Wednesday 31 December 2014

Shepherd's Bush "a Dystopian Vision of Kebab Shops", says the FT

Shepherd's Bush Green: "a dystopian vision...a windswept traffic island ringed by kebab joints"
According to an article in May in The Financial Times, Shepherd’s Bush is "not one of London’s lovelier districts". Apparently we are "sandwiched between the elegant suburbs of Holland Park and Chiswick", and our architecture is "for the most part a tangle of unprepossessing Victorian streets clustered around a dystopian vision of the traditional village green", which the FT memorably describes as "a windswept traffic island ringed by kebab joints and mobile phone shops". A pretty harsh assessment - but is it a fair one? 

Sunday 28 December 2014

Last Chance for Pie and Mash in Shepherd's Bush

Cooke's Pie and Mash, on the Goldhawk Rd. But not for long.
Cooke's Pie and Mash has been a feature of the the Goldhawk Road for over a century - but this long tradition of authentic local food will soon come to an end, once the redevelopment of Shepherd's Bush Market begins in 2015. Market traders are soon to be moved to temporary accommodation while demolition of the existing structures takes place and the ground is prepared for a huge new housing and shopping development. So Cooke's days are numbered, and the shop made famous by Quadrophenia will soon be gone.

Wednesday 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas to All in Shepherd's Bush - But Where Are The Christmas Decorations?

Where are the decorations?
Our Council must be cutting back this year - Shepherd's Bush Green looks the same as ever. No lights, no tinsel, no Christmas Tree, nothing to mark the season and cheer the place up.  It's a real pity; last year there was at least an effort to help the local traders compete with the glamour of the Westfield behemoth, by sprucing up the lamp-posts and hanging some Christmas lights. Not this year. Anyway, despite the lack of festive cheer, lights or no lights, The Bush Telegraph wishes a very Merry Christmas to all our readers!

Monday 22 December 2014

Eating Out in Shepherd's Bush - The Time Out Guide

Time Out in Shepherd's Bush
Where should you go to eat out in Shepherd's Bush? Here is what The Time Out Guide to Shepherd's Bush has to say about our neighbourhood: "The vibe in Shepherd's Bush? Hectic! With its Overground and underground stations, a spaghetti-like road network, its old-school street market and the behemoth Westfield shopping centre, the Bush is bustling day and night. Its biggest selling point is that it's home to great music venues like the Shepherd's Bush Empire and Bush Hall, original theatre courtesy of the Bush Theatre, as well as plenty of bars and restaurants from all over the world." Amen to that. If you're not eating well in Shepherd's Bush, you're not trying hard enough. So what and where does Time Out recommend?

Sunday 21 December 2014

What's Up With the Weird Shed on Shepherd's Bush Green?

Sad looking shed
Shepherd's Bush Green (or Shepherd's Bush Common, as it is also known) was completely refurbished last year, a major undertaking which was apparently funded largely by the developer of our shiny new Westfield Centre.  However, in the course of fixing the place up (which is much nicer than it used to be), someone forgot to renovate the dilapidated shed which is currently decaying on the north west side of the Green. So what happened? did someone forget? Or did the Westfield money just not stretch that far?

Tuesday 16 December 2014

Laura Bristow (aged 8) reviews Dick Whittington and His Cat

Now Playing at the Lyric, Hammersmith
Dick Whittington and his Cat is now playing at The Lyric in Hammersmith, running until 3rd January 2015. The Lyric is, along with The Bush Theatre on the Uxbridge road, one of our local centres for excellence in theatrical production. Tickets are very reasonable; far less than you would pay for a West End performance. We asked Laura Bristow, aged 8, to review the show.

Monday 15 December 2014

The Visitors at The Bush Theatre Gets 5 Star Reviews

The Visitors - now playing at The Bush Theatre
The Bush Theater moved to its new home in the old library on the Uxbridge Road in 2011, and since then has established itself as a worthy temple of culture in Shepherd's Bush, bringing excellent new writing and rising talent to a building which had been dark since the new library opened in the Westfield Centre in 2008. Now playing at The Bush Theatre is - The Visitors - getting 5 star reviews.

