Flying Scotsman in West Hampstead! (train)spotted by @superfast72

What have you missed since April 17th?

Theresa May announced a snap general election. Election fever hit West Hampstead, again (includes summary of the state of play).

However, ironically, the Tories have been caught on the hop has they don’t have a candidate, yet.  They are deciding this week. A Brexiteer or not a Brexiteer, that is the question.

Bins continued to be a hot topic. And the reason that some of you haven’t got your new bins or orange bags yet? is that Veolia has ‘run out’. At least a week until they get new supplies. This is ‘98% normal’ service.

In an apparently politically motivated attack someone cut down the Nazanin freedom ribbons and cards.

Flying Scotsman in West Hampstead, (train)spotted by @superfast72

Flying Scotsman in West Hampstead! (train)spotted by @superfast72

We love leafy West Hampstead – find out how to keep it that way (and more about West Hampstead’s trees including our plane trees).

Been rather dry recently – you bet. So far 0.4mm of rain this month, normally we get about 50mm in April.

West Hampstead in 2017: butcher, baker and… computer games maker.

Ever wondered about life behind the scenes at the Wet Fish Cafe? Wonder no more…

Work continues at Lena’s Cafe 2. Due to reopen soon.

And Lola’s cupcakes was due to open (at the end of April)? Looks like Rosa’s Thai should beat them too it.

Vigorous campaigning on West End Lane this weekend – by the Friends of West Hampstead Library party.

Camden Council is voting on adopting a new definition of anti-Semitism at full Council on Monday. Cllr Phil Rosenberg wrote why it is important they adopt it.

That Council meeting will be Sarah Hayward’s last full one as leader since she is stepping down as leader of Camden Labour.

Great book talk and reading at West End Lane books last week by Philippe Sands on East West Street.

Recommend a visit to Camden Arts Centre to see the Geta Bratescu exhibition, runs until 18 June.

And ‘Mill Lane FC’… catchy chant! Click on it to get the full effect.

Tweet of the week

Richard Ratcliffe adding  another card for his wife to the tree on Fortune Green Photograph: Gareth Fuller PA

What have you missed since March 27th?

Sunday saw ribbons and messages being tied to a tree on Fortune Green, to mark a year since Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was first arrested in Tehran. It was a moving event with local support and a big press turnout.

Tulip has been trying her best to support Nazanin, but couldn’t make it on Sunday. Still, we had a chat with her about her life as an MP, partisan politics and being a busy working mother.

And sticking to the politics theme, could Donald Trump have ended up a #whamper?

The new recycling regime started this Saturday, 1 April. It’s probably too late for the petition stage as it is happening but who will end up looking foolish? It doesn’t seem popular and with West Hampstead being ’true marginal’ territory, will it contribute to Labour losing control of the council?

Richard Ratcliffe adding another card for his wife to the tree on Fortune Green Photograph: Gareth Fuller PA

Richard Ratcliffe adding another card for his wife to the tree on Fortune Green. Photograph: Gareth Fuller PA

Whose clock is it anyway? We told you last week that West Hampstead Square was getting a clock and tower. But what should it say in the middle? Don’t hold your breath that Ballymore will take this on board.

This weekend the new bus routes for the 82/13 and 139 started. One local tried the new 13 bus, but then found it rather hot. And the 139 no longer ends here, but now in Golders Green.

One swallow does not make a Summer, but what about two? Two new restaurants have opened up on the Kilburn High Road.

The previously charming but rather quiet Sir Colin Campbell, has been taken over by three young guys (it’s their third pub). They were casting round for what to do for food when a young Irish chef, Ruairidh Summers (pronounced Rory and is ex-St. Johns) was looking to open his own restaurant. “Summers” opens properly this Friday.

Also opening is Quartieri. The main branch is Pizzeria Trianon Vomero and hails from Naples no less.

But just in case you were worried that was too much gentification for Kilburn, armed police were out on the KHR this week … called for what turned out to be a false alarm on a kidnapping.

And staying on the KHR, Brent side, Labour Councillor John Duffy was deselected even thought (or because?) he had called the council to account on its waste contract. He was replaced by a Corbynista.

Camden are reintroducing play streets across the borough, including West Hampstead’s Asmara Road.

Artist Suzie Malin, whose studio was next to the new Emmanuel School is trying to recover her paintings stolen from her Maida Vale studio. She is offering a £10,000 reward and someone has contacted her, but recovery is not simple.

There’s a quiz night coming up at West End Lane books.

Oooh, talking of local events, we hear that FoWHL has a good one lined up for the Autumn.

Tweet of the week

Not actually a tweet but a Facebook post.


As spotted by  @filleboheme

What have you missed since March 20th?

Tulip spoke about the response to the Westminster incident last week in Parliament, the Prime Minister was grateful for her comments.

Telly historian Lucy Worsley dropped into West Hampstead to talk to 300 local kids about history. And they loved it!

What did you get your mother (or your kid’s mum) for mother’s day? One option was Cocoa Bijoux, which we visited for another local Insight.

Those famous Whampstead sunsets were back…

As spotted by @filleboheme

As spotted by @filleboheme

Sunday 2nd April will be one year since Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was first imprisoned. At midday family and supporters will commemorate this on Fortune Green, her local park. They will be planting some perennials and tying yellow ribbons round a tree on the Green. Attached to the ribbons will be cards with thoughts of what one would do if one had a day of freedom? What would you do? Come along and take part.

The coroner concluded that if the Royal Free had not twice discharged young Michael Uriely he might have survived.

Ladudu is closing, but for one final flourish it is offering pay-what-you-want for lunch and dinner on Monday 27th. See you there. And it is even selling the art from the walls.

Bobby Fitzpatrick’s got another good review, this time from the Evening Standard. But they felt it belonged in Soho. Just jealous.

Hampstead Butcher and Providore has expanded to Muswell Hill, but One Bourbon closed in Crouch End.

Renovation work underway at Lena’s Cafe (Two) will re-open soon, apparently.

Clock this! West Hampstead Square will be getting a clock (and a tower).

And here’s some footage of what a flat looks like from inside.  Not bad.

A bit different from this cupboard, sorry bijou studio flat, in Kilburn (on the High Road). Only fits one (small) person. Here’s the listing.

Analysis of Royal Mail redirections of north London postcodes has shown that NW6 has the highest number of arrivals and departures across North London. One consequence? Some departing leave unwanted items behind and new arrivals need the recycling system explained to them.

The Library’s new(ish) writer in residence wrote his latest blog post. Worth a read. Expect more insights in the near future.

PoTW 269_ft

What have you missed since March 13th?

Ladudu closes its doors for the final time this week.

After Ballymore had to take its enormous sign down last week, this week M&S had its application for an illuminated sign at West Hampstead Square turned down by Camden. Meanwhile, Ballymore marketing material seems to think West End Lane has shifted over to the Finchley Road (and apparently we lie between Hampstead, Primrose Hill and St. John’s Wood).

Next Sunday is Mothers Day – we rounded up a dozen gifts you can buy locally.

No reason for thinking Cresta House scaffolding is in any way insecure, but certainly looks vertiginous. via Andrew Marshall

No reason for thinking Cresta House scaffolding is in any way insecure, but certainly looks vertiginous. via Andrew Marshall

One mother who will not be at home on Mother’s day is Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe who was imprisoned in Iran almost a year ago. She is being denied medical treatment for what appears to be a slipped disk.

A local boy tragically died of an extreme asthma attack after being released from the Royal Free.

West Hampstead tube station is apparently on a TfL short list of some 50 stations that need funding for step-free access.

West Hampstead and Fortune Green Safer Neighbourhood teams are being joined by the Kilburn team in a larger more flexible pool, when needed. Commercial burglaries are down this month after a spike in Jan/Feb, but car crime is up so don’t leave any valuables in your car overnight.

Toomai got tagged.

Miss Bake-a-boo herself wrote about the proposed redevelopment of her former premises. It’s well worth reading.

At the community consultation on the redevelopment of Gondar Gardens, it was suggested somehow that two previous applications for 16 units + 28 units now add up to the 108 units being proposed. Um?

Maeve McCormack, Labour councillor for Gospel Oak but resident of Broadhurst Gardens, is standing down as she has been priced out of Camden. In 1999, an employee paid 9.6x their salary for an average Camden property, last year that had risen to 19.6x.

Jim Carter is in conversation with Danny Boyle in a fundraiser at the Tricycle on Sunday 26th. Take your mother for a rather different (but still local!) mother’s day present?

Talking of the Tricycle, it’s the annual takeover in April though performances are in other venues as work continues on the theatre

Coming up this week
Beckett and Jazz at Locally Sourced on Monday and a barn dance at Emmanuel on Saturday. West Hampstead is nothing if not eclectic.

The book group at Swiss Cottage Library is looking at “Reading Lolita in Tehran”. While Phillips Sands is making an author’s visit to West End Lane books.

Tweet of the week

Lots of photos and comments on the arrival (onslaught?) of the new wheelie bins.

Oddly disturbing sight on our high street! As seen by  @julietrix1

What have you missed since February 27th?

UXB NW6. A bomb was discovered on a building site in NW6. It was made safe, taken away and exploded by the army.

After last week’s announcement by Camden Council that it is raising Council tax by 4.99% , with 3% ring-fenced to fund social care. An insight into what social care pressures local doctors are facing, with some pensioners in de-facto ‘solitary confinement’.

At WHATs recent AGM we learned more about the new recycling regime – it will be starting in less than a month!

Pic of the week

shows the perils of street drinking…

Oddly disturbing sight on our high street! As seen by @julietrix1

Oddly disturbing sight on our high street! As seen by @julietrix1

Tulip raised the issue, in Parliament, of Jacob Rees-Mogg’s use of language  at a fundraising dinner for the Hampstead Conservatives referring to the ‘pygmy-nature’ of the opposition. In the constituency of the shortest member of parliament she pointed out. (You might have caught this on the Radio 4 Today show too).

Finchley and Golder’s Green MP Mike Freer, whose constituency will be split in the boundary changes, has been tipped to stand as the Tory MP for new Hampstead & Golders Green constituency.

Among the 750 comments on boundary changes to the constituency, the highest in the country, was one by Chris Percy (aka Mr Tulip Siddiq). He raised the prospect of a legal challenge under the equalities act.

There was break-in at Oddbins – thieves got away with a bottle of bourbon – but most of the bottles and boxes were empty.

Camden Council refuses to allow utility companies access for meter readings. Apparently due to ‘health and safety’. Some residents haven’t had a reading for seven years.

It’s the West Hampstead NDF AGM. Chair James Earl is stepping down, but who will replace him?

Also on Monday the Hampstead NDF is having a meeting – so they are pressing ahead.

The Tricycle’s refurb is continuing and their auditorium is heading off to a school in Kent.

Some graffiti was subverted at JW3. They are running a GayW3 festival over the next week.

There is a Taste of Syria pop-up stall at JW3.

Tweet of the week

Spring is already springing on West End Green. Photo via @bubela

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 this means more delays for people moving in.

Preliminary plans weer announced to turn Gondar Gardens reservoir and wildlife site into luxury retirement homes with chauffeurs!

Spring is already springing on West End Green. Photo via @bubela

Spring is already springing on West End Green. Photo via @bubela

Teenager Morgan Williams has gone missing. Although from High Wycombe, she is believed to have links to the West Hampstead area. She also went missing last month, but was found safe and well.

Tom went to One Bourbon to see what it offered the non-meat eater – his verdict here!

Local vicar, Father Andrew Foreshew-Cain has been nominated for a British LGBT award in the “Top 10 Outstanding Contributions to LGBT+ Life” category.

The rapist who carved his name into a schoolgirl’s arm in Hampstead Cemetery and then left her for dead was jailed for 17 years.

Council tax is set to rise by 4.99% (a rise of 5% would require a referendum) as Camden attempts to cover some of the cuts from central goverment.

Very sad news for those customers of Andy’s eponymous barber shop in Fairhazel Gardens. Andy has passed away after an illness. He was the epitome of a classy gentleman and had been cutting hair there for more than 50 years.

Lola’s cupcakes is due to open at the end of April in the old Colour Division site.

Maygrove Road residents took their parking concerns to Camden, but still need a lot more signatures on their petition before the council will actually consider taking any action.

The Financial Times went behind the scenes at Kilburn’s very own School of Rock – the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance.

Tweet of the Week

Never realised how colourful the stained glass is at Hampstead Synagogue. Quite beautiful. via Chris Simpson

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 Brexit, and will sit out his remaining term as an independent.

Never realised how colourful the stained glass is at Hampstead Synagogue. Quite beautiful. via Chris Simpson

Never realised how colourful the stained glass is at Hampstead Synagogue. Quite beautiful. via Chris Simpson

The Friends of West Hampstead Library held a very successful evening with Jim Carter.

The Alliance was up for auction, but bidding stopped at £3.9 million, short of the £4.1 million reserve. The developer paid £2.7 million for it only a year ago, so it seems a £1 million profit in a year wasn’t enough.

From one baker to another: Wenzels has opened where Dylan’s used to be.

*Do like West Hampstead Life on Facebook, if that’s your sort of thing*

From one south-east Asian restaurant to another: Ladudu, which closes at the end of March, is set to become a Rosa’s Thai.

West Hampstead Square has opened up… for deliveries!

What is happening at Lena’s Cafe after the Porsche accident? Nothing it appears. Turns out a new owner bought the café only a month earlier. How’s that for bad luck.

Londis on Mill Lane was broken into last week.

A 16-year-old was arrested and charged with the shooting of Yasir Beshira in Kilburn earlier this year. A 17-year-old was released on bail and two other men are in custody.

A West Hampstead woman returning home from a funeral was killed after being hit by a lorry near Euston.

The planning application to install a large mobile phone mast on Blackburn Road was refused.

It’s a long read, but if you care about Camden’s budget then this piece by finance chief Theo Blackwell is interesting.

Minkies ran into all sorts of trouble on Twitter over dumping rubbish on West End Lane. Public pressure (and possibly a letter to the boss) seems to have paid off and at least the rubbish is now correctly bagged.

Talking of rubbish, It’s the WHAT AGM at the library this Monday and the public discussion will be on rubbish. Come along, quiz Camden and have your say.

Tweet of the week

Photo by mykilburnhighroad

What have you missed since February 6th?

The new M&S opened its doors for a sneak preview.

Has West Hampstead met its London Plan job creation targets yet? We did the sums.

Lola’s cupcakes is taking over the old Colour Division site, it won’t just be cupcakes though – Lola’s is applying for an alcohol licence.

Seems to be a blue theme this week: Sunday saw the unveiling in Agamemnon Road of a blue plaque for Burt Kwouk who died earlier this year.

New seating has arrived at West Hampstead Square and a new bus shelter at West End Green. Woo hoo.

Soul Store West is taking over the old Love & Liquor site at the bottom of the Kilburn High Road (definitely not in Maida Vale). It promises live music and food by Chicago Rib Shack.

The Ham & High gave the thumbs up to Bobby F’s.

A West Hampstead mum is seeking to raise £50,000 for an operation for her son Troy who has cerebral palsy and a big smile.

And welcome to Twitter Friends of West Hampstead Library!

Coming up this week

Can’t be in two places at once, alas. On the 15th, Jim Carter is giving a talk in the library for Friends of West Hampstead Library while next door at West End Books, ace spy writer Mick Herron will be promoting his latest book.

Tweet of the week

After daily tweets about litter being left by Minkies every morning on the narrow, busy pavement, several people suggested someone just spoke to them nicely. We will see if that has any effect.


What have you missed since January 30th?

As expected 156 WEL was approved by planning committee, after two and half hour of discussion the vote took 10 seconds and was 10-2 in favour of approval. Half the floorspace will be ‘affordable housing’, but you need to be quite rich to buy any.

As not expected, there was a robbery near Fortune Green. It wasn’t actually on the Green but in nearby Burrard Road, sketchy details but there were several arrests made.

As expected, after having stood down from the shadow cabinet Tulip voted against Brexit.

We're quite enjoying our new lake feature... not really. Photo via @juliaehudson (leak by @thameswater)

We’re quite enjoying our new lake feature… not really. Photo via @juliaehudson (leak by @thameswater)

Following consultation last autumn there will be changes coming to the 13, 82, 113 and 139 bus routes.

Trouble parking? Probably, if you live on or around Maygrove and Iverson Road. And it is set to get worse. Will Camden do anything about it?

Members of the House of Lords stepped in to help Nazanin, calling her imprisonment cruel and manipulative. The family  received a cynical offer to arrange her release for a payment to a “fixer” of £125,000, but this was rejected.

We thought we had seen peak estate agent before Christmas, but not only didn’t Alexanders close after all,  we are getting another one!

Watch out Roni’s! Dylan’s on West End Green is set to become a Wenzel’s. They have been expanding across NW London over the past few years.

Chelsea, Notting Hill… West Hampstead? A banner in West Hampstead Square announcing the arrival of Provenance, the butcher that seems to like posh addresses.

The Alliance on Mill Lane is up for auction, but the pub isn’t under threat. Having got planning permission to convert the upper floors, the developer is looking to sell the site. But didn’t tell Camden, against the rules for an asset of community value, such as The Alliance. Whatever happens, the landlord’s lease has many years left to run.

And a new feature : Leak of the week

This week’s water main leak was on Mill Lane. Repairing earlier leaks, Fortune Green Road was closed for much of the first part of the week, and West End had traffic lights for the second half.

Tweet of the week

With apologies to Tulip

And Sarah Hayward did not laugh at this. Honest.


What have you missed since January 23rd?

This past week West Hampstead has been hit by one water mains leak after another. The first was in Fawley Road where one man fought a valiant fight to get it sorted.

Others appeared in Achilles Road, Fortune Green Road and West End Lane. They were particularly treacherous when it was icy. Thames Water is sorting them out – eventually. Doesn’t the council have some responsibility to notify Thames?

Tulip’s Brexit Exit: our MP, Tulip Siddiq stood down from the opposition front bench so she can vote against the government’s Brexit bill this week. Jeremy Corbyn confirmed on the radio that shadow ministers couldn’t defy the three-line whip (but oh-the-irony that he voted against his party 535 times in the last twenty years).

Renewals work on the Jubilee line. Image via @jubileeline

Renewals work on the Jubilee line. Image via @jubileeline

WHL got another Insight into a local business; this time Rock Men’s Salon and Wired Co. coffee on Broadhurst Gardens. Why two businesses? They are run by the same guy.

The Village Haberdashery finally opened in West Hampstead Square. Yay!

156 West End Lane (aka Travis Perkins) is going to planning committee this week. The officer recommends approval.  If you want to refresh yourself about the development, A2Dominion’s website has a summary.

Camden says 50% of residential floorspace at 156 is defined as affordable; yet 35 of the 79 ‘affordable’ flats are shared ownership.  Last week we discovered that to buy a one-bed shared-ownership flat in nearby Iverson Road would require an income of over £65,000 (putting purchasers in the top 10% of taxpayers). Affordable?

There is a planning application for a 15 metre mobile phone mast on Blackburn Road.

SALT (formerly Lower Ground Bar) was back before Camden’s Licensing Panel as the police are still concerned about (alleged) drug-taking and violence at the venue.

West Hampstead politics is hotting up…

The Conservatives have announced their candidates for next year’s local elections. Several old hands standing down and lots of new faces.

And the candidate for Kilburn is that ‘ordinary member of the public’ who made a deputation to the council about waste on West End Lane (but err who works as a Tory parliamentary researcher).

There was a very interesting internal Labour Party report about its prospects for those elections; West Hampstead and Fortune Green are ‘true marginals’ and Kilburn a ‘firewall’. Labour is concerned that the introduction of fortnightly waste removal will be a key issue.

Nothing from the Lib Dems yet though. They have been rather quiet of late.

He’s an accountant, not a spy. Although her appeal was turned down, it appears that one of the charges against Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the West Hampstead mother being held in Tehran’s Evin prison is that she is married to a British spy. He isn’t, he’s an accountant.

The shape of things to come 1. If you aren’t feeling well over the next three months and call NHS 111 you will be diagnosed by an app! Camden and Islington NHS Trust is trialling ‘Babylon’, a medical diagnosis app. Claims to be more accurate than a real-life doctor.

The shape of things to come 2. The new Camden and Islington Police Chief revealed at a meeting on Thursday that Camden may trial drones to help policing.

The Jester Festival is under threat. It needs new committee members to keep it going. If you’re ready to step up to the plate for West Hampstead contact moc.l1493034001iamg@1493034001lavit1493034001seFre1493034001tseJ1493034001

Tweet of the Week

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Got any West Hampstead news? Drop us a line.

A weekend of tube closures: TfL engineers line up

What have you missed since January 16th?

vintage Porsche crashed into Lena’s cafe on West End Lane, injuring two women. WHL has the exclusive story from one of them + some dramatic photos of the scene.

Not good news from Tehran. Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s appeal against her five year sentence in Iran was turned down.

Bobby F. opened – it’s a timewarp. One review said it was in ‘sleepy West Hampstead’. The cheek of it. We have vintage Porsches crashing just a few doors down.

A weekend of tube closures: TfL engineers line up

A weekend of tube closures: TfL engineers line up

As reported last week, the council wants to close Netherwood Day Centre, due to cuts to adult social care, and shift patients to the Kingsgate Resource centre. This is the third time Netherwood has faced closure. Here is the petition against closure.

The NDF monitored pollution along West Hampstead’s main streets. It found levels were at least 50% over the maximum legal limit – and over four times up by the the junction with the Finchley Road.

Oh la la. La du du is reopening on Monday at 5pm after a refurbish (closure was due to damage from a burst water main).

If you fancy an early peek at the new M&S on 10th Feb, there are a few spaces available. Scheduled opening is 10am Wednesday 22nd Feb.

Vote for your favourite farmer’s market stall. Apparently there are small changes coming to the market (good ones).

Jim Carter spoke about his upcoming fundraising Q&As at the Tricycle.

They’re ‘aving a laugh along the KHR: comedy nights springing up – Abigail’s Party (last Sunday of the month) at the NLT hosted by local Abigail Burdess, Comedy at the Tricycle (fourth? Thursday of month) and of course The Good Ship (every Monday). It’s January, it’s gloomy, why not try something different?

Out of the area but relevant here, estate agents in South London face £100 fines for leaving their boards up longer than two weeks after a sale or rental. Apparently Camden introduced the same fines last year (really?). Why isn’t it enforced?

There was a warning about a burglary scam from our SNT team.

Which is a reminder that Paul Fairman from Camden spoke at the last Area Action meeting on dealing with anti-social behavoir. Worth noting his name in case you have to deal with it at some stage.

Significant track upgrade to Jubilee line tracks so station will be closed next weekend (28/29 Jan).  Plus West End Lane will be reduced to a single lane next by the tube station as well.

Tweet of the week:

A good week for those famous West Hampstead sunsets, but this one made the weather report.

Dramatic skies over West Hampstead.  Image from Instagram user Cyberdonkey

What have you missed since Jan 9th?

Don’t adjust your computer. West Hampstead Life’s fortnightly update has gone back to weekly just as we hear that rubbish collections are going to be fortnightly. Apparently 85% of our waste can be recycled (and recycling collections remain weekly), but many locals are unhappy about the changes.

A West Hampstead teen has been found guilty of attempted murder and rape in the cemetery.

Netherwood Day Care centre is under threat again. As an alternative the Council is proposing an older people’s hub at the Kingsgate centre.

Dramatic skies over West Hampstead. Image from Instagram, Cyberdonkey

Dramatic skies over West Hampstead. Image from Instagram user Cyberdonkey

Last Monday’s tube strike created predictable crowding at Thameslink.

Work started on the Overground station.

The path to the O2 was half blocked off – but it’s not clear why? Is it for a crane for the Overground works?

Bobby Fitzpatrick’s – the old La Brocca – opens Wednesday. New wineshop Tannin and Oak also holds evening tastings ; Dylan’s lease is up for sale (premium free!) but has already gone – another bakery/café we hear. And things are stirring at defunct Rouge Lounge – a new ‘design’ store?

Down at West Hampstead Square the Village Haberdashery is moving from Mill Lane as soon as Ballymore has finished the lobby. And also, M&S has started the fit out. Of course, no-one has actually moved into the flats yet!

Some empty shops on Mill Lane are coming back to life: a bookkeeper/accountant is taking over the old post office; and a(nother) beauty parlour is opening at 74 (near the opticians). That leaves the former Mill Lane Bistro. Any takers?

So you want to start a group, throw a kid’s party or hold at meeting?  But where? We did a round-up of the local options – there are more than you might think.

Richard Osley celebrated 15 years at the CNJ with this post.

156 WEL aka Travis Perkins looks like it’s going to the planning committee in early February. We will know for sure at the end of January.

It’s the NDF meeting this week. Chairman James Earl has announced his departure, come along to find out what is happening.

‘Affordable’/shared income flats are for sale on Iverson Road. There’s an open day on Friday 20th Jan, with a 25% share on offer. The one-bedder requires an minimum income of £61,000 (i.e. within top 10% of UK taxpayers). Seriously?

Pressure is building for a review of parking controls around Iverson/Maygrove Road in light of the new developments there and the Liddell Road school/residential scheme. Camden has  said it would consider a review, but needs 800 signatures of residents from the CA-Q zone to sign a petition. Not everyone of course is in favour.

