Sunday, 31 May 2009

Japanese Garden Party: Pics


Very well attended and the first time I've ever ventured into Hammersmith Park. Its a bit like the tardis - looks tiny when you pass it on the way to QPR or just going past to White City but its actually a really sizeable open space and very well maintained.

Event today was very well attended and people seemed to be enjoying the traditional performers. Could have done with more stalls though, there was only one which was selling very expensive Japanese take aways! Lots of natural blossom lying everywhere which would have been there anyway of course but added to the Japanese theme! Very family friendly.

Congrats to the organisers though and to H&F Council for supporting it.

Japanese Garden Party Hammersmith Park

Japanese Garden party Banner on the GreenGet yerself down to Hammersmith Park this sunday at 1200 to enjoy a Japanese Garden Party.

They were supremely lucky with the weather.

Enjoy. You can find out how to get there here but basically its round the corner from QPR football ground on the right, as you walk towards White City tube.

Read the write up here!

Friday, 29 May 2009

Shepherd's Bush Festival June 2009

























What looks like an excellent series of events is upon us.

And its yet another reason to think ourselves lucky - which other area of non Zone one London would have this little lot on its doorstep for goodness sake?

Personally I'l be going to Bush Hall to see former child soldier Emmanuel Jal and the Empire to see the Jamel Comedy Club (une rare occasion de voir les francais "stand up" de comedie a Londres, pour les francophones!)

All the events are listed on the flyer above. You can get more info about tickets here. What will you go to?

I'll do some write ups here, please pass on yours if you want them to go up as well.


Thursday, 28 May 2009

48 hour Tube Strike June 9th onwards

bob-crowOur old friend Communist Bob has confirmed my predictions almost exactly. The RMT have just announced that, surprise surprise, they will call a 48 hour walkout which just so happens to coincide with a big football match. In this case the World Cup qualifier between England and Andorra.

Bob of course had to re-stage this ballot among his members because the last one was illegal. And as it is over 6,000 of his own members did not vote for the strike. But no matter, with his hard left agenda he is dead set on what he obviously regards as his crowning glory - the ability to bring London to a stand still and us all with it.

What I find most sickening is that another thing is very predictable about this too - a last minute cave in by Transport for London. Expect this to happen within 24-48 hours before the strike. Tube drivers are already on £40K plus, with well in excess of 30 days holiday per year. Its one of the most secure and frankly cushy jobs in the Capital. But they want 5% more with no strings attached. 5% that's right. In a recession.

Or will someone have the guts to stand up to this dinosaur for once and put him back in his box? You can read the world according to the RMT here

UPDATE SUNDAY NIGHT: Shepherd's Bush dwellers should remember that they can use the Overground between Clapham Junction and Stratford with many tube connections along the way. No problems are forecast along that route. Buses will be running from most places the Overground stops at, for example Willesden Junction. I usually go to South London to work on the Victoria Line but the Overground gets me to Clapham Junction from Shepherd's Bush in just over 10 minutes. And I get to see the Thames. There are lots of buses from there all over the place.

UPDATE MONDAY MORNING: As predicted Transport for London are beginning to cave in, they have just tabled a new and improved offer to the RMT. More of our money for less work. Read the latest here. On the plus side this might avert the strike altogether. On the minus side this means that in the long run we will be here again because it proves, once again, that we can be held to ransom.

UPDATE MONDAY AFTERNOON: Unofficial noises out of the meetings this afternoon between RMT and London Underground are that the strike will be called off. More here.

UPDATE TUESDAY MORNING: I'm afraid the strike is very much on. Last night talks broke down completely.  Transport for London have put a travel tool up which will help you calculate alternative journeys. You can find it here. Good luck everyone. To be honest if you have never lived through one of these before you're best off not even trying to travel if you don't have to. Extra buses sounds great but you won't be able to get on them through the 15-deep crowd! The strike starts at 1859 hours tonight - get off home well before then.

UPDATE TUESDAY LUNCHTIME: Talks have been re-started at ACAS. TfL could still do their usual last minute cave-in and the strike could be off after all. More here.

UPDATE WEDNESDAY MORNING: We're in full swing strike mode. Good luck. The best idea is not to travel at all. Failing that Bush dwellers should use the Overground in my view, or if you can get on a bus there are plenty going in to the west end but they'll be packed. Also dont forget the Thames Path down by hammersmith, its a really beautiful walk by the river with no cars and will take you along the river as far as Wandsworth, for where you could cross into central London on the Battersea Bridge.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Use your vote: European elections June 4th

[caption id="attachment_708" align="alignleft" width="226" caption="He hopes you won't vote"]He hopes you won't vote[/caption]

On June 4th it is election day for the European parliament. You will all have by now received information about this, mostly from the parties themselves. I voted a few days ago because I have a postal vote and I voted for the party I always do - I am a member of the Labour Party after all.

