Art works on sale at the Stonemason Arms, Cambridge Grove

Many thanks to the Brackenbury Residents Association for their latest newsletter – which includes the following item:

“Since building a childhood passion for zoology during his primary school days at Flora Gardens, Hammersmith artist Louis Fowler has been marrying his love for animals with a unique talent for illustration. Now his intricate ink sketches of endangered species are being showcased at his local pub the Stonemason Arms, Cambridge Grove.

His artworks on the display line are selling for £20 a pop. A beautiful collection of animals set against bright blocks of colour to give the images a dramatic background and bring the ink illustrations to the fore, they are providing a colourful backdrop to anyone stopping by for a beer or two.

Produced by a specialist printer in Covent Garden, they may one day be brought together into a book. It wouldn’t be his first, as Louis already has an impressive collection of children’s books to his name including Nothing Rhymes with Scissors, a mix of cartoon pictures and poetry in the Edward Lear mould.

“It’s my journey of self-discovery,” he said. “Each book uses a completely different method of drawing. It’s image first, story second, for me.”

It was Louis’s wife Lucy who suggested he use his talents to stir children’s imaginations. “I’ve got a child’s sense of humour,” Louis admits. “I taught for five years at Wendell Park primary as a teaching assistant, and running an art class.”

He grew up near Ravenscourt Park, and the couple have two children, Flint and Phoebe, both at Wendell Park, and live in Shepherds Bush. As well as the animal prints currently on pegs at the Stonemasons Arms, Louis is an accomplished collage artist, creating distinctive pairings of images which are available through a dedicated website.”

New homes in North End Road

Please to see that new homes at available on 308-310 North End Road. This is the site of the Old Barrow Boy pub which had been closed for years. a new Italian restaurant Rigatoni has also been opened.

The Barrow Apartments are being delivered by London-based developer Setha, which was founded 10 years ago by Italian property developer Manuel Alsoni. The company has since gone from strength to strength, building a portfolio of properties across London and the south east and a positive reputation for delivering style and elegance synonymous with Italy.

This development includes studio, 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom properties, all of which have been designed to the highest specification, offering contemporary interiors and bespoke furnishings inspired by Setha’s Italian roots. This high-quality finish is most certainly what sets the Barrow Apartments apart from larger developments, though the prices are comparable.

CEO and Founder of Setha, Manuel Alsoni said:

“Setha are pleased to build on our growing London property portfolio with the delivery of six elegant homes in the heart of the popular Fulham area. Quality design is at the forefront of our offering and we believe that this approach shines through in the beautiful interiors and high-quality finish of the Barrow Apartments.”

The properties are a great option for first time buyers, who are expected to jump at the opportunity to acquire a Fulham property with the assistance of Help to Buy. Buy-to-Let landlords are also expected to be drawn to the development, owing to Fulham’s continued popularity.

The apartments are available for purchase from Dexters. Prices starting at £450,000.

36,000 spring bulbs for Talgarth Road

Cllr Caroline ffiske writes:

A few years ago I wanted to plant some spring bulbs along the Talgarth Road at the southern end of Avonmore.  I put in a call to TfL – and managed to get through to the right person – that’s right – I managed to speak to the man whose job it is to plant spring bulbs on TfL land.  Nice job.

He came and looked at the area – and 36,000 bulbs were planted.  Thank you TfL.  Now flowering for their third time they look as good as ever.

Beside the roaring traffic, beneath the trees, 
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze:


A local museum for Avonmore & Brook Green?

Cllr Caroline ffiske writes:

Most people living in the Avonmore, Brook Green, and Sinclair Road areas know that Olympia has a new owner, headed up by the Yoo Group.

Yoo Group has extensive plans for Olympia including opening it back out into its separate historic buildings with open space, trees, cafes running between the buildings and accessible by the public.  When I have met with the new owners we have also talked about opportunities for theatres, galleries, museums.  One of the ideas I am keen to push is a museum of the local area.  We have so much history beneath our feet and all around us.  Imagine if school children could visit a local museum and be encouraged to understand and appreciate the wealth of history and beauty right here?  Imagine a space that opened daily that provided a nucleus for all the local artists, archivists, and amateur historians who seek to explore and preserve our area’s past?

One of the obvious opportunities is to show some of the Cecil French Bequest.  I expect most local residents do not know that Hammersmith & Fulham Council owns some of the most important and beautiful pre-Raphaelite paintings that exist.  They were bequested to the Council by Cecil French in 1953.  Edward Burne-Jones lived just off the North End Road for many years and his home “The Grange” was a gathering place for pre-Raphaelite artists.  A local museum would honour Cecil French’s bequest and bring some of the paintings home.

