Entries by Jonathan Turton

What have I missed since October 20th?

A fire at the Brondesbury Medical Centre on Kilburn High Road on Tuesday night caused the Tricycle Cinema to be evacuated. Although some damage was done to the upper floor of the GP practice, no-one was hurt and the surgery reopened on the Thursday. Camden granted estate agent Foxtons the change of use permission it […]

What have I missed since October 13th?

Stained glass windows were broken, but nothing was taken in a “bungled break-in” of St James’ church and post office. After looking at Kentish Town a few weeks ago, this week’s Economist suggests that the success of Aldi in Kilburn should have the big supermarket chains worried. Staff at South Hampstead’s Tesco committed a howler, […]

What have I missed since October 6th?

Capital City motorbikes on Fortune Green has failed to comply with Camden enforcement notices regarding parking. Camden cuts mean no Christmas trees this year in West Hampstead but there’s already a campaign going to raise the money to at least put one on West End Green. The Railway closes on the 15th, and isn’t due […]

What have I missed since September 29th?

The West Hampstead free school campaign did not receive approval from the Department for Education. The CNJ reported on the revised plans for Liddell Road (and locals’ discontent) with them. Whampbooks is back – Books, bargains and booze on November 6th at West End Lane Books. Maygrove Road residents are looking to set up a […]

West End Lane Acts on Sunday October 12th

Next Sunday, a new West Hampstead event is taking place on West End Green. West End Lane Acts is the brainchild of newish resident Julia Testa. Her aim is to get people meeting and talking over a range of events on the Green, and to encourage locals to support West End Lane businesses, with whom […]

What have I missed since September 15th?

A double-edition this week covering the past fortnight. There was a second public meeting about the Liddell Road development. Camden has knocked three floors off the height of the tower, bringing it down to 11 storeys, and added (from a base of zero), four affordable units out of the 100 now proposed. Residents at the […]

What have I missed since September 8th?

Three men on trial for the murder of Sabrina Moss in Kilburn just over a year ago each received a life sentence. There’s a second public meeting on Wednesday about the plans for Liddell Road, at which the council is expected to present a revised proposal. The Railway will be closing for six months on […]

What have I missed since September 1st?

The Hampstead Butcher & Providore is set to open next month in the unit previously occupied by the greengrocer next to The Wet Fish Café. As owner Philip Matthews said, you asked for it – now use it! Here’s what it’ll look like. The new daily streetfood market aimed at the evening rush hour opened […]

Streetfood market opens to praise

Yesterday was the first day of a new West Hampstead venture. A daily streetfood market by the Thameslink station, aimed at the evening commuter crowd. Up to eight stalls will be on site, and the selection will change slightly each week. This week, commuters can choose from Jamaican specialities, gourmet burgers, Indian curries, falafel wraps, […]

What have I missed since August 25th?

Starting this Monday there’s going to be a street food market every weeknight from 4-8pm by the Thameslink station. The aim is to catch the commuter crowd on their way home. And… a butcher is coming to West Hampstead. The owner is staying tight-lipped about details and West Hampstead Life has been sworn to secrecy, […]

What have I missed since August 18th?

Foxtons has submitted a change-of-use application for the former post office site on West End Lane. Three men were found guilty of the murder last year of Sabrina Moss in Kilburn. Chuka Umunna, Labour’s business spokesperson, visited the Sherriff Centre to talk to local businesses. He described the church/post office/café/shop/play area as an “inspiration”. Paramount […]

What have missed since August 11th?

Having come under considerable pressure, the Tricycle appeared to backtrack and resolved its dispute with the UK Jewish Film Festival. Although no films will be screened there in this year’s festival, it’s expected to be part of next year’s event – even if the Israeli embassy remains a sponsor. After the death of Robin Williams, […]

What have I missed since August 4th?

The Tricycle Theatre has been all over the national headlines this week after it requested that the UK Jewish Film Festival turn down sponsorship from the Israeli embassy, which festival organisers refused to do. The Tricycle then said it would not be part of the festival. There were protests outside the cinema on Thursday. The […]

What have I missed since July 28th?

Glenda Jackson officially opened West Hampstead’s new post office in St James’ church on Friday – even though her novelty ribbon-cutting scissors didn’t do the trick. A man died after falling from his Fawley Road balcony on Wednesday during the evening rush hour. Is West Hampstead’s housing bubble bursting or just deflating? If you think […]

What have I missed since July 21st?

The Liddell Road development plans were this week’s main story: We drew up a Bluffers Guide to the proposals. There was a public meeting that got very tetchy. We’re told that 156 West End Lane will have 50% affordable housing (Camden numbers from earlier this year citing 25% are apparently out of date). We also […]

How affordable is “affordable housing”?

