World Class at St Mary's
Issue: October 2012 TW11 & TW Mag
ST MARY’S WAS HOME TO A HOST of Olympic athletes this summer. We talked to Andrew Reid Smith, Director of Sport at St Mary’s University College about it.
‘For us it was a_ unique, once in a lifetime_ experience and hugely enjoyable. We were fortunate to have four nations based here. China, South Africa, Ireland and Japan were all working out of St Mary’s and seeing the athletes that were competing at the Olympic Games on a daily basis was incredible. They were living in the accommodation here and training out of our world class facilities. We offered a comprehensive service, working out the logistics behind making sure they had what they needed. I guess we got to see the stories behind the performances which was just amazing.
We had athletes such as Oscar Pistorius, who competed at both the Olympics and the Paralympics. We were really pleased that the local community had an opportunity to share the experience. Some were able to see them training and when the Olympic road races went past the college, there was not only staff and students standing outside, there were also Olympic athletes standing and cheering on others who were in the middle of competing. It was interesting watching the community not only watching the race but also those athletes.
In addition to the nations we had some training groups and elite coaches working out of St Mary’s. We had ten countries represented, it would have been the best part of 100 athletes, in addition to all the coaches and administrators, not to mention the chefs who came with some of the teams. All of them team members who are vital at that stage of the preparation.
I would stress that the world class facilities that these guys came here to use as part of their very important final preparation are absolutely the same facilities that the local community can use. The £8.5 million sports centre that was opened in 2011 is available to both elite athletes and for community use. We very much like to mesh the high performance side with the community participation side because we feel it inspires and motivates. The Olympic legacy is something we really want to play a part in delivering.
The Olympic experience was absolutely brilliant and I’m sure the benefits from it will continue for a long time and we’ll see that in participation out of St Mary’s. You can come down and in the morning you may well see elite runners using the track and in the afternoon you might see 500 children holding their sports day. We have in excess of 40 local community clubs, plus all the schools in the borough make use of St Mary’s at some point.
It’s the building that is still there and will allow us to deliver the programmes that are going to make a difference. That is a very real, very physical part of the legacy that we can all benefit from. The whole community has access and is very much a part of the activity that we’ve
SIMMSport is St Mary’s sports programme that delivers weekly coaching sessions and holiday camps for children aged 5 to 11 years old. A range of sports are offered including athletics, gymnastics, basketball and rugby union. www.smuc.ac.uk/sport/community/simmsport/index.htm
To find out more about sports at St Mary’s see
www.smuc.ac.uk/sport/facilities/index.htm or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Big Snooze
Issue: October 2012 TW11 & TW Mag
You wouldn’t really imagine that this area rates big in the homelessness stakes. Richmond is one of wealthiest and leafiest boroughs in London. It’s a part of the world where it’s not entirely a joke to suggest that our biggest recessional worry is whether to downgrade Waitrose pesto to Tesco’s own. It’s not exactly da ghetto.
But you’d be surprised. This year is the 25th anniversary of Richmond-based homelessness charity SPEAR. They run a hostel on Kew Road which houses fourteen people who would otherwise be living on the street in this borough. They also work with hundreds of rough sleepers and people who have problems with drugs or alcohol.
Since the recession hit, they’re inundated with requests for help, many of them from people you’d think of as typical middle class Richmond types. SPEAR say there are more people than ever in this area who are only a few missed payments or a broken relationship away from encountering the sort of crisis that results in suddenly finding yourself on the 3street. Their clients include people who had their own businesses and then lost everything. Or who ended up with depression and alcohol problems after a marriage break-up.
On Saturday 6th October, local homeless charity Spear is holding The Big Snooze at the Harlequins Stadium in Twickenham. Over 100 volunteers are expecting to sleep outside for the night to raise money. ‘At midnight you bed down for the night with nothing but a sleeping bag to keep you warm. Although this experience cannot even
begin to replicate what our clients go through, by changing the place you sleep for just one night, you’ll help SPEAR clients move off the streets for good.’
h4. test h4
Hands up. I’m not entirely on board with the philosophy here. Because I hate it when politicians pack their Peter Storm weekend wardrobe into a rucksack and ‘sleep rough’ for a night to ‘raise awareness’ for housing issues. Usually they are simply raising awareness for their own box on the ballot paper. But round here this is a pretty good – and unusual – cause. And one which needs all the publicity it can get in our seemingly cosy backyard.
You can sponsor the overnight sleepers by looking up SPEAR Snoozers on www.bmycharity.com. Or they still have spaces both for overnight volunteers or for anyone who wants to come to the party in the evening. Tickets cost £20, which includes a traditional English supper, music from Rock Choir and a raffle including prizes from the new Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Syon Park. It’s all sponsored by property developers St George.
Before I bed down for the night I’ll be doing my stand-up comedy set from the finals of Funny Women 2012 (but don’t let that put you off). I will also be trying and failing not to make jokes about my own mortgage and homelessness which, obviously, is no joking matter. The homelessness, not my mortgage. My mortgage is hilarious. Or at least you’d have to laugh or you’d cry.
Anyway. The only drawback to the whole event is that you’re not allowed to call The Big Snooze a sleepover. This is seen as a bit creepy and weird. And my cunning trick of packing a load of live children in my sleeping bag to keep the chill out is not allowed apparently. It’s not an event for children. Even ones which would make good foot-warmers. See you there? Bring a hot water bottle.
Teddington writer and comedian Viv Groskop is performing at The Big Snooze at Twickenham’s Harlequins Stadium at 8pm on Saturday 6th October. Volunteers for the sleep-out welcome. To donate go to www.bmycharity.com/SPEARSnoozers. Email email@example.com or call 020 7036 9773 for more details, including £20 tickets for the evening event.
Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained
Issue: October 2012 TW Mag
You’re 64 – a year from retirement – looking forward to golf, overseas travel, gardening, longer lunch hours with old mates, no more deadlines, targets or budgets. Absolute bliss, but that’s not what I did.
Arriving from South Africa on November 4th 1966 at Heathrow my eyes were opened. My mind was blown away by London’s streets and I learned quickly. I opened my travel business on 1st July 1974, at 2 Poplar Court Parade, East Twickenham.
The target was a booking a day – a flight for £6.60, earned 59p! How different to years later by which time the business had developed into the world’s largest organisers of overseas sports tours – 12,500 passengers a year to the world’s every corner.
Back to ‘when I’m 64’. I have a deep passion for wine. As my knowledge has increased, so has my love of wine. I’ve taken customers every February to the New World’s vineyards and wine farms. In 1985, I began collecting wine. My investment increased with my knowledge. I wouldn’t dare tell my wife, Rosemary, how much I paid for the world’s top wines.
Tui Travel contacted me in November 2007 to discuss the acquisition of my sports travel business. I ignored them as long as I could until finaly I agreed to meet. Assured that the business I’d strived to build would be secure under their management, I agreed to sell in November 2008.
Soon after, whilst at our Cape Town flat, we went to a braai at our best friend Andre’s house. I mentioned I’d be interested in investing in a boutique vineyard/winery. After a couple came up but fell through, Andre told me that Far Horizons Farm was up for auction. I knew of it as the owner’s son was doing a gap year at Epsom College and part of my rugby coaching team. I’d never seen the farm but Andre visited it and was favourably impressed.
There was a fair amount of work to be done. I spoke with the owner about price and gave him my figure. Having always worked to the philosophy of never regretting a decision I made, I subsequently increased my figure by 20 per cent. As luck would have it, that was exactly the figure I bought it for.
I was lucky in deciding to build a new farm cellar to accept our new premium wine, to be harvested in February/March this year, I sold a sizeable part of my home cellar. This paid for our farm’s 250 tonne cellar. Thank God, the Chinese developed a passion for Bordeaux Premier Grand Cru Classes as I sold some cases for £12,500
I’m looking forward to hosting a very special wine tasting in November. We’ll have barrel samples of probable blends for our 2012 releases and our Horse Mountain collection of wines.
So at 64 rather than retire, I started a new business with a five year development plan. I’m the luckiest man in the world having my hobby as my business.
Local resident Edwin Doran owns Doran Family Vintners, contact him on 020 8977 3843 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a place on the 10th November wine tasting.
Alexander Pope & His Villa
Issue: October 2012 TW Mag
Alexander Pope was born on 21st May 1688 in the City of London to Alexander, an importer and exporter of linens and Edith. They were a Roman Catholic family at a time when talk of Catholic plots against the Crown was rife and violent anti-popery demonstrations were commonplace. Already a weak child, he contracted tuberculosis of the bone from his nurse, which led to him being a crippled hunchback and prevented him from undertaking the Grand Tour in later life.
His early education was largely due to his aunt but much of his learning was self-taught. Although his father’s business flourished, the political climate was becoming heated. When an Act of Parliament was passed ‘for amoving papists and reputed papists from the cities of London and Westminster, and ten miles distance from the same’, Alexander senior decided that it was time to move on and sold the business, going firstly to Hammersmith and secondly in 1700 to Binfield, Berkshire. In the meantime, Alexander junior had attended school in Twyford and two catholic schools in London.
Catholics were banned from attending university at that time and Pope continued to educate himself from Binfield reading the classics, the satires and the epics as well as teaching himself several languages. By 1705, he was starting to come into contact with various figures from London’s literary society. ‘Disadvantaged politically as a Roman Catholic and socially as a hunchback and cripple, he managed nevertheless to win the friendship of an astonishing variety of gifted men and women along with a position of authority in his own age that later practitioners of the poetic art can only envy.’1
In 1709 he first demonstrated his ability in The Pastorals which was published as part of Poetical Miscellanies and was very well received. This brought him instant fame and when in 1711 he published An Essay on Criticism, he was established. In this year also, he began his friendships with John Gay, Jonathan Swift, Thomas Parnell and John Arbuthnot, all noted satirists. He also befriended Joseph Addison as well as writing for The Guardian and The Spectator. 1712 saw the publication of what many consider his finest work – The Rape of the Lock and in 1715, he started work of a translation of Homer’s Iliad. This was applauded by Samuel Johnson as ‘a performance which no age or nation could hope to equal.’
The revenue from this work enabled him to move to Twickenham in 1719 where he began to create his house and garden. It was no accident that brought him to Twickenham; he had visited Lord Burlington at Chiswick, the Duke of Shrewsbury at Isleworth, the Duke of Argyle at Ham and Sir Godfrey Kneller at Whitton and Twickenham was becoming a fashionable retreat within easy reach of London by water and road.
He started by leasing three small cottages by the Thames. He brought with him his mother, his childhood nurse, Mary Beach and his trusty hound, Bounce. He demolished one and whilst living in another, he commenced the building of a Palladian villa facing the river. Unfortunately, the main Twickenham to Kingston road ran behind the villa and the only room for a garden was to the side and the front where he was overlooked from the river. He then set about acquiring land on the other side of the road and leased five acres of grazing land. He was then ready to create the garden that he had formed in his mind from ideas he had discussed with Lord Burlington and others.
He also decided that he required regular and easy access to his garden and thinking of the classic adventures of the Iliad and the Odyssey, he rejected the idea of a bridge and opted for a tunnel. The land suited such a plan as it sloped away from the road and the ground floor of the villa was below the level of the road. He was granted a licence to build a tunnel which started in the basement of the villa and emerged in the garden on the opposite side.
Having done this, he decided he also needed a grotto and set about creating this in the central section of the tunnel. Once again he called on the services of his friends for advice especially William Kent who had worked extensively for Lord Burlington. A strong classical influence overrode any other suggested style. He discovered a natural spring and channelled this to provide the sound of running water and by 1725 the work was completed. He wrote to his friend Edward Blount that his grotto was complete and all that it lacked was nymphs, ‘light could only be obtained through camera obscura effects, visible radiations on the wall through the open door or by a star-shaped lamp of an orbicular figure of thin alabaster’ in the ceiling.’2
Having created his grotto, he then constantly redecorated and extended it. After a visit to the Avon Gorge in 1739 he became interested in geology and mining and set about transforming the grotto ‘decorating it with ores, spars, mundic, stalactites, crystals, Bristol and Cornish diamonds, marbles, alabaster, snakestones and spongestone.’3 Friends would send him various ores and crystals from all over the world to add to the spectacle.
The grotto became famous, attracting visitors from all over the country and beyond. Eventually Pope declared his frustration in a letter to Dr Arbuthnot: ‘Shut, shut the door, good John! Fatigu’d I said Tye up the knocker, say I’m sick, I’m dead.’
John Serle, his servant and gardener acted as a guide to the grotto and when Pope died in 1744 and the number of visitors increased, published a Plan and Perspective View of the Grotto with an ‘account of all the Gems, Minerals, Spars and Ores of which it is composed and from whom and whence they were sent.’4
On Pope’s death, the leases on the house and the gardens reverted to their owners. The house was sold but the grotto remained a popular tourist attraction until one of the later owners, Baroness Howe (no relation) demolished the villa in 1808. She rebuilt a house which in turn was demolished in 1845. The present building erected by tea merchant Thomas Young is still there and in use as Radnor House School. The grotto still survives and is occasionally open to the public.
Ken Howe is a local historian and author of several books of the history of the area.
Eight Years & 875k Miles
Issue: October 2012 TW11 & TW Mag
Every Saturday morning at 9am, a large crowd of people meet up near the Diana Fountain in Bushy Park to run 5km. This is no beauty parade for those flat stomachs and toned pecs, as in amongst the speedsters you will see runners of all shapes, sizes and ages. Anyone can come along and run, run-walk or simply walk the course and each weekend come rain or shine around 800 people turn up – in fact the only thing that has ever come between the people and their parkrun is Mark Cavendish, as the Olympic Men’s Road Race caused July’s parkrun to be cancelled for the first time in history.
Eight years ago, while recovering from an injury local resident, Paul Sinton-Hewitt was reminiscing about growing up in South Africa where each Saturday he would meet up with friends to go for a run followed by a coffee and wanted to create something similar here in the UK. He organised the first run back in October 2004 and held the stopwatch himself as 13 runners ran a 5K lap in the park. Since then the idea has snowballed and parkrun has been taken up in other parks across the UK, including locally, Richmond Park, Wimbledon Common, Crane Park and Old Deer Park. Each week parkrunners congregate in more than 150 parks around the world with Bushy parkrun currently the biggest of them all having grown from those 13 runners to the significant event it is today.
Each week it brings together people from all walks of life and the finishing times vary from 16 minutes to 60 and we see eight year olds running alongside those aged 80. Men pushing buggies, women running with their small children and even the odd Olympian – a few weeks ago Team GB 1,500m hero Andy Baddeley broke the course record with an incredible 13:48 time and Mo Farah came last year to jog round with his wife.
Paul was very clear that he wanted parkrun to be simple and free. All anyone needs to do is register on the website – www.parkrun.com – print out a personal barcode and then come along for 9am. At the end of the run your barcode is scanned which then matches you up with your finishing position and time. Later that morning the results are published on the website, so you can track your performance. Once you have that barcode, you can run at any of the parkruns around the world.
The run is organised by volunteers and brings out the very best in the community with people giving up their own time to help others. In the last year, Bushy parkrun has seen around 350 different people give up their time to volunteer and help put on the event.
However, the final part of parkrun is just as important and many people’s Saturday mornings wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the Pheasantry Café – there’s no point running if you can’t replace those calories with a coffee and a cake!
Andy Wingate has been a park-runner since 2006.
The eighth anniversary of Bushy parkrun takes place on Saturday 6th October, register at
TW11 Councillor's Update
Issue: November 2012, TW11
It must be challenging times in which to run a business, so it was good to be able to celebrate the success of some of our local businesses at the recent Richmond Business Awards 2012 event run by the borough’s Chamber of Commerce and the Richmond and Twickenham Times.
I was asked to help give out this year’s awards as local MP Vince Cable was otherwise engaged on government business.
Winners based in Teddington included: Accounts Resource (Winner, Best New Start Up), Vet4Life (Commended, Best New Start Up), Richmond Housing Partnership (Winner, Best Customer Service), The Lensbury (Winner, Best Achievement in Corporate Social Responsibility and Highly Commended, Best Training and Development) and the National Physical Laboratory (Highly Commended, Best Achievement in Corporate Social Responsibility).
The biggest issue that local businesses raise with me is that, despite the recession and reduced retail spending, landlords are still demanding increased rents. This apparently unreasonably behaviour by landlords is pushing many local businesses close to the edge at a time when many are struggling to keep afloat. Let us hope it doesn’t lead to a new wave of business closures and empty shops in the months ahead.
A few years ago the biggest problem for local businesses was the shortage of accommodation in the area. The current recession means that we have the opposite problem with quite a few empty business properties around. There is a risk however that owners will use the current lack of demand as an excuse to convert business accommodation to residential use. Clearly when the economy does eventually come out of recession this could leave us with a long term shortage of employment land.
One current example in Teddington is the three business sites 99-103 Waldegrave Road, where a developer is proposing to build an estate of luxury houses. Even in the current economic climate, there are some local companies, such as high tech manufacturer FT Technologies, who are looking to expand and could use such a site. Richmond Housing Partnership were also interested in the site for affordable homes, but were apparently out-bid by the private developer. My colleagues on the planning committee will have to weigh up all these factors when they consider the matter.
Finally, on an entirely different note, local parents will be aware that we will have a shortage of secondary school places in the borough within a few years. They will therefore be interested to hear that a group promoting a new Free School (Turing House School) has named part of the NPL estate in Bushy Park as its preferred site. It is too early to know whether the government will support this proposal or whether the space on the NPL site will prove to be either suitable or available, but such a school could certainly help plug the shortage of places locally.
Turing House School will be holding a public meeting on Wednesday 14th November, 7.45pm, at Stanley Primary School.
To register visit their website www.turinghouseschool.org.uk.
TW Mag Councillor's Update
Issue: November 2012, TW Mag
I would like to thank Dawn for her invitation to contribute to TW Mag her new publication for Strawberry Hill and the surrounding area and to wish her well for its future.
By Thursday evening many of us are looking forward in anticipation to the weekend. For most of us in Strawberry Hill and South Twickenham Thursday night is also ‘recycling night’ as the pick-ups start early on Friday morning. The process of organising our waste into five different categories – blue box, black box, green waste, food waste and general waste in bin bags – can seem like a time consuming and unglamorous chore. However the success of this exercise has important implications for both the environment and the finances of the Borough.
It costs approximately £93 per tonne to send the contents of our bin bags to landfill! This is both environmentally harmful and expensive.
In contrast the contents of the blue and black boxes can be used for a variety of purposes and therefore have commercial value and can be sold. The price obtained does fluctuate and sadly at the moment prices are depressed by the state of the world economy. However, generally speaking, the revenue generated covers the cost of collection and processing. Every tonne of paper and cardboard or plastic and metal represents a saving of £93 for the borough. That is £93 which would otherwise have gone to paying for landfill which can be put to more constructive use.
The story is similar, although less marked, with food waste and green waste. It does cost to dispose of both of these but significantly less than the cost of landfill.
As part of my council duties I chair the Environment, Sustainability and Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee. We have just formed a task group to look at how we can increase the proportion of our waste we recycle. This task group is made up of councillors of both parties on the Council and three independent community representatives. In particular we are looking at issues such as how we can increase the levels of recycling in flats and how we can improve the collection of food waste across the borough.
Richmond Council has historically performed well in term of recycling. We are looking at how we can continue to make progress and remove obstacles to recycling. The terms of reference of our task group are being finalised and so we would be delighted to hear any final suggestions you have as to how we can recycle more and discard less.
If you have any suggestion or comment related to recycling or any other Council matter then please do not hesitate to get in touch with me or either of my ward colleagues Cllr Clare Head or Cllr David Marlow. Our contact information is on the Council website.
Alternatively we hold a ward surgery at York House, Twickenham every second Monday of the month from 7pm to 8pm. You are welcome to drop by and no appointment is necessary although it is helpful if we know in advance the nature of your issue in order that we can make any necessary enquiries beforehand.
Twickenham Alive Film Festival
Issue: November 2012, TW11 and TW Mag
Local residents are invited to submit short films for the Twickenham Alive Film Festival. The theme is ‘Where You Live’ and can be on any aspect of the area, way of life, attractions, culture, sport or environment of the your neighbourhood. Films should be of up to ten minutes in length.
Entries may be submitted by anyone; individuals, community groups, schools, traders associations and students. Any genre may be used, such as documentary, drama or animation. There is also a special category for students, who may choose their own theme, which has been developed with local creative media lecturers.
There will be screenings at various locations within the Borough with a series of events leading up to the final screening and an awards ceremony in April 2013. The closing date for entries is 1st March 2013.
Twickenham Alive hopes to gain a snapshot of the Borough which can be used to increase the profile of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. They is also looking for supporters and sponsors for this exciting initiative.
From past experience we know what a creative bunch you are in Teddington, so if you fancy yourself as the next Spielberg or Kathryn Bigelow submit your entry form and … Action!
artsrichmond Young Writers' Festival
Issue: November 2012, TW11 and TW Mag
This year’s artsrichmond’s Young Writers’ Festival is open to all young people living, or at school in the borough. It is a chance to show off your writing skills of any form; stories, descriptive writing, poems, playlets, lyrics – whatever the imagination can devise!
There are four age groups with prizes for each. From these artsrichmond will appoint a Young Laureate (prize £200) and Junior Laureate (prize £100) who will be offered opportunities throughout the year to write about borough events and build priceless experience for their CVs. In 2012 the Laureates have written reviews of plays at the Orange Tree Theatre and the Hampton Hill Playhouse and taken part in the re-opening of Hampton Academy.
Teddington resident Tash Doley, 2012 Young Laureate says ‘It’s been great to see my work published on artsrichmond’s website and in their newsletter’ and Daniel Jonusas, 2012 Junior Laureate says ‘The Award ceremony was amazing – hearing my words performed to a live audience was awesome’
The deadline for entries is 14th Dec, with prizes awarded in February 2013 by the Mayor. They will also be joined by the award-winning Gruffelo illustrator Axel Scheffler, who has very generously offered to do some drawings for the winners.
You can support the work of artsrichmond by becoming a Friend of the Arts, they are offering a ‘taster’ membership for £9. For details contact Sian Morgan at artsrichmond’s, 3 Phoenix Wharf, Eel Pie Island, Twickenham, TW1 3DY, tel: 020 8892 9443.
Richmond Literature Festival
Issue: November 2012, TW Mag
Celebrating its twenty-first year, the Richmond Literature Festival is a calendar highlight for the borough and beyond. This years’ festival programme includes talks from a wide range of novelists and leading figures from politics, journalism, sport, theatre and television. Featuring journalist Andrew Marr, Prue Leith, Judith Kerr and the poet Roger McGough there are a huge range of talks, debates and workshops that will inspire and entertain.
The memorable summer events of 2012 are represented with events by the London Olympian Greg Searle as well as historian Tracy Borman and her history of royal weddings, Mary Killen’s How the Queen Can Make You Happy (with a cream tea) and Jeremy Archer in conversation with Anne Sebba about his book A Royal Christmas at Hampton Court Palace.
There are a wide range of events taking place in and around Twickenham, including a strong female presence at The Salon in York House with prolific author Lucinda Riley on Friday 9th and also Jane Robinson’s History of the Women’s Institute on the 22nd. These are tempered by two events at Clarendon Hall which are set to raise some interesting discussions: Media: Friend or Foe? A panel discussion with journalists Sir Trevor McDonald, Matthew Syed and Sarah Tucker on Thursday 29th and an evening with Jack Straw on Tuesday 20th.
Marble Hill House is also hosting two events as part of the English Heritage’s Winter Programme: Sheila Hale in conversation with Bamber Gascoigne about her biography of Titian on Sunday 11th and a celebration of Alexander Pope on the 17th presented by Poet in the City.
A variety of events will also take place at Orleans House Gallery, including a talk by Don Jordan and Michael Walsh on Charles II and Guy Fraser-Sampson’s Why Politicians Can’t Solve Financial Crises. Urban Kitchen Gardener Tom Moggach will also be sharing his knowledge as a horticultural trainer and food writer and will be serving one of his seasonal cocktails! Mary Hamer will be presented with her award for winning the 2011 Virginia Prize for Fiction at her talk on the 10th.
If all these literary events have inspired you, St Mary’s University College will be holding a Creative Writing, Short Story Workshop at their Strawberry Hill campus on Tuseday 13th November as part of National Short Story week, led by writer and former BBC Producer David Savill.
This year also sees the return of the Literary Salon: a pop-up installation of alternative workshops and fringe events housed in an empty shop on Twickenham High Street. Supported by Arts Council England, this highly interactive space will house spoken word, podcasting and illustration workshops.
You can also receive some rejuvenating book therapy with Ella Berthoud in Bibliotherapy, to explore your reading past and leave armed with narrative ammo.
Young People’s Programme
Nicholas Allan, Saturday 3 November,
Take part in an afternoon of reading, workshops and performance with bestselling author of The Queen’s Knickers, Nicholas Allan. There will be magic, readings, prizes and even the chance to decorate a pair of paper knickers for the Queen!
Ian Beck, Saturday 10 November,
Coach House, Orleans House Gallery:
Award-winning author Ian Beck will introduce the world of storytelling as he discusses the making of books for children and young people. Ian will also read preview extracts from The Disappearance of Tom Pile, the first in his new series of books due out in 2014.
Eileen Browne, Boo Boo Baby and the Giraffe Drawing Event, Saturday 17 November,
Coach House, Orleans House Gallery:
A morning of interactive storytelling and drawing with Eileen Browne, author of Handa’s Surprise. Eileen will lollop, run and gallop through her stories as well as drawing some of her most famous illustrations and teach how to draw a Boo Boo Baby. An interactive and engaging session for
Emma Chichester Clark, Saturday 17 November, Coach House, Orleans House Gallery:
In this session Emma will be reading from some of her best loved books, including her latest title Come to School Too, Blue Kangaroo and will also be drawing some of her favourite characters.
Judith Kerr OBE, Saturday 24 November,
Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond
Bestselling author and illustrator Judith Kerr introduces her new picture book The Great Granny Gang: a gleeful celebration of what makes grannies great. A delightful event for the whole family.
There are also a number of events for children and young people as part of the Fringe programme in this years’ Literary Salon – a pop-up installation of alternative workshops and fringe events housed in an empty shop on Twickenham High Street.
Storyteller Rachel Rose Reid is hosting a storytelling workshop for children aged 5 – 8 and their parents on Sunday 11 November at 11.30am. A great way for everyone to have fun, whilst gathering more experience and confidence for making and telling stories at home.
There is also the opportunity to join Nobrow Press’ One Page Comic Book Challenge on Saturday 17 November at 2pm. Unleash your imagination and design your own comic book!
Natural Minerals for Skin
Issue: November 2012, TW11
Did you know that each day when you use your regular facial products, you may be applying toxins to your skin that actually age you much faster than normal! Consumer awareness of beauty product chemicals is growing, scientific scrutiny reveals the harmful effects of toxic ingredients in cosmetic and body care products as they continue to flood the natural product industry at an astounding rate.
Many of these toxic ingredients potentially contribute to a myriad of physical and emotional concerns including allergies, headaches, rashes, asthma, hormonal imbalances and much more.
Pick up a copy of your latest beauty magazine and you are likely to find a paragraph or two about a new natural ingredient called Tourmaline for skin and hair care. Tourmaline is a mineral with unique properties. It’s also considered to be a crystal with many healing properties, such as strengthening the body and spirit. Much more recently, this stone has found its way into a number of hair and skin care products.
Adding this natural mineral to skin care creations enhances the skin and gives it new life. When it is used in hair products, it contributes to giving a healthy shine as it strengthens the hair. In skin care, tourmaline’s properties can leave the skin softer and more radiant. In facial creams, tourmaline is added to increase the absorption of nutrients into the skin. Using skin care products containing tourmaline may help heal skin conditions and brighten the complexion.