Thursday 11 December 2014

Chris Underwood's Shepherd's Bush Blog is Back Online

The original Shepherd's Bush Blog
The Original Shepherd's Bush Blog is back online - at least as a historical archive of life in the Bush. Chris Underwood's excellent local blog, which he kept up for five years from 2008 until his move to South Africa in 2013, is live once more. It has not been updated since the end of last year, but it remains an excellent resource for all sorts of aspects of life in The Bush.

Tuesday 9 December 2014

The Visual Effects Industry Comes to Shepherd's Bush

Escape Studios VFX Festival 2015
Who knew that Shepherd's Bush is a global hub for visual effects work? Walk a short distance south of Shepherd's Bush Green and you will find Escape Studios, who will be running their latest VFX Festival on January 28th 2014 at the VUE Cinema in the West 12 Centre. To find out more, and sign up, follow this link. The event is an excellent way to find out about careers in the visual effects industry, what jobs are out here and how to break in to the movie business.

Friday 5 December 2014

A Bird in The Bush - Your Guide to Shepherd's Bush

A Bird in The Bush
A Bird in the Bush was an excellent blog about our neighbourhood. Now sadly discontinued, the archive is still accessible and you can see plenty of recommendations about places to go and things to see and do in our part of West London. Some of it is a bit our of date, but overall it's still a great resource.

Tuesday 18 November 2014

Save Hammersmith Park!

Hammersmith Park - worth saving?
Bush resident, author and journalist Virginia Ironside is leading a campaign to save Hammersmith Park from development by Play Football, whose plans would in effect turn one third of the park into a pay-to-play football pitch. Contracts were signed and planning permission was given by the outgoing council, and while the new Labour administration oppose the plans, they are not able to speak out against them for fear of being in breach of contract. It is now up to local residents to decide the issue. If the voices against this private development are loud enough, it may yet be enough to persuade Play Football to change their minds.

Sunday 26 October 2014

Story Stock Comes to The Bush theatre on Tuesday 28 October

Story Stock
The Bush Theatre is our newest temple of culture in The Bush, presently occupying the old library on the Uxbridge Road, a venerable Victorian structure founded by enterpreneur and philanthropist Passmore Edwards in the late 19th century.  Next week StoryStock comes to the Bush Theatre, bringing art and culture to children of all ages.

Saturday 25 October 2014

Farmer's Market Comes to Shepherd's Bush

Brook Green farmer's Market
Here in the Bush we have a lot of choice about where to buy our groceries. We get to choose not just between the big national chains - Waitrose, Sainsbury's, Tesco's, and Morrisons - but we enjoy a host of Middle Eastern and Polish specialist stores lining the Uxbridge and Goldhawk Roads.  Now, we have a new farmer's market - it takes place every saturday morning from 10am until 3pm in Addison Primary School on Bolingbroke Road in Brook Green.

Friday 24 October 2014

Should Heathrow Expand? Public Consultation on Heathrow for Residents of Hammersmith and Fulham on November 4th

Terminal 6. Image: Wikipedia
Bush Residents who are worried about the worsening noise from planes taking off and landing at Heathrow airport are being urged by the Council to stand up and make their voices heard. Hammersmith & Fulham Council opposes proposals to add a third runway, and are asking residents to share their opinions on the future of Heathrow at a public meeting on Tuesday, November 4.

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Parking Spaces and Local Democracy - The System At Work

More parking for residents, less room for lorries
Our corner of Shepherd's Bush recently got a brand-new residents' parking bay. A small victory, and a modest benefit for us locals. Actually, it isn't that small. Not only does it mean that more of us can park in the street we live in, but it means that other people can't. In particular, the big lorries that used to park up and run their engines while they ate their lunch can't hang out like they used to. Our neighbourhood just got a little bit less noisy, and a little bit better. So how did this minor victory come about? Thank the Council, and our local Residents' Association.

