A year in 140 characters

Every week, the round-up of the previous seven days’ events includes a Tweet (or Photo) of the Week. I thought I’d take the best of them and see whether they revealed anything more meaningful about the year we’ve just experienced in West Hampstead.

They don’t. But some of them are quite funny.

I’m sorry I haven’t included every single one here, and there have been some weeks where the competition for Tweet of the Week has been stiff, so some people have missed out on the prestige of being able to add the letters TOTW to their business cards despite some excellent witty and pithy tweets. At the end (you’ll need to let the Storify widget load fully) is your chance to vote for Tweet of the Year.

Here then, without further ado, is the run down of the things that made us tweet in 2011:

How did you do?

At the start of the year, I asked you via Twitter for your predictions for 2011. Most were silly, a lot were funny, one or two were semi-serious, and a couple were outlandish. But how many were accurate?

Tubes and trains were popular topics. Back in 2010, the Jubilee Line closures were a major talking point and if I remember, were due to finish in March. They ran until October. So @simontreanor‘s “The Jubilee Line will often be closed on weekends. It’s a long shot I know”, turned out to be pretty much on the money.

Meanwhile, It took 12 months for @Sparklegirl21‘s prediction to come true “They actually build something at the Thameslink station instead of playing with their diggers”.

We did however eventually get what @David_Stringer optimistically predicted “One weekend, just one, the tubes AND overground will both work”. In fact it happened more than once. Long may it continue.

We’re still waiting for@RandomCarlos‘s prediction that the “Jubilee Line will be converted into a moving walkway so we can get into town more quickly” to come true, or for @blueskyflowers‘ hope that “Mill Lane gets pedestrianised!”

It was always a gimme that @aktaraja would be right that there’d be more “roadworks/gasworks/electrical works on WEL”, but no-one foresaw the level of disruption on Kilburn High Road that’s only just finished.

The imminent arrival of a Sainsbury’s Local on West End Lane exercised many of you, but none of your predictions that Waitrose would move in, or that Tesco & Sainsbury would collapse in the face of revived localism came to pass. Perhaps the most accurate was again from @RandomCarlos: “The combined effect of both Tesco and Sainsbury delivery vans will cause national gridlock.”

Despite the recession, @Cyburn‘s prediction that a poundshop “or maybe a £2 shop” would open in West Hampstead didn’t happen either; and although @marmitetoast was wrong that more estate agents would open in West Hampstead, the one that closed (Brian Lack) was replaced by a new one (Goldschmidt & Howland).

@flyperson was overambitious in suggesting that coiffeurs would overtake estate agents, but he was at least directionally right as we saw the opening of Rock Men’s Salon and Geezers (which did not close down, despite @bobbymann‘s prediction).

Meanwhile, we’re still waiting for @leonora1 to “finally open my own craft shop!”

Food & Drink
Given that whampers seem predisposed to eat and drink out a lot, how were their predictions? 
@nickhudgell suggsted that “glo gets let to a mexican burrito joint.”. In fact it became Ladudu.
@sblower wondered whether “ShakeTastic will produce a drink mixing peanut butter with fruit, and… roast veg.” Not quite, but it is now doing herbal teas.
@gitfinger, ever prescient, predicted that “The restaurant formerly known as Le Petit Coin closes and reopens under a new guise. Twice” Well, it was Lite for a bit, but has just reopened as The Sea Lantern.

The WHampstead 7-a-side team didn’t have a great start, but once the league became 5-a-side, things took a turn for the better. @nickhudgell predicted that the team would win the league – and the West Hampstead Wanderers did just that. The following season Whamp Athletic (the other team that spun off from the 7-a-side team) picked up the title with Wanderers just behind them. Sadly, @SamWong1‘s assumption that the Wanderers would be bought by an Arab billionaire has yet to happen.

World news
Twelve months ago, Osama bin Laden was still alive. We only have the US government’s word that he was killed in Pakistan. Perhaps @DanDrillsma was right: “Bin Laden found directing global operations from the back room at Lower Ground Bar…”

So that was 2011 – any thoughts for 2012? Leave them in the comments below

What have I missed since December 12th?

