29th July 2012 - The Women’s Olympic Cycling Road Race passed the end of Shacklegate Lane and along Waldegrave Road. Alice was sent out to capture the event, as seen here.
I recently was contacted by a visitor to this site, asking for any information about Arthur’s Cottages possibly in Hanworth, where an ancestor may have lived. Can anyone add any information? I have mislaid my pre-1900 local maps.
I see that the local council is proposing to introduce a new short-term-parking system near Stanley Road shops and the Shacklegate Lane junction. This follows complaints from local shopkeepers. It always puzzles me why small edge-of-town shops, which usually have large, unused, unsightly forecourts, do not band together and offer these often unmaintained areas to the council, so that the pavements can be set back 6-8 feet from the road, and then use the old pavement areas as short-term parking. Any existing trees could be left as they are. These forecourts are rarely used for anything other than dangerous swinging advertising stands and A-boards.
There is a new feature on the Borough web site, giving people the opportunity to make money-saving suggestions. I contributed the following.
A large amount of litter is generated each week in each rubbish collection area. This is caused by insecure rubbish containers, animals tearing open bags, or by spillages caused by collection teams.
It seems really obvious that this is easiest controlled if a road sweeper follows along on collection days, soon after the lorries have been through. It's a lot easier and quicker to collect this spilled litter soon after it appears.
I think it would save several hours per week for each road sweeper employed as it would be quicker and more organised. Also, collecting litter before it blows about and gets torn is a lot easier and more efficient.
It will mean that rubbish clearance is done in a much more controlled manner, and the contents of road sweeper barrows could be put into the collection lorries.
There is also an opportunity to start an online petition. It has been available for most of this year, but when I tried to view a list of existing ones, there were not any! I have started two, asking for support for my above suggestions. I will report here on any progress. Does the system work, or is it a waste of OUR money? Is it broken or has nobody used it?
Alan Benns has done it again with a moving video tribute to the talented older generation of Teddington, filmed last week, 17th August 2010 at Elleray Hall. This touching film managed, without getting maudlin, to capture the emotion of years gone by. I was left wishing for a longer My Way.
As an add-on to the article immediately below, I would like to mention something our friend Alan Benns is doing in and for the local area. With the help of the community, he proposes to identify and film key activities taking place in 2010 in the Teddington/Hampton area, including the Parks and River, and he will be contacting all the groups that may be interested in this project so they can be represented on this, his dedicated site e.g. schools and colleges, leisure industries, river organisations, local businesses, royal parks, the local council, local interest groups, charities, emergency services, and the local press. He also hopes to work with The Teddington Society and The Hampton Wick Association. And YES! It really is free!!
He envisages no individual story being longer than two minutes, but long enough to tell the story of the event. Many events will be date-specific and can be planned in advance. Others may not be so specific and can be filmed as an ongoing project during a quiet time when other things are not happening.
Obviously he cannot film all events or include them but will try to make sure there is a fair balance of organisations represented. Any events that show off our towns visually would clearly be a good idea.
Find out all about this great local project, Teddington and Hampton 2010 here.
And YES! It really is free!!
December 2009 - Teddington Christmas Lights 2009
This is so nice. I wasn't there, but I feel as though I was. Excellent camera work, and sensitive handling of scenes that could be mawkish if not presented so tastefully. As a Teddington resident, it makes me wish I'd been there. You can almost smell the mulled wine wafting down High Street.
Work on the old Jet garage site at the junction of Stanley Road & Shacklegate Lane is progressing well. I have added a page based on the memories of my website correspondent SG, who gave me permission to compile his emails to me. If you are interested in the local history of the Stanley Road and Fulwell area, you will find his recollections invaluable.
This is a taster of a longer video showing progress on a building site in Teddington, SW London. I'll be updating it when the building is finished.
July 19th, 2008 - We've just been watching this week's episode of "The Bill". I suddenly realised that the scene we were watching was filmed in Teddington High Street. I paused the programme and rewound it slightly and went forward again. The camera shot was from inside a police car, then it changed briefly to show the view up the High Street towards the railway bridge, before changing back to the high street from in the car. However the car then passed the same point which it had just passed! Terrible continuity! A moment later it got worse when the police car was seen in the grounds of St Alban’s Cathedral down by the river.
November 8th 2007 - Rather sadly, we have spent too much time recently discussing recycling and rubbish disposal. The request to put some of it out at 6 o'clock in the morning seemed unrealistic, as well as being free food day for the local pests, cats and foxes.