How does Tourmaline Work?
Tourmaline creates an electrical charge when used in differing temperatures, whether hot or cold. Rubbing it on the skin, generating heat from the friction of the fingers, gives the mineral the charge needed to help the skin absorb nutrients more effectively for healthier skin. It acts as a conductor for the plant energy and the crystalline energy, so energizing the skin and boosting it with moisture and vitamins.
Mineral make-up is also creating a revolution in the ‘make-up’ beauty sector. Why? … because it’s so gentle you can even sleep in it and not worry about damage to your skin. It won’t block pores and it won’t harbour bacteria. If you have a daughter who is just starting to experiment with make-up, a wise investment would be to start her with a mineral product that won’t aggravate her skin.
Mineral makeup comprises of minerals which are pulverized and sterilized into fine powder form. The makeup is made using zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, and 100%-micronized minerals, which are free from chemicals that cause inflammation and irritation to the skin. In addition, it contains pure iron, which absorbs heat. All the ingredients used are free from artificial fragrance, chemicals, silicones, talc, mica, oils, dye, fillers, rice powders, alcohol, and wax. The reasons for its popularity are that, this makeup improves the skin’s health and does not contain coarse components.
Mineral or pure makeup is ideal for various types of skin including hypersensitive, oily, and dry skin. It helps in covering wrinkles, broken capillaries, red spots, acne scars, fine lines, and reflects sunlight. It is three products in one: foundation, powder and concealer.
The life of mineral makeup is longer than chemical-based, because it needs no preservatives. Finally, mineral makeup includes a wide spectrum of UVB and UVA sun protection,
a key anti-aging benefit … definitely worth a try!
Annie Moore at Vidatherapy Spa
World of Wine - Fortify the Mind
Issue: November 2012, TW11
Teddington Wine Society www.teddingtonwinesociety.co.uk
As we are now fully experiencing the joys of autumn and the inevitable progression to winter, my thoughts turn to warming casseroles, rich spicy reds and the world of fortified wine.
Christmas is usually the opportunity to bring out the Port and Sherry for their annual appearance and yet I fear that, for many, the same bottle has been appearing for a number of years. But why wait? These wines are good at any time of year and contrary to popular opinion, these fortifieds do not last forever and will slowly oxidise to the point of extinction. Most ports and sherries should be drunk within a month or two. (Vintage Port generally should be consumed within a couple of weeks). Madeira will last longer in many instances.
However, there are plenty of fascinating wines from other regions that perform a similar job. Banyuls and Maury in the Roussillon region of Southern France are two such examples. The grapes are picked, fermentation starts, and when the alcohol level reaches somewhere between 5% and 8% a grape spirit is added to the still fermenting must which typically brings the alcohol level up to around 18% and kills the yeast thus stopping the fermentation and leaving you with a fortified sweet wine. This process is called mutage and is the same process used in Port – albeit Port normally is 20% ABV. As you can imagine, this process is quite abrupt and the resultant wines need time for the spirit and fruit to integrate harmoniously. In the Port lodges this is done in old barrels, but in Maury and Banyuls you will find a number of traditional producers begin ageing the wines in glass demi-johns outside where the change of temperature over time creates a unique taste. These are often fantastic paired with chocolate – a food that can be tricky to partner.
SPICE OF LIFE
I am into spicy reds at the moment and one or two wines have stood out recently. The Saronsberg Provenance Shiraz 2010 from the Tulbagh region in South Africa (£11.99). Full bodied and oozing peppery spice and richness, but despite being 14.5% it managed to retain its elegance, the alcohol was well integrated and balanced and the finish was a delight. From the Rhone I recently tasted Bouquet des Garrigues 2010 Clos du Caillou (£13.50) an amazing Cotes du Rhone wine produced within a small enclosed vineyard surrounded by Chateauneuf du Pape vineyards. Due to historical reasons the Clos was never included in the CNP Appellation so this is really top class at half the price of what it should perhaps have been.
Walking the dog round Bushy Park recently on a chilly afternoon set me thinking about venison. Often ignored in favour of the usual array of meats, it is the perfect athlete’s protein – very lean, and tasty as well. Dinner for some friends involved a two day approach to the gravy – roasting kilos of venison bones, simmering for hours with a combination of beef and chicken stock, garlic, shallots and various herbs and spices. Six litres somehow reduced to not quite enough. The venison was seared off, roasted in the oven, rested and then served with parsnip purée and a mushroom and potato pithivier. We contrasted a pair of mature Penfolds and Yalumba Shiraz which worked perfectly as the mature, leathery spicy notes of the wine balanced harmoniously with the gamey notes of the venison. Furthermore, we enjoyed a wonderful assortment from The Teddington Cheese. Focussing on hard cheeses to pair with a mature Saint Emilion Chateau du Puy, an organic and biodynamic estate that has an ancient stone circle in the owners’ garden, we enjoyed Kirkhams Lancashire, Cirone, Little Um and Swaledale goat – all working perfectly with
the soft tannins and mature fruit of the wine.
Issue: November 2012, TW11 and TW Mag
The Poppy Appeal organised by The Royal British Legion is a fund raising drive and event that has significance for so many of us.
Teddington will see a parade on Sunday 11th November starting at the Teddington Royal British Legion Club on High Street at 10.30am and finishing at the memorial at Teddington Memorial Hospital. Where the Reverend Joe Moffat of St Mary with St Alban will lead a mass in remembrance and two minutes silence will be observed.
Twickenham’s parade will also be on Sunday 11th November starting at Twickenham Riverside at around 10.30am and finishing at the war memorial in Radnor Gardens, where a mass will be held and two minutes silence will be observed.
This year’s event actually falls on November 11th, armistice day, a poignant reminder of the reasons why the annual Poppy Appeal and Remembrance Sunday touches the heart of so many people and is so well supported in the area.
All funds raised through the appeal go to providing vital welfare services to thousands of serving and ex-service people and their families. Lee Greed, Steward and Branch Vice Chairman of the Teddington branch, along with Branch Chairman Brain Wild are keen for local people to know about the way the Royal British Legion play a unique role in supporting the families of those service people affected in conflicts. The demand for The Legion’s support is increasing with service men and woman coming home from Afghanistan with life changing injuries. It is the hard work of all the volunteers ably co-ordinated by Liz Engel that saw over £25,000 raised in Teddington alone last year.
‘We are always ready to welcome new members to the club’ says Lee. Membership of the club is open to the public with civilians making up 70% of their number.
When I visited the Twickenham branch of the Legion I meet a lively group of gents who enjoy the camaraderie and support they gain from meeting their friends at the Club in Pope’s Grove. Bert Wilkinson and Arthur Jones are members of a group called the ‘Jolly Boys’, six friends who travel all over the coast together on days out, most of whom are in their nineties. Both Bert and Arthur saw action during WWII.
Bert was stationed in Burma as part of a Mobile Signal Unit with the Royal Air Force directing aircraft. Bert tells me ‘There was a tremendous feeling of comradeship that built with the team of men in your unit, we were just a small group, all in it together, I found myself out in Burma with no rations, no jungle training, but you learn to rely on the men around you. We had a very rough time of it, but the bonds you built with your mates see you through. It took me around four months just to get out there on a boat that had to dodge submarines. It was all a long time ago, a very different world.‘
Arthur was a Gunner who tested gasses and bombs and tells me how he feels the Legion plays an important role ‘We’ve had some great days out, some wonderful times, we go and visit other branches, as far afield as the Isle of Wight. We have a lovely lunch and come home. It’s great company, it keeps me going, and we do have a good laugh together. It’s what you make of life that makes the difference, it’s no good sitting indoors feeling sorry for yourself.’
St James Church
Issue: November 2012, TW Mag
As you drive down Cross Deep and pass The Alexander Pope pub it’s easy to overlook the quiet tree lined Pope’s Grove, and people often do not know that nestling on the corner with Radnor Road is the small elegant Roman Catholic Church of St James. Appearances can be deceptive. Its quiet, peaceful architecture belies a busy active congregation representative of so much of present Strawberry Hill life.
The church was opened in 1885, and in 1887 consecrated by the then Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, Henry Edward Manning. There was no big Catholic community in the area at the time. Members of the French Royal Family lived at Orleans House and later at York House. Princess Marie-Amelie the future wife of King Carlos of Portugal was born there. This led to the Portuguese link with St James. Members of the French Royal Family supported the church and the French connection is demonstrated by the fleur-de-lys motifs on the ceiling of the sanctuary.
The church was named after James de Lacey Towle who paid for the church. The side altars depicting the Annunciation of Our Lady and St Margaret Alacoque (a nineteenth century French saint) were carved by Henry Hillier of Bath, who tragically died while swimming in the Thames the day after the Church’s opening.
The first Parish priest of St James was Father M Ryan, but scarcely anything is known about him. He was succeeded by Michael English and it was under him that St James School was opened in 1894. It was then situated in Grosvenor Road and it was noteworthy for having the playground on the roof! St Catherine’s was opened in 1914. Financing Catholic schools was a major activity for many years in Catholic parishes, and the parish records contain frequent references to this.
It was in Father (later Canon) English’s time King Manuel II of Portugal came to live in Fulwell Park. Manuel was only a young man when his father King Carlos and his brother Crown Prince Luis were assassinated in Lisbon in 1908. Manuel was overthrown in a putsch in 1910 and found refuge in England with his mother Marie Amelie. When he married Princess Augusta of Hohenzollern they moved to Twickenham and regularly attended St James arriving by Rolls Royce having special seats on the right where the present organ is situated. They were philanthropists and supported parish and community activities. Manuel supported the allied war effort by endowing medical facilities. He opened the present parish hall in Radnor Road in 1927. He and his wife were godparents to many local children when they were Confirmed. After Canon English died in 1924 Manuel donated two fine stain glassed windows in his memory. One is dedicated to St Anthony, Patron Saint of Lisbon, and the other to St Edmund of Abingdon a medieval Archbishop of Canterbury.
After Canon English died he was succeeded by James O’Brien. He seems to have been a feisty personality and became involved in a dispute with his bishop, Cardinal Bourne over the will of his predecessor. It was under him that the parish acquired 59 Popes Grove which the parish owned until the 1980s when it was auctioned at a local pub. While O’Brien was parish priest in 1932 King Manuel died as a result of a throat infection which was inadequately treated. The King’s body was taken through Twickenham for a service at Westminster Cathedral and eventually to Lisbon where he was buried. The King left various religious artefacts to the church including a set of cruets and a ciborium for Holy Communion. Queen Augusta left Fulwell Park shortly after her husband’s death and donated their organ to St James (the King was an accomplished organist). It was in use until the 1980s when it was partially dismantled.
In 1936 Father O’Brien and he was succeeded by Father (later Canon) Gordon. He is remarkable for the fact that his mother and brother both lived in the Presbytery. There is a painting and a special chair in the church dedicated to Mrs Gordon. Canon Gordon seems to have been something of an eccentric and it was said that he used to read the newspaper during mass to get ideas for his sermon. Fr William Potter (1981-91) was responsible for the building of a porch which connected the church with the priest’s house. When he left in 1991 Monsignor George Tancred became Parish Priest. He was a short, dapper man from the Diocese of Salford. A popular colourful figure, his mother had danced with the Tiller Girls. Tancred retired in 2001 and was succeeded by Fr Terence McGuckin. He suffered from ill-health and resigned the following year.
I succeeded McGuckin and became a qualified counsellor. I was interested in developing the parish facilities to meet the increased population of the parish and its many young families. After much controversy a new building was started for a centre behind the church and a new porch. This was opened in 2011. Along with Deacon Peter Coates, we set up a link with Moldova where the parish supported a children’s centre. The Parish Hall was also refurbished and partly rented out to a pre-school nursery. This was a time of great activity in the education field; St James Primary School expanded to become three form entry, St Catherine’s School acquired a sixth form, and Richmond Borough approved a Catholic Secondary and Primary School in Clifden Road. From being a quiet leafy semi-rural parish, St James Church has become a bustling community of over 550 mass goers.
Father Ulick Loring.
For further information on St James Church visit www.stjamestwickenham.org.uk
Lady Sings the Blues
Issue: November 2012, TW11 and TW Mag
BBC JAZZ AWARDS Vocalist of the Year 2011 and local resident Val Wiseman will bring this highly acclaimed show celebrating the music of Billie Holiday to the Landmark Arts Centre on Saturday 10th November.
‘As a small child I did go to dance schools, where I was singing and performing, I took to that naturally, I enjoyed performing to audiences, but I was lucky to have a friend that pushed me into going along to sing with my first band, I’ve never been too quick at pushing myself forward. I remember hiding behind the bass player just in case they didn’t like me. I was very nervous when I first started.
I was so interested in jazz, I had a teacher who was a real jazz fan and he set up a club, we’d play records and talk about the music, we felt quite an elitist little group, I always stayed close to my love of this genre. Looking at it overall, it sometimes seems we’re the poor relations of the music world. Jazz musicians don’t often get the recognition, there isn’t the money put into jazz as there is for classical for instance, where there is a lot of TV coverage.
I’ve been round the block a few years now, and my first exposure to jazz was at a time when the trad boom became very popular, this was just pre Rolling Stones and Beatles, so there was a lot of Jazz clubs around the country and I was working with local bands in the Midlands, where I come from originally. Then suddenly somebody lent me an EP of Billie Holiday, I’d never heard her before, and it completely knocked me back. What I find interesting is that she has this long enduring appeal, a lot of today’s singers are very aware of Billie Holiday, Amy Winehouse was obviously impressed, and followed the style, and perhaps unfortunately the lifestyle too. People like Adele and Katie Melua, the younger singers who have come through are all very aware of Billie Holiday. She goes on through the generations, so always a whole new set of people are influenced by her. She was one of these unique singers that interpreted things in a very individual way, so you can’t date it, which is very special.
When I walk out to interpret Billie Holiday, we have arrangements based on the recordings she made, so the audience get a close idea of how it would have sounded in her time, we are recreating rather than imitating, she was unique, a one off, and she expressed herself emotionally as she felt at the time, I mean if she sang a song about being abused you really believed it because she undoubtedly was. She mixed with the wrong kind of men, she took drugs, she had a traumatic life. But I wouldn’t say she was tragic, she was quite outspoken for her time, she was quite a feisty lady. So I’ve got all these things in my mind when I walk out, in a way it is theatre, there is an element of drama. I do talk about Billie Holiday to the audiences, so they are quite clear in the minds about what the background is for the next song they’ll hear. They are drawn closely into the life that she led at that time.
I perform with seven musicians on stage, all top draw performers and award winners. It keeps you on your toes, we are listening and responding to each other. I’m very mindful that I don’t want to let them down that I’m part of an amazing team.
I’ve been very fortunate to have had such an interesting career, but I’m pleased to say I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve done, had a journey that I’ve leant from as I’ve gone along.’
Friends of Twickenham Green
Issue: November 2012, TW Mag
I have lived in Twickenham for about 15 years but still get a huge amount of pleasure every time I pass the Green and see people enjoying it. It defines this end of the town and serves as substitute garden, exercise ground, sports field and village green for many local residents.
In spite of its tranquil setting, the Green has a colourful history. Back in the early 1800s it was called Little Common and formed part of Hounslow Heath. It was partly allotments for the Workhouse, located to the north of the Green, and partly allocated to the Twickenham Poor.
In summer the Green is home to Twickenham Cricket Club, which was formed in 1833 but did not move to the Green until later, following the demolition of the Workhouse, when the allotments were no longer needed. W G Grace played in charity matches there. Rugby was first played there in 1867 by one of the oldest rugby clubs in the world, Twickenham RFC, formed in the Prince Blucher pub but now based in Hampton. Today the Green is home to Old Thamesians who can sometimes be seen playing a game before an international.
During the Second World War public air raid shelters were dug on the Green and the mayor announced ‘We are ready – everything that we could possibly do has been done.’
Last year I was elected as liaison officer for Friends of Twickenham Green – a group of local residents that exists to protect the charm and integrity of the Green and liaise with the council on matters relating to its use and the interests of the local community.
I must admit that, after living in the area for over 15 years, I hadn’t heard of the group and was blissfully unaware of the work that they do to ensure that the space is maintained to the standard we have all come to expect. I went to the AGM out of curiosity and got involved to ensure that my voice gets heard.
Members meet once a year, at the AGM, but the committee meets monthly to discuss matters relating to the Green – from the annual village fete to the health of the trees and from development plans in the conservation area to the date of the next clean up. At the moment we are working with businesses in the area to plan for the festive season so watch out for news coming soon.
Before getting involved with Friends of Twickenham Green I have to admit that volunteering was not high on my agenda, but as local government faces increasing pressures to cut costs, I feel even more passionately that the local community should be ready to protect and maintain its green spaces in whatever ways they can. Did you know for example that several local residents regularly water some of the smaller trees on the Green? Or that the cricket and rugby clubs contribute to re-seeding?
We welcome new members who care about the survival and upkeep of the Green. Membership doesn’t involve huge commitment but it does mean that you get your say about the future of the space. If volunteering isn’t your thing, or if you don’t have time to make a regular commitment, please help to take care of the Green however you can.
Treat it like your garden.
Teddington's Bronze Age Barrow
Issue: November 2012, TW11
One of the most amazing features of Teddington History is that we have or probably more correctly, had a Bronze Age barrow in the town. One of only three in the Greater London area, out of about 40,000 in the country.
Our barrow stood at Sandy Lane, about 350 yards from the Teddington gate to Bushy Park. At its peak, it was 12’3” high and 96’ in diameter; it must have been an imposing landmark for miles around. The earliest record I have discovered of this is in Charles Bridgeman’s map of the Bushy Park estate of 1730. It is shown as a tumulus at the side of the main road to Kingston. It was known as Barrow Hill and was in Barrow Field. Various local rumours arose about it and some claimed it to be a mass grave for victims of the Great Plague. This so disconcerted William IV, then Duke of Clarence and living in Bushy Park, that he blocked all attempts to investigate it.
The barrow withstood the enclosure of Bushy Park in Wolsey’s day, although it may have lost its southern tip in road widening, and also the Teddington Enclosure Act of 1800 when all of the common land was apportioned amongst the existing landowners. Fifty-eight acres of copyhold land granted to Thomas Davis Esq included the barrow. It was suggested that Field Lane which turns south from the High Street, was the pathway to the barrow from the old town centre.
It is not clear what resurrected interest in the barrow; maybe rumours that the new railway was to cut through it, or perhaps the new national pastime of archaeology found its way to Teddington. The Surrey Archaeological Society was formed in 1853 and they sought permission from the landowner to excavate the barrow. On their first anniversary – 30th June 1854 – 150 members and visitors held their first AGM, lunched at the Griffin in the marketplace and then set off across Kingston Bridge for their first ever ‘dig’ at the site.
They quickly found evidence of treasure hunters and other signs that the barrow had been disturbed but they pressed on to the very centre of the mound and were rewarded to find a pile of burnt bones on which had been placed a fine bronze dagger. On the floor of the grave were several fragments of charcoal and pieces of worked flint. A second day’s digging revealed a second cremation only four feet below the apex and later, the bones of a third burial, an adult buried superficially were found.
As archaeology was in its infancy at that time, there was no plan or sketch of the site ever made and the interesting finds seem to have been dispersed amongst the members nearest to the diggers. The following year the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society was formed and all finds were handed over to them. At their second AGM, their President Rev Thomas Hugo exhibited the dagger and a flint from the barrow. In 1860 it was reported that the dagger had ‘suffered considerably from incautious handling’ and would not be shown again. Indeed there is no record of it ever being seen again!
The barrow itself has come to a sorry end. As housing and road widening have moved in, an electricity sub-station has been installed on what remains of this once impressive site.
I have spent many years following clues to the whereabouts of the finds from the barrow but have only succeeded in tracing some of the flints that were discovered. An array of very interesting people have come to light in the course of my enquiries and these would provide the basis for a Victorian mystery drama themselves. Anyone wishing to known a little of this saga should obtain The Bronze Age Barrow at Teddington by me, Ken Howe, available at Waterstones price £3.
Teddington Lights Up
Issue: November 2012, TW11
Santa’s coming to town on Thursday 29th November! Yes, at 6 o’clock at Elmfield House the Mayor, Cllr Rita Palmer, will switch on our town’s Christmas Lights and that’s the place to be. After a countdown lights will burst into life from the river to the Hospital with matching lights in The Causeway and Church Road. Already we hope lots of shops will have put small trees above their premises and have lit them.
Footfall to the main shops is what we’re after. Keeping shoppers coming here & buying here rather than going to Kingston, London or Richmond for that special festive gift. This year we aim to light one or two living trees on the green at the Hospital end of the street to link it in with the two trees already wired up in Elmfield Gardens. We’ve also lit columns in The Causeway, Church Road, Waldegrave Road and Ferry Road to make what our past Chairman, John Demont, christened “The Festive Way”. It will be really festive as we’ve got permission to close the High Street, Causeway and Church Road and divert the buses for a few hours on the night.
We chose the High Street as the bus services can loop round using the other main roads. It’s a massive effort and will allow us to have entertainment spilling out on to the road, pedestrians milling and enjoying all the free nibbles and sips along the way. We know it will be a little inconvenient for some residents but we hope you’ll get into the festive mood and come and join in.
We plan live music, reindeer rides, the Lifeboat, Santa in his Sleigh and lots of fun things. Many of the shops and businesses will be doing something special. A list of activities will be available from
We will start in the afternoon with Storytelling at the Library at 4pm. Choristers from Churches Together In Teddington will be outside Elmfield House at 5.30 wanting you all to come and join in well known carols. Our MC John Demont will introduce the Mayor who we hope will be accompanied by a top flight comedian. Then Sounds Familiar will play live for you.
Of course all this takes money and although the Council are very generous in giving us a grant we have to not only match it but double it. This year has been a hard one for many of our shops and some can’t be as generous as in the past but you can help. If you would like to help light up the town for Christmas then please send a cheque (made out to TEDDINGTON BUSINESS COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION) for however much you can afford to: The Treasurer, Christmas Lights Committee, 152 Broom Road, Teddington, TW11 9PQ.
Following the success of last year’s Teddington Business Community Christmas indoor market as part of the Teddington lights Up event, we are happy to announce it will be on again this year. Richard Littledale at the Teddington Baptist Church has kindly welcomed us back and plans are already underway.
We have been speaking to a number of local businesses as well as some very talented people who make lovely craft items. You will be able to browse our stalls offering items such as: Cards, Candles, Christmas decorations, Christmas cakes and puddings,cushions, beauty products and much more..
In order to enhance your experience this year, we have created a separate skills area where you will be able to get some unique Christmas presents such as flower arranging courses/image consultations and see demonstrations from our local businesses to set you up for Christmas. A good time to pick up those last minute stocking fillers while soaking up the festive atmosphere.
Also don’t forget that Santa will be in his very popular grotto at Play Inside Out on Broad Street and the Park Lane ponies will be wowing the children on Causeway.
Issue: Dec '12 TW11 & TW Mag
Whilst reviewing various buildings owned by the Council, attention was given to a rather miserable and near-derelict hut in a remote part of the Borough looking ready for demolition. A cursory look inside revealed that it was crammed with over 160 cranes of paper. A closer inspection revealed these papers to be building plans; in fact the plan for every building in the Borough whether newly built, altered or extended for the approximate period of 1870–1960. Quite how they got there has been lost in the mists of time but the pressing question was what to do with them.
A councillor asked our local studies librarian, Jane Baxter, if they were of any use or value. Seeing their potential, Jane quickly laid claim to them and set about devising a way of bringing the plans to the public without commanding an enormous amount of space. A scheme was put together to put in a Heritage Lottery Fund grant to digitise the plans and create a website, matching the Heritage monies with labour from a volunteer force. A team of 40 volunteers set about sifting through the weather stained boxes.
Some of the plans were completely ruined but there was sufficient of every type of building to enable us to capture the designs of the past decades. The majority of the plans related to the building of private dwellings but also included were all manner of commercial buildings, shops, office blocks, public houses, factories, restaurants and even a theatre (which was never built) as well as all alterations and extensions.
The grant was awarded and 18 months of hard and diligent work paid off to create a unique record of the buildings in the Borough since 1870/80. Because of the sheer mass of documents available, it was not possible to select every record for digitisation and some painful decisions were made as to what should be copied and what should be left out. The result is a marvellous collection of plans easily available on the web. I have discovered my house, so it can’t be that difficult.
To access the site, type in www.calmview.eu/Richmond/calmview. Insert Twickenham in the Search box at the top right and 3,600 records suddenly become available. Alternatively you may enter the name of the road you are seeking and then scroll down alphabetically until you find your record. The degree of information given will depend entirely on the level that was logged onto the catalogue initially. For example some plans may be accompanied by photographs.
Once the individual street plans are shown, you will see that each plan will have a PLA prefix eg PLA/01565. This should show the date of the application, the name of the road, the local authority involved, the type of planning (new build etc), the name of the architect and/or the builder and a thumbnail sketch of the actual building plan. Click on the plan and this will bring up a full screen copy of the plan.
To demonstrate the good work that has been done, an exhibition has been arranged to run concurrently at Richmond Museum from 2nd December 2012 to March 2013 and Orleans House Gallery again from 2nd December to February 2013. Entitled The Building of a Borough it will show many framed plans, some for air raid shelters and for the re-building after the war. Admission is free and a comprehensive free catalogue is also provided.
Issue: Dec '12 TW Mag
My earliest memory of choral music is listening to Carols from King’s each Christmas Eve as a child. That spine-tingling moment when the solo treble steps forwards for the first verse of Once in Royal David’s City. Then the warmth of the harmony as the rest of the choir joins in for the second verse, and the power of the sound when the congregation eventually joins in.
Ever since, choral singing has been a very important part of my life, from singing as a treble in my local church choir, through school and youth choirs, to a variety of chamber choirs and choral societies. Throughout, singing in a choir has been a tremendous release from the stresses and strains of daily life; a way of unwinding and relaxing after a difficult day at work.
I now sing with Twickenham Choral Society, a choir of over 100 – a mixed bunch of people, of a wide range of ages, professions and experience, from those of us who have been singing our whole lives, to those who have discovered the joys of choral singing more recently. More importantly, it is a group where many friendships – and even marriages! – have been formed, by the coming together of people with the common purpose of making beautiful music.
I enjoy the wide range of classical styles which we encompass (this year’s programme covers over 400 years from Tallis’ monumental motet Spem in Alium to a new work commissioned especially for us) and the different musical challenges which that brings. We’re rehearsing Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 at the moment for our concert in December, a favourite of many members of the choir, which brings its own set of challenges – the work was originally conceived for a handful voices rather than a choir of 100. Everyone in the choir has a part to play, from our conductor Christopher Herrick and accompanist Jonny Beatty, to each individual singer – the coming together of all the different elements creates a magical whole, so much greater than the sum of its parts.
Next term, we turn our attention to a number of English works, including Parry’s I Was Glad to mark the 60th Anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation, for a concert in St Mary’s Church Twickenham, before taking the programme on a tour of Belgium in April. It’s a very different style to the Monteverdi – variety is the spice of
Recently I’ve been enjoying watching Gareth Malone and his various choirs on TV, particularly the reactions of his choir members who had never sung before. It moved me to see the way that they embraced the music, and in the process discovered the uplifting and life-enhancing experience of singing together – a feeling which I’m sure I share with my colleagues in TCS.
If this has whetted your appetite, TCS will perform Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 on Saturday 8th December at the Landmark Arts Centre, see page 12 for further details. Future concerts include a programme of English music at St Mary’s Church Twickenham in March and Tallis’ Spem in Alium at the Landmark in June next year.
Issue: Dec '12 TW Mag
I can’t believe that Dawn’s wonderful magazine is already onto its fourth issue for our area of South Twickenham. I am sure you are finding it very useful. So it is my turn again for the councillor page. My colleague David Porter, who is Chairman of the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee, wrote a very useful article on recycling last month.