As Christmas hurtles towards us as fast as a North Korean missile (you never saw Kim Jong Il and Santa in the same room did you? Huh?), what’s been exercising the West Hampsted workers collective over the past seven days?

A man died on Monday after an accident at the junction of Quex Road and Kilburn High Road.

The same morning, thieves stole £10,000 from a security van in Swiss Cottage.

Mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone opened the new West Hampstead Thameslink station on Wednesday.

Sidings Community Centre won nearly £25,000 of funding for each of the next two years to continue delivering its Youth Services Programme.

Labour councillor Mike Katz continued his crusade for a new school in the area.

Local PCSO Charlotte Louis de Canonville will be leaving the West Hampstead Safer Neighbourhood Team in January to take up another role in the Met.

Beware of two men door knocking in the area saying they’ve “come to lay carpet”. If you see them, please dial 101, preferably with details of their van.

A household of #whampers was profiled in the Australian Times.

The #whampreview of Ladudu finally was published.

There’s been a bit of steam train action this week too.

Coming up
Monday: For those of a Maida Vale persuasion, #elgingather is tonight at the LVLounge.
Tuesday: #whampxmasdrinks downstairs at The Gallery from 8pm. All welcome.

Tweet of the Week
Winter and Thameslink in one tweet/photo. Perfect.

No #whampnews next week, but expect some other blog action over the holidays, with a quiz, a few #whampawards and a run down of the Tweets of the Year. Hope you all have a lovely holiday, and the newsletter will return in 2012. Of course, you can keep up with news on Twitter as always!

What have I missed since December 5th

While David Cameron vetoed something – although no-one seems quite sure what – storms lashed the country, what was creating waves closer to home?

Two people have been arrested and charged for @TheGalleryNW6 robbery and will be remanded in custody before appearing in court in February.

Armed robhbers who targeted the McDonalds in Swiss Cottage were jailed for more than 30 years.

The Guardian published a day in the life of a West Hampstead-based mounted police officer.

The historic Ebenezer Chapel in Kilburn Vale has been definitively safeguarded for the future.

Camden submitted its own comments to the Boundary commission regarding Fortune Green’s possible change of consitutency.

The Winch launched its new Promise Academy initiative. 

Parking and planning topped the agenda at Monday’s Area Action Group.

New plans have been submitted for the Gondar Gardens reservoir site.

West Hampstead overground station will get new lifts.

The wide walkway up Iverson Road to the new Thameslink station opened.

The West Hampstead Christmas market was a resounding success.

Twenty two of us went to Ladudu for whampreview – write-up later today!

West End Lane newcomer Costello has already closed – it will become an Indian restaurant.

The Save the West Hampstead Girl Guides campaign made the local press.

Coming up
Santa and his elves will be at LoveFood on Dec 17 & 18 from 3-7pm. £4 per child including a present and a hot chocolate.

Gondar Gardens development meeting at the synagogue hall on December 14th.

Reminder that #whampxmasdrinks will be at The Gallery on December 20th.

Save the date: #whampgather VIII will be on Jan 12th. People on the mailing list will be the first to hear the details, get tickets, etc.

Tweet of the Week

What have I missed since November 28th?

More economic woes, a large-scale public sector strike, and a sudden interest in pandas characterised the week in the news. What was piquing our interest closer to home?

The Gallery was victim of an armed robbery late last Sunday.

Gondar Gardens development plans are back on the table. There’ll be a public meeting about it on the 14th. The previous plans were rejected.

Monday is the last day you can get your comments in to the Boundary Commission about Fortune Green being assigned to another parliamentary constituency.

Local youth charity The Winch had a big open evening and presented its new vision of the “Promise Academy”. Contact them for more details or to get involved.

A campaign has launched to save West Hampstead’s Girl Guides.

Camden is introducing cashless parking meters this month.

Ken Livingstone talked to young people in Kilburn on Monday.

No sign of snow yet, but when it comes Camden is making more snow shovels available to community groups.

