Hope you are all having a peaceful and relaxing holiday. We’ll kick off with the news over the past ten days, and then we thought we’d do a quick “news review” of the year.
A local carol singer raised over £100,000 over the past 40 years. Hallelujah!
A new restaurant is recruiting already. Could ‘HAM’ be where Brioche was?
The Iverson Road Space didn’t reopen by Christmas as planned, but should reopen in January.
Although the plague of moped thefts has eased, there have been a couple recently: outside the tube station and another outside Waitrose. So this is still an issue. It only takes a second to loose your phone.
It’s the final week for consultation on the pedestrianisation of part of Oxford Street. The 139 would be one of just two buses that would continue to pass along the street.
A gang of (pretty hapless) burglars who smashed their way into Banana Tree back in May (and five other premises) were sentenced to jail.
YEAR IN REVIEW
The year started with a bang in January when a green Porsche smashed into Lena’s Café.
Work began in earnest on the Overground station upgrade. It’s running a little behind schedule, but not too much. Passenger numbers passing though the three West Hampstead stations topped 20 million for the first time.
Planning continued to dominate as a local issue, with the controversial redevelopment of 156 WEL approved in February. Travis Perkins is still trying to get the decision reversed or delayed in the courts but is running out of options. The Ballymore flats at West Hampstead Square FINALLY welcomed their first occupants in late January, eighteen months late. And the most recent scheme for Gondar Gardens came up for consultation.
There was a new recycling regime! Introduced on April 1st it didn’t exactly run smoothly. Even six months later there were still issues.
Christmas trees can be recycled too… all the details are here: Please don’t dump them on the street, like someone from West Hampsted Square appeared to do on Boxing Day!?
There were a number of coming and goings ; M&S opened in February …Ladudu closed in March and Rosa’s opened on the same site. Lola’s Bakery joined the West End Lane cafés, while on Mill Lane, the Kitchen Table closed to be replaced by the MillHouse.
Father Andrew stepped down from St. James Church (a.k.a. the Sheriff Centre) in May (but remains the postmaster for the time being).
In June there was (another) general election. At the start of campaigning, the polls and bookies tipped the Tories to win Hampstead & Kilburn from Labour, but in the end Tulip won with a margin of over 15,000…
Also in June, with worries about terrorist incidents in many people’s minds, West End Lane was closed off with concern about a chemical smell.
There was a very visible rise in moped-enabled crime in the area particularly in the latter half of the year with a spate of mobile phone thefts; and two guys were arrested when their moped was cornered by police after a man was stabbed to death after an attempted robbery of his phone in Maida Vale. There have been other arrests and things have improved, but it is still an issue.
It was our 300th newsletter in October!
Finally, after more than 600 days in prison, things are looking more positive for West Hampstead resident Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe (Freudian typo corrected). Richard, her husband has kept her name in the news. There was a tying of ribbons round a tree on Fortune Green at Easter to mark one year in prison, and a march in November. She celebrated her birthday on Boxing Day and may be eligible for early release next month.
There is a very interesting (monthly) concert series starting at the Sheriff Centre, sponsored by Bechstein pianos.
First one on Friday January 5th is a recital by tenor Mark Padmore accompanied by Andrew West on Piano. The following wednesday they are playing the same concert – in the Cologne Philharmonic Hall!
Tweet of the week
The campaign for a lift at West Hampstead Station received some (very local) support…
Hi All, this is a real possibility, but only with a lot of support from the local community. Please have your say. Thank you ???@WHampstead @bratnw6 @WHampsteadLife @HampsteadWest @WELBooks pic.twitter.com/Mf8lWUJ75Y
— Status Quote (@willesdenstaff) December 20, 2017