As I am Vice-Chairman of the Planning Committee I am going to write about planning process as it is my specialist interest over the ten years I have been councillor. Our Planning Department receives over 4,000 applications per year. About 95% of them are uncontroversial and the officers approve them under what are called delegated powers. Many applications will have been advertised in the Richmond & Twickenham Times and by a site notice, say on a laminated A4 sheet attached to a lamp-post or you might have received a letter about it. If you object, and it is your right to do so, the application may come to the Planning Committee.
Let’s look at this from both sides. If you want to build something that requires Planning Permission the best thing to do, once you have had plans drawn up, is to discuss them with your nearest neighbours. I think it is only good manners to let them know and they should appreciate your honesty. If your application eventually goes to Committee it will also be in your favour that you alerted your neighbours at an early stage.
You can apply online on the Council website on a very straightforward form. Or you can go to the Civic Centre in Twickenham and get a paper copy. The fees vary but are reasonable. You can also get in touch with your councillor who can speak to the officer on your behalf at an informal level and help smooth out any hiccups before they become serious and delay matters.
You can, if your application is large, ask to meet the Planning Officer for what is called a pre-application meeting and discuss all the possibilities. The officer can give you lots of options that you might not have thought of. The officer will tell you what the Planning Department may pass and what it won’t. There is sometimes a fee for this service. Domestic applications should normally be dealt with within an eight week period and major ones in 13 or 16 weeks. Sometimes though, if there are problems, these time limits are overshot, but you will have a designated officer to deal with your application and guide you.
On the other side of the coin, what do you do if you get wind of an application very close to you and you want more details? Again, you can go onto the Council website and type in the address or go to the Civic Centre and ask at the reception desk. Either way you will be able to read the whole application and see the plans. Do look at them carefully and work out what its affect on your house will be. Make sure you are not going to be overlooked by windows in the new development. Mind you if you are already overlooked that may not count as an objection!
I realise that I am at the end of the article and I have neither touched on how to present your objection at Planning Committee nor how that works. Like Scheherazade I will have to tell you about that in my next article! Speaking at Committee is a very important part of having your local voice heard. If you have any planning queries do give any of your Councillors a ring; that’s what we are here for.
Creating Lovers Lights
Issue: Dec '12 TW Mag
JANIS HAVES IS the creator of beautiful glass lights and gallery owner of Lovers Lights. We find out what inspires her and why the gallery on Twickenham Green is such a hit with local people.
‘I’ve always been an artist in one capacity or another. My background is in music; writing, producing and performing, I’ve had my own record company and managed artists. Then I started to move over to decorative arts, murals and fine art painted furniture, I’ve also been an interior designer and project manager. All of which has firmly taken a back seat since I opened the gallery a year ago.
As anyone will tell you, making a living from things that you make is never an easy call. But I was selling my art to a gallery in Surrey and I was selling well. When they had to close due to sickness, I had the idea that perhaps I needed to open my own gallery.
It wasn’t tricky finding this spot, I knew exactly what I wanted, which helped. So when this premises came about it ticked all the boxes, a nice spot for the gallery and enough space for my studio.
I champion artists that I come across by either working with them or by recommendation. There are a lot of Home Counties and local artists in this show. I’m also really interested in re-cycled art, it really fascinates me. Initially the plan was to have the gallery deal purely with re-cycled art, although I decided to be more inclusive. I realised that there would be too many artists that I wouldn’t be able to show like my friend Ray Maloney, whose work I love and has been massively supportive and influential in my own artistic journey. So I show all the re-cycled work that I can, but actually what I show is work that I really love, and that people will really love too.
I’m hugely inspired by colour. It’s a massive thing for me. Colour and music are intrinsically linked; they resonate in the same area. The process of preparing for the show is incredibly stressful. But when it comes to setting up the gallery, hanging the pieces, I really love it when colours work well together. I get tuned into it and when we find work that works well together it’s a great feeling. When I’m making my own pieces I find colour comforting and inspiring, it’s a bit of a salvation for me, that’s the music in what I do, the melody that runs under everything else.
I tend to spend too much time looking after the gallery, and the creating of pieces too easily gets demoted. I was warned that it would happen. The gallery always has to be managed, curating an exhibition is a full time job. It involves a huge amount of discipline, which is not always conducive to being an artist, to create you have to drop your discipline, allow your head to open up and stop thinking and just go into that place. And that gets harder when you’re basically running a business. I’m looking at it really seriously at the moment. To be a creative person you have to have space, both mental and physical, otherwise you can’t create.
We show the best in British craft and design, with pieces from £5–£1000. We have a lot of things at a really good price, the only thing that doesn’t change is the quality. For me that’s absolutely paramount, I just won’t take anything in the gallery that is not of a good standard. I’ve been offered work in the past that I’ve been assured sells, but if I don’t believe in it, I won’t take it. I want people to walk in an go – wow,that’s awesome!
We’ve had fantastic feedback from the local people, if enthusiasm were pound coins I’d have a place in the Bahamas by now! I so appreciate all the positivity from the residents in the area, who are really happy we are here. We are all really keen on the Green being regenerated, and not seen as just an afterthought as far as Twickenham is concerned. It’s not an ancient green, but it still has lots of history attached to it. It has such a village-like, pretty feel about it. The trouble with much of Twickenham is that it struggles. Church Street and the Riverside are real assets to the area, the Green is an attribute too. The locals seem so pleased we’re here as it’s one more cog in helping things in the right direction. There’s such a lot of creativity in the area, there’s a huge amount of potential to become an even more vibrant and cultural space. The more we build on that the better.’
Deck the Halls With...
Issue: Dec '12 TW11 & TW Mag
My husband is from Essex and I always thoroughly enjoy taking the annual drive through Dagenham to see the Christmas lights adorning the neighbourhood. Oxford Street can hardly compete! The number of variations of flashing Rudolph’s and sleighs and six foot inflatable Santas are incredible. Funny it is, but classy, not!
Most of us leave decorating our house for Christmas to the last minute. We scrabble about in the attic for that old box of Christmas decorations and then figure out what made it through the year and what didn’t. Alternatively you could plan a little to create a real statement.
When buying a tree the choice is either artificial or real. Artificial trees have come along way in recent years, once past the initial investment they do last forever. There are many types of real trees to choose from both live (potted with roots intact) or cut, with some varieties purporting to last throughout the whole period without dropping needles. In reality trees are not built to live in centrally heated spaces, so it is inevitable that while there may not be drop, there is likely to be droop. Ensuring the size is right for the space is important. Take a measurement before you buy.
What are the key elements that we need?
Something that’s visible outside – perhaps a wreath and possibly lights which are becoming more and more popular. A tree, with ornaments and lights and some mantle-piece or shelf pieces. The table decoration can be an area that you really express your Christmas style. After all you only get the opportunity just once a year. I would suggest you go one of two ways:
Striking red and gold with natural elements.
Zara Home has a lovely range to inspire your design including gold manzana apples and gold baubles. For the table their Luidvic or Kiruna table cloth set a look to recreate. Combine with gold place mats and a natural arrangement of sprayed gold twigs, holly and berries and gold cone candles. There are some lovely wreaths around, that can be used for the front door or as a table setting. Match with special seasonal napkins.
Or a white and silver minimal ice look.
John Lewis have some great modern ideas, like their glitter Christmas tree for a stunning sparkly natural look indoors and a paper jewel Christmas tree that can be used outdoors with a natural pine cone white wreath. Their star lights are fabulous for a real tree and their starburst lights give a little cluster of light that can be placed in rows on a mantelpiece or as a centre piece on the table. Mitzi B on High Street have some beautiful icy decorations that suit
this style, so do check your local shops.
Finally finish the table off with a nest of silver napkins and the winter tree range of table cloth and napkins for a stunning natural white look.
All your guests will be amazed at what a stunning and well thought out Christmas theme you have created.
Issue: Dec '12 TW11
YOU WILL HOPEFULLY BY now be familiar with the local traders on our high streets promoting the Totally Locally campaign. Its roots began with local resident Tracey Wardhaugh.
Tracey says ‘I strongly believe that we all enjoy having a town filled with lovely independent retailers and eateries but sometimes, out of habit, we forget to use them as our first port of call and often end up shopping online or ‘popping’ into large chains in Kingston.
Many of us are aware that nationally, there has been a change in high streets, an ever increasing toothless grin of retail spaces being left empty or filled with charity shops as highlighted by the Mary Portas ‘Save Our High Street’ campaign. We are fortunately not there with Teddington and if locals remember to support their local independents, we won’t need to be.
So, with this in mind, I contacted another passionate Teddington resident, Simon, (aka Mr @Teddington_Town). We had a brainstorm meeting and agreed that we would pool our energies to promote the ‘shop local’ idea. For both of us, this is a completely independent, non-profit voluntary community project.
I have had meetings with Teddington Business Community, Teddington Society and independent retailers to discuss the plans. They have all been fully supportive of the initiative. Timing seemed crucial before Christmas, when locals are shopping for gifts and spending large sums of money. Money which, if spent supporting our independent retailers, would make a considerable difference within the Community.
We are so fortunate as our Teddington local independent retailers stock beautiful, high quality products and brands ranging from household decor, toys, clothing for women, men and children, specialist foods, kitchen supplies to jewellery, leather goods, books, perfumes, beauty products and more.
Many of the products in any beautiful catalogue we receive through the post pre-Christmas can be bought from an independent retailer on our high streets. The difference is, in buying from our local independent, we get to meet a person in the shop who is truly glad to assist and help, personalised service, no ‘undeliverable’ slips left by couriers, and our money has gone back into our community.
In doing a bit of research online for other similar marketing campaigns, I came across the fantastic Totally Locally campaign kits which reflected the same goals I have for the project. One of my favourite points in the ‘manifesto’ is “love where you live” and this is certainly one way to do it. The campaign kits are FREE.
Totally Locally is about getting people to use their local shops, getting shops to look at their suppliers, getting people to reassess what’s on their doorstep and helping businesses to start looking at working together. This applies to all sorts of shops and businesses.’
It’s a really exciting initiative and as the residents of Teddington most definitely love their town, one that will reap rewards for the whole community.
The Perfect Present
Issue: Dec '12 TW11
If the thought of buying Christmas gifts for your nearest and dearest brings you out in a cold sweat, try these tips to find the perfect present.
Contrary to popular opinion, most women are actually very easy to buy for, just remember to pitch the present to her personality. Cosmetic companies have all kinds of beauty sets ready packaged for Christmas. Body products are great if you know which type and brand she likes, but avoid packages like the grouping of lip glosses, eyeshadows and blushers – women have so many different skin tones, eye and hair colours that these sets always contain lots of products that won’t be used.
Instead opt for good quality make-up brushes, which can mean the difference between passable and spectacular make-up application. Try a brand like Bobbi Brown. Sets of nail polish are another good option. A one-to-one makeup lesson is a great present for a teenager who wants to experiment with different looks.
What any tired, stressed mum needs is a bit of TLC and ‘me-time’ so a voucher for treatments at a local spa is a fail-safe winner – especially if you offer to provide the childcare! Or a gift voucher for some expert advice from an image consultant or personal shopper can be a lovely idea if she always says that she hasn’t got ‘a thing to wear’ in her wardrobe.
Clothes buying can be tricky unless you have a very good idea what they might like and be careful about your colour choice – check through their wardrobe beforehand to get an idea of what kind of colours they like wearing. But if that’s not possible – as a very general rule, fair-haired people with muted skintones will suit softer, more pastel tones while those who have deeper and bolder colouring can take the brighter,
A luxurious pashmina scarf is usually a safe bet. Or a gift voucher for her favourite clothes shop.
Lingerie is the hardest gift of all to get right. Buy it too small and it never gets worn. Buy it too big and she’ll be paranoid you think she’s fat. If you want to buy underwear, check out the labels on at least three different sets of lingerie she already owns as sizes differ dramatically. Stick to neutral colours like white, cream, black or ‘pretty’ colours like blue or pink. Avoid red at all costs – it suits very few skin types.
Jewellery can be bought in a variety of price ranges, which makes it a good gift no matter what the budget. A wrap bracelet, a stack of bangles, or several necklaces that can be layered together are all good options for fashion-forward women. Check whether they wear yellow or white based metals before buying though, if in doubt look at a reasonably-priced brand such as Stella and Dot whose stylists are trained to help you find the perfect piece.
If all else fails, and no matter what you’ve done wrong this year, try these guaranteed successes:
• an iconic handbag (the Mulberry Alexa it-bag for example) is guaranteed to get you in the good books!
• Ditto a box with the word Tiffany’s on it.
• A Smythson diary, iPad or iPhone covers. Nile blue is the signature brand colour.
• A magazine voucher – eg InStyle or Vogue for the fashionistas
• Mr and Mrs Smith hotels e-voucher. This is one for the seriously last-minute panic shopper, since you can buy it online on Christmas Day and have the email sent to
Let the Festivities Begin
Issue: Dec '12 TW11
The Festive Season is upon us and I am devoting the column to wine and food as I hope to encourage as many of you as possible to break out of the traditional mode and use Christmas as an opportunity to broaden the horizon of your palate.
I believe it is not uncommon to start the day with a glass of Buck’s Fizz – usually bone dry Prosecco, Cava or Champagne mixed with some acidic orange juice. I feel jaded at the thought! Unless one is used to 11 or 12% alcohol early on, there is a risk of wooziness before lunch. Try a Moscato d’Asti 2011 Tacchino (£10) – at only 5% alcohol with refreshing acidity and a very agreeable sweetness, this gives you a lift rather than a kick and thus better able to withstand the rigours of the day.
A little nibble late morning
Lunch can be late on Christmas day so I am partial to a smoked salmon blini or five and I can see the Chablis or Sancerre shelf being reached for. STOP – try something different – Verdejo 2011 Con Class, Rueda (£10.50). This terrific Spanish grape has made great progress over the last few years – this shows wonderful depth and balance but with a lightness of touch.
The Christmas Turkey …or Beef …or Goose
The biggest challenge is not the choice of meat but how to match the wine with all the trimmings. Turkey is essentially bland and only a large quantity of butter rubbed under the skin combined with your finest free range bird will change that. So, you need something for the chipolatas, bread sauce, roast potatoes, cranberry jelly et al. Red burgundy is the failsafe red and while I might be tempted by a luxuriant Grand Cru from a top producer, I am currently heading for Otago in New Zealand. Not Central Otago – so terribly last year – but the emerging Waitaki Valley in Northern Otago where fabulous gravelly soils are producing wondrous examples. Try the John Forrest 2009 Waitaki Valley Pinot Noir (£29). Absolutely super and won the Trophy for Best New Zealand Pinot Noir at the International Wine Challenge this year. Do look out for Forrest wines – the owner used to be a research scientist endeavouring to make sheep woollier and has found his niche now in Marlbough, Hawkes Bay and Otago! This wine would also go well with beef or goose but given the choice of beef I would drink the Edizione 2010 Cinque Auctoctoni Farnese (£25). This is an utterly beguiling, intense red made from five different southern Italian grapes. Amazingly rich and dark and full of berry fruits it is extraordinary.
Onwards to Dessert
Christmas pudding is always a challenge – so much richness to contend with. Traditional Sauternes doesn’t do it for me so I head to the South of Spain for a rich Pedro Ximenez. Gloriously decadent and oozing sweet sultana essence, the PX 2008 Dulce de Pasas, Toro Albala (£14 per half) is magnificent and highly likely to be something you have yet to experience. For the chocolate based dessert I seek out the lesser known fortified reds of Maury and Banyuls. Usually made from Grenache or Syrah they have a richness that partners a ganache or rich mousse really well with the fortification cutting through the intensity.
The Cheese course
Aren’t you full yet? Forget the Brie – check out exciting artisan cheeses at The Teddington Cheese and create a revolutionary cheese board that spits in the eye of convention. If nothing else, drink wines from the same region as the cheese.
Whatever you do make your wine choice bold, daring and take the chance to try something new! Merry Christmas!
Issue: Dec '12 TW11
In November I received the news that, at long last,Teddington Station has been listed Grade II. This is extremely welcome coming on the eve of the 150th anniversary of the railway’s arrival in Teddington in 1863. I have been trying to get the station listed for some years and the breakthrough came when my direct approach to the Victorian Society led to their involving Transport for London’s Heritage Adviser. He was enthusiastic and had the expertise to make the case.
The listing will help protect the building from further unsuitable additions, corporate signage and clutter. The nearby Park Hotel also dates from the coming of the railway in 1863 and has been listed Grade II for some years. This completes the picture.
Teddington Station is the earliest surviving and particularly intact example of similar small Italianate villa-style stations in the LSWR’s house style of the 1860s (qv Norbiton). The design is well proportioned with high quality brickwork and good detailing in the window surrounds and eaves brackets.
In more detail the materials are yellow stock brick laid in Flemish bond with stucco dressings; slate roof; timber sash windows.
The station building is two storeys high with single storey wings, stuccoed quoins, window surrounds and a wide string course to the front (south-west) elevation. The shallow hipped roof has a deep bracketed eaves cornice and six prominent chimney stacks.
The front elevation is of seven bays with the central three bays breaking forward slightly. This projection has stucco rustication to the ground floor and a round-arched entrance and flanking windows below a wooden canopy with a timber valance. All other windows have square-headed moulded surrounds: those on the ground floor have eared surrounds, whilst those to the upper floor have bracketed sills. The wings have three narrow, recessed arched windows to the front and rear elevations.
The booking hall retains its original arched ticket windows and a deep moulded cornice but has otherwise been modernised.
The station was altered in the 1930s with the replacement of the original footbridge, platform canopies and the buildings on Station Road.
I’ll be enquiring whether the listing makes it possible to remove some of the more obtrusive and recent advertising accretions. I’d also welcome suggestions for further listings in Teddington. I have already enquired about Barclays Bank and had a discouraging reply. But so I did for the station when I first tried.
The Kensits In Teddington
Issue: January 2013 TW11
In 1884 the very ambitious Rev Francis Leith Boyd came to Teddington at the invitation of the Earl of Bradford. He had heard of the rapid expansion of the village from 1,183 people in 1861 to 6,599 in 1881 and saw that St Mary’s Church, already extended on two sides, was not going to be big enough to support what was still a growing population.
He set about a massive fund raising campaign and the new church of St Alban’s began to take shape. Although it was not yet completed, a service of dedication took place on 8th July 1889. Such was the power of Boyd’s oratory that the new church was packed to bursting on Sundays with people coming from miles around to listen to him; so much so that the Surrey Comet reported that it was impossible to close the doors for the numbers inside and trying to get inside.
With such solid support, Boyd decided to extend things and introduced founder’s day – the feast of St Alban – on 17th June each year. I am not sure when these festivals commenced, the first report occurs in 1907.
But first a word about the Kensits or to give them their full title – the Kensit Wickliffe Preachers. This was an extremist group of the Protestant Truth Society, founded by John Kensit, to make sure that the Anglican Church remained Protestant and did not slip back to Roman Catholicism. They objected to the high church rituals and the wearing of vestments and urged a return to plain ceremonies.
Teddington had long held high church tendencies; indeed Boyd’s predecessor Rev Daniel Trinder caused such a rift with his congregation for his ‘popish’ habits that a section of them had broken away to form the Free Church of Christ in 1864.
The idea of the festival was for communion to be celebrated at the church and then a procession led by the cross bearer with two red cassocked and white surpliced acolytes bearing lighted candles on either side, then Rev Boyd and the other alter boys carrying various banners, the choir again in full clerical dress, a local band, various church guilds etc, to march from the church to the foot of the railway bridge, turning at the council offices at Elmfield House and returning to the church.
Such high church activity was anathema to the Kensits, who, by now, had gained support from several quarters, and they were determined to voice their opinion at the procession. As soon as it started from the Church, a group of five Kensits appeared, raising banners and chanting cries of ‘No Popery’ along the route of the procession. All went well until on the return leg, the priest and church officials having gone back into the Church, some members of the public made a rush for
The Thames Valley Times tells us that ‘The gentleman holding a single banner lost his silk hat, and the larger banner was pulled down. For a time there was AN UGLY RUSH but the Police appeared, and dealing diplomatically with the situation, saved further trouble, although several names and addresses were taken.’
The following year, everyone knew what to expect, the Richmond & Twickenham Times reported that ‘disorderly scenes were fully ‘anticipated and about 50 policemen were called into service.’ Once again the Thames Valley Times had a banner headline of ‘RELIGIOUS RIOT’ and described ‘free fights in various parts of the streets; on all sides black eyes were received and given; women in their excitement pulled off each other’s hats and dragged off tufts of hair, and blood was brought on several instances…’
What had happened was that there was a much bigger crowd than the previous year and shop keepers were decorating their shops with national emblems and bunting. A dozen members of the Thames Valley branch of the Kensits had arrived with a few more from Thornton Heath with some rolled up banners and they attracted a good deal of attention as they took up their position on the corner of Kingston Lane, close to the Church. The vicar came out and surveyed the crowd in the High Street and a short while later, it was announced that the procession was to be postponed, on account of the weather.
This coincided with the Kensits starting to unfurl their banners, thus clearly identifying themselves and the surrounding crowd blamed them for the cancellation of the parade. The Richmond & Twickenham Times tells the story:
‘No sooner was it known that the procession had been postponed then the crowd made a rush for Kingston Lane. The holder on unfurling his banner was immediately attacked, and before
the Police had time to be transferred from the corner of Langham Road, where they were stationed, he had received three blows to the face, two of them badly cutting him. A strong muscular man, on receiving the third blow, struck his assailant full in the face which settled this part of the disturbance.
The Police who displayed considerable tact throughout and only interfered where necessary, then acted as a bodyguard and at their suggestion, escorted the Kensit Crusaders to the railway station. Assailed on either side, banners were wrenched one after the other from the crusaders and trampled into the ground, the sticks being broken in pieces. Threats were freely used and the Kensit party were told that if they ventured so near the Church again, they would be taken to the Thames and given a ducking. The train removing them steamed out at about 11.30am and the crowd slowly dispersed.’
The procession resumed on the following Sunday and this time it was completely under the control of the Police. They allowed the Kensits to join the front of the procession from their point of assembly on the corner of Kingston Lane, with their banners erect. They were followed by a contingent of mounted policemen who ensured that a brisk pace was maintained. Then came the Church party, the Sunday school children, the choir, church workers, the banners and lastly, the Ham and Petersham Brass Band. All went well until the Triangle at Elmfield House; the Kensits turned and were face to face with the Church procession ‘and in the centre of a huge crowd who cheered lustily and hissed alternately, the noise created quite drowning the music from the band, the choristers and school children.’ A strong police presence prevented any outbreaks of violence.
One might have expected 1909 to continue in the vein of previous years but the event passed off without even a mention in the two local papers. The only evidence that it took place was from a series of photographs by local photographer, Richard Young. Again no reports appeared for 1910, 1911 and 1912. 1913 produced a brief six line article of the occasion and 1914 was similar. The Festival was still observed during the war years although any photographs of those times show a much diminished crowd and a distinct shortage of manpower.
Obviously the war years changed many things in this country and the Festival seems to have fizzled out shortly afterwards. The Protestant Truth Society still exists today but the Kensit Preachers also seem to have died out.
What would 21st Century Teddington make of such goings-on ?
For anyone wishing to know a little more, I will be giving an illustrated talk at Twickenham Library on Saturday 2nd February at 2.30pm. Booking will be essential in view of limited space, please telephone 020 8734 3309 or e-mail email@example.com
to book a place.
Detox Your Home
Issue: January 2013, TW11 & TW Mag
So here we are in January after the madness of Christmas all trying to be very sober and healthy. This is all very worthy but not necessarily the most fun. As we are focusing all this positive energy on our bodies this could be a good time to give a little love to our homes too.
Think major interiors spring clean. Time to lose the old knotted pine chest of drawers that went out of fashion 20 years ago or the white mdf wardrobe that you’ve never really liked that is falling apart a bit anyway. January is the perfect month to do this as all the sales are on so you can get some really good deals.
To create the ‘wow’ factor in an entrance hall de-clutter it of all the hats coats and boots and add a console table with a mirror and a dramatic wallpaper up the stairs. This will create an interesting feature and expand the space upwards. Glass wall lights or a chandelier also add a grand effect and beautiful light reflections on the ceiling or walls from the crystal glass.
Feature walls also look great in a master bedroom behind the bed, if possible bedside lamps would then be wall hung or even ceiling hung lights for a funky look, leaving space on the bedside cabinet for your book, glasses etc. Add a series of pictures with matching frames over the bed to give the room a really boutique hotel look.
If your kitchen is looking a bit tired but you don’t fancy buying a whole new one there are lots of ways to revamp it. Wooden kitchens with wooden knobs can look a bit dated now. Paint the doors in a neutral colour (Farrow and Ball skimming stone and elephants breath are great for this) and change the knobs to slick brushed chrome ones will give it a new lease of life. Work tops can be a very expensive part of the kitchen and are the first thing to wear if they are poor quality. Granite, composite or Corian are the most hard wearing options and can be retro fitted, but at a cost. Most kitchens are essentially made of mdf carcasses with different styles of doors on the front. If the doors look a bit dated but the carcasses are in good condition then you can replace all the doors and instantly get a completely new look.
To give your living room a new feel you can change the colour palette by re-upholstering the furniture and adding new contrasting cushions and accessories. This is a reasonably inexpensive way to create a totally new look. Side lamps add interest to the room and allow you to have a more subtle lighting effect. An overmantle mirror over the fireplace is another great addition in a living room to give it a luxurious look and also to reflect light and views into the room and give it a more spacious and bright feel.
Teddington has a surprising number of Interiors suppliers who all have sales on right now. Jenny Blanc has some lovely classic contemporary furniture items and some fantastic silverware and glassware. The showroom also has a great range of wallpapers. Mitzi B has pretty mirrors for an entrance hall and glamorous storage for your bedroom. Tiles of Wisdom have all their Italian and Spanish tile ranges on sale. Fusion fireplaces are offering discounted package deals so if you buy a complete new mantelpiece, basket and gas fire you get a great price and their wood burning stoves are also on sale. At the Fabric House the entire range are on sale.
Happy New Year.
World of Wine - Predictions and Commitments
Issue: January 2013 TW11
Happy New Year! Once again I have peered deeply into the depths of my crystal decanter and sought inspiration for the coming year. While I realise that wine may not be foremost in your mind in early January, I have decided to take the opportunity to make some resolutions and predictions of my own, undertake a quick review of how insightful I was at this time last year and ponder on what exactly to drink with the frozen turkey fricassee.
Cast your mind back…
At the beginning of 2012 I predicted that Riesling would gain the recognition it deserved. This was guaranteed to fail and yet I live in eternal hope. Wine writers of much higher standing have banged on for years about this and yet year after year nothing changes so once again I implore you all to get into Riesling – look out for anything from the wonderful Grosset estate in Clare Valley, Alsace and, of course, Germany. Success though on one front – Argentina continues to gain popularity with fabulous Malbec. Alas, my prediction that the Bonarda grape would gain more prominence was a bit of a longshot.
I resolve to…
Try more wine from Slovenia and Croatia. These two countries are unquestionably on the up and the quality is simply superb. Availability is not great at the moment but do look out for the wines from Slovenian producer Marjan Simcic from the Goriska Brda. Their philosophy revolves around Pliny’s phrase ‘In Vino Veritas’ – there is truth in wine. Half of their vineyards are in Slovenia, the other half across the border in Italy and they farm organically – endeavouring to preserve the heritage of their area of production.
Drink more white Bordeaux – particularly with fish. Claret gets all the press in Bordeaux and yet a lot of white is produced within Graves and Entre Deux Mers. Ranging from crisp and fresh 100% Sauvignon Blanc through to incredibly rich and intense Semillon dominated blends with barrel ageing; it is definitely an area worth exploring.
