtaking a bike but because a cyclist had been bombing along the pavement and had crossed the junction without so much as a sideways glance. Pavement cycling by small children is one thing (namely, illegal, a bit irritating but understandable), but there seems to be a small but determined group (usually men in their twenties, often in hi-viz work vests, en route to some place or other) who think a pavement equates to a cycle lane. Dudes, it doesn’t. Continue reading
You might not know it today but Twickenham has a rich music heritage around jazz and rhythm n blues. Well, we say it’s Twickenham’s heritage but it’s fair to say that one small piece of this town is at the heart of it – Eel Pie Island. Perhaps you went along to the Eelpiland exhibition at Orleans House Gallery in 2013. If you didn’t, you should have. It gave a great insight into the Island’s music scene in the 1950’s and 60’s. But what if that exhibition could be made permanent for more people to enjoy? Michele Whitby is a Twickenham local, Eel Pie islander and a champion of spreading the word about Twickenham’s place in music history. In this guest blog she takes up the story….
Eel Pie Island Museum
Plans are afoot to create a new museum in Twickenham dedicated to Eel Pie Island. World famous for its musical heritage, the island also has a fantastic riparian history, all of which really deserve to be celebrated and shared, not just with locals but also the many tourists that visit London.
Richmond-upon-Thames is steeped in history, stately homes and beautiful parks which all make it a great place to visit. But alongside the more traditional attractions, our borough is also sitting on a wealth of very significant musical heritage. Global superstars such as the Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton and many more, started out on their path to fame and fortune right on our doorsteps. Eel Pie Island played a pivotal part in the British RnB explosion and was a mecca for thousands of music fans in the 1950’s and 60’s; we really should be making more of this exciting aspect of our history.
For today’s sixty-somethings, who were actually ‘there’ when it all happened, the chance to revisit their youth and show their children and grandchildren just how cool they really were is something that is missing from the attractions we currently have on offer. At present we only have the Heritage Board outside the Barmy Arms dedicated to arguably one of the most exciting aspects of the area’s history – Eel Pie Island. The board attracts much attention and almost daily tourists amble over the bridge to the Island seeking a taste of the musical history, but of course the hotel is long gone and there is nothing left to see.
Eel Pie Island Hotel
So, I want to set up and run an Eel Pie Island Museum in Twickenham, as close as possible to the Island itself. Continue reading