This isn't a posting trying to tell you how to vote though - just to vote at all. If you don't, maybe because you want to 'send a message' about some of the seedy underbelly we've seen exposed in recent weeks - then you may very well wake up to find fascists and racists elected instead. It's happenned already with the election of one BNP member to the Greater London Authority.

When the BNP's membership list was published there were in fact a few addresses with W12 postcodes - believe me they are really hoping you dont vote at all. Prove them wrong.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Gasworks on the Green


No, these pictures are not the Council's favourite money spinning fair here again, it would appear that the National Grid has now set up camp on our Green to carry out some gas works! Which is fair enough I suppose. I'd like to know if our favourite residents of the Green have been gnawing through the pipes!

On another note I think this week-end has shown us all why we choose to live here. We're an inner city borough but you'd never know it, quieter than other areas and on a hot bank holiday week-end, with everything on our doorsteps I think its been fab to be here. Compared to the other places I go, we really don't appreciate how lucky we are.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Shepherd's Bush on film

This is quality - hope you are enjoying the hot bank holiday as much as I am..! (although I did see someone get arrested for shoplifting yesterday)

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Shepherd's Bush Station: Need a lift?

Tube LiesMany thanks to the Underground blog for this image. Which I think says everything you need to know about how those in charge of the Tube treat passengers. Remember the promises to install a new lift in Shepherd's Bush station? It 'was not possible' we were told by TfL. Too much trouble more like.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Shepherd's Bush Market: Finish the job!


Some shots of what look like nice new signs for the Market. And noticeable that our councillors have continued their penchant for painting over red with blue.

Sadly their finishing skills look none to good though - finish the job lads...

Monday, 18 May 2009

Victoria Line strike this thursday 21st May

victoria-lineOn my journey down the Victoria Line today there was an announcement at nearly every station that there will be another strike this thursday, which judging by last time will close the entire line. Bewarned.

The reason is that Communist Bob has set his heart on another summer of strikes, basically. Their official reason is that they are unhappy that Transport for London have not fitted some new doors. Which are going to be fitted in less than a year anyway. So to hell with the rest of us.

Shepherd's Bush dwellers should remember that they can use the Overground between Clapham Junction and Stratford with many tube connections along the way. No problems are forecast on that route. I usually go to South London to work on the Victoria but the Overground gets me to Clapham Junction from Shepherds Bush in just over 10 minutes. There are lots of buses from there to all over the place.

You can read the world according to the RMT here

Thursday, 14 May 2009

H&F Council cut down trees - as Boris calls for more trees

the fate of our trees? What on earth is going on with H&F Council's plans for Shepherds Bush Green? It appears, from signs erected yesterday on the Green, that a serious number of trees will be chopped down to make way for a Cafe, which our friends the local rat population will be delighted about!

But quite apart from that it now appears that their plans are directly at odds with London Mayor Boris Johnson's approach for Hammersmtih and Fulham - which is to plant MORE trees here because as a Borough we do not have nearly enough! Hammersmith & Fulham is now officially a 'priority area' for more tree planting.

So we have a Tory Council disagreeing, and pursuing policies opposed to, a Tory Mayor. Of the two, I'm on Boris' side of the argument. We need more not less trees. Where do you stand and what should we do about it?

See Boris'  area plans for more trees for Hammersmith & Fulham here

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Toddler dies at fairground

This news, which is horrific beyond all comprehension, is still coming in as I write . A reader of this blog alerted me to something almost exactly the same happening in Shepherd's Bush a few years ago. Is this the same fair again as that which regularly visits Shepherd's Bush Green?

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Furnivall Gardens: Labour accuse Council of scaremongering

The view from Furnival GardensI recently encouraged you to both visit Furnivall Gardens and to support H&F Council in their campaign to save it from Thames Water, who wish to site a huge bore hole in it in order to construct a large sewer. The thing that really irritated me and judging by your comments many of you was the fact that Thames Water actually owned a site just down the road which they could have used - but chose to sell it to property developers instead.

Now however Councillor Stephen Cowan, leader of the Labour opposition on H&F Council has effectively accused the Council of scaremongering in an attempt to win votes. He says that Thames have no such plans and produces a letter to back up his claims.

So do we stand to lose Furnivall or not? Personally I still note that even in the letter Cllr Cowan produces Thames Water dont deny they want to take over the park, but I have also reported here about how the council is sometimes prepared to be as truthful as an MPs expenses form.

So who to believe?!

Monday, 11 May 2009

W12 shopping centre to close?

W12 CentreI have been a regular visitor to the W12 Centre for a few years now as the gym I use, Fitness First, is based inside. Over those years I've witnessed the slow decline of a centre that was radically speeded up once Westfield over the road opened its doors.

Not only did the shops start closing and moving out but even the buses stopped stopping outside. For a while even the tube closed as well, all down to Westfield.

Now it would appear Vue cinemas, which has has a 12 screen cinema inside the centre, is moving out as well. They deny this publicly but have just signed a deal to open a large new cinema inside Westfield. You can't imagine them having both open at the same time.

That has got to be the deathknell for the W12 Centre - for over a year now on the many vacant shop lots the W12 Centre has posted signs with pictures of people saying "are you thinking what we're thinking?" in an attempt to entice new business to open up shop. The only thing I'm thinking is that if you can't flog the space after all that time its got to be curtains sometime soon!

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Loftus Road killing trial

craig_brownThe two men charged with the murder of Craig Brown on Christmas Eve in Loftus Road, who was shot next to his car on the way back from the shops, appeared at West London Magistrates Court yesterday. They were remanded in custody and will appear at the Old Bailey for their formal trial later this year.

There are reports that two more men have also been arrested and charged in connection with the killing, but they apear to be youths so few details have been released.

When I first heard about this killing I had just returned from Liberia, West Africa, because of my job. I go to conflict and post-conflict zones like that in Africa a lot. These are places where the casualties number in the millions and you cannot find a building, however small, that does not have bullet holes in it. Life expectancy in Liberia is 44.

When you come back from somewhere like that and then walk down somewhere like Loftus Road, or frankly even the 'tough' areas of London, the sheer pointlessness of kids who by comparison want for absolutely nothing running around in stupid little gangs killing each other just leaves you all the more depressed.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Tube strike ballot re-run

bob-crowFrom swine flu, to well, Bob Crow.

I reported here that Communist Bob had allowed his Union to break the law in the way it ran a recent ballot for strike action. Following the success of his shut down of the Victoria Line it was only ever a matter of time before he had another go.

After all the Champions League Final is coming up and of course some bank holidays, perfect pickings for the RMT.

So no immediate strike on the cards but watch this space...

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Swine Flu hits Hammersmith & Fulham!


swine-fluLatest news - we have swine flu!

With the first UK 'victims' of this dreadful plague that "threatened humanity" according to the World Health Organisation giving telephone interviews to the tabloids and being represented by Max Clifford can we expect the world's press to descend on Shepherd's Bush?

Er, no I don't think so either!

Shepherd's Bush acid attack man sentenced to life

daniel-lynch-004A few days go I wrote this post on the tragic murder of a young lad in south London near where I work. Just to prove we have our own crop of evil doers just days ago this story appeared.

Daniel Lynch was from Becklow Gardens Shepherd's Bush. He raped then arranged to have acid thrown in the face of a woman he met on the social networking site facebook. He was sentenced to a minimum of 16 years before becoming eligible for parole. I cannot imagine he will not have more years added to his sentence, if he is capable of this already I am pretty sure he'll do something similar while inside.

The guy that actually threw the acid was called Stefan Sylvestre, also from Shepherd's Bush. He received a minimum of 6 years.

The woman they destroyed was from Golders Green up the road in North West London. She has been reduced to living inside a plastic pressure bag because the acid ate away most of her flesh and will face countless operations for the rest of her life. She also can't eat solids any more because the acid got into her throat. That sentence will last far longer than 16 years and there is no chance of parole.

16 years is a long time, and as I say I expect that to be extended. But what the hell is 6 years for Stefan Sylvestre all about? For a man who is prepared to take money in order to fling a cup full of sulphuric acid into the face of a 20 year old girl, he gets what?! In 2015 he'll be released on to the rest of us again. Thanks very much Judge Nicholas Browne QC. You're a moron.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

School places announced in Hammersmith & Fulham

school-bellLetters confirming whether parents had achieved their first, second or third preference schools in the borough went out on May 1st and would have arrived through the doors yesterday.

I hope those of you waiting for places got good news, or if it wasn't the first then at least as close as possible.