Given the choice of getting up two hours early, or putting it out the night before, we decided to put it out at 7.30. On our way to work this morning the streets were already strewn with bin bag contents savaged by pets and rodents etc., and on our way home from work this evening all the recycling was still on the pavement, some of it literally because of the strong winds this afternoon. Can't the council get this simple concept correct?
And what idiot chose black for the recycling boxes? In any ill-lit area they are almost impossible to see at night. Can we please go back to rear of house collections, and putting our rubbish in disused quarries?
November 2007, The Telegraph published a profile of Teddington.
July 26th, 2007 - For various reasons we haven't been to Bushy Park for many weeks, so today, being my 50th birthday, we both had the day off and had a long walk in the park. After the amount of rain we've had recently, the whole park looked very clean and lush. We followed the Longford River down the western edge of the park eventually arriving at the Woodland Gardens.
The path along the river was the most overgrown I have ever seen it, even more so than when I first discovered it in 1987! At that time it was much less walked than at present. The wet weather had obviously kept people away from this path, and the amount of rain had certainly helped the vegetation grow.
We were sitting by the lily pond, covered in more lilies than I have ever seen here when we were fortunate enough to see a river workman opening the sluice house. We quickly walked over and asked if we could see inside. The pictures below were taken in the little house. The toasting fork on the wall above the fireplace was used by workmen in bygone days.
A few minutes later at about 1:30pm we saw a very tame fox, possibly the first one we have seen in Bushy Park. It was a remarkable sight, coming just a few minutes after seeing the very large heron pictured here. On a slightly damp Thursday, the park was almost deserted.
June 29th 2007 - The problem I mention below, June 22nd, seems to be fixed, but the pages now take an eternity to load the adverts. The Surrey Comet has the same problem. My consultancy rates are far from reasonable.
June 22nd 2007- The redesigned Richmond & Twickenham Times website does not cater for the 10% of us who use FireFox as our browser. All the text is off screen to the right. I emailed them to tell them, I wonder how long it will take them to fix it.
May 1st, 2007 - For many months I have actively supported the campaign to ban music on buses. Transport for London today announced
You will be pleased to know that we have now changed our on-bus publicity regarding the playing of music. The signs, which are now mandatory on all buses, clearly ask passengers to turn off music that could be played through a speaker; while those with headphones are asked to use them with consideration.
And the specific notice above will also be posted inside the bus, at the back, on both decks; as this is where the inconsiderate playing of music tends to happen most."
March 15th, 2007
I seem to have a love-hate relationship with the bus services, not just in this area, but here is where my main experience lies. I despair at the conditions with which the drivers seem to have to cope, with regard to anti-social behaviour on buses. Last summer we were on holiday in Philadelphia, and we were amazed at the good behaviour of people of all ages on buses in and around the city. All buses are clearly marked to the effect that it is the driver's responsibility to ensure that order and civility is maintained. We never actually had to see any driver doing anything in this respect.
Locally, I wouldn't expect a driver to leave his cab to do anything about anti-social behaviour on the bus, but I do think it would be a good idea if they were encouraged to pull over to the side of the road whenever there is a problem on board. This would make it clear to the perpetrators that as long as they behave anti-socially, the bus would not be going anywhere. Furthermore I think most passengers would be very tolerant if the driver refused to proceed until local police had attended. This would inevitably cause delays for perhaps three months, until troublemakers realised that their behaviour would not be tolerated.
My main gripe lately is the length of time that it takes for a bus to change drivers. Yesterday, even two minutes seemed a long time, but I'm sure I have experienced six minutes. There also seems to be an increasing trend for drivers to do some amount of paperwork at the bus-stop immediately before the one where they change over. What do they do? Can't they do it back at the depot? The departing driver seems to leave very promptly, but the new incumbent seems to have to send some bleeping Morse code message before he can take over properly. I know seats and mirrors need adjusting, but come on, get it a bit slicker.
March 3rd, 2007
It can't be often that an event taking place a quarter of a million miles away is of relevance to the people of Teddington, but anybody on Saturday would have been very able to see a lunar eclipse, in a clear sky, at a time when many people would still be awake.
February 22nd, 2007
Bushy Park now has an 8-man Safer Parks Team, with Richmond Park getting one next month. This is excellent news. A year or two ago I had to call the Parks Police from a telephone in the Woodland Garden. The call was taken by the British Transport Police at their MICC (Major Incident Control Centre) in central London. They had no idea where I was calling from. Perhaps we will see an end to speeding in Chestnut Avenue, and better dog control. (I was thinking recently that good dog owners must get more annoyed by the antisocial minority in their number than the rest of us do.)
