Entries by Jonathan Turton

Farewell West Hampstead

We’re sad to announce that West Hampstead Life is stopping the presses. After nine years, it’s had a really good run, but Tuesday’s “What have you missed…” will be the last post on the site and the final newsletter is going out as soon as I hit “publish” on this post. As you know, for […]

Hustings postponed in wake of Manchester attack

We have had to cancel tonight’s hustings at the Sherriff Centre. Following the terrible attack in Manchester last night, which has left 22 people dead and dozens more injured, the political parties have suspended campaigning. Sadly this sort of disruption of the democratic process is surely one of the aims of terrorism. While calling a […]

WHL Hustings 2017: Tuesday 23rd May 7.30pm

H&K promises once again to be closely fought battle and West Hampstead is the marginal bit of a marginal constituency. Given the snap election, hustings have been thin on the ground in 2017 – in fact we don’t know of any large-scale hustings at all. We’re therefore very pleased to announce that we’ve teamed up […]

What have you missed since February 20th?

Storm Doris hit West Hampstead hard with trees and even a brick wall blown over. M&S opened in West Hampstead Square on Wednesday, but just two days later a fire broke out in one of the other tower blocks with five fire engines attending. A ninth-floor balcony was damaged but thankfully no-one was hurt. Presumably […]

M&S opens and West Hampstead speaks

There’s always a bit of excitement when a major new shop or restaurant opens in the area. Some scoff at the fervour with which chains are welcomed. Others just scoff the food they sell. Marks & Spencer’s food hall in West Hampstead Square will undoubtedly be a boon not just for those eventually living in […]

Council listens to Maygrove parking problems

If you’re following the Maygrove Road parking story, then you’ll be interested in this update from MILAM (the local residents association) chair Monica Regli. Monica presented the MILAM deputation on parking and traffic issues to Camden’s environment and cultural scrutiny meeting at the town hall. She says that councillors were largely sympathetic to the problems […]

What have you missed since February 13th?

West Hampstead is an “area of intensification” – how far are we to meeting the 2031 housing target? (Spoiler: Very). In Valentine’s week, what better than an Insight into one of our local florists? Swiss Cottage councillor Andrew Marshall, who has already said he will not seek reelection next year, left the Conservative party over […]

Rejoicing in Amy Werner’s rehabilitation

Almost exactly four years ago there was a tragic accident on West End Lane. A Mercedes driver in his 80s careered off the road and onto the pavement near Dynham Road. Desreen Brooks was killed as her husband managed to push their toddler son out of the way. American student Amy Werner, off to meet […]

West Hampstead Square rebrands as “Heritage Lane”

Ballymore’s increasingly delayed West Hampstead Square megaproject has taken another turn for the bizzare. In a marketing document seen by West Hampstead Life, the developer is selling the long leasehold for the commercial part of the development with a breakdown of who the tenants will be. The words “West Hampstead Square” appear nowhere in this […]

Good Night, and Good Luck

More than six years ago I tweeted about a hairdresser on Broadhurst Gardens (long gone). It was a bit of an experiment in using Twitter for local news. Would there be enough stuff to talk about? Was Twitter really going to take off? Most pertinently, were people in West Hampstead interested in getting local news […]

What have I missed since July 6th?

The West Hampstead & Fortune Green Neighbourhood Development Plan was passed in a referendum. An overwhelming 93% of the 2,522 votes cast were in favour of the plan. The plan is therefore now a statutory planning document and it looks like 156 West End Lane will be its first real test. Camden is launching a […]

What have I missed since June 29th?

The referendum on the local Neighbourhood Plan is this Thursday. Find out more and do please vote. West Hampstead Life is supporting a “Yes” vote. Sir Nicholas Winton, who arranged for hundreds of children to escape the Nazis, died. Sir Nicholas was born in West Hampstead. We profiled him last year. Another year, another successful […]

What have I missed since June 22nd?