Zadie Smith recounted her memories of Hampstead School. Happy days.

Want to grow your own veg? Mill Lane Growing Together project (160 Mill Lane) will be allocating beds on Sunday 5th Feb at 11:00. Come along an express an interest.

Tweet of the week


What have you missed since December 19th?

Welcome back West Hampstead and Happy New Year! After the extended break, there is much news.

Expect the trains and buses to be VERY busy on Monday as many Underground stations are closed because of a strike through to the end of the day. Here is TFL’s advice.

There is a trial at the old Bailey over an alleged stabbing and rape that took place in the cemetery in July last year.

Not sure if it was the sixth day of Christmas or not but there was a swan a-swanning in West Hampstead. Locals rallied round to protect it, and the Swan Sanctury in Shepperton came to the rescue. The swan was released the next day. In time for Christmas.

Photo of the week

A pine forest on Fortune Green at the Christmas tree recycling point. As spotted by @JfmJm.

A pine forest on Fortune Green at the Christmas tree recycling point. As spotted by @JfmJm.

A timely reminder that you can recycle your Christmas trees at Fortune Green or Kilburn Grange (Messina Avenue). NOT West End Green, or just dumped on the street.

If like WHL you’ve added a few pounds (Ed – kilos) over the holidays then you’ll want our round up of the local exercise options.

Is West Hampstead set to lose two loos?

156 West End Lane is not scheduled for the January planning committee. Maybe February? There was some extra time for comments over Christmas due to new information about sunlight and shadows. We shed some light on the matter.

As a unexpected Christmas surprise, Network Rail came to West Hampstead to discuss the overgrown Black Path, here’s a report from our Black Path correspondent. And as an extra bonus Network Rail also brought along two guys to cut back the worst bits.

Camden’s local area forum is this Monday (9th). It’s a public meeting open to all, and a chance to meet your councillors. Camden is set to announce new waste collection arrangements (fortnightly black bin collections and charging for collecting green waste)

Work is starting in earnest on West Hampstead Overground. Apart from building work during the days there will Sunday overnight work; track survey works tonight and hoardings next Sunday. The contractors promise both will not be noisy. WHL will be doing more on the works to remind you exactly what is happening and when.

Nazarin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, held in an Iranian prison for spying, appealed against her sentence last week. Her friends and family are awaiting the judgement.

West Hampstead appeared (again) in Location, Location, Location (WH starts at 28 mins). This time a couple looking for a two bed flat. One on Hillfield road (where a previous programme found a flat) and another on Maygrove Road. Without giving the ending away, welcome to West Hampstead Hiren and Priyanka!

Did you know West Hampstead’s link to the Cambridge spies? Philby, Burgess, Maclean and Blunt all had local connections

In other historical news, the great-great niece of the Short Brothers has started fundraising to repair the graves of these pioneer aircraft manufacturers. Their grave is in the cemetery (although it’s not clear if they lived in Ranulf Road, but their mother probably did).

In case you missed it, before Christmas we got an Insight into the Sherriff Centre.

Kilburn Station is getting a pop-up Library.

Local Stephanie Dawson is trying raise money for her mother who after being diagnosed with cancer and had to sell her caravan.

There is fundraising effort to repatriate the body of the Ecuadorian man who died in the Willesden car crash last month.

More change on Mill Lane as The Village Haberdashery moves from Mill Lane to West Hampstead Square. Alas, it’s not opening as planned, because (now here’s a surprise) Ballymore isn’t ready.

Meanwhile, Mill Lane welcomes The Wag Club, and a vape store. Not so sure about the last one.

Dallas Cowboy Jack Crawford, born in NW6 no less, is in the NFL play-offs.

We’re upping our Instagram game… do follow us

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A timely reminder for all you heading to the gym

The Alred Road Christmas lights

What have you missed since December 12th?

The new school on Liddell Road (an extension to Kingsgate School) is opening with spare capacity, three not four form entry. The site for the second phase of Liddell Road will be sold in the new year – but how much for?

Latest school SATS tables were released with Kingsgate performing well, but Emmanuel and Beckford were surprisingly far down the list. Makes the spare capacity at Kingsgate even harder to understand.

It seems the the farmers’ market will be brought forward to Thursday 22nd, although if you have ordered a turkey from Fosse Meadows they will be there on Christmas Eve from 10am to noon only for collection of orders.

We visited the Sherriff Centre for another insight. If you haven’t been yet, go.

The Friends of West Hampstead Library held a successful evening of seasonal readings. Local actor, Sophie Thompson was supposed to be starring in Hook at the National but a serious injury during rehearsal put pay to that. The National’s loss was West Hampstead’s gain.

Thanks to everyone who came to Christmas Whampdrinks on Wednesday. That’s of course our last event of the year, but we’re already lining up some more dinners and drinks for 2017.

The saga of 156 West End Lane drags on. A more detailed review of the sunlight received by neighbouring properties concludes that the impact of the proposed building will not be sufficiently great for the building to be rejected on those grounds. Affected residents will likely disagree.

Following their march to Downing Street last week calling for the release from Iranian jail of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a group of Hampstead Mums will be back there to sing carols on December 19th.

Tulip voted in the commons for the Istanbul Convention (on violence against women and domestic violence), taking baby Azalea in with her to the Commons to make sure she could vote.

TFL has apparently approved CS11 – the cycle superhighway that will involve a radical rethink of the Swiss Cottage roundabout. The knock-on impact on West Hampstead is unclear. However, Andrew Gilligan says TfL has agreed only to redesign the Swiss Cottage gyratory but not implement other key parts of the scheme.

West Hampstead tube station experienced a further bout of overcrowding this week. In the new year, we’ll be looking into local tube and train station passenger numbers in more detail.

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What have you missed since November 28th?

A man was shot and killed on Kilburn High Road on Friday. The man, in his 20s, was Yasir Beshira (also known as Loopy), who lived in a hostel in West Hampstead. A 22-year-old man has been arrested for the murder, but the police are still appealing for witnesses.

Brexit rumbles on and last week there were two motions in Parliament, one from the Government and one from Labour. Both were won by large majorities, although Tulip was one of a number of Labour MPS who voted against the Labour motion.

Richard Ratcliffe is continuing his desperate campaign for the return of his imprisoned wife Nazarin and their two year old daughter trapped in Tehran. At the beginning of last week hundreds marched to Downing Street in support of Nazanin. Bring Nazarin home.

Scrabble anyone? pic from @bubela

Scrabble anyone? pic from @bubela

Back to matters Christmas. Last week we did a twelve things to do in West Hampstead before Christmas. This week it was our ever-so-useful Christmas survival guide.

If you are still looking for that elusive Christmas present here are some options on your doorstep; the twelve gifts of West Hampstead.

And there is a Whampsocial for Christmas drinks at the Gallery this week.  Join us!

Last Saturday a man fell on the tracks at the Thameslink station. Emergency services arrived, including by helicopter (which landed in Travis Perkins yard). The man’s injuries are not life-threating.

Don’t believe everything you read in the Evening Standard. It reheated a story about 156 West End Lane; showing alternative plans, saying that Jim Carter was opposing it and that it was going to planning on December 15th. The plans weren’t new, Jim Carter wasn’t asked and it won’t be going to planning until January at the earliest.

More West End Lane news. Movers and Shapers is, erm, moving.

And almost opposite M&S popped up on Twitter to announce the opening of its new West Hampstead store (in early Feb).

Talk of peak estate agent on West End Lane was alas too early. In an about turn, Alexanders is not closing its office after all. Instead it will draft in more staff. And the new mystery tenant at West Hampstead Square will be … an estate agent; Johns & Co (Ballymore’s in-house agency).

What will be the impact of the changes in rental fees? Renters will probably benefit.

As the photo of the week showed, things are happening with Bobby’s House. Finally. It will be opening in the new year. But who is Bobby?

Tom dived into to Nautilus and here’s what he thought.

Our historians reported on a true story about the downfall of a doctor that seems more like a tragic TV soap opera.

Liddell Road is being erased from history and being renamed as … Liddell Place. We’ll be doing an update on what’s going on this week.

And finally, the Marie Curie hospice is one of the participating hospices in the London hospices choir. It is putting out a Christmas single this week. Here’s a link to the video, but be warned. It will bring a tear to your eye.

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Sunset from Netherhall Gardens. Taken by Dominic Brett

What have you missed since November 14th?

Although there is visible progress at West Hampstead Square, it won’t be opening until January, with some flats not ready until March. Buyers waiting to move in are understandably frustrated. And in the rush to finish, work is taking place on Saturday afternoon, in breach of the construction management plan.

Camden has refused permission for the decking at The Alice House. There is some confusion about the facts, but it does not appear to be a popular decision. The Alice House will appeal.

Feng Sushi was burgled on Saturday night, thieves apparently took the safe. There was also a report of a stabbing outside The Gallery.

Sunset from Netherhall Gardens. Taken by Dominic Brett

Sunset from Netherhall Gardens. Taken by Dominic Brett

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, West Hampstead wife and mother, is apparently at breaking point and on hunger strike in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison. Her worried husband Richard appeared on Channel Four News, the Times ran an editorial calling for her release. and the Ham & High reported fears she is suicidal.

A recent non-fatal stabbing of a medical student on Billy Fury Way has promoted calls for CCTV. Camden and Network Rail are starting work on widening the steps from West End Lane in the New Year, which may help (or may be waste of money).

Some clarity on the rubbish situation on West End Lane: waste is supposed to be put out only between 10am and midday or 10pm and midnight. Clearly this is not happening. The matter was discussed at full Council on Monday with talk of tougher penalties (e.g. £200 fines)

To lose two estate agents, etc. etc. ….The already closed Portico at 322 West End Lane (which bought West End Estates’ rental business) is set to become an osteopath and treatment rooms, and Alexanders’ lease is available as manager Reuben moves on to pastures new (of course it might be replaced by another agents, and Ballymore’s own estate agent is moving into West Hampstead Square.

Meanwhile, estate agents from Paramount were found sleeping on the streets this week – but for a good cause as they were raising money for homeless charity Centrepoint. They are just shy of their £3,600 target if you want to donate.

If you didn’t catch Zadie’s Smith’s NW on the BBC it is well worth watching. Lots of familiar views in and around Kilburn (and a good story).  The opening panning shot includes brief view of the Ballymore blocks. It’s only on iPlayer for two more weeks though.

Time Out listed 14 reasons to visited Kilburn High Road – but curiously missed some popular KHR features; no Ariana II, no Black Lion.

However, top of the list was a visit to the Good Ship, the music/comedy venue, which faced a hearing about losing its late night licence on Thursday. Thankfully, the hearing went in the Ship’s favour and it will keep its 3am licence.

Were you in Kilburn in the 1950s? Two appeals are seeking more information – firstly from anyone with information about Mr Huckstepp, the butcher of Dyne Road, who saved two lives. Secondly, from locals who might recall the coronation street party in Douglas Road.

1 Woodchurch Road has had more than its fair share of artistic residents, including a Victorian painter, the actor who played Dick Barton and Irish playwright Brendan Behan (a drinker with a writing problem). A reader who lives there told us that even today a musician from a well known band lives in the building.

Author Meg Carter wrote about how authors use place in their work and reminisced about her life in West Hampstead, including the Barbara Vine (aka Ruth Rendell) thriller set here.

Talking of thriller writers, in the past fortnight local author Susie Steiner not only interviewed Jenni Murray for the talk on ‘A History of Britain in 21 Women’ arranged by West End Lane Books, but she also sold the 100,000th copy of her book ‘Missing Presumed’.

Radio 4 broadcast an interview with Josafine Speyer who organises a monthly ‘Death Cafe’ at La Brioche. It’s to discuss death. The next one is on the 12th December.

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What have you missed since October 31st?

It was Remembrance Sunday, so we looked back at some local West Hampstead soldiers who died in WW1.

The newly refurbished Emmanuel Church is offering a warm welcome to some of Camden’s homeless once a week.

We were really excited about this tiny art exhibition on Mill Lane, but it was case of blink and you missed it. And you had to look really closely to find it at all.

Staying on Mill Lane for the latest of our Insights into local businesses. We met up with Jennie from the Kitchen Table. Find out how love blossomed (alcohol is involved)

Photo of the week

Autumn in the cemetery. Image @julierrix1

Autumn in the cemetery. Image @julierrix1

But maybe she stayed too long admiring the ‘fading autumn light’ because her next tweet was this! Don’t worry she made it out.

Bonfire night saw a serious fire on the Rowley Way estate. Sixty firefighters tackled it and the next day things looked bleak.

Our friends at West End Lane Books were the victims of a reach-over and grab from the till robbery.

There was an NDF/Camden workshop on possible redevelopment/ masterplanning of the O2 centre carpark. Good turnout and some interesting thoughts. Early days though.

More NDF news. James Earl, the chair, is stepping down as he is moving away from West Hampstead. We’re not sure if planning policy allows that.

The deadline for commenting on 156 West End Lane closed this week on Camden’s website, but can still be sent in.

STB blocks has arranged a meeting about it, although sources tell us top-billed Tulip Siddiq MP probably won’t make it there until late, if at all, as she has her day job to attend to.

Tulip was only offered an out-of-date vaccine for her daughter despite living in a high-risk area for TB. Lots of other West Hampstead mums couldn’t even get that due to a vaccine shortage.

A dodgy temporary wall outside Iverson Road cottages seems to break pretty much every health and safety rule.

The air quality in West Hampstead is being measured over the next few weeks. Cough, cough.

Remember the shisha bar near Fortune Green? After being empty for months the building contractors next door are moving their office, to the relief of local residents.

Brooksby the wine merchant closed and will be replaced by … Tannin and Oak, another wine merchant, which will offer wine tastings and courses.

Someone is moving in to the old Colour Division premises, a totally different type of business. More details when we get confirmation.

If we say so ourselves there was a good Whampdinner at Sarracino. The evening started at The Railway Tavern and ended up, past midnight in the Gallery (on a week night)!

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Early bonfire on West End Lane. Photo via @DenisseZavala

What have you missed since October 17th?

The plans for 156 West End Lane (Travis Perkins building) have finally been resubmitted. More than 400 documents later, we’ve summarized the main points. Sunlight (or lack of it) is a major issue, but three consultants agree the impact is acceptable. You can submit your comments, and the decision is expected towards the end of the year.

There was a sexual assault on the Black Path. Apparently there have been two incidents recently and the police issued this safety advice.

TfL announced plans to close the pavement near the Overground station for two weeks. MP Tulip Siddiq leapt in to help, but what do the three ward councillors have to say?

Photo of the Week

Early bonfire on West End Lane. Photo via @DenisseZavala

Early bonfire on West End Lane. Photo via @DenisseZavala

Ballymore aims to have the first West Hampstead Square residents into the first couple of blocks before Christmas. The penthouse in Block A is available for £1,975,000. M&S has applied for permission for signage. And here’s what the development currently looks like from the Chiltern Line railway.

Our local historians took a trip down West End Lane, 100 years ago and compared it to today.

Tom went to try Fiddies – the Italian place high in the Trip Advisor rankings. Rankings taken with a pinch of salt but food was flavourful.

On November 12th, the NDF is organising a workshop on master-planning of the Growth Area (development round the tube stations). Don’t just vent your spleen at 156, do something! Put the date in your diary and come along.

How can fishmonger La Mer on Broadhurst Gardens survive, when it’s barely ever open?

Staying on Broadhurst Gardens, we went backstage at the ENO.

West Hampstead Library hosted a very enjoyable poetry evening this week.

Salt, formerly Lower Ground Bar, (re)opened; but does it have a licence?

Local filmmaker Anna Bowman released a couple of short films, one on the changes at West Hampstead and the other on the businesses at Liddell Road, which reminds us – time from an update on Liddell Road very soon.

There are plans afoot (at a very early stage) to redevelop the synagogue community rooms?

Do you remember the tragic car crash on West End Lane in 2012? Amy Werner, the American student who was extremely badly injured, was back in London this week.

There are several good events in the run up to Christmas. A few highlights:

  • Jenni Murray is doing a book talk in Emmanuel church on Nov 18th.
  • On 1-3rd December JW3 is hosting a Jewish Comedy festival.
  • Also on the 3rd, the fire station is hosting an open day to celebrate 150 years of the London fire brigade – including a life-size Playmobil fireman!
  • It’s the seventh West Hampstead Christmas market on 10th December- stalls are booking fast.

A little further afield, plans were revealed to double the size of Brent Cross (and remove free parking).

And there are inspiring plans to turn an empty pub, the Corrib, in Queens Park into a community hub.

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It’s from a regular West Hampstead tweeter, but timely…

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What have you missed since Oct 3rd?

Fittingly during ‘National Hate Crimes Awareness week’, the LGBTI rainbow flag flew again over West Hampstead, thanks to the help of the fire brigade. The story was featured on Channel 4 news and BBC local news.

WHL guest writer Shalini gave us her take on West End Lane’s brunch options. And apparently new-kid-on-the-block One Bourbon offers another one – with pulled pork!

Firezza pizza delivery is set to open on Monday but some lucky West Hampstead residents got free delivery of pizza on Saturday as a trial run.

What with all this pulled pork and pizza we thought the newsletter needed some balance, so…

Photo of the week

Good to be reminded of the farmer's market thanks to @filleboheme

Good to be reminded of the farmer’s market thanks to @filleboheme

Keeping up the healthy theme, WHL popped in to chat with Peppercorns about Manuka honey and gentrification.

Popular local live music (and comedy) venue The Good Ship in Kilburn is under threat as police are questioning its licence hours. John, the owner, says that problems have been exaggerated and will be making a strong case to Brent’s licensing board. It does seem ironic that just as we get the late tube venues are being made to close earlier.

Watch out – very closely – for some very small artworks appearing around West Hampstead.

Lots of activity on West End Lane over the past weekend. On Friday Salt (formerly Lower Ground Bar) reopened. And on the same night just up West End Lane, after a very rapid refit, OneSixty became One Bourbon .

There was a successful Whampsocial at the Green Room on Fortune Green, which is apparently doing good Sunday roasts.

Still nothing on 156 West End Lane (aka Travis Perkins), but expect something very soon.

Over on the Finchley Road – at 317, Camden’s planning officer has recommended approval- of ten, count ‘em, ten stories.

Care about the future of West Hampstead (part 1)? The NDF is organising a workshop on the Growth Area next month (see diary), it will be discussing masterplanning issues. If you want to have your say, put the date in your diary.

Care about West Hampstead (part 2)? There are still estate agent’s boards on West End Lane despite the ban and a number of banners too. Plus A-boards on the pavement. Time for a crackdown?

Care about West Hampstead (part 3)? And what about the terrible state of paths by the railways? Time to put pressure on Camden and Network Rail?

Last weekend Pro- and anti-CS11 (cycle superhighway) protestors demonstrated outside the Hampstead Theatre, pros outnumbering the antis. It’s on the edge of West Hampstead but could still affect us. Heavy traffic on the Finchley Road Sunday afternoon swiftly bunged up West End Lane.

Building continues apace on the extension to Kingsgate School in Liddell Road as shown in this video. It should be opened by Sept 2017 and for all you parents looking for a school place, applications have opened via Camden Council.

Is it just me, or do there seem to be a lot of burst water pipes in the area? After none for ages, there are now several. I’m wondering if Thames Water has increased the pressure? Or is it do with the arrival of autumn? Or just chance?

Keeping up the pressure for the release of Nazanin Zaghair-Ratcliffe, this week a UN working group found her detention was arbitrary and that she was denied a fair trial.

Local MP Tulip accepted the role of shadow early years minister – and posed her first parliamentary question in that role the next day. The proposed Boundary Commission constituency changes don’t seem to have created much fuss, although there was talk that the Labour Party were proposing a ‘West Hampstead and Kilburn’ constituency option to tilt the balance back in favour of Tulip. The right sort of gerry-mandering…

In another guest article, Tom Bullock gave us an insight into West Hampstead Hockey Club, right on our door step, with a report on the 1st team’s recent match at Blackheath.

Congratulations to local author Susie Steiner who is bouncing around the Sunday Times top ten fiction chart for her thriller ‘Missing Presumed’. (Following in the footsteps of another local author Renee Knight who was there earlier in the year for her thriller ‘Disclaimer’). Copies of both are available at West End Lane books.


Red, White and Blue view of Whampstead by @damawa42

What have I missed since September 19th?

Hold the front page. A robbery. In West Hampstead.

It’s party conference time. First, the Lib Dems, where Keith Moffitt announced he wouldn’t be standing again.

Then next up, Labour. After the final Labour hustings, a fortnight ago here in West Hampstead at JW3, the anti-Semitism row seems to rumble on. At conference, former local councillor Mike Katz spoke on behalf of Jewish Labour Movement. He was both heckled and got a standing ovation.

Local MP Tulip, despite supporting Owen Smith, has evidently accepted Jeremy Corbyn’s proposed olive branch and suggested she is prepared to join the shadow cabinet – if asked.

And talking of the Labour leadership… (bear with me) there was a suggestion in the letter pages of the CNJ that three West Hampstead Stations were confusing – with proposals for a rename. WHL thinks not!

Red, White and Blue view of Whampstead by @damawa42

Red, White and Blue view by @damawa42

Our local historians revealed the truth behind Priory Road’s millionairess typist.

And Charlotte, WHL’s social maven took us behind the scenes of Whamp events.

WHL caught up with local tattoo artist Dan Gold and found how he ended up on Mill Lane.

Emmanuel Church is about to re-open after its recent refurb – with new heating, new floors and new community rooms.

And along with the saints, the sinners – not one but two new bars opening locally; The Green Room by Fortune Green and Thunderbird by West End Green.

Trends, the off-licence on Mill Lane, could become a tanning salon. There’s a planning application to turn Monte Cristo (Shisha bar that broke many planning rules) into offices for the property company next door and another one to turn Portico, the estate agent (at junction of Crediton Hill and West End Lane) into an osteopaths.

We’ve heard of another couple of changes afoot locally, including a new tenant for Colour Division’s old spot and a change of ownership elsewhere on West End Lane, but neither has been confirmed, so we will let you know if and when we get more details.

And now a ‘not opening’. Tesco’s on West End Lane is not opening 24 hours over the weekend after all. Much to the relief of immediate neighbours.

In transport news, the local Labour Party is campaigning against proposed changes to the 13 bus route .

And there is a lot of concern about the CS11 (cycle super highway 11) and changes to the Swiss Cottage roundabout. There will be protest outside the Hampstead Theatre next Saturday (8th Oct) from both sides.

156 West End Lane update – Camden planners were waiting on some information from A2Dominion (about the impact on sunlight/daylight), which will be independently reviewed this coming week so consultation should begin by mid-October.

A couple of local developments recently consulted on – 153-163 Broadhurst Gardens (aka Mario’s block). We wrote about it here.

Not in West Hampstead but nearby – big changes for the Tower Garage site at corner of Finchley Road/Hendon Way. It is in Barnet, so (just) outside our area but well worth a look. During consultation locals were told it was be same height as surrounding buildings – plans came in and it’s three stories higher. Summary website is here and Barnet planning link (with comments) is here. Really recommend you take a look via the link.

Important change to Camden’s planning process. They will no longer send letters out, so if you neighbour wants permission to build a 20 ft extension blocking your sunlight you won’t know unless you sign up for email alerts. Tough luck if you don’t have email.

Talking of post, an undelivered bundle of was left on the street in West Hampstead. Including Kathy Lette(r)’s.

Our neighbours in Cricklewood got a sliver award for their improvements to Cricklewood Station. Inspiration for improvements to the three stations in our growth area?

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Whampstead sunrise by @djleroyroberts (on his way to bed?)

What have I missed since September 5th?

Proposed changes to parliamentary constituencies could have a major impact on West Hampstead… and its sitting MP.

Nazarin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the West Hampstead mother arrested in Tehran in April while visiting her parents, has been sentenced to five years in prison by a judge, who still didn’t reveal on what formal charge.

West Hampstead became a little less colourful – as after 42 years Colour Division closed down (sort of suddenly).

The uptick in local crime seems to be continuing but it was nothing compared to the early 80s as our local historians revealed in ‘They shot the wrong man‘.

Photo of the week

Whampstead sunrise by @djleroyroberts (on his way to bed?)

Whampstead sunrise by @djleroyroberts (on his way to bed?)

Local Councillor Phil Rosenberg met royalty… in Hampstead Garden Suburb. (Or was he just canvassing for votes in the proposed new constituency?)

Tulip Siddiq discussed anti-semitism with Yehudi Bauer at JW3.

A local Labour member was suspended for anti-semitism although his original question was about the lack of affordable housing being built in West Hampstead (and Labour councillor Paul Tomlinson also questions Camden’s role as developer in the letters page of this week’s CNJ).

A Labour hustings took place – and was live streamed – at JW3 on Sunday evening #JewishLabourDebate.

Annoying closure of West End Lane this weekend – as they dug up the road, leading to heavy traffic down in the surrounding roads.

And last weekend round the corner on Broadhurst Gardens there was an impromptu water feature at earlier roadworks.

West Hampstead Square Heritage Lane, opening put back again (quelle surprise) M&S due to open (for Xmas) with the rest in January.

