Friday, 23 July 2021

Sisters of Nazareth in Hammersmith

Sisters of Nazareth in Hammersmith
Few inhabitants of Shepherd's Bush likely know much about the Sisters of Nazareth in Hammersmith, a Roman Catholic Order founded in the mid-19th Century and still providing residential care to the elderly today.

I found myself knocking on the rather forbidding main entrance on Hammersmith Rd (see photo left) as I searched for the W6 Physio Centre, deftly hidden behind its walls, where I was to be treated for a dodgy knee. 

But, once inside, the residents could not have been friendlier, and I quickly found my way through the beautiful gardens to the physio centre at the back.

Friday, 16 July 2021

Hammersmith Bridge to Re-Open for Pedestrians

Hammersmith Bridge
Local residents in Hammersmith and Barnes will breathe a sigh of relief now that Hammersmith Bridge is to re-open to pedestrians and cyclists, as early as this coming weekend.

Hammersmith Bridge has been closed since 2019 to vehicles, with the closure being extended in 2020 to bicycles, pedestrians and even river traffic.

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

Last year there were protests over the failure of the responsible authorities to tackle the problem, but these have not yet resulted in a successful plan to re-open the bridge to cars and buses.

Saturday, 10 July 2021

EV Charging Stations Coming to the Bush

EV charging station
Across Shepherds Bush, Electric vehicle ("EV") charging stations have been springing up.  Recently our local council, LBHF, ran a consultation with residents in our streets regarding a new charging station for EVs.

"We're in favour", said locals, "but can we keep our existing residents' parking bays please?"  Luckily for us, LBHF said "yes", and put the new charging bay in a place where it didn't take up any existing residents' bays.

Tuesday, 29 June 2021

Demolition of BBC Car Park Begins

Scaffolding is up, and the long process of demolition of BBC Car Park on Wood Lane is underway. 

Work began in mid June 2021, but the work will take some time; 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 are bracing themselves for many months of noise, mess and general disruption.

Friday, 25 June 2021

ITV Moves to White City

ITV moves to White City
Some good news for our neighbourhood; ITV is moving operations to White City.  ShowBiz is back in the Bush. 

The broadcaster has signed a 13-year lease on Broadcast Centre in White City from the BBC, as it moves all of its London based staff into one location for the first time.

Thursday, 24 June 2021

Last Chance to Have Your Say on Old Oak Plans

Old Oak plans
Now is the last chance to have your say on the future of Old Oak

In the guest blog below,  Henry Peterson, advisor to the Old Oak Neighbourhood Forum, argues the case for why the current development plans are flawed - and should be opposed.

Monday, 21 June 2021

Shepherd's Bush Police Station For Sale

Shepherd's Bush Police Station
Shepherd’s Bush Police Station is for sale.

The police station, which occupies an ugly grey building on the Uxbridge Rd, was first scheduled for closure back in 2013.  

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.