The campaign to “Save West Hampstead“, which is actually about the 156 West End Lane proposals, is in full swing and has published a detailed list of its objections. It’s unclear how much support the campaign has beyond the streets immediately surrounding the development site. The Railway finally reopened. The Neighbourhood Development Forum is ramping […]

What have I missed since June 15th?

Newly elected Hampstead & Kilburn MP, Tulip Siddiq, gave her maiden speech in the Commons. There’s already a campaign set up to contest the plans for 156 West End Lane, which affects Lymington Road residents. In October, The Gardens bar on Broadhurst Gardens is going to become a “colonial style cat jungle & human restaurant“. […]

Tulip gives maiden speech in the House of Commons

Tulip Siddiq, newly elected Labour MP for Hampstead & Kilburn, stood up yesterday lunchtime to make her maiden speech to the House of Commons during the EU referendum bill debate. After kicking off with a few witticisms about the constituency, she turned her attention to the more serious issue of immigration. She also managed to […]

What have I missed since June 8th?

The first outlines of the 156 West End Lane redevelopment plans were published. Looks like three eight-storey blocks, but firm details are hard to come by. A good crowd braved the damp June weather on Saturday for the first of this year’s Film on Fortune Green screenings. Local author Simon Inglis introduced the classic To […]

First look at 156 West End Lane plans

Developer A2Dominion held two drop-in consultations this week, revealing its first plans for 156 West End Lane. The redbrick site, currently occupied by Travis Perkins, has been sold by the council as part of its Community Investment Programme to raise money. The plan is for a mixed-use development, with 202 dwellings spread across three blocks. […]

What have I missed since June 1st?

There are two public consultations this week about the proposed redevelopment of 156 West End Lane. The developer – A2Dominion – is proposing ~200 homes, of which 50% would be affordable, alongside community, commercial and employment space. The drop-in events are on Thursday and Saturday. Astonishing or well-deserved? Tortellini Cup, the pasta kiosk in the […]

What have I missed since May 26th?

La Brocca changes ownership on Monday after 24 years. The new owners are no strangers to West End Lane though. A woman was hit by a take-away delivery bike on Saturday evening in West End Lane as she crossed while both lanes of traffic were stationary. An ambulance arrived, but there is no news on […]

What have I missed since May 18th?

Carphone Warehouse on Finchley Road was robbed on Wednesday. Social finally cleared out the shop… and although the rumours have been that it was to become a bakery, it now seems that “fashion and lifestyle brand” Joy will be moving in. There’s a licence application in for two weekends of Oktoberfest in Kilburn Grange Park. […]

What have I missed since May 11th?

After the election, Conservative Simon Marcus was gracious in defeat, while 2010’s 3rd placed Ed Fordham (who came closer in 3rd than Simon did in 2nd) admits to still finding it hard to cope with losing sometimes. A beehive was spotted in a back garden on Tuesday and then a swarm of bees made someone’s […]

What have I missed since May 4th?

Labour’s Tulip Siddiq won Hampstead & Kilburn by 1,138 votes. The Conservatives’ Simon Marcus was second, with Maajid Nawaz a long way back in third, ahead of the Greens’ Rebecca Johnson and UKIP’s Magnus Nielsen. Turnout was 67.5%, up slightly from 2010’s 66.3%. Relive the night with my live Twitter feed. Ronnie Carroll, the candidate […]

LIVE: Election 2015 – Hampstead & Kilburn

4.03am Oliver Cooper has won the Hampstead Town by-election, triggered by Simon Marcus standing down. He won comfortably ahead of Labour, with the Greens just nicking third from the Lib Dems. Holborn & St Pancras looks to be all but done and dusted, but Hampstead & Kilburn is definitely tight. Tulip, looking tired, said “What […]

Election 2015: The Tulip Siddiq interview

If you’ve been following the election at all, it’s been hard to avoid Tulip Siddiq. The Labour candidate for Hampstead & Kilburn has been all over the papers over the past few weeks, with spreads in the Standard and lengthy profile pieces in the Independent and Sunday Times. If you want all the background on […]