The most asked question of the week on Twitter was “Where can I get Christmas trees from”. The answer: Homebase, or Kilburn High Road (check out @ShanRoseFlowers), or the Mill Lane community garden centre.

#whampxmasdrinks will be on December 20th at The Gallery. This is the last event I’m organizing of 2011 (a few of you have asked if I’m doing a New Year’s Eve party – I’m not). This is a completely informal “just turn up” get together. The next proper #whampgather will be in early January.

Here’s a song dedicated to Kilburn High Road.

Ammis Curry – a Sri Lankan restaurant/take-away – opened on the High Road.

A new nail shop – Vivi Nails – is opening on Broadhurst Gardens. Looks like it’ll open before Christmas.

Me Love Sushi is opening on the old Strada site in January.

CocoaBijoux joined the Twitter revolution.

Silent Witness was filming at St Augustine’s church in Kilburn.

A car went into the back of a 328 bus on Friday on West End Lane.

David Walliams was signing books at the Waterstones in the O2 centre on Saturday.

Coming up
Tuesday: the next West Hampstead & Fortune Green area action group meeting. Come along to learn about what’s going on in the area.
Wednesday: the Gondar Gardens exhibition.
Saturday: The West Hampstead Christmas market is on West End Green from 10am-4pm

Tweet of the Week

What have I missed since Nov 21st?

While the tabloid press has been hauled over the coals, and Curiosity disappears off to Mars, it’s been a fairly quiet week in West Hampstead – but there are quite a few things coming up over the next few days.

A suspect has been arrested and is being held on remand in connection with eight recent burglaries in the South Hampstead conservation area. The local SNT is also warning people not to leave garden tools lying around in the communal gardens, as some are being used to gain access.

Jedward were spotted in Cricklewood.

Strada closed down, and new fish & chips operation Sea Lantern opened.

A new sign has gone up at Vini Vivi on Mill Lane and the refurb of the dentists also includes a rebrand and sparkly sign.

Tom checked out West End Lane newcomer Costello, while another local posted a review of Ladudu (site of December’s whampreview).

Demolition work’s started on the Blackburn Road site that’s going to become student accommodation.

Coming up
On Monday, La Brioche hosts the Return of the Short Story, and on Friday, the owner’s band will be playing.

Tuesday is West End Lane Books’ Christmas bonanza day with 20% discount on all titles, mulled wine and other Christmas treats from 9am (bit early for mulled wine?) to 6pm.

On Thursday, The Winch is inviting people to come and hear abouts its exciting plans for the future. Definitely worth attending.

There’s a cookbook sale at Kitchen Table on Dec 4th, donations of your books very much welcome.

Photo of the Week
You really can never be too careful in Kilburn, as this photo by @CodinginLondon of an innovative bike locking device shows:

What have I missed since November 14th?

Straight onto the news this week

The northern entrance to the Thameslink station closed (it reopens in January), and the temporary side-entrance next to the almost finished Iverson Road station opened.

This has meant that the bookseller has moved – he was outside Costa after apparently being told he couldn’t set up nearer the new station [perhaps while it’s being finished?]

Read the report on the proposed 12-storey tower block in West Hampstead.

Apparently, Camden Council is to withdraw staff supervision from the adventure playground in Kilburn Grange park.

Has West Hampstead community centre been thrown a lifeline?

West Hampstead featured in the BBC’s Homes Under the Hammer with a house on Narcissus Road and lots of shots of West End Lane.

Gardens Grocery on Broadhurst Gardens had its lower glass panel on its door broken. Not clear if there was also a break-in.

New bike racks will be installed at West Hampstead stations.

There was a kick-off meeting to see what level of interest there was in reinvigorating some form of West Hampstead traders association.

Indhu Rubasingham takes over from Nicolas Kent as artistic director of the Tricycle.

Tom visited Small & Beautiful – what did he think?

Camden History Society joined Twitter.

Local playwright Bernard Kops talked to the Ham & High about the “terror of death”.

The O2 centre’s Christmas tree is up.

Coming up
The next whampreview will be December 8th at Ladudu.

