Sunday, 13 June 2021

Friends of the Japanese Garden Newsletter

Friends of the Japanese Garden have published their latest newsletter, with news about events in Hammersmith Park, and how local people can volunteer to help maintain the beauty of the Japanese Garden. 

Friday, 4 June 2021

Travellers Settle in Ravenscourt Park

Ravenscourt Park
The day after a tent city appeared on Shepherd's Bush Green, travellers have moved into nearby Ravenscourt Park. 

About a dozen travellers and caravans appear to have broken through locked gates this morning at about 5.30am. 

I don't have any pictures yet (anyone got some?), but you can read the full story, with lots of pictures, at the Daily Mail.

Thursday, 3 June 2021

Tent City Springs Up on Shepherd's Bush Common

Shepherd's Buddha
A tent city has recently sprung up in the centre of Shepherd's Bush Common (aka Shepherd's Bush Green).  

The camp is set up in a defensive circle, presumably to keep out intruders. 

The people living in the camp seem to be the same folks who were protesting Lockdown and vaccination last weekend. 

Sunday, 30 May 2021

Skimmer Vandalised in Hammersmith Park

Vandalised Skimmer
Sometimes you have to feel a bit sorry for our local council, and for everyone who works hard to improve our parks.

For many years, John Gordon-Smith and other volunteers at the Friends of the Japanese Garden in Hammersmith Park have been lobbying our Council to install a skimmer to clean up the duck weed in the Japanese Garden.  After years of waiting, we finally got the skimmer, which was then almost immediately vandalised.

It isn't clear why anyone would want to smash up the skimmer. But someone, for whatever reason, decided it would be a good plan.

Saturday, 29 May 2021

Shepherd's Bush Front Line in the Vaccine Wars

Public protest on the Goldhawk Rd
Shepherd's Bush became an unlikely front line in the arguments over Corona virus, lockdown, vaccination, and public liberty today. 

How far has Lockdown infringed on our civil liberties? Too far, said today's protestors who turned Shepherd's Bush into a parking lot this afternoon.

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Hammersmith Park Tennis Courts Locked

Why lock the courts?
Sometimes our local council moves in mysterious ways.  On Sunday I went to the tennis courts in Hammersmith Park to play with my children, only to discover the courts locked.  

Two basketball players were also there, but none of us could get in.  Not to worry, I said, let's crawl in through the hole in the fence at the back.  But no luck; the council - in its wisdom and efficiency - has blocked up the hole. 

The two basketball players were undeterred; they simply climbed over the fence, while my kids and I had to find somewhere else to hit a ball. 

But how long will it be, I wondered, before someone makes a new hole in the fence? 

Sunday, 16 May 2021

1,000 Parking Tickets a Week Issued in Shepherds Bush

Macfarlane Rd - Ticket Hotspot
Every week, around 1,000 Parking Tickets are issued in Shepherds Bush.  Each year nearly 49,000 Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) are issued by Hammersmith & Fulham Council in our neighbourhood, W12.

Tuhin Reynolds-Imam has done extensive research to find out exactly who is getting parking tickets, and where.  

To find out the top places in The Bush to get a ticket (and how to avoid them), see the detailed results below, with data taken from Tuhin's website

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Parking Charges Double in LBHF

Our local council, the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, have recently almost doubled the cost of parking in our Borough.  Parking charges in the area have risen from around £2.80 an hour to around £5.00 per hour.  

This is a pretty steep increase.  Imagine a family taking their kids to the park; it would cost £15 just to park the family car for three hours.  

Is that affordable for many people? And is it proportionate to the actual cost of administering parking facilities?  

What this feels like is a stealth tax - and a pretty big one at that. 

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Demolition of BBC Car Park to Begin in June

The old BBC Car Park on Wood Lane is to be demolished; work will start on or around 11th June 2021. 

The old car park is a massive structure filled with concrete ramps, and with deep foundations.  It will take "at least 35 weeks" to remove it, so local residents in Macfarlane Rd must brace themselves for many months of noise, mess and general disruption.

The new building is to be constructed by Peabody Trust; it will be called Macfarlane Place, and comprises two buildings, including 142 "affordable" housing units

Monday, 26 April 2021

Humans of Shepherd's Bush - No 15

Meet Gary Rawlings, the finest window cleaner in Shepherd's Bush.  Gary knows everyone in our neighbourhood; his family have been in the area since 1880; his great-grandfather was a local coffin maker.

Today, Gary cleans the windows of the Bush with rain water he collects in his garden - purer than water from the mains, and better for your windows. 

Gary is a busy man and his order book is pretty full - but his inside-and-out service is well worth the wait.

Thursday, 22 April 2021

"Tiny Forest" Planted in Hammersmith Park

"Tiny Forest" in Hammersmith Park
According to recent news reports, Hammersmith Park is set to house London’s first "Tiny Forest", planted in the old Bowling Green in the Park.  