One thing you must do
Review your cellar, wine rack or place you keep your wine. On a regular basis I am asked to take a look at a selection of wines that people have kept and assess their drinkability. Inevitably, the huge majority of wines I inspect are over the hill and should have been drunk years ago. My philosophy is that it is better to drink a wine too young rather than too old – at least you get the benefit of fruit! Take that opportunity now – find the occasion – the fact it’s a Tuesday night is often good enough for me.
This year I plan to eat more fish and cheese – but not necessarily at the same time but at least one after the other. Fish for me is the perfect antidote to the excesses of Christmas and forces me out my comfort zone and get more imaginative and creative. I work regularly with Tony at the Teddington Cheese and I never to cease to be amazed by the incredible diversity in style, texture and taste that the world’s cheeses can provide. Significantly for me, I find that white wines can offer a greater versatility with the cheeseboard than you might expect, and if you’re already eating fish then you may already have the right wine. Notwithstanding the fact a good PInot Noir is a great partner to seared tuna – but I digress. This is a subject for another time. Finally for the turkey fricassee – try a Greco di Tufo from Italy – something different once again.
Expand the horizon of your palate!
Health & Beauty - what's your new year's resolution?
Issue: January 2013 TW11
Are you ready for a fresh start? If so, now is the time to reflect and resolve what you really want to follow through. To help you decide I have selected my top tips for 2013.
Shed Some Pounds
One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is to loose weight. Setting reasonable goals and staying focused are the two most important factors in sticking with a program. Hypnotherapy sessions can help you achieve results and sustain your motivation on a weight loss program.
Fit In Fitness Time
Regular exercise has been associated with more health benefits than anything else known to man. Studies show that it reduces the risk of some cancers, increases longevity, helps achieve and maintain weight loss, enhances mood, lowers blood pressure, and even improves arthritis.
Get The Feel Good Factor
Given the hectic, stressful lifestyles we lead these days, it is no wonder that ‘enjoying life more’ has become a popular resolution. It’s an important step to a happier and healthier you! Consider investigating healthy activities designed to bring balance to your body, mind and soul, such as Yoga, Pilates, Jogging etc. Take up a new hobby or try your hand at skiing. Go to a theatre performance or head to your local spa for a treatment. Or just get out and try something new!
Cut Out Alcohol
After the over indulgence of Christmas, you can start the year with a month of no alcohol. This will give your liver the rest it deserves, allow your brain cells to regenerate and leave you feeling more alert and alive. You could try non-alcoholic wines, or natural grape juices instead.
Buy organic food whenever possible and support your local farmers produce. Eating mostly organic food, especially foods that support detoxification, including cruciferous (green) vegetables, garlic, onions and green tea will help maintain a strong liver and immune system. The lighter the toxic load on your body, the better it can handle those toxins that get through your defences.
Give Your Skin Respect
The best way to ensure you have healthy skin is to protect and preserve the perfect skin you were born with. A resolution to use sunscreen every day is a good start. Use a gentle cleanse, tone and moisturizing regime for the face. Moisturizing the body is beneficial for the arms, legs, and torso, all of which can be susceptible to dry skin problems, particularly in the winter. Consider a customized professional facial every six weeks to keep your skin youthful and glowing.
Detox Your Body
A hot bath prepared with a cup each of organic apple cider vinegar and Epsom salts will draw toxins out through the skin and help accelerate the cleansing process. This can also help relieve joint pain as well as skin conditions like eczema and acne. Applying a natural clay mask to your body entices toxins out of the skin – mix dry clay powder with hot distilled water to make a paste, spread over your entire body, wrap your limbs with cling film and leave to dry for an hour.
Learn Something New
Have you vowed to make this year the time to learn something new? Perhaps you are considering a career change, to learn a new language, or learn a craft? Whether you take a course or read a book, you’ll find education to be one of the easiest, most motivating New Year’s resolutions to keep. Contact your local community college for a variety of choices. Most local colleges and universities offer distance and adult education programs too!.
Have a good year!
Totally Locally Update
Issue: January 2013 TW11
THIS GRASS-ROOTS campaign to support local independents and build a thriving local economy by informing and encouraging residents to use their local shops is gaining ground.
The website www.totallylocallyteddington.co.uk is getting lots of traffic and there are many opportunities to interact with other residents on Facebook and Twitter @TLTeddington. It is becoming apparent how willingly and quickly locals are starting to ask where products can be bought ‘#totallylocallyteddington’ and read many tweets by residents proudly stating how much of their shopping they have done locally in Teddington rather than online or elsewhere. Many residents have commented on the great service received from the shops, which then lead to others replying in agreement. This is a point made on the manifesto ‘Find the value in the cost’. The increased awareness and pride in using our local independents and the expertise they offer is what will contribute to changing shopping habits and make big changes.
June Mulroy Collects her MBE
Issue: January 2013 TW Mag
AS HER MAJESTY announces her New Year Honours and we ask local people to give us their nominations (see pages 18 & 19), we would like to congratulate June Mulroy, Strawberry Hill Resident, who received her MBE in June ‘12 for the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her work in Pensions Regulation and Pensions Policy.
‘I joined the then newly formed Pensions Regulator in 2005, initially as an interim for six months to design a regulatory framework for getting Defined Benefit (Company) pension schemes much better funded. I stayed seven years by which time we had managed to push the average funding levels from around 35% to almost 88%, and this in spite of the Credit Crunch which hit non-UK pension funds much harder. Obviously, this was a far from solo effort and what I was able to build at the Pensions Regulator was an extremely talented team of people, with very high levels of Financial and Litigation skills. Almost without exception, very few of them had worked for the Public Sector before and we were therefore a slightly
‘My own background in Financial Services, Corporate turnarounds and an unusual mix of Public, Private and International sector work enabled me to pull this team together from varied backgrounds. Having started off in Psychology, before becoming a Chartered Accountant, I have tended to specialise in major change projects in complex environments, hence the reason why they persuaded me out of what was supposed to be retirement, to do the Pensions job. Having ‘retired’ again in March 2012, I found myself, 48 hours later, hooked in to help another Regulator, this time in Legal Services as an interim CEO. This one IS definitely interim (they are based in Chelmsford!!) and finishes before Christmas as I hand over to the New CEO.’
‘The Financial Services Sector which is not normally under-represented in the Honours Lists, was not as prominent as it usually has been in the past, so it was even more gratifying to be included, and the cherry on the cake was having it happen in Jubilee year. I’m not sure there were too many women from Financial Services, but then that’s never a surprise!!!! It was an enormous honour.’
Twickenham Cycling Club
I’ve just got in from Twickenham Cycling Club’s regular Saturday morning ride. We had 22 riders out on a cold morning for a 40 mile loop starting at Twickenham, out west to climb Egham Hill and then via Windlesham for a coffee stop and a chat at Fairoaks aerodrome after 25 miles. The return was swift and efficient in my group of seven who, through participation in TCC have learned how to ride safely and efficiently in a group. We averaged just over 17mph and most had the breath to finish catching up on the week’s news when not taking their turns on the front.
This weekly ride is the baseline activity for our 180-odd members. To get good value out of the club we encourage adults who want to join to be able to average 15mph for 40 miles on varied terrain such as Richmond Park, as our main focus is to promote participation in cycle racing in all its forms.
The TCC are unusual amongst cycling clubs with a ‘Club night’ in All Hallows Church Hall mid-week. There is a youth club with coached sessions on indoor cycle-trainers. Then, from 7pm the adults ride out for an hour and a half in matched speed groups, with the option of indoor training through the winter. The real value of an indoor base is the opportunity to plan and exchange information, which really helps to get everyone involved.
Like last year TCC will be running The ‘Surrey Rumble’ cyclo-sportive mass participation event, two men’s road-races, two time trial events, a programme of grass-track racing for youths and juniors and a bike festival during national bike-week. We will also run a round of the National Women’s National Team Series race, where Olympic Gold medalist and world record holder Dani King developed her racing skills as a junior, riding for TCC.
Our members are pretty busy helping to promote events on top of ‘getting the miles in’ to prepare for the challenges they have set themselves. In 2012 two ladies were in the top 50 ‘Best British All Rounder’ competition (aggregate speed for 100, 50, and 25 miles against the clock). A TCC rider clocked-up 459.7 miles in the national 24 hour time-trial and another rode over 6,600 kilometers in 20 competitions including London-Edinburgh-London non-stop! Others ascended 21,000 meters in the seven day ‘Haute Route’ Geneva to Nice and we were represented in all the major continental sportives from the Tour of Flanders to the Granfono Pinarello in Italy.
Inspired by the Olympics we’ve seen a resurgence in road-racing at the club. Weekly representation from a squad of 20 riders, netted a couple of wins and regular top-ten finishes in big fields of up to 80 riders. Another squad focused on cyclo-cross racing to maintain their fitness over the winter, so far TCC are runners-up in the regional standings for Ladies and Veteran Men. In 2013 we’re aiming to make the number one feature heavily in result sheets and, as I write I’m waiting for news to come in from TCC riders competing at purpose built cycle circuits at Hillingdon and Gravesend.
The club was founded in 1893 in the great cycling boom that followed the invention of the ‘safety bicycle’ (ie ‘sensible’ bike with two wheels the same size, and brakes) and the fashion for healthy and sociable group riding in the countryside that ensued. I’m pleased that we’re maintaining this tradition and I’m constantly amazed by the feats of speed, skill and endurance which our members produce each year, I think the founders would be impressed.
Stop press: Saturday we had a Ladies winner
at Gravesend and a Men’s win at Hillingdon.
Roll on 2013!
Local Lifeboat Man
Issue: January 2013 TW Mag
TIM ODY IS A LOCAL resident, Architect and Volunteer at Teddington Life Boat Station. He tells us what he likes about Strawberry Hill and the role the Life Boat plays in the community.
So what makes Strawberry Hill home? ‘We live on Pope’s Grove, as soon as we moved in we fell in with our neighbours, over the years as people have moved away, they’ve often stayed in touch, or we bump into them at parties. It’s a very sociable area.’
‘We bought our house in 1993. As I’m an architect we have done a bit of work to it although it still looks like an Edwardian house, but an extension at the back and contemporary bathrooms have been added. The joy of Edwardian houses is they’ve got so much built in redundancy, the walls are massively thick, you can do anything you like to them. Whereas most modern houses are built to minimum structural requirements so they don’t have that longevity. Our house works really well as a family home, and of course the schools are very good, the kids can walk to school. Something I wasn’t able to do.’
As an architect what interests you about the area? ‘Strawberry Hill was developed very rapidly in the late 19th century, as a prestige residents area. But there is a much longer history to the area. Near Teddington Lock was Henry VIII’s boat house, a barge that took him up and down from Hampton Court to Westminster and Greenwich. A lot of the properties in the area were grace and favour properties or owned by people who were trying to get close to the king. The area eventually went into market gardening, Pope’s Grove had originally been an orchard. The clue is in the name Strawberry Hill.’
‘Ever since I’ve lived in London I’ve never lived further than 100 meters from the river. When I first came here I lived on a houseboat at Richmond. Physiologically it gives you a point of reference, if I find myself in Merton or Muswell Hill for example, it feels like London is a kind of a bland mass. I’m very drawn to the river.’
So it seems inevitable that you should be involved with the lifeboat. How long have you been volunteering at the station? ‘When we moved our office here from Hampton Court three or four years ago, five of us from MAA Architects became members of the lifeboat team. One of the reasons why we wanted to move closer was to be able to get involved.’
‘I had always had an interest in the RNLI. It’s often something that gets introduced when you are a kid, you Dad takes to you a station, it’s one of those things you do on your summer holidays, it’s part of the tradition of our family. It’s a very worthy charity.’
‘This piece of river is very busy, it was after the Marchioness Disaster that they decided to bring life boats to the Thames. Before then deaths on the river were something like 500 a year, it’s now down to 27 for 2011. It really has made a significant difference.’
‘The station is made up entirely of volunteers, we have 21 crew and cover our stretch throughout the entire year. It’s vital that we have cover to be able to get a boat and sometimes two out at any time. So it’s a big commitment that the volunteers put on their lives, but it’s something that people really want to do.’
Tim is the Operations Manger and tells me the crew is made up of people from all walks of life from interior designer to Fireman. ‘We are a mixed bag of local professionals. They are all people who live or work here and fit their shifts in to suit their commitments. When you join you come along for several Tuesdays to see if you have the kind of character that will do well as Lifeboat crew, the team need to be able to trust each other and work very closely together. We are always looking for new members of the team to make sure we’ve got people into the future.’
‘It’s a very busy station, we’ve had a lot of success. We’ve had two shouts in the last week, one was a sinking house boat, where the owner had gone to work, the neighbours realised the problem and were on the sinking boat trying to fix it and pump it out. We kept an eye to make sure there was no harm to anyone involved.’
‘We cover from Molesey Lock just above Hampton Court all the way down to Richmond. We can reach any part of our stretch within 15 minutes. We get a lot of calls from the pub areas, that is normally when someone reports seeing a person in the water. Or we are called to go down to Richmond Lock when there are problems with house boats. When they hold the annual boat race we extend our area down to the front of
‘We occasionally do patrols, one was the Walliams Swim, we were there to make sure that no one got into trouble if they jumped in to join him. The other was the Olympics Torch. For the Queen’s Jubilee we were called in for our expertise on using the civil defence communication system, connecting the fire brigade, India I9 (the helicopter) and police, and our network Thames 1, which allows us to all communicate. One of our boats were put down at the London Eye, it was one of our busiest days, a lot of those rowers were suffering from hypothermia, and lady had fallen down the companion way of her boat.’
‘I’ve been in charge for two years, during this time, sadly there have been two deaths, both young men. One at Kingston who decided, with his friends to swim across the river, and it seemed that part way across he lost his confidence and sadly drowned. After that we went and did an exercise teaching bar staff how to throw lifelines. Subsequently we’ve had two people who have been rescued by bar staff who have been trained.’
We get called out a lot at this time of year, the flooding has an effect, all sorts of things are going wrong on the river. When there is a risk that someone is in danger, we are called out and without fail we’ll be there.’
Issue: January 2013 TW Mag
Bart Redmond has been pulling on his rugby boots for Thamesians RFC for the last 33 years. He has played so many matches for the club, which is based on Twickenham Green, that he has lost count. ‘It must be in excess of 700,’ he reflected. ‘This place has been a part of my life for a long time.’
Redmond’s story encapsulates everything Thamesians hold dear as a rugby club as they toast their 50th anniversary season, a landmark which has drawn the support of England coach Graham Rowntree.
Thamesians field two teams every weekend. The first XV, who train with a coach every Thursday night, are flying high at the top of Middlesex/Herts Division Three.
Redmond now turns out for the Spartans, the club’s second XV run in conjunction with Old Hamptonians, who offer weekend rugby for casual players and rugby newcomers.
Both squads and their families then congregate back at the Twickenham Green pavilion to swap stories and celebrate. It is always a celebration, no matter the result.
‘I joined the club back in 1979. It has always been a very inclusive club,’ said Redmond, who is now chairman of the club. ‘In the early days rugby was very male dominated. At one stage we were the only club in England who had a woman secretary. It has always been very open to being a family club, open to welcoming wives, partners and children. The club has become like a second family to me. When someone asks me why do you continue to play? it is because you meet such a range of people. When you are a member of this club it doesn’t matter who you are or what you do. We are all equal on the pitch. People only care what you do on the pitch or what you do for the club.’
‘If you want to take your rugby seriously, we have a good coach and our first XV are 2nd in the table. It is important to the club that we also accommodate those who just want to have a run around on a Saturday and those who are new to the game.’
Last weekend, Redmond (53) turned out alongside Terry Newman (54) and John Farrell (46) in a front row with a combined age of 153 – the oldest in Thamesians’ history.
That ethos appealed to Rowntree, the former England and Leicester prop who is now one of the most highly-respected coaches in the game.
Rowntree will speak at Thamesians’ annual awards dinner at Twickenham Stadium in April and he is patron of the club’s 50th anniversary season.
‘I was fortunate enough to play for and now coach my country. It is something I am extremely proud of because we represent the rugby people at clubs like Thamesians,’ Rowntree said. ‘That is where we all start. We all share that same passion for rugby, whatever level we play at. It is important the connection between England and clubs like Thamesians remains strong.’
Thamesians also marked their 50th anniversary by inviting Bob Mordell, the club’s only England international, to be life vice-president.
‘This is a special season for the club,’ Redmond said. ‘The doors are always open at Thamesians for new players, whatever their experience level, and for new members.’
Gardening Focus - Planning Ahead
Issue: January 2013 TW Mag
With winter upon us and none but the hardiest of gardening enthusiasts wanting to venture out into the cold, now is a great time to have a good think about whether your garden is really delivering all you expect from it. When the sun eventually came out this summer, how much use did you get from your outdoor space?
With our busy lives today many people don’t want to spend their precious free time endlessly digging, clearing leaves and grass cuttings. To some there is no better way to unwind after a stressful week than to potter around the garden deadheading and weeding – others would far prefer to sit quietly with a cup of coffee or glass of wine to read a good book without the guilty feeling that they really should be tidying the unruly mess that surrounds them.
The truth is you don’t have to be especially knowledgeable or time rich to have a beautiful garden. The key is to design a garden that requires only as much time and effort to maintain it as you are able to give. The interiors of our homes are often more minimal and clutter free than they used to be, why shouldn’t your garden reflect this?
Begin planning next summer’s garden by walking around the plot and drawing a simple sketch plan, it doesn’t have to be too accurate at this stage but it would help to get the proportions right. Mark roughly where the sun rises and sets and where it is at midday so that you can position seating and eating areas. Make a note of where you feel secluded and where you are overlooked and consider screening, either with trellis or a semi-permanent shade sail. If funds allow, use lighting to highlight features such as a specimen tree which will look beautiful throughout the year.
If you have a large shrub that is just too big and dense, consider under-pruning it to raise the canopy and expose its trunk, it will make your space seem much bigger. Consider the views from both the house and where you propose to sit in the garden. A stark wall can be softened with planting or an attractive pergola.
Once you’ve sketched your plan make a list of tasks that you feel competent to take on and find a local contractor to do the jobs that you don’t. Get professional help with structures such as steps and walls. Well built and proportioned hard landscaping will give you years of pleasure.
In a low maintenance garden less really is more. Flowers can take a back seat, larger evergreen perennials with strong structural shapes can be used to define the key areas, adding detail with flowering herbaceous perennials. When it comes to planting restrict your selection to several plants of the same variety for higher impact.
Whatever you do enjoy it and don’t be too ambitious – its meant to be fun and relaxing!
Clearing Out the Cobwebs
Issue: January 2013 TW Mag
With Christmas now behind us, our minds here at Strawberry Hill turn to the season ahead, and with much of the planning of events and activities already done at the end of 2012, we fling ourselves into the jobs that we really only get a chance to do when the House is closed!
In January, we will be doing the annual deep clean of our historic rooms. Throughout the year we do regular cleaning, lots of hoovering and dusting, but in such an ornate house there are plenty of nooks and crannies for dust to collect and if left there it can, over time, do serious damage to the internal decoration and in some cases the very fabric of the building. Our enthusiastic volunteers are not put off though, and an army of them come to help each January!
Tower scaffolds are erected, back pack hoovers serviced, wooden floors scrubbed and a range of specialist conservation equipment including hog and pony hair brushes are used to delicately clean our beloved Strawberry. It is also a chance for us to check the condition of the building, note any damage and do any repairs that are necessary.
This January will also see further progress on the restoration of the fictive decoration in the hall and on the main stairs.
In late December, we really saw a lot of work completed, and the effects are truly amazing. Walpole decorated the space with trompe l’oeil wallpaper, painted to look as if the walls were carved stone and based on the ‘screen of Prince Arthur’s tomb in the cathedral of Worcester’ Walpole wrote in the 1784 Description of the Villa. In the 21st Century, a team from the Wall Paintings Workshop, led by Tom Organ (pictured right) are dealing with uneven walls and various schemes but are achieving the most marvellous results – each section is painted and put up individually. By the time we are open again on 2nd March, all the walls should have been completed – but it is not a straight forward job. Already the results have seen visitors spinning round in circles gazing upwards so overwhelmed are they by the effect in what Walpole called the ‘gloomth’ of the Hall!
Speaking of our re-opening in 2013, we plan to launch the new season with a free community event on Saturday 2nd March. It will be our ‘Strawberry Showcase’, a chance for local people to come along to the House and Garden, look around and get a taster of what is to come throughout the year. There will be music, theatre, arts and crafts, dressing up and much more information about how to get involved at Strawberry, either by volunteering or becoming a Friend.
More information will be posted out to local residents later in the New Year, and we do hope you will be able to come along and enjoy the atmosphere and find out more about Strawberry Hill.
For now, we wish you all a very happy and prosperous 2013, and hope you will come and visit Strawberry soon!
TW11 Councillor's Update
Issue: February 2013 TW11
Parking has been a contentious issue in Teddington for as long as I can remember. Our roads were laid out well before the motor car was invented and, like many other suburban areas, we struggle to find enough space to accommodate all the cars that we now like to own and drive.
The council has recently been surveying all the roads to the north of Teddington High Street and Broad Street towards Strawberry Hill to measure the extent of parking pressures and we should see the results of this work shortly. It is possible that the council may propose some parking controls where the problems are most intense.
As well as representing Teddington ward on Richmond Council, some readers will know that I serve on the London Assembly. Much of our time at City Hall at the moment is devoted to examining the Mayor’s budget saving proposals that will see significant changes to Metropolitan Police services at a local level.
Across London much of the controversy has surrounded the proposed closure of police front counters and at Richmond police station opening hours are to be cut significantly. Thankfully, Teddington police station’s front counter is unaffected as it has been staffed by a team of volunteers for some years.
Another aspect of the changes is that ward police ‘safer neighbourhood’ teams are to be dramatically reduced in size from their current sergeant, two constables and three uniformed police community support officers (PCSOs) to just one constable and one community support officer, with additional patrol cover from a ‘local police area’ team.
The mayor’s deputy for policing is holding a series of public consultation events in every London borough to explain these proposals and our local event is on Wednesday 27th February at 8pm at Clarendon Hall, York House, Twickenham. Please come along if you’d like to know more about the proposed changes.
I recently had cause to visit Teddington police station on a Saturday morning to report a major graffiti outburst that had appeared overnight in Railway Passage by Teddington railway station and spoke to two of the volunteers. I was impressed by how friendly and efficient they were and we are very fortunate that they are willing to give up so much of their time to keep our local police station front counter open.
Having reported this graffiti at the police station I also emailed the council and one of our local police safer neighbourhood team support officers. I was delighted to see that all of the graffiti was successfully removed on the Monday – an excellent, speedy, response that deserves public praise for our local public servants.
Issue: February 2013 TW Mag
Richmond’s iconic and much-missed Ice Rink may be long gone, but it is certainly not forgotten. The riverside pleasure dome played such a central part in the lives of so many local people down the years, that even 20 years after it was controversially closed, a warm place is reserved in the hearts of many for the icy relic. Opened in 1928 the new rink was 285ft long with a concrete barrel roof supported by concrete pillars and balconies. The rink was edged in mahogany and state-of-the-art ice making machines were installed.
Twickenham Alive and Legends Publishing have teamed up to produce a special book for 2013, designed to encapsulate the amazing stories that they are hearing from the generations
who grew up on the ice – all underlining the continued community spirit that exists for Richmond Ice Rink.
The Most Famous Ice Rink In The World will be launched in the Autumn of 2013, but advanced purchases of the limited edition publication can be made now priced £12 [plus p&p]. Those who buy online before the end of July 2013 will also be eligible to have their name (or the name of a family member or friend) printed in the dedications section of the book.
Teresa Read from Twickenham Alive says ‘We are keen to highlight the Borough’s heritage and the ice rink is a legend in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames.’
If you would like to contribute a story of your own for consideration, or have any photographs, please e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org or post to 29 Popes Avenue, Twickenham TW2 5TP
Totally Locally February Fiver Fest
Issue: February 2013 TW11
FROM 2ND TO 16TH OF FEBRUARY, many of our independent retailers will be taking part in the Totally Locally Teddington FIVER FEST FORTNIGHT.
For these two weeks only, participating local retailers, restaurants and businesses will be offering their own FIVER FEST deal, from a selected menu, product or service at a price of £5.
It has been calculated that a small spend of just £5 per week spent in Teddington, per adult in our independent shops instead of online or in the large supermarkets, could generate £5.1 Million a year for our local Teddington economy. Small changes and small spends that can make a
The Totally Locally Teddington team say ‘With offers like these, locals are given every incentive to discover and enjoy our independent gems. February is the month of LOVE, and how
better to show how much you love where you live than by supporting (or perhaps discovering) our great independent retailers that make Teddington unique?’
For a list of all participating retailers and their unmissable £5 offers, visit www.totallylocallyteddington & keep your eyes open for the FIVER FEST posters in their windows.
Issue: February 2013 TW11
BASED IN BUSHY PARK Teddington RFC is know for its commitment to building an accessible and friendly club that is at the heart of the community. We spoke with Chairman Gareth Cross to find out more.
‘Formed in 1966, we initially played from a pub by Kingston Bridge, we eventually moved to our current home in Bushy Park in 1971. It’s not the longest pedigree, but what we’ve achieved in that time is amazing.’
‘We are in the process of raising £600,000 to build new facilities at the club with our summer partners, Teddington Town Cricket Club. The current building is about the size of a big garden shed, and we’re running 21 teams. We’ve got nearly 1000 players, so we are a huge club as far as numbers, but we’ve probably got the smallest facilities of any club. We are something like in the top five in the country for the size of minis and juniors team, we are a bit of an anomaly in
terms of what we do and provide. We are totally community based, we don’t employ anyone, it’s all the members, the mums and dads and past players that volunteer to make everything work.’
Ex-Police Officer of 30 years, now working for the FSA, Chairman Gareth has been at the helm for five years. ‘Although I’ve got the responsibility of keeping an overview of the whole club, my real love is that I manage the first team, that’s my passion. The league we currently play in is London II, we’ve been promoted six times in the last seven years. So we’ve gone from the very lowest level of senior rugby, now we are just two leagues below the semi professionals. We’ve done very well, we’ve won two national cups, we’ve played at Twickenham Stadium two years
in a row, we’ve had a great deal of success.
We are always keen to get the community involved, and keep a firm eye on growing in the future. The only restriction we have are the facilities. So we are really keen to get the money raised to help us move beyond that. We are very lucky to play in such a lovely environment as Bushy Park, but even with the new facilities we will still be short on pitches. We cope by hiring and borrowing pitches and there are a lot of away matches.’
So how did the club build to its current status, ‘We ticked along for years, and in the early 90s we came as close as possible to going out of business, we had no minis or juniors, we ran one senior team, our ladies team was our success story. If it hadn’t have been for them it’s fair to say we would have folded. 1995 saw the introduction of the minis and juniors, and subsequent kick on to 2006/7. We had Giselle Mather, the only Level 1 female coach in the country and one of two in the world, who was coaching the Senior Men’s team. She’d played in the Teddington Ladies team and was one of five players we had that went on to play
internationally, including Giselle for England, and Elaine, my wife for Scotland. Giselle had been coaching at London Irish Academy, so we asked her if she’d come and do a few sessions, and we managed to persuade her to stay, eventually for four years.’