Sea Lantern, a  fish &chips restaurant on West End Lane, opens this Friday (Liam Gallagher & family were spotted in well-established rival Nautlius this week).

The Kitchen Table is collecting cookery books for a sale in aid of Cancer Research on December 4th Donate in-store.

New West End Lane café/bar/restaurant Costello is having its launch party on Friday 5-7pm. Free glass of house wine/coffee/cocktail and 25% off everything before 8.30pm.

There’s a public meeting in West Hampstead library next Tuesday about school provision and education in the area.

Tweet of the Week
Decided I couldn’t have two weeks running about pigeons and the Kilburn High Road, but then I thought screw it…

What have I missed since November 7th?

We bade farewell to Europe’s most, er, “flamboyant” politician and watched England’s boys in white prove that the best team doesn’t always win. But what made the headlines in West Hampstead last week?

First Capital Connect services were severely disrupted last Monday due to major signal failure around City Thameslink. Passengers flooded through West Hampstead to catch the tube. Refund info here.

There was a good turnout for Wednesday’s public meeting about the proposed 200-flat Ballymore development at 187-199 West End Lane. Look out for a blog from me this week on this topic. Meanwhile, Cllr Flick Rea wrote about general local developments, and Iverson Road in particular.

TfL is consulting over changes to Finchley Rd nightbuses.

Starting today, Danny Hewitt is the new temporary police sergeant for West Hampstead & Fortune Green’s Safer Neighbourhood Team. He will be in place for 4-5 months. Priorities in Fortune Green are residential burglary, drug dealing, Templar House & Cricklewood [which seems quite a broad priority!]

Meanwhile in West Hampstead, there are concerns that more benches on West End Lane could lead to more anti-social behaviour.

Residents around Mill Lane and some neighbouring roads combined forces to remove (painlessly) local foxes.

A restaurant application in Fairfax Road was turned down for very unusual reasons.

Whampgather went Stateside.

The mini-Christmas trees that adorn West End Lane were put in place

A fourth man has been charged in connection with the murder and attempted murder of two young men back in April.

Mill Lane Barbers joined Twitter.

There are increasing reports of front yards overflowing with recycling boxes and bags as well as with dustbin bags.

Volunteers are needed for the Christmas market on December 10th.

Abbey Road studios turned 80

Coming up
Wednesday: the new Business Forum launches to give local traders a voice

Tweet of the Week

What have I missed since October 31st?

Freaks and fools and ghosts and ghouls, but no decent fireworks display in West Hampstead this week. So what did we get up to instead?

On Wednesday, initial proposals to develop the Iverson Road garden centre site were presented to an unimpressed audience. A block of thirty-eight flats and some strange architecture apparently didn’t win people over.

On Saturday, the amended proposals for 187-199 West End Lane were put on display. Eleven storeys anyone?

A meeting on Monday discussed the merits of setting up a Neighbourhood Development Plan.

The Swiss Cottage Area Action group raised all mannner of hot topics.

Cllr Mike Katz wrote a piece on Community Cohesion in Kilburn.

Hellenic Restaurant on Finchley Road is set to become an “Art Gallery Kitchen” (no, I don’t know either).

Whampreview at Spiga was a great success.

Thameslink trains are losing some first class seats.

Spice 212 is becoming a branch of Sew – hopefully better at sewing than spelling.

A couple got engaged in spectacular fashion on the Overground as it came into South Hampstead station

Scampa (formerly Romeo’s and Maya) is now to become Rouge Lounge.

Costello’s finally opened – no-one on Twitter seems to have been yet though!

Coming up
Meeting on Wednesday to discuss the 187-199 WEL development.
Jazz at La Brocca on Thursday.

Tweet of the Week
Halloween and Bonfire Night meant stiff competition for this weeks’ ToTW… but this one made me laugh more than most

What have I missed since October 24th?

The news this week was of eurozone bail outs, thermal imaging of tents and the demise of Jimmy Saville. Goodness gracious me, what do we have here? Why, it’s the weekly whampnews of course.

The West Hampstead community centre got plenty of coverage for its current woes – related to funding and premises. Will it stay open for the Christmas panto on December 18th?

