October 2020

The Barnes Village Bugle

October 4, 2020

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Bridge of sighs

Oh the bridge. Where to start? So much has happened this month and yet so little too. Barnes is still marooned and so far nobody has come up with any money for a temporary bridge, let alone to repair the actual bridge. Here’s our (as short as we can make it) round up of what’s been going on. 


News of the bridge’s closure has spread around the world

After a piece entitled ‘London’s Bridges are Falling Down’ ran in the New York Times the story went viral, Russia Today reported from the bridge and even a New Zealand TV channel ran a piece about how Kiwis in Barnes are being affected.


There's a Task Force

Pictured: Taskforce Chair Baroness Vere visiting Hammersmith Bridge with engineers

After the media furore, silence from the government was replaced with action and a Task Force was assembled in order to “bash heads together” in the words of Grant Shapps (Minister for Transport).  The Task Force, which is chaired by government minister Baroness Vere, has now met three times and on Thursday October 1 it issued its first statement. Campaigners were hoping for news of funding (there wasn’t any), and to hear whether a ferry service was on the cards (yes, apparently but not until the new year).


There's a website

T he highly organised campaign group Hammersmith Bridge SOS now has a website. Click here to check it out.


Risks to children are at forefront of concerns

Video posted by campaigners on September 16, 2020

Parents wanting to get their children to school across the river are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Do they try to use public transport and risk being unable to get on full buses, or have to allow up to two hours for a journey because of traffic congestion?


Do they drive and add to the congestion? Or, do children try cycling or walking? Walking or cycling will get them to school faster but leaves them with an unpalatable list of options depending on the school they are trying to reach.


They can use unlit towpaths which are liable to flooding. There is the poorly lit Duke’s Meadows where crime figures show a litany of arrests for anti-social behaviour and sexual and violent crime over many years.


The alternative to the Duke’s Meadows option is, say local campaign groups, children wheeling their bikes along the pavement next to the A4.


Do bats take precendence over children's safety?

Now that the nights are drawing in, children walking or biking to school via Barnes footbridge and Duke's Meadows may have to make their journey in the dark. Both Hammersmith Bridge SOS and local MP Sarah Olney have been lobbying riverside councils (Richmound and Hounslow) to provide emergency lighting in Duke’s Meadows and on tow paths but have been told by Richmond Council that there are issues around the lights disturbing wildlife including bats, prompting radio presenter Nick Ferrari to say “I think that children are more important than bats”.

When interviewed by Ferrari, Richmond Council leader and Government Task Force member Gareth Roberts said he agreed but that councils have to operate within the law. He did however say that the idea of providing patrolling guards on the Richmond side is being discussed.

You can listen to Nick Ferrari’s interview with Gareth Roberts and to comments from local mother and campaigner Michelle Coulter on his Friday October 2 broadcast currently online here . The relevant clip is 2 hours and 34 minutes into the broadcast.


Some parents have been taking matters into their own hands

While councils and the government task force have been exploring the option of a ferry service some parents have been taking the matter into their own hands with reports appearing in the press of  ‘tin fish’ vessels being privately hired to get pupils to school and back.


After eyewitnesses reported seeing pupils being landed on the foreshore the Port of London Authority stepped in and advised against passengers being ferried in this way, saying “These boats are not designed to carry passengers. We have spoken to the people responsible for this unsafe activity and advised them very clearly about the safety risks involved and that ‘tin fish’ should not be used for such ‘passenger ferry’ use at any time."


Will 'red tape' delay a ferry?

Until Thursday’s Task Force announcement was made, there had been hopes that a ferry service could be in place this side of Christmas.  In a TV interview in September the Head of Hammersmith & Fulham Council, Stephen Cowan, said the council was in discussion with potential suppliers with the aim of getting a ferry service in place by the end of October. 

Now it seems that ‘early next year’ is the best that Barnes residents can hope for.
The Bugle has heard that at least three different operators have already been in contact with Hammersmith Council and the Port of London Authority and that a range of ferry solutions are on the table.

It has been reported that the Task Force has now appointed TfL to take charge of a procurement process leading to claims in a BBC report that ‘Red tape will delay the replacement ferry’.

One of the companies vying to supply a ferry service is Thames Wherry Services which is run by Barnes-based engineering and logistics specialists. Their proposal is to install temporary floating pontoons either side of the river – at Harrods Wharf and Fulham Reach - and to use a number of smaller river vessels as opposed to a larger river ferry boat. They would be using a fleet of small passenger boats which are already approved for river transport by the PLA and say that they would have the capacity to transport up to 1200 people per hour.

Additionally, temporary infrastructure would need to be put in place either side of the river to allow for ticketing and safe queuing.

A spokesman for Thames Wherry says “Our proposal uses boats and pontoons that can be quickly put in place with designs that are sensitive to other river users. By making use of existing wharfs and temporary pontoons we can avoid the costly and disruptive building of larger jetties that would be needed for more traditional river ferries.

“It’s an agile solution that could be put in place as soon as November if we were given a simple licence to operate having been successful with our license and planning applications. These are already well underway. However, we would be concerned if the task force runs a tender process due to time this will likely take.”

Also throwing their hat into the ring, according to the BBC, are ferry service Thames Clippers who have partnered with marine engineering firm Beckett Rankine. They say they can run two vessels 16 hours a day carrying 1200 people an hour in each direction. Their ferry route would go from Queen’s Wharf on the North Side to River View Gardens on the South.

When questioned, on Friday October 2, a spokesperson for Hammersmith Council said the council aims do everything possible to expedite the planning process to help get a ferry service up and running.


Putative temporary bridge to be moved further away from Hammersmith Bridge

At Hammersmith Council’s snappily named “Community Safety and Environment Policy and Accountability Committee Meeting” on September 16, the head of Hammersmith and Fulham Council, Stephen Cowan, revealed that, as the state of the bridge is now so potentially parlous, the idea of placing a temporary bridge close to it is now out of favour. For safety reasons alternative sites for such a pedestrian and cycle bridge are now being considered. We understand that a number of potential crossing sites are being explored both up and down river of the existing bridge.


Could joined-up thinking on buses be the answer?

In the absence of a ferry or a temporary bridge, campaigners are lobbying TfL to consider ways to improve journeys by laying on extra buses and looking at new ways of getting people to Hammersmith.

Back in the days when you could walk across the bridge, the 209 service ran frequently and could carry around 980 people per hour to Hammersmith Bridge. Now the alternative way to get to Hammersmith, the 533 only operates four times per hour at peak times.

Hammersmith Bridge SOS say that the current frequency and size of the 533 doesn’t meet the demand for its use and they are calling for a switch to double deckers and a much increased frequency.

Another suggestion would be to improve the bus service between Chiswick Overground station (which is only one stop away from Barnes) and Hammersmith Tube.  Campaigners say a bus from Chiswick would avoid the congestion around Chalker’s Corner and potentially make public transport a more viable option for schoolchildren and commuters.

Local MP Sarah Olney had a Zoom meeting with TfL’s bus planning team on Friday October 2 to talk through alternative options.

Campaigners will be disappointed to learn that although TfL said in the meeting that are intending to increase the frequency of the 533 to five per hour, the option of making the 533 a double decker service has been discounted.


This is because of the difficulties of getting a double decker to pass under Barnes Bridge. It would need to be in the middle of the road to do this which would cause too much traffic disruption at peak times. TfL also say that the 533 was only ever intended to be a route to Hammersmith for people with accessibility issues and they are urging families with school children to look at taking buses to Putney to join the Tube network there.

In order to make the route to Putney easier TfL are looking into re-routing the 378 bus past the Red Lion although the problem of the difficult Rocks Lane/ Mill Hill turning will need to be addressed quickly to allow this to happen.

As for travelling to Hammersmith via Chiswick overground Station, the bus planner talking to Sarah Olney suggested that the best route using the Overground as a portion of the journey would be to go to Richmond from Barnes and then to change onto the District Line to get to Hammersmith.

All of which demonstrates the extraordinary commutes people are having to undertake to replace the option of crossing the bridge. 

Sarah Olney has asked for TfL to produce some accessible infographics explaining what alternative routes are best for different travel circumstances and TfL has said they aim to get this done next week.


Ratcheting up the pressure

An army of tweeters, savvy social media operators, and canny journalists is ensuring that the Hammersmith Bridge story is always front of mind for the government. Whenever a minister appears on the media, their twitter feed will light up with comments from members of the Hammersmith Bridge SOS group. Radio phone-ins have no shortage of Barnes residents to share their travel horror stories and there are always people on hand to speak to TV and newspaper journalists. They have also been able to supply professional photography and videos to help get their story across.

The team have even been responsible for spreading the story around the world. Initially it seems national newspapers and broadcasters were reluctant to cover the story – too local apparently. However, one call to the London correspondent of the New York Times changed all that. The resulting story got picked up everywhere and the news that ‘London’s bridges are falling’ down went global.  Suddenly our national media found that the story wasn’t so local anymore.

It’s an impressive achievement for a group of people who, until a few weeks ago, didn’t even know each other. Protests have been organised, What’s App groups are buzzing and as a result all the members of the Task Force know that what they say and decide will make the news, not to mention be under constant scrutiny by a highly organised local pressure group.

Hammersmith SOS say they are always looking for more case histories from people who are suffering as a result of the closure and want to hear from anyone whose children are struggling to get to school or whose businesses have been threatened or who have problems getting to medical appointments. They also need more people to join in the social media campaign. You can find out more on their website or email them at [email protected].


Sprucing up the High Street

For the past few years the BCA has been lobbying Richmond Council to fund improvements to Barnes High Street with the aim of making it a better place to shop. They want to reduce traffic pinch points, widen pavements in a way that won't impede traffic and install a bus stop on the eastbound side of the road. Last year they won a grant for the works and since then they have been working with the Council on a proposal to address these issues. Now they want to hear what residents think. You can have your say by clicking here.


Welcome to Barnes

With city centres hollowing out and working from home becoming normalised there’s a reversal on the cards for Britain’s local high streets. That’s certainly something we’re seeing here in Barnes as empty shops are being snapped up by new small retail businesses.


Sadly Jigsaw on the High Street is closing at the end of this month but we hear a new tenant is lined up to take its place. Meanwhile Barnes Bikes has opened up on White Hart Lane and a new men’s grooming business Maverick is set to take over what was the old Castelnau tiles site. We even hear that a ski wear business could be moving into the old Foxton's premises.

Also new at the bridge end of Castelnau is Georgian restaurant Samaia which could do with every bit of local support it can get now that passing trade has been so badly affected by Hammersmith Bridge’s closure.


Barnes gets a new wine room

Cheese and charcuterie from the people that supply Angela Hartnett and the River Café, and wines on tap from trendy wine company Unchartered Wines are going to be on the menu in a new Wine Room launching at Church Road restaurant.

The Wine Room is another example of businesses reacting creatively to sudden restrictions brought about by the Covid crisis. 

The new rule of six means we can’t take bookings for our beautiful private dining room. It will obviously hit us financially and it’s also terrible to see such a wonderful space being unused” says Church Road General Manager Alan Parry.

“We want the restaurant to be buzzing and the room to be enjoyed and we think the Wine Room will offer Barnes something really new and exciting. People can pop in any time between 6pm and 9.30pm and try some amazing wines, together with platters of great cheese or charcuterie. It’s going to be super casual and fun and a great way to sample new interesting wines. Now that people can’t cross the bridge we’ll hope they cross the road to see us, support a local businesses and most importantly enjoy what we have to offer.”

The new Wine Room will be open in the second week of October.


The arts come back to Barnes after OSO revamp

Last weekend was a major landmark for lovers of the arts in Barnes, as the OSO welcomed a full house for its first live theatre production since March. Our local arts centre is now one of the few theatres in the UK to have reopened. They have successfully achieved this by adopting a cabaret-style layout and COVID-compliant seating plan. 

An extensive refurbishment of the venue also promises a fabulous new theatre-bar and café which is on track to open on October 13th.

Chair of the OSO Trustees Simon Danciger says “Our exciting Autumn Season has something for everyone, including ‘The Revellers Society’, scheduled for November, when the OSO will transform into an immersive 1920s secret society for a fun-filled evening of vaudeville music and comedy. “

And will there be panto? Oh yes there will! This year, it is Rapunzel, billed as 'the original lockdown fairy tale'. Rapunzel is trapped in Barnard Castle – will the visually impaired Prince Cummins save her?

It has been a huge challenge to reopen the OSO and the arts centre still needs support. The main way you can help is by booking tickets. You can also make a donation, either in person at the OSO pop-up café or by visiting their website to donate online. For those of you who enjoy mixing intellectual challenge with a good night out, the OSO is also holding a fundraising Quiz Night and dinner on Saturday October 10th.

To book tickets, visit www.osoarts.org.uk 

To help people book with confidence the OSO has announced that all bookings come with the guarantee of a full refund if any performance has to be covid-cancelled or if you are unable to attend through self-isolation.


Covid in Richmond

The latest seven day rolling figures for Richmond showed 63 new cases reported up from 50 last week and from 38 at the same time last month. The figures demonstrate we are not immune from national trends and that the virus is on the rise pretty much everywhere. At the time of writing, our weekly cases per 100k rate is now 31.8 and higher than this week’s London average. However, compared to the hottest of hotspots (Liverpool with 268 cases per hundred thousand) the NHS Covid app shows our area as being of only medium risk.


The areas of London with the highest number of cases continue to be centred around the North and East of the capital. The varying levels across London have led some people to speculate that areas with good tube links are more likely to have a higher incidence but it is also likely that less wealthy areas with more populous households will have been disproportionately affected.

*Please note these figures are just based on a weekly snapshot to see figures in more detail click here.


Controversial Homebase development gets go ahead

The Greater London Authority has approved plans for a major housing development to be built on the site of the Richmond branch of Homebase. The plans for the site include 453 residential dwellings and local campaigners’ objections have centred around concerns that local transport and other services won’t be able to cope with the extra demands caused by such a potentially large number of new residents.

It is now likely that the proposal will be called in for review by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick who had issued a ‘holding direction’ saying he would call in the application if the Mayor approved it.


Ready sheddy go?

We’ve written many times in the Bugle about the BCA’s Men’s Shed project. The Men’s Shed movement is a fascinating phenomenon. They are non profit local organisations that provide a space for men to get together to make things. The movement originated in Australia as a way to improve the health and wellbeing of older men but now Men’s Sheds have expanded their remit to involve anyone regardless of age or gender.

The BCA’s plan is to site Barnes’ Men’s Shed in the carpark of the London Wetland Centre and plans for the shed are now online on the Richmond Council Planning Portal. The BCA are asking for people to show their backing for the project by submitting a comment on the planning application.


Shire generosity

As we sit here typing the Bugle looking out on endless rain, summer seems so far away. Yet only a couple of weeks ago the Friends of Barnes Common were harvesting hay. The bucolic scene, captured above by Mel Nichols shows volunteers from Operation Centaur who look after the Hampton Court shire horses - the last remaining team of working shires in London.


Mel says "It’s nice to know that the Barnes Common hay is used nearby in such a positive way. I don’t know how many Barnes residents know that that’s where the hay goes, and why it’s important for people to clear up after their dogs and for all of us to  keep the Common litter-free."


Going the distance

Roger McGough launches a socially distanced season of events

After having to cancel the end of their last season due to lockdown the Barnes Literary Society have been working hard to make sure that their 20/21 season can go ahead. The large space where they hold their meetings at St Mary’s Church has now been arranged to make socially distanced worship possible. This also means that literary worship can take place safely and a cracking programme of live events has been put together. Highlights include biographer Tom Bower who will be talking about his biography of Boris Johnson, and thriller writer Mark Billingham who will be discussing his latest book Their Little Secret. The season kicks off with powerhouse historian Tom Holland discussing his book Dominion: The Making of the Western Mind.

For those who can’t attend, all of the talks will be recorded on video and made available exclusively for Barnes Literary Society members to watch.

To kick off the season poet Roger McGough teamed up with Chair of the BLS Jo Weinberger to explain how the socially distanced meetings will work and to read some of his latest Covid crisis inspired poems. We particularly liked ‘Autumn has been cancelled’.

The BLS is a members only organisation.  You can join via their website.


Bookfest tickets go on sale

Barnes booklovers will also be pleased to know that our very first adult literary festival is also going ahead in November and tickets are on sale for talks from stellar authors including Andrew Graham Dixon, Michael Morpurgo, Gyles Brandreth and Sally Vickers, there’s even an appearance by jockey Bob Champion.

You can buy tickets online at the BarnesBookfest website or in person from the Barnes Bookshop.


Move over Paris, Barnes has got its own fashion week

Sadly St Mary’s won’t be packed this year with a throng of prosecco drinking fashion lovers enjoying the annual Barnes Charity Fashion Show. However the organisers have, to use one of the buzz words of 2020, ‘pivoted’ to replace the fashion shows with Barnes Fashion Week.

Between October 10 and 17 the fashion show team are launching a Barnes Fashion Trail. Look out for with media activities, special offers in all the participating shops, and exclusive fashion in Barnes.  Their celebrity patrons Kate Silverton and Deborah James will also be giving interviews and visiting the stores during the week.


Boutiques and designers featured in the new trail include Iris, Ridley & Co, Clifford Studios, Nina, Marco Tripoli, The Clothesroom, Bazar, Dilli Grey, [email protected] as well as Anne Gretton, Barnes Sewing Room, Gerry Summers, Nineteen, Georgina Skan, Schuberts, Joaquina Pereira, Focal Point and MCA Design.  


Scents and sensibility

After the huge success of the new outdoor play space, plans are underway for the next phase of the transformation of the Suffolk Road Recreation Area with the introduction of a ‘sensory garden’. This is a space for quiet contemplation where residents can enjoy beautiful planting that is intended to encourage bees and other pollinators.

You can read about the plans and have your say here


This month's Covid hero

This month’s Barnes Hero beautifully shot by Natalie Muallem is local charity organiser Luke Tegner. As well as doing fantastic work for the Barnes Fund, Luke also took part in a charity bike ride to help raise money for the OSO Community Kitchen.

Together with fellow cyclist Owen Slot, Luke took in all ten of London's major football stadia, from Brentford to QPR via Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Milwall, Charlton, West Ham, Tottenham and Arsenal - a 110km journey.


The £2,500 he raised with Owen went towards ingredients which were used in some of the 10,000 meals the kitchen produced for people in need during lockdown.

If you would like to nominate a Barnes Covid Hero who will be photographed by Natalie please get in touch with us by emailing [email protected].


Lockdown inspires Barnes artists

Paintings by Sarah Dickinson & Drawings by Gosia Tomczuk

After a shaky start lockdown has proved to be a consistently creative period for Barnes Artists. Most of their new work is inspired by, and reflects the natural beauty and wildlife of Barnes.

This means there will be some wonderful new works on virtual display at this year’s Barnes Art Fair.

Many artists showing at last year's fair were so popular their work almost sold out by the weekend.  Curator, Andrew Childs says “We sold over £13k of work last year and I feel confident the standard of work will be even higher due to the extra time artists have had to develop their talent.”

Between May and July local landscape painter Sarah Dickinson would get up at 5am to capture the emerging light in Barn Elms Allotments and Barnes Common, and she says  “The early sunshine was particularly beautiful on the long flaxen grass and lace caps”.

Artist and busy mum, Gosia Tomczuk found time to revisit the  places where she recalled her most cherished memories - Barnes pond, Hammersmith Bridge, and Barnes Common. “As I slowed down I started to appreciate these surroundings much more and to see them as ‘windows’ of happy times which I developed into atmospheric drawings” she says. 

The 2020 Barnes Art Fair will now be an online gallery show. The show website will go online on the same date that the live art show was due to open – November 12. The organisers promise lots of beautiful art available to buy in time for Christmas.


Are private security patrols a crime fighting answer for Barnes?

By the end of the year a clearly marked security vehicle could be visiting your street every 90 minutes from 6pm to 6am if a plan by two local businessmen comes into fruition. 

The partners behind the potential new service are security industry specialists and they are looking to launch it at a time when there has been rising local incidence of burglary, car theft, thefts from cars as well as other petty crimes.

“We don’t want to replace the police but we do want to add to what local police are doing by deterring crime and giving residents a super quick response and extra peace of mind.” says Martin Beaumont one of the two partners involved in the scheme.

In order to launch the new business - On the Beat - will need to sign up at least 400 out of Barnes’ 6,000 households to a subscription scheme costing £35 per month.
Those who sign up to it will benefit from a security patrol visiting their street and will also have the ability to call the service to respond to potential crimes.

“Because we’re so hyper local” says Martin “when someone calls us, we should be able to be on the scene in three to four minutes. So, if one of our members sees something suspicious - anything from an attempted break-in, to guys on scooters looking into cars, to intimidating door to door salesmen - our patrol can get there quickly and the security officer can deal with the situation. 

“We see the service as a professional form of Neighbourhood Watch that is proactive, and all our members will be able to display badges on their properties which should, by their very presence, act as a deterrent to criminals.”

And although the patrols will be the core of what they offer On the Beat also plans to add in extra services such as key holding and alarm response that will be integrated to the patrol as well as the ability to supply CCTV as well as grills and gates. Once enough people have signed up, they are also planning to negotiate preferential home insurance rates for members with the aim that reduced insurance premiums will counterbalance the cost of the service.

The security vehicle will only patrol areas where around 30% of households are participating in the scheme but, as an incentive, they will decrease the subscription costs if more than 50% of people in any given street take part.

For now, they just want to find out if there is sufficient interest in the service and are asking those who would consider subscribing to. You can register your interest on their website.


Community safety issues

While we’re writing about crime, now is a good time to mention that Richmond Council is inviting residents to join ward councillors and the Police to have your say on community safety issues at a virtual community engagement event.  To attend the event for Barnes, Mortlake and East Sheen on October 20, you can pre-register here. Once registered you will be sent a personal link and will be able to log in and hear from our local Police and ward councillors live. 


Cyclist hurt in hit and run on Station Road

Station Road was closed off to traffic last week after a cyclist was knocked off his bike by a hit and run driver close to the zebra crossing by the Methodist Church. It’s the third traffic accident this year in what is an increasingly congested road.


“If the road isn’t in gridlock because of traffic works in Mortlake or bottlenecks in Barnes High Street it seems it is full of drivers totally ignoring the 20 mile an hour speed limit."says one local resident. "It was really upsetting to see the cyclist being treated for a head injury at the side of the road, and even worse to hear that the driver sped away from the scene of the accident.” 

Thankfully we understand that the cyclist’s injuries weren’t life changing.


Grave news

Pictures: Alexa Bailey

The explorer, author and photographer Levinson Wood has thrown his weight behind a campaign to raise funds to restore one of Mortlake’s architectural gems.

The tomb of the explorer Richard Burton is housed in a wonderfully eccentric Mausoleum in the grounds of St Mary’s Church on Worple Way.

Burton, who is buried alongside his wife and fellow adventurer, Lady Isabel Burton is famous for his quest to find the source of the river Nile as well as for his literary prowess. He is said to have spoken 27 languages and was responsible for English translations of both 1001 nights and the Kama Sutra.

The soldier and intellectual, who is also thought by some to have been a spy, died in 1890 and the mausoleum was completed in time for his funeral in June 1891.


It is an extraordinary marble structure built to resemble a Bedouin tent. Inside, the interior is embellished with oriental lamps, devotional paintings and camel bells. You can also see the coffins of Sir Richard and his wife through a glass panel accessible by a small ladder. 

To coincide with the bicentenary of his birth in March 2021, the Environment Trust is working to reopen the mausoleum after it was sealed from the public almost fifty years ago.


They need to raise £4,000 and you can donate to their appeal here.


You can watch Levinson Wood talking about Richard Burton's legacy here.


Reading group closure is a huge loss for the disabled

B arnes is full of book groups and while, through lockdown, book club zooming became commonplace, there was one book group that had to stop.


Roehampton University graduate Richard Mansfield had, until Covid struck, been running a regular drop-in reading group at Castelnau Library with many of his participants being adults with autism or ADHD.


Loss of routine, for those regularly attending a group such as Richard's, is a huge blow for people with autism who find it hard to adapt to change, but that's not the only loss caused by the end of the group. Richard would regularly help his reading group members with understanding and filling out forms.


Richard would love to restart the group once these sort of things become possible again but in the meantime he's keen to get the word out that the group has stopped. He hasn't got the contact details of many of his attendees and he's asking Bugle readers who might know any of his regulars to let them know what has happened.   


San Remo pops up at Spoonful

J ust as we were about to press send, news has reached us that the old team behind Italian restaurant San Remo are running a pop-up in association with Fabrice at Spoonful (the wonderful French deli and café at the top of Castelnau).


The pop up will run from Tuesday to Saturday between 7pm and 10pm and you can book by calling or texting Joseph on 07788 906221. Tables are limited in order to allow social distancing.


Apparently many old favourite dishes are on the menu including Sea Bass, Raviola Rosa, Rack of Lamb and Calves Liver.



The man who makes Barnes beautiful


Just imagine for one minute what Barnes would be like without the Green and the pond. Of course, it’s unthinkable. The green is the heart of our village, the place where we meet, feed the ducks and admire the swans. When we’ve been away, driving past the pond is what makes all of us feel back at home.


Every centimetre is cared for by Russell Greaves the greenkeeper. He doesn’t do it solo, additional upkeep is done by council workmen and volunteers, but he’s the one taking painstaking care to ensure that it’s a joy to visit and a haven for wildlife.


It’s an outdoors job and most days you will find Russell on the Green ensuring plants are watered, litter is picked and trees are cared for. Every year he prunes a quarter of the plant growth around the pond and the island, and he’ll coppice or pollard a third of the willow trees. When not outdoors he’s doing admin, liaising with the Council, the Friends of Barnes Common, volunteers and organisations like the Swan Sanctuary.  


It’s a constantly evolving space, over the past few years he’s introduced wildflower meadows and the beautiful planters on the west side of the pond, as well as bird boxes and a stag beetle stumpery by the brook.


Current projects include a plan to introduce a hedgerow by the crescent to encourage hedgehogs, and major improvements to the banks of Beverley Brook.


By cutting back some of the overhanging trees, restoring the eroded banks and installing diverters to gently move the course of the stream, wildlife from fish to insects to waterfowl will be attracted to the area. The brook will be even more beautiful to behold with subtle patches of still and fast flowing water. It will also be a safer space for dogs and their owners who will be confined to a smaller but more sure-footed area of the bank.


The pond is at the centre of his job and is his pride and joy. He says “It’s wonderful to see the wildlife thrive. It was thrilling to see a kingfisher last week”.  He loves his job but if he has one bugbear it is people thinking that the pond is the place to discard unwanted pets. “Koi carp and goldfish badly affect the ecology of the pond by competing for food and terrapins are rapacious – they can even kill newly hatched ducklings.  I wish people knew what damage they might be doing when they let them loose in the pond.”


The greenkeeper’s job came about after the pond spontaneously emptied one night in 2001. Suddenly there was only a muddy hole in the centre of the village and a huge loss of habitat for wildlife.


The BCA organised a fundraising campaign and the village rallied round. Including a £60k council grant, £183,000 was raised to cover the cost of repairing the pond. Some of the money went towards creating the new role to ensure such a calamity should not reoccur. Now Russell’s salary is co-funded by the BCA and Richmond Council.


Keeping our Green and pond beautiful is at the heart of what the BCA does and by becoming a member you can help preserve its beauty for now and for future generations. Standard membership costs only £25 per year and is a small price to pay for keeping Barnes so beautiful.



By supporting the BCA you are contributing to an organisation that can pull the community together at a time of crisis
The BCA funds a Green Keeper to look after Barnes Green and the Pond
The BCA is there to fight Barnes' corner by lobbying the council, TfL and other bodies over issues from traffic, to planning, to public transport to the closure of Hammersmith Bridge
The BCA funds a Town Centre manager to support our local shops 
Without the BCA there would be no Barnes Fair or Food Fair
Members get Prospect Plus a regular email keeping them up to date with the BCA's work and also what's going on in Barnes.

The BCA wouldn't be able to do what it does without raising money from membership.

Joining the BCA costs from £18 per year and by joining you will be making a real difference to Barnes.  Just click below to join.


At the Olympic


The Trial of the Chicago 7 - Until Oct 15

On the Rocks - Until Oct 15

Eternal Beauty - until Oct 14 

Tenet - Oct 6 & 8

Rocks - Until Oct 11

A Life on Our Planet - Until Oct 14

Bill & Ted Face the Music - Oct 4


Trolls World Tour - Oct 4

The Spy Who Loved Me - Oct 4

Hope Gap - Oct 5

A View to a Kill - Oct 11

Pinocchio  - Oct 11 & 14

The Quiet One - Oct 13 & 15

Sexy Beast - Oct 14


By the Pond


Barnes Collectables Market

The last market of the year will be held on Saturday October 10



At the OSO


Quiz Night - October 10

Jazz Tea - October 11

Buenos Klezmer - October 22

This is Your Trial - October 23 & 24

Our Little Ting - October 31




The End of Love

in a Time of Coronavirus

Mandy Benning the Family Law Expert at Putney-based Solicitors Gibson Young says that there has regrettably been an increase of enquiries about divorce in the light of lockdown and the pandemic. Here she shares the answers to  some of the questions she has been asked frequently over the past months.


Q. Can I still get divorced at this time or does the pandemic mean my case will be delayed?

A. The simple answer to this is yes and maybe.


Gibson Young have continued to advise and support our clients throughout the past few months, communicating both using technology and safely conducted face-to-safe meetings. We have operated as close to ‘normal’ as possible.  
Although the majority of Family courts have been operating throughout the Government imposed restrictions, there have been some inevitable delays in the court processing time, as the courts also adjust. Hearings are still being listed and applications being issued and being dealt with. Even though, the process may take a little longer than usual, it should not put you off. Your Gibson Young legal advisors will keep you apprised of the progress as your case goes on and will do their best to ensure that things go as smoothly as they can.



Q. Can I apply for a no-fault divorce?

A. Currently there is only generally one ground for divorce in the UK - that the marriage has ‘irretrievably broken down’.


When making the application the person applying for the divorce must set out one of five reasons: adultery; unreasonable behaviour; desertion; separation of two years and your spouse agrees in writing; or separation of at least five years.
This system can seem thus to imply ‘fault’ or ‘blame’ on one spouse. The legal professionals at Gibson Young however can work with you to draft the petition in a way to keep allegations as non-contentious as possible or with the agreement of your spouse to keep acrimony to a minimum. 
Many legal professionals feel that current divorce law is out of date and the government has now passed the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 which will reform the divorce process to remove the concept of fault.  It is expected that the new procedures and rules will come into force towards the second half of 2021/beginning of 2022. It is hoped that these significant changes will allow separating parties to reduce the animosity between them and move forward in a more agreeable way.



Q. How can I limit costs during my divorce and settlement?

A. Although there is no clear answer on how much a divorce and financial settlement (division of assets) might cost, or what the final bill might be, the legal advisors at Gibson Young will ensure that you have a clear understanding of the likely costs from the outset of your case.

As in most firms, the solicitors and legal advisors at Gibson Young usually charge on an hourly rate basis and, depending on the experience of your advisor, this cost can vary.  You will be clearly advised of the rates from the outset and once your advisors understand a little more about your specific case, they can give you more detailed estimates for your individual matter.  
There are circumstances where if you are the petitioner in the divorce you can seek costs or a contribution to costs from your spouse, but usually the legal costs are borne by each individual. Some costs, such as costs for court fees and for other specialists or experts will be required from you prior to the expense being incurred, but again your specialist advisor will explain this to you in detail and keep you apprised throughout your case.


Sharing as much information as you can as early as possible  reduce delays and thus costs. The more you can agree with your ex the higher is the likelihood of keeping costs down. Mediation or alternative dispute resolution are great ways to do this.
If you and your ex are able to settle matters relating to finances and the children yourselves, the legal advisors at Gibson Young can advise you, negotiate amendments or draw up agreements and applications to the court to formalise the settlement to protect you in the long term. It is never advisable to leave matters (especially in respect of the finances) unresolved, as this could have massive implications for you in the future. A formal court order is almost always required, even if simply to ensure that no future claims are made. 
In other cases, prior to starting the process of divorce, you may require legal intervention to deal with your spouse being uncooperative or dishonest; i.e. ‘hiding’ money or dissipating assets to avoid division on divorce. We will advise you on how best to deal with this and ensure that you receive robust advice to obtain a fair settlement. 


Gibson Young can help you move forward with your divorce, and  work with you to help find the best solution for your circumstances. If you are considering a divorce, or would like to find out more about your options you can call us on:

020 7924 2919

or click the button below

Click here to get in touch

Gibson Young Solicitors LLP

1 & 2 Crescent Stables

139 Upper Richmond Road

London SW15 2TN



020 7924 2919


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At the Bugle we endeavour to check information for accuracy to the best of our abilities. However we are reliant on information provided to us by third parties. On occasion, dates and times of events may be subject to change and we would urge Bugle readers wishing to attend events, or use a service mentioned to verify information in advance. Where possible we provide links to websites to allow readers to double check the most recent information available, as details can be subject to change.


Copyright © 2020 barnesvillagebugle.co.uk  All Rights Reserved.


If you want to unsubscribe from the Bugle click here.

About the Barnes Village Bugle

The Barnes Village Bugle is an independent publication. People often think it's produced by the Barnes Community Association, but no, they have their own excellent email Prospect Plus. 

At the Bugle we endeavour to simply report what's going on in Barnes in as comprehensive and entertaining a way as possible. We have no agenda apart from spreading the word about the huge number of genuinely interesting things happening in and around Barnes and sharing information about local campaigns and news events.

If you have a story you would like to see featured in the Bugle do email us by clicking here.

We can't guarantee that we'll run it, but if we think it's going to be interesting to our readers then we'll publish your information.

If on the other hand you want to publicise a commercial venture then it's easy to advertise with us. Our mailing list has close to 4,000 subscribers so you'll reach lots of people in Barnes very inexpensively.

The Bugle is a labour of love, not a profit-making venture. We pay to send it out and our mailing costs are covered by the fantastic support we get from Winkworth and our other advertisers. We'd love to get more advertising as that would at least go some way into covering the costs of our time, so if you advertise with us you'll not only be reaching a large audience you'll be keeping a local resource going.

At the Bugle we endeavour to check information for accuracy to the best of our abilities. However we are reliant on information provided to us by third parties. On occasion, dates and times of events may be subject to change and we would urge Bugle readers wishing to attend events, or use a service mentioned to verify information in advance. Where possible we provide links to websites to allow readers to double check the most recent information available, as details can be subject to change.


Copyright © 2020 barnesvillagebugle.co.uk  All Rights Reserved.


If you want to unsubscribe from the Bugle click here.