‘The biggest on going issue we have is player recruitment, because of where we are there are probably more rugby clubs within a ten mile radius of Teddington than anywhere else in the world. It’s a real rugby hotbed. There is very stiff
completion to get players. Our strength is we are a really sociable club, of course we want to be the best, but we know how to work with our limited facilities, we don’t pay our players, we’re not in a position to, they do it for love and that brings the best out of them. We attract members by making sure there’s always a warm welcome and strong social ethos. We are such a hands on club, we don’t even have bar staff, the mums and dads volunteer to work in the kitchen on a Sunday, so it’s a great club for people who want to get involved. It really suits the type who are happy to roll their sleeves up and help out, it all contributes to people feeling like they are really part of the club. We’re certainly not stuffy, people tend to stay even after the kid who they brought along in their early years have moved
on. We’ve achieved some great things from our little shed in Bushy Park over the years.’
Offering excellent support and coaching to their 21 teams ranging from minis starting at 2–3 years, juniors, colts and three Senior teams, with veterans and women’s teams plus touch rugby there are a wealth of opportunities for players of all ages and abilities and of course spectators are
always welcome to come along to end their support.
For more information contact:
Tel: 07834 177467
Teddington Mum's Hockey Team
Issue: February 2013 TW11
A GROUP OF MUMS who a year ago decided to get off the sidelines and start their own hockey team have made it to the final of a national competition aimed at supporting women in sport following last year’s Olympic Games.
Teddington Ladies 5th team is made up of women who started playing hockey last year as part of the Elderflowers Back to Hockey group at Teddington Hockey Club. Now the women, mostly in their forties and fifties, have been shortlisted in the amateur team section of the Fair Game awards, a competition run by Stylist magazine and sponsored by Adidas. The winners will be decided by public vote, and the team are appealing for readers to go online and vote for them at www.stylist.co.uk/life/fair-game/vote-for-our-fair-gamewinning-sports-team. The competition is aimed at boosting the tiny amount of sponsorship that women’s sport receives in the UK compared with men’s – just 0.5%.
Many of the Elderflowers had never played hockey before and others had not played since school. Their experience of hockey was often limited to standing on the sidelines watching their children play the sport until one mum, Cathy Withycombe, had the idea of starting a team. They kit themselves out by borrowing sticks and gear from their children. If they win the Fair Game competition, the team members will receive a year’s kit from Adidas.
If you’re interested in joining the Elderflowers at Teddington Hockey Club, even if you’re a complete beginner, go to the Ladies sectionof Teddington Club website for further details:
Rev Robert Feron, Vicar of Teddington
Issue: February 2013 TW11
Viewers of the TV series The Tudors will know the story of Henry VIII’s divorce from Katherine of Aragon and subsequent marriage to Anne Boleyn. The 1530s were turbulent years with most of the population still in favour of Queen Katherine and supporters of the ‘Old’ religion. Henry charged his Lord Chancellor, Thomas Cromwell, to seek out any dissenters to his new rules and punish them accordingly. Surprisingly, one son of Teddington was caught up in this act of insurrection and was connected to the conspiracy happening at Syon House at the time.
Syon House had become a hotbed of treasonable gossip:
• Cromwell’s spies reported in 1534 that ‘a fellow of Bristol’ had several conversations at Syon about the King’s marriage ‘and other behaviours of his bodily lust.’
• Richard Reynolds, the confessor at Syon, repeated a conversation with a porter, who claimed that ‘our sovereign lord has a company of maidens over one of the chambers at Farnham (Castle) while he was staying there with the old Bishop of Winchester.’
• Thomas Moody, a priest had written to Robert Feron (or Fern), a young priest of Teddington, that Henry had meddled with Anne’s sister.
• John Haile, the vicar of Isleworth said the King’s life was ‘more foul and more stinking than a sow wallowing and defiling herself in any filthy place. For however great he is, he is fully given to his foul pleasure of the flesh … Look how many matrons be in court or given to marriage – these almost all he has violated, so often neglecting his duty to his wife and offending the sacrament of matrimony. Now he has taken to this matron Anne, not only to the highest shame and undoing of himself but also of all this realm.’
Cromwell acted swiftly and Reynolds, Haile and Feron and the Priors of three Carthusian Houses found themselves in the Tower, under arrest. A special commission was set up to hear two clear and separate indictments. The first against Reynolds and the priors for simply rejecting the Act of Supremacy, passed on 18th November 1534. Haile and Feron were charged with offences committed between 2nd–20th May that year, six months before that Act became law but were held in violation of the Act for the Establishment of the King’s Succession. Both Haile and Feron pleaded Not Guilty originally but changed their plea to Guilty after being remanded.
All six were found guilty of high treason and sentenced to the traitor’s death of hanging, drawing and quartering. On 4th May 1535, Reynolds, Haile and the priors were dragged on sheep hurdles from the Tower of London to Tyburn. There they were hanged until half dead, cut down, castrated and their vital organs ripped from their bodies and burnt. Finally their corpses were beheaded and quartered. The scaffold was like a gigantic gory butcher’s block. Reynolds’ head was stuck on a pike above the gatehouse of Syon Abbey as a warning of Henry’s vengeance towards all transgressors against his laws and policies.
But what of Robert Feron? Somewhere along the line, he received a pardon. It was officially stated that this was on account of ‘his youth’ but this would appear to have been a euphemism for turning King’s evidence.
We know Feron returned to Teddington as his name appears on the list of incumbents from 1535 to 1554. However his name does not appear in any other form of documentation, although if his evidence had sent five people to the gallows, it should not be surprising that he would want to keep a low profile.
Clear and Balance Your Chakras
Issue: February 2013 TW11
Previously we looked at the importance of Chakras, this month I’d like to revisit the subject to look at how we can help to unblock energy that is not flowing harmoniously. Energy we draw in and our ability to release old stuck energies can either enlivened or burdened our chakra centres.
There are seven main chakras located along the central line of the body. Each chakra is associated with different aspects of our character.
Root Chakra – Red, base of spine
Imbalance: Fatigue, disorientation, lack of grounding, birth family issues, feeling unsafe, lower back problems, colon problems.
To balance: Visualize the image of your feet, legs then body growing red tree roots that extend deep into the Earth, allowing the Earth energy to flow into you to sustain and nurture. Since this chakra corresponds with issues with one’s family of origin, resolving these deep emotions can help to heal this chakra.
Sacral Chakra – Orange, just below the belly button
Imbalance: Sexual dysfunction, relationship issues, lack of creativity, reproduction problems.
To balance: Visualize an orange light radiating in your belly. Feel you are embraced by people who adore and honour you, while you embrace them back allowing your feelings of kindness and generosity to flow. Trust your gut feelings, allow your sexual energy to flow.
Solar Plexus Chakra – Yellow, sternum
Imbalance: Digestive issues, weakness in core muscles, low immunity, low self-esteem.
To balance: Visualize a yellow light, focus on deep conscious breathing to still turbulent emotions and physical exercises to strengthen core muscles. Take time to nourish and accept the real self.
Heart Chakra – Green, heart
Imbalance: High or low blood pressure, cardiac symptoms, anger, fear of love.
To balance: Visualize a green light in the centre of the chest, allow it to expand slowly through your body as you build a sense of surrender to your higher self. Soothe and release feelings of hurt, loss or pain.
Throat Chakra – Light Blue, throat
Imbalance: Thyroid problems, neck stiffness, frustration, fear or inability to express and trust oneself.
To balance: Sing, dance, write, speak – express! This chakra is cleared by genuine, open expression of truth. It is strengthened by standing up for personal beliefs, supporting other people and by speaking up for oneself from an authentic place.
Third Eye Chakra – Dark Blue, between the eyebrows
Imbalance: Headaches, lack of insight, feeling lost, lack of intuition.
To balance: Visualize a dark blue ‘third eye’ in the middle of the forehead, that opens up to look around with observation and insight. Over thinking congests the brow chakra – so try to catch yourself when you mind is chewing away at a subject, or when you feel you are over-complicating an issue.
Crown Chakra – Violet, top of head
Imbalance: Headaches, foggy brain, fear, disconnection, feelings of being abandoned and not able to cope.
To balance: Visualize glowing white energy coming down and enveloping the top of the head, opening and healing the crown chakra. Pull the energy down as a protective shield.
Spending a few minutes balancing your chakras each day is a wonderful way to make you feel full of life with positivity and hope.
Issue: February 2013 TW11
I always feel inspired to start something fresh in the opening months of a new year and that certainly applies to this column. In addition to the regular Tim’s Dinners I have decided to add a regular wine education section that will hopefully fill those wine knowledge gaps and we will start with some basic definitions about wine and the making thereof.
Everything you wanted to know about wine but were afraid to ask
In simple terms, wine is the product of fermentation of the juice of freshly pressed grapes. Of course, there are all sorts of subtleties and nuances and global variations but this definition essentially applies to ‘quality wine’ as opposed to table wine which has a looser definition. Table wine is not a subject I intend to linger on. Vitis Vinifera (common grape vine) is the species of grape most suited to wine production and all the best known varieties such as chardonnay, shiraz et al fall into this species.
Grow the grapes, pick the grapes, crush the grapes, ferment the juice and bottle the wine. If only it were that simple. White grapes can only make white wine because most grape juice is clear. In order to make red wine you have to macerate the red skins with the fermenting juice to extract the colour as well as other compounds such as tannins which differentiate red from white wine. You can also make white wine from red grapes (blanc de noirs) – Champagne is a good example as both Pinot Noir and Pinot Menier are red grapes extensively used in the production. Once the wine has finished fermenting it needs time to settle and then a further set of wine making decisions have to be made. Next month, we will look at post fermentation … contain your excitement everyone!
Tim’s Fine Wine Dinners
I was very lucky to be invited to a wonderful tasting dinner recently that featured six mature vintages of Pinot Gris from the legendary Zind Humbrecht estate in Alsace. Zind Humbrecht is arguably the finest producer (but certainly top three) in the region and is a fervent proponent of organic and biodynamic viticulture. Olivier Humbrecht was also the first Frenchman to gain the coveted Master of Wine qualification. All the wines were from the acclaimed Clos St Urbain vineyard which has incredibly steep slopes that can only be worked by hand and an eclectic mix of soils that contribute to the styles of wine produced.
The Vendange Tardive 1998 was wonderfully rich and honeyed and partnered a duet of rich duck and goose pate exceptionally well. A deliciously light French onion tart complemented the Vendange Tardive 2000 with the sweetness of the wine picking up the sweet caramelised notes of the tart. Roasted guinea fowl with an almond sauce partnered Pinot Gris 1995 and 1990 – both of which were dry but with a rich, oily texture and great length. Munster cheese was creamily intense and earthy with the 1983 – perhaps the only example that was showing its age and starting to fade and dry out. The evening culminated with the SGN (Selection de Grains Nobles) 1989. This was a spectacular year for sweet wines in Alsace and this was no exception. Elegantly honeyed it was a great partner to a simple tarte tatin with a small dollop of crème fraiche. The diet starts on Monday.
February Wine Recommendation
Merlot 2011 Altitudes, Chile (£6.99). Made by the fabulous Casa Lapostolle estate who pioneered top class Chilean merlot. Amazingly rich and deeply flavoured with soft, ripe plummy fruit and a depth that belies its price tag.
Perfect with rich casseroles.
TW Mag Councillor's Update
Issue: February 2013 TW Mag
Now that the old swimming pool site has been cleared and transformed into an attractive and child-friendly riverside park the Council is actively pursuing the next phases of Twickenham regeneration. As we are all aware Twickenham town centre is a very busy place. It offers a wide range of goods, services and entertainment for local residents and also attracts visitors from elsewhere, particularly Hounslow, and on match days hosts a global clientele!
Twickenham has a number of smaller but high-profile retailers such as Sandys the fishmonger and Laverstoke Park the butcher, in addition to Len Smith’s for school uniform and Johnsons for shoes. (Apologies to the many others I have missed – I promise to mention others in future articles). Church Street is home to a number of niche retailers and places to eat and frequently hosts community events through the year.
In addition we also have major high street retailers such as M&S Simply Food, Waitrose, Tesco, Boots and more recently WH Smith. We also have all the major banks, the major building society and a full complement of estate agents and numerous coffee shops, cafes, restaurants, pubs and take-aways.
Despite the number and range of different outlets Twickenham offers it is perceived by some as the ‘poor relation’ when compared to Kingston and Richmond. It is not helped by the linear nature of the shopping area stretching, as it does, all the way from Twickenham Station down to Twickenham Green where Sainsbury’s are currently proposing to open a Local branch in the redeveloped shop units just along from the Maple Leaf pharmacy.
Sadly, in common with most UK town centres Twickenham also has its share of vacant shops. In order to make Twickenham a more appealing and easier place to visit, the Council has consulted on a number of exciting proposals.
The key initiatives are as follows –
• Improving the street scene by getting rid of street clutter and broadening the pavements
• New paving materials throughout the town centre, using high quality Yorkstone, similar to that used in Richmond town centre.
• Improving pedestrian safety by upgrading pedestrian crossings including ‘countdown’ facilities which show how long you have left to cross.
• Improving safety for all by introducing a 20mph zone.
• Upgrading provision for cyclists including new cycle lanes.
One other key proposal is to address the current congestion, traffic conflicts and excessive road width generated by the static buses at the bus stops in King Street. King Street is a particularly problematic stretch as two major roads in and out are squeezed into one short heavily-used stretch of road. The Council is in discussion with Transport for London (TfL) regarding the relocation of these bus stops to strategic points on adjacent roads with some consequential changes to bus routes and bus lanes. Work is ongoing as to how this is handled in detail and especially in terms of how best to accommodate interchanges between certain bus routes. The Council favours a rerouting of the 267 and 281 buses along York Street and Aragon Road and whilst this is generally seen as an attractive option by TfL it remains the topic of ongoing discussion with them.
Full details of the proposals as
they currently stand can be found
on the Council website at
Issue: February 2013 TW Mag
Part of what makes a house a home is the sense of history that older items of furniture and decorative items such as books, linens and china, bring to our living spaces. Without references to our past amongst our possessions we risk living in a meaningless environment, where all is new and shiny but has no personal meaning for us.
Whilst the dictate of previous decades has often been ‘out with the old and in with new’ current decorating trends juxtapose the old with the new and enhance both in the process. Recycling and refreshing is the key to successfully incorporating period pieces with a contemporary scheme. An antique lamp takes on a new life when its out of date shade is replaced with a simple contemporary one in a fabric chosen to bring together the other colours in the room. Similarly a retro-style ottoman or footstool, re-upholstered in a sharp geometric pattern forces the eye to reconsider the piece again and to appreciate the form and lines of the design anew.
Many items, in particular chairs are worth having re-upholstered, the completed chair will have a level of comfort you would find hard to replicate in a modern piece for the same cost. Just imagine how wonderful a vintage chair will look set beside the clean lines of a contemporary sofa, the key is in creating contrast and surprise.
One of the easiest ways to incorporate historical elements into your room scheme, especially if your attic isn’t full of such treasures, is to scour flea markets, auctions, car boot sales and charity shops for small household items such as Victorian bed warming bottles, earthenware pots, painted decorative ware or old books. It isn’t important to find exactly matching items but to look for things that share elements in common such as colour or size, texture or scale, group these together and set against a contrasting background for a truly one-off display.
You will find as you begin to keep your eye out for unusual things in unlikely places that you are drawn to items that share similar characteristics. You may find for example that you have a penchant for inlaid mahogany furniture or vintage painted ladders, lace plates or toby jugs, all of these merit a place in a contemporary decorating scheme as long as you observe some simple rules to avoid the dreaded clutter.
• Keep collections apart from everyday objects; set a mis en scene (an artful staged affect) using a plain background for your finds
• Don’t collect too much, less is definitely more
• Re-upholster repair and refurbish if you intend to use your finds every day otherwise just admire the shabby appearance of your well used piece.
The History of Radnor House
Issue: February 2013 TW Mag
Where better to take a relaxing local stroll and watch the Thames glide by than in Strawberry Hill’s very own green oasis, Radnor Gardens? But how did this riverside retreat come to be here when bricks and mortar stretch along the river up and downstream, and where does the name Radnor come from? The simple answer is that the central part of the gardens was occupied by Radnor House and its grounds. However, to find out how the house got its name we have to go back over 250 years, and well over 300 years to establish the origins of the house.
Land purchase in the 1670s by John Hooker suggests that there may have been a house on the site from that time; certainly by 1699 Elizabeth Hooker, his widow, sold the property to Edward and Elizabeth Cole (related to the Cole brewing family of Twickenham). Ownership passed to various descendants and in 1718 a lease on the house was taken by Gabriel Du Quesne who added land on the other side of Cross Deep in 1719 – the year Alexander Pope settled in his villa a few hundred yards to the north and who similarly added a garden on the other side of the road.
The house at this time was an unremarkable building of two storeys with attic rooms. The earliest view is in a painting by Peter Tillemans from the 1720s, called A Prospect of Twickenham – Radnor House can be seen on the far left. By this time the house was occupied by John Robartes who is recorded as paying rates in 1722. Here we come to the source of the name ‘Radnor’ as Robartes was to succeed to the title of 4th Earl of Radnor in 1741.
Who was John Robartes? He was born in London in 1686, grandson of the 1st Earl and his second wife, and son of Francis Robartes who was an MP and Vice President of the Royal Society. John attended Eton and Christ’s College Cambridge but details of his life are scarce. He was certainly not a prominent public figure like his father and seems to have lived a quiet life in Twickenham. He wrote, in 1746: ‘These parts afford little news. It will not be any to tell you that I still continue to add to and alter my little house and gardens.’
Alter seems an inadequate word; transform would be more appropriate. Probably in several stages he changed the house out of all recognition. A print of 1754 (above) shows the house much enlarged and refaced in a Gothic style. As well as using his inheritance to build, he acquired a considerable art collection, including a Canaletto.
Horace Walpole, who moved to nearby Strawberry Hill in 1747, couldn’t resist some gentle mockery at Radnor’s expense describing the villa as ‘Mabland’, a reference to the Marylebone Gardens which were famed for their decorations and statues. Walpole again: ‘The Chinese summerhouse which you may distinguish in the distant landscape belongs to my Lord Radnor. We pique ourselves upon nothing but simplicity, and have no carvings, gildings, paintings inlayings or tawdry businesses.’ It may just be possible that Walpole, who of course devoted himself to building and collecting, was ‘piqued’ that Radnor had Gothicised his house first.
Radnor had a reputation for being dull but was not so retiring as to shun company. David Garrick, the actor/manager who lived at Hampton, wrote in 1749: ‘My Lord Radnor plag’ud our hearts to dine with him. We at last agreed … but such a dinner, so dressed and so served up in unscoured pewter, we never saw. The wine was worse, but made somewhat better by the dead flies; in short we were both sick and unsatisfied; and rattled the one horse chair home as fast as we could where we recruited our spirits again with a clean cloth, two roasted pigeons and the best currant pie in the Kingdom.’
Radnor remained a bachelor; he died in 1757 and the title became extinct. He left Radnor House to his steward Frederick Atherton Hindley who eventually ran into financial difficulties and was declared bankrupt in 1779; he died in 1781.
The house was bought by Sir Francis Bassett, later Lord Dunstanville; it is at this time that Walpole, still of course at Strawberry Hill, wrote that ‘hay carts have been transporting haycocks from a second crop from the island of Radnor House opposite my windows. The setting sun and the long autumnal shades enriched the landscape to a Claude Lorraine.’
The house then had a succession of owners including, briefly in the very early 1840s, the 2nd Earl of Kilmorey – rather better known for his associations with St Margarets and his mausoleum. Given Kilmorey’s predilection for altering buildings we can only speculate about what he might have done to Radnor House had he stayed; he didn’t, having moved on to Cross Deep House – almost literally next door to Radnor House, in about 1844.
It seems unlikely that he could have done anything more dramatic than the next owner, William Chillingworth, a wine merchant (whose name is remembered in Chillingworth Close off Tower Road). In about 1846/7 he replaced the Gothic facing with an Italianate exterior, perhaps following the new fashion set by Queen Victoria at Osborne House. This further transformation was to be the last and can be seen in this photo from the 1920s. The War Memorial helps to locate the house.
In 1903 agreement was reached between Twickenham UDC and the Middlesex County Council to buy the house and grounds as public open space and on 11 April 1903 the house and grounds were opened by Mrs J H S Lawton, wife of the Chairman of the Council. The hope was expressed that a museum could be established in the house.
After use as a school clinic, the house appears to have been neglected. By 1936 the situation was more urgent and influence was being brought to bear on the Council to take action. Mr Clifford-Smith of the Victoria and Albert Museum said ‘Every effort should be made to preserve it intact. It would be an act of vandalism to attempt to remove any of the decorative features into any other building. There must be few small houses of this character existing in the country.’ In July 1936 Queen Mary visited the house and described it as ‘the finest decorated small house I have
The Council had agreed to spend £1,000 on restoration in October 1936 and agreed in principle that the 1847 additions should be removed. In March 1938 the MCC agreed to set up the ‘Radnor House Preservation Society Ltd’ to lease the house from the Council and raise money for restoration.
The solution to the Council’s dilemma was rather more dramatic than actually spending money: at 10.30pm on 16th September 1940 a 250kg delayed action high explosive bomb fell through the house; it exploded a few hours later and the house collapsed on its site. Reportedly there was a loud cheer from the Council chamber when the news was relayed.
There is nothing remaining of the house but part of the Bath House, installed by Lord Radnor in the early 1720s, survives resited from its original riverside position.
The site of the house, its grounds and those of a number of neighbouring houses are incorporated into today’s riverside gardens. The channel which separated the ‘bog island’ from the house and gardens (see left) was filled in in 1968 but its outline can still be seen in the grass after prolonged dry weather.
‘World’s Best’ Awarded to Jenny Blanc Interiors
Issue: March '13 TW11 & TW Mag
JENNY BLANC INTERIORS HAVE been gracing Teddington High Street for 16 years, behind their eye catching window displays is the studio that recently won an award at the prestigious International Property Awards held in London
Sue Thomas Richardson, Design Director at Jenny Blanc tells us about the winning project and heading up the design team. ‘I’ve been working with Jenny since the beginning, I first started out by doing decorative art on furniture for the studio. It’s a lovely environment to work in, everything we do is managed out of the studio here. It’s a close knit team who are very dedicated and I’m constantly inspired by their creativity. Jenny has an overview of everything, she’s really hands on, their isn’t an inch of the work that she hasn’t cast her expert eye over.’
‘Our success is based on commitment to delivering a completely professional service. We know how to listen to our clients and translate their dreams into a workable reality. Often clients will come to us with an idea of the direction they’d like to go in, we help them to explore the options. A great deal of our job involves an intuition for psychology, to really understand what our clients want from the space means you need to understand their personality. Helping people to achieve a home they love and that really reflects their identity is
‘Trends are constantly coming and going in this industry. We have to keep up with the latest materials and fabrics. We could be designing for a family home or bachelor pad, there is a constant deluge of suppliers offering their latest products. I’ve developed an instinct for knowing what will and won’t fit. It’s an advantage of my personality to constantly be looking at my surroundings, it’s impossible to switch off but it’s where my inspiration comes from.’
Sue is originally from Barbados, where Jenny Blanc Interiors has a showroom run by Jenny’s daughter Emma. ‘The connection with the Caribbean came from my links with the island. There are a lot of British people who have homes there and we’ve come to know the market very well, we’ve won various awards for projects out there. Both Jenny and I spend a lot of time in the Caribbean, especially at this time of year, when it’s incredibly busy.’
Receiving the World’s Best Interior Design Private Residence Award for their work on a Grade II listed Hertfordshire Lodge was the culmination of a year’s work on the demanding project. Sue says ‘We knew it was special from the moment we saw the brief. It involved completely refurbishing the property and working with the clients to source every aspect of the interior from finding period building materials, master craftsmen to cushion fabrics, and literally everything in between. We are very proud of outcome, having taken the plans and completely transformed the space into a beautiful
‘The whole team at Jenny Blanc were involved in turning this huge project into the winner it became. We were aiming for a comfortable, lived in feeling that married well with the architecture of the lodge. The building itself needed a massive amount of work as it had been sorely neglected prior to its purchase. The high profile clients, who are in their forties, were a pleasure to work with. They were overjoyed with the outcome, saying “The process was enjoyable and collaborative as Jenny, Sue and Abbie tuned into our sensibilities so precisely, it felt as though they were our own.”
Our congratulations go to Jenny, Sue and the team for their world class achievement created from their studio here in Teddington.
Life Through a Lens
Issue: March '13 TW11 & TW Mag
MAX ELLIS, LOCAL RESIDENT, award winning commercial artist and photographer has turned his expert eye to capturing stunning photographs of the area.
After studying photography and art at Brighton University, Max has had a very successful career as an illustrator but has more recently combined a love of his home patch with his art.
‘I’ve lived here for over 15 years, funnily it’s been my travels all over the world and taking shots that has made me appreciate just how lovely it is around here. It’s easy to miss sometimes, I think Bushy is the most beautiful park there is. From the water ways, its history, the deer are very special, it’s got the magic.’
‘I started as an illustrator over 25 years ago. When I first started it was my paintings that appeared in the Radio Times and Guardian Illustrated, after about ten years I did a record cover which needed to be digital so it prompted me to get a computer setup. From there I quickly worked out how to make the digital style work for me. Basically photographing things, then cutting it all up and sticking it back together again. I’ve been lucky because I’ve been able to grow and learn naturally.’
‘I try to cycle everywhere. I always take a camera with me because I’d hate to miss anything. Often I’m out at dawn, at that time of day the park looks absolutely incredible, especially at this time of year, with the frost, and as the sun rises through the mist. I take all my kit with me, lens and cases, it all weighs a ton, but I’d be so scared to leave it at home in case something truly magical happens.’
‘I’m probably taking 200 shots a week of the local area. That filters down to one or two that make the grade, that are different enough to mark them out as really special. When it’s cloudy I almost don’t want to get out of bed. But if I look out and there’s a glimmering of light, I almost can’t contain myself, it’s always worth it once I’m there. I’ve got thousands of pictures of the area, I’m looking for the moment when you know something hasn’t happened before, it’s a one off. There are times when I’m almost shaking as I reach a location, when there’s a feeling of rising panic that I need to get into position quickly. It’s such a brief moment as the sun comes up. The conditions have to be so specific to be perfect. Totally clear skies don’t work so well. Having taken so many now, I know what’s going to work.’
‘With wildlife photography classically you’d use a very long lens, which I don’t, I get up as close as possible. With the deer it’s really important to know how the animals are going to react based on what season it is. This time of year, as long as I’m on my stomach they don’t see me as a threat, so I find myself crawling around through mud a lot. The benefit of getting low gives all the interest of the beautiful sky above.’
‘In an ideal world my perfect life would be just to get up in the morning, look how the sun is going to affect things and find a nice place to take some pictures and make the local shots the main focus of my work. I love just having the freedom to explore. I’m really looking forward to discovering more interesting and less seen aspects of the area.’
Max has plans to hold local exhibitions later in the year. Prints of his iconic shots are available to buy via his website.
To view Max’s art and photography go to
Issue: March '13 TW11
Obviously I get asked questions about this constantly – so here are a few answers:
Why can’t I find what I’m looking for?
It is a fact that less and less property is on the market, I reckon stock is down about 33% in the last five to seven years in Teddington. Teddington has been experiencing that baby boom that many popular, affluent residential areas around London have experienced and most probably more so – the pressure on school numbers has become more acute with new schools being built in Twickenham and three schools in Teddington either being re-built or extended massively just to meet this demand.
When is it the right offer?
The business really has developed with new technology so potential buyers get to see new properties coming on to the market almost instantly – be it on their mobile phone or their computer. It normally takes us a day or two to get the marketing details ready and whoosh, it’s out there! Consequently, we can feasibly have decent offers within a day or two.
So if the price hasn’t put them off, I think it would be fair to say that almost all keen buyer should have had the chance to see it within three or four weeks and given the choice and information out there to make that decision. I therefore normally explain to my clients that this is the best time to review their marketing if they haven’t had any offers already. We would expect around five to seven viewings a week on the average mid-range property and if 12 to 15 potential buyers have seen it there tends to be a lot of consistency in the feedback.