Providing affordable housing is becoming a hot topic in West Hampstead. This article first appeared as part of a longer piece on 156 West End Lane, but we thought it would be helpful to split it out. Exact definitions of affordable housing are more or less impossible – they simply don’t exist, that’s not how […]

Is Liddell Road tower a “middle finger to West Hampstead”?

Last night’s public meeting to discuss Camden’s proposals for Liddell Road was always going to get tetchy. Alex Bushell from Camden’s planning department struggled to keep on top of an audience that grew increasingly frustrated as the evening drew on. The seeds of dissent were sown when architect Prisca Thielmann from Macreanor Lavington failed to […]

Bluffers Guide to Liddell Road

Ahead of tonight’s public meeting about the Liddell Road redevelopment proposals, West Hampstead Life tries to cut through all the jargon and give you the bluffers’ guide to what’s going on. What’s being proposed? A school, some housing, some offices. What’s there now? It’s an industrial estate with a mix of businesses, including car repair […]

What have I missed since July 14th?

The West End Lane post office closed and the Sherriff Centre post office opened in St James’s church alongside a café, shop and soft play area. BBC London covered the opening. There’s a meeting on Tuesday about what’s fast becoming the very controversial Liddell Road redevelopment scheme. West Hampstead Cllr Phil Rosenberg raised some of […]

Post office moves to local church

The bell rang at 1pm and the first customers for the new post office trundled into St James’s Church on Sherriff Road today. The West End Lane post office was supposed to close at midday, but in fact closed yesterday putting even more pressure on the Sherriff Centre team to be up and running bang […]

Liddell Road raised in council meeting

At Camden council’s full council meeting yesterday, Phil Rosenberg, newly elected Labour councillor for West Hampstead, used the open session section of the meeting to share some of the feedback so far on the Liddell Road scheme. He mentioned the height and the lack of affordable housing and mused – somewhat tentatively – that maybe […]

What have I missed since July 7th?

Camden revealed its revised plans for Liddell Road. They include a 14-storey tower block, but still no affordable housing. There’s a public meeting about this on the 22nd July. The affordable housing will be at 156 West End Lane instead – and WHL investigated what affordable housing actually means. What makes West Hampstead great? The […]

Affordable housing for 156 West End Lane

The proposed redevelopment of Liddell Road includes 105 flats of which precisely none are currently designated for affordable housing. Camden’s policy is that 50% of floorspace in any development of more than 50 units should be affordable (although understanding what affordable means in practice is not easy, as we’ll see later). Why then does a […]

NW6 Film Club July 21st – Boyhood

The next Film Club will be the last before we take a short summer break, but it should be a good one. The film is Boyhood – a movie as unusual as its creator and the only film to be Film of the Week twice on West Hampstead Life! Director Richard Linklater is truly one […]

What have I missed since June 30th?

Pan-Asian restaurant Toomai opened this week with a hectic soft launch night. We published a round-up of this and all the other local food news of late, including Rossopomodoro opening, the new brunch menu at One Sixty and the food stalls at the Sunday market. Camden will allow portable (but not disposable) barbecues in its […]

Camden relents on BBQs in local parks

Ever thought it’d be nice to have a summer barbecue on Fortune Green? Up to now, it’s been strictly prohibited – not just on Fortune Green but in all of Camden’s parks. Not any more! From July 21st, you can now get your grill on in Fortune Green, West End Green, Kilburn Grange Park and […]

West Hampstead cyclist rides Tour for charity

The Tour de France peloton hurtles through London on Monday afternoon, after its foray into Yorkshire this weekend. Yet, one intrepid West Hampstead resident already passed through last Monday on the third stage of his attempt to ride the entire 3,664 kilometres from Leeds to Paris via some of the toughest mountain roads in Europe. […]

What have I missed since June 23rd?

Tesco on West End Lane closed for the week for a refurb… yet this didn’t seem to improve the traffic situation as its lorries blocked Lymington Road instead. A planning application is in for a 62-flat development by Kilburn Grange park. The sign is up for West Hampstead’s newest restaurant. Toomai is due to open […]

What have I missed since June 16th?

Waitrose has (finally) got its planning permission to move into the Pizza Express site. Rumour is that Pizza Express will close in a couple of weeks and Waitrose will start its refit. Sachin Tendulkar. one of the greatest sportsmen of all time, dropped into Hampstead Cricket Club on Lymington Road on Sunday. The new West […]

What have I missed since June 9th?