The 156 West End Lane (aka ‘Travis Perkins’) plans are up for consultation again. They should be on view at the Library. There are still questions about loss of light on neighbours and Crown Close. WHL will try to shed some light on the matter. However, Camden seems to know the outcome already, as they have started legal proceedings to get Travis Perkins out of the building.

Planning application for the Alliance Pub on Mill Lane is open for comment. Pub stays, rooms above converted into flats. Seems reasonable.

Brooksby Wine won’t be a hairdressers after all, it will be… another wine merchant (Tannin and Oak according to the planning application).

Thunderbird, the new burger and cocktail bar replacing Nfes is due to open (in about two weeks).

This coming Wednesday at Estancia Brasil, a steak house opposite the Swiss Cottage Odeon, sees the appearance, for four hours only, of cult-burger chain In-N-Out. First come, first served and limited quantities apparently.

Talking of matters hip, Merlin Griffiths of the Priory Tavern talks cocktails.

We wrongly reported in newsletter #250 that the ICMP was moving out of Kilburn. We’re delighted to report that this is not the case – they are merely moving out of one building and expanding another. Apologies.

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What have I missed since August 22nd?

Light was shed on the Black Path as a group of local turned out Bank Holiday Monday to tackle the worst of the problem.

Opening on West End Lane, where Nfes was, is Thunderbird bar. It will be competing against Salt (formerly known as Lower Ground Bar), which is set to open very soon.

Just a blip we hope, but there’s been an uptick in local crime. Following the recent assault on Billy Fury Way (police are keen to speak to a second woman who took refuge in JW3). A phone was snatched on Mill Lane and there have been a spate of car thefts targeting high-end SUVs, one of which was stolen from Crediton Hill.

"Has someone on Aberdare Gardens said something blasphemous and got the old lightning bolt treatment?" Photo/caption via @Simonjbenson

“Has someone on Aberdare Gardens said something blasphemous and got the old lightning bolt treatment?”
Photo/caption via @Simonjhbenson

In the first of a series of chats with locals, WHL provided an insight into Insight Opticians by interviewing Kiran Vyas, who has celebrated 30 years on West End Lane.

Tom ate at Feng Sushi and recommended we go along and try it, for goodness ‘sake’ [the puns are all his own doing]. While Whampdinner at Pham House was a hit. Vo (= cheers in Vietnamese).

Talking of local shops and restaurants, why not nominate your favorite for Time Out Love London 2016 Awards?

Wondered about whether the local informal RuNW6 “club” is for you? The chances are that it probably is – read all about it.

From September 4th, Swiss Cottage Library is no longer opened on Sundays. Apparently there are planned changes to West Hampstead Library opening hours too. More details this autumn.

On the other hand Tesco is extending its opening hours and will now be open 24 hours at the weekend.

West Hampstead had its own power station! Who knew? Our local historians reveal all, through the coal dust. (And for fans of this kind of thing watch out for Granny Drippens steps in the 1910 film as the train pulls into West Hampstead station).

The highly regarded Institute of Contemporary Music Performance on Dyne Road has been given its notice as the landlord want to convert it into housing. However, it plans to extend next door to make up for the lost space.

The planning application for the “Marios block” on Broadhurst Gardens has been submitted (more on this next week). Final plans for 156 West End Lane still haven’t emerged, but are expected imminently (haven’t we said this before?).

The scaffolding has come down on West Hampstead Square, Heritage Lane.

The O2 centre car park may be used for, er, parking as HS2 has it shortlisted as a potential lorry holding site.

A large green arboreal monster was photographed on Fortune Green Road.

Hampstead Cricket Club secured its place in the Premier League with a game to spare after flirting with relegation earlier in the season.

Open House is a fortnight away, so start planning your visits WHL will offers some ideas of what to visit, both locally and further afield.

A couple of local residents are getting on their bikes to raise money for charity. Mark Reynolds on a ‘Tour de Pudsey’ and Eugene Regis on his way from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

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What have I missed since August 8th?

A woman was sexually assaulted on Billy Fury Way. A suspect has been apprehended but the path feels unsafe and questions are being raised about what could be done.

As it happens plans for 317 Finchley Road – which included a ten-storey tower, yes ten storeys – proposed adding a new entrance to the path but large stretches will still be unsafe.

Parts of the Black Path, are also very overgrown and feel unsafe, but who is responsible?

Just up the railway line, Cricklewood station, is up for an award for the improvements undertaken by local volunteers.

Some serious existential debate going on on the Kilburn High Road. Image via @YouMustBeAnna

Some serious existential debate going on on the Kilburn High Road. Image via @YouMustBeAnna

It’s been a long running story but West Hampstead Mum Nazarin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been tried in Tehran although we still don’t know exactly what for or the outcome. There is a heartfelt blog from her husband Richard here (read to the bottom).

Tulip Siddiq is ‘leaning towards’ Owen Smith, she announced during an interview on the World at One last week. You can hear the interview here – (the BBC could perhaps have chosen a more flattering  photo).

Maybe Jeremy Corbyn’s visit to a rally in Kilburn on Sunday evening can persuade her otherwise. Mention of Sadiq Khan elicited boos from the audience following his endorsement of Owen Smith.

No Deliveroo last week as delivery drivers went on strike at their new contract. They held a protest rally of about 50 scooters heading down West End Lane.

The Ham & High property section took a look at West Hampstead and decided ‘that fiercely loyal residents of NW6 love this residential area”, but you already knew that.

West Hampstead had a power station – who knew? Find out more in our next local history story.

A successful Whampgather at the Czech House. Na zdravi!

A new mural is appearing at the Mill Lane Open Space and if you want to buy some very local food it is selling veg it has grown this year on Thursday to pay for seeds for next year.

New comedy series Fleabag has migrated from BBC3 to BBC2, Sunday nights at 10pm (just as this newsletter is sent). There are glimpses of West Hampstead in it, but it’s funny so worth watch for more than that (just perhaps not with your mum in the same room).

Kilburn Cosmos rugby club is hosting a fundraising day on 3rd September after a burglar broke into the the clubhouse and stole thousands of pounds raised for new sports equipment.

It’s taken a while, but the natural fit between West Hampstead and literary festivals is happening. The Hampstead and Highgate Literary Festival is coming JW3.

And if you can’t wait until then to exercise your mind, JW3 is hosting a mind sports Olympiad from 21st to 29th August.

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Chaos at West Hampstead tube after Thameslink failures. Photo via @jacquelinehey

What have I missed since July 25th?

Camden is planning more changes to waste collection (though it’s managed to increase recycling by just 1 percentage point over the past decade – can we describe their performance as, rubbish?)

TFL is consulting on changes to some local bus services including the 139.

There was a run of local crime news. Sadly the owner of Efes café on Kilburn High Road was stabbed to death on his premises. His son has been charged. A convicted sex-attacker, who used to live on Mill Lane, is on the loose. There was also a murder on Belsize Road, although that was over 70 years ago!

Chaos at West Hampstead tube after Thameslink failures. Photo via @jacquelinehey

Chaos at West Hampstead tube after Thameslink failures. Photo via @jacquelinehey

Tom, our resident gourmand sampled the local curry houses – what’s his take-away message?

Tragedy was averted at Finchley Road tube station after a blind man fell onto the tracks.

The latest economic statistics haven’t been that good and a few local businesses have sadly closed their doors. Mill Lane Bistro, and Home Emporium are the latest casualties.

Progress at Bobby’s House (formerly La Brocca) edges forward. There is a licensing application in. Next door the SALT appears to be rising from the ashes of Lower Ground Bar.

In planning news, the Iverson Tyres development is requesting change of use in its redeveloped site from light industrial to office use.

Tough times indeed. Camden has spent £338,000 on replacing gym equipment first introduced in 2011 (only five years ago). It promises it’s monitoring attendance rates.

At a meeting at the Kingsgate Centre, Camden Labour voted 96 to 54 in favour of Jeremy Corbyn. Local MP Tulip Siddiq has yet to announce who she will be supporting (remember, she was one of Corbyn’s nominees for leader).

Nazanin Zaghair-Ratcliffe, the West Hampstead mother being held in a Tehran prison was, after 120 days in custody, finally charged, but it was not clear with what. Her husband Richard continues to campaign for her return along with their toddler daughter Gabriella. The petition on calling for her release has over 793,000 signatories – the highest number of signatories on the platform.

Plans are afoot for Finchley Road – the troubled site next to the Overground could become a 10-storey building. Skylark Court. Yes, really.

Artist Mark Wallinger is in self-reflective mood for a new exhibition at the Freud Museum. A good excuse to visit/revisit it.

There’s a new biography out about Evelyn Waugh. So what? Well, he was born in Hillfield Road!

Feel like a trip to the beach but can’t affort the airfare? Closer to home, the Camden Beach is open for business. Or if (crazy) golf, Rio-themed no less, is more your thing then JW3 has it on offer.

Did you lose an engagement ring (at the junction of Dennington Park and Holmdale Roads)? If so get in touch and we will put you in contact with the finder. Maybe the Safer Neighbourhoods team can get in touch to let people know where to hand in lost property?

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"Won't get the part for that until Tuesday mate". Photo via Philip Hewlett

What have I missed since July 11th?

There’s more than £3 million to be spent in West Hampstead, including half a million to spend on improvements to the interchange area. But all this spending needs a masterplan that Camden keeps postponing citing a lack of resources!.

Not that it always takes much to improve the area. The Black Lion has redone its planting and it looks good. The O2 organised a clean up of its path – much better, thank you. Next up the Black Path! Tweet your pics of the worst bits to us and @camdentalking!

Disruption to traffic locally last week, firstly an accident closed off Finchley Road and the next day a burst water main on West End Lane.

We haven’t had a burst main for a for a while but it reminded us that our creaking Victorian infrastructure can’t always cope with new development. Indeed Thames Water wrote in to oppose plans for 156 West End Lane because local infrastructure can’t handle it.

"Won't get the part for that until Tuesday mate". Photo via Philip Hewlett

“Won’t get the part for that until Tuesday mate”. Photo via Philip Hewlett

On Mill Lane a house was sealed off as a crime scene after an AirBnB party got out of hand the night before, including a stabbing (allegedly).

After 34 years, a man was convicted of raping and murdering a teenager at her home in Belsize Road.

West Hampstead is getting some new community rooms, right on West End Green in the heart of WHampstead. Hallelujah.

More changes on West End Lane; Dylans the bakers is to become a hairdressers. Roni’s, the bagel bakery, closed ‘for refurbishment’, one of the most rapid refurbishments we have seen. However, the refurbishment of Bobby’s house (RIP La Brocca), continues at… a… much… slower… pace.

The bailiffs arrived at Paya. The Asian/pizza place appears closed for good. Across the road, Roger Samuel, the estate agent,, underwent a rebrand and will reopen soon as Jaffe.

Further afield, in KilburMaidaVale, Love & Liquor is closing.

The post office on Mill Lane has moved and opened in Dass the newsagents. It’s still a bit hidden but signage and ATM arriving soon. We also discovered why it’s called Dass (scroll down a bit on link).

Pokemon Go arrived in West Hampstead with a Pokemonster (?) joining RuNW6 on the Saturday morning jaunt. But the West Hampstead Safer Neighbourhood team was less enthusiastic.

It was Love Parks week. The sun shone on Kilburn Grange for its 7-hour festival. And a replacement outdoor gym appeared, almost overnight. Up on Fortune Green it was early morning yoga with the sun salutations, toward the rising sun, of course.

If you missed it, there was a Whampdrinks last week and a Whampdinner coming up very soon .If you’re not on the mailing list for the latter, you have zero chance of getting in. So sign up!

Sadly, a person was hit by a train at the Thameslink station.

Interim a new charity opening up in West Hampstead sets out to ’empower people through psychotherapy’. It is looking for low-cost rooms to rent. Any suggestions?

And finally… Roger the kitty went missing but WHL RTed and the little blighter was found.

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Rainy bus window view of West End Lane via Luca Marengo

What have I missed since June 27th?

EU Referendum post-mortem: which was more “Remain” – West Hampstead or Fortune Green? And why was turnout across Camden so average? .

On what turned out to be the launch day of her Tory leadership campaign, Theresa May kept a long-standing engagement with local Cconservatives. She thinks she can win the seat back – watch out Tulip!

Of course the $64,000 (£43,500 on June 22nd, £49,400 now) question is what will be the impact of Brexit be on local property prices?

Photo of the week: Rainy bus window view of West End Lane via Luca Marengo

Rainy bus window view of West End Lane via Luca Marengo

Gail’s, or more correctly GAIL’s, opened this week and is proving popular.

The new set of plans for redevelopment of 156 West End Lane were published though it’s not really clear where things stand.

At the West Hampstead/Fortune Green Area Forum this week you can find out what is happening to all that Section 106 and CIL money.  May sound boring but it’s serious stuff and serious money.

WHL got to the bottom of the West Hampstead Square/Heritage Lane mystery. Meanwhile, Ballymore claims the development will be finished by the end of the year and M&S will be moving in October, but with no movements from the cranes this seems optimistic.

Kilburn Grange keeps cropping up in local news. First there were the poorly consulted/received redevelopment plans, then it suffered damage from the poorly attended funfair and finally, without any warning or information, the existing (and perfectly fine) exercise area is gone but is set to be replaced?

Lower Ground Bar may be opening again after all… but with a new bouncer. Further up West End Lane, one unfortunate West Hampstead local won’t be going back to the Black Lion – she’s been barred.

Mill Lane Post Office closed but Jennie from the Kitchen Table threw a farewell party for Vijay the post-master. A new post office will be opening further down Mill Lane in Dass, the newsagents, in the near future.

Did you get to the Jester Festival last weekend? If not this is what you missed. Or if you didn’t get to the FoWHL talk on the Ginger Line last Monday, this is what you missed.

Ed Fordham lead a walking tour of Kilburn history. Went down well. If you fancy becoming a tour guide yourself Camden Tour are offering a year long course deadline for applications is 31st July.

Finally, this Tuesday, West Hampstead resident Nazanin Zachary Ratcliffe will be spending her 100th day in an Iranian prison, without charge. Her husband Richard is campaigning vigorously from the family home on Fortune Green Road for her release and for their two year old daughter to return home as well. He organised a candlelit vigil outside 10 Downing Street. He was able to speak to her briefly and is hopeful that the Iranian regime will show clemency during Ramadan.

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What have you missed since June 13th?

This past fortnight has been dominated by the European elephant in the room, the referendum. Overall, Camden voted 74% in favour of remain . Observers at the count put Fortune Green and West Hampstead wards slightly above this at about 75-80% each in line with our own unscientific poll. Highgate ward appeared to be most in favour of remain at around 85%. Exact results by ward weren’t disclosed because the 20,000 postal votes were allocated in chunks but not on a ward basis, so observation is the closest we will get.

A local political reverberation of the fallout as Cllr Andrew Marshall, former leader of Conservative Group on Camden Council and staunch remainer, announces he won’t be standing for re-election in 2018.

West Hampstead featured heavily in the media on the morning of the vote itself with our Photo of the Week below making appearances in the Mail Online and Telegraph among others. West Hampstead also got a (not entirely positive) name check on Channel 4 News the night before (ff to ~5’40”)

West Hampstead Square has been renamed Heritage Square. Is this Camden’s doing? (why wasn’t there a referendum?).

Early morning queues to vote. Photo via @EugeneRegis

Early morning queues to vote. Photo via @EugeneRegis

Plans are out for the redevelopment of 156 West End Lane (a.k.a Travis Perkins building). Apparently not much change from the original plans. There will be a special NDF meeting at the Library on Friday 1st to discuss.

The redevelopment of the Overground is due to start soon, but is going to take some time.  And as luck with have it, there is a talk at the Library by Iain Sinclair on 4th of July on his new book about his observational one day walk round the stations of the London Overground (aka the Ginger Line).

The Jubilee Line’s night tube service is due to start September 2nd.

Camden has started time-banded rubbish collections on West End Lane and Fortune Green in an attempt to keep the streets cleaner. It’s early days, but seems to be working.

Lower Ground Bar, which was temporarily closed after a street brawl is now apparently permanantly closed. Turns out it was operating without a licence.

The new delivery-only Pizza Express on West End Lane is to become a Firezza – a pizza joint owned by the same company.

What is happening at N’Fes? Looks closed, but turns out it is just being refurbed. Will be a cocktail bar with live music on Fridays and Saturdays, apparently.

The first Whampdinner for a while was a big hit. Guglee hosted 26 of us before a few hardy souls braved the torrential rain for a follow-on drink at The Railway. The Gallery’s basement flooded apparently. If you want to know about the next whampdinner join the mailing list.

It’s been two weeks since the Big Lunch weekend. Here’s what you missed.

JW3 continues to put on a run of interesting events (more on those later). One that caught our eye is the Einstein festival starting on Tuesday. Will it be good? We think so, but it’s all relative.

And in case you haven’t heard, next weekend (Sat 2nd and Sun 3rd July) is the annual Jester Festival on Fortune Green. It started in 1973, the same year Britain joined the EU (or EEC as was then). Mostly stuff for kids (lots of it free) but other activities too; a fitness competition, some good live music and plenty of cake buying opportunities.

Kingsgate Road turns out to have a tenuous connection to the KKK.

Filming took place in Kilburn for the BBC’s adaptation of local author Zadie Smith’s NW.

One local gives his view on how to rent your flat without turning to one of West Hampstead’s many many estate agents.

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What have you missed since May 30th?

It seems Ballymore and its building contractors for West Hampstead Square, O’Hare & McGovern, have parted company. Further delays to the completion are surely inevitable with industry insiders suggesting the end of 2016 – more than a year late. We asked Ballymore for a comment, but no-one returned our calls.

In other West Hampstead Square news, the collection of retail units are being collectively marketed to prospective buyers of the space as “Heritage Lane”. The tenant line up is: Marks & Spencer Food, an M&S Café, Provenance Village Butcher, Village Haberdashery, and an unconfirmed estate agent.

A BMW flipped over on Fortune Green Road in the early hours of Saturday at the same place as two other recent accidents. The driver apparently passed both drink and drug tests but claimed he was travelling slowly.

Fortune Green Road residents still wondering how this happens. Photo via John Mennis

Fortune Green Road residents still wondering how this happens. Photo via John Mennis

The EU referendum came to West Hampstead at a hustings held at the Sherriff Centre. The discussion was polite, but did anyone change their mind?

Talking of Europe coming together… Where can you watch the football in West Hampstead?

Your flute is too loud! Excuse me, what now?

In the last newsletter we wondered what was happening at much missed La Brocca, which has lain empty for nine months. Then, last week, signs of action. Renovations have started. A coincidence? We think not.

The lease at The Kitchen Table is up for sale. Locals will hope something similar replaces it – Mill Lane needs a community hub. The café was also broken into this week.

Tom’s Diner is back… Our prawn-guzzling gourmand went to Broadhurst Gardens’ newest restaurant, Pham House.

The Friends of Fortune Green pulled off another successful outdoor film screening. More than 250 locals turned out to watch Brooklyn. The next screening is Inside-Out on August 20th.

The Tricycle Theatre is undergoing a major overhaul that will see it close for a year (cinema stays open). The key question though: should the carpet stay or go? We ran a Twitter poll.

The redevelopment of the Overground is due to start soon… and it’s going to take two years!

Plans for the redevelopment of 156 West End Lane (a.k.a Travis Perkins building) are still “coming soon” (they were supposed to be out last week). Further afield, at 317 Finchley Road there are plans to turn the former pub into a part-7 part-10 storey building.

Three celebrations of note:
1) A party in Hyde Park, near the Iranian Embassy, to celebrate West Hampstead resident Gabriella’s Ratcliffe’s second birthday. Gabriella couldn’t be there as her passport has been seized and she is trapped in Iran being looked after by her grandparents while her mother, Nazarin, is being held without charge.
2) A string of “Big Lunches” were held on Sunday around the neighbourhood. Look out for photos next week.
3) Abbey community centre celebrated its 40th anniversary.

Paddy Power was refused planning permission to open a betting shop on the Kilburn High Road, but a new baker, Wenzels, has opened.

Several of you have asked about the WHL Forum. As we explained (though appreciate you don’t all read absolutely every word we write!), we decided to close it: underused and expensive for us to run. We have the data and will find a way to make sure the useful stuff isn’t lost.

If you’ve wondered about this poster on Belsize Road, local BBC newshound Jon Kelly has done some digging. Despite his sleuthing, he still couldn’t really clarify everything.

Camden is starting time-banded rubbish collections on West End Lane and Fortune Green in an attempt to keep the streets cleaner. More on this later in the week.

Kids interested in coding? There’s a camp coming to the area [sponsored post].

A female cyclist was injured on the Finchley Road on Thursday afternoon near the junction with Heath Drive. Thankfully the injuries were not life threatening.

Cupid calling: we’re trying to find a very specific West Hampstead firefighter.

Congratulations to local writer Renee Knight for being shortlisted on the Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year for her first book, Disclaimer (a former Sunday Times fiction charttopper). Congratulations also to local film maker Jessica Benhamou who won a £20,000 grant from Cointreau for her film Juliet Remembered. Finally, in a trio of culture related stories we discovered that Anabelle Lwin, ex-Bow Wow Wow singer, was scouted in a West Hampstead dry cleaners.

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Glorious old signage revealed at David's Deli via Keith Moffitt

What have you missed since… August 2015!?

The rumours are true. West Hampstead Life is back with a new editor but the same mission (and a familiar face is still involved). So, on with the news.

West Hampstead resident Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was recently seized by Iranian security services on her way back to the UK after visiting relatives. She has been separated from her nearly two-year-old daughter, who is being looked after by her grandparents in Iran. Her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, is campaigning for her return and to send their daughter a birthday card.

Saracens players celebrated their Premiership win with a quiet reflective pint at The Alice House this Sunday.

Actor and long time local resident Burt Kwuok died. Younger readers (i.e., anyone under 30) might not know the name, but he played the role of Cato Fong in the very popular Pink Panther movies of the 1960s and ’70s.

Talking of films, the Friends of Fortune Green have their first outdoor screening of the year next Saturday 4th June. It will be Brooklyn – one of the best movies of last year. Screening starts 9pm (sundown) but get there early with picnic and friends to bag a good spot.

In the past nine months West End Lane has continued to change:

Blink and you missed it – recent renovations at David’s Deli revealed some glorious old signage of days gone by. It’s been boarded up again but fear not it’s still there and sometime in in the next few weeks there’s an expert coming to take another look.

Glorious old signage revealed at David's Deli via Keith Moffitt

Glorious old signage revealed at David’s Deli via Keith Moffitt

Pizza Express should be opening soon. But it seems to have ‘spoiled the ship for a ha’penny’s worth of tar‘. Talking of pizza, Franco Manca, the rapidly expanding pizza chain, is opening up on the Kilburn High Road. It is aiming to open on June 28th. Will Pizza Express beat them to it?

Posh baker Gail’s is taking over the old Marie Curie charity shop site. Work started this week with a planned opening in early July. Majority pleased… that it’s not another estate agent.

Lower Ground bar is currently closed, apparently “for refurbishment“, though the massiveclub brawl may have something to do with it. The bar’s licence has been temporarily suspended.

And what is happening next door at much-missed La Brocca, which closed it’s doors exactly a year ago. Sources close to “Bobby F” say that its poor structural state has hampered renovations and other projects have taken priority but “pizza, cocktails and fun” are still on the menu.

More pub news – the Alliance on Mill Lane has been saved thanks, in part to the NDF getting it listed as an asset of community value and some tough negotiating by the leaseholder with the new owner. Sketchy details on its website but we’ll investigate for the next newsletter.

Mill Lane has lost a stalwart though. Bake-a-boo closed its doors for the last time today as owner Zoë explores a whole new career. She’ll be much missed.

Finally in this retail roundup, the estate agents’ boards on West End Lane, which are already much improved are due to disappear completely (scroll down a bit).

One thing that hasn’t changed since last May: West Hampstead Square still isn’t open! In the last newsletter, we reported that the opening had been pushed back from September 2015 to February 2016. That’s been and gone. Brickwork problems are believed to be partly to blame.

After A2 Dominon presented its “third and final” (its words) proposal for 156 West End Lane (a.k.a Travis Perkins), the plans were due to be submitted to Camden in November 2015. These were summarily rejected by Camden’s planners so it’s gone back to the drawing board. Revised plans are awaited.

In other large local development news, the opening of the new school on Liddell Road has been put back a year as construction has been delayed. There’s nothing on Kingsgate School’s website to confirm this. Indeed, there’s nothing obvious about the expansion of the school at all.

It’s unclear what’s going on at Monte Cristo – the breaking-all-the planning-regulations shisha bar on Fortune Green Road Seems closed, but is it?

Camden has been consulting on major changes to Kilburn Grange Park but after only one presentation. Plans include moving the only recently installed and very expensive adventure playground. Lots to discuss in a future article, would love to hear readers’ views.

Thameslink unveiled high-tech 12-carriage trains this week that can carry 1,750 passengers. Even more commuters changing at West Hampstead then?

The Sherriff Centre has opened its debt advice service, funded by its own profits. It will offer advice on a wide range of debt issues and help people facing emergency situations such as eviction or utility disconnection.