As part of exploring this idea I visited Hammersmith &  Fulham’s archives which are housed nearby.  We have an extensive collection of maps, photographs, paintings, and records in storage.  All longing for a bit of air and appreciation.

Part of the Cecil French collection is currently on display at the Watts Gallery in Surrey – and Hammersmith & Fulham residents can attend for free.  Hire a bus!




It’s time for information and openness on CS9

Cllr Caroline ffiske writes

Residents in Avonmore & Brook Green have expressed concerns about the results of the TfL CS9 consultation – found here.  With 59% of respondents supporting the scheme it appears to be a slam-dunk to go ahead.

Yet this does not resonate with local feeling about the scheme where supporters seem to be few in number.  So where do we go from here? There are number of things that could and should happen quickly:

H&F Council needs to publish the results of its consultation on CS9

Anyone who follows politics in H&F will know that the Labour administration claims to do thing “with” residents, not “to” them. In November last year the Council agreed to accept residents’ comments on the cycle superhighway.  This year, in late January,  it held a “PAC” meeting which looked at the CS9 scheme and which the public could attend.  The report tabled is here.

Despite the huge interest in this matter, the report provided no information whatsoever on the results of the H&F consultation.  This is not doing things “with” residents – this is keeping information “from” them.   It would have been entirely possible in late January to make public the headline results from the local consultation. It would be even more possible to do so now.   This should happen quickly.

TfL needs to publish its consultation results at a more granular level

Firstly, we need to see the responses broken down by postcode. Within Hammersmith, CS9 would run through W14 and W6.  Only 18% of the respondents were from those areas – about 660 respondents.  (This leaves out those who did not identify their postcode.)   TfL should make visible the results broken down by postcode so we can see what people who live near the proposed route think of the scheme.

Secondly, we need to see the responses broken down by those who cycle and those who don’t.  65% of the respondents to the consultation said that they cycle.  This is against the fact that fewer than 5% of all road users are cyclists.   This is therefore a hugely biased response, and all credit to the cyclists for responding. But TfL needs to weight the responses so that they are proportional to the road user population – and then make that analysis publicly available.

H&F need to make public some of the more detailed objections to the scheme

I have found in Avonmore & Brook Green, that most people would like to see more cyclists on the roads and fewer cars; less congestion and cleaner air.  Who wouldn’t?  But when I meet people who have studied CS9 closely, they usually have grave concerns.  This includes many cyclists.

I quote someone (not an ABG resident) here below.  I want to see H&F’s and TfL’s responses to concerns like this:

…It must be understood that a design of this nature is unprecedented in this country. There are very few examples of two-way cycle tracks with priority over turning motor traffic, and even fewer on two-way streets with frequent side road junctions. There have been schemes on one-way roads, where junctions and turning movements are simpler … but these have suffered the safety problems experienced in other countries. There are also one or two examples of substandard junctions on the recent Cycle Superhighways in London, but generally at very quiet side roads, and certainly nowhere near the 28 side roads on the CS9 two-way track proposed for Chiswick High Road and King Street.

… I strongly urge the Council to work with TfL to re-explore the possibilities of one-way tracks on either side of the road, that are more carriageway based, possibly with light segregation from motor traffic. This is likely to be the only real way of resolving side road junction safety. The alternative is to introduce five metre long waiting areas between the cycle track and road at each junction and to ensure good visibility particularly of “wrong way” cyclists by drivers emerging from side roads. Given that this entails finding at least an additional 4-5 metres road width at each side road junction, it is unlikely to be feasible and is in any case only a mitigating measure, with some risk remaining. It also does not deal with issues of pedestrians being able to safely and intuitively cross the track on these busy high roads.

If a two-way scheme is to be progressed, I strongly urge the Council to insist that TfL fully explain why the public consultation design diverges from their own safety standards and provide a full safety analysis and risk assessment prior to any further design work. … This is particularly pertinent on King Street because over 90% of cycling collisions occur at or very close to the junctions.   

H&F Labour needs to clarify its position on CS9 before the elections in May
Residents deserve to know what they are voting for.  The Conservatives have made clear that they will not support CS9 in its current form.  Voters in LBHF need to know where Labour stands.

Tom Ryland RIP

Very sad to hear that Tom Ryland, the Chairman of the Hammersmith Society, has died.

Melanie Whitlock, the Vice Chairman of the Society has written to members to say:

“It is with great sadness that I have to report the news of the death of our Chairman, Tom Ryland RIBA.  Tom died peacefully on 9th March in Hammersmith Hospital.

