Saturday, 9 January 2021

BBC Car Park on Wood Lane Sold to Peabody

Proposed Peabody Trust Buildings on Wood Lane
Peabody Trust, one of the UK's oldest charitable housing associations, is to acquire 142 affordable homes at Television Centre in White City, on Wood Lane. 

According to a recent press release, developer Stanhope have have exchanged contracts with Peabody for 142 new affordable homes in two new buildings at Television Centre, London, W12.

The buildings form part of the Television Centre development.

Designed by Maccreanor Lavington Architects, the new buildings will replace the existing former BBC multi-storey car park on Wood Lane, W12, opposite Westfield. 

Friday, 8 January 2021

Lockdown 3.0 in the Bush

As Shepherd's Bush endures our third Lockdown, pity the local businesses who barely survived the first and second Lockdowns. Those that are still solvent must endure it once more, with no end in sight.  Below are some resources for surviving Lockdown 3.0 in Shepherd's Bush.

On the plus side, our Council's Covid-19 tests continue. The test takes just 5 minutes. You can visit test centres in Fulham, Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush.   Book now: www.lbhf.gov.uk/gettested

Friday, 18 December 2020

Westfield Sparkles, But No Lights for Shepherd's Bush

Westfield sparkles
Westfield sparkles again this year, but our local Council have again failed to find any money to put up Christmas decorations on Shepherd's Bush Green.

Every year, Westfield puts on a display of light and colour, while Shepherd's Bush Green and the surrounding streets are left with nothing to cheer the place up.

Our Council seem unable to hang any Christmas decorations in our shopping streets.

Monday, 14 December 2020

John Gordon-Smith Leads Hammersmith Park Cleanup

John Gordon-Smith leads the cleanup on Sunday
John Gordon-Smith is one of the unsung heroes of our neighbourhood, a local volunteer who regularly gives up his time to maintain and preserve the Japanese Garden at Hammersmith Park.

The Japanese Garden is one of our most distinctive local landmarks and a legacy of the Japan-British Exhibition of 1908, part of the original Great White City exhibition.

Yesterday John and his fellow volunteers were once again cleaning out the pond in the Japanese Garden, giving up their Sunday to clear the water of pondweed and algae. 

John was assisted by Mick, the park gardener and a number of other local volunteers including Richard, a gardener from Kew Gardens, who all worked hard to help restore the garden.  Many thanks to all of them for their hard work and dedication.

Saturday, 12 December 2020

St Stephen's Leaky Roof Needs Your Help

St Stephen's - leaky roof
St Stephen's church on the Uxbridge Road has almost raised the £220,000 needed to re-roof the church buildings, but is still short around £20,000. Can you help?

This Christmas there will be many worthy causes competing for your attention. A church roof is not a fashionable good cause, and yet roofs must be repaired. It has taken the best part of a decade to raise the money, largely through the persistent and dogged efforts of the indefatigable Juliet Byford, chair of the St Stephen's Roof Committee. 

Why contribute to the St Stephen's roof?  St Stephen's is a church that welcomes people from many different backgrounds, one of relatively few places in Shepherd's Bush where our many disparate communities come together.  

Thursday, 3 December 2020

Temporary Cycle Lanes in RBKC Removed

Temporary cycle lane on High Street Kensington
Few things get Londoners more upset than cycle lanes. If you are a cyclist, the absence of cycle lanes in central London verges on the barbaric - what civilised city would expose cyclists to the danger of occupying the same route as cars and lorries?

If you are a driver, then little gets you more annoyed than the often empty cycle lane next to you as you sit in one of London's frequent and endless traffic jams. 

RBKC are removing the temporary cycle lanes on High Street Kensington, but are they right to do so? Many locals think not, and have launched a petition at Change.org.

Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Supporting Older Folks in Shepherd's Bush This Xmas

LBHF Xmas Party 2019
As a local resident and a wheelchair user, I was disappointed to learn that the Christmas lunch for older people has been cancelled this year. 

Whilst I am personally fortunate enough to be younger and do have family to spend Christmas with this year, many are not so lucky.

In 2019 Hammersmith and Fulham council hosted a lunch for 260 people, but the event will not take place this Christmas.

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Hammersmith Park Tennis Lockdown

Thou Shalt Not Play Tennis
Lockdown is a confusing time in Shepherd's Bush.  Exercise is permitted, but tennis appears to be banned. At least, it must be, because our council has padlocked the gate to the tennis courts in Hammersmith Park. 

There is no sign of course, and no explanation as to why – but the answer to everything these days is Covid. 

An enterprising local has found their own solution – someone has cut a hole in the fence, to make a handy entrance to the tennis courts.  

This past Sunday all three tennis courts were full, even the one that doesn’t have a net – our Council still haven’t found the money (we've been waiting for many years) to replace it.  

Saturday, 28 November 2020

Hammersmith Bridge Protest on Saturday 5 December

On Saturday 5 December from 2-3pm there will be a Hammersmith Bridge Protest Meeting.  Hammersmith Bridge is now closed not just to vehicles but also to bicycles, pedestrians and river traffic. 

The bridge is to remain closed indefinitely, as our Council, TFL and central government argue over who should pay. 

When will the bridge re-open? It has been closed since April 2019, following a long and sorry saga of temporary closures and regular postponement of the necessary repairs.

If you're fed up with the endless delays and prevarications and would like to see our council do something about repairing the bridge (which they own), then show up and let your voice be heard.

Friday, 27 November 2020

D-Day-style Solution for Hammersmith Bridge?

Proposed temporary bridge by Tim Beckett
According to a recent article in the Daily Mail, Shepherd's Bush author and journalist Robert Hardman has identified an imaginative solution to the perma-closure of Hammersmith Bridge - a "D-Day"-style steel replacement. 