Who is the best buyer?
OK, so getting a proper cash buyer is great, but are they really ‘cash’? A lot of people mean they don’t have a mortgage on the house they have to sell still! The business is awry with jargon so your agent should be able to get them to produce some proof. Nonetheless, a family wanting to get in to a specific school catchment could be a much more motivated buyer and having motivation can easily reduce the time to exchange and complete on the sale by a month or two sometimes. Investors – yes, they sometimes have lots of experience to push the sale through and they can have strong relations with their lender or broker but do they really care if it happens or not? There is no black and white answer to this, but one thing I would suggest is to follow the advice of your agent – they recognise the personalities of the individuals and should have an instinct for this if nothing else!
What can make an offer fall through?
Anything and everything! I believe the national average is about 33% of all agreed sales fall through prior to exchange of contracts – ours at Featherstone Leigh in Teddington is less than one in ten. With a good agent most issues can be allayed and resolved – issues can simply be blown out of proportion without mediation. Whilst in this affluent area a lot of buyers can be regarded as ‘safe, middle class’, they are still subject to lenders’ criteria and many lenders are currently ‘cherry-picking’ their clients – so mortgages in this area consequently take twice as long to arrange as a few years ago.
Self-certified loans no longer exist and ‘interest only’ products virtually don’t exist either. If a buyer is self-employed, they need to have three years worth of squeaky clean accounts! There are not many critical survey problems in this area but all the obvious building enquiries take time. The biggest problems arise out of people’s change in circumstance and this can never be predicted.
Can you raise the price if the offer takes too long to complete?
It doesn’t happen often but in a market where prices are accepted as going up it does from time to time, especially in hot areas such as Chiswick, Chelsea and Kensington – much to the dismay of buyers. It otherwise doesn’t make much sense as buyers are generally very knowledgeable of their price range and would expect that you would accept the original lower level.
What are the costs involved?
Solicitors range from £300 – £1,500 locally and generally you get what you pay for. You will usually pay extra for a central London-based firm and not necessarily for any good reason.
1% up to £250,000
3% from £250,001
4% from £500,001
5% from £1,000,001
7% from £2,000,001
Note: It only goes up once you go over the threshold, not on the threshold.
What should I do about my mortgage?
A lot of buyers port their existing mortgage and sometimes take additional borrowing from their lender. It is often cheaper to stick with their standard rate than pay all the fees of a new lender – sometimes it is the only feasible way if you are one of those with a loan on old, no longer existing criteria. Always check your current loan criteria before making plans to move as all lenders have a minimum period with penalties if you want to redeem it early. Seek independent financial advice where necessary.
It can be a mine field so call me on
the number below if you have
questions I haven’t covered.
Dan Johnson, Featherstone Leigh
35 High Street, TW11 8ET
Tel: 020 8977 8118
Robbery on The Thames
Issue: March '13 TW11 & TW Mag
Strolling along the towpath on an afternoon, the River Thames is usually the very idyll of peace and tranquillity. With the sun streaming down and a gentle breeze blowing, it is hard to consider violent acts having any connection with the Thames. Yet such things did occur and fortunately we have the records to back them up.
The first lock was opened on 20th June 1811. It was 150 feet long, 20 feet wide and originally had circular gates. The lock keeper was Richard Savory and he was paid 36s out of which he had to find coals, candles and other necessaries.
On the morning of 28th March 1818 Richard Savory had risen early and was working in his office when he heard a man’s voice calling to say that a barge was heading for the lock. When he opened the door, he was overpowered by three men: ‘I was thrown with violence over a chair and came rolling to ye ground and then I felt one of them cover my head with a sack and press it so close down that I really began to fear they meant to suffocate me. I heard the third man opening desks and cupboards and he called out to the men that held me – If the Old Bugger won’t be quiet, stick it into him!’
The robbers escaped with ‘about 11 or 12 single pound notes and full six pounds silver and ye most part small silver and four or five shillings in copper.’ Savory said ‘I do indeed much fear that this is only ye beginning, for whichever lock receives much value it will be a temptation to such villains to make an attempt at ye end of ye week.’
These words were to prove quite prophetic and on 20th April 1828, thieves struck again. The Morning Chronicle carried the story: ‘They broke open the house by means of a large iron crow bar; and having gained an entrance, they entered the bedroom of the lock keeper with their faces disguised with black crepe. One of them presented a pistol at the head of the old man (Richard Savory), and desired him to be quiet or he would blow his brains out.’ They made off with money and as much other property as they could carry.
A few days later, a man was walking in Kingston and noticed a child playing with a medallion, which rolled into a ditch. On retrieving it for the child, he noticed an inscription giving Mr Savory’s name, address and date of birth but it was not until a week later that he read a report of the burglary and recognised Savory’s name. He contacted the Police at Kingston and this led to the arrest of Charles Kite aged 25, William Wheatley aged 29, George
King aged 23 and the leader William Young.
Young decided to turn King’s evidence and
shopped the other three. In the course of the
trial it came to light that Young was not a stranger to giving King’s evidence, having done so once before in which he testified against his brother or brother-in-law, thus sentencing him to death. Kite, Wheatley and King were all found guilty and sentenced to death. On 20th April 1929 they were hanged at Horsemonger Lane Prison to the delight of a huge crowd which extended in all directions
as far as the eye could reach.
Two years later, William Young was indicted for breaking and entering the house of Robert Gordon at Harmondsworth on 12th May and stealing a side of bacon, a jacket and several items. Young defended himself stating that the King’s pardon absolved him of all crimes and that there was no evidence against him despite the stolen bacon being found under his bed and being arrested wearing the stolen jacket. Young’s luck had now run out. He was found guilty, sentenced to death and hanged.
What of Richard Savory? He was granted an assistant (his son) and a blunderbuss with a bayonet for future protection.
Ken Howe is a local historian
and author of several books on the history of the area
Tel: 020 8943 1513
Oak Ageing Methods
Issue: March '13 TW11 & TW Mag
I always feel back into the swing of things in March. Spring is looming, the wine trade is in full selling mode with tastings and events, lots of new wines are appearing and we look forward to the latest announcement on duty rises from the Chancellor. Education and food continue to be the theme for this month…
To oak or not to oak…..that is the question
Oak ageing is a constant fascination for many of you so I thought I would take a look at the many facets of oak in wine. A brand new oak barrel imparts the highest level of wood tannins. However, such a barrel of 225, 300 or 500 litres capacity can cost £500–£900, so the wines that will use them tend to be premium high end level.
In order to withstand the intensity of exposure to new oak the newly fermented wine must be of the highest quality and density in order to harmonise and create a balanced wine. For lesser wines it is usual to use older barrels – or ones that have been used before and thus impart less oak influence. Once a barrel is six seven years old it is pretty much finished apart from acting as a storage vessel.
Less well known is the use of oak staves. Favoured by a lot of producers in the new world this is effectively sticking some oak planks into a vat of wine. The effect is the same but you don’t have the enormous expense of the cooper’s art. It is generally believed that stave aged wines don’t age as well. Finally oak chips or shavings are used widely. Literally a porous bag of chippings is dunked in the vat and voila – the wine has an oaky taste! Low cost – quick effect.
Making White Wine
I left you all hanging on last month waiting for the next instalment of making wine. The
fermentation has finished so now what happens.
For crisp dry whites designed for early consumption – the wine rests in stainless steel or other inert vessel for a short time and then gets bottled. A short resting period again and then the wine is shipped out for sale. Heavier whites that require some oak ageing will be transferred to barrels – see paragraph above for more detail.
Some whites will spend a bit of time at the winery sitting on their lees – dead yeast cells from fermentation – which will be periodically stirred up. This process called batonage in French, and gives wine a bit of extra body and texture and is a common practice. Before bottling virtually all white wines are filtered and fined to some degree and given a little dose of sulphur – which acts as an oxidant, antiseptic and preservative and adds stability to the wine.
Tim’s Fine Wine Dinners
I consider myself very lucky to be able to combine my love of wine with my love of food and Piemonte was a theme for a recent tasting. A Barolo masterclass at the fabulous Bacco restaurant in Richmond combined the 2004 and 2005 vintages of the Barolo Margheria from the excellent Massolino estate. Stunning wines with still decades to age, they were spicy, rich intense and complex. Partnered by slow roasted ox cheek with a decadently rich Barolo sauce and a lightly truffled potato puree, the combination was perfect with the richness of the dish countering the dense, tannic wines.
March Wine Recommendation
Project Quatre Reserva NV Catalonia (£9.99). Made from four different grape varieties (Monastrell, Syrah, Garnacha and Carignan) with each grape sourced from a different area in Catalunya and then aged for four months in new oak. It is fresh, spicy and brimming with fruit.
It was a terrific match to some
Tim Syrad runs the
Teddington Wine Society.
Follow Tim on twitter @winemantim
Issue: March '13 TW11
In the past nature has been regarded as free – both the environmental resources put into everyday production of items and the ensuing output of waste and pollution have been regarded as external to the financial market. As you would expect if you don’t notice a thing or give it a value, nobody cares. But does this attitude affect the reality of the resources themselves?
Have we become so good at collecting resources that we threaten the very source of these commodities? By allowing natures resources to be outside of the economy and disregarding their integrated role, we are using these resources at an ever increasing rate. Tony Juniper’s new book What Has Nature Ever-Done For Us tries to redress this imbalance by detailing new ways to think about the relationship between resources and economy.
Wisdom and morality
So, do we continue to do nothing and bury our head in the sand, hoping this will all go away, or should we do something? Unfortunately this is no longer a choice. Western economies have industrialised and are now looking at these issues. But the Soviet block and China are industrializing at pace and emerging nations are themselves beginning to industrialise. After the West has consumed huge amounts of fossil fuels to provide their current standard of living, how can it then say to the 2nd and 3rd worlds, you cannot do the same? Yet if this increase in resource consumption is accepted, are we all personally placed under threat. Is this the future for our own great grandchildren?
Modern thinking is that we should pay these countries not to use more resources, but the West has never offered enough financial incentive. Indeed in many ways, there are not the resources in the West to offer enough money to stop this trend. So as it stands China, Russia, the East, South American and African countries are now consuming more resources than many Western countries.
Well the results are obvious and have been explain by Professor Bartlett of the University of Colorado in a video on YouTube far better than I. If you do nothing else in the next week watch this video and make your own mind up. The initial explanation of the mathematics involved does need a little thinking to start with, but once understood, the implications are profound. You can watch the whole talk at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=umFnrvcS6AQ
The future of resources and the environment is at present in the balance, where one could argue that the decisions we make in the next ten years, will seal the fate of billions to better lives, or death. It is a fact of life that mankind only shows its true humanity when it is on the brink of, or has suffered disaster. In the case of resources, if the environmentalist’s are wrong and the ‘growth experts’ are right that there are infinite resources; so that the people of the world can have unlimited consumption and an increasingly better standards of life, I for one will be pleased to say I was wrong.
But can any of us take the risks that environmentalists are right, that there is only enough to go round for a set number of people – the Earth carrying capacity’ – and that billions will stave in years to come if we don’t manage these essential resources wisely? It is my view that if we allow the market to decide, we choose the law of the jungle and therefore the only hope is to manage resources through responsibility and leadership.
Barry Edwards is an environmental scientist and Curator of the
River Thames Visitor Centre
TW11 Councillor Update
Issue: March '13 TW11
PLANNING IN WALDEGRAVE ROAD
Planning proposals for 101-105 Waldegrave Road including Hearns Joinery are on idoxwam.richmond.gov.uk/WAM/showCaseFile.do?&appNumber=13/0368/FUL Light industry and warehousing would be replaced by 18 town houses at market prices and 18 flats comprising ‘intermediate’ housing (ie shared ownership or let at 75%-80% of market rents).
As a Planning Committee member I can’t now express an opinion but Council policy provides that loss of employment must be justified and, if it is, the maximum provision of affordable housing will be required in its place.
PLANNING LAW CHANGES
Meanwhile the Council faces two unwelcome DCLG proposals for planning law changes. One would double the length of ground floor housing extensions permitted without planning permission. In opposing this the Council has cited past refusals of such extensions as unneighbourly where the Appeal Inspector has supported the Council.
The second is to allow offices to change their use
to housing without planning permission. Given the high value of housing this could lead to the
loss of quality offices in our town centres without
any contribution to the cost of meeting the demand
for extra school places generated. The Council will be making a special case for exemption.
The ward figures from the 2011 Census are now available. Teddington ward (see map) has 10,330 inhabitants in 4,616 households. Of these, 36% are single person households, 25% are a family without children and 32% a family with children. These households own 5,008 vehicles, 22% have none, 52% have one vehicle, 22% two and 4% three or more.
Our average age is 39. Of those aged 16 or over, 36.5% have always been single, 47.6% are married or in a civil partnership, 10.3% divorced or separated and 5.5% widowed.
Of our 10,330 inhabitants 55% are stated to be Christian, 41% have no religion or state none and 4% give another religion. 84% were born in the UK or Ireland, 5% in other EU countries and 11% elsewhere. 83% give UK or Irish White ethnicity, 8% give Other White, 5% Asian or Black and 3% Mixed or Multiple ethnicity.
There are considerable gender differences in the figures for economic activity of those aged 16-74. 55.6% of men and 38.9% of women are employed full-time, 4.5% of men and 16.3% of women are employed part-time and 16.6% of men and 11.5% of women are self-employed. 9.5% of men and 12.6% of women are retired, 0.5% of men and 6.9% of women are looking after house and family while 3.6% of men and 1.8% of women are unemployed. Full-time students (both economically active and inactive) make up 7.3% of men and 8.9% of women.
My figures include conflations and roundings and won’t always add up to 100. For further details go to www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/ and type
Cllr Martin Elengorn
Chapel Royal Choristers
Issue: March '12 TW Mag
DO YOU KNOW WHERE there is a sumptuous chapel where you can hear stunning choral music for free on your doorstep? Do you know where children still work in a local royal palace as they would have done in Tudor times? The answer to both these questions is the Chapel Royal Hampton Court Palace where the choir continues a rich 500 year old tradition of music fit for kings and queens.
Michele Price, Strawberry Hill resident and Manager of the Choral Foundation, The Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace, tells us about music at the Chapel Royal as well as opportunities for local boys to train as Chapel Royal choristers.
‘All are warmly welcome to attend services at HM Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace, for free on a Sunday.’ Choral services are held at 11 am and 3.30 pm on Sundays during term time and full details of services can be found on their website. Entry to services is via the security gate in Tennis Court Lane.
The Chapel Royal is part of the ecclesiastical Household of Her Majesty The Queen and Her Majesty provides this beautiful place of worship and a choir for all who wish to visit. It was originally the body of priests and singers who followed the monarch, even into battle. Today the Chapel Royal is established at Hampton Court Palace, St James’s Palace and the Tower of London. So just as has happened throughout history, boys aged between 8 and 14 train as Chapel Royal choristers at Hampton Court. Coming from a wide variety of local schools they attend the Chapel twice a week after school for rehearsals and once promoted to choristers, sing at the services on Sundays and earn a small weekly wage. This provides a unique opportunity for a first class musical education for free and boys frequently go on to gain scholarships to prestigious schools, including Hampton School, which offers choral scholarships at 11+ and 13+.
If your son is aged between 8 and 10 years and has what it takes to become a Chapel Royal chorister please see the audition information on their website.
Last year the boys sang for HM The Queen for Her Diamond Jubilee, HRH Prince Michael of Kent at a gala concert at The Royal Festival Hall and for our local South Twickenham councillor Clare Head, then Mayor of Richmond, at her St George’s Day civic dinner.
The next open day will be held on Saturday 7th September, places are limited and pre-registration is necessary.
For those local residents who wish to enjoy beautiful choral and organ music do go along to a service, recital or a concert. In March the Director of Music will play an organ recital on Sunday 17th at 1 pm and on Friday 8th March at 7.45 pm the world renowned Counter Tenor, James Bowman, will sing English Songs from Dowland to Britten.
Michele concludes ‘There is a little slice of heaven nearby where you can hear uplifting music and enjoy a moment of calm surrounded by the echoes of history and the amazing thing is that so few local people know about it. Come along and discover this well-kept secret!’
For more information contact:
Michele Price, Manager, The Choral Foundation
The Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace
020 3166 6516 or 07867 313460
TW Mag - Gardening Focus
Issue: March '12 TW Mag
Last year one of my clients asked me what they could do with a rough piece of ground that bordered their garden. Their daughter was to be married at the end July the following year. A large marquee was planned which would unfortunately hide most of the beautiful borders around the formal lawn. The marquee would face the rather scrubby half acre that needed transforming. Whatever we did needed to be established within nine months and look great on the day. A wildflower meadow seemed an ideal solution which would provide a beautiful view and a great place for the guests to wander.
The problem was that by late July a native wildflower meadow would be past its best. Mixes for these traditional meadows combine 80% meadow grass with 20% wildflower seed. Whilst this would be fine for a large scale, field sized scheme, it would be less suited for my area that definitely needed that ‘wow factor’. Also the soil needs to be just right. It must be grass and weed free, and infertile. Subsoil is ideal and in most cases that means having to remove the topsoil. I had read about the planting schemes that were being planned for the Olympic Park and did some research. They were working to the same dates as me, albeit on a different scale!
I found a company that had been experimenting with combining non-native wildflower species, mainly from north America, with our native ones. The idea was to extend the flowering period over the whole Olympic and Paralympic games. They produce annual only mixes that give a great show in the first year and are better for small areas and planters, but will need resowing each year, and a perennial mix. Perennials will not flower in the first year so the mix has a little annual added for a first year display – the main display will come in the second year.
During the first week of April we set out our design with spray paint by marking a large circle in the centre and several curved paths leading off it. These areas were to be lawn so were mown, weeded and fed. The surrounding areas were sprayed with a systemic weedkiller. After two weeks we rotovated, removed the dead vegetation and raked to break up the lumps. Next we sowed the seed.
We used an annual mix for the areas around the circle and edging the paths and used a perennial mix on the rest of the areas. It was now up to the weather. We needed nice warm sunny days and as you may remember it just rained and rained and rained! Eventually the sun did come out and shoots appeared and by the end of July that rough old patch of ground looked glorious and continued to do so right up to the beginning of October.
Different species of flowers came into bloom every few weeks producing an exciting, constantly changing garden. All there was to do was to cut back the flowers in winter once the seeds were set and wait till spring. In a few weeks we’ll be sowing some of the perennial mix
over the areas where we sowed
the annual last time.
Good luck and enjoy!
David Robinson is a partner
at Robinson Design Interiors
& Gardens. Tel: 020 8892 8906
St Marys’ New State-of-the-Art Cinema
Issue: March '12 TW Mag
A new state-of-the art cinema screen was officially opened during a celebratory launch evening last month at St Mary’s University College. Named the Pete Postlethwaite Picture House, after the late actor and former St Mary’s student, the screen not only enhances the student learning experience but also offers an additional facility to members of the community.
Since installation, the cinema has enabled a number of partnerships between the University College and local organisations including a recent popular Gothic film series hosted by St Mary’s
in conjunction with neighbouring Strawberry
The Richmond Film Society also now hold its fortnightly film screenings on campus, including this month as part of their World Cinema Programme – The Source, a comedy/drama set in a North African village and centred on a battle of the sexes, and Potiche starring Catherine Deneuve whose husband has been taken hostage by his employees. To join the Society go to www.richmondfilmsoc.org.uk.
Head of St Mary’s School of Communication, Culture and Creative Arts Proffessor Lance Pettitt commented, ‘With two integrated degree programmes in Media Arts and Screen Media available at St Mary’s, we are delighted that we have been able to install this new cinema screen. As well as enhancing the learning experience for students, who will now be able to view high definition video content during lectures, it is a great asset for the local community.’
‘In addition, the recent appointment of Prof Charles Barr, an internationally recognised authority on Alfred Hitchcock, will provide plenty of opportunity for future public screenings.’
TW Mag - Councillor's Update
Issue: March '12 TW Mag
I am going to cover the work of the Planning Committee this month. 97% of the 4,000 applications a year received by our Planning Department are low key or unopposed. So Officers make what is called a delegated decision. The remainder come to the Planning Committee as they are contentious and there is a greater public interest in these. People may have objected or a resident has asked their councillor to refer it to the Committee.
You can request that an application is brought to Planning Committee so you can have your say. You will need to contact your councillor who can ask the officers to do this. There has to be good planning reasons, but your councillor will guide you on these.
The officers write a full report for the Committee (which you can read in advance), giving their recommendation – refusal or permission. You must register to speak by midday the day before the Thursday Planning Committee and are allowed three minutes to speak.
You may want to seek information from your councillor who can advise you how to make the maximum impact with your three minutes. It is essential to write down what you want to say and time yourself beforehand. You can only object on planning grounds. The Council produces a clear leaflet on those grounds. I have been very impressed with the clarity and reasoning of residents who speak. So don’t be apprehensive!
The entire Planning Committee meeting is filmed (or web-cast). You can see the last one if you go on the Council’s website. If you don’t have a computer you can go to your library and they will let you watch a session. This will give you a good idea of how the system works. There is also a film on the planning web pages which clearly explains how the meeting operates.
There are nine councillors on the present Planning Committee (five Conservatives and four Liberal Democrats) and they all have a vote at the end of each application. During the process the councillors will hear from planning officers, neighbours (who are for or against an item), the applicant and/or his agent, expert witnesses and your councillor who gets the last slot. You can show photos, plans, maps, models, petitions, expert witness letters and diagrams to explain your points of view.
When all the evidence has been heard the nine councillors discuss all the points that have been raised with the officers and each other. Sometimes this can take 30 minutes or more. The Chairman asks the councillors to give their view (either permission or refusal) and the committee are asked if there is an opposing view which there may well be.
A very important part of the process involves applying conditions to the permission or refusal. If the application is permitted the committee might add such requirements that certain windows have to be opaquely glazed and non-opening to prevent overlooking. They can also insist on other measures such as specific soft landscaping to replace trees and plants that may have to be removed. Finally councillors vote on the application.
If the vote has not gone your way I am afraid that is it; the application has been decided on permanently. However, if the applicant receives a refusal they can appeal to the Inspectorate who can overturn the decision of the Planning Committee. This always seems unfair to me but it is the law and rights that applicants have. In fact the whole process is completely bound by Planning Law.
I do hope this has helped you and if you want any more information just get in touch with us –) that’s what we are here for!
Cllr Clare Head
Teddington's Skiff Club
Issue: TW11 April '13
The Skiff Club based at Trowlock in Teddington has the honour of being the oldest skiff club in existence, founded in 1885.
Club Chairman Graeme Mulcahy says ‘A lot of people come down and have a go, and even if they don’t want to race, they want to do it as a form of exercise. They like to be out in very pleasant surroundings, it’s a good open air activity, and considerably cheaper than membership of a smart gym. It’s a low impact sport, as a form of exercise rowing in general is hard to beat.’
‘People can get into a skiff and be feeling like they are getting the benefit rapidly and progressing. There are a number of people at the club who we’ve been able to get from a standing start to win races who never thought they’d be able to do it. There’s a get a great sense of achievement from that. Mainstream rowing often entails training 5-6 days a week, a couple of hours a session, that’s a huge commitment, many clubs won’t allow less than that, which is often too demanding for people. We have a mix of being an individual sport or there is doubles, and you can pick and choose who you’d like to go out with, while still being part of the club as a whole. Here you can do as little or as much as you want. It’s an entirely mixed sport, with men’s, women’s and mixed, there are no barriers. We also have junior activities and welcome families who want to do an activity together.’
‘Because of the form of the boat, they are fairly stable, which means skiffs are eminently suitable for pleasure use. There’s a group of members who time there outings to get up to Thames Ditton just in time for opening time. So there are plenty of opportunities for general pleasure use as well as racing. We are happy to encourage members with that.’
Club Captain Roger Haines is a complete skiff convert, ‘I’m a relative new comer really, I’ve been Captain for four years and joined the club in 2004. I just happened to be working in the area and was looking for a social activity and came across the club. I’d never had any rowing experience before, this is something I wish I’d found a long time ago. Since joining I’ve really been bitten by the bug, and even found myself single-handedly rowing across the Atlantic in a boat that I made myself in a transatlantic race. It took 92 days and was a particularly bad year for conditions, with a few near dead experiences along the way, which really goes to show how quickly you can progress in this sport.’
‘Our appeal is that we offer a full breadth of activities; competitive racing, coaching, exercise, a fun past time. Plus a number of off the water activities; film nights, curry nights, talks. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, and we are very local, most of the members live close to the club. We’ve also got great facilities, not least of which is a bar.
For more information
Issue: TW11 April '13
PREVIOUSLY WE DISCUSSED natural stone versus man-made materials. This month I’d like to focus on wood and look at how our choices should be led by our lifestyle.
I love wood floors because of the feel of them, the cleanliness, the warmth underfoot and the natural grain or pattern. I prefer floors with knots, as to me this is more representative of the natural character of a tree. I would also rather have an oiled finish than a lacquered one to seal and protect the wood as it looks less ‘treated’. Many flooring companies sell ‘select’ or ‘rustic’ options, the select option being without knots and more expensive. Factory finished lacquered floors are sold by some manufacturers as being tougher but give a sheen. This could be viewed as making it look more slick but also adds another layer to the material which detracts from its ‘naturalness’ and gives it a more processed feel and look. These products can however come with a really dense hardwearing substrate and tough lacquer finish so they can be hard wearing and cost effective when budget is an issue.
Yet the floor that I would choose for my home would not be entirely natural as I would choose an engineered floor (ie. one with a layer of your chosen finished wood on top, glued onto a plywood or similar man-made base). This makes the timber more stable so that it is less likely to warp and can be used over under floor heating. This also allows floor boards of up to 60cm wide to be produced, not recommended with solid timber due to its nature of moving when the temperature or moisture content in the air changes. These methods have been developed so we can have the natural feel of timber and enjoy its qualities without having to live with it’s inherent flaws. Although they are engineered to make them perform well, these wide boards also reflect the potential width of the tree and can look incredible in an open plan room. Victorian Woodworks use reclaimed woods to create engineered floors that have an incredible aged and textured appearance. Yet all of this beauty and detail comes at a price.
It is a great look to have some solid wood loose and built in furniture in our homes although too much can be quite overpowering. I once moved into a house with all wood doors, architraves and skirtings and I found it a bit much. I often use wood for the interiors of built in furniture to give a really natural quality to the inside when you open cupboards and drawers but stick to simple neutral lacquered finishes for the outside. Then all the built in furniture blends into the background but adds interest to it allowing stunning wood pieces stand out against a calm backdrop.
Tanya Dunbavin is a local
designer and owns Amok
Tel: 0774 784 3566
Issue: April '13 TW11
THERE IS A STRONG possibility that more women are suffering from a ‘poor complexion’ caused by their stressful modern lifestyles. Stress can affect the skin in many ways. It elevates hormone levels, induces acne, tends to trigger eczema and can age skin prematurely. When there is build up of toxins in your body it is reflected in your skin, which can become prone to breakouts, reflect a sallow tone, be less oxygenated and more likely
However what you eat today, you wear tomorrow! Diet plays a significant part in your skin’s condition. Collagen makes up 70 per cent of skin, and vitamin C plays a vital role in its synthesis. Antioxidant vitamins protect collagen, and vitamin A prevents dryness and roughness on the surface. Essential fats are also needed, while a lack of zinc leads to stretch marks and poor healing and is also associated with skin problems from acne to eczema.
Most of us eat far too few fruits and vegetables to gain sufficient antioxidant vitamins for our skin to function optimally. We also tend to be deficient in essential fats, yet essential fatty acids from seeds and oils protect against skin inflammation. Patrick Holford, nutritionist and author of 100 Per Cent Health recommends taking vitamin C, panthothenic acid supplements and a good antioxidant supplement containing linolenic acids.