Sundays are going to get noisy for those of you living near the Overground station. There’s more noise to come overnight for residents of Sumatra and Ravenshaw streets as Network Rail plans to spend this week clearing vegetation from the Thameslink embankments. The Kilburn Festival, due to take place on July 13th, has been cancelled […]

Kilburn Festival cancelled

The Kilburn Festival, an annual event in Kilburn Grange Park, has been cancelled less than a month before it was due to take place on July 13th. Some 10,000 people typically attend the family-friendly day, which comprises stalls, street food, live music and lots of kid-friendly activities. The trustees say that they “do not have […]

What have I missed since June 2nd?

Some West Hampstead streets could be spanned by fishing wire strung between poles if the Brondesbury Eruv gets planning permission. 18 months after the West End Lane accident that killed Desreen Brooks and left American student Amy Werner in a critical condition, an 84-year-old man was charged with causing death by dangerous driving. The appeal […]

Gondar Gardens – the third appeal

The never-ending Gondar Gardens planning saga is taking its next turn. Linden Wates, the developer, has submitted an appeal against Camden’s refusal of its revised frontage scheme for the reservoir site. This scheme is for 28 flats/houses. It was recommended for acceptance by Camden’s planning officers but refused by councillors at the planning committee on […]

What have I missed since May 27th?

Short week and short weekly round-up after last week’s epic. There was a great turnout for the South Hampstead residents association’s AGM. Camden’s head of development control was there to give a Planning 101 introduction and she also answered questions about basement excavations, the Swiss Cottage tower block development and many other items. According to […]

What have I missed since May 19th?

Labour swept the Lib Dems out of their north-west Camden stronghold in the local elections on Thursday. West Hampstead Life was at the count (re-live the night) and, while many seats were relatively straightforward, West Hampstead and especially Fortune Green were close fought battles. See the full results and the swing since 2010. In the […]

The Camden Count – as it happened

If you weren’t glued to Twitter on Friday evening, you might like to see how the evening unfolded via my live tweets. Or jump straight to the write-up of the results, or the full vote breakdown and swing. [View the story “Local elections 2014: The Camden Count” on Storify]

Local election 2014: The results

As the dust settles after an emotionally intense Friday evening at the Somers Town Community Centre, it’s time to recap the results from the four wards we’ve been covering. First up, West Hampstead John Bryant Liberal Democrats 836 Natalie Eliades Conservative Party 800 Nick Grierson Conservative Party 811 Richard Griffiths Green Party 327 Zane Hannan […]

Labour sweep Lib Dems out of West Hampstead

Labour pulled off an astonishing victory yesterday evening, and redrew the political map of north-west Camden. West Hampstead and Fortune Green have been a fortress for the Liberal Democrats, with each ward headed by a popular councillor: Keith Moffitt in West Hampstead and Flick Rea in Fortune Green. This morning Keith – one time leader […]

Liveblog: The Camden Count

Hmm – liveblogging from just a phone proved tricky; in the end, everything happened on Twitter! 17:45 it’s really warm in the counting hall. Most candidates in the middle, well away from the press. Two wards announced so far, Bloomsbury and Kings Cross, both comfortable Labour holds. There’s a recount in Belsize. West Hampstead and […]

A sweaty few hours for local Lib Dem councillors

Camden’s late count means candidates will be sweating it out for longer than most, especially those in tight wards – which includes West Hampstead, Fortune Green and possibly Kilburn. We woke up to the news that Labour and UKIP have made gains in councils that have declared so far, while the Lib Dems have taken […]

Not voted yet? Maybe you should give it a whirl

Twitter is awash with people getting quite ranty about voting. I defintely think it’s important to vote but not always for the reasons that get rammed down our throats. “People died for our vote” Yes, they did. And hurrah for that. But that was about 100 years ago and while we’re very grateful ‘n all, […]

Bradley Wiggins honoured in Kilburn at last

It’s been a long time coming but in the wake of Bradley Wiggins’ astonishing achievements in 2012, his secondary school in South Kilburn now looks out over a shiny new sculpture that commemorates these and the rest of his illustrious career. If you’ve been on another planet for the past few years then you’ll still […]

Schools: What the parties say

It’s fast becoming the most divisive issue in north-west Camden politics. Do we need more schools? What sort of schools? Where should they be? Who should run them? Primary schools It’s universally accepted that a new primary school is needed in our part of Camden. Under current legislation, a new school would have to be […]

What have I missed since May 12th?