It is hard to imagine the Hammersmith Society without Tom.  He had been on the Committee for many years, and Vice Chairman for some twelve years, before becoming Chairman nearly three years ago – a role to which he brought his knowledge as an architect, a lively interest in local affairs and a belief that it was always possible to do things better. His wisdom, and his calm, balanced approach to planning issues were an immense asset to the community. Working with Tom was always a pleasure. He was unflappable, interested, sociable, kind, and had a wonderful quiet sense of humour. He had a great gift for getting people on his side, and committee meetings with him at the helm were enjoyable affairs. He will be hugely missed by the very many people across the wide range of activities he gave his time to. We extend our thoughts and all our sympathy to his wife Liz and all his family.

A more detailed appreciation of Tom’s contribution to the Society will be included in our April Newsletter.

A service of thanksgiving will be held on 21 April at 12.00 at St Peter’s Church, W6 9BE. Donations in Tom’s memory may be made to The Blood Fund, which supports the Haematology Department at Hammersmith Hospital:”

Labour’s scaremongering about Charing Cross hospital undermines democracy

Cllr Caroline ffiske writes:

Last week local residents started contacting me because they had received a Labour election leaflet claiming that the Conservatives plan to “bulldoze” Charing Cross Hospital.  The leaflet depicted Conservatives as the Grim Reaper – a bringer of death.  The depiction of Conservatives as the grim reaper is deeply offensive to myself and my colleagues.  So much for Labour promising kinder and gentler politics.

Below I have set out an update on Charing Cross hospital and present our commitment to local residents on Charing Cross Hospital.  But please bear with me while I make two more comments on the Labour leaflet.

Labour’s Leaflet scares vulnerable people and undermines democracy.

Firstly, some people have contacted me as a result of this leaflet, actually scared that the hospital might close.  These are people who use the hospital and are scared about what they would do  – some of them, older and vulnerable people.  The fact that Labour is happy to casually scare people like this, in order to win votes, is in my view, callous.  So much for concern for vulnerable individuals.

Secondly, if local parties don’t stick to the truth, and enable voters to make up their own mind about the different parties’ policies and priorities then you don’t really have a democracy.  Misrepresenting your political opponents with such a cavalier disregard for the truth undermines democracy.  And where do we go from there?

Most recent update on Charing Cross Hospital

This dates from January this year and is an official presentation made by the “Imperial College HealthCare NHS Trust” to local council authorities.

Please read the detail here starting page 14/15.  I would be pleased to hear your thoughts on all the detail. Some important quotes:

“We have recently seen some of our largest ever investments in new facilities and equipment at Charing Cross Hospital, much of which has been made possible by the support of Imperial Health Charity… 

Over the past 18 months, some £6 million has been spent on major new developments including: Riverside theatres; main outpatient clinics; a new acute medical assessment unit; our first patient service centre; and the main new facility for North West London Pathology.

In addition, we are spending almost another £8 million on replacing imaging equipment and installing two state-of-the-art LINAC radiotherapy machines so we can provide the most advanced cancer treatments…

As part of our investment in urgent and emergency care services and theatres at Charing Cross, we have co-located our acute medicine beds on the ground floor of the hospital, near to the A&E department, and closer to the imaging department. This has enabled medical patients to be admitted more quickly.

In addition, we are currently working up a multi-million pound refurbishment and expansion of the A&E department at Charing Cross, to begin in the early part of 2018. The likely timescales however, mean that the improvements will impact after the current winter period…

The Trust and local commissioners… have put a hold on subsequent work to engage patients and the public in the development of detailed plans for Charing Cross due to increasing demand for acute hospital services…

A commitment to not progress plans to reduce acute capacity at Charing Cross unless and until we could achieve a reduction in acute demand was formalised in the North West London Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) published in 2016 …”

Our commitment to you on Charing Cross Hospital

Firstly, we commit to bringing you accurate and sourced information.    We will monitor Imperial Trust’s reports and publications and get relevant items out to you.

Secondly, we will consult you.  I think the Cycle Superhighway planned for Hammersmith is an good example of our approach here.  Our first leaflet on this matter was entirely neutral and simply pointed local residents to the information – something TfL with their huge budgets had largely failed to do.  We spent many hours leafleting local streets simply to get information to local people so they could make up their own minds.

Thirdly, we will represent you.  If and when Imperial Trust comes out with a new round of proposals and consultation we will be led by what local people think.  It is entirely evident to all of us that residents regard our local hospitals as hugely important.  But the details of any plans are also important and we will seek to transmit to you these details, and then to understand, and then represent your views.

Above all, I expect almost everyone reading this and all the local Conservatives will fight to retain, upgrade, and improve our local hospitals.

Thank you for reading and all comments and feedback, as ever, appreciated.  Email me at