Election 2015: The Maajid Nawaz interview

Liberal Democrat Maajid Nawaz is on television far more than any of the other Hampstead & Kilburn candidates and yet despite his high profile and self confidence, he is still a distant third favourite for the seat with pollsters, pundits and bookmakers. Maajid’s assured manner and strong hustings performances could well mean that he outperforms […]

Election 2015: The Simon Marcus interview

Simon Marcus wants to be your Conservative MP. He also really wants you to know that he would be a strong independent voice for Hampstead & Kilburn. On the Conservative backbenches, but independent. Throughout the hustings, and in his interview with West Hampstead Life, Simon has gone to considerable lengths to make clear that he […]

What have I missed since April 27th?

There were two unconnected fires – one in a flat in Greencroft Gardens on Thursday, and one above Hana on West End Lane/Cannon Hill on Saturday. No-one was injured in the first, no further details on the second, except that Hana will be closed for a few days. The Netherwood Street clean-up is a great […]

Netherwood Street: Residents take rubbish into their own hands

If you’ve ever had cause to walk from West End Lane to Kilburn High Road via Sherriff Road, you will have been on Netherwood Street. You probably hurried by trying not to notice the unsightly dump between the pavement and the railway line. All manner of refuse, including builders waste and evidence of rough sleeping, […]

What have I missed since April 20th?

The existing Liddell Road businesses have been given until the end of the month to quit the site before building work starts on the school/flats/commercial space. WHL reviewed The Petite Corée – we agreed with everyone else! Local marathon runners gritted their teeth on Sunday. Did anyone local best Mark Townsend’s 2h59? No doubt at […]

What have I missed since April 13th?

TfL has shelved its plans to axe the 13 bus route and extend the 139 to Golders Green. Every party seems to be claiming it was their campaign wot done it; TfL simply says that the consultation overlapped with the election so it’s stopped it. There was a tragic road accident on Thursday when a […]

What have I missed since April 7th?

An operating pub in Maida Vale was demolished without warning, planning permission or the knowledge of the landlady. A Mercedes crashed through the church gate of St Mary’s church on Abbey Road. Samuel West, actor, and director of the Tricycle’s latest play After Electra, talked to West Hampstead Life about the play and his take […]

Disco Soup: Tackling food waste through, er, dance

Disco Soup, according to local organiser Thomas Fassnacht, is a “global movement tackling food waste with free festive culinary events.” Sounds bizarre, but it’s actually a innovative way to get people both thinking about and acting on what is becoming a major global issue. And now you can get invoved in West Hampstead. According to […]

What have I missed since March 30th?

The Evening Standard ran a lengthy propery-related feature on West Hampstead that focused heavily on the neighbourhood’s strong community spirit. The restaurant replacing Mamacita is “Cedar“, a Lebanese place that has an award-winning outlet in W9. Tom got his Easter eggs from El Rocio. There’s a new bench in Hampstead cemetery in memory of Dr […]

What have I missed since March 23rd?

Social, Mamacita and La Smorfia all closed. The strip between Tesco and Sainsbury’s is changing particularly fast. Should parking revenue from the area be spent on improving road safety around Fordwych Road? The West Hampstead Life general election hustings are this Tuesday at The Sherriff Centre. A bus stop on the Kilburn High Road got […]

What have I missed since March 16th?

A year after the campaign started, Camden finally looks set to rid West End Lane of estate agents boards. Matthew Ogston, partner of Nazeem Mahmood who died last year after falling from his balcony on Fawley Road, spoke to The Guardian in a moving must-read interview. Next week we’ll explain how you can show your […]

What have I missed since March 9th?

If you had clothes at Delicate Dry Cleaners, next to Barclays, you can now pick them up from D&D Dry Cleaners, at 68 Fortune Green Road. The timetable for the NDF referendum has been released. A large bear caused consternation on West End Lane. Spring continues springing on Fortune Green, but the commitee is chasing […]

What have I missed since March 2nd?