Election special A crowded hustings on Monday saw 21 of the 26 local election candidates from West Hampstead & Fortune Green pitch their wares and answer questions from the public (although from the headlines the next day you’d have been forgiven for thinking there was only one candidate present). If you couldn’t make it, here […]

Hustings hoo-ha takes away from real issues

Monday night’s hustings for West Hampstead & Fortune Green wards in the local elections turned out to be popular. Some 150 people turned up to Emmanuel School hall to hear what 21 of the 26 candidates across the two wards had to say. One of those candidates – UKIP’s Magnus Nielsen – took all the […]

What have I missed since May 5th?

Tonight: Come and grill the local election candidates at hustings. Emmanuel School Hall (new building) Mill Lane, just off West End Lane. All candidates for West Hampstead & Fortune Green wards invited… and almost every one is coming. Do check out all the candidates for the local wards, and the parties’ statements. The election is […]

Grill the candidates: Local election hustings May 12th

If you want to ask your local election candidates about the issues that concern YOU rather than those that preoccupy the media (West Hampstead Life included), then come to our hustings on Monday May 12th at Emmanuel School hall (new building on Mill Lane). What’s a hustings? It’s an opportunity to hear from election candidates […]

What have I missed since April 28th?

Mill Lane will be partially closed at its western end for eight weeks, but details are annoyingly thin on the ground. Will Fortune Green shisha bar Monte Cristo get planning permission? There’s lots of local opposition based on traffic and parking, and already another applicant in the area’s been asked to go and improve its […]

DIY food at Seoul is the way to go

A couple of weeks ago we took 24 people to Seoul on Finchley Road for #whampdinner. It’s not a restaurant most people were familiar with, so what did we think? Tom: I was interested to see what Seoul was all about, having not eaten Korean for quite some time, and only done the table-top cooking […]

West Hampstead elects

Local and European elections take place on May 22nd. Eager readers have already been checking out the West Hampstead Life election pages, which give a detailed rundown of each of the four local wards, as well as explaining why it’s worth voting and a host of other info. All the candidates for the local elections […]

Godzilla – Opening night screening event

Up from the depths, 30 storeys high…. breathing fire all over the sky… Ballymore. GODZILLA Thursday May 15th is the opening day of Godzilla and before the screening sells out completely we dived in and got the best 24 Odeon Premier seats in the house for a Film Club special opening night screening at the […]

What can you win? Whampgather raffle prizes announced

It’s Whampgather XIII tonight, celebrating the fifth anniversary of @WHampstead on twitter and thus the start of the whole #whamp community project. As always at whampgather, we’re raising money for The Winch. The Winch is a long-standing youth charity based in Swiss Cottage that works with young people all over Camden in a variety of […]

What have I missed since April 22nd?

At the time of writing, a 48-hour tube strike is planned for this week, starting on Monday at about 9.30pm. TfL intends to run a reduced service on many lines, including the Jubilee and Metropolitan. Full details here. Maygrove Road has reopened to traffic after its three month closure related to the building of new […]

What have I missed since April 14th?

It’s an eight day news special this week! Regular drinkers at The Railway turned out to protest on Monday afternoon even though most of them seemed unsure what exactly it was they were protesting about. A student “predator” at the Blackburn Road accommodation has been deported after police arrested him for assault. The police’s account […]

What have I missed since April 7th?

Plans were approved to convert the upper floors of The Railway into office space and flats – but one employee has other ideas. The new greengrocers on West End Lane has got pulses racing. An eviction on Lymington Road on Thursday brought all the boys (in blue) to the yard. Three of the men accused […]

What have I missed since March 31st

Finchley Road was closed for about an hour on Thursday after a package sent to the JW3 building was deemed suspect. In fact its contents were anything but sinister. Ballymore’s chosen authors with a local connection for the names of the first five names of its apartment blocks. From later this month until early December, […]

What have I missed since March 24th?

West Hampstead’s cheapest property is relatively its most expensive… and is really really small. By contrast, Stephen Fry’s former house – a stunning 5-bed property with its own internal tree – is back on the market for just under £2.5 million. In the week when gay marriage became possible, local vicar Fr. Andrew Cain was […]

£645,000 profit on Stephen Fry’s former house

“I fell in love with this extraordinary house. It’s an ordinary terraced house, but an architect scooped out the inside and created all these different levels. There are two trees growing through the middle.” That was Stephen Fry, in 2002, talking about his house on Sherriff Road in West Hampstead. It’s now on the market […]

What have I missed since March 17th?