Our Council, LBHF, posted a news story about the forest back in March.

But where is this forest? And how do you get there? Turns out, it isn't that easy to find, and there isn't any legitimate public access.

Monday, 19 April 2021

Why is Shepherd's Bush Green Such a Mess?

Spring has come at last, good news us all, but bad news for poor Shepherd's Bush Green, which once again has become a public rubbish dump.

Local resident Sonia Carnelli has written to our local council, and councillors, to express her own response to the problem.

Sonia isn't just complaining; she also offers a number of possible solutions that might make things better.

After all, it surely cannot be impossible to clean up Shepherd's Bush Green.  Giving up on our public green spaces - which can at times feel like no-go zones - cannot be the right choice for our neighbourhood.

Sunday, 18 April 2021

The Guerrilla Gardeners are Back

The Guerrilla Gardeners are back, planting flowers in the beds of street trees in Shepherd's Bush, quietly and anonymously making our neighbourhood just a little bit nicer to live in. 

Amidst the noise and grunge of Shepherd's Bush, local people are making their own small contribution to keeping our streets feeling loved and cared for.

Why not adopt a local street tree of your own, perhaps the one outside your front door? Eight-packs of bedding plants can be bought from the Brook Green Tesco for just £2 a pack, less than the price of a coffee.

Friday, 26 March 2021

Cherry Blossom in the Bush

Blossom in the Bush
Some years ago I lived for a time in Japan, and experienced the annual festival of Hanami, the Japanese celebration of Cherry blossom.  

The citizens of Tokyo gather every year in the gardens of the Imperial Palace to experience the blossom filtering the sunlight and gently falling on the grass. 

We may not have any palaces in Shepherd's Bush, but we have many cherry trees, and at this time of year our streets become a riot of white and pink blossom, as the cherry trees come into bloom. 

Thursday, 25 March 2021

White City John Lewis to Re-Open After Lockdown

John Lewis to re-open at Westfield
The John Lewis Partnership confirmed yesterday that the White City John Lewis will re-open after Lockdown.

This will be reassuring to those who had feared that the flagship store might be on the list of post-Lockdown closures; John Lewis lost over £500m in the last financial year.  

Westfield, which is currently almost deserted, will again become Europe's biggest shopping mall once it re-opens after Lockdown ends.  At its heart is the £33 million John Lewis store, which first opened in 2018.

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Woody's "Woodisms" Become Lockdown Art

Woody is eight years old, lives in Shepherd's Bush and attends the same school as my own children. He is a little bit different from the other kids; he has autism, and today, Woody's unique way of viewing the world has led to a new line of Lockdown art, including greetings cards, which feature Woody's unique take on life under Lockdown. To see more, and feel a genuine sense of inspiration about the ways in which special needs can indeed lead to special gifts, watch the BBC video above.  To support Woody and buy his art, go the official site at

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Scaffolding Goes Up at St Stephen's Church

Scaffolding goes up at St Stephen's
St Stephen's church on the Uxbridge Road has finally raised most of the £220,000 needed to re-roof the church buildings, and scaffolding is going up for work to begin.

It has taken the best part of a decade to raise the money, largely through the dogged efforts of Juliet Byford, chair of the St Stephen's Roof Committee. 

St Stephen's is an inclusive church that welcomes people from many different backgrounds, a place where diverse communities come together.  

Monday, 22 March 2021

What About a Lido for Shepherd's Bush?

Saltdean Lido
Shepherd's Bush film-maker Eddie Morgan has an idea for improving life in our neighbourhood - a Lido.  

Lidos are - so says the Guardian - experiencing a revival in the UK, so why can't we have one in Shepherd's Bush? 

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Worthless Bicycle Pinched in Shepherd's Bush

Like many people in Shepherd's Bush, I like to cycle around the neighbourhood, but I don't have any storage for my bike, so I leave it chained up in the street. 

Knowing the problem of bicycle theft in London, my solution has always been to own an ancient bike that no-one in their right mind would bother to steal; in my case, an ancient Raleigh ladies bike of uncertain vintage.

Monday, 15 March 2021

Two Brook Green Markets From Saturday

Brook Green now boasts two Farmers' Markets on saturdays. The original Brook Green Market, which has taken place in Addison Road (entry from Bolingbroke Rd) every Saturday morning since 2014, has moved to new premises on Masbro Rd since Saturday 6th March.

The new market site is St Mary's Catholic Primary School, 40 Masbro Rd, Brook Green, W14 0LT, and takes place every Saturday as usual from 9.30am until 3pm.

The old Addison Road site will also, from this coming Saturday 20th March, play host to a new market, branded as the "Urban Street Food Fest" (see poster on left).