I thought that I would mention Hampton Ferry Boathouse especially as the ferry will start 2007 operating from April. i wonder how many Thames ferries have web sites!
February 22nd, 2007
The planning application by Somerfield to build a supermarket on the old Jet Garage site has finally been withdrawn.
February 20th, 2007
I can officially confirm that Teddington has captured the land speed record for a disability scooter! We obtained this title today, over a measured stretch of Stanley Road, in both directions, by a bearded gentleman who was hotly pursued by various bats out of hell, but managed to stay in the lead throughout! The speed of the souped-up vehicle was quite phenomenal.
Later the same day I was bemused to see a roadworks tractor hurtling down the same road, on the pavement. The very roadworthy vehicle even had a registration plate. Clearly I've got too much time on my hands!
February 17th, 2007
Amidst much smoke, and lots of standing around by a gang of identical men in identical yellow jackets, we now have a resurfaced approach to the Stanley Road/Shacklegate lane Junction. Why are the diversion signs still in place 4 days later, I wonder?
February 13th, 2007
My correspondent Phil writes,
"Are you aware of the new planning application on the site of the Waldegrave Arms. 22 flats with parking for 20, no loading area for the pub, etc, etc? - Just like the Jet site. Planning ref is 07/0299/FUL.
This picture is from Google Earth, showing Shacklegate Lane at the top, Waldegrave Road along the right edge and the railway along the left edge.
There is not a lot of room for three blocks of flats, is there?
Surely the trees will not have to go?
February 2nd, 2007
I hope to find out why an anti-skid surface is to be laid at the junction of Stanley Road and Shacklegate Lane, following an S.M.A. (Stone Mastic Asphalt) under-surface later this month. Surely traffic-calming measures would be more suitable? Go slower, less chance of skidding? We have all seen cars do 50+mph in Stanley Road. Could there be any connection with the planning application for the old garage site? (Apart from one more objection this month, there has been no activity on the planning site since last summer.)
January 25th, 2007
Again on the subject of the former Jet garage, I just saw a heron fly over it. We regularly see heron in Bushy Park, but this is only the second time in 20 years in Teddington that I have seen one in a built-up area here.
The wonderful local service, Oncom, has announced that thanks to a private donation of money, it will be able to continue for at least another three months, during which time the proprietor will endeavour to get further funds. If you haven't visited the site, you certainly should.
January 24th, 2007
Last Thursday, following the very strong winds we had, the security fence surrounding the former Jet garage site blew down, on the corner of Shacklegate Lane. Five days later it was still on the ground, so I telephoned the number shown on the fence, to report that it was a safety hazard. I was amazed to be told that I was the first person to have reported it.
January 13th, 2007
I'd just like to commend the actions of two bus drivers in Teddington recently. Last week a yob got a bit difficult with a driver on a 281, and yesterday a passenger tried to board a 33 with a 'non-topped up' Oyster card and got argumentative.
On both occasions the driver switched off the engine and refused to go on. As a result of this firm action both incidents were quickly resolved, and I could tell that the other passengers supported this action and its message.
Too many people abuse the bus service and its drivers, and this sort of firm action should be actively encouraged. We all have a duty to act against anti-social behaviour.
December 14th, 2006
For some time I have been intrigued by the large gear wheel near Donkey Corner in Bushy Park. I raised the question about its purpose in the Google Earth Community in May 2006. I have just received the following information from the Technical Liaison Manager at the National Physical Laboratory, to whom my thanks go.
"The giant cog wheel was part of the driving mechanism for the whirling arm at the former Admiralty Research Establishment. The whirling arm was used together with a large toroidal water tank to test military equipment.
"I believe the large toroidal "ring doughnut" tank was used to test propulsion and guidance systems for torpedoes. A Google search for "Admiralty Research Teddington" will yield some more details. If you look at the aerial imagery, you will see the shape of the tank has been retained within the development.
This site was chosen to be featured in the local free newspaper, The Informer. My articles here and here were reproduced.
We seem to have a new form of wildlife in local Richmond Park! Apparently we have a vulture on the loose! This information and the accompanying picture come by courtesy of the BBC website.