Have you registered to vote (by June 7th) for the upcoming EU referendum? According to YouGov, Camden is the fifth most pro-Europe region in the country. But, if you’re not yet sure how to vote, the Sherriff Centre is hosting an EU hustings on June 9th.

Fancy some footie? Cllr Phil Rosenberg, who in an effort to help shift a kilo or two bring the community together, has started up an informal football kickabout on Sunday afternoons at the Fortune Green play centre. They even use a fair-trade football (obvs). Free for now, but £4.50 down the line, 5-7pm, open to all.

In more serious Cllr Rosenberg news, he penned a thoughtful post about this week’s Hampstead & Kilburn Labour party meeting, which failed to address an antisemitism resolution.

There are more getting-to-know-your-neighbours event coming up with at least three Big Lunches on the 12th June. Gondar Gardens, Achilles Road and Ravenshaw Street are all hosting so if you live in and around those streets why not pop along? But please bring a dish to share.

Read a comprehensive account of all the V1 and V2 rockets to strike West Hampstead & Kilburn in WW2.

Culturally, coming up; the Friends of West Hampstead Library are hosting a book talk by Simon Garfield, up-and-coming American violinist Elena Uriosta is appearing in the St. Cuthbert’s master concert, and it’s the final week of two exhibitions at the Camden Arts Centre.

And finally, something out of this world. During British Science week in March, FoFG set up a scale model of the solar system and organised some excellent walks. If you missed them, this is a one minute version of the journey from the Sun to Neptune.

2nd June, Thurs – FoWHL; author Simon Garfield interviewed by local legend Simon Inglis.
4th June, Sat – FoFG screening of Brooklyn on Fortune Green
4th June, Sat – St. Cuthbert’s Master concert – violinist Elena Urioste
9th June, Thurs – EU hustings at the Sherriff Centre
11th June, Sat Fork to Fork Food Festival NW6 (the Kensal Rise bit)
12th June, Sun – Big Lunch day – several taking place in West Hampstead (see above)

2nd/3rd July – The 44th Jester Festival, Fortune Green

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Spitfires over west Hampstead via @mauriceticulous

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 consultation on libraries this week. There’s already a “Save West Hampstead Library” campaign and petition up and running, led by local councillors – although it will be their Labour colleagues making the decision on any closures.

The Battle of Britain flypast went overhead on Friday to the delight of many locals, and the confusion of others.

Spitfires over west Hampstead via @mauriceticulous

Spitfires over West Hampstead via @mauriceticulous

Oktoberfest in Kilburn Grange park will go ahead says Camden.

The Thameslink station took the brunt of passengers on the tube strike days – and groaned under the strain.

On July 18th, The Sherriff Centre celebrates its 1st birthday – there’ll be a BBQ and various activities.

Whampdinner at Toomai was a big success – the cocktails being particularly well received.

There’s talk of a kosher restaurant/bakery opening in West Hampstead later this year.

The 139 bus was featured in the Washington Post.

On the Forum this week – the usual mix of things for sale or wanted (including goldfish!) and the start of a discussion about restaurant decking!

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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 Jester Festival.

Crazy weather!  via @GavinMetcalf1

Crazy weather! via @GavinMetcalf1

Hampstead School, which is really Cricklewood/West Hampstead borders, is to get a major overhaul of its buildings.

There was a minor collision between a C11 and a Sainsbury’s delivery van.

Whampsocial brought all the boys and girls to the yard. And by yard, I mean The Alliance. Next one in August!

NW6 Film Club returns on Wednesday for a screening of Amy Whitehouse documentary, Amy.

Check out the Forum for the usual eclectic range of questions, offers, and debates.

Maygrove Road is still closed.

The Scavolini kitchen store had its opening party.

Toomai celebrated its 1st birthday, and the current incarnation of Mill Lane Bistro its 4th.

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Tubes into the sunset via Bhaskar Dasgupta

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 up its “Vote Yes” campaign ahead of the referendum vote on July 9th. It’s also combined with Frognal’s NDF to conduct a survey on your views on Finchley Road.

Tubes into the sunset via Bhaskar Dasgupta

Tubes into the sunset via Bhaskar Dasgupta

The plans for the Overground station were passed by the planning committee.

The Alice House is holding a “Whamp vs Food” competition on Thursday for charity Centrepoint. Some of the Saracens rugby team are turning up!

Next weekend is the Jester Festival – West Hampstead’s very own summer fete. There are bric-a-brac stall spaces still available.

There’s also an Open Garden on Menelik Road on Sunday as part of the National Gardens Scheme, which you can combine with others on Teignmouth Road and Anson Road.

Maygrove Road will be closed from July 1st to 17th as more work is done on the 65-67 development.

Beckford School holds its Summer Fair on Friday after school.

La Traviata (in English) is on at The Tricycle until July 4th. Read our review.

The Scavolini kitchen shop on Fortune Green opened.

RuNW6 – the social running club – is starting to trial an additional midweek run. Follow @ruNW6 on Twitter for more details.

West Hampstead’s Harriet Dart was given a wildcard into the Women’s Doubles qualifying tournament for Wimbledon. Sadly, she was knocked out in the first round.

Hope & Harmony at Rosslyn Hill Chapel is our Culture Hub pick of the week, alongside a couple of other local cultural treats.

Lots of things available on the Forum as well as chat about 156 West End Lane and much more besides.

Tweet of the Week


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“.

Poppies at West Hampstead - not part of planting via Mark Amies

Poppies at West Hampstead – not part of planting via Mark Amies

The Petite Corée was featured on Korean TV. I’m afraid I have no idea what any of it says, but it all seems very positive.

Holistic Hair & Beauty is closed as of Monday. Customers can visit its Belsize Terrace branch if they find themselves desperately short of hairdresser options in West Hampstead.

Property News looked at how tenants have reacted to the election.

In the never-ending saga of “When will The Railway open”? The latest is that it could be this Friday.

In South Hampstead, the police team are taking a zero tolerance approach on pavement cycling. and imposing the £50 fixed penalty notice.

The Google Streetview car was spotted in West Hampstead and Kilburn.

It seeems someone didn’t like someone else’s parking on Achilles Road (NSFW).

Camden has confirmed that it doesn’t have the budget to pay for Christmas decorations on West End Lane this year. The West Hampstead Business Association is raising funds instead – anyone is welcome to contribute. The WHBA already has the hanging baskets back up for the summer.

La Traviata at The Tricycle is our Culture Hub Pick of the Week.

A rather nice looking house on the corner of Finchley Road and Heath Drive is being knocked down for a new developent. Good “front and back” photos here.

There’s stuff for sale and for free on the Forum, or have your say on the cat café or the 156 West End Lane plans.

Local historian Ed Fordham is looking for volunteers for this year’s Kilburn History Festival in late October/early November. Contact him for details.

Tweet of the Week

Sunset tonight, St Mary's to the left and the West Hampstead Square shipyard cranes to the right. via @mauriceticulous

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 Kill a Mockingbird.

Police are to investiage historic sex abuse claims against a Cumberland club tennis coach (who died 20 years ago).

Sunset tonight, St Mary's to the left and the West Hampstead Square shipyard cranes to the right. via @mauriceticulous

Sunset tonight, St Mary’s to the left and the West Hampstead Square shipyard cranes to the right. via @mauriceticulous

The Neighbourhood Development Forum launched its referendum campaign. It’s been backed by all local parties and most residents associations have also come out in favour. If you live in West Hampstead or Fortune Green wards then you should have received your polling card this week. The vote is on July 9th.

Amaan’s Grill looks like it’s going to become The Meat Bar (another kebab shop), or “Turkish restaurant with a focus on hand-made food”. Meanwhile La Smorfia is going to become “Bistro, The Walk“, a “Mediterranean specialist restaurant” that has an existing operation in Potters Bar

Joy opened on West End Lane. People seemed happy.

An intellectual on Compayne Gardens couldn’t be bothered to go to the charity shops in the most highbrow example of fly-tipping seen yet. It doesn’t quite compare with the Kingsgate Road tip however.

The quest to eat everywhere on Kilburn High Road has made it to Ciao Ciao.

June’s Property of the Month is a 2-bed flat for rent on Inglewood Road.

Fortune Green received some new exercise equipemnt and play markings. Apparently the somewhat unsightly black matting will soon have grass growing through it, making it less obtrusive.

The Tricycle announced its autumn season.

Fortune Green Road will be getting road signs to warn motorists that drive above 20mph.

The Lounge Café on Kingsgate Road joined Twitter.

Do you know anyone who got married at Sacred Heart church on Quex Road? As part of the 150th annniversary of the parish, the church is inviting any couples who married there to renew their vows.

The people who use the Gondar Gardens bench have spoken.

Curled Leaf proprietor Alketa Xhafa-Mripa has been making the news with an astonishingly powerful art installation in Pristina.

Tweet of the Week

Iverson Road, West Hampstead, at sunset by @SteveWHamp

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 O2 centre, tops the Trip Advisor rankings for all restaurants in London.

The revised plans for the Overground station [pdf] are now available. The main difference is that the roof has been lowered.

Iverson Road, West Hampstead, at sunset by @SteveWHamp

Iverson Road, West Hampstead, at sunset by @SteveWHamp

A few more details are leaking out about the scandal at the Cumberland Lawn Tennis Club.

Lebanese restaurant Cedar opened on West End Lane this week (where Mamacita was). It seemed there were some teething troubles early on for which the restaurant apologised.

Missed news from the previous week, Morris Beckman – a tireless campaigner against anti-fascism and all-round amazing person – died aged 94. He was often to be seen out and about in West Hampstead, and gave a talk at Locally Sourced just last year.

The England women’s cricket team came to Lymington Road on Sunday to give a cricket masterclass for women and girls before taking on a Select XI in a 25 over match.

Last chance for readers to get 10% off cooking classes in June.

Whampsocial at The Alliance brought the usual mix of new faces and old friends together. The next one is July 2nd.

The West Hampstead Business Assocation has applied to the Mayor’s Fund to match all donations for its local improvement plans

Natalie Duncan is our Culture Hub Pick of the Week. See what other treats made the cut this week.

Locals are objecting in force to the plan to turn strip club Secrets into a 300-capacity nightclub.

Starting on Saturday, the Fordwych Master Concerts are bringing some prodigious pianists to West Hampstead.

Tweet of the Week


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 her condition. According to an eye witness, the bike was not travelling fast, but nevertheless it was a nasty accident.

The Mill Lane post office was apparently robbed again on Thursday. No-one was hurt.

West Hampstead Gooners spotted at the FA cup final!  via @preetsjc

West Hampstead Gooners spotted at the FA cup final! via @preetsjc

Whampsocial is back this Thursday at The Alliance.

Sushi Kou on Fortune Green Road has closed (and moved to Wimbledon).

Tom tried the mussels at The Black Lion in Kilburn.

It’s been another week of traffic frustration on West End Lane as Thames Water connects West Hampstead Square to the mains. The week culminated in both sets of temporary traffic lights being stuck on red on Sunday morning.

The development itself is now aiming for completion in February 2016 (pushed back from September this year), although Ballymore hopes the first residents will be able to move in in time for Christmas.

Five of the block names were decided last year in a competition, the other two are to be called Lily and Charlotte.

The West Hampstead Business Association is asking for specific project funding this year rather than subs as it strives to improve the area.

South Hampstead residents should try and make it to the CRASH AGM on Tuesday where there’s also a talk about “Dodgy Developers”.

A scandal is engulfing the prestigious Cumberland Lawn Tennis Club. The Ham & High scrapes the surface of the story though apparently big name lawyers have got involved, which may be why it has not published more detail.

There are a few days left to attend the Keats Festival in NW3. The event was opened by Nancy dell’Olio.

A fight broke out in the North Star on Finchley Road just before closing time on Friday. A 72-year-old man was taken to hospital with serious head injuries.

FA Cup fans were surprised to find The Railway still closed on Saturday. The pub had been due to reopen this week but further delays to the work on the flats above have pushed that date back another three weeks.

Tweet of the Week

Caught the @WHampstead fire engine twerking via @damawa42

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.

Caught the @WHampstead fire engine twerking via @damawa42

“Caught the @WHampstead fire engine twerking” via @damawa42

The Film on Fortune Green on June 13th will be To Kill a Mockingbird.

Burrito chain Tortilla opened on Finchley Road in the old Pizza Express site.

I’m afraid our headline Culture Hub act has been and gone already this week, but we’ve got a couple of good films to look out for as well.

Tweet of the Week


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 car their home on Sunday.

A driver was robbed at gunpoint in Dynham Road on election day (yards from a CNN film crew).

I found the last affordable house in West Hampstead, in a prime position on Holmdale Rd. May need some repairs via @timcheese

I found the last affordable house in West Hampstead, in a prime position on Holmdale Rd. May need some repairs via @timcheese

Property News looked at what the election means for house prices.

Tulip Siddiq was on Andrew Neil’s show this week as a new MP.

Locals around Ingham Road, Agamemnon Road and Gondar Gardens were inundated by Hunters estate agents signs – on properties that aren’t on the market. Hunters blamed a mix-up with its board company, but the council had to remove some boards that had been hurled onto the pavement by homeowners.

There’ll be disruption on Mill Lane Wednesday-Friday due to Thames Water working to improve water pressure (they’re just installing monitoring stations, so don’t expect a power shower on Saturday).

A man who’s been to the Swiss Cottage Odeon more than 7,000 times has been named the chain’s most devoted fan.

On which note… NW6 Film Club is moving to the Odeon on Wednesday for May’s film: Mad Max, Fury Road. Details here.

The deadline for voting for the June 13th Film on Fortune Green has been extended to midnight on Monday given that it’s a tight race!

An old shop sign was temporarily revealed on the corner of Blackburn Road.

Someone left a great comment giving an insight into life on Broadhurst Gardens in the 1950s; “apart from different names on the shops, little had changed”.

Apparently, some locals think Mill Lane framers Thou Art has closed. It hasn’t, but it does have new managers.

In a week of mixed weather (!), Deluge, at Hampstead Theatre, is our top Culture Hub pick of the week.

Nido, which operates the student block in Blackburn Road, released its “gosh, isn’t West Hampstead nice“, video.

England’s very successful women’s cricket team will be playing Hampstead Cricket Club at Lymington Road on June 7th.

On the forum this week – a rundown of all the latest food hygiene scores and a poll on whether all business should have to display their score
There’s always stuff for sale!
And one mother is looking for an Emmanuel pre-schooler for playdates.

Tweet of the Week

West Hampstead library at 8.30am on polling day 2015 via Rita Tudela

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 who died between nominations and the election and therefore who remained on the ballot paper, got 113 votes. He didn’t come last.

May be interesting in hindsight… our interviews with the three main candidates in the run up to the election: Tulip, Simon, and Maajid.

West Hampstead library at 8.30am on polling day via Rita Tudela

West Hampstead library at 8.30am on polling day via Rita Tudela

May’s Property of the Month is a 2-bed flat on Crediton Hill.

Sunday saw the second round of the Netherwood Street Clean-Up, with more impressive results. If you want to get involved, the next session is on Thursday between 11-2. Meet at the open space on Netherwood Street.

Ther are two conmen working local streets at the moment. One claims to have just moved in a few doors down from you and has locked himself out. He asks for money. The other has been around before – he claims to be an antiques dealer but is just trying to get inside your house to steal stuff. If you come across either, the police ask that you call 101.

Learn about the tough men and the harsh conditions they worked in when building what is now the Thameslink railway line through West Hampstead in the 1860s.

A rebooted Whampsocial kicked off on Wednesday night at new venue, The Alliance. The next one will be June 4th – same place, from 7.30pm. Wednesday was also the latest chapter of Whampbooks – with a very healthy turnout as always.

The next NDF meeting is this Tuesday, and topics will include the referendum campaign (that’s
for the neighbourhood plan, not Europe!).

Estate agent company Countrywide, which owns more than 40 estate agent brands, has bought Greene & Co., the north-west London chain headquartered in West Hampstead. Countrywide’s Hamptons brand will be absorbing Greene & Co, although branding is apparently to be decided.

As a West End Lane doctor finally retires, patients are told they’ll have to change surgeries… but there are 18 practices within one mile.

A tree was planted on Fortune Green 22:26 10/05/2015in memory of Don Hill, who was a founding member of WHAT.

Check out the latest threads on the Forum.

Tweet of the Week

Fire crews put on breathing apparatus to go in to flat above Hana via Ian Cohen

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 example of a community initiative.

Former England cricket captain Andrew Strauss was at Hampstead Cricket Club on Sunday to unveil the 150th anniversary statue.

Fire crews put on breathing apparatus to go in to flat above Hana via Ian Cohen

Fire crews put on breathing apparatus to go in to flat above Hana via Ian Cohen

Election news

  • Camden is predicting the Hampstead & Kilburn result won’t be before 4am on Friday morning
    West Hampstead Life will be at the count – if you can stay awake, do keep me company via Twitter!
  • Justice secretary Chris Grayling MP, standing in for Grant Shapps at a JW3 event, caused some surprise by suggesting that Hampstead & Kilburn was no longer a target seat hence no billboards this year. Local Tories quickly leapt to respin this as a localised spending decision.
  • Hampstead & Kilburn candidates featured on BBC London News (not on iPlayer at the moment sadly).
  • The Guardian headed to Sumatra Road – possibly the most canvassed street in Britain (it claimed, tongue fairly firmly in cheek).
  • In the week of Ed Balls Day, the man himself was in Kilburn… and was line dancing.

Books, booze and bargains… WHampbooks is back this Wednesday. 20% off everything, free wine, and (apparently) witty repartee from 7.30pm.

In a glut of Wednesday socialising, Whampsocial returns on Wednesday too! This Wednesday it will be at The Alliance. Look out for more details on Monday.

The next Film on Fortune Green is June 13th. Vote for your favourite here.

Roadworks season continues, and brace yourself for more the week of May 26th as Thames Water hooks up West Hampstead Square to the mains.

You can vote for Mill Lane shop Passionate About Vintage in the National Vintage Awards should you so wish.

The latest opening date for The Railway is May 30th.

Time Out did a round-up of Kilburn’s best bits. It included Love & Liquor, which continues to insist that it’s actually in Maida Vale.

It was the sixth anniversary of the first @WHampstead tweet… it was on a topic still dear to many of our hearts even today.

Check out what’s for sale on the Forum this week.

No contenders for Tweet of the Week this week I’m afraid. Election fever must be getting to you all.

Only in @WHampstead! Another use for toilet rolls: Impromptu coffee table, much to surprise of Waitrose delivery men!  via Nicolette Molnar

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 all that no-one has run more marathons over the past year than Robert Young.

Only in @WHampstead! Another use for toilet rolls: Impromptu coffee table, much to surprise of Waitrose delivery men!  via Nicolette Molnar

“Only in @WHampstead! Another use for toilet rolls: Impromptu coffee table, much to surprise of Waitrose delivery men!” via Nicolette Molnar

Got a great idea for a local public space? Enter this competition and win £300 to help make it happen.

Election news

  • The Guardian’s Dave Hill looked at H&K and wondered whether private renters might play a bigger role than the “mansion” dwellers in determining the outcome.
  • The FT meanwhile had a slightly different, though well-balanced, take on the constituency.
  • The BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme spoke to undecided voters about Hampstead & Kilburn (ff to 32’04” if you nothing about the general election, and to 37’18” for the discussion. Bonus points for spotting the deliberate mistake at the very end).

Lebanese restaurant The Cedar revealed its new sign.

The application for the Farmers’ Market banner has been withdrawn.

There was a good turnout for the midweek NW6 Film Club screening of Force Majeure at The Tricycle.

Next Sunday, as part of the club’s 150th anniversary celebrations, former England captain Andrew Strauss will be at Hampstead Cricket Club unveiling a statue in honour of a a player who scored an incredible 485 runs… back in 1886. Excitement starts at noon (there’s music, and even a cricket match at 1pm).

Turns out there was traffic on West End Lane even before Tesco delivery lorries

Holistic Health Lab opened on Mill Lane

The closure of Mamacita has led to a temporary pause in Whampsocial; but fear not… plans are afoot for a new look whampsocial starting early May. Watch this space.

Matchbox Theatre is our Culture Hub pick of the week, see what else made the cut.

Hot on the Forum

Tweet of the Week

Ballymore construction via @LondonPhoton

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 man apparently had a heart attack, crashed his car into a lamppost by the Priory Tavern on Belsize Road and died. His son, also in the car, escaped unhurt.

Matt Ogston started his 130 mile “journey to find acceptance“, in support of his partner Naz Mahmood who died last year.

Ballymore construction via @LondonPhoton

Ballymore construction via @LondonPhoton

The Petite Corée made the Evening Standard’s list of best Korean restaurants in London.

TfL has slightly revised its plans for the new Overground station. The roof has been lowered, and the sign moved. There’s also a better artist’s impression of the station in the context of West Hampstead Square.

Election news

  • Former Eurovision singer Ronnie Carroll remains on the Hampstead & Kilburn ballot sheet, despite dying last week.
  • The second large H&K hustings had a good turnout but the candidates weren’t able to get through too many audience questions One man was very angry about Foxtons.
  • According to the CNJ, the majority of the money being gambled on H&K is going on the Conservatives, though apparently there’s also been a £3,000 single bet on Labour to win.
  • This Monday is the last day you can register to vote!

NW6 Film Club is back this Wednesday (yes, Wednesday not Sunday) for Force Majeure. Check it out (and there’s an FAQ for Film Club newbies).

Camden Arts Centre’s latest exhibition is our Culture Hub Pick of the Week; but what else made the cut this week?

West Hampstead Life reviewed the Tricycle’s new play, After Electra.

The West Hampstead & Fortune Green Neigbourhood Development plan referendum takes place on July 9th. The NDF is getting its “Yes” campaign underway.

The former scooter showroom by Fortune Green is beng replaced by The Skiwear Service. Much was made on Twitter of its ability to kit out nannies for the slopes.

Property News asked for your view on the mansion tax, and discussed the state of the rental market in West Hampstead.

DJ and local resident Sara Cox gave Mill Lane’s Beauty Blossom a great plug in Saturday’s Daily Express.

The Turkish restaurant replacing La Smorfia will apparently be called N Fez, and will open in June.

Hampstead Cricket Club’s women’s team is recruiting, with two Tuesday taster sessions coming up.

Hot on the Forum

Tweet of the Week

Sunset over St. Mary's and West end lane tonight  via ?@mauriceticulous

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 on Kilburn.

Sunset over St. Mary's and West end lane tonight via @mauriceticulous

Sunset over St. Mary’s and West end lane tonight via ?@mauriceticulous

On Saturday join Matt and friends in Hampstead Cemetery at the start of his walk to end religious homophobia.

Election news

  • Tulip and her Labour supporters disrupted a BoJo walkabout with hilarious photo consequences… not least the complete lack of interest from the people sitting on the bench
  • Lib Dem candidate Maajid Nawaz took the heat after the Daily Mail ran video footage of his stag night, during which he received two private lap dances. Maajid has stressed his feminist credentials in the past.
  • There were two additions to the final slate of candidates for Hampstead & Kilburn: Carroll the Eurovisionary (Ind) and Robin Ellison (U Party).

Comedy legend Arthur Smith plays The Good Ship this Monday and is our Culture Hub pick of the week. See what else made the cut.

April’s Property of the Month is a 2-bed flat to let on Gladys Road.

On Thursday, hotly tipped new author Renée Knight has the launch party for her debut novel, Disclaimer.

Want to help combat food waste and have fun? Disco Soup could be for you?

Hot on the Forum

Tweet of the Week


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.

Just spotted the smartest dressed cat in West Hampstead via Lorna Russell

Just spotted the smartest dressed cat in West Hampstead via Lorna Russell

There’s a new bench in Hampstead cemetery in memory of Dr Nazim Mahmood who died last year. More importantly, you can support his partner Matt by coming to the cemetery on April 18th where a walk against religious intolerance of homosexuality kicks off.

Election news

  • There was a huge turnout for our hustings at The Sherriff Centre. All five candidates fielded a wide range of questions.
  • Two photographers launched a project to capture two Hampstead & Kilburn voters and their intentions every day of the campaign.
  • On April Fool’s Day, I announced my candidacy for Hampstead & Kilburn. At least a couple of people fell for it.
  • WHAT and the Friends of West Hampstead Library have a hustings on April 15th.

Is Greggs moving to West Hampstead? The baker says no.

What did we make of the Tricycle’s Takeover play, “The Dissidents”?

A man was arrested after a Gondar Gardens woman found him in her kitchen rifling through her handbag.

One NW6 restaurant might be best avoided for a while.

A former La Brocca employee made the FT this week…. for her musical ability.

Cult classic Blade Runner: The Final Cut is our Culture Hub pick of the week, but if replicants aren’t your thing, there’s plenty of other highlights.

Someone else tries to answer that perennial question: Where IS Kilburn?

Paddy Power is applying for change of use to turn the retail unit next to Boots on Kilburn High Road (formerly a Barratt’s shoe shop) into a bookmakers.

The Groom Room in Fortune Green is up for sale.

Can anyone beat Alex’s 5,530 score playing Google Maps pacman in West Hampstead?

Hot on the forum

Tweet of the Week

Err... Remember that bus stop on Kilburn High Road outside Tesco....  via Oliver Denton

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 flattened by a lorry. No-one was hurt amazingly.