The council launched consultations on two-way cycling on many of our one-way streets, and on turning all of West Hampstead into a 20mph zone.

Camden released its annual parking report.

A few more Overground trains will pass through West Hampstead from December.

Lots of you noticed the steam train that unusually whizzed past on the Chiltern Railways line rather than the Overground. Apparently, it was a special service from Marylebone to Birmingham to mark the retirement of Chiltern boss Adrian Shooter.

Thameslink released photos of the station development.

We discovered that we came close to having a motorway passing through the area in the late 1960s.

Camden arranged for some new planting in Kilburn Grange park, which turned into a photo-op for councillors.

Sarracino got a plug on The Guardian’s football podcast (ff to 28’10”).

Vertigo Films shot a short film for the Cultural Olympiad on the Alexandra & Ainsworth estate. Camden meanwhile is grumbling about a lack of central funding for the Games itself.

Roger Samuel estate agents and Kilburn’s newest pizzeria/wine bar Raw Brick joined Twitter.

A new wine shop – Vini Vivi – opened on Mill Lane, joining new bike shop Jazz Cycles.

The whisky & chocolate tasting at The Gallery was a hit.

Coming up
The Swiss Cottage Area Action Group on Monday evening (7pm, Crossfield Centre) will focus on recycling/rubbish.

Watch out for parking suspensions on Fordwych Road this week due to ongoing pavement works

There’s a meeting on Wednesday about possible new flats (up to 5 storeys) on the Iverson Rd garden centre site.

Residents associations are meeting on Monday evening to discuss a coordinated response to the various large-scale planning developments.

Sadly there are no free fireworks displays in the immediate area this year. The Roundwood Park display has been cancelled, as has the Alexandra Palace display for the second year running. Westway is the nearest for most people. Or relive the excitement of 2009 – the first Bonfire Night with enough people tweeting to make it interesting.

Tweet of the Week
Stiff competition this week, but this one sums up lots of people’s views about West End Lane’s café culture:

What have I missed since October 17th?

So, Ghadaffi was killed (thanks everyone for the gratuitous photos) and New Zealand finally fulfilled its rugby destiny. I was away all week, so apologies if I’ve missed any news.

A 71 year-old woman died after apparently being hit by a motorbike in Kilburn.

A rail worker suffered spinal injuries after an accident at the Thameslink construction site.

Scrap metal thieves have been targeting the cemetery.

At the Kilburn (Camden) ward Safer Neighbourhood meeting, it was announced that the area’s first Neighbourhood Watch group had been set up in Kingsgate Road, the dispersal zone will not be renewed when it expires on Nov 4th, and the dedicated High Road team and seargeant won’t be cut as had been feared.Popular SNT PC Winston Davis is moving to Barbados though!

Read more about the dispersal zone issue, and the latest on crime in the Swiss Cottage ward in this report on its Safer Neighbourhood meeting.

West Hampstead’s BinCam was on TV!

Two new photos were added to the amazing Hampstead & Kilburn Then & Now flickr set

A team of councillors were beaten 5-2 by a team from the Somali cultural centre in a charity football match.

An article appeared in Stylist magazine about West Hampstead’s online (and offline) community.

Fancy playing rugby?

Tweet of the Week

What have I missed since October 9th?

Liam Fox finally quit, Wales got booted out of the rugby world cup, and I spent three days in Paris. So what did I miss in West Hampstead this week?

BinCam still dominated the news, joining Twitter, featuring on BBC Radio London and triggerering some heated comments on my blog. Most interestingly though, the council has started cleaning the area around the bin more frequently – so a positive result so far.

A Harry Potter actor from Messina Avenue was charged with having a petrol bomb during the August riots.

Kingsgate Primary School will receive a pupil Premium of £106,384 next year, reflecting its high intake of pupils on free school meals.

Residents have started a vigil outside Kensal Rise library after the high court refused to overturn Brent council’s decision to close six of its libraries.

Two celebrities were spotted in West Hampstead: Olly Murs, and Spud, the actual Dulux dog.