The temporary bridge is the brainchild of marine engineer Tim Beckett and his team at Beckett Rankine, builders of harbours, bridges and piers. 

Tuesday, 10 November 2020

Cooke's Pie and Mash Reborn?

Photo: Helen Carey
Cooke's Pie and Mash is back - or is it? Cooke's Pie and Mash closed its doors on 25 July 2015, a casualty of the aborted redevelopment of Shepherd's Bush Market that never was. 

Cooke's Pie and Mash had been a feature of the the Goldhawk Road for over a century, and was made famous by the cult film Quadrophenia, as well as being a favourite haunt of the Sex Pistols. 

Cooke's was part of the local landscape, and when they closed they even lost the right to use their trading name.  

The original building signage is being restored, but sadly the shop is not re-opening. Today, it is a plain old office building, but one that is celebrating its heritage with a new paint job. 

Friday, 6 November 2020

Shepherd's Bush Lockdown 2.0

Empty trains on the Central Line
Shepherd's Bush is back into Lockdown. Pity the businesses who barely survived the first Lockdown; now they must endure it all over again. 

There are however some rays of sunshine, such as the empty Tube train which opened its doors to me during my morning commute on Thursday - the first time in my adult life when I have sat in an empty train during "rush hour".  

For those who aren't getting out much, or indeed at all, below are some resources for surviving Lockdown 2.0 in Shepherd's Bush.

Thursday, 5 November 2020

Humans of Shepherd's Bush - No 14

Amar, aka Tony
Meet Amar, also known as Tony. Amar's father, Amaro, came from India to London in 1954 and started this shop at Shepherds Bush Market in 1960.

In the beginning Amar sold men’s ties in Petticoat Lane in East London on Sundays; he moved the business to W12 a few years later.

"Most of the shops here were run by women during the week, while the men had day jobs in factories.  My father cut rubber at a foundry nearby and worked in the market on the weekend for an extra income. The market ran for three days as it was also hard to get much stock in due to London rebuilding after the war".

Tony’s mother, Manjit, joined his father 15 years later from Punjab. She was chosen by his grandmother as a suitable wife for the then 19 year old Amaro while he was still in London. 

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Zoom Call re Future of Shepherd's Bush Market

Yoo - Market Owners
Yoo Capital
, the new majority owners of Shepherd's Bush Market, are hosting a virtual conference to air their early ideas for the market and wider area and to receive feedback. 

The Zoom call will be held on two dates: Wednesday 21 October at 6pm and Saturday 24 October 2020. 

To sign up,  email info@myshepherdsbushmarket.com or call Louise on: 07539 096459.

Monday, 12 October 2020

Japanese Garden Cleanup in Hammersmith Park

Volunteers at work on Sunday
On Sunday October 11 the Japanese Garden at Hammersmith Park enjoyed a much-needed cleanup operation, as local volunteers got to work.

The team was led by Japanese Garden Chair John Gordon-Smith, Mick, the park gardener and five local volunteers including Richard, a gardener from Kew Gardens, who all worked hard to help restore the garden.  Many thanks to all of them for their hard work and dedication.

Thursday, 1 October 2020

Thinnest House in Britain for Sale for Just Under £1m

skinniest house in Britain?
The "Thinnest House in Britain" is on the Goldhawk Rd, and is yours for just under £1m.

According to an article in the Daily Telegraph a few years back, the house is just 66 inches wide, and was last sold in 2009 for around £500,000.

Needless to say Faron Sutaria, the estate agents who sold it, said that its small size "adds to its charm".

The house on the Goldhawk Road apparently used to be a hatshop, and there is a nod to this ancestry in the form of the hat still hanging in what used to be the shop window.

Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Free Covid-19 Testing Today

Our local council are offering free Covid-19 testing from a Mobile Testing Unit at the Phoenix Leisure Centre, today, Wednesday 9 September, until 3.30pm. 

The Unit is located on Bloemfontein Road, White City, London W12 7DB. No appointment is necessary, you just walk-up. 

The test is aimed at anyone who has symptoms, or think they might.

LBHF is asking that face coverings should be worn, and a 2m distance is maintained at all times.

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

Hammersmith Bridge Protest Tomorrow at 5pm

Hammersmith Bridge 
Hammersmith Bridge is now closed not just to vehicles but also to bicycles, pedestrians and river traffic. This is apparently because of an "increased risk to public safety due to a sudden deterioration in key parts of the suspension structure."

The bridge will apparently remain closed "until the engineers are confident that it is safe to re-open to pedestrians and river traffic".

But when will this be? The bridge has been closed since April 2019, following a long and sorry saga of temporary closures and regular postponement of the necessary repairs.

Tomorrow Thursday 3rd September at 5pm there will be a Hammersmith Bridge Protest Meeting, to be held on both sides of the bridge.

Guests include a cross channel swimmer who will be swimming across the Thames from Barnes to Hammersmith.

If you're fed up with the endless delays and prevarications and would like to see our council do something about repairing the bridge, show up and let your voice be heard.

Thursday, 6 August 2020

Why Can't We Clean Up Shepherd's Bush Green?

Shepherd's Bush Green on a Summer Morning
Back in 2014 we first started started posting about the sorry state of Shepherd's Bush Green, and the failure of our Council to do anything about enforcing the law.  Six years on, things are worse than ever.

Walk across Shepherd's Bush Green in the morning and you will see piles of fast food, empty bottles and cans, often dumped right next to the bins.

The worst thing is that there doesn't seem to be any attempt by our Council to enforce the laws against dropping litter. Why not?