Err... Remember that bus stop on Kilburn High Road outside Tesco....  via Oliver Denton

Err… Remember that bus stop on Kilburn High Road outside Tesco…. via Oliver Denton

A ferret was found wandering around West Hampstead.

West End Lane was rated the 19th healthiest high street in London, according to some rather bizarre criteria.

Paya rebranded as Pak Choi. It’s not open yet.

Pizza Express on Finchley Road is moving into the O2 and Tortilla is taking over the former Pizza Express site.

French is West Hampstead’s second language.

Check out the Winch’s new social enterprise, “Wheel Make a Difference” (see what they’ve done there?)

Culture Hub has a couple of picks that are on tonight!

Hot on the Forum

The Railway now hopes to open mid-May (will it be in time for the ever-lucrative FA Cup Final?)

Local teenagers shaved their heads – for all the right reasons.

Tweet of the Week

It's alive... @WHampstead is complete. And they have a balloon window display. Appropriate re future house prices..?!  via Simon Benson

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 support for Matt and his cause.

Foxtons opened its new brightly lit West End Lane branch.

It's alive... @WHampstead is complete. And they have a balloon window display. Appropriate re future house prices..?!  via Simon Benson

It’s alive… @WHampstead is complete. And they have a balloon window display. Appropriate re future house prices..?!
via Simon Benson

£80 million worth of cannabis was smuggled out of premises on West End Lane.

Camden threatened to close Broomsleigh Street at the Mill Lane end during the Beckford school run hours. Locals weren’t happy and following two public meetings, it appears the council has gone back to the drawing board.

Hot on the Forum

It’s tough being a backbench councillor in Camnden – even if you are part of the majority party – as Fortune Green’s Lorna Russell has found.

Fortune Green footpath to the cemetery will be closed for 4-5 days from Thursday for resurfacing

Two men who helped Sabrina Moss’s killer were jailed.

What are this week’s top culture picks? Check out the Culture Hub to find out.

Election news

  • Not sure who to vote for? The West Hampstead Life hustings are on March 31st. Come along to the Sherriff Centre and grill the candidates.
  • Hampstead & Kilburn Green candidate Rebecca Johnson launched her camapaign with a video.
  • Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond was in West Hampstead during the week for Conservative candidate Simon Marcus’s campaign. He looked at some cheese and some meat.

There were fewer blue margaritas at this week’s whampsocial as locals opted for more traditional cocktails!

If you’ve lost an Italian driving licence, it’s been handed in to Paramount on West End Lane.

A diamond ring’s been lost on Mill Lane.

One Sixty celebrated its first anniversary.

Monday’s WHAT meeting will still cover the Brent Cross redevelopment (which received a £97 million boost in the budget), after developers initially pulled out.

Bakeaboo made it into the Standard’s top 50 London bakeries.

The Tricycle’s Takeover festival got underway with the theatre’s young company taking over the venue for the week.

Tweet of the Week

Daffs on Fortune Green via @Tetramesh

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.

Daffs on Fortune Green via @Tetramesh

Daffs on Fortune Green via @Tetramesh

Spring continues springing on Fortune Green, but the commitee is chasing the miscreants who leave bread on the green, in contravention of signs!

Hot on the Forum this week

Foxtons has started its West Hampstead marketing push in advance of opening.

Look back at some of the most remarkable women of West Hampstead.

What did we make of JW3’s 2000 Year Old Man?

Property News: Is now the time to sell in West Hampstead?

NW6 Film Club is off to see Julianne Moore’s Oscar-winning performance in Still Alice at the Tricycle on Sunday evening. There’s even a discount for Film Club people.

Whampsocial is on Thursday – tacos, cocktails (and other drinks) and lovely locals. Come on down, it’s open to everyone.

Finchley Road roadworks led to Carmageddon at the O2 on Sunday.

The Brondesbury Group is having a night of poetry and music on March 18th at the North London Tavern.

Scavolini kitchens is moving into the corner unit at Alfred Court (aka the Sager building on Fortune Green Road)

Zoe Wanamaker in Stevie at Hampstead Theatre is our Culture Hub top pick, but check out the other carefully selected treats this week.

Kilburn’s newest bookshop (only bookshop?) had its official opening on Saturday.

Is THIS how Shoot Up Hill got its name?

We may never know if Tracy is still waiting for Alan.

Tweet of the Week

Beautiful evening at West Hampstead streetfood market, via @MargoandRitas

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 all this, then do catch up with our Liddell Road refresher.

Cllr Lora Russell, who spoke out against the scheme, was described as having “misguided” views by fellow Labour councillors before the committee meeting.

Beautiful evening at West Hampstead streetfood market, via @MargoandRitas

Beautiful evening at West Hampstead streetfood market, via @MargoandRitas

The streetfood market returned to the Thameslink forecourt. It’s open 4-8pm Wednesday to Friday.

TfL is consulting on changes to bus services in the area. The 139 would continue on to Golders Green, and the 13 would disappear completely.

Delicate Dry Cleaners, next to Barclays, has gone bust. Customers can collect clothes stuck there between 12 and 2pm this Monday only!

Tom’s Diner went to Bengal Spice on West End Lane. Should have had the vindaloo though.

The farmers’ market sign is angering some locals again… but the Longhorn beef seems to be popular!

March’s Property of the Month is a Victorian house up near Hampstead School.

Lymington Road’s Hampstead Cricket Club celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. We looked back at the origins of the star-studded sports club.

Also on its 150th birthday was Sacred Heart church on Quex Road. It was all fields back then.

There was an exhibition of the latest scheme for Gondar Gardens. All the boards can be seen here [pdf].

Why not check out Another Utopia at Swiss Cottage Gallery this week? It’s one of our Culture Hub picks.

Hana is applying to extend the restaurant over the decking out front.

The quest to eat everywhere on Kilburn High Road reached Belvedere Traditional.

The Railway, covered in scaffolding, is unsurprisingly not going to make its planned March reopening date. Now looking at late April or early May.

Obituary: Jasper Woodcock, a major figure in work on drug dependency who was based in West Hampstead (good local anecdote at the end).

On the forum this week:

Election news

  • H is for Hampstead & Kilburn in the Guardian’s A-Z election guide
  • Labour’s Tulip Siddiq tweeted; “Dear local Lib Dem activist on the 328 bus last night. Loved your rant about me. I wsas sat right behind you FYI”.

Tweet of the Week

Kilburn tube station, post apocalypse. No, there was just no one else around at lunchtime, via @SteveWHamp

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 of England, has moved out of his Parsifal Road home. The word on the street is that he will continue to use Mill Lane Barbers for his haircut, so he can’t be going far.

Kilburn tube station, post apocalypse. No, there was just no one else around at lunchtime, via @SteveWHamp

Kilburn tube station, post apocalypse. No, there was just no one else around at lunchtime, via @SteveWHamp

A man assaulted a police officer and crashed into The Alice House.

Greg Wise, presumably with his tongue stuffed far inside his cheek, claimed to live in the “poor bit” of West Hampstead. Few would call Crediton Hill “poor”, yet West Hampstead does contain one area – the Lithos estate – that falls in the bottom 20% in the country for deprivation.

We went to see The Tricycle Theatre’s new play, Multitudes. But was it any good and why did it get its premiere in Kilburn and not Bradford?

Ever wondered what a whampdinner was really like or whether it would be your kind of thing? Watch this fantastic video.

Best Foreign Film, Ida, tops our curated Culture Hub picks. What else should you make sure you see?

There was another fun evening at whampsocial on Thursday, where the £5 Blue Margaritas went down a storm.

Hot on the Forum

A Kilburn resident is attempting to eat (and write about) in every possible outlet on the High Road. Well worth reading the story so far.

A single doctor GP surgery on West End Lane is closing.

Election News

The streetfood market returns this Wednesday. It will run Wed-Fri 4pm-8pm, with 5-6 food stalls.

Tori & Ben’s Longhorn Beef stall was voted West Hampstead Farmers’ Market customers’ favourite stall this year.

The referendum on the local Neighbourhood Development Plan will be held on Thursday July 9th.

Kilburn Older Voices Exchange is holding a daylong debate on Tuesday to discuss living in the area in our later years.

There’s a Spring Homeware event coming up at the O2 centre March 5th-8th with discounts from various shops and some free food samples from O2 restaurants.

Local cllr Phil Rosenberg received an international Jewish leadership award.

The latest proposal for Gondar Gardens (79 units, of which 50% will be affordable) will be on display at Emmanuel Church on March 6th.

Tweet of the Week

The good work of the Fordwych Road residents guerilla gardening project is so easily undone

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 incredible damage it did.

Power cuts hit the area in the first part of the week – turning Vue cinema’s screening of Fifty Shades of Grey into one shade of black.

The good work of the Fordwych Road residents guerilla gardening project is so easily undone

The good work of the Fordwych Road residents guerilla gardening project is so easily undone, via @jscott110

Mill Lane Barbers made it into the Telegraph this weekend.

Watch a timelapse video of the big development on Maygrove Road.

Check out this week’s Culture Hub picks. They’ve got a sting in their tail.

Whampsocial is back this Thursday at Frida’s bar (downstairs at Mamacita). Add it to your calendars now! (iCal, Google, Outlook).

This week on the Forum.
As we passed 200 members, the hot topics this week were:

The troubled Secrets strip club on Finchley Road is to become… a “high quality nightclub“.

Fortune Green’s Pumpkin Café is for sale.

Tweet of the Week

Even the rubbish trucks are snazzy around @WHampstead via @MillLaneNW6

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 man arrested in last week’s police swoop on Mill Lane was sent back to jail – he was out on licence.

Even the rubbish trucks are snazzy around @WHampstead via @MillLaneNW6

Even the rubbish trucks are snazzy around @WHampstead via @MillLaneNW6

The new Overground station design has divided opinion. We’re conducting a poll on the Forum to find out what locals think.

Can you help trace Mr Glassup’s St Mary’s school class of 1962?

Hot topics on the WHL Forum (now up to 176 members):

Culture Hub picks this week include a play at the Tricycle (WIN tickets here), a film screening with Emma Thompson Q&A, a top-notch stand-up and not a single shade of grey.

Property News looked at how West Hampstead renters expect a lot for their money these days.

PC Robert Brown, the country’s longest serving police officer, retired this week but he began his 47 year career in West Hampstead.

Election news:

  • Tulip is still odds-on at 1/3 with Ladbrokes, which has the lowest odds for the Conservatives of any of the main bookmakers. It explained why.
  • The Crediton Hill Residents Association held a hustings with four of the five main parties present (UKIP was absent). All four performed reasonably well, with the mansion tax being the main area of difference.
  • Hustings are coming up thick and fast:
    March 11th, Federation of Small Businesses + Ham & High hustings at LDBS SCITT in Kilburn
    March 31st, West Hampstead Life + Sherriff Centre hustings at the Sherriff Centre in West Hampstead
    April 15th, Friends of West Hampstead Library + WHAT, Synagogue Hall, Dennington Pk Road
  • The three main candidates appeared on last week’s Sunday Politics show (ff to 43’33”)

The farmers’ market is seeking planning permission for its large banner. Footfall is down by a third since 2012 and it believes the extra signage is essential. .

The eyesore corner of Finchley Road and West End Lane may finally be developed as flats over a restaurant.

Whampdinner at Mamako was a big hit – one of our buzziest yet… and there’ll be a video of it very soon!

Minkies coffee shop at Kilburn Station has been “opening soon” for longer than most of us have been alive, but the moment of truth looks like it’s upon us.

Tweet of the Week


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 didn’t draw back your curtains, Twitter and Instagram were there to save you getting out of bed!

lots of snow on Gondar gardens this morning via James Hodder

lots of snow on Gondar gardens this morning via James Hodder

This month’s Property of the Month is a 3-bed flat on West End Lane.

The first whampsocial of the year was a big hit with a great turnout. The next one is February 26th.

What’s hot on the Forum
More than 1,400 people have viewed the most popular discussion thread on the Forum and there are 35 threads going. Start your own or join in. The top topics this week were:

UCL academics came to St Augustine’s School in Kilburn to find out how students there would choose to represent their sense of the neighbourhood.

In restaurant news… The Petite Corée, which continues to get great feedback, is offering 30% off all month, while One Sixty is now on Deliveroo so you can eat smoked ribs in the comfort of your own home!

One of the world’s greatest magicians once lived on Belsize Road. We delved into the world of David Devant.

Nina Conti tops our Culture Hub recommendations for the week. See what else made the grade.

The nascent Kilburn Neighbourhood Development Forum has changed its proposed boundaries. It now excludes South Kilburn, but still remains an ambitiously large area spread across two boroughs.

If you thought naming the new South Kilburn apartments Kilburn Wells was some marketing hype, this 1806 map will make you think again.

Moody Blues’ frontman Justin Hayward recalled his first experience at the Decca recording studios in West Hampstead (now the ENO building).

Meanwhile, Neil Arthur revealed how West Hampstead provided a trigger of inspiration for his band Blancmange’s latest album.

Time Out published a list of London’s mythical street names, yet inexplicably missed out all of the Greek Streets in West Hampstead!

Tweet of the Week


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 for Thameslink passengers, crowded tube platforms for everyone, and no farmers’ market. Predictably, there’s a petition about Govia’s performance.

Of the responses received so far, locals are overwhelmingly objecting to the council’s Liddell Road planning applications. Meanwhile, confusion reigns over the admissions point for the expanded Kingsgate/Liddell Road school with “any other options” being considered by the council some two years after first proposing the original idea.

A train of Ford vehicles rolling through West Hampstead Overground station via Mark Amies

A train of Ford vehicles rolling through West Hampstead Overground station via Mark Amies

The West Hampstead Life Forum launched – sign-ups have been very healthy all week and there’s been plenty of discussion. We now have more than 75 members, so why not join in. Thanks to Paramount for sponsoring it.
Hot topics this week:

Recent OBE Liz Bingham describes West Hampstead as Hampstead’s “funky relation“.

Whampsocial is back for 2015 – the first one is this Thursday (yes, Thursday not Wednesday) from 7.30pm at Frida’s bar at Mamacita. Here’s what some people said about it last year. Whether you’re a noob or a regular, come along and make some local friends.

Saturday was the 100th anniversary of the opening of Kilburn Park tube station.

Tom made a New Year’s Resolution – could he keep it throughout January?

The tallest West Hampstead Square block will reach its maximum height around the end of the month, the back two blocks are already at full height and the first crane will leave the site in 8-9 weeks.

Culture Hub: Hello/Goodbye at Hampstead Theatre is our top tip this week. Check out all the cultural highlights in and around West Hampstead this week.

This month’s NW6 Film Club screening is Selma, the Martin Luther King biopic, at the Tricycle on February 8th. Come and join us.

An appeal court reduced Geoffry Lederman’s sentence for the death of Desreen Brooks in 2012 from 18 months to 12. His lifetime driving ban stands.

West End Lane newcomer restaurant The Petite Corée and Kilburn’s newest Thai restaurant, Jasmine Thai (formerly Fin City) have both had plaudits heaped on them this week.

There’s now a wine called NW6. It’s made by Boris Johnson’s brother!

Fortune Green has been declared processionary oak moth free! I knew you’d be pleased.

City Swish is offering a 20% discount for West Hampstead Life readers on its at-home massage and beauty treatments.

The plan to trial rescheduled Tesco deliveries on West End Lane has been postponed (again) until February.

Tube station ticket offices start to close this week, however West Hampstead and Finchley Road are both in the last phase of this programme and won’t shut until at least October. Staff will still be present in the ticket hall after the counters are closed.

Police have renewed an appeal to find a missing Kilburn man after two years.

Tweet of the Week


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 Liddell Road scheme with Camden officers 11am-1.30pm at Sidings Community Centre on Tuesday 27th.

A rather macabre incident on Hemstal Road involved criminal damge to a car involving a pig’s trotter and some hearts. The police are appealing for witnesses but do not suspect a religious motivation at the moment.

Frozen Angel at Hampstead Cemetery this morning via Natasha Back

Frozen Angel at Hampstead Cemetery this morning via Natasha Back

The Alliance is raising money to repatriate the body of staffmember Natalia Czekaj to Poland after she was found dead earlier this month at her home.

The West Hampstead Life Forum launched. Sign up, join in the conversation and start your own discussions. If you’re not sure how to start, here’s a how-to guide to get you going.

All five main parties have now announced their election candidates; we take a look at the candidates and the latest thinking on the outcome. Put March 31st in your diaries for the West Hampstead Life hustings in association with the Sherriff Centre.

The Benham & Reeves property of the month is a 1-bed in West Hampstead Square that’s come back on the market.

There will be no farmers’ market this coming Saturday Jan 31st due to major engineering works that mean southbound Thameslink trains will be terminating at West Hampstead.

Police are searching for a man in connection with West Hampstead burglaries

The Culture Hub pick of the week is Aisling Bea’s stand-up at the Good Ship this Monday. See our other top culture choices this week.

We reviewed Sonia Jalaly’s one-woman show at the Tricycle Theatre.

Clothing shop Social is up for sale, with a sign outside the shop saying it’s moving to a new location (though not where that location is!).

Geoffery Lederman, the driver convicted of causing the death of Desreen Brooks, is appealing his sentence (18 months custodial and lifetime driving ban).

Tweet of the Week


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 summer. Monday night’s NDF meeting to discuss the Overground plans and the latest on Liddell Road was a bit fractious with TfL taking some stick for a poor consultation on the former, and frustration and anger over the Liddell Road school admissions point.

A barmaid who worked at The Alliance was found dead at her home in Edgware earlier in the month. A man has been charged with her murder.

Frosty leaves by Dilys Hoffman

Frosty leaves by Dilys Hoffman

We reviewed the Tricycle’s latest play, A Series of Increasingly Impossible Acts; and you can WIN tickets to Thursday’s performance.

A revamp of our Culture Hub means we select the picks of the week for you across the arts. This week’s top tip is Le Passé, screening by the Belsize Park Film Society. See what else has made the list this week.

T.S. Eliot lived for a couple of years in Compayne Gardnes, during the time that Prufrock was published. Here’s a short film about Eliot’s West Hampstead stay.

In 1945, loitering in West Hampstead was a serious offence.

In the mid 19th century, there was a laundry school opposite where the Thameslink station is today. It struggled financially and soon folded.

Election news
Tory blogger Iain Dale surprised many by including Hampstead & Kilburn in his list of 100 seats that would change hands at the election. Ladbrokes currently have Labour at 2/9 and the Conservatives at 5/1 (lengthening slightly from 9/2 a week or so ago). Dale claimed to have “a lot of new info” on the seat, but declined to say what it was.

William Hague joined Conservative candidate Simon Marcus at JW3. Neither man looked especially excited despite the best efforts of JW3 boss Raymond Simonson.

Tweet of the Week


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 spin to round-up all the local offerings.

The full responses to the West Hampstead NDF Liddell Road survey were released. The bottom line: plenty of support in principle from locals, but the details please very few.


#JeSuisCharlie support of sorts in @WHampstead via Simon Benson

Tweet of the Year was announced… and the winner was Freddie Gavita.

West Hampstead resident Liz Bingham was awarded an OBE for promoting equality in the workplace.

An initial visit to The Petite Corée suggests West Hampstead’s newest restaurant could do well.

To many people’s dismay, it seems that election season is already upon us. In this week’s news, Tulip Siddiq opened her office on the Kilburn High Road with Alan Davies in attendance, Simon Marcus took some stick on Twitter for a mansion tax flyer mocked up to look like an official council letter, and Maajid Nawaz was all over the media talking about Islam.

Thursday was the 70th anniversary of the V2 rocket landing on Iverson Road. Amazingly only three people died, but hundreds were affected by the attack, with many forced out of their homes.

We learned that actress Kristin Scott Thomas used to live above a fish & chip shop on West End Lane.

Gig of the Week is something very different – Vuong10 at JW3 is a contemporary dance piece, but if you don’t think that’s your thing… think again!

Foxcatcher is our Film of the Week, and there was a great turnout for the Film Club screening of Birdman.

For anyone who still doesn’t know.. your Christmas trees need to be recycle. Until the 15th, you can take them to Fortune Green or Kilburn Grange park. The council won’t collect them from the street.

(NB: the website is undergoing a bit of maintenance, apologies for any glitches you see over the next 24 hours or so)

Tweet of the Week



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.

Recycle your Christmas tree. Camden will collect them from various points around the borough including Fortune Green (see photo below) and Kilburn Grange Park until January 15th. Do NOT leave them on the street, they will not be collected.

Fortune Green Christmas tree collection

Wow the tree grave got slightly inundated….! via @fleurchaffe

It was unusually “lively” on West End Lane on New Year’s Eve, with a fight breaking out in the street and enough unrest to bring the police helicopter out.

We looked back over 2014 month by month to see what were the biggest stories of the year in West Hampstead. They spanned the post office, new shops, and the appearance of Sachin Tendulkar.

We also collected the best sunset and sunrise photos of the year; and there are some stunners in this set of 16 photos.

Elsie, 13, reviewed the Tricycle’s Lionboy, which runs until January 10th

NW6 Film Club is off to see Hollywood satire Birdman on Sunday January 11th. Come and join us for the first Film Club of 2015.

The 85-year-old man found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving on West End Lane in late 2012 was given an 18 month jail sentence and banned from driving for life. Ben Brooks-Dutton, whose wife died in the incident, took the opportunity to encourage everyone to tell someone who should give up driving that now is the time to stop.

Londonist spoke to Ross, a West Hampstead firefighter, about working on Christmas Day

There’s yet another proposal for developing Gondar Gardens

Fortune Green’s resident blogger looked at canine fashion. With pictures.

It looks like Adam’s Grill is on the market already.

As of Monday January 5th, Thameslink trains from Bedford will no longer call at London Bridge due to the major works there.

Sodi Cookey is our Gig of the Week at The Good Ship as local live music cranks back into gear after the holidays.

Tweet of the Week


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)

“The driver didn’t get out, but reversed half a metre and tried again, hitting the building again, and then did the same. It took three or four attempts to get through, doing more damage each time.”

12 months later, the building still hasn’t been repaired. The year began with a violent storm that ripped down the tube station sign and a brewing pharmacy war in Mill Lane.

Estate agents have to remove boards no more than 14 days after the advertised property has been let or sold. In reality they are often left for months or even years. In fact, some have been there so long they are rotting away with just the frame left attached to the buildings.

West Hampstead made the news over some pebbledash and some street “art”. We also featured on Location, Location, Location, though an important detail was omitted from the programme.

The trees were controversially felled in February, construction began in March, and the cranes went up in September. West Hampstead Square is due for completion mid-2015

Thankfully everyone got out of a Broadhurst Gardens house fire, though one woman jumped and broke her leg. Smokehouse One Sixty opened its doors, and we contrasted the sale of Stephen Fry’s former house with the cheapest flat for sale in the area.

Where possible, produce at West Hampstead Fruit & Veg is sourced from the UK, so expect to find apples from Kent and UK-grown mushrooms, as well as other local fruit and vegetable varieties in season.

There was a false security alarm at JW3 that closed the Finchley Road, West End Lane Books celebrated its 20th anniversary, and an eviction on Lymington Road drew protestors and police.

Labour managed the clean sweep in West Hampstead (something residents will hope they can do to the streets as well), with the shock being the removal of Keith Moffitt.

The elections dominated May’s news, as Labour won five of the six seats across West Hampstead and Fortune Green from the Lib Dems. At the pre-election hustings, it was UKIP who predictably stole the headlines after its candidate questioned whether women should have the vote.

As well as doing pieces to camera, Sachin Tendulkar also spent time with Hampstead Cricket Club’s colts batting and bowling with them. Although some of the younger players may not have been aware of Tendulkar’s prowess, their parents were suitably bowled over.

Local vicar Father Andrew Cain married his partner Steve Foreshew. The Church of England grumbled, but for many the surprise was less that the local vicar was gay and more that his new husband was an atheist.

Most of the early arrivals to the post office / café/ shop/ playarea / church seemed impressed. For many, it was their first sight of the transformed space. It is believed to be the first full-time post office located in a functioning church and certainly the first in London.

The first of two tetchy Liddell Road development meetings conveyed locals’ displeasure with the plans as they stood. Vintage jewellery shop Passionate About Vintage opened on Mill Lane.

The Tricycle, Kilburn’s highly regarded theatre and cinema, found itself embroiled in controversy after announcing that it would no longer be part of the UK Jewish Film Festival.

Three men were found guilty of murdering Sabrina Moss last year.

September Having been a West Hampstead commuter, Alexandra Gee noticed that “I’m always tired and hungry after a long day at work, and end up going to Tesco for the same old pasta. I thought it would be great to be able to pick up something different and tasty on the way home.”

It was a quiet month!

Local resident and early-riser Mandira Bhimjiyani was excited by the new store. “I love a good Waitrose,” she said. “Any supermarket that thinks tiramisu is essential is ok with me.”

The Railway closed until March 2015 as the upper floors are converted into self-contained flats. A spate of burglaries started with a break-in at Toomai. Foxtons got permission to open in the former post office building in West End Lane. Kilburn made it into the Financial Times and The Economist. Capital City motorbike shop failed to comply with an enforcement order (and has since been evicted from its Fortune Green premises). Oh, and the Hoff turned up to the Kilburn Nando’s.