Fire crews rescued six people and a seventh jumped out of a first-floor window after a fire broke out in a converted house in Broadhurst Gardens. Police are treating the fire as suspicious. An elderly woman died in the swimming pool at Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre. As the weather gets better, why not try our […]

Elstree & Borehamwood to Stanmore

This short six-mile jaunt from Hertfordshire back into London takes in a sailing club, horses, a stunningly rich private street, the former headquarters of Fighter Command, a ruined church and – the undoubted highlight – the chance to walk alongside the M1. Stick with me people. Factbox ¦ Route map (full size)¦ Photo gallery Elstree […]

Broadhurst Gardens fire: 15 flats evacuated

[updated March 20th 11 am] Fire crews rescued six people from 140 Broadhurst Gardens in the early hours of this morning after a fire broke out on the ground floor. Another woman jumped from a first floor window, against the advice of firefighters, and broke her leg. At around 3am Tuesday, residents were woken by […]

What have I missed since March 10th?

The much anticipated new smokehouse restaurant, One Sixty, had its soft launch. Preliminary reports (including from yours truly) were very positive. Walk-ins start from Tuesday. Jimi Hendrix didn’t just play West Hampstead; the woman who brought him to the attention of his manager was from Cholmley Gardens! Edward de Mesquita, Hampstead creperie owner and erstwhile […]

Soft launch of One Sixty hits the right buttons

It’s been the most eagerly awaited opening I can remember in West Hampstead. The Smokehouse, now called One Sixty, has had tongues wagging and salivating ever since the news broke that the combination of Michelin-starred restaurateur David Moore, craft beer loving publican Sean Martin, and acclaimed chef Andrei Lesment were coming to West End Lane. […]

Hole new approach to litter

Camden council, clearly stumped by how to solve the continuing problem of litter in our streets, appears to have decided to combine its tree-removal program with an increase in the number of bins. Maybe this Broadhurst Gardens “bin” is the solution to this: I've asked Camden to sort out constant problem of overflowing waste bin […]

What have I missed since March 3rd?

Colour Division, West End Lane’s print shop, celebrated its 40th anniversary. Property News: Is the housing market in West Hampstead “bonkers”, or ultimately good for London? Comments already coming in! What’s the connection between London Zoo’s first hippo and West End Lane? There’s a new whampevent – #whampsocial – it’s a casual drinks evening that […]

Were we excited by Mamacita?

Mamacita was given a rough ride on Twitter when it opened last summer. Expectations were high so, when it got off to a shaky start, many people vented their frustration in 140 characters. West Hampstead’s only Mexican restaurant has weathered that storm, changed its menu, improved its service and come back fighting. We decided it […]

New event: #Whampsocial – March 12th

Whampgather is an all-out party, and Whampdinner is so popular it can be hard to get a place (we know, we’re sorry). It made sense to start something in between – a more informal mid-week meetup, open to everyone. The result: Whampsocial. This is a casual affair on Wednesday evenings (might occasionally be Tuesdays, to […]

Improv comedy comes to Lower Ground Bar

Did you know there was a regular comedy improv night in West Hampstead? You do now. Every other Tuesday, The Inflatables and sister group StoryBag perform at The Lower Ground Bar (or Bar 269 as it seems to be called now). The evening kicks off at 7.45 (doors 7.30pm) with 40 minute of “short form” […]

What have I missed since February 24th?

West Hampstead Square construction starts on March 10th. Expect lorries galore and disgruntled locals at 8am on Saturday mornings. Lots of the estate agents’ boards have come down. One of the remaining offenders removed all its boards on Saturday, but some agents are still not playing ball. All the photos here! How many passengers do […]

Ballymore construction starts March 10th

Having cleared the site (and, yes, the trees), construction of West Hampstead Square is now imminent. At the first working group meeting between developers Ballymore, building contractors O’Hare McGovern and community representatives, Ballymore announced that work would start on March 10th and is due to finish next summer. Work will take place 8am to 6pm […]

West End Lane to Western Sahara

Yesterday, Danielle Smith ran a half marathon. On sand. In the Sahara. You’d have to be pretty committed to put yourself through this. Danielle – a West Hampstead resident since 2003 – is doing it as part of her work as director of Sandblast. Sandblast is a charity that supports the Saharawi people. Not heard […]

What have I missed since February 17th?

WiFi has arrived at West Hampstead (and Finchley Road) tube stations. Flats in the yet-to-be-built 163 Iverson Road development (on the site of the former garden centre) are already on the market. A two-bed in “The Central” will set you back a frightening £900,000. Spring is already springing with sightings of ice cream vans and  daffodils  on Fortune Green. […]

What have I missed since February 10th?

More estate agents pledged to remove their boards from West End Lane – and indeed they began to be taken down. Do sign the petition if you want to ensure they can’t come back. The trees on Ballymore’s West Hampstead Square site were removed, despite the petition to save them. One tree on Network Rail’s […]