Lots of people reporting problems with mail deliveries – prompted this response from Royal Mail.

The first overseas #Whampgather took place on Bleeker Street, New York City

A new pet shop is opening on Fortune Green Road, opposite the gym, and a sushi restaurant is opening on Finchley Road where Doon Valley was.

WhampAthletic won the league, having been runners up to the now disbanded WhampWanderers last season.

Someone produced a handy field guide to the elk of North London.

Tom ate sardines at Sirous.

Tweet of the Week

What have I missed since October 3rd?

In this week’s global news: Knox, Fox, and Jobs. In this week’s local news: um… well, read on! 

There was a fire above a pizzeria on Kilburn High Road.

Boris was in town to wield a shovel as work started in earnest at the new Jewish Community Centre on Finchley Road.

La Brocca held its annual oyster festival, and had a 1am licence granted for Thursday nights.

Fortune Green residents are starting to mobilize over the risk of being booted out from the Hampstead & Kilburn parliamentary constituency.

Meanwhile, Pam Chesters, former leader of the Tories in Camden has ruled out standing in Hampstead and Kilburn.

The lease of the famous Cock Tavern in Kilburn is up for grabs.

West End Lane’s Montefiore begat Le Petit Coin begain Lite begat… a chicken place apparently.

Estate agent Goldschmidt and Howland are ready to move into the site left vacant by Brian Lack.

Thameslink announced how the station will operate between mid-November and mid-January.

Someone has set up a BinCam to monitor fly-tipping by Sainsbury’s – and has become something of a cult figure.

Are you interested in helping preserve a local nature reserve?

Kilburn shoppers were “wowed” by apple juice from local trees.

The Sainsburys local on the corner of Cavendish Rd is closed until October 14th for a refit.

Are you a Jubilee Line user? WHAT needs your help.

Residents associations are trying to coordinate to tackle all the large local planning issues.

We went to the Wet Fish Café for#whampreview – what did we make of it?

Coming up
It’s #makeaboo at Bake-a-boo on Thursday.

Next Saturday, there will be a very special exhibition on the building of the Alexandra & Ainsworth estate, and a guided walk with Neave Brown, the architect of Rowley Way, at 2pm

Tweet and Photo of the week
Posted before the sad death of Apple CEO Steve Jobs, but now even more apposite.

What have I missed since September 26th?

It’s still party conference season, but unseasonably warm weather has been the main national talking point this week. But what’s had tongues wagging in West Hampstead over the past seven days?

City Hall has said it will address Kilburn’s traffic problems.

West Hampstead had a double-page spread in Thursday’s Metro.

Camden is reviewing parking regulations in the borough.

Hampstead School’s class of 1961 had a 50th reunion.

Lymington Road residents association is launching a talent competition.

Network Rail is running a photography competition for the new Thameslink station.

Couple of new local Twitter accounts you might want to follow: Fordwych Road Residents Association (@FordwychRA), and Camden Police (@MPSCamdenPolice) (I’m working on getting the local Safer Neighbourhood Team tweeting!)

I know it’s too soon for Christmas, but if you want to help the West Hampstead Christmas market now’s the time to put your hand up.

Ariana II was a runner-up in Time Out’s new cheap eats awards.

Coming up:
There’s a public meeting to discuss next year’s Kilburn Festival at Kingsgate Community Centre on Oct 4 from 7pm.

The first West End Lane Crooks book group at West End Lane Books is also next Tuesday 

KJTuition is hosting a free music class at Love Food on Oct 7th at 10am. Parents + kids 1-5yrs welcome.

Tweet of the Week
A tweet/photo combination this week

What have I missed since September 19th?

What were locals murmuring about this week? As usual, everything is documented here. If you’re out of time to check the blog remember you can sign up to an automatic newsletter that reveals everything. I’m reckoning that’s enough R.E.M. references for now, though there might be a few more buried below.

There was an armed robbery in Kilburn on Friday.

The Tricycle is going to dramatise the summer riots.

There’s a monster cat seemingly on the loose in West Hampstead.