Love & Liquor is so keen not to be in Kilburn - depsite the fact that Kilburn is surely edgier and more "street" than posh residential Maida Vale - that it gives its address as "34 High Road, Maida Vale". That would be 34 Kilburn High Road to the postman

After years of clamouring, a butcher finally opened in West Hampstead. A rail replacement bus caused some major damage to parked cars in Broadhurst Gardens, and a snake was spotted (and captured) in Parsifal Road. The portacabin classrooms were finally rmoved from Lymington Road ater two years.

Locals have objected to the height of the Liddell Road tower block and the lack of affordable housing (which was initially zero), when the council is expecting to make a £3m surplus from the development

Liddell Road wasn’t the only major planning application to go in over Christmas; the Overground station plans were also submitted. Posh frozen food shop Cook opened, and the air ambulance came twice to NW6 within an hour. The 85-year-old driver convicted of killing Desreen Brooks on West End Lane in November 2012 was given an 18 month jail sentence and was banned for driving for life.

Photos via West Hampstead Life, Mark Amies (Ballymore cranes), Richard Clegg (Waitrose), Dan Hiral (Travis Perkins lorry), John Mennis (Sachin Tendulkar), John Oris (Tricycle)

Tube train waits as sun sets  via @WHampstead

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 – opened on Wednesday. One particular photo of it got more traction than others.

Tube train waits as sun sets  via @WHampstead

The sun goes down on 2014 as 2015 is built before our eyes, via @WHampstead

The O2 centre and Camden have teamed up again to encourage shoppers to give a foster child an extra small gift this year.

Aldred Road once again turned on the style with the most coordinated Christmas lights in town.

Two estate agents did good: Paramount staff helped out at a kitchen for the homeless over two weeks, while Chelsea Square are the official “Housing for Heroes” partner locally.

What did we make of the menu and service at the revamped North London Tavern?

Has much changed in 27 years? Flick Rea is still campaigning and it’s still a pain walking between the stations at rush hour.

On Sunday, the Air Ambulance landed twice in NW6 within the hour.

The flagstones outside Little Waitrose are already being replaced, but as that’s where delivery lorries park it’s hard to see how it won’t keep on happpening.

Schnitzel wins Chanukah on West End Lane!

The streetfood market battled wind and cold temperatures in its last week of operation until March next year.

There was outspoken criticism of the defence team’s attempts to delay the trial of Geoffery Lederman, the driver convicted of killing Desreen Brooks in 2012.

We looked back at the Films of the Year – but what came out on top?

There’s not a tonne of live music on over Christmas week (though of course The Good Ship manages to pull out a gig on the 27th). Look out next week for our round-up of local New Year’s Eve events.

Finally, don’t forget our Christmas survival guide!

No Tweet of the Week this week – all the best ones are linked above – but look out for the illustrious Tweet of the Year competition over the holidays, along with a round-up of this year’s biggest stories, and a West Hampstead “census” kicking off before the New Year.

Caught my cutey back garden fox having a casual nose around the patio via @damawa42

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 traffic lights on West End Lane/Iverson Road on Saturday evening.

Got a question about West Hampstead at Christmas? We’ve probably answered it in our Survival Guide!

Caught my cutey back garden fox having a casual nose around the patio via @damawa42

Caught my cutey back garden fox having a casual nose around the patio via @damawa42

West Hampstead Life Christmas drinks is this Thursday, and there’s food and live music first at the West Hampstead Christmas Food Fest.

This is the last week of the streetfood market until March 2015, so why not drop by and give them a good send off.

Posh frozen food shop COOK opens on West End Lane on Wednesday.

West Hampstead councillor Angela Pober failed to secure the Labour nomination to replace Frank Dobson as the party’s candidate for Holborn & St Pancras. The seat will be contested by Sir Keir Starmer.

Contract publishers Ink Global moved its global headquarters to West Hampstead.

The final Film Club screening of the year was St Vincent with a great turnout. Film Club will return in 2015.

The Petite Corée, a Modern European/Korean fusion restaurant has opened where Elephant Walk was.

The lease for Mamacita is up for sale, though Mamacita claims that it’s merely considering relocation.

Here’s the view from the top of West Hampstead Square at the moment.

Leviathan is our Film of the Week. All the local listings here.

Alongside the carol concerts this week there’s also a Battle of the Tribute Bands this week. All the local music this week is here.

There are two more trains an hour from West Hampstead Thameslink starting this week.

Camden’s primary schools have been ranked. Of the local three, Emmanuel just comes ahead of Kingsgate, with Beckford a little further behind. All three are squarely in the middle of Camden’s primary schools overall.

Kilburn Ironworks, the bar that’s replacing Powers, finally opens officially on January 1st.

West Hampstead author Simon Inglis’s latest book Played in London topped the Londonist’s best London books of 2014 list.

Another estate agent (yes) is opening in West Hampstead – this one on Mill Lane (No. 84).

Tweet of the Week

Acker Bilk evening at La Brocca via Tony Penfold

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 left American student Amy Werner in a critical condition in hospital.

An inquest into the death of Dr Nazim Mahmood, who fell from his balcony above Barclays Bank on Fawley Road in June this year, found that he took his own life after telling his mother that he was gay.

Acker Bilk evening at La Brocca via Tony Penfold

Acker Bilk evening at La Brocca via Tony Penfold

The West Hampstead Life 2014 Christmas Gift Guide is out – shop local for presents for all your loved ones.

We always get asked about carol concerts… so here’s the round-up of who’s decking which halls on what days (as well, of course, as the latest on all the other music offerings in the neighbourhood).

The West Hampstead Christmas Market enjoyed glorious winter sunshine on Saturday.

Several local businesses also embraced Small Business Saturday, and one even got to go to Downing Street as a result!

NW6 Film Club is off tonight (Monday) to see St Vincent at the Tricycle.

Citizenfour is Film of the Week, but I’m afraid you’ve already missed the two screenings; there’s still time for the second screening of 2001: A Space Odyssey though – well worth seeing this classic on the big screen. Check out that and all the local film news.

December’s Property of the Month is a 2-bedroom flat on Lyncroft Gardens.

Commuters rejoice: Bond Street station is now open again for entry, exit and interchange.

Tweet of the Week

Happy Monday! Sunrise and condensed window  via Mauro Murgia

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 homeowner.

West Hampstead ward councillor Angela Pober has made the shortlist for Labour’s candidate for Holborn & St Pancras. The CNJ published an interview with her that’s already ruffled a few feathers.

Happy Monday! Sunrise and condensed window  via Mauro Murgia

Happy Monday! Sunrise and condensed window via Mauro Murgia

Australian batmsan Phil Hughes, who died earlier this week after having been hit by a cricket ball during a match, lived briefly in West Hampstead with his then Middlesex team mate Nick Compton.

The streetfood market is turning into a Christmas mini-market for December, opening Wed-Fri 4-8pm. Opening night is December 3rd and look out for a special event on December 18th, combining the market with West Hampstead Life Christmas Drinks.

Next Saturday is the West Hampstead Christmas Market (and Small Business Saturday), so there’s no excuse not to shop local.

The West Hampstead Business Association is holding its Christmas social on Tuesday evening at the Sherriff Centre. Come along and find out more about what the WHBA does.

Finchley Road has been added to a list of possible terrorist targets.

The Jubilee Line is stopping at Bond Street again, but it’s interchange and exit only still.

Burgh House’s World War I “Fellowship & Sacrifice” is our exhibition of the month – and ends in mid-December. Check out all the other local art exhibitions.

There’s an eclectic mix of local gigs this week, including a tribute to Acker Bilk and a laser harp!

Everyone’s starting to ask about Christmas trees! The Mill Lane Garden Centre is one option. They are also being sold by the Sherriff Centre, at Homebase, and on Kilburn High Road.

Our “Hot Ticket” is for Lemony Snicket’s The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming – a JW3 theatre production. There is an amazing array of plays out at the moment locally.

Paddington is our Film of the Week, but there’s plenty else on locally if the bear with the hard stare isn’t your marmalade sandwich.

The final NW6 Film Club of the year is on December 8th. Join the gang to watch Bill Murray in St Vincent at the Tricycle, with drinks and food at The Black Lion in Kilburn first.

Kilburn ward councillor Maryam Eslamdoust was punched in Bloomsbury as she walked her blind brother home.

It looks like the Pizza Express on Finchley Road is moving into the O2 centre. Direct competition for Rossopomodoro!

There will be a 24-hour post box outside the Sherriff Centre so locals won’t have to wait until the post office is open. There is no word as to whether a post box will return near the former post office, which would be convenient for more people.

This Tuesday there’s an exhibition on the proposals for the Overground station at the Synagogue Hall.

The Friends of Fortune Green have launched a Flickr group and are looking for submissions.

Hayes Camera shop on Mill Lane, which seems to have been there for ever, has closed. The rumour is that it’s being replaced by yet another hairdressers.

Tweet of the Week


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 Road was partially closed to remove the Abbey estate bridge, and serious flooding at the Brent Cross end of Finchley Road all combined to cause gridlock.

A swathe of West Hampstead BT customers have been without a phone line for most of the week. If you’ve been affected, contact ku.gr1493034001o.rgf1493034001i@eci1493034001vresy1493034001bbahs1493034001 who is trying to put together a collective call for compensation.

Capital City Motorcycles (which we wrote about last month), was evicted from its premises by bailiffs.

I'm in love with this street via Katherine Penfold

I’m in love with this street via Katherine Penfold

Two years after the fatal West End Lane accident, an 84-year-old man pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving. The trial is due to start on December 1st.

Whampreview gave its verdict on Toomai.

Tube and bus fares go up again in January – what will this mean for most West Hampstead residents?

West Hampstead’s newest residents association is almost up and running.

There was a great turnout for NW6 Film Club on Monday for the Alan Turing film The Imitation Game. Meanwhile, Film of the Week is another biopic: Get on Up.

Posh frozen food retailer Cook is moving into the former Axminster store on West End Lane, due to open in a couple of weeks.

The council has replaced trees on Fortune Green that were either dying or were ripped up by St Jude’s storm.

A local is kickstarting a helmet for style-conscious cyclists.

The West Hampstead Business Association’s Christmas social is on December 2nd. All businesses – members and non-members welcome.

Check out all the local gigs and concerts in and around West Hampstead this week, including our Gig of the Week.

Camden apologised after a judge demanded the council repaired some West Hampstead flats in a terrible condition.

Saturday December 6th Small Business Saturday (and the local Christmas market). The WHBA explains how to get involved.

There was the usual mix of old faces and new friends at the last Whampsocial of 2014. Look out for news of the WHamp Christmas Drinks though!

In case you missed it a few weeks ago, Dr Rebecca Johnson is the Green Party candidate for Hampstead & Kilburn at next May’s election.

We’re on a mission to get Manuel and Renata together.

Tweet of the Week

Stunning sunrise over Mill Lane this morning. Feeling blessed, via @dalzette

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 building.

Stunning sunrise over Mill Lane this morning. Feeling blessed, via @dalzette

Stunning sunrise over Mill Lane this morning. Feeling blessed, via @dalzette

Tom, long sceptical about Sarracino, finally went for a proper meal.

The site of Elephant Walk on West End Lane is becoming a new restaurant. It appears to be another pizza place.

The Acol Bridge Club raised £8,000 for a breast cancer campaign.

Film of the Week and Monday’s Film Club screening is The Imitation Game.

This Wednesday is the last Whampsocial of the year. See you there!

Whampdinner at One Sixty was a great success. There won’t be a December whampdinner, but look out for news of our informal Christmas Drinks.

Residents of a West Hampstead street bemoaned the loss of neighbourly love.

WHAT published the minutes of its meeting about the local rubbish problems.

A fourth polling station has been restored in West Hampstead ward – at Brondesbury Christian Centre, 9 Iverson Road.

It appears Jerry Sadowitz will be at the O2 on Finchley Road, though quite why is hard to decipher from this video.

A newsagent in Kilburn was forced to close after becoming infested with mice.

There’s a wide range of musical talent on show this week in the local area – our Gig of the Week is Judith Owen at the JW3 on Sunday.

West Hampstead councillor Angela Pober’s hat is officially in the ring for Labour’s Holborn & St Pancras parliamentary candidate. Here’s her personal statement. She was also the only councillor to abstain in a council vote regarding the mansion tax.

An update from Ballymore: the tallest West Hampstead Square tower block will reach its final height by the end of February.

Bake-a-boo, West End Lane Books, Little Bay, One Sixty, The Wet Fish Café, the North London Tavern and B&J Fisheries either won or were runners up in the Time Out Love London awards for NW6.

A woman was killed after being hit by a tube train at Swiss Cottage. Police are not treating the death as suspicious.

Tweet of the Week

Bloody cold but beautifully fresh morning in West Hampstead via Steve Lowy

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. We looked at the statistics to see just how bad it has been.

Bloody cold but beautifully fresh morning in West Hampstead via Steve Lowy

Bloody cold but beautifully fresh morning in West Hampstead via Steve Lowy

Love & Liquor got into a Twitter debate over whether it was in Kilburn or Maida Vale. Par for the course… apart from the amazing coincidence of a relevant Wikipedia article being edited at the same time. We tracked the story.

WHAT’s public meeting about our local rubbish problem was well attended. No immediate solutions beyond the issues that need to be addressed when the waste collection contract with Veolia is renegotiated, and that Camden will be asking central government for the ability to spot fine fly tippers.

The Neighbourhood Development Forum wants your views on the controversial Liddell Road development. It is hoping as many people as possible contribute, so whether you’re fully in favour, totally against, or somewhere in the middle, do take two minutes to fill in the questionnaire. There’s also an NDF meeting on Tuesday evening. All welcome.

We delved into the history of the West End Lane school that’s now a teacher training college.

The JW3 ice rink opens for a month from December 7th. You can buy tickets already

When the Dallas Cowboys took on the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley on Sunday, in the last of this season’s NFL games, one Cowboy was Kilburn’s very own Jack Crawford. He made the most of his trip home.

Property of the Month is a £2 million doer-upper in Pandora Road.

West Hampstead councillor Angela Pober has launched her campaign to be the Labour candidate to replace Frank Dobson in Holborn & St Pancras. This appears to be her fourth attempt to stand for parliament after failing to make the shortlist in Salford & Eccles or Hampstead & Kilburn, and making the shortlist but not getting the nomination in Reading East.

Whampbooks at West End Lane Books on Thursday night was another great event. There’ll be a pre-Christmas sale there too towards the end of the month.

TfL’s plans to make the Swiss Cottage gyratory system properly bike friendly were described as “radical” (in a good way) by local councillors.

Paramount is holding its annual collection for your unwanted winter coats, which go to a deserving home via charity Wrap Up London.

Interstellar is our Film of the Week and on the 17th, the film club is off to see Alan Turing film The Imitation Game with Benedict Cumberbatch.

A filmmaker is trying to crowdsource the finances for a film about Sabrina Moss, the young mother who was fatally shot in Kilburn last year.

F-IRE Collective Rhythm & Jews is our Gig of the Week at JW3 on Saturday. Check out all the local music listings.

Tweet of the Week

Photo via @WHampstead

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 was also broken into that night. Brocca also suffered a broken window earlier in the week allegedly caused by some people it had thrown out earlier. They were charged by the police.

This Tuesday WHAT is holding a public meeting in the library (7.30pm) to discuss the rubbish/litter situation with Cllr Sally Gimson. This is the place to come if you want to find out how Camden is (or isn’t) tackling the problem.

Photo via @WHampstead

Photo via @WHampstead

Organised public firework displays are in short supply around here. Roundwood Park and the Queens Park open space (not Queens Park itself) just north of the Harrow Road are your best options on the 5th.

The Sherriff Centre, not content with café, shop, post office, soft play area and, er, church, is hosting a silent disco on Nov 15th as well!

Cream guitarist and singer Jack Bruce, who died on October 25th, lived in and around West Hampstead in the 1960s and played Klooks Kleek.

Mamako on Broadhurst Gardens is on the market.

This Thursday is #whampbooks at West End Lane Books. 20% off everything, free wine, and loads of lovely locals. It’s a surefire winner (and a great way to cheer them up after the burglary).

Thursday is also the scheduled opening date for Hammpstead Butcher & Providore on West End Lane (next to the Wet Fish Café).

Kilburn’s art installation You Are Here, ran all week. The Kilburn Literary Festival also started and runs through to Tuesday.

The Diamond Age and The Episodes at The Good Ship on Friday is our Gig of the Week. Check out all the other local music listings.

WHalloween Food Fest at the streetfood market took advantage of the balmy temperatures as well over 100 people came for some food, some music and some chat.

Mill Lane Bistro has reopened after a refurb, with a new chef and a new menu.

More people around here are native French speakers than any other non-English language.

Nightcrawler is the Film of the Week. Check out NxNW6’s thoughts on other local offerings.

TimeOut made it to the Sanctuary Café in the church, and liked what it saw.

Tweet of the Week

Pimp my bins via @HandyAndyNW6

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 needed to open in the former post office on West End Lane. This prompted a flurry of interest in a 2013 piece that sought to find the collective noun for estate agents.

The Area Action Group meeting (the first public meeting since the council election) was suitably lively, with the usual complaints about council services and mixed reactions to the proposed Overground station. WHL live tweeted proceedings.

Pimp my bins via @HandyAndyNW6

Pimp my bins via @HandyAndyNW6

This Thursday we’re hosting WHalloween Food Fest at the streetfood market. Find all the sign-up details here.

A date was set for the start of the 24hr tube service on Fridays/Saturdays. But what about the noise for people living near stations?

Waitrose opens on Tuesday – having caused considerable excitement among (almost) everyone. The ribbon will be cut at 7am(!) by the chair of trustees of the West Hampstead womens’ centre. The bench outside Waitrose that has been removed during the works is to be replaced.

A former England cricketer cut the ribbon at the official opening of Aqua Pharmacy’s new premises on Mill Lane.

The Gallery’s refit started. And Mill Lane Bistro is closed until Wednesday for a refit.

Kilburn chippy Fin City tweeted a plea for more customers.

Some curiously possessive stickers appeared around the area.

There’s always a petition to sign – the latest one is for a pedestrian crossing on Shoot Up Hill.

The London Review of Breakfasts tried Café Bon.

Police were alerted to a man who exposed himself just off Lymington Road.

A local Labour faction have lambasted the (Labour-dominated) council’s plans for Liddell Road. Much of what they say resonates with some residents’ comments, though completely ignoring the school being built rather weakens their argument.

Meanwhile, a Nora Connell has been writing the same letter to all the local papers (a hard-to-decipher ramble about UKIP). She claims to be a parliamentary candidate for Hampstead & Kilburn representing the “Connell Canto Party”.

Apparently, Hampstead & Kilburn is the 8th most pro-immigrant constituency in the UK and the 12th most pro the EU. Doesn’t bode well for UKIP’s chances here next year. [paywall]

The Wet Fish Café’s wall-mounted guitars are all made my a local luthier. A relaxed gig earlier in the week showcased the instrument.

An inquest heard that a former Broadmoor patient died after slitting his wrist at his Maygrove Road flat in a supported housing block.

It was the 50th anniversary of the Beatles second ever performance at the Kilburn State. They were paid £850.

A new teacher training institution opened at the Kilburn end of West End Lane.

After The Economist looked at Aldi in Kilburn last week, this week the Financial Times covered the High Road’s Afghan restaurant Ariana II.

Fury is our Film of the Week. Read our take on all the local film offerings this week.

REHAB Halloween at Love & Liquor is our Gig of the Week.

Lots of local businesses are in the running for Time Out’s favourite places awards. Click on NW6 (Kilburn) to see the categories and contenders. Monday’s the last day of voting.

The premises that used to be Helena’s Hair Care at 78 Fortune Green Road is apparently destined to be… another salon.

Tweet of the Week


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, and threw out a blind customer because they didn’t realise her dog was a guide dog. The company has since apologised and offered to make a £5,000 donation to a charity of the customer’s choice.


The Railway pub closed on Wednesday for five months as work is done to convert the upper floors of the building. The Gallery closed Sunday night for two weeks for some less drastic work to take place – it reopens for a Halloween Party.

The tiny Christmas trees went up on West End Lane (a little early thought some), after Camden found external sponsors to cover the costs of Christmas decorations across the borough.

A new delivery service is bringing West Hampstead restaurants’ food to your door.

Keep your eyes peeled over the next couple of days – there’s a new event coming up on October 30th that I’m sure you’ll want to come along to! In the meantime, the next whampsocial is this Wednesday at Frida’s bar in Mamacita from 7.30pm.

Are we heading for an oversupply of rental properties in West Hampstead?

Tom checked out the gnocchi at The Salt House on Abbey Road. Did it meet his exacting standards?

Sirous has a new name and a new chef. El Rocio, as it’s now to be called, will apparently be 100% tapas.

Cyclists should pedal over to Sidings on Monday evening to learn more about proposals for cycling in the area, and London more broadly.

Tuesday’s Area Action Group meeting will be the first since May’s council elections. Come along and catch up on the local news.

Parts of Cholmley Gardens were evacuated on Tuesday after a gas leak.

The Little Waitrose is due to open on October 28th.

A residents association for Maygrove, Iverson, Loveridge, Ariel and Medley Roads came a step nearer to forming after a midweek meeeting.

There’s a petition to install a lift at West Hampstead tube station. Not sure how much good such things do, but it’s free to sign so…

Although a slightly odd petition to get people to stop spitting on the Kilburn High Road has at least encouraged some businesses to start putting signs up.

Kilburn station now has a well-established herb garden.

The Judge is Film of the Week, check out all the latest film news locally.

Lost a Beckford School PE bag? George the greengrocer on Mill Lane has it!

Loud sirens around the Thameslink station once again disrupted residents’ weekends. The noises are believed to be safety sirens alerting crews working on the Midland Main Line when other trains are coming through.

Swedish folk band Thisell is our Gig of the Week (Thursday at the Earl Derby). Check out all the local music listings.

Tweet of the Week

Burt Reynolds in West Hampstead via Simon Borkin

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 to reopen until March while work goes on to convert the upper floors into self-contained flats.

Burt Reynolds in West Hampstead via Simon Borkin

Burt Reynolds in West Hampstead via Simon Borkin

Tesco’s trial of changing delivery times for its West End Lane branch to help ease traffic flow has been postponed until the New Year.

October’s Property of the Month is a 2-bed flat for rent in Hilltop Road.

David Hasselhoff turned up in Nando’s in Kilburn, much to everyone’s suprise.

Amid much speculation over its opening date, Waitrose put an “opens here soon” sign outside the old Pizza Express building that its currently refitting.

Rouge Lounge appears to be up for sale.

’71 is our Film of the Week. Check out our verdict on that and other new releases in the area. It’s also next Sunday’s NW6 Film Club screening at The Tricycle, it’s on at 5.30pm so plenty of time for a drink later.

A West Hampstead filmmaker has uncovered more details about The Great Train Robbery.

Remote View is at The Good Ship on Friday is our Gig of the Week. Check out all the local music listings.

The West Hampstead Christmas market is on December 6th; there are still some stalls available (£45), visit the website for contact details.

West End Lane Acts dodged the showers and held events for kids and adults on West End Green on Sunday.

There’s a proposal for a snazzy looking new café on the corner of Belsize Road and Kilburn High Road.

On Twitter, @exies posted a photo of her grandparents’ shop on Hemstal Road from the 1950s. Here it is today.

Tweet of the Week

Sunset at Finchley Road Homebase. Late Turner anyone?  via Sean Patterson

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.

Sunset at Finchley Road Homebase. Late Turner anyone?  via Sean Patterson

Sunset at Finchley Road Homebase. Late Turner anyone? via Sean Patterson

Maygrove Road residents are looking to set up a residents assocation, also including Iverson, Ariel and Loveridge Road. There’s a meeting on October 15th about it if you’re interested in being part of it.

The planning application for the Iverson Tyres site finally went in. (As always, the Design & Access statements are the best documents to start with).

Tom was cheesed off with a £10 sandwich at The Black Lion in Kilburn.

The overnight Overground work has resumed and will continue for the rest of the year. Meanwhile, the sirens that accompanied the points work on the fast lines by Thameslink were driving many of you crazy.

You’ve certainly passed it on the 328 bus, but do you know the history of Kilburn’s Animal War Memorial Dispensary?

Gone Girl is our Film of the Week. Rather than full listings, we’re trialling a brief round-up of what else is on in the area. Feedback welcome.

Pressure continues to build on the council (and local councillors) to do something about the rubbish problems on the streets of West Hampstead.

Gig of the Week is the Silencio Sessions at Heath Street Church on Tuesday.

The Kilburn Literary Festival announced its programme (from Oct 30th-Nov 4th), including a talk by local historian and former parliamentary candidate Ed Fordham on the history of Kilburn’s authors.

We had another great whampsocial; the next one is Oct 22nd.

JW3 celebrated its first anniversary (and has a stellar season of talks lined up for the rest of the year).

A Sangiovese from Vini Vivi was September’s Wine of the Month.

Sidings Community Centre’s Heritage Fair was a big hit.

Toomai is now operating its full menu.

A combination of transport woes on Wednesday led to some impressive crowds building up at St Pancras station as people tried to get home.

Boris Johnson decided to leave the decision on the Swiss Cottage tower block to Camden, which has already refused it. Campaigners were delighted.

Next Sunday a new event takes place on and around West End Green.

Dominos on Finchley Road has closed. I have it on good authority that the West Hampstead one just isn’t as good…

Some news we missed from earlier in the month, The Garden Friends of NW2 group – responsible for the tree pit gardens on Fordwych Road among other things, was awarded 2nd prize in Camden in Bloom’s Best
Community Project category.

Urban Leisure Group, which owns The Gallery and The Alice House among others, won’s Best Employer in Hospitality 2014 award.

If you think Fortune Green is the bestest Green ever, you can vote for it here (doesn’t work from phones I’m afraid and is a wee bit faffy, but would mean a lot to the Friends of Fortune Green).

Apparently, shisha bar Monte Cristo will be appealing Camden’s decision to refuse it planning permission.

Police are trying to find this man, after a woman was flashed at in Kilburn.

Tweet of the Week

Urban ornithology via Morten Schultz

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 meeting remained underwhelmed.

The Hampstead Cricket Club celebrity cricket match was another star-studded occasion, and a suitably fun close to the season before next season’s 150th anniversary year kicks off

La Smorfia is up for rent – could be a prime spot given its proximity to the new Waitrose.

Urban ornithology via Morten Schultz

Urban ornithology via Morten Schultz

Did Jack the Ripper live in West Hampstead? Obviously depends on who you think the Rippper was!

The campaign to get a lift installed at West Hampstead tube station intensified.

Property News looked at the impending arrival of Foxtons – how bad could it be?….

Remix opened its new salon/saloon on Broadhurst Gardens – a bar in a hairdressers… what will they think of next!

The weekday market continues to impress – and now even local restaurants are getting in on the act as Ladudu set up stall.

After a bit of dithering about, the new local councillors have decided to continue to hold a joint West Hampstead/Fortune Green wards meeting every few months. The next one will be October 21st – it’s a good chance to meet your new councillors and find out what’s been happening since May.

Tweet of the Week

Dynham Sunset via @damawa42

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 October 16th and reopening in March while the upper floors are converted into flats.

Dynham Sunset via @damawa42

Dynham Sunset via @damawa42

Camden councillors rejected the plan for a 24-storey tower block at Swiss Cottage despite council planners recommending it for approval. Expect the developer to appeal or submit revised plans.

Tom’s Diner roadtested the menu (most of the menu) at Wagamama’s new Finchley Road restaurant

Some local cooks knocked up a delicious tart from ingredients at the farmers’ market.

More cranes arrived at West Hampstead Square.

We reviewed True West at the Tricycle Theatre

Another week, another whampsocial… If you haven’t come along to one yet, why on earth not? The next one is October 1st.

It looks like a new residents association is forming for Maygrove Road, probably including Iverson, Ariel and Loveridge Roads.

A West Hampstead teenager has won a national volunteering award.

The annual celebrity cricket match takes place this coming Sunday. Well worth going along to.

Tweet of the Week


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 to acclaim.

The final draft of the Neighbourhood Development Plan has been submitted to Camden. We’ll get the chance to vote on it early next year.

Thameslink sunset by @StevenTart

Thameslink sunset by @StevenTart

Camden’s planning officers are recommending the planning committee votes in favour of the large tower block development at 100 Avenue Road in Swiss Cottage. Protestors are planning a large presence at the Town Hall for the vote on Thursday evening.

Debate continues over whether closing Billy Fury Way makes sense

NW6 Film Club is back from the summer break with Pride on September 14th at The Tricycle.

September’s Property of the Month is a doer-upper in Gondar Gardens.

A professional tennis tournament took place this week at the Cumberland Club. Top seed Dan Evans sadly withdrew during his opening round match.

The Fortune Green Choir’s autumn season starts on September 16th. “Wide-ranging repertoire and no auditions”. All welcome.

Wet Fish Café owner André appeared on London Live answering some deep philosophical questions.

Local author and historian Simon Inglis gave an entertaining talk on his new book Played in London at West End Lane Books. If you’re interested in London history then it’s well worth a read.

The Film on Fortune Green was another success. Well done to all who pedalled their way through it!

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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, but it is happening.

Residents of Narcissus Road held a street party to celebrate the street’s 125th anniversary.

Narcissus Road 125th anniversary street party via @EugeneRegis

Narcissus Road 125th anniversary street party via Eugene Regis

Brooksby Wines, West End Lane’s independent wine shop, is up for sale as a going concern.

A local councillor is raising the question of whether Billy Fury Way should be closed. Have your say.

What did Tom make of his visit to Bombay Nights? Surely it couldn’t live up to the Tiffin Tin?

Sadly the Film on Fortune Green had to be postponed from this Saturday to next – September 6th. In the meantime, the rest of this week’s cinema listings are here.

The late Doris Lessing’s extensive collection of books is to leave West Hamsptead for the southern hemisphere.

Barclays is closing its tiny Kilburn High Road branch.

The final draft plan of the Neighbourhood Development Plan will be published Monday.

In the never-ending war against the fly-tippers, the local environmental officers are to get warrant cards to help them punish any perpertrators.

Sunday’s African Edutainment Festival in Kilburn Grange Park got a lot of locals’ backs up due to excessive noise levels.

There seems to have been a spate of nails left in roads, and then going into people’s car tyres of late. Not clear whether it’s a result of a lot of careless builders or is deliberate.

Degree of Arc at the Good Ship on Saturday is our Gig of the Week. All the upcoming music listings are here (including a flautist at JW3 and a Hammond organist at La Brocca).

Advance warning that the NLT is closing for a 3-week refurb from the 7th-26th September.

One Sixty’s opening its doors this Monday evening to show off its new internal artwork (and Camden Brewery is providing beer – all welcome).

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Look at these beauties from @WHampstead Farmers Market this morning. Stunning colours! via @k2kfruitharvest

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”.

Look at these beauties from @WHampstead Farmers Market this morning. Stunning colours! via @k2kfruitharvest

Look at these beauties from @WHampstead Farmers Market this morning. Stunning colours! via @k2kfruitharvest

Paramount provided a round-up of local rental news (and there’s a poll too!).

Skunk Anansie guitarist Ace has become a teacher at Kilburn’s Institute of Contemporary Music Performance.

Another office-to-flats conversion is planned for Kilburn High Road, this time at the junction of Quex Road.

Whampsocial attracted a good crowd – apparently even someone from Edgware! The next one is September 10th.

Two Days, One Night is Film of the Week. Full local listings here.

The flats at 163 Iverson Road (former garden centre site) are starting to rise above the neighbouring station).

Hampstead Women’s Cricket Club beat Harrow Town by 2 wickets.

Thameslink trains won’t be calling at London Bridge for the rest of the month due to the major rebuilding works there.

Free Wifi via O2 is now available at West Hampstead Thameslink.

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West Hampstead meet West Hempstead #Whamp / #Whemp via @west_hampstead

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, it emerged that he’d once done an impromptu set in West Hampstead.

A cloudburst on Monday caused flash flooding at the O2 centre and West End Lane. This of course was followed shortly after by a wave of rainbow photos.

West Hampstead meet West Hempstead #Whamp / #Whemp via @west_hampstead

West Hampstead meet West Hempstead #Whamp / #Whemp via @west_hampstead

We finally gave One Sixty a full review.

Monte Cristo has been given three months to stop trading as a shisha bar and to remove its decking and awning.

Our film of the week was Jurassic Park, but it was a one-off screening… check out the full listings for the rest of Mark’s Must See Movies.

A reminder that there’s no access to Kilburn High Road from Iverson Road or Cavendish Road for some weeks.

Our first rental property of the month is a one-bed flat in Crediton Hill.

Local author Simon Inglis will be on the Robert Elms show this Monday at noon (94.9 FM) talking about his new book Played in London.

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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 Tricycle also had a brief run of its successful youth theatre project, The Kilburn Passion.

Camden has slapped an enforcement notice on Capital City – the motorbike showroom on Fortune Green that has been angering residents with its cavalier approach to parking its bikes.

The WWI Centenary spotlight shone all week. Captured here by @RobertTimothy

The WWI Centenary spotlight shone all week. Captured here by @MrRobertTimothy

We also looked back at the Zeppelin that flew over Kilburn later in the war.

A West Hampstead based police officer was on trial after allegedly letting off an uninsured driver in exchange for his phone number.

There’s a rumour that Tesco on West End Lane might start trialling alternative delivery arrangements soon to help ease congestion.

The Accurist building on Blackburn Road took a step nearer to being converted into flats as a change of use planning application was submitted.

It’s getting to the stage where you can furnish a flat from the fly-tipping around West Hampstead. This week we had a mattress, a toilet and a freezer.

The Friends of Fortune Green announced their photography competition winners.

Gig of the week is Megan Johns at The Good Ship on Saturday.

Wakolda is the Film of the Week – full local listings here.

Two Italian wines from different regions are August’s wines of the month.

Kilburn Ironworks, the bar that’s replacing Powers on Kilburn High Road, said it’s now expecting to open in early October.

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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?

The era of beautiful sunsets in West Hampstead is over via Luca Bonatti

“The era of beautiful sunsets in West Hampstead is over” via Luca Bonatti

If you think Fordwych Road is smelling a little…er… agricultural, here’s why.

Boris has mooted the idea of London Orbital Railway that would pass through West Hampstead.

Whampsocial was a hit – the next one is August 20th.

The film on Fortune Green on August 30th will be Groundhog Day, as voted for by you.

Mill Lane Bistro is on the market, the owner Cyril said he was looking forward to “our new venture, bigger, better and in NW London.”

The people behind hair salon Remix on Broadhurst Gardens have applied for an alcohol licence at premises across the road, where Eastern European deli Old Bridge was. They’re putting the bar back in barbers!

Jazz singer Elaine Delmar at JW3 next Sunday is our Gig of the Week. Full local music listings here.

Guardians of the Galaxy is Film of the Week. Full local cinema listings here.

Advance warning of a four-week closure of the junction of Iverson Road and Kilburn High Road, starting August 14th. This is part of a traffic light modernisation program.

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What have I missed since July 21st?

The Liddell Road development plans were this week’s main story:

"Waitrose nearly ready to open" Clickbait via @bubela

“Waitrose nearly ready to open” Clickbait via @bubela

Also plenty of news from the tower blocks that are already approved at West Hampstead Square

  • The cranes are due to arrive on site on Monday & Tuesday.
  • The first block to be built in the West Hamsptead Square development will be affordable housing. The flats should be available from spring next year via A2 Dominion.
  • The new entrance to the Overground station, which will be part of this development, will be wheelchair and buggy acccessible.
  • With all the open market properties now sold, Ballymore’s marketing suite will be removed within the next few weeks.

A piece of piping fell off the roof above Ladbrokes on Friday, luckily not hitting anyone.

Property of the Month is a 2-bed in Mill Lane.

Whampsocial is back this Wednesday at Frida’s bar – the World Cup is over, so get yourself along for cocktails and chat.

Joe is our Film of the Week. Full local listings here (yes, there’s still time to catch Boyhood!).

Gig of the Week is John Bull & The Bandits on Thursday at The Good Ship. Full local music listings here.

There’s still time to vote for the next Film on Fortune Green, which is on August 30th.

A fire at Swiss Cottage leisure centre caused the pool to close for a time.

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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 the Liddell Road issues at last Monday’s council meeting.

A new Twitter account has started @noto14storeys – it’s spearheaded by local Conservatives who claim they want cross-party support, although the first “demo” appeared to be have been publicised only to Conservative supporters.

At a council meeting about schools, there was more clarification (if that’s the word) about the demand for school places. You’ll need to read the documents for Agenda point 9.

The Tornado in action at the funfair in Kilburn Grange Park Friday night via ?@UKColin

The Tornado in action at the funfair in Kilburn Grange Park Friday night via ?@UKColin

Tom visited Mill Lane Bistro for brunch – a concept that clearly confused him.

Charles Dickens’ brother lived in West Hampstead for a time.

Finding Vivian Maier is our Film of the Week. Check out that, the new releases and full local listings.

Tonight (Monday) is NW6 Film Club’s trip to The Tricycle to see the acclaimed Boyhood. Why not join us?

You can also now vote for the next Film on Fortune Green. Predictions are for a tight race between Groundhog Day and The Princess Bride.

Fruitful Earth at The Earl Derby on Thursday is this week’s Gig of the Week.

Aldi in Kilburn got the Daily Mail treatment.

A Kilburn Neighbourhood Development Forum is in the offing – ambitiously planning to span the High Road and cover two boroughs.

Kilburn High Road is also to be cleaned twice a day – at least the Brent side is.

There was consternation after a tree was felled on Fortune Green. The sycamore was damaged during the St Jude’s storm last October and is one of a few trees that need to be removed over the next few weeks.

Fortune Green is taking part in Love Parks Week starting Friday. Full details here.

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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 West Hampstead Business Association has made a short video extolling the virtues of our transport connections. (They’ve also paid for all the hanging baskets).


Just your average residents of #Whampstead via @Seprothia

After Pizza Express closed last Sunday, the builders wasted no time in moving in to start the refit for Waitrose. Still no opening date though.

NW6 Flm Club is back with a Monday night screening of Boyhood on July 21st. The film also remains our Film of the Week. Full local listings here.

The post office moves from West End Lane to St James’s Church this Friday. The post office counters, the café (called The Sanctuary) and the, er…., children’s play area are all almost finished. The church will still be available for private prayer. The old post office sign has already come down.

Local photographer Robert Timothy met – and of course photographed – Glenda Jackson MP, who has less than a year left before she retires.

Whampsocial made a football-related move to Thursday for one week only. It returns to Wednesday nights on July 30th.

New vintage accessories store Passionate About Vintage opened on Mill Lane.

Gig of the Week is at The Priory Tavern on Wednesday, when students from USC in Los Angeles come to Kilburn

In a new feature, we picked a West Hampstead Wine of the Month – a Portuguese red from Oddbins.

The beach at JW3 opened Sunday and is there for the rest of the summer.

A new dessert café is opening on Kilburn High Road.

Hampstead Women’s cricket team won their second consecutive match.

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West Hampstead can pick a winner

The pick of the (very many) photos of Sunday evening's full rainbow. Via @BillGlover

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 parks from July 21st for a trial period of a year.

The weather held for this year’s two-day Jester Festival. West Hampstead’s answer to the village fete had the usual mix of community stalls, a fun fair, food and music. Somehow it made it to ITV’s news website (with a photo that I thought looked familiar).

The pick of the (very many) photos of Sunday evening's full rainbow. Via @BillGlover

The pick of the (very many) photos of Sunday evening’s full rainbow. Via @BillGlover

Tom went to local pop-up restaurant A Sweet Night Out – what was his verdict?

Local resident Monty Wates is cycling the Tour de France route a week ahead of the race to raise money for a charity set up in his brother’s name. The Winch in Swiss Cottage is one of the beneficiaries.

Pizza Express has now closed. Waitrose hasn’t committed to an opening date yet.

Concrete slabs fell from the top of the bulding above KAM Computers on West End Lane. Luckily no-one was hurt.

Former local councillor Russell Eagling married former local parliamentary candidate Ed Fordham on Saturday. Ed, who played a big part in campaigning for gay marriage, is believed to be have been the first person to propose after the relevant bill was passed.

Mill Lane Bistro celebrated its third anniversary.

We revealed the tragic story of a domestic murder in Kilburn back in 1897.

Whampdinner branched out to Bake-a-boo, which hosted a one-off Midsummer Night’s Dream banquet. Unsurprisingly, the desserts were a highlight.

A cyclist was knocked down on Mill Lane on Tuesday. She was conscious after the accident and was taken to hospital.

Tesco proudly posted photos of its refurbed West End Lane store, which had been closed for a week. At initial glance it was hard to see exactly what had changed.

It seems the lease for the two units that were the former Wetherspoons site in the O2 centre are still up for grabs.

Hampstead Ladies beat Chesham by 22 runs this weekend, putting them second in the league.

The owner of the victim of a dog-on-dog attack in Fairhazel Gardens is claiming not enough is being done to track down the perpetator

A preview of the astonishing “Boyhood” is NxNW6’s Film of the Week. All the local film listings are here.

Ziegler Co + Harriet J Willcock at The Good Ship is our Gig of the Week.

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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 this week, but may well take a week more.

Toomai - the newest restaurant on West End Lane (via @WHampstead)

Toomai – the newest restaurant on West End Lane (via @WHampstead)

We reviewed David Schneider’s Making Stalin Laugh at JW3.

Rumour is that Brioche is set for a name change and that the final empty unit in the Sager building on Fortune Green Road is to become a bespoke kitchen shop.

The Jester Festival takes place on Fortune Green on July 5th/6th. If you’ve never been, it’s West Hampstead’s village fete, and always draws a big crowd. There’s live music, and The Penny Black Remedy is our Gig of the Week.

Sunday July 6th is also apparently Pizza Express’s last day in West Hampstead before its transformation into a Waitrose.

We’re halfway through Wimbledon, but did you know about West Hampstead’s former (real) tennis champion?

Chef is the Film of the Week. All the local listings here.

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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 Hampstead councillors are keen to crack the rubbish problem in the area. Please e-mail ku.vo1493034001g.ned1493034001mac@g1493034001rebne1493034001sor.l1493034001ihp1493034001 with subject line “West Hampstead Rubbish Hotspot” with your bugbear locations in the area.

"Umm... okay" via @blakeconnolly

“Umm… okay” via @blakeconnolly

There are new traffic lights (see above) at the Broadhurst Gardens/West End Lane junction, including a pedestrian countdown.

Paramount proposed a “10 Things to Love about West Hampstead” Buzzfeed list

#whampsocial took advantage of the sunshine to go al fresco at Mamacita. The next one is July 9th (and there’s no football on that night).

Local vicar Fr Andrew Cain married his partner Steve Foreshew on Saturday.

The Fire Station open today soared to new heights.

The Black Path finally got a prune as part of Network Rail’s clearing of vegetation along the embankment.

UCL’s excellent Mapping London website tried to determine the “cool” spots in London. Both West Hampstead and Kilburn appeared to qualify – for different reasons.

We learned that former Australian prime minister John Howard used to live in Cholmley Gardens.

England may be out of the World Cup, but West Hampstead is still being proudly represented in São Paulo.

A free school that it seems no-one locally has heard anything about has been given permission to open in September next year. It has no site.

It’s the last week to get your photos in for the Friends of Fortune Green Photography competition. Although the result won’t be announced until later in July, a selection of photos will be shown at the Jester Festival on the weekend of July 5th/6th.

3 Days to Kill is the Film of the Week. All the local film listings here.

The Spin at The Good Ship on Friday is our Gig of the Week. Check all the other local gigs here.

Rossopomodoro has opened in the O2 centre.

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The Railway ready for action #whampfootie via @bubela

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 due to lack of funding from Brent council.

The Railway ready for action #whampfootie via @bubela

The Railway ready for action #whampfootie via @bubela

The Sabrina Moss murder trial began at the Old Bailey. Miss Moss was killed by gunmen while out in Kilburn on her birthday.

Camden has chosen Shard contractor Mace as the preferred developer of the Travis Perkins building. Pressure is building on ensuring it meets at least the minimum quota of affordable housing as it looks like the Liddell Road scheme will still fall woefully short.

Been affected by the Maygrove Road development? Here’s a photo of what they’re actually doing at the moment.

World Cup fever may have gripped the nation – but West Hampstead has its own astonishing football connections (and some moustaches to die for).

#whampsocial is back this Wednesday – unfortunately Mexico isn’t playin that night, but we do have Spain vs Chile… no news as to whether Mamacita will have a TV down in Frida’s, but maybe if we ask nicely…

Tom took in jazz and dinner at The Gallery. Was it “nice”?

The Huffington Post is following a group of young Hampstead & Kilburn first-time voters through to next year’s general election.

Work has started in earnest on converting the former Powers Bar on Kilburn High Road into Kilburn Ironworks (another bar).

The asking price for the cheapest flat in West Hampstead that we reported on in March has dropped by £40,000 (it’s still incredibly expensive per square foot).

Jonathan Simpson’s second term as Mayor of Camden came to an end. He raised £70,000 for the Amy Winehouse foundation over the year. He has been replaced by fellow Labour councillor Lazzaro Pietragnoli.

One Sixty is now opening Monday evenings – alongside all the local bars (except The Alice House) it’s showing all the World Cup games. JW3 is also showing football and tennis from June 18th-24th on its outdoor screen.

Beware of bogus callers in the area – a woman was robbed of £45 in Belsize Road after letting someone in posing as a water board official (bear in mind there’s no such thing as the water board).

Belle, set and filmed at Kenwood House, is Film of the Week. All the new releases, Mark’s Must See Movies, and full local listings here.

A new vintage accessories shop is opening soon on Mill Lane.

Local resident Phyllida Law was awarded an OBE in the birthday honours list for services to drama and charitable services.

The only local councillor not active on Twitter has got a new account: @CllrAngelaPober.

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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 against the third Gondar Gardens development proposal is imminent. There’s a week left to send comments in.


Look! 1960s Table football @foodandflea just in time for the World Cup via @foodandflea

It seems that the New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling will now be moving into Fortune Green (you may recall it ran into some planning problems).

Hanging baskets went up on West End Lane and Mill Lane, paid for by the West Hampstead Business Association and local businesses.

The Sunday Food & Flea Market relaunched (with the Food) by the Thameslink station. First impressions were that it was a definite step up from the previous incarnation.

The Friends of Fortune Green are launching a photography competition with various categories (including for kids).

Also on Fortune Green – pre-season touch rugby every Tuesday from 7pm.

Property of the Month is a two-bed apartment with a large garden on Fawley Road.

Fruitvale Station is the Film of the Week (though I also recommend Big Night on Monday night at JW3). Check out all the local film listings.

Tank Trap is the Gig of the Week and you can see the band and stay for the England v Italy match.

Paramount celebrated its 25th anniversary this week – and wrote a piece about the London Rental Standard.

All the comedy listings for June have been updated – there are some crackers including Mae Martin on June 16th.

The new post office (which will be in St James’ Church in case you didn’t know) is due to open in mid-July.

Rossopomodoro will open in the O2 cetnre in less than two weeks. It’s still not known what’s moving into the space left behind by Wetherspoons, but we did learn that Wetherspoons paid £600,000 to leave the O2 centre!

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Kilburn High Road gets the boot... er... shoe via @SteveWhamp

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 Lloyds Bank, NW6 is the 11th most popular postcode in the country for young professionals.

There was a stabbing on Quex Road on Saturday afternoon. The victim is out of hospital and back in his accommodation. A man was arrested at the scene. Police are calling it an isolated incident.

Kilburn High Road gets the boot... er... shoe via @SteveWhamp

Kilburn High Road gets the boot… er… shoe via @SteveWhamp

We looked at a scheme that helps match older people with younger live-in lodgers who also help them out.

Tom tested the breakfast at The Kitchen Table on Mill Lane.

It was a #whampsocial week – the usual mix of new folks and regulars that makes this the most chilled out way to meet some locals. Next one is June 18th.

Neil Zaza at The Good Ship is Gig of the Week. Full music listings here.

Jimmy’s Hall is the Film of the Week (and was Sunday night’s Film Club film – I can recommend it) – check out all the local film listings.

Cllr Flick Rea’s very old cat went missing (presumed dead), but owner and cat were reunited thanks to Twitter.

A man died after being hit by a train at Kilburn tube station on Friday morning.

Depsite overcast skies, there was a good turnout for Up, the first bike-powered Film on Fortune Green of the summer. There are some great photos here, and a time-lapse video.

David’s Deli joined Twitter @DavidsDeliNW6.

Tweet of the Week

This is why it's been a bit noisy lately! Baby foxes in #whampstead via @ONicolaides

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 European elections, the main five parties got the following votes in Camden: Lab 23,294, Con 11,343, Green 8,132, Lib Dem 5,568, UKIP 5,337.

First Capital Connect has lost the Thameslink franchise. As of September Govia Thameslink will be the new operator.

This is why it's been a bit noisy lately! Baby foxes in #whampstead via @ONicolaides

This is why it’s been a bit noisy lately! Baby foxes in #whampstead via @ONicolaides

There was final confirmation of the plans to put a lift into the Overground station.

If you’re still not sure what’s going on with school provision in the area, this pre-election summary will help.

Pan-Asian new kid on the block Mamako got the whampreview treatment. After a disastrous opening night, have things picked up?

Everyone knows John Lewis is 150 this year, but did you know about its Kilburn connection?

The Minster Road recycling point has been moved round the corner to Westbere Road. Will be interesting to see whether this helps reduce the flytipping problem. (talking of flytipping – here’s Walm Lane in Willesden Green earlier this week).

The Alexandra & Ainsworth estate features at the start of this trailer for new British film Kingsman.

Wagamama opened on Friday at the O2 and the Wetherspoons there closed on Sunday. The rumour is that the unit will be split into two restaurants.

If you’re concerned about planning issues – especially basement excavations – in South Hampstead, then make sure you go to the CRASH AGM this Tuesday evening.

A sculpture to Bradley Wiggins (though not OF him) was unveiled in South Kilburn.

Whampsocial is back this Wednesday from 7.30pm at Frida’s bar at Mamacita. No need to reserve a place, just turn up!

NW6 Film Club is back too: this Sunday June 1st, we’re off to see Ken Loach’s new film Jimmy’s Hall.

Sadly, the Film(s) of the Week – JW3’s outdoor screenings – were cancelled because of the weather. All the new releases however and full local listings are still here. The JW3 films will now be June 15-17.

This Saturday is another outdoor screening. Pixar classic Up is the Film on Fortune Green. Film starts at 8.45pm, but picnics tend to start from around 7pm.

The Christian Brewer Quartet at The Gallery is Gig of the Week. Check out all the local music listings.

Progress continues apace in turning St James Church into a post office/café/play area (and church). This week we got to see the amazing ceiling.

Regal Homes have posted an update on the Maygrove Road development.

A tree came down on Maygrove Road amazingly falling over, rather than on, a parked car and missing another car driving towards it.

A car crashed into a wall on Fortune Green Road on Sunday morning. Not clear whether anyone was hurt.

One of our newest hairdressers needs a proofreader.

Kilburn High Road went into mini-lockdown on Saturday afternoon before the QPR v Derby match at Wembley as some trouble broke out outside The Black Lion.

Tweet of the Week
A lot of contenders this week, but this one gets the nod for acknowledging the hard work done by departing councillors while laying down the gauntlet for the newly elected.


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 are the snapshot audio/video files:
Pitches for: Lib Dems, Conservatives, Labour, Greens, UKIP, TUSC.
Questions on: Rubbish, schools, mansion tax, Camden complaints, cycling & parking, delivery lorries, support for the NDF, getting the vote out, 156 West End Lane, affordable housing, and fighting for NW Camden in the Town Hall.
Or watch the whole unexpurgated thing.

The election is this Thursday. Go and vote.

We’ve also got an overview of the European elections looking at what MEPs actually do, and all the parties involved (there are a lot).

WHL will be tweeting live from the council election count on Friday so you know where to find the results first.

In other news…
Tom went to Tuttobene on Finchley Road – but was tutto bene?

The JW3 building received a prestigious design award.

The Film on Fortune Green on May 31st will be tear-jerker animation Up. Starts at 8.45pm but come earlier and bring a picnic.

West Hampstead was represented at Wembley on Cup Final day.

Wagamama opens in the O2 this Friday.

Gig of the Week is Andrew Oliver/David Horniblow at La Brocca playing old time jazz & swing classics on Thursday. Full gig roundup here.

Godzilla is Film of the Week – NW6 Film Club went to see it Thursday night. Opinions varied as to at what stage it started to suck. For the rest of the local screenings, check out the listings.

A sculpture dedicated to Sir Bradley Wiggins was unveiled on Friday in South Kilburn.

Tweet of the Week


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 now just 10 days away, and we’re going to look at the parties’ policies on a few big issues. First up: Housing.

The very unscientific bank holiday weekend voting intentions poll results put Labour on 36.8%, Conservatives on 22.2%, Lib Dems on 17.1%, Greens on 12%, UKIP 2.6%, TUSC 1.7% and undecided 7.7%. It is, of course, “just a bit of fun”, but will be interesting to see how closely it correlates with actual votes on May 22nd.


“West Hampstead….always love coming home… ” via Wes Armstrong

After a flurry of tweets, Camden agreed it will install a new bin at the Sumatra Road play area.

The council did, however, fail to collect a fridge that was “parked” on Sandwell Crescent on Monday, and was still there on Saturday.

The eight week closure of Mill Lane at the Kilburn end caused predictable chaos on Tuesday. Councillors have blasted council officials for the lack of advance warning – it’s the second time this has happened recently after the Maygrove Road (now just reopened) fiasco.

Motorcyclists should be pleased to hear that ground anchors for secure parking are to be installed at the junction of Fairhazel Gardens and Broadhurst Gardens.

We looked at three cafés that are putting West Hampstead firmly on the capital’s coffee map.

May’s Property of the Month is a former artist’s studio on Woodchurch Road.

Do attempts to preseve the neighbourhood feel of areas such as West Hampstead mean we’re storing up bigger housing problems down the line? Another controversial Property News!

We still have a few tickets left for the opening night of Godzilla in 3D at the Swiss Cottage IMAX. Meet up beforehand for some complimentary snacks and then settle into the best seats in the house.

Voting closes midnight Tuesday for the May 31st Film on Fortune Green.

A journalist asked to stop breastfeeding her baby in Apostrophe in the O2 centre received an apology from both the cafe and the building owner after tweeting her disgust.

Wednesday’s Whampsocial was popular again – very refreshing to see new people every time. The next one is May 28th – once again at Frida’s bar downstairs in Mamacita.

Frank is NxNW6’s Film of the Week. Check out all the new releases, Mark’s “Must See Movies” and full local cinema listings.

To keep a Eurovision connection, Gig of the Week is Mira Awad  at JW3 on Wednesday. She was the first Arab-Israeli to represent the country in Eurovision back in 2009. All the local music listings are here.

An empty lot on Kilburn High Road could become two buildings with 14 flats.

Just a few months after opening, One Sixty is looking to expand to a second and possibly third site in the near future.

Tweet of the Week

Beautiful old Maserati on Mill Lane, West Hampstead via @Ghoul_of_London

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 traffic management plan.

We’ve got the best seats in the house for the 3D IMAX opening night of the first summer blockbuster Godzilla. First come first served, so don’t delay!

Beautiful old Maserati on Mill Lane, West Hampstead via @Ghoul_of_London

Beautiful old Maserati on Mill Lane, West Hampstead via @Ghoul_of_London

The transformation of St James’ Church into a post office, café and soft play area(!) is progressing well.

Three man were arrested in West Hampstead after the Nat West Bank on Kilburn High Road was robbed.

The Jubilee Line ran a reliable, if less frequent service during the tube strike, though the Overground and Thameslink of course carried some of the burden. A three-day strike is planned for this week starting on Monday evening.

We’re getting closer to the election and all the parties have published manifestos. We’ve filled out more of the election pages with almost all the Green Party candidates, and the TUSC candidate standing in West Hampstead. Conservatives in Kilburn are noticeable by their absence. Check out the page for your ward: West Hampstead, Fortune Green, Kilburn, Swiss Cottage. If you’re not sure sure which ward you’re in, there’s a handy map. Hustings for West Hampstead & Fortune Green are planned for Monday May 12th – check the website and next week’s newsletter for details.

We’re also holding a “just a bit of fun” poll of voting intentions too over the long weekend – on the sidebar of the website, or scroll down on mobile/tablet versions. Results announced Tuesday.

Whampgather XIII was the biggest yet. More than 180 people came to The Gallery to celebrate the 5th anniversary of @WHampstead starting. We had amazing raffle prizes and raised £572 for youth charity The Winch

Whampsocial – whampgather’s calmer little brother – is back this Wednesday at Frida’s bar from about 7.30pm.

Fly tipping is getting worse again – the council is brandishing stats on fines issues for littering, but it doesn’t seem much is being done about the more serious offenders.

MP Glenda Jackson voted in favour of HS2 while her local Labour colleagues opposed it. Here’s what Glenda said in the House of Commons.

What’s a night at The Good Ship like? Music corresponent Jane went to find out.

A sculpture to celebrate Sir Bradley Wiggins will be unveiled in South Kilburn a week on Friday.

“I only meant to stun him”. A 1937 Kilburn robbery went tragically wrong.

Blue Ruin is the Film of the Week but there were loads of new releases this week. Check out all the local cinema listings here.

Camden Cemetery Services apologised after mistakenly strimming a wildflower meadow in Hampstead Cemetery.

Broadhurst Gardens restaurant Mamako has joined Twitter @MamakoLDN.

We went to Seoul on Finchley Road for whampdinner a couple of weeks ago – what did we make of it?

The Swiss Cottage post office, which closed a few weeks ago, looks like it might become an art gallery.

Tweet of the Week

West Hampstead sunrise, seen from Iverson Road on Saturday 26 April

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 flats by Sidings Estate.

Time is running out to register to vote for the forthcoming local and European elections. You need to be registered by May 6th.

West Hampstead sunrise, seen from Iverson Road on Saturday 26 April

West Hampstead sunrise, seen from Iverson Road on Saturday 26 April via @SteveWhamp

All the local candidate nominations are in – Fortune Green, Kilburn and Swiss Cottage wards have 12 candidates to choose from (three from each of Labour, Lib Dems, Conservatives and Greens), West Hampstead ward has 14 candidates with the addition of UKIP candidate Magnus Nielsen (quoted here in The Guardian) and a Trade Union and Socialist Coalition candidate. Bios for all the candidates for the three largest parties are available on my election pages.

Why is the Acol Bridge Club not on West End Lane, and just how big a contribution has it made to the game of bridge? We delved into its history.

Whampgather is this Thursday. It’s currently sold out, but we do always get cancellations in the last few days, so do check the site if you want to come – and if you have tickets but can’t make, please let me know.

We do recipes now! Check out The Wet Fish Café’s signature salmon salad recipe – tried and tested by West Hampstead Life!

On May 31st, it’s the return of the bike-powered Film on Fortune Green. Once again, you can vote for the film you’d like to see – they’re all animations.

The West Hampstead Business Association confirmed that West End Lane and Mill Lane will be resplendent with hanging baskets as of (we hope!) next month.

As the free school debate rumbles on in West Hampstead, one opponent sets out her arguments against it.

Street artist Pegasus has adorned the wall of the Betsy Smith in Kilburn with his version of Kate Moss’s famous Playboy bunny pose.

Exhibition is Film of the Week. Full local listings here, and keep your eyes peeled for the next in our IMAX Opening Night specials, which is coming up very soon!

Locally Sourced is our Gig of the Week – check out this and all the other musical happenings in the hood.

West End Lane Books celebrated its 20th anniversary in style on Thursday night with a great social event.

The Kilburn Festival is looking for volunteers.

Tweet of the Week


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 of events and the student accommodation provider’s version do differ though.

Camden has, slightly surprisingly, rejected the New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling’s proposal to move into a vacant unit on Fortune Green. The council cited concerns over the impact on traffic. The school intends to appeal.

Coming soon to a theatre near you, 'Escape from the Nautilus'. via @Tetramesh

Coming soon to a theatre near you, ‘Escape from the Nautilus’. via @Tetramesh

This Thursday is West End Lane Books 20th birthday party (followed by jazz in La Brocca, which is our Gig of the Week (see below))!

Fly tipping and general rubbish problems are resurfacing.

The planning application for Monte Cristo talks a lot about the cultural aspects of shisha smoking but not a lot about the parking situation that has locals riled up.

Hampstead Theatre’s Kinks-based musical Sunny Afternoon is a hit!

A singer who collapsed on Priory Road had to wait two hours for an ambulance.

Whampsocial was another success – the next one is May 7th, but before that… (drum roll)… Whampgather is on May 1st. Very few tickets left now though there may be cancellations nearer the time.

In 1953, a coach trip to Kilburn was all the rage! And in the 1970s the C11 looked very different.

Whampdinner branched out to Finchley Road for a Korean meal at Seoul. We packed the place and barbecued meats to our heart’s content.

The Conservative Party announced its candidates for Kilburn ward in the upcoming elections though sadly none have yet submitted their bio for our Election coverage.

American singer and composer Turner Layton lived in West Hampstead for 40 years. Even if you’ve never heard of him you’ve probably heard of some of his songs.

Sadly, there will be no more jazz at the Lower Ground Bar for the foreseeable future after the owners removed the piano. The Gallery and La Brocca have both expressed an interest in being an alternative venue. Indeed…

West Coast Jazz at La Brocca is our Gig of the Week (right after #whampbooks). See all the local music listings here.

Locke is our Film of the Week. Full local listings here.

Long time local resident Joe Tobin is raising money for Marie Curie. You can support his fundraising here.

Tweet of the Week is taking an Easter break

?Police moving in now to forcibly evict tennant via @RiotfromWrong

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.

?Police moving in now to forcibly evict tennant via @RiotfromWrong

?Police moving in now to forcibly evict tennant via @RiotfromWrong

Three of the men accused of killing Sabrina Moss appeared in court to plead not guilty. The trial is scheduled to start on June 3rd.

We’re filling out the candidates for May 22nd’s council election.

Nicholas Winton – the “British Schindler” – was born in West Hampstead. He saved more than 600 children. His nephew has clarified some of the facts in the comments.

Tom’s tried old-school Italian Luigi’s on Goldhurst Terrace. What did he make of it?

The Taste of Kilburn festival kicked off this Saturday.

If you’d like a stall at this year’s Jester Festival (July 5th/6th), now’s the time to stick your hand up.

This Wednesday it’s #whampsocial time again – from about 7.30pm at Frida’s, downstairs at Mamacita. Come along, meet some lovely locals and drinks some smokin’ cocktails.

Calvary is Film of the Week. All the local listings and Mark’s recommendations here.

Gig of the Week is Black Lion Courtiers at The Good Ship on Friday. Check out all the local music listings.

Whampgather tickets are now available for May 1st. Mailing list subscribers have already snapped up more than 200 of them (the first 100 went in 40 minutes). If there are any left by tomorrow (Tuesday), they’ll be available for general release.

If, in an idle moment, you’d ever wondered what the signal box at West Hampstead looked like… wonder no more!

Tweet of the Week

I know we've had a rainy winter & it's now sunny but not sure that explains a sprouting car? Spotted in #whamp via @EllenCPringle

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, it won’t be possible to change between the Jubilee Line and Central Line at Bond Street.

I know we've had a rainy winter & it's now sunny but not sure that explains a sprouting car? Spotted in #whamp via @EllenCPringle

I know we’ve had a rainy winter & it’s now sunny but not sure that explains a sprouting car? Spotted in #whamp via @EllenCPringle

West Hampstead Fruit & Veg opened Saturday to almost universal acclaim. It’ll be open until 9pm apparently.

Our local election coverage started this week – still quite a few weeks to go until May 22nd, but you can start to read up on the issues and candidates.

The eating options at the O2 are changing again as Frankie & Benny’s opens this Monday. But the centre is also supporting start-ups alongside the chains.

Whampbooks is back… April 24th to celebrate 20 years of West End Lane Books.

BBC London News covered the Crediton Hill pebbledash saga.

If you’re after a canalside stroll, WhampWalks meandered from St Pancras to Canary Wharf along the Regents Canal.

One Sixty, which is still struggling on the customer service front, did make it into Londonist’s list of the capital’s best smokehouses.

The Thameslink station will join the tube and Overground and get free Wifi soon.

The Double is Film of the Week. Full listings.

Café Bon (formerly Caffe West) on West End Lane is up for rent.

Kilburn is one of the pilot areas for Camden’s new parking space finder app.

If you’re a South Hampstead resident, do read the excellent update from the residents association CRASH about everything that’s happening.

Hidden Treasure is closing temporarily for a revamp apparently.

India Per Se, which used to be called Eriki, on Finchley Road, has closed permanently after irreperable water damage.

“Just Sew Alteration” appears to be moving into where Jazz Cycles was on Mill Lane.

Remember last October’s hoo-haa about the bench at the top of Hemstal Road? The council’s decided it’s staying.

Property of the Month is a 3-bed flat in much sought-after Marlborough Mansions.

We reported a UFO “sighting” in last week’s newsletter. The spotter turned up as did a plausible explanation (see comments).

Jubilee Line commuters are the second worst paid. This and other “fun facts” on the tube.

Tweet of the Week


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 featured in The Daily Beast about his own church-defying stance on gay marriage.

St James' nails it's colours to the mast  via Fr Andrew Cain

St James’ nails it’s colours to the mast via Fr Andrew Cain

A man was jailed for a string of burglaries in and around Maygrove Road last month.

After Lib Dem candidate Maajid Nawaz’s rambunctious performance on Newsnight, the Spectator suggested the Lib Dems might scale back support for him in Hampstead & Kilburn. The Lib Dem press office refuted the claim.

West Hampstead Life’s Election 2014 coverage kicks off this week. Keep your eyes peeled for more.

The psychotherapy school that wants to move into Fortune Green has won over local residents.

The Crediton Hill pebbeldash story that the Camden New Journal covered earlier in the month, made it to the Daily Mail. Any excuse for a photo of Emma Thompson.

West Hampstead used to have a magic shop – but it disappeared long ago!

As work continues on Maygrove Road, Handrail House has been demolished.

The 2nd whampsocial was another great success. The next one will be April 16th at Frida’s bar again. No tickets, just turn up. The tacos are great!

The planning application has been submitted for the 24-storey tower block at Swiss Cottage. More details on the local councillors’ blog. There’s a campaign opposing it already @swisscottageag.

NW6 Film Club is off to see The Double (Richard Ayoade meets Dostoyevsky through the medium of Jesse Eisenberg) on Sunday at The Tricycle. All welcome.

We spoke to the director and cast of The Kilburn Passion – a play commissioned for the Tricycle Theatre that will be performed by its Young Company this week.

An elderly woman was hit by a lorry on Thursday on the Finchley Road near Waitrose. She was taken to hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries.

After Nautilus’s mention in Time Out a couple of weeks ago, this week it was Bake-a-boo’s turn to represent north London – for “best afternoon tea“.

A public memorial service will be held at St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square for long-time West Hampstead resident (and Nobel prize winning author) Doris Lessing, who died last November.

Dine2Donate – the recent event to raise money for local foodbanks -raised £750.

A UFO (oh yes) was spotted in West Hampstead earlier in the month.

The Culture Hub

  • The Past is Film of the Week. Full local listings and our recommendations here.
  • Andy Zaltzman at the Good Ship Comedy Club on Monday night is our “Why not try…” of the week.
  • The English Chamber Choir performing Handel at JW3 is our Gig of the Week. Check out all the other music offerings locally.
  • The Kilburn Passion is our Hot Ticket of the week – and West Hampstead Life readers get a discount.

Tweet of the Week


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 6-mile #whampwalk that connects Elstree & Borehamwood and Stanmore. It takes in a reservoir, the place where Churchill spent D-Day, and some deer.

Too big for the job, possibly. Too big for Sumatra Rd definitely! via Amanda Harper

Too big for the job, possibly. Too big for Sumatra Rd definitely! via Amanda Harper

More evidence that West Hampstead is one of – if not THE – best connected place outside zone 1.

Local author Jeff Norton talked about why he likes West Hampstead and the importance of getting youg kids reading. And zombies. And margaritas.

Talking of margaritas – the next #whampsocial is on Wednesday night at Frida’s bar, downstairs at Mamacita. Not sure whether to come? Read what people said about the first one!

There was a great article about Kilburn and Poundlands in The Independent.

And another, in Huffington Post, about trying to buy a flat in Kilburn.

Three men were stabbed in a street fight last Sunday night in Kilburn.

Very disappointing to see someone’s tagged the Billy Fury mural.

From April 3-5th, the Tricycle Young Company presents The Kilburn Passion – a new play written for young people about life in Kilburn. West Hampstead Life readers can save £1 on tickets by using the promotional code WestHamp (advanced booking only; limited offer).

One Sixty continues to generally impress, though it seems they underestimated their own popularity and need another (or larger) smoker to keep up with demand.

In a week when Twitter made it easy to find your first ever tweet, mine turned out to be on a topic still close to everyone’s hearts.

DJ Yoda at Love & Liquor is Gig of the Week. Check out this all the upcoming local music offerings here.

Gritty British drama Starred Up is the Film of the Week. All the new releases, recommendations and full local cinema listings here.

Camden Cyclists presented their wishlist of cycling-related road changes in the area at their monthly meeting.

Tweet of the Week
Less comedy and more cautionary tale this week


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 Tory council candidate for West Hampstead, is in a very serious condition in a Paris hospital after a car crash.

“This house in West Hampstead always puts on a lovely floral display”
by Mairéad Roche

As Camden undertakes its annual tree removal program, cutting down dead or dying specimens, it may have inadvertently solved the area’s litter problem.

The Metro’s property section had a big and very positive piece on West Hampstead (and some kind words about West Hampstead Life).

The new greengrocer on West End Lane, replacing Picasso’s, has eschewed a fancy, clever name.

Fortune Green’s Nautilus featured in Time Out as the best fish & chips in north London.

Talking of Fortune Green, this Sunday is Love our Green Sunday – more on this and other Friends of Fortune Green events here.

West Hampstead Women’s Centre celebrated its 25th anniversary.

The Accurist building on Blackburn Road may well be turned into a block of 25 flats (mostly one-bed).

UKIP is expecting to field council candidates in all local wards in May’s local election. In 2010 it had just one candidate in one ward (Swiss Cottage).

The 18-storey tower blocks in South Kilburn are coming down as part of the huge redevelopment there.

It’s like Hampstead without the wankers“, local author Susie Steiner on West Hampstead.

Back in 1949, the Kilburn Empire tried to stage a boxing match between “Battling” Barbara Buttrick and Bert Saunders. The fight was pulled, but Buttrick went on to pave the way for women boxers. Sadly for up-and-coming boxers male or female, there’s a strong rumour that Gloves Boxing Club is closing.

A man was stabbed in the leg in a “mass street fight” in Kilburn.

Scarlet Johansson’s Under The Skin is the Film of the Week. All the local screenings listed here.

The gig of the week is raising funds for UNICEF. Check out this and all the local music events coming up in the area.

The first #whampsocial was a big hit (not least the £5 cocktails). The next one is March 26th at Frida’s bar.

Whampdinner at Guglee was also great success, though quite what The Black Lion thought it was when they reserved us space in the bar beforehand is anyone’s guess.

Building work on St James’ to give it a dual use as a post office will start on March 24th.

The Crediton Hill pebbledash drama was put to bed as the planning inspector overturned an appeal. The pebbledash must return.

Tweet of the Week

Wonderful "helicopter view" of West Hampstead on this glorious day via Keith Moffitt

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?

Wonderful "helicopter view" of West Hampstead on this glorious day via Keith Moffitt

Wonderful “helicopter view” of West Hampstead via Keith Moffitt

There’s a new whampevent – #whampsocial – it’s a casual drinks evening that we’ll try and run every couple of weeks. First one is this Wednesday. See you there.

If you want to look round Kilburn’s famous State building, it’s now open to the public every Wednesday from midday to 2pm.

Camden agreed to freeze council tax for another year as it passed its budget in a full council meeting.

A care centre on Shoot Up Hill is seeking a reprieve from Camden, which will pull its funding from next autumn.

If you remember the man in the chicken suit from a few weeks ago… here’s the final advert made for Bristan.

Tom went to Guglee and Whampreview went to Mamacita.

Brinkworth Dairy was voted Customers’ Favourite Stall at the farmers’ market.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is Film of the Week. Check out all the local listings, including Mark’s “Must-See Movies”.

There’s regular comedy improv night every other Tuesday in the Lower Ground Bar – we spoke to Andrew, the man behind it.

Fin City, a new fish & chips shop, has opened in Kilburn to a raptorous welcome.

Local author Susie Steiner’s latest book came out in paperback. We reviewed it.

Facts of the week

  • Kilburn is the only London Underground station without any of the letters of “West Hampstead” in it.
  • You can get to exactly 100 destinations from West Hampstead’s three stations.

Tweet of the Week


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 you think pass through West Hampstead’s three stations every year? I’ll give you a clue… it’s a lot.

"That awkward moment when you find a bird of prey dissecting a pigeon on your parents' doorstep". Photo via Nico Lennon

“That awkward moment when you find a bird of prey dissecting a pigeon on your parents’ doorstep”. Photo via Nico Lennon

Crediton Hill residents have been asked to be vigilant after a couple of unwelcome incidents.

A #whamper ran a marathon… in the Sahara. All to raise the profile of the charity she runs.

The lastest plan for Gondar Gardens was surprisingly rejected by Camden. It will no doubt go to appeal again.

Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel is our next Film Club event on March 9th at the Tricycle.

What do locals think of West Hampstead? More than 120 comments have now been left on the Neighbourhood Development Forum’s mapping tool.

Nymph()maniac Volumes 1 & 2 are the Film(s) of the Week. Check out all the local listings and, yes, Gravity is STILL playing at the IMAX.

Girls in Trouble at JW3 next Saturday is this week’s Gig of the Week.

Camden is planning to replace playground equipment at Sumatra Road open space over the next couple of months.

Amid a flurry of complaints about new shisha café Monte Cristo, it transpires that it doesn’t have planning permission. Camden has asked the owner to submit an application within three weeks.

Worried about the impact of HS2? The Kilburn Lib Dems have written a good overview and there’s a public meeting on March 18th.

Lettings agent Black Katz has joined Twitter @blackkatznw6.

The rumour mill says that Picasso’s is going to become an organic greengrocer.

A sneak preview tasting of the food at One Sixty (aka the Smokehouse) suggests it will do well. It’s due to open in a couple of weeks.

Swiss Cottage post office pulled down its shutters for the last time and the new branch within WH Smiths opened.

Father Andrew Cain, St Mary’s and St James’s openly gay vicar, has caused a stir by announcing his engagement to his atheist partner.

Swiss Cottage gyratory was one 33 junctions TfL plans to improve for cyclists. Details were thin on the ground.

Tweet of the Week