Eating lots of healthy fats, such as walnuts, avocados and salmon or taking supplements like fish oil (great for dry skin and eyes) or vitamin E keeps the inside of your body moisturized so your skin doesn’t get too dry. Cut back on salty and fried foods, stop smoking, limit your intake of alcohol and make sure you drink plenty of water every day so you don’t get dehydrated.
Gorgeous skin can be achieved by simple as adding a few healthy foods, such as fresh fruit and vegetable to your diet. The key seems to be red- and yellow-fruits and veg with high carotenoid pigments that include Beta-carotene found in yams, spinach, peaches, pumpkin and apricots. Also Lycopene in apricots, watermelons, tomatoes and pink grapefruit, since they are believed to be the key factors that help boost the look of the skin.
You really are what you eat, and your skin reflects this, to really help your skin glow incorporate more whole grains into your diet. Which will help clear up acne and fight aging and sun damage. Likewise, meals laden with trans-fats, white flour, sugar and chemicals can leave your complexion looking dry, dull and lackluster.
Try throwing a few dark greens into a smoothie (you won’t even taste them). Opt for a piece of salmon instead of a burger next time you go out. And ditch the fat-filled desserts and replace with a bowl of seasonal berries.
Pollutants such as car exhausts emit a variety of toxic chemicals that harm the skin and damage the body when inhaled, while sooty air-borne particles can block pores. Excessive levels of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and ozone kill skin cells and collagen. Using an antioxidant moisturizer containing vitamins A, C and E, plus SPF sun block can help fight these effects.
Lack of exercise is a major contributor to poor skin, sitting all day and doing no exercise will make your circulation sluggish, and blood, which feeds the skin will become toxic. If you have a dull complexion, you may break out in blemishes as a way of the body trying to detoxify itself. The skin needs oxygen and nutrients, and toxins need to be washed away. But if circulation is poor, blood moves slowly. Oxygen levels go down, and the skin can’t be fed.
Taking quality time out to relax your mind and body, allows stress and tension to release and can make a huge difference to how you look and feel.
Consider learning relaxation techniques to quiet you down and bring your nervous system back into balance, such as meditation, deep breathing, or guided imagery. You may respond to techniques that energize your nervous system, such as rhythmic exercise, mindfulness walking or power yoga. Maintaining enough sleep will also help minimize stress. Sleep problems can be treated with therapies such as acupuncture, massage, hypnotherapy, reiki and guided relaxation.
Because our faces are most visible and are most exposed to the elements year-round, they require even more special consideration, such as investing in a good skin care regime. But If you can also incorporate healthy eating, exercise and relaxation into your everyday routine you’ll see the results shine through your complexion! Not only will you look better, you will feel better too!
Annie Moore at Vidatherapy Spa,
6 Church Road, TW11 8PB
Meet Baroness Hilton
Issue: April '13 TW11
When I meet jenny hilton in her Teddington home, I’m welcomed by a friendly and unassuming lady. Little would you know that she’s an active member of the House of Lords, Ex-Commander of the Metropolitan Police force and not forgetting Chair of The Teddington Society. She is also an avid painter and keen gardener.
Jenny’s father was with the Foreign Office, so she was mainly brought up abroad. Due to war time disruption and frequent re-location, when it came to her exams, disappointingly she failed to get the expected grades. Jenny tells me ‘I was terribly ashamed at the time, I’m actually a very academic person, but when that route was closed to me I wanted to do something comparatively active and it had to be interesting. I joined the police force because I thought it would be a bit of an adventure. I was also attracted because it is very much a structured organisation. Everyone starts at the bottom, as a Constable. It’s important to really learn about the powers and responsibilities you hold, and it’s a very effective way to develop the use of initiative. I was based in Stepney in the East End. It was a very eye opening experience, working with prostitution and young people who had run away from home. This was in the fifties, I found it fascinating.’
Progressing through the ranks of Sergeant and Inspector Jenny eventually became Commander of the Metropolitan Police, with a period as Deputy Acting Commissioner. I wanted to know if it had been a difficult career path. ‘Women Police Officers were certainly around in those days, but obviously quite out numbered. I have always been quite ambitious, some people may have criticised me for that, but the system is a pyramid, and there was a degree of who you knew being important. I found my way through it all pretty well.’
After retiring from the force, and after publicly criticising Margaret Thatcher, Jenny was snapped up by then Labour Leader Neil Kinnock and made a peer in 1991. Jenny continues to be an active member of the house, having sat on many committees, she attends proceedings three days a week. ‘It was a bit of surprise, I certainly hadn’t seen myself becoming a member of the House of Lords. Although I had an interest in politics, I perhaps would have expected to have become involved on a more local level. Initially I knew very little about parliament.’
‘There are some very bright people, from an enormous variety of backgrounds and people who have had real success in different fields. They can bring a great to deal of wisdom, whereas politicians are generally only focused on short term horizons, the Lords are often able to take a longer view. With the reforms; a ceiling on numbers, a proper appointment system and removal of Hereditary Peers, we’ve become a much more professional house. You’ll find skills and knowledge in the Lords that aren’t found in the Commons, expertise in science, technology and business for example.’
In addition to her work at the House of Lords, Jenny is also Chair the Teddington Society, ‘I’ve been in the role for eight years, after John De Mont resigned, I was asked to step in. I’ve seen Teddington change a lot over the many years I’ve lived here. It has definitely become busier. It was quite a sleepy little town when I first moved here. Now when you walk down the High Street there’s a very active bustling community. It was always popular with families, but with such nice open spaces and good schools it’s not a surprise that it has become such a popular place to live.’
‘The Teddington Society do great work throughout the year raising money for local charities and organising events. We will be celebrating our 40th Birthday this year. The Society is currently looking for a Minutes Secretary and Membership Secretary, so if you are interested in taking an active role in the community please do get in contact. We are always happy to hear from causes that we could help raise funds for too.’
I asked Jenny if she had any regrets about not having the opportunity to pursue her academic dreams, ‘Not at all, I have since gained a number of degrees in a wide variety of subjects, so I don’t feel I’ve missed out’.
The Brotherhood of Wine
Issue: April '13 TW11
IT IS SNOWING AS I write so I hope that by the time you read this spring will have finally sprung and you might just be heading for a glass of rosé or a crisp white rather than still shivering with a glass of port. This month we delve into the mysterious world of wine brotherhoods….
La Jurade de Saint Emilion
I attended a tasting recently hosted by Tim Hartley, Chancellor of the northern division of La Jurade de Saint Emilion. This organisation dates back to at least 1199 when Bordeaux was governed by England. In essence, the Jurade seeks to preserve and spread the well-deserved fame of Saint-Emilion, as well as to encourage and build upon the historic links and friendships between the two countries. Regular dinners and tastings are organised throughout the UK and people who have made a significant contribution in supporting and promoting Saint Emilion are invited to be “intronisé”- effectively to become a member of the Jurade. While at first glance this can be interpreted as having a masonic feel to it, I felt that on the basis of the event I attended it was a rather good. An organisation that spreads friendship through the medium of drinking Saint Emilion! Everyone is welcome to be involved.Furthermore, it not just Saint Emilion where this occurs. All over France, Spain and Germany there are many more of these groups devoted to spreading the goodwill of their town or region. So if you like a little bit of pomp, ceremony and wine – look out for a brotherhood that can only extend your interest in a particular wine.
An informal dinner to report back on but no less delicious. Sitting around a lovely kitchen table I rustled up my signature dish: pan fried scallops, fresh guacamole and crispy bacon. This was delicious with a Pouilly-Fumé 2010 (£55.00) from the Dagueneau estate as the aromatic yet intense fruit powered through the richness of the guacamole but harmonised with the soft flesh of the scallops. Next up was some delicious fresh pasta with a shaving of spring truffle, just flown in from Piemonte. This was balanced by the Soave Classico 2010 Foscarino (£21.00) from the Inama estate. We moved onto some pork belly which was delicious with Edizione 2010 Farnese (£30.00) – a spectacular southern Italian red that I recommended at Christmas. A marvellous selection of cheeses from The Teddington Cheese was then consumed with some outstanding red burgundy – Vosne-Romanée 2002 Aux Reas.
April Wine Recommendation
Malbec 2011 Serbal, Bodegas Atamisque, Uco Valley, Argentina. (£ 12.50). I have waxed lyrical about the joys of Argentinian Malbec in previous columns so I make no apology for recommending this superb wine. Bodegas Atamisque is a quite extraordinary estate about two hours drive south of Mendoza. Set in 400 hectares of fruit trees, vines, private golf course, salmon trout farm and with the Andes in the background you can’t help be entranced. Their Serbal Malbec is entry level but quite delicious. The fact that it is unoaked adds intrigue. The wine is breathtakingly rich in fruit, with oodles of berry spice and a nip of pepper. Full bodied but not heavy with smooth tannins and well integrated acids and fruit. Perfect with steak, of course, but would be equally good with a duck confit or rack of lamb.
Tim Syrad runs the
Teddington Wine Society
Issue: TW11 April '13
FEBRUARY AND MARCH are busy times in the political calendar (as elsewhere) as it is budget-setting time. Budget-setting overarches all other political questions; the budget you set in place now enshrines political priorities for the forthcoming year.
The local press gave a fair coverage of the Council’s budget debate this year, highlighting the political distinction between the administration and the opposition. On the one hand there is the argument that we should actively reduce the size of the state, at local level as elsewhere, cutting front line services whilst freezing tax: effectively offering less for less. On the other hand there is the argument that services should be protected even if this means not being able to promise indefinite real-term cuts in council tax.
One of my responsibilities beyond taking part in these broad debates across the Council chamber is my membership of the Pension Fund Committee. Council employees have access to the Local Government Pension scheme. At the moment this is administrated at a borough level but there are currently discussions across London regarding whether it would be sensible to amalgamate funds, in order to pay less in investment fees and reap other benefits of scale. In addition, there are discussions regarding the need for new types of investment, for example in infrastructure, in order to make good use of the relative stability and length of investment that pension funds are uniquely able to make.
With pensions in mind I recently attended a talk at Kingston University hosted by the Political Economy Research Group. The talk was given by Prof. Ben Fine, who is undertaking research on behalf of the European Commission on the social consequences of the increasing penetration of finance into everyday life. Just one aspect of this was the decision made by the UK government a few years ago to reduce the role of the state in retirement provision and encouraging people to make more private and/or work-based arrangements. Consequently there has been an increase of flows going into pension funds, and an increase in the number of people exposed to the vacillations of the capital markets.
It was in fact the first time I had been to Kingston University – it is great to have flourishing institutions of higher education on our doorsteps. I know that both the economics department and the philosophy department at Kingston in particular offer a high quality, unique curriculum. Bonnie Greer OBE is the new Chancellor which is a very exciting appointment. I am a strong supporter of life-long learning; if you haven’t had a look at Kingston University’s website in a while, maybe you should have a look now. See www.kingston.ac.uk for a list of their courses.
Cllr Jennifer Churchhill
Council Tax and Expenditure 2013/14
Issue: TW Mag April '13
YOUR COUNCIL TAX BILL arrived in March and represents a freeze for the 4th year in a row and a real term decrease of over 12%. Council officers and staff have worked hard to make savings and economies to keep Council expenditure down while preserving front line services, like waste collection, street cleaning, adult social care, protecting the vulnerable and keeping libraries open.
Many residents are facing financial difficulties at this time and the Council has given priority to keeping Council Tax as low as possible. However, Richmond has for many years received the lowest Government grant of any London Borough. Over a period we are also faced with Grant reductions of some 35%! Despite spending the least amount per resident we have the highest Council Tax in London except for neighbouring Kingston. Successive Councils have considered this unfair to our residents whose incomes may well be less than those living in other London Boroughs – hence our aim to freeze Council tax bills and keep increases to a minimum in the future.
The Council has recognised additional demands on social care and children’s services, homelessness and early education attracting additional expenditure of some £2million. In addition, the Council has trebled its expenditure on roads and pavements reflecting residents’ responses to the All-in-One consultation as reported in my January Councillor’s Update.
The final service totals for 2013/14 are:
Children’s Services & Culture £32.2 million
Environment £24.0 million
Adult and Community £71.6 million
Finance & Corporate Services £17.2 million
Other items including revenue funding of Capital Expenditure (£2m) and pensions (£5m) bring total expenditure to £161.5 million.
Schools expenditure is met by government grant (£85.24m) and we have to collect the GLA Precept of £25.302m. After deducting the Government’s Revenue Support Grant (£29.6m) and the Council’s share of Business Rates (£23.6m) the Council Tax to be collected is £132.805 million again a slight decrease of 0.23% or £1590.39 for a Band D property (£1594.11 in 2012). As the Council has frozen Council Tax there is additional one-off funding of £1.166 million from the Government which will be used to eliminate or minimise Council Tax increases in future years.
The Council has continued its investment in infrastructure essential to maintain high quality services amounting to some £130 million over the next 5 years. 66% of this expenditure is attributable to schools projects including Primary, Secondary, Special Education Needs and 6th Form places. Other significant expenditure over the next 5 years is for Affordable Housing (£13m), Improvement Grants (£9m), Highways and Pavements (£5m), Parks (£3m) and Uplift Schemes (£10.6m). The Uplift schemes include improvements to Twickenham proposed in the Twickenham Area Action Plan regenerating Twickenham as detailed in Cllr David Porter’s February Councillor’s Update.
The Council has attempted to set a budget that achieves a balance between the Council Tax increase not adding a further burden on household budgets, maintaining service standards whilst addressing the serious long term reductions in public finances that are expected.
Council officers and Councillors keep a constant watch on the expenditure throughout the year to ensure that the Council keeps within budget whilst ensuring that services are properly funded and operated in a cost-efficient manner.
Cllr Clare Head, Cllr David Porter and I hold a regular surgery (see page 27) when one of us is around to deal with local issues and answer questions. We are always available at other times if you would like to contact us.
Cllr David Marlow
Issue: TW Mag April '13
MANY OF US DON’T REALISE how important correct posture is to our wellbeing. Do we sit right at our desks, on the sofa and at the steering wheel? Most the time this answer is no. Posture can affect many people of all ages, from childhood right the way through to old age. The consequences of poor posture can strain the muscles and put unnecessary stress onto your backbone, the result of prolonged poor posture leads to the spine changing structurally, causing back and neck pain, headaches and depression.
The common habits like hunching forwards, carrying a bag on one shoulder, holding you mobile phone between your chin and shoulder and also sleeping postures are the most common causes of bad posture. By far the most complaints come from people who have sedentary jobs. Sitting at an office desk improperly can cause the shoulders and neck to hunch forwards whilst curving the lower back which can lead to compression of the blood vessels and nerves.
I’d like to share some helpful tips on posture when standing and walking that really can make a world of difference.
Posture when standing and walking
One great tip is to imagine a string at the top of your head holding you up so you are light on your feet and imagine walking with a light at the front of your chest. This light should always be facing forwards in front of you. A little trick is to stand with your back against a wall. Imagine trying to get as much as your body touching the wall as possible. Obviously most of the back of the legs and neck won’t touch the wall. Just by standing there for a few minutes should give you an indication of how you should be standing. Practise this the next time you are in the coffee room and walking back to your desk.
Posture when sitting
When sitting in any chair make sure you go right to the back of the chair so the back can be supported, this includes the sofa. Always make sure your feet can be flat on the floor so your knees are at right angles to the floor. If this is not possible use a footstool or use my favourite, the Yellow Pages. If this is not possible on the sofa ensure you have your feet out flat in front of you so your legs are straight even if they hang off the edge or on the coffee table.
Posture at a desk
The same rules apply as when sitting, but here make sure you pull yourself right up to the desk so you can wedge yourself between the desk and the chair, this helps because it makes it difficult for you to slouch. If you do a lot of work at a desk, make sure your chair has enough back support and can be raised up and down to allow your feet to go flat on the floor, this also helps to reduce crossing of your legs. Your position should be close enough to the desk that your elbows can be at right angles to the side of the body. Take regular breaks, get up, walk around and even stretch your neck muscle to help alleviate some tension
Posture when driving
When driving you should position yourself so you are at the back of the seat. Your elbows should be at right angles beside your body so either move your seat closer or further away from the steering wheel. Your back rest should never be at the vertical, allow your seat to tilt just behind the vertical so the angle is about 75 degrees.
improving overall posture
Toning and strengthening your core muscles around the spine and the pelvis can help recover poor posture. Pilates, Core exercises and even resistance stretches can help strengthen the nearby muscle to your spine to help alignment. A good stretch for your back muscle is the child’s pose. When on your hands and knees take your buttocks to your heels whilst stretching your hand as far forwards as you can on the floor. Try to sit in this posture for a minute or so to help stretch you out.
avoiding poor postures
Avoid carrying anything just on one shoulder. If carrying the shopping make sure the bags are even in weight on both sides. When carrying a bag change the shoulder you put it on or even get a bag that goes across the body or a back pack. Avoid wearing high heels and tight clothing too often, this can change the centre of balance of the body causing your posture to suffer.
The main point is to try to be aware of you posture as much as possible. The more conscious of it you become the more you can adjust it to prevent problems.
Issue: TW Mag April '13
ALL YOU NEED TO make your room sing out is one really fabulous wall. I think we are all comfortable with the idea of feature wallpaper on one wall as so many recent collections have shown over the last few years, but don’t let your imagination stop there. Whilst an over scaled or textured paper looks marvellous in an otherwise plain room there are other ways of achieving the same stand out effect. How about considering some of the ideas below.
Have made or buy narrow shelves not more than 20cms deep and run these from edge to edge and floor to ceiling across the wall you have decided to highlight. Now arrange a collection of photographs framed in the same style (simple black frames work well) across the shelves. The photographs will be different sizes and shapes but will become a graphic collection by sharing the same frames. You might consider using this trick in an alcove to the side of a fireplace and painting the wall behind the shelves in a contrast colour to the rest of the walls. Alternatively you could use the same picture shelves to display plates, just tap a small nail into the shelf in front of the plate to be sure it doesn’t fall off! I have seen just this done using a collection of old blue and white plates in an otherwise white painted kitchen and the result was amazing.
With the current availability of digital printing it is now easy and relatively inexpensive to choose a photographic image and have it enlarged by a print company to fit the size of your chosen wall. Choosing a subject which fits the function of the room always looks dramatic, for example an oversized rain drop image in a bathroom, printed on a vinyl paper to resist water damage would make an unusual alternative to tiles in a bathroom, a large Penny Black stamp in an office or an enormous flower head on a sitting room or kitchen wall are a couple of ideas but really the possibilities are endless. You can also find firms on-line, which specialize in producing large digital prints for wall surfaces and hold large libraries of copyright free images to make a selection from.
Moving away from paper as wall decoration a wonderful and permanent idea is to have one of your walls clad in wood. Sheets of wood veneer attached to plywood backing are readily available in large DIY stores and if this idea appeals to you begin by fixing a series of wooden battens to your wall at regular intervals, these will provide the support for the wood sheets which can be attached to the battens by small nails or a strong glue (often used in place of nails). This is also the way that fabric covered walls are achieved and whilst fabric wall covering really needs to be undertaken by an expert, the effect is wonderful and is well worth spending money on if you are looking for a truly luxurious finish to your room.
Another way to achieve a fabric surface on the wall is to cut panels of fabric to fit the height or drop of the wall and spray these with aerosol glue. It will need two people to handle the sticky fabric and press it to the wall, but no pain no gain! I have done this with hessian sacking fabric in a garden room and was delighted with the result. On the subject of gluing you could get the children’s paintings in order by pasting them on to a small area in collage style, overlapping the sheets as new pictures are added, finish with a coat of acrylic varnish to protect and ‘Bobs your Uncle’ no more blue tack or unsightly curling edges to contend with.
A functional and fun idea, which takes its inspiration from menu boards, is to simply paint a single wall in blackboard paint. You could then mark off sections representing the months of the year in white paint and then use chalk to
make an ‘on wall’ diary.
Christine Robinson is a partner
at Robinson Design Interiors
& Gardens. Tel: 020 8892 8906
Issue: TW Mag April '13
THE FIRST TWICKENHAM MUSEUM opened in October 1928 at York House. This was largely due to the efforts of Councillor C. Carus-Wilson who also donated his personal collection of ancient bones and fossils, many obtained locally from the gravel pits of Strawberry Hill. The setting was quite appropriate as the Duc d’Orleans had a private museum here whilst he was in residence.
It is not clear when or why this museum closed but an official guide to York House of about 1940 refers to “A portion of the building formerly used as a museum.” It went on to say that “The Corporation passed the majority of the exhibits to the Natural History Museum.” Apart from the skull of the Seiga Antelope found by Dr Leeson in the grounds of Orleans House, there is no record of any other item from Twickenham in the NHM. Around about this time several small museums closed and the NHM was probably swamped with the residue of these collections. So much so that many batches of objects ended up in rubbish skips without having been looked at.
The mystery remains as to why the museum closed and what the Council did with the artifacts.
Nothing much happened for many years until members of the Borough of Twickenham Local History Society started to look at the possibility of opening a museum. In testing the water, the Society mounted an exhibition at York House in June 1972 entitled “Twelve Hundred Years of Twickenham and Whitton.” It was organised by Alan Urwin, ran for a week and attracted 2,500 visitors. In 1981 the Society held another exhibition, this time at the Orleans House Gallery, entitled “Twickenham 1600 – 1900 People and Places.” Again organised by Alan Urwin, this one ran for several weeks and was seen by nearly 5,500 visitors including Prince Charles.
Then at one of the BOTLHS committee meetings in 1986, Alan Urwin raised the possibility of the stables at Orleans House Gallery being given over for use as a museum. Further exhibitions followed – “2000 Years of History : the Old Parish of Twickenham” and “A Museum for Twickenham ?” in 1995. The response received to these demonstrated that there was a good degree of public support and interest for a new museum. The working party became The Friends of Twickenham Museum in 1991 and then registered themselves as a charity with the sole object of establishing a museum within the stables block of Orleans House.
Minor works were carried out at the stables; the floors were completely swept out, the walls were brushed down and then given several coats of whitewash and a series of large scale Ordnance Survey maps were purchased and mounted on the walls. Things seemed to be moving in the right direction when disaster struck. Gemma Hunter, the curator of Orleans House Gallery, an active member of BOTLHS and a keen supporter of the museum died suddenly. Unfortunately her successor did not share her passion for a museum; she was more interested in art in all its forms and encouraged more use by artists’ groups with a view to sharing the stables between art and history exhibitions.
As if things were not bad enough, in December 1997 Alan Urwin died suddenly after a short
illness and the museum project lost its
In 1994, Jack Ellis, a long-time member of the Twickenham Society and a supporter of the museum, had died, leaving his estate to the museum charity. This included his house on The Embankment. In view of the uncertainty of the future regarding the stables at Orleans House, the trustees of the museum charity took a decision that the museum would be established at No. 25 The Embankment. If only it was that simple. Jack had had a live-in carer/partner who now laid claim to the house and was not going
Enter Tony Beckles Willson. Tony is a successful retired architect who is also a founder member of BOTLHS and a trustee of the museum charity. He started the long drawn out process, court hearing after court hearing, of gaining possession of C18th waterman’s cottage. Justice finally prevailed but not before the action had eaten heavily into Jack’s bequest and the trustees took possession in 1999.
Then began the massive task of clearing the house of its accumulated contents of a lifetime. This was done gradually interspersed with Open Days and some small displays. Tony Beckles Willson took on the task of restoring and converting the Grade II listed building. All of this was completed in record time and the building was opened for business in December 2011. This was followed by the first exhibition “Villages on the River” which crowned the official opening in July 2002 and then ran for 18 months.
The aims of the museum were to follow the catchment area of the old Borough of Twickenham and to appeal for and accept artifacts, pictures, prints and other documents relating to the old borough. Because of the limited space available, it was decided very early on that the way forward to provide a public service would be to mount exhibitions on a variety of topics connected with the history of Twickenham and for these to be changed at regular intervals (now annually). This has proved to be very popular and highly successful.
The other major asset that the museum has developed is its website at www.twickenham-museum.org.uk. Over the years, this has recorded some 450 entries of people and places and is continually growing. In addition all of the exhibitions held have been recorded here in great detail and all these add to a Timeline of Twickenham History which gives the reader an age by age story to follow. In the short time of its existence, it has received over one million hits on the internet.
The Twickenham Museum is an independent body operating its own finances and is not dependant of council or any other body’s funding. A group of trustees administer the funds and the administration is carried out by a body of volunteers who man the entry desk and deal with all manner of enquiries from the general public by letter, e-mail or in person. If they don’t know the answer to a query, they usually know a man
Because it is run by volunteers, it is only open at the following times :
Tuesdays & Saturdays 11.00am – 3.00pm
Sundays : 2.00pm – 4.00pm
at 25 The Embankment, TW1 3DU. See www.twickenham-museum.org.uk for more information.
Being a voluntary body, all donations are gratefully received. If you have not yet visited it for yourselves, then do come along a see a part of hidden Twickenham.
Ken Howe is a local historian
and author of several books on the history of the area
Tel: 020 8943 1513
Bowling Open Day
Issue: TW Mag April '13
STRAWBERRY HILL BOWLING CLUB, located in the delightful setting of Radnor Gardens, was founded in 1920. In the last two years Richmond Council has spent a considerable sum replacing green surrounds and refurbishing/improving clubhouse facilities. The Club is now in a position to offer first class facilities, good bowling, a wonderful location and a friendly and
The Club is organizing an Open Day at Radnor Gardens on Sunday 12th May from 11am to 4pm. Members of the public are warmly invited to come along at anytime during these hours to try their hand at bowls, with guidance from members and EBCS qualified coaches. Use of equipment is free all you need to bring along is a pair of flat-soled shoes. If you enjoy bowling, or if you are unable to attend the Open Day, the Club is running a 4-week Beginners Course every Sunday starting 19th May and ending 16th June from 10.30am to 12noon. A small charge of £5 will be made but this will be refunded if you take
Activities at the club include a Thursday evening Club Night, internal competitions, friendly matches against other local clubs and social events such as Quiz Nights and an Annual Dinner.
The outdoor bowling season runs from April to September. If you become a member, you too could be spending warm summer days watching the boats passing by on the river while you play a friendly and enjoyable game of bowls!
Issue: TW Mag April '13
FIVE LIGHTING DESIGNERS who bring ‘light to life’ step into the spotlight for the Spring show at the Lovers Lights Gallery in Twickenham, joining recycled glass chandelier maker Janis Haves for an exhibition of specialist hand made lighting.
The show highlights the work of Ray Mallaney who creates architecturally inspired carved and pierced porcelain lamps, Hannah Nunn works in parchment, hand or laser cutting her nature inspired designs into the lamps, Chrissy Silver’s work is also inspired by nature, using casts of bark and firing plants in her porcelain lamps and stained glass artist Jose Heasman who creates truly stunning vibrant spring flower lanterns that contain up to 200 pieces of glass.
The show also features seven exciting new jewellery designers, several of whom work in recycled materials. You’ll find conceptual tea pot art, weaving, landscape textiles and print makers, fused glass art, metalwork and ceramics. The gallery will also be showing a selection of gorgeous wooden boxes by
Whether you’re looking for a special gift, a piece for your home or lighting that is quite simply out of the ordinary, The Lovers Lights Gallery ‘Illuminated’ show is designed to dazzle!
The exhibition runs until 5th May
at the Lovers Lights Gallery,
64 The Green, Twickenham, TW2 5AG.
Open from Wednesday-Sunday from 10am-5pm
see www.loverlightsgallery.co.uk for details
We Love Teddington
Issue: TW11 April '13
FOR THOSE WHO are over 30 but still want to enjoy a good night out, the Growing Old Disgracefully Society will be kicking off their first event We Love Teddington specifically for those ‘similar minded old funksters, househeads and groovers to boogie on down to.’