Is Ed Fordham set for the pageantry of the Lords?

Hellenic, the restaurant on the corner of Finchley Road/Rosemont has closed – it’s set to become a café apparently.

West End Lane’s Spice 212 has also closed.

Property was big news this week. The new Mill Lane residential development claims to be in a green nature reserve. 

West End Estates has launched on a new adventure as Edmund Cude.

West Hampstead featured on Location Location Location, and on the BBC’s To Buy or Build later in the week.

There was a great write-up of last Saturday’s honky tonk night at The Alliance.

Also at The Alliance, art students from College of NW London are exhibiting at the moment.

There’s a write-up of the Hampstead celeb charity cricket match on the blog.

Tom’s Diner visited Gourmet Burger Kitchen.

The Alice House had its first comedy night, and The Gallery celebrated its 15th birthday.

Finally, the new lights on the Black Path seem to be a hit.

Tweet of the Week

What have I missed since September 12th?

Turned out to be quite a busy week for local news, so just as well that I was away all week and wasn’t able to stay on top of all of it. Nevertheless I’ve put together a few bits and pieces for you

The electoral Boundary Commission released its preliminary proposals on Tuesday (although they were leaked a day early). If they go ahead then there are major changes for Hampstead & Kilburn – but that’s a big if.

The Ham & High published a very positive write-up of #whampgather.

The Swiss Cottage Odeon finally re-opened – it now sports an Imax.

There was a fire in the flats above ShakeTastic on West End Lane – no-one was hurt

Meanwhile, West Hampstead fire station celebrated 110 years with an open day on Sunday.

Sunday also saw the third Hampstead Cricket Club charity match.

The Gaumont State in Kilburn was part of this weekend’s Open House programme, and plenty of people went to see the Wurlitzer.

The Priory Tavern celebrated its first anniversary under its present owners.

Café Bon’s empire expanded again with the opening of Bon Express, replacing Wood Grill with what looks like another kebab shop.

Monday’s public meeting on the 187-199 West End Lane development didn’t seem to have much outcome, other than to reinforce what we already knew.

Hilariously, the Marriott hotel on Kilburn High Road is not only on Twitter, but describes itself ther as being “In the heart of Bohemia”

Coming up this week
There’s a Safer Neighbourhood meeting on Wednesday.
On Saturday, the Gallery celebrates its 15th birthday.
A new bike shop opens on Mill Lane this week.

Tweet of the week

What have I missed since September 5th?

Clearly the main global news this week was Whampgather. So I guess we’ll lead with that.

Thursday saw the SEVENTH edition of local get together know as whampgather. 

West Hampstead was all over the national news this week thanks to squatters who were keeping a pregnant woman out of her home. They moved on, but initially only round the corner.

Netherwood day care centre – reprieved from cuts earlier in the year – is on the chopping block again.

This Monday there’s a meeting with the developers about the 187-199 West End Lane site. Fortune Green cllr Flick Rea wrote a slightly polemical piece about local planning issues earlier in the week.

La Brocca’s 20th anniversary party has been going on all weekend. Earlier in the week, we profiled the owner.

The glass frontage was installed at the new Thameslink station.

Lots of local businesses were interviewed on camera.

The Made in South Kilburn book was released.

A ferret went missing on Thursday, but seemed to have been found later.

Perennial reality TV fave Come Dine With Me is looking for NW londoners.

AITComputers joined Twitter.

Ladudu adopted its new opening hours of 10am-11pm (6pm-11pm on Tuesdays).

This marks the the 1-year anniversary of “What have I missed since…”. A year ago, the news was about weekly rubbish collections and problems at nightclubs on Finchley Road.

Tweet of the week
Despite lots of nice comments about #whampgather, a joke about a hummus shortage, and even anecdotes of a woman riding a mop like a broomstick, we close with the other big story of the week:

What have I missed since August 30th

It was a short week this week, and the final hurrah of the summer holidays for many people, so another quietish few days for West Hampstead news fiends. But there are still a few morsels to tide you over.

Media news aplenty as the Ham & High’s West Hampstead correspondent