Entries by Mark Stonebanks

H&K 2017: The John Mansook Interview

John Mansook, the young chairman of Brent Greens, and the Green Party candidate for H&K  was out for a coffee last month with another member of the Brent Green party discussing how to take the local party forward. The next day Theresa May announced the snap general election, and there swiftly followed an email asking if John […]

Plaque installed for Dave Simcock

If you are wandering down West End Lane you might have noticed a new plaque on the bench opposite Cycle Surgery. It is in memory of Dave Simcock. Who was Dave Simcock? Dave Simcock, who died last year, was a long time committee member of WHAT (West Hampstead Amenity and Transport). On Monday May 22nd, […]

What have you missed since May 15th?

The big news: Hustings on Tuesday at the Sheriff Centre. Doors open at 7:00, starts at 7:30. Next up in our election 2017 interviews: the Conservative candidate for H&K, Claire-Louise Leyland. A man was sentenced for ‘disgusting’ violence on his arrest. Election news If you aren’t registered to vote tomorrow (Monday 22) is your final chance! […]

H&K 2017: The Claire-Louise Leyland interview

Claire-Louise Leyland is a Camden councillor for Belsize and for three years has been leader of the Conservative opposition on Camden council. She is also the Conservative candidate for Hampstead & Kilburn in the upcoming general election. Hampstead and Kilburn is one of the Tories’ top target seats – one of the few in London on […]

What have you missed since May 8th?

Don’t know who Kirsty Allan is? Hint – she’s the Liberal Democrat candidate for H&K. We interviewed her. Gabriella, Nazanin’s two-year old daughter, got her passport back. Richard, Gabriella’s father, will be going to visit (he hasn’t seen her for over a year). Opera – in West Hampstead! Election news… Snakes and ladders in H&K (reminder – Tulip won by margin of […]

H&K 2017: The Kirsty Allan interview

If you don’t know who Kirsty Allan is… well, you should. She is the Liberal Democrat candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn (H&K). She’s a bona fide local too;  she lives over in Queen’s Park, right on the constituency border between H&K and Westminster North. She actually stood for Westminster North in 2015 but after the Brexit vote, […]

What have you missed since May 1st?

We spoke to Father Andrew to get more detail on his resignation, and how he will miss West Hampstead. Will West Hampstead like Rosa’s Thai Cafe? The Thameslink bus stop just disappeared. Without any notice. Cue much huffing and puffing on Twitter. But HUGE sigh of relief, TFL assure us it will be replaced. Election […]

The real reason Father Andrew resigned

Last Sunday Father Andrew announced that he was retiring as priest of St. Mary’s with All Souls, Kilburn and St. James, West Hampstead. The story was picked up by the Sunday Times, Independent and Guardian. You can even hear it in his own words on Radio 4’s Sunday programme (skip to 7:23). As Stephen, Father […]

What have you missed since April 24th?

The Conservatives chose their candidate, setting up all female fight for H&K. (More election news below). Father Andrew is stepping down as vicar of St. James Church citing the Church of England as being ’institutional homophobic”. There was a ‘clock up’ at West Hampstead Square. Some liked it , while others thought it looked like a […]

An Insight into: Brinkworth Dairy

London Farmers’ Market, which runs the West Hampstead market, has an annual competition to find customers favourite stall at each market. In West Hampstead, the winner (again) was Brinkworth Dairy. So who better for WHL’s next Insight. Brinkworth Dairy is run by Ceri and Chad Cryer (helped by their young three boys and other family members) […]

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 […]

Election fever hits West Hampstead, again.

For the third year running, voting fever is upon us. Hampstead & Kilburn looks like being a key battleground once again as Brexit clashes with broader political and party-political issues to muddy the waters for many voters. To be honest, like Brenda, I’m not sure I can take much more. We love West Hampstead because it’s […]

We love leafy West Hampstead, let’s keep it that way.

Recently the Mayor’s office published this map of all the street trees in London – colour coded. This dendrophile’s wet dream covers all of London but if you put your postcode in the top-right corner then you can zoom in on West Hampstead. By unclicking certain dots you can see what West Hampstead would look […]

What have you missed since April 10th?

The new recycling contract is still causing problems, but Camden and Veolia say it is ’98% sorted’.  Seems a rather high assessment. There is a new Love Camden app to report fly-tipping.  Seems to be working, although ‘bin problems’ is not one of the options. With support from an unexpected quarter. A minor political earthquake […]

What have you missed since April 3rd?

West Hampstead made the (inter)national news in a report on Nazanin’s year in prison. Camden’s new waste contract started. In West Hampstead it wasn’t exactly smooth. Alice House decking was given the OK by the Planning Inspector. This week saw a successful Whampsocial at Bobby F’s. The first organised by Adrian and Emily – (thank […]

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 […]

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 […]

An Insight into: Cocoa Bijoux

Cocoa Bijoux is an, erm, bijou, little chocolate shop down on Broadhurst Gardens. Except it isn’t just a chocolate shop. Stuart Daniel, the owner, wanted it be more interesting than a pure chocolate shop. It’s a good source if you are looking for a special present to take friends who’ve invited you for dinner. Or want […]

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 […]

What have you missed since March 6th?

This week Ballymore agreed to take down the huge sign it had put up without planning permission. ‘Ballynomore’, as we quipped. Staying with Ballymore, West Hampstead Square (a.k.a. Heritage Square) opened proper. Maybe it’s the weather, but it looks a bit bleak, non? plus the three London plane trees are planted too close together. And the new […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

What have you missed since January 16th?

A 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 […]

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 […]

Venue hire options in West Hampstead (more than you think)

Got a kids’ party to host? Want to run a kindergarten, teach a yoga class or hold a meeting? These all require venues – but where are the rooms and halls to hire in West Hampstead? Emmanuel Church and the Sheriff Centre are particularly keen to hear from those wanting to start a regular community […]

Fortnightly waste collections for West Hampstead

At last night’s public Area Action Group meeting in West Hampstead, the council gave plenty of stats on Camden’s waste and recycling. But the numbers that will have stuck in most people’s minds were “once” and “every two weeks”, as councillor Meric Apak confirmed what we reported in August; namely that much (though not all) of West Hampstead will […]

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 […]

New light is shone on 156 West End Lane’s shadows

Camden has received new daylight and light impact studies for 156 West End Lane. ‘Hang on’, you’re thinking – didn’t it already have them? Well, yes. But, no. But, yes. Daylight studies were originally submitted with the planning application last November for the building itself and another set on its impact on neighbouring properties, plus […]

West Hampstead set to lose two loos?

Camden Council is looking to save £260,000 on public toilets. To do this it proposed closing toilet facilities at West End Green in West Hampstead, as well as those at Pond Square, Highgate and South End Green. As people protested that they might be caught short, the council asked local businesses if they would be […]

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 […]

Liddell Road school to open with spare capacity

Liddell Road has a new name. After much careful thought and consideration it has been renamed, wait for it…, “Liddell Place”. Someone suggested an alternative, but for some reason Camden didn’t like it. Where’s Liddell Road? It’s the former council-owned light industrial estate just off Maygrove Road that’s being redeveloped to house an infants school […]

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 […]

Twelve things to do in West Hampstead before Christmas

With Christmas less than a month away (eeek!),  time to let you know about twelve events in West Hampstead in the first half of December, to get you into that Christmas mood. To be followed by a Christmas survival guide as we get closer to the day. 1. Kingsgate Studio’s Winter Show 2016 (Thu, 1st […]

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 […]

Alice House decked by planning decision

Popular West Hampstead bar, The Alice House, has fallen foul of Camden’s planners who have refused retrospective planning permission for its outside decking. The Alice House bookends a run of outside seating spaces along that stretch of West End Lane, which includes One Bourbon and The Black Lion. Together, many locals feel they make an attractive ‘active […]

Kilburn butcher who saved two lives

West Hampstead Life is less local than you might think. One of our Australian readers, Barry York has been in touch to ask if we could help find any descendants of George Ross Huckstepp. Apart from having a great surname, Mr Huckstepp was a butcher in Kilburn in the 1940s and 50s. He lived at […]

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 […]

Tiny art exhibition on Mill Lane

You are going to have to look very closely, but there is still one ‘statue’ left of a tiny temporary art exhibition on (and around) Mill Lane.  It has been organised by the the gallery/tattooists Monsters of Art, who gave us an insight last month, together with artist Roy’s People. Last month they said that a […]

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 […]

An Ode to poetry evenings in West Hampstead

Just as the camp monthly quiz night in the Sherriff Centre, which caters to the 20-somethings, was getting started, the Friends of West Hampstead Library were kicking off their ‘evening of Hampstead poetry’, which seemed to appeal to a more mature audience. I’d been to the last quiz (and really enjoyed it), so it seemed […]

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! […]

Rainbow reappears over West Hampstead

Thanks to the help of the fire brigade St James Sherriff Road once again had it’s LGBT rainbow and trans flags fluttering in the West Hampstead breeze this afternoon.  Although it was a brigade from Wembley not West Hampstead that lend a ladder. The flags had been stolen a couple of weeks ago by two young […]

An Insight into: Peppercorns

Health food store Peppercorns used to be located opposite the tube station, but when Ballymore began construction of West Hampstead Square, it had to move. Now it’s up by West End Green. We spoke to the owner Mukesh Patel, who has been there for 20 years.  He runs it with his brother Nilesh, who joined him in 2002. […]

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 […]

Growling robber at West Hampstead Post Office

The post office at the Sherriff Centre was still closed this morning following the robbery that took place on Saturday afternoon. The café and Hullabaloo soft play centre are open as normal, but post office staff were explaining the temporary closure to a steady flow of customers. One of the staff members, Robert, a familiar […]

Are revised plans for Mario’s super or not?

Today was the final official day for comments on 153-163 Broadhurst Gardens a.k.a. “Mario’s block” for those of you can remember the Greek restaurant that used to be there.  As West Hampstead Life reported nearly three years ago during the first consultation for this site there were two options on offer: traditional or modern. The site […]

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 […]

Tulip at risk if parliamentary boundaries change

Local Labour MP Tulip Siddiq could face an uphill battle to retain her seat if plans to redraw constituency boundaries come into effect. The Boundary Commission has published proposals, at the request of the government, to reduce the overall number of MPs from 650 to 600 and to more evenly balance the size of constituencies in […]

Explore behind closed doors with Open House

Coming up this Saturday and Sunday is Open House 2016 . Open House, which started in 1992, is a not-for-profit organisation that promotes public awareness and appreciation of the capital’s building design and architecture. But with hundreds of sites to see across London, what to visit? It pays to invest a bit of time in research and […]

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 […]

West Hampstead running group leaves noone behind

Tired of pounding the pavements alone? Inspired to put on your trainers by the heroics of the GB athletes in Rio? Or just curious as to why you always see a gaggle of neon-clad souls on West End Green every Saturday morning? Well wonder no more! Started on a cold wet February morning in 2015, […]

An insight into: Insight Opticians

One of the things that gives West Hampstead its character is the independent shops and local groups. We though we’d plan a series (and let’s see where this goes) asking them a few questions about their experiences of the neighbourhood. Where better to start for an insight into West Hampstead than with Kiran Vyas. Kiran has […]

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 […]

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 […]

Will fortnightly rubbish collection make us cleaner and greener?

It’s the middle of the summer holidays and Camden Council has announced (controversial) changes to waste collection. It’s yet another change after several over the past few years (e.g. switching from multi-stream to single stream recycling). But despite all these changes recent performance in terms of recycling has been poor. In 2005 Camden beat the target of […]

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 […]

£3 million in the “Bank of West Hampstead” – but who’s managing it?

Camden has £3 million pounds to spend in the area thanks to the arcanely named “Section 106 money”. These are payments made by developers to the council and is allocated for spending in the following areas: community facilities, transport, highways, parks and open spaces, schools, apprenticeships and policy contributions. Yet, as Councillor Flick Rea eloquently stated […]

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 […]

High Remain vote in West Hampstead, but turnout only average

Camden has released more details of the Brexit vote. The results are not strictly ward based (the count was organised in this way for reasons of accuracy) as postal votes were allocated randomly and evenly per ward. With that caveat, the percentage vote in favour of remain in the the local wards was: Hampstead Town 79.72% […]

West Hampstead welcomes Gail’s

So, Gail’s opened on time (now that is a surprise for a building project round here) and West Hampstead got all excited. The opening offers added to the buzz but Twitter was all aflutter. Buzzing ,haven't seen this much excitement since the midnight opening @WELBooks for the then new Harry Potter book.! https://t.co/OOEHqcN4WT — Mila Griebel […]

Revealing the ‘history’ of Heritage Lane

We promised to investigate why ‘West Hampstead Square’ is now known as ‘Heritage Lane’ and here’s the result of our sleuthing. Back in 2014, Ballymore applied to use the ‘West Hampstead’ prefix as the postal address for the development, while it was marketing it as West Hampstead Square. There is a very simple statutory consulting process […]