Locals Abi Hall and Grant Dee are behind the G.O.D Society and both know a good night out, with former incarnations as successful club night promoter and DJ respectively. The will be bringing a night out to Teddington for a more grown up crowd who love to dance.
The first of the regular events will be on Saturday 13th April at the Teddington Arms, 8pm – 1pm. As a taster of what it’s all about, this event is free. Abi says ‘We are looking to attract those funky locals who used to love going out but between child minding commitments and finding the usual age of club goers off putting may have hung up their dancing shoes. We wanted to create a space for our contemporaries where we can let our hair down and dance to great music.’ Bring along your ID, entrance is strictly over thirties only!
For more information see
Teddington Station Anniversary
Issue: TW11 April '13
THE OPENING OF TEDDINGTON STATION was on 1st July 1863 at which time both Hampton Wick and Kingston Stations were also opened and to celebrate the 150th anniversary of this, the Teddington Society are planning a commemorative day to take place on Sunday 30th June 2013.
By coincidence, it is also the 150th anniversary of the re-opening of the Park Hotel (then called the Clarence Hotel) and they will be joining in
It is hoped there will be a model railway display and a model steam engine giving rides is to be erected in Station Road alongside the railway.
Park Lane Stables will be giving pony rides to and from the Park Hotel. Displays of the Station and the Park Hotel will be posted at both locations.
Despite being a landmark event for Teddington at the time, it was regrettably ignored by the press of the day. We would therefore like to report any stories that might be interesting relating to working on or even only travelling on the railway. So if you have any old family stories to pass on or any photographs that you could lend us, we would be most grateful.
Ken Howe, The Teddington Society
Tel: 020 8943 1513
Glass Versus Acrylic
Issue: TW11 May '13
THESE TWO MATERIALS can look very similar but have quite distinct characteristics, manufacturing methods and usage. Both materials are used for furniture making, screening and
Glass can be prone to chipping at the edges and is heavy which makes it delicate to handle. While ‘acrylic’ which most of us know by the trade name Perspex is less delicate to handle but can scratch more easily.
In the past, I have had a bespoke desk made by the glass sculptor Danny Lane. He bolts sheets of glass together to form a laminated block and then chips away at the edges so that they are jagged then sands them down to a smooth finish. He is actually using the brittle nature of the glass edge in a decorative way. His furniture and decorative walls get their beauty from light reflecting off the edge of the layers and the green transparent glow. This is quite unique and stunning furniture but not the sort of thing you would choose if you had toddlers around or are planning a move, as the desk we had made was supported by a steel beam and bolted to the floor.
As acrylic is more flexible it is generally considered a better material to use if you have young children around. An unfortunate bump is a little less painful and acrylic is less likely to shatter.
We’ve designed a child’s two storey bed/playroom with a slide that had an ‘acrylic glass’ balustrade, upper barrier and gate which our client and their child loved. The acrylic barrier allowed the infant to play, sleep and
Glass has a beauty to it as it is far more reflective than acrylic. This adds a precious quality in its natural green colour or in the ‘low mercury’ option where the glass edge appears more clear.
Acrylic and glass are often used together so that both of their qualities can be maximised. For example in the elliptical glass stairs we had made for a penthouse apartment the entire stair was glass, with laminated treads to increase the glass strength in compression and sandblasted for grip. Acrylic was used for the ninety degree curved balustrades as these would have been incredibly expensive to produce from glass.
Fusion Glass make some incredible screens where fabrics are laminated in acrylic between glass sheets to make wall panels. They also make panels where any pattern can be imprinted into the screen with sand to create a beautiful textured panel or wall.
Tanya Dunbavin is a local
designer and owns Amok
Tel: 0774 784 3566
Issue: TW11 May '13
THE LANGELLA FAMILY, OWNERS of Shambles Bar and Restaurant on High Street have been a driving force in Teddington for over forty years. In those years they’ve seen Teddington evolve from quiet suburb to dining destination.
Jackie and husband Franco, both having a background in catering had a dream to open a restaurant, and found themselves moving from Chiswick in 1973 to convert a shop into what became their first business, a cafe called Spaghetti Junction where Carluccio’s is today.
Jackie says ‘Teddington was a bit like a ghost town in those days. There were only two restaurants then, an antique shop or two, Keith Luxford’s fabulous Saddlery shop where Elements and Jenny Blanc are now. There was a music shop, two fishmongers and a couple of boutiques had opened, but it really was
In 1982 they acquired the then derelict ex-butchers shop where Shambles stands today. Jackie says ‘The building was in a terrible state, having been empty for some years. It was a huge refurbishment and took nearly a year. What surprised us was the amount of space that came with the site. There had been a butcher on the spot since it was built, which was pre-1740. At the rear of the premises there had been a farm area and slaughter house with the butchers shop at the front. The restaurant took its name from the old term for a butchers – A Shambles.’ Today a large garden dining area stretches behind the premises which even includes a boule alley.
Jackie recalls ‘We opened as a wine bar initially, which was a first for Teddington. Of course in the eighties wine bars were hugely popular. It certainly helped that Thames Television were based in the area, we’d get regular visits from the This is Your Life team among others, Michael Aspel was a favourite customer.’
Eight years ago, after their chef of 16 years wanted to retire, Franco and Jackie had to make the decision to carry on or sell the business. Massimo, their son and head chef at Shambles says, ‘I was living in Rome at the time when I got a call from dad asking if I wanted to come back and take over the kitchen. I’d trained as a chef and worked in kitchens in London and Australia, most notably for Giorgio Locatelli. It was a big decision to take, I remember it was a Monday and I asked Dad if could tell him by the end of the week, Dad replied “sleep on it, I need to know by tomorrow”. And here I am. It was daunting at the time to take on the head chef role. Although I’d learnt the theory in chef school, it’s not until you have real experience that you know what works and what doesn’t. Getting to grips with the managerial side of the business was a steep learning curve.
With Massimo’s sister Margherita already managing the restaurant, his return made Shambles a truly family affair.
Massimo has been constantly evolving the menu which showcases modern Italian dishes. ‘Ingredients are the most important thing,’ says Massimo, ‘we source the best quality suppliers. And we’ve got a great space at the back of the restaurant where we are creating a our own vegetable patch. I’ve got high hope to be able to grow some excellent and hard to find varieties for the kitchen.’
‘That is an aspect of cooking that I really enjoy, finding new ingredients to use creatively. Around five years ago I discovered a fabulous Calabrian sausage called N’duja, which is like a salami but when you peel off the skin it’s more like a pate. You see it everywhere now, but for a long time it was my little known discovery. We pride ourselves on making as much produce as we can in-house, with breads, biscuits and pasta made to our recipe, it helps to give an extra dimension to the dishes.
Jackie and Franco has been very active in the evolution of Teddington over the years. Instrumental in setting up the High Street Association, which later became the Teddington Business Community, campaigning to save the Landmark Arts Centre and Teddington Memorial Hospital as well involvement with the original village fair.
Jackie says ‘When you are busy you can do so much more than if you slow down. There was a point when we had three businesses and three children at different schools. People used to ask me how I did it, and I’d think, I really don’t know. We’ve been in business 40 years, and in at least 30 of those we didn’t have a weekend or bank holiday off, we could rarely take a holiday together. Sometimes I’d think why am I doing this, but it was the only thing we knew.’
‘But now it’s different, we are making up for lost time. It’s nice to see our children take on more of a role. The great thing about family is you can rely on them to look after things as you would want. Which means we can relax more.’
With Marghi and Massimo safely at the helm, Jackie and Franco can finally take that well deserved weekend off!
Shambles Italian Bar and Restaurant
83 High Street, Teddington, TW11 8HG
Wines of New Zealand
Issue: TW11 May '13
THIS MONTH IS DEVOTED to New Zealand. I had to spend three weeks in this beautiful country in April doing some essential wine tour research (and a little bit of holiday) and I return totally bewitched by the fascinating contrast of wine regions and styles as you move from North to South. Regrettably, I couldn’t visit every area, but certainly touched on most of the key ones. It certainly proved that there is more to New Zealand than Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.
Arriving in Auckland, the main object of wine desire was to visit Waiheke Island. Despite being only a few miles off the coast it has 40% less rainfall than the mainland and thus has a unique microclimate that is proving ideal for growing Syrah – the new buzz grape – as well as a host of Bordeaux grapes (Cab Sauv, Merlot, Cab Franc and Malbec) and Chardonnay. There are only a small number of estates producing small quantities of premium priced wines – and access is only by boat or helicopter.
Half way down on the east coast you reach Hawkes Bay – NZ’s oldest wine region. Hawkes Bay has had a renaissance since discovering the Gimblett Gravels (an area of gravelly, poor soil to the west of the city) about 25 years ago. Syrah has now become the absolute buzz grape and wineries are winning many awards at international competitions. The area is also famed for its Bordeaux Blends, Pinot Gris, cool climate Chardonnay and produces a wide range of styles. This diversity is possible because vineyards planted close to the sea can experience a temperature difference of five–six degrees thus allowing the cooler maritime influences to create the wine style. Arriving just to the north of Wellington we find Martinborough – a small but brilliant area renowned for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Across the Cook Strait by ferry we arrived at Picton Port and spent a few days in Marlborough – New Zealand’s most famous region. There were virtually no vines planted in 1980 and now it is the biggest wine area. My quest for something other than Sauvignon Blanc was rewarded. There is lots of great Riesling, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and some ever improving Pinot Noir. I also found Grappa and Gruner Veltliner. We drove through Waipara, a small but high quality area north of Christchurch, and finally arrived in Central Otago – home to the most stunning scenery and producer of utterly magnificent Pinot Noir, Riesling and Pinot Gris.
The trip coincided with my wife’s birthday and a truly memorable, nine course degustation menu was enjoyed at the boutique Hans Herzog winery restaurant in Marlborough. A Swiss-German family who only have 11 hectares but planted with 22 different grapes – the more eclectic being Montepulciano, Nebbiolo, Barbera, Tempranillo, Roussanne, Zweigelt, Arneis and Gruner Veltliner! The dinner was an utterly eclectic series of extraordinary culinary creations that comprised both beautiful presentation with seasonal ingredients. Each course was served with a different, generously proportioned glass of wine so we experienced nine of the different grapes that they produce. Truly, one of the most exquisite meals of our lives!
May Wine Recommendation
Pinot Noir 2011 Waitaki Valley John Forrest (£33.00). Available in the Summer. Only 300 bottles imported into the UK. Utterly delicious expression of this super grape. Complex, spicy and earthy.
Tim Syrad runs the
Teddington Wine Society
Issue: TW Mag May '13
SANDYS FISHMONGERS HAS graced King Street since the 70s and is renowned in the area for its excellent fish and produce. An original amongst other emerging Twickenham jewels such as Lavistock Farm and Rubens, which are helping the area to become a foodie paradise with a growing selection of destination shops.
Owner Stuart Sandy followed his grandparents and father into the trade, ‘I moved here when I was seven and grew up around the business. I was made partner at seventeen. People asked me “do you really want to go into retail?” but I knew I was driven to get everything just right and to be the best, so it fits my character to a tee. I’m a complete control freak, in this business there are a lot of variables you have to get right and I enjoy the challenge of trying to master the details. Of course you can’t always win, and the perfectionist in me gets very frustrated sometimes. In this game everything is perishable, I look in the fridge at the end of a week and see I’ve over ordered an item, and think to myself, “how the hell did that happen”. But it keeps me on my toes. I believe you worst critic has to be yourself, it pushes me to deliver.’
As a long standing retailer Sandys is at the heart of the community, giving Stuart a valuable perspective on Twickenham ‘I’ve seen Twickenham change a lot over the years. Obviously the rugby has grown considerably over the years. There’s been the city boom, then the baby boom. I see customers come in who I knew when they were kids that now come in with their own kids, but there are also lots of fresh faces. The area has lost some of its warmth and character. It would be good to get back to some of that village feeling.’
‘The running cost of shops are so expensive. I don’t understand landlords, the rents they want to charge would scare the living daylights out of me. The regeneration plans for the area will help improve things, but I’d also like to see some names and more specialist shops that draw people here. I’d really like there to be a men’s clothing shop!’
With so many years of experience, Stuart has seen fashions in fish come and go, ‘As people change trends change too. Food has become a hobby, a relaxation, with fads, whether it’s organic, exotic, local, convenience, food has become an extension of your lifestyle. You’d be amazed at the power of the TV chef. Things that I may have been trying to suggest for years get a mention by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and in a month it’s all everybody wants. Mackerel was last year’s hit fish. At the moment it’s all about sustainability, pollock or coley are good examples. Obviously we want a future in the industry and that means respect for the produce, so this is a good thing. Ingredients for Sushi remain a favourite.’
‘I enjoy trying to stay ahead of it all. You have to listen to what your customers want, if you don’t take heed, you know the super markets will. They are trying to do what we’ve always been doing. I can’t knock the big boys, they’ve got an awful lot of money to sling around. But we know we can offer the customer service that makes us incomparable to our competitors, our customers trust us. Again, it makes you pay attention to what you are offering, I love trying to fathom it all out, it’s like an ever changing game.’
‘We stock all sorts of things as well as fish. Traditionally it was fishmongers who sold poultry and butchers meats, so there is a history of diversification. We sell a scary amount of chocolate for a fishmonger.’
So what is the favourite fish of the master fishmonger? ‘Haddock fillet, I love salmon with rice or smoked haddock. I eat fish every day, perhaps that’s not a surprise!’
It is Stuart’s passion that makes Sandys stand out, he says ‘I love it, I work seven days a week, and long hours, but it’s all worth it when I know what we do is really good, that’s perfect for me.’
Issue: TW Mag May '13
THINK OF YOUR GARDEN as a picture and think of your fences or boundaries as the frame. If you had a beautiful oil painting you would want it to be framed in a suitably beautiful frame, however all too often we ‘frame’ our gardens in cheap orange stained fence panels bought from the local garden centre or DIY store. When designing our gardens and choosing plants we take endless care in selecting exactly the right colour, texture and form to fill that space or create interest, but when it comes to the fence our creativity and imagination seem to desert us. If you are lucky enough to have a lovely old brick wall or a smart hedge as a boundary they can provide the perfect backdrop to your planting, if not you could consider doing something a little bit different.
When making over a room in your house, one of the key ingredients is the treatment of the walls. The walls define the space and the choice of colour and finish used to decorate them sets the mood for the furniture and soft-furnishings within. The ‘walls’ of the garden are the fences and boundaries, and in the same way as a decorative wallpaper sets the style for the room’s contents, so too does the fencing treatment suggest the choice of planting schemes, outdoor furniture and so on. Despite ever changing fashions in all things decorative, the most important consideration for exterior elements is that they are be both practical and hard wearing.
Here are some of my favourite alternatives to the ‘bog standard’ fencing we all too often see surrounding our gardens.
A solid block of colour strategically placed can provide the perfect focal point. This could be built from rendered breeze blocks or a timber frame covered with marine ply. Ideal to break up an expanse of painted wall of a neighbouring building.
Choose your colour carefully, hot colours, yellows and reds, usually work best in warmer climates, cooler colours, blues, greens and greys suit a temperate climate better. Don’t forget it’s easy to change the mood by changing the colour.
Living walls and fences
Living walls are very popular at the moment. There are lots of different systems on the market to suit many different applications. They can be very challenging to get right but if done properly can be very rewarding. In a smaller garden why not try a tall narrow panel of herbs near the kitchen. Don’t forget these walls are living and therefore need water and light together with the right aspect for the plants you’re using.
Another lovely idea is a living ‘fence’. Plant and weave whips of willow (salix) or dogwood (cornus) in a trellis pattern using garden twine to hold the shape. It will need careful clipping for it to maintain the pattern and should give years
Decorative steel panels
Decorative steel panels in either geometric or organic patterns can be used almost anywhere. Laser cut from sheets of mild steel or aluminium they can be painted or powder coated in any colour or left to develop a beautiful rusty patina. The panels can be used to screen unsightly features like bin stores, sheds, plain walls or boring views. As well as providing interest in the winter these panels can be great backdrops to summer planting and when illuminated from behind look amazing at night.
As an alternative to prefabricated timber fence panels, slatted fencing is becoming increasingly popular. The linear effect can add that modern feel to your garden. Try designing your own using exterior quality woods such as iroko, ipe, teak or cedar, or for a less expensive option use pressure treated sawn timber, which can be stained or painted, or left to silver naturally. Use varying width of boards, horizontally or vertically, to create additional interest.
I hope these options have you thinking about new ways to liven up your boundaries.
David Robinson is a Partner
at Robinson Design Interiors
& Gardens. Tel: 020 8892 8906
Making a Will
Issue: TW Mag May '13
IT’S ALL TOO EASY to put off making your will. Many of us don’t feel comfortable considering the inevitability of death and the effects on those we leave behind. We fall into the trap of delaying making arrangements for some reason or another.
But the fact is, if you don’t have a will in place, the state will decide how to split up and distribute your money, property and possessions after your death and choose any guardians should you have children.
Not having a will can cause difficulties for any remaining family, spouse and siblings both financially and domestically at an already emotional and stressful time. Indeed, I had a client recently who ended up sharing her husband’s estate with her parents-in-law!
With a Will YOU
Decide exactly who inherits what; such as any property, investments, money, valuable heirlooms, car etc
Can specify in your will exactly what type of funeral you require or if you would prefer to be cremated.
Can also choose to leave a legacy to a favoured charity.
Help provide financial stability for your loved ones at a difficult time.
Decide the guardians of your children and not the government. This will prevent the potential of your child/children being taken into care.
Can help your beneficiaries avoid any unnecessary inheritance tax or help provide financially for your children’s future.
WITHOUT a Will
If you and your partner are not married then they are not entitled to any of your estate. Even if you have children.
If you & your spouse are separated but not divorced, they are entitled to part of your property, this applies even if you live with a new partner.
If you have no living relatives then your estate will go to the government.
If your children are under 18 when you die then the government will decide who continues to bring them up as guardians.
If you are married without children then your spouse could have to share your estate with your parents.
If you are married with children then your spouse may only inherit half of your estate.
I hope I have outlined the reason why having a will in place is important. And indeed, there will be life changing events when you should review your will and update it. For example if you receive a large sum of cash, if a close family member dies, if you get married, when you retire, if you have children, if you get divorced.
Once you’ve begun the process there is likely to be a feeling of peace of mind that you have taken stock of the situation and helped those who remain by making your wishes clear.
Councillor Update - TW Mag
Issue: TW Mag May '13
IT DOES NOT SEEM like three months since I last wrote for TW Mag. Hopefully the winter chill of March and early April will be replaced by a much warmer spring! The changing of the seasons gives the opportunity to reflect on a couple of past articles and to give you a brief summary
In my last update in February I outlined the Council’s proposals to improve central Twickenham. These included –
Improving the street scene by getting rid of
street clutter and broadening the pavements.
Improving pedestrian safety by upgrading
pedestrian crossings including ‘countdown’ facilities which show how long you have left
Improving safety for all by introducing a 20 mph zone.
Upgrading provision for cyclists including new
When I last wrote, the Council was in discussion with Transport for London (TfL) regarding the relocation of bus stops in central Twickenham. The proposal was that bus stops would be moved from King Street to strategic points on adjacent roads with some consequential changes to bus routes and bus lanes. The most significant change would have involved rerouting the Northbound 267 and 281 buses along York Street and Aragon Road.
The initial feedback from TfL appeared positive about the proposed re-routing. They have however undertaken further analysis over the last few months and have now concluded that the operational costs of these proposed changes would be too great and that the buses should instead continue to use the existing route on London Road.
The Council’s proposals are therefore being updated in line with these views. The proposals continue to include the removal of all bus stops from King Street and this continues to be a feature of the scheme that is supported by TfL.
In the November 2012 issue I reported on the cross party Recycling Task Group which I chaired. In March 2013 it reported back. We made 18 separate recommendations to improve recycling in the borough. The full report can be accessed on the council’s website at www.richmond.gov.uk/scrutiny. Two of the key themes were –
To improve the recycling rate in flats,
concentrating initially on paper and card. We proposed the council work closely with the borough’s Registered Social Landlords (RSL’s) and private sector landlords as well to make recycling easier for those who live in flats.
To work on a number of communication
improvements such as using social media as well as the council’s own website to give residents the necessary support to recycle more.
I would also like to thank Dawn for the opportunity she gives us as your local councillors to communicate directly with you in this informal and hopefully informative manner. I am pleased to see that TW Mag is proving to be such a success and contributing to our community in South Twickenham.
The South Twickenham councillors would like to invite any ward resident to join us at our surgery every second Monday of the month from 7–8pm at the Council offices in York House. No appointment is necessary as we operate on a “drop-in” basis. It is however helpful to have some advance notice of the topic beforehand in order that we can do any necessary research. Should your issue be more urgent then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any of us on any council or local community related topic by telephone or e-mail. All of our contact details are on the Council website.
Cllr David Porter
What's in a Name?
Issue: TW11 Oct '13
‘Twenty bridges from Tower to Kew
(Twenty bridges or twenty two)
Wanted to know what the River knew
For they were young and the Thames was old
And this is the tale that the River told:
“I walk my beat before London Town,
Five hours up and seven down,
Up I go till I end my run
At Tide-end-town which is Teddington.”
ITTLE DID RUDYARD KIPLING know the problems he would set for local Teddington historians when he penned these now famous words in 1911. Although to be fair to him, he was not the first to make Tide-end-town out
The Rev Daniel Lysons discussed the etymology in his Environs of London in 1795 and came to the conclusion that it must have come from the Saxon ‘Tyd-end-ton’. The only problem with this is that this appears to be a form of spelling that does not appear ever have been used.
S C Hall also supported this explanation in his Book of the Thames in 1859.
James Thorne looked at the issue in 1876 in his Handbook to the Environs of London and in quoting the now popular legend, also noted that this explanation is the ‘one adopted by the Emperor, Napoleon III in his CESAR.’ However in later years, he dismissed the tide-end theory because of so many variations in the spelling.
In 1909, Kenneth Ingram produced A Short History of the Parish of Teddington, reciting the Napoleon connection stating that Napoleon III favoured the view that ‘TED’ meant ‘TIDE’.
Two years later, Kipling wrote The River’s Tale as a commission for C R I Fletcher’s A History of England (1911) and there it was in print for all
Going back to Lysons, he definitely hedged his bets when he produced two early spellings – ‘Todynton’ and ‘Totyngton’ which he attempted to break down into their component parts:
‘TOD’ or ‘TOT’ or ‘TOTE’ – which is not defined
‘YN’ or ‘YNG’ – a meadow
‘TON’ – an enclosure.
Writing in parish magazine in 1875, Rev Daniel Trinder followed this theme and produced some early spellings of his own, namely ‘Tuddington’, ‘Todyngton’ and ‘Totyngton’ and produced the following interpretation:-
‘TUDD’ or ‘TOD’ or ‘TOT’ – a small grove
‘ING’ or ‘YNG’ – a meadow or pasture
‘TON’ – an enclosure or town.
Edward Walford, writing his Greater London in 1883 (later reproduced as Village London in 1985), generally supported the Trinder theory but threw some doubt on ‘TOT’ which he claimed meant ‘lofty beacon’.
1914 saw a fresh approach on the origin of the name when Sir Montague Sharpe, writing in The Antiquities of Middlesex suggested that it was a corruption of ‘TOTHILLTOWN’ as there had been a Roman ‘botontinus’ or ‘tothill’ (an artificial mound probably used as a look-out post) almost opposite the Teddington entrance to Bushy Park.
Local librarian, C S Johnson lectured on the history of Teddington in 1937 and he again cited the Trinder theory, making special emphasis on Teddington Grove, suggesting that this may have been the ‘TOT’ part of the Saxon name.
More recently when E G Woodward penned ‘Teddington Town and All About It Up to 1956’, he introduced an additional meaning of ‘TOT’ as being ‘a small tribe’ as well as ‘a grove’. Unfortunately Mr Woodward did not reveal his sources for this.
Confused or what? Just what is the true origin of the name ‘TEDDINGTON’? It is true to say that until the half lock was built at Richmond in 1861, Teddington did mark the end of tidal waters but it must also be borne in mind that the first lock was not constructed here until 1811.
There was a ‘Tothill’ at the entrance to Bushy Park. It was described as being the size of a haystack and it was dismantled in 1808, we think for roadworks. This may well have been the Bronze Age Barrow excavated in 1854 and subsequently largely removed for road widening. There is a strong possibility that both features were one and the same.
I did come across the will of Aelfflaed, a Saxon ealdorman in 968 AD in which the spelling ‘Tudincgatun’ is used.
A trip to the Muniments Room at Westminster Abbey revealed the earliest written sources of ‘Teddington’, going back to pre-conquest times when Teddington was a manor of Westminster Abbey. On examining the documents here, I encountered thirty five different spellings of ‘Teddington’ from 969 AD to 1736 AD. Where do I go from here?
To arrive at the most probable explanation, it is necessary to refer to the English Placename Society. They have selected as the earliest spelling in common usage – ‘TUDINTUN’ (969 AD) and have translated this as follows :
‘TUD – the name of an Anglo Saxon leader
‘IN(G)’ – the people of
‘TUN’ – enclosure/village/farm.
Hence : the village of Tuda’s people.
The only Tuda mentioned in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle was the Bishop of Lindisfarne and died of a plague in 664 AD so it seems unlikely that he was the same Tuda of Teddington but given the close proximity to Kingston where six Saxon kings were crowned, it is not impossible.
Having cleared up that little conundrum, I was sitting back thinking of the uniqueness of Teddington when I discovered that there was also a Teddington in Gloucestershire. This is a very small hamlet close to Tewkesbury which is very much a rural community. It was in the county of Worcestershire until boundary changes moved it to Gloucester. It has an unusual five directional finger post called the ‘Teddington Hands’ which also gives its name to the village pub.
I smugly thought ‘another town of Tuda’s people’ and was immediately smacked down by The Place Names of Gloucestershire which states that their Teddington is from ‘Teoda’, which may be a hypocoristic form of the name ‘Teodbald’ in the nearby Tibblestone. Over the years, there are many other spellings and the earliest seems to be 780 AD when Offa, King of Mercia gave the village to a monastery at Bredon, now long gone.
It seems strange to me that two places of the same name and originating at about the same time can have such different explanations as to the formation of that name but I am sure similar anomalies must exist in other parts of
Ken Howe is a local historian
and author of several books on the history of the area
Tel: 020 8943 1513
Twickenham Rotary Club Father Christmas Visits
Issue: TW Mag Dec '13
The Rotary Club of Twickenham upon Thames will visit local streets with Father Christmas, his elves and his sleigh
Friday 13 December. Route includes: Lincoln Avenue, Selkirk Road, Hereford Gardens, Gloucester Road, Devon Avenue, Dorset Way, Wiltshire Gardens, Meadway, Park Crescent.
Saturday 14 December. Static collection, Sainsbury’s St Clares.
Wednesday 18 December. Route includes: March Road, Latham Close, Craneford Way, Egerton Road, Heathfield South, Heathfield North.
Thursday 19 December. Route includes: Lion Road, Laurel Avenue, Grove Avenue, Clifden Road, Tudor Gardens, Copthall Gardens, Sherland Road, and Queens Road.
Thursday 12 December. Route includes: Walpole Gardens and taking in Tower Road, Riverview Gardens, Radnor Road, Bonsor Road, Holmes Road, WaldegraveGardens, Orford Gardens, Popes Grove, Upper Grotto Road and Popes Avenue
Tuesday 17 December. Route includes: Wellesley Road and taking in Shaftesbury Way, Wellesley Crescent, Preston Close, Spencer Road, Vicarage Road, Walpole Road, Walpole Gardens