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Your Terraced House in Shepherd's Bush May Soon Be a Mansion

Not just a mansion, but a mega-mansion
You might think you live in a modest terraced house with too many stairs and a tiny garden. But the way house prices are going in Shepherd's Bush, it won't be long before plenty of Bush residents live in a mansion - if the new mansion tax goes through. Just recently a house on Hartswood Road become the first residential property in W12  to sell for over £3m - £3,202,000 in fact.

Friday 17 October 2014

St James White City Planning Application Now Taking Soundings From The Public

St James White City Redevelopment area
Developer St James has now submitted a formal planning application to the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham seeking planning permission for its development proposals for the M&S Warehouse Site on Wood Lane. The application reference number is 2014/04726/OUT and can be found on the Council's website here. St James will also be making the submitted planning documents available to view at the UGLI Buildings on the dates and times below. Bush residents are invited to drop in and discuss the proposals with the team.

Thursday 16 October 2014

What's Happening to Shepherd's Bush Market?

Shepherd's Bush market is being developed by Orion
The outgoing Council's plans for the redevelopment of Shepherd's Bush Market are controversial, not least because they involve the demolition of the much-loved Cooke's Pie and Mash shop on the Goldhawk Road, featured in the classic film Quadrophenia. Recently the market development just took one step closer to being realised, as minister Erick Pickles granted a compulsory purchase order, apparently acting against the recommendation of planning inspector Ava Wood.

Wednesday 15 October 2014

Beautifying the Uxbridge Road and Goldhawk Road

Uxbridge Road - in need of beautification?
One of the more positive developments put into place by the outgoing Council administration in our Borough was a road beautification program for Shepherd's Bush - in particular the Uxbridge Road and the Goldhawk Road, near the point where they connect to Shepherd's Bush Green. Plans to improve the Goldhawk road are already under way, with Uxbridge Rd due to be improved in early 2015. So what can residents of The Bush expect?

Tuesday 14 October 2014

Westfield Expansion - How It Will Look

How it will look. Image: Westfield, all rights reserved
Shepherd's Bush is officially a Regeneration Zone - meaning that our Council has targeted it for special incentives and opportunities for redevelopment. Part of the forthcoming big changes to the area are the northward expansion of Westfield - encompassing much of what is now a semi-industrial site running north along Wood Lane. Wood Lane will be completely transformed if the plans go ahead.

Sunday 12 October 2014

What Happened To Our Local Newspaper?

The Chronicle is no more
The Fulham and Hammersmith Chronicle is dead, killed off by the broad decline of print journalism which is now so advanced that the passing of a local newspaper barely attracts any media attention. Partly, of course, that is because there is now hardly anyone left to report its passing. And this is a problem for our local community in The Bush. Who will hold the powerful to account now that the watchdogs of democracy - our free press - has been closed?

Saturday 11 October 2014

£80 Fine For Littering in The Bush - Does It Work?

Zero Tolerance. But what does that really mean?
In our neck of The Bush there are plenty of signs threatening "zero tolerance" for litter bugs - and an £80 fine for dropping litter.

In theory, this should mean clean streets, but in practice it doesn't seem to.

In fact, the lamp posts with the "zero tolerance" signs seem to be a favourite gathering place for litter, a special gift for the law enforcers who obviously aren't there.

So, does our Council actually fine anyone for street littering in The Bush?

Sunday 5 October 2014

Will Play Football Regenerate or Ruin Hammersmith Park?

Residents at White City Community Centre
On Thursday 2nd October a meeting was held at the White City Community Centre to help decide the future of Hammersmith Park. Play Football, the sports operator which last year won planning permission to lease around half of the Park and build approximately thirteen new pay-to-play football pitches, was there to hear the views of local residents. It was not a convivial evening.