Some recent Teddington house sale prices, from OurProperty:
9, Alpha Road, TW11 0QG - Sold for £572,000 on 16-08-2006
78a, Wellington Road, TW2 5NX - Sold for £232,000 on 11-08-2006
225, Basement Flat, Hampton Road, TW2 5NG - Sold for £140,000 on 19-08-2005
60, Connaught Road, TW11 0PX - Sold for £499,950 on 01-09-2006
207, Flat 5, Stanley Road, TW2 5NW - Sold for £301,500 on 25-07-2006
3, Fulwell Road, TW11 0RH - Sold for £389,500 on 25-08-2006
62, Fulwell Road, TW11 0RA - Sold for £380,000 on 18-08-2006
38, Fulwell Road, TW11 0RA - Sold for £350,000 on 01-09-2006
22 Durham Court, 12, Sunnyside Road, TW11 0SN - Sold for £152,000 on 07-06-2006
228, Flat E, Stanley Road, TW11 8UE - Sold for £197,000 on 28-07-2006
Scary, is it not?
I noticed, while taking one of my regular Stanley Road perambulations, that the odd-numbered side of the road seems to have a new visitor, a TARDIS-like visitor! At first glance, from several hundred yards away, it appears to be just that modern aberration, a new-style telephone box. However, as one approaches it, it becomes obvious that it doesn't afford the passer-by the normal shelter from the elements, which we have come to expect while making a telephone call.
In fact, on closer examination, it offers everything but. It seems to be, and simultaneously, a cash dispenser, a recycling skip, a public urinal, a pavement obstacle, an advertising hoarding, a yob magnet, a local landmark, and a roadside Swiss Army knife! Quite what it is, I have no idea! Get rid of it soon!
The Music-Free Buses campaign goes from strength to strength. They have now had 5000 visitors to the website and the campaign seems to be gathering momentum. I strongly encourage you to visit the site, and to complete the new online questionnaire about your views of unmoderated yob music on public transport. If you do nothing then the problem will surely get worse.
I see that the florist in Stanley Road shops is undergoing a total renovation. They've even had their forecourt repaved. It would be so good if all the other shops cared this much about their appearance. The litter in front of the shops seems to get steadily worse, and none of the owners seem to care.
I heard earlier this afternoon that the world's biggest airship was flying over London. A short while later I looked up and saw it in the sky over Teddington! Although I always have my camera at hand, I failed to get a picture, so I was delighted when it seemed to make a return trip flying from the front of our house over to the back and in two-and-a-half minutes I took 50 photographs. These are two of best.
I was saddened to hear of the recent death of local resident and legendary blues singer Art Wood, brother of Rolling Stone Ronnie. Although he was never a household name, his influence on the British blues scene for over 40 years cannot be measured. I only ever saw him perform once or twice, most recently about three years ago in Teddington, as a guest vocalist with Bob Kerr's Whoopee Band. With his flailing arms, he had a unique and memorable stage presence.
I remember him best from an afternoon I spent just chatting with him, with a mutual friend, and Art's much-loved dog Chester. I remember Art being very impressed when I managed to work out why his dog was called Chester. Art told me that I was the only person who had ever guessed! If you don't know, try searching on the Internet for Howlin' Wolf. Like another great British blues figure, Alexis Korner, Art's greatest contribution was his influence on others. He will be greatly missed.
The Music-Free Buses campaign seems to have really taken off. The originator was interviewed on BBC Radio London this morning, and is on BBC TV tonight.
I include here my letter of 9th October, 2006, to Transport For London on the subject of yobs playing music through their mobile phone speaker on buses and trains.
(Today I discovered that there is now an online petition, Music-Free Buses, calling for bus companies to act against this new behaviour, HERE. Sign it now, there is no need to give personal details or an email address.)
βOn Saturday afternoon while travelling from Richmond to Twickenham, in heavy traffic I and fellow passengers fell victim to the latest unpleasant occurrence on the buses and trains. I refer to the obnoxious teenage habit of playing music on mobile phones extremely loudly. I am not referring to ring tones. I'm talking about so-called proper music.
"Usually I will ask the offender to switch the music off, in an authoritative tone. This normally works. However on Saturday the offender was particularly unpleasant looking and neither I nor any of my fellow passengers felt able to do anything. Because of the heavy traffic we had to put up with this loud music for over 20 minutes. The music would have been audible to the driver but nothing was done.
"My question is, if I had asked the driver to intervene would he have done anything? And if so what? After the offender left the bus I discussed with two other passengers why neither of them had spoken to the driver about this incident. They both separately told me that they were worried that nothing would be done leaving them to be the target of the offender's wrath. Exactly my own reason for doing nothing in this case. "
Please visit HERE and register your opposition. Sign it now, there is no need to give personal details or an email address.
A wonderful summer holiday in Philadelphia has meant that I have not been able to write as much here as I would have hoped. However as I am now fully using IBM ViaVoice voice recognition software instead of typing everything, new material added here should increase. If you have a clear speaking voice and have never tried voice recognition software before I recommend it strongly. It really is so simple to sit with a head phone microphone and just dictate to the computer.
I see that the Lion pub in Wick Road has been voted the CAMRA London pub of the year. It is a good pub with a warm welcome, and the beer is always excellent, but it certainly isn't the best pub in London. If I was taking a visiting foreigner to a typical good London pub there are many that would come before it.
One of the main topics of conversation in the area continues to be the site of the former Jet garage at the end of Shacklegate Lane. There have been many objections to the building of a new convenience Somerfield store on the site. You can read them on the internet. Click HERE for the UK planning website then enter 06/1880/FUL in the application number field. While the small supermarket would definitely have an negative impact on many small traders, with whom I sympathise, what would local residents like to see done with the site? A small block of flats with adequate parking on site might be OK, but the occupiers of a small flat could easily have two cars each, and I doubt the owners would want to provide two parking spaces per flat
Shortly before our summer holiday Alice and I attended a meeting at of the police Safer Neighbourhood Team for the Fulwell and Hampton Hill Ward. It was a very worthwhile couple of hours, spent with a group of like-minded people who care enough about policing and safety in the neighbourhood to pass on their comments to the local police. I implore you to find time to attend a future meeting if you have any concerns about local policing.
The site of the former Jet Garage in Stanley Road, known locally as Shacklestan's Grotto, or the Fulwell Folly, continues to entertain. On Friday afternoon the large hole had been filled in. On Monday evening as I walked past I saw that they had dug it again! Was it just my imagination or did I see some of the characters from Channel Four's 'Lost' peering into the hole at the weekend?
Elsewhere in Teddington I see that Bar Estilo is still looking for staff, prior to reopening. I hope they're open soon as I have always been impressed with the place. How ever did they get planning permission for the new balcony jutting out into the pavement?
Sunday saw the annual Chestnut Sunday parade through Bushy Park. Last year it was a very large event, also celebrating 60 years since the end of World War two. This year it was almost as large. The parade of elderly American military vehicles, elderly Hell's Angels, Teddington Rangers, and much, much more was a wonderful site. After the parade had passed down Chestnut Avenue I was stunned by the size of the following crowd. At the far side of the park we then looked at exhibitions by the Friends Of Bushy Park, the Royal Parks, and plans for the park development.
Work at the junction of Shacklegate Lane and Stanley Road is progressing rapidly. A bulldozer and a bigger grabbermachine are working there daily, and large sections of fuel tanks have already been removed. The council website shows that the only planning applications are for cleaning and clearing the land. There have been no applications for future use. There do seem to be local persistent rumours that we might be getting a small supermarket. One local resident told me he'd even heard a rumour that there would be an underground carpark. I think a lot of it is just rumour.
Further down Stanley Road outside all the shops on both sides I see that the council have put wooden posts. These are obviously to stop people parking outside the shops by driving over the pavement.
Today I walked along the river from Twickenham to Richmond and then across Richmond Green and I was really impressed by the wisteria growing everywhere, especially near the White Swan pub. While on my walk I saw the police fishing a body out of the river half way between Petersham Meadow and Richmond Bridge.
May 2nd, 2006
I see that work has finally started on the old Jet Garage site in Stanley Road, site of a car accident about a month ago. This morning I received some election junk mail stating that there are 900 tons of contaminated material to be removed from the site. Scary!
The Tide End Cottage pub is currently closed for the last two weeks of major renovations.
March 17th, 2006
A car heading up Stanley Road went out of control and crashed into the wall next to the old Jet Garage site. The road was closed for a couple of hours.
5th August 2004
On Thursday afternoon, Stanley Road, Teddington was severely flooded, after torrential rain, to the depth of the middle of car wheels. All the local telephones were out of order. The water covered everywhere from the edge of our house, across our drive and right across the road to the opposite garden walls.
The drain outside our house always backs up when it rains, and our side of the road floods, but rarely across the pavement, and never beyond the middle of the road, but the rain was the heaviest I have ever experienced. I have to go back 16 years to the last time I saw rain which was nearly as heavy. I could see that it was easing off, just as I was worrying that it would breach the air bricks around the house, both front and back. Cars were speeding through the flood water at ridiculous speeds, going totally against the advice for driving through floods. Waves were rushing towards the pavements, and poor pedestrians paddling along the road. The whole house smells damp today. London is drowning and I live by the river.