Camden councillors voted in favour of the Liddell Road scheme. Only two members of the planning committee voted against. You can watch the whole thing. The meeting refers to some calculations by the NDF on the economics of the Liddell Road scheme, which were published on West Hampstead Life. And if, somehow, you’re new to […]

What have I missed since February 23rd

The planning application for Liddell Road will be decided on Tuesday when it goes in front of the planning committee. The session is open to the public (7pm Camden Town Hall) Fordwych Road will be closed between Minster Road and Mill Lane Monday and Tuesday this week for resurfacing. Mark Carney, governor of the Bank […]

What have I missed since February 16th?

Police closed roads around the police station in West Hampstead on Saturday night after a suspect package was found. Thankfully the all clear was sounded fairly soon afterwards. The fire in Snowman House the week before was caused by a tealight. The fire brigade tweeted a photo of both the offending candle and then the […]

What have I missed since February 9th?

A fire on the 10th floor of Snowman House was swiftly brought under control, with only one person treated at the scene despite more than a hundred people being evacuated. The fire was caused by a tealight! 1980s’ popstar Steve Strange, who died this week, got his stage name from a West Hampstead postman. The […]

Steve’s Strange moniker from West Hampstead postman

Steve Strange, frontman of 1980s band Visage, has died in Egypt following a heart attack. He was 55 and best known for the Visage hit Fade to Grey. Local historian Dick Weindling recalls how Strange (real name, Steven Harrington) picked up his unusual name: “In 1978, Jean-Jacques Burnel the bass player with The Stranglers lived […]

Help trace Mr Glassup’s class of 1962

A few weeks ago the BBC ran a story about that first democratic camera, the Brownie. The article triggered some readers to send in their own Brownie photos and these included a couple of photos taken by Merryl See Tai in West Hampstead. Merryl’s on a quest to try and identify the people in one of […]

What have I missed since February 2nd?

Camden came out fighting over the Liddell Road controversy, with a letter in the CNJ, a newsletter, and a lengthy blogpost by finance chief Theo Blackwell. There was a major police incident on Mill Lane on Tuesday evening although quite what triggered it remains unclear. We woke up to snow on Tuesday. Even if you […]

What have I missed since January 26th?

The Alliance’s appeal to raise money to send the body of staffmember Natalia Czekaj back to her mother in Poland exceeded its target, allowing the pub to also pay for the funeral. Thank you to everyone who donated. Flooding at Farringdon at the start of the week and planned engineering this weekend has meant chaos […]

Confusion over Liddell Road school admissions point

The school due to open at Liddell Road in 2016 (assuming Camden councillors vote in favour of the council-led scheme), is an extension of Kingsgate School rather than a separate school. We’ve discussed the reasons for this before. But what does this mean for the admissions point of the new split-site school? Over the past […]

What have I missed since January 19th

Thameslink services will not run between St Pancras and Farringdon Monday due to the flooding. Here’s a train going through the standing water. Camden released its viability report on the controversial Liddell Road development. The NDF chairman called it “an insult to the local community“. There’s yet another (though probably final) chance to discuss the […]

Have your say: WHL Forum is up and running

Heaven knows the people of West Hampstead have opinions. You hear them expressed loudly at every local meeting, anyone with a local twitter timeline will be drowning in them, and they fill the WHL inbox. But not everyone can attend (or enjoys) those meetings; Twitter is a noisy place littered with sunset photos and hashtags, […]

What have I missed since January 12th

What appears to have been an electrical fault caused the O2 centre to be evacuated early Sunday evening and it will reopen Monday. Cinema-goers, shoppers and gym members were all turfed out in the cold. The Neighbourhood Forum passed its exam and got a £6,000 lottery grant. The referendum is likely to be in the […]

T.S.Eliot’s “gloomy” West Hampstead home

T.S. Eliot – arguably the greatest poet of the 20th century – lived for two years in Compayne Gardens. Local actor and writer Edward Petherbridge has put together a short film, While the Music Lasts, about Eliot’s time in West Hampstead, which is well worth six minutes of your time. In 1915, Eliot married Vivienne […]

What have I missed since January 5th?

The West Hampstead & Fortune Green Neighbourhood Development Plan passed its independent examination and will now go to a referendum. More on this later in the week. New Year means gym memberships sky rocket, but what’s the right deal for you? We crunched the numbers, weighed up the pros and cons, and cut through the […]

Kebab shops and Question Time: Tweet of the Year winner

The votes are in and have been independently counted and verified. Which means I looked at them. With a staggering 42 percent of the vote, we had a runaway winner for Tweet of the Year. Congratulations Freddie Gavita.   We had a tie for second place, both with 11 percent of votes. Well done Shirley […]

What have I missed since December 22nd?

Happy New Year! It’s a bumper fortnight round-up this week The plan was submitted for the major overhaul of the Overground station, enabling it to cope with the increasing number of passengers passing through. More than 125 people responded to the NDF’s survey on Liddell Road and there is overwhelming opposition to the council’s scheme. […]

NW6 Film Club January 11th: Birdman

Film Club is back in 2015 with a movie that looks like it’s going to set the quality bar high for the new year. Birdman is an extraordinary film from the visionary filmmaker Alejandro Iñárritu. It stars Michael Keaton; once a Hollywood A-lister thanks to his role as the superhero Batman, but an actor whose […]

Vote now for Tweet of the Year

It’s as much a part of the Christmas holidays as being left hanging under the mistletoe or getting the gristly bit of the turkey… the West Hampstead Life Tweet of the Year competition is back for 2014. Who will join the roll of honour that stretches back to Jon Kelly, Heather Wilson, and Corinne Gladstone? […]

West Hampstead Life Review of the Year

West Hampstead is changing fast (too fast perhaps for some). Lets take a look back at the stories that made the news in 2014 (click the images to go to the full story) January 12 months later, the building still hasn’t been repaired. The year began with a violent storm that ripped down the tube […]

New Overground station should absorb growing passenger numbers

The planning application for the redevelopment of the Overground station has been submitted. The Overground network has seen an enormous increase in passenger numbers over recent years. West Hampstead’s position as a major interchange point means that 13 million people pass through each year, of whom 5.6 million used the Overground station (TfL, 2012 estimates), […]

What have I missed since December 15th?

Camden’s application to redevelop Liddell Road was finally submitted: a school (420 pupils), 106 flats (4 affordable), and a 5-storey workspace building. More details and pictures. A new bar opened in Kilburn (no ambiguity over its location). It looks very promising. Cook – the frozen ready meals business that cooks its meals on the premises […]

Will Kilburn Ironworks steal NLT’s thunder?

On Friday evening, business partners Will Partridge and Jimi Pearce opened the doors of Kilburn Ironworks to welcome suppliers, the press and a few other invitees. Kilburn Ironworks is where Vince Power’s eponymous bar/club used to be on Kilburn High Road near the junction with Iverson Road. It has changed almost beyond recognition with exposed […]

School, 106 flats and workspace: Liddell Road planning application is in

The council’s controversial plan to build a school, flats and employment space on the Liddell Road industrial estate took a step forward on Friday when the planning applications were submitted. Yes, applications plural. Although all the documentation that accompanies the applications is presented as a coherent set of documents, the applications themselves are split into […]

Air ambulance lands in NW6 twice in an hour

Thankfully we rarely see the London Air Ambulance hovering over West Hampstead, but this lunchtime the red helicopter landed first on Fortune Green, and then about an hour later in Kilburn Grange Park. Air ambulance arrived at Fortune Green a little while ago with a great clatter and uprush of fallen leaves @NW6FOFG pic.twitter.com/t1EmVALBqA — […]

Give local foster kids a gift this Christmas

The O2 centre and Camden council are collaborating again to encourage shoppers to give a small present for one of 129 children who are in foster care in the local area this year. Last year, the scheme distributed more than 100 presents. Homebase has donated a “Gift Tree”, whichi is standing proudly on the upper […]

What have I missed since December 8th?

The 85-year-old driver who caused the death of Desreen Brooks on West End Lane in 2012 was found guilty of death by dangerous driving, but cleared of grievous bodily harm against US student Amy Werner, apparently due to a lack of concrete evidence. He will be sentenced before Christmas. A lorry apparently drove into the […]

What have I missed since December 1st?

A fight broke out on Maygrove Road on Wednesday; the police stopped some men all of whom denied involvement “even the one with minor injury”, according to Sgt Ian Hutton. The trial began of the 83-year-old man charged with causing death by dangerous driving in the accident two years ago that killed Desreen Brooks and […]

What have I missed since November 24th?

A man in his early 30s died on Sunday morning after collapsing outside the North London Tavern in Kilburn. There has been no official statement by the police, but it appears he had a heart attack. A passer-by spotted a corn snake in Parsifal Road and helped it into a recycling box before alerting the […]

Man dies by Kilburn High Road pub

[updated] Sometime around 1am Sunday morning, police closed Kilburn High Road between Dyne Road and Christchurch Avenue. Initial reports were that a man in his early 30s had died following an altercation at a pub, believed to be the North London Tavern. Subsequently, staff at the NLT told one customer that a man had had […]

NW6 Film Club December 8th: St Vincent

After a great turnout for The Imitation Game, NW6 Film Club is back at the Tricycle on Monday December 8th, for another bargain night. The movie is St Vincent – the story of a misanthropic hard living old man who unexpectedly ends up looking after a 12 year old boy. This may sound like a […]

What have I missed since November 17?

A rail replacement bus hit parked cars on Broadhurst Gardens on Sunday morning causing considerable damage and blocking the road for some time. This was the worst incident in a terrible weekend for local transport as both the Jubilee and Met lines were closed, there were two sets of roadworks on West End Lane, Belsize […]

What have I missed since November 10th?

Camden “deselected” the developer for 156 West End Lane (the Travis Perkins building), but insists it’s still seeking 50% affordable housing there. Talking of affordable housing, what will the West Hampstead property market look like next year? The portacabin classrooms at Hampstead Cricket Club were being dismantled as the girls school returns to its permanent […]

Is affordable housing promise at risk as developer “deselected”?

The minutes from the last Neighbourhood Development Forum meeting contain an interesting snippet towards the end. 156 West End Lane: Stuart (representing Travis Perkins) reported that the site was marketed last year and Mace was selected as preferred developers. Mace have now been ‘deselected’ by the Council and a shortlist of developers have been asked […]

What have I missed since November 3rd?

The rash of commercial burglaries in the area continued unabated with Remix salon among the latest victims. The number of businesses hit over the past few weeks has hit double figures. The Hampstead Butcher & Providore opened its West Hampstead branch on Saturday. Govia, Thameslink’s new operator, has got off to a very shaky start. […]

What have I missed since October 27th?

Waitrose opened on West End Lane. Barely anyone noticed. It was all Twitter could talk about all day. But by the end of the week the backlash had begun. Last Sunday night, Toomai was burgled – thieves took cash, alcohol and prawns! West End Lane Books was also burgled on Friday night and La Brocca […]

The waiting is over. Waitrose is here

You’d think it was the second coming. Excitement levels on Twitter – where usually everyone is so level-headed and calm, right? – have been reaching fever pitch. But even yesterday it looked as if the fitters had their work cut out to get West Hampstead’s newest supermarket ready in time for this morning’s 7am opening. […]

October 30 event: Make new friends at the streetfood market

The weeknight street food market has been a roaring success, so we thought what better way to ward off the spirits around Halloween than by gathering together and sharing some delicious street food and hot spiced punch… with discounts! On the evening of October 30th, starting at 7.30pm and running until about 9pm, come join […]