What have I missed since March 11th?

A man shot himself in the leg, in the toilets of the Golden Egg on Kilburn High Road.

Labour finally recommended an all-woman shortlist for its Hampstead & Kilburn candidate to replace Glenda Jackson leaving local councillor Mike Katz disappointed.

Photo via @dannymcg

Games Exchange on Broadhurst Gardens closed a couple of weeks ago after the bailiffs were called in. Could it be the new location for coffee shop Wired?

Conservative PPC Simon Marcus raised hopes that West Hampstead police station might stay open in some form, however, local councillors wrote that the entire situation is immensely confused.

West Hampstead’s branch of Nando’s featured prominently in this advert article in the Telegraph.

The full planning application was submitted for a 138-bedroom student block next to the O2 centre on Finchley Road.

The Gondar Gardens appeal saga moves closer to its final phase.

West Hampstead got a double-page spread in local glossy magazine Fabric.

The local twitterati tried to come up with the perfect collective noun for estate agents.

A new addition to the Hampstead & Kilburn Now & Then Flickr page shows a much bigger change in the buildings than usual.

The pavement outside the Alice House is being widened.

The Paperboy was NxNW6’s film of the week. Full local listings here.

What was the final verdict on Stoker by NW6 Film Club members? (next film club night April 7)

What did we all make of Hana at the last whampreview?

Tom’s Diner checked out the fish & chips at The Black Lion.

For a round-up of local ghost stories, check out the Kilburn History blog.

There are, as I write, two tickets left for whampgather on March 28th. Everyone there who buys a raffle ticket will also get an easter egg.

If a bus terminates early, you CAN get a transfer ticket.

There’s a public meeting on Tuesday for patients of the West Hampstead medical centre.

Camden’s changing the way it manages parking bay suspensions [pdf].

Coming Up
19th: WH Medical Centre public meeting 7.30pm at library
21st: Kilburn Festival AGM 7.30pm at Kingsgate Community Centre
28th: Whampgather XI
5th: West Hampstead SNT drop-in surgery, SNT base West End Lane
22nd: WH & FG NDF meeting 7.30pm St James’ Church

Tweet of the Week

Fascinating insight into #WestHampsteadMan: #MrTickle outselling all other #MrMen cards 2 to 1 here!
— West End Lane Books (@WELBooks) March 14, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Just read the article re Nandos and the author’s description of the journey up to the restaurant from tube station: “brisk stroll along a non-descript high street lined with a plenitude of mid priced Indian and Thai restaurants, mini-cab firms, charity shops etc etc etc”.

    I couldn’t agree more – in a 18 shop stretch on west end lane, I count 5 charity shops, 3 hair stylists and 2 dry cleaners.

    Surely we deserve to have a better setup on our high street.

    • Though in the same stretch (assuming you’re looking roughly at Barclays-Nando’s), there are also 2 independent restaurants, 3 independent cafés, a baker, a florist, and a greengrocer. Across the road on the same stretch is an independent bookshop (a very rare breed) and a bike shop. Yes, West Hampstead has a surfeit of charity shops (all clustered), hairdressers (not uncommon), and estate agents but it also still retains plenty of independent businesses. Is it perfect – certainly not. Is it better than most comparable metropolitan high streets, I would suggest that it very much is.

      Am also intrigued by what Mick Brown, who wrote the original article, was looking at when he walked up from the tube to Nando’s. Where are these “plentitude of mid-priced Indian restaurants” [there are two and one of them is not a traditional curry house], “Thai restaurants” [Banana Tree comes close, but isn’t a Thai restaurant and nor is Ladudu], “mini-cab firms” [there’s one – West End Lane Cars], and charity shops [yes, fair cop]?

  • Anonymous

    Yes – our high street is comparable to the AVERAGE London high street but to be honest, i don’t think that should be our benchmark!

    Reckon Crouch End does a really good job getting the most out of its high street.

    House prices in that area are around 25-30% less per square foot than in West Hampstead. However, Crouch End high street is loaded with up market shops, restaurants etc – in contrast to the heart of West Hampstead.

    That all said, reckon this all presents an opportunity for West Hampstead. Perhaps the new West End Square development across from the tube is a sign that changes are afoot. Now if we can only sort out our parking situation…

    • If house prices are 25-30% lower I imagine business premises rents are also lower, which makes it easier for smaller interesting independent business to move in.

      I wouldn’t hold out hope for West End Square to revolutionise the retail experience – there will be only a few units + one metro supermarket size unit; and the developer will almost certainly demand a high price for what will be a superb location.

    • Anonymous

      Commercial rents are pretty much identical in West Hampstead and Crouch End.

      Looking at a couple of property compare websites, i found 3 commercial properties for rent in west hampstead and 3 in crouch end and they all come at around £40-45 per square foot.

      In fact, west hampstead is actually better value since i just based my calcs on ground floor space and not usable basement space (which seemed to be generally on offer in all 3 west hampstead locations).

      Re my reference to West End Square perhaps being a catalyst, i wasn’t just referring to new retail space but more people ie, more demand. But good parking to encourage demand from outside the area would surely help as well.

    • Fair enough! The issue of more people is moot – will they be the sort of people who contribute to the daytime economy (shops) or the evening/weekend economy (cafes/bars/restaurants). The majority of flats are 2-beds and likely to be priced at/appeal to the double income households who are out at work all day. Will be interesting to see what impact it has though – along with all the other developments in the area.

      I know parking is a real issue – the local businesses all want more, local residents generally don’t (already too congested and with such good transport links not necessary, runs the argument). Camden has a broad zero-parking policy for new developments and the transport links here mean they are more able to enforce that in WH than elsewhere. Making parking more flexible rather than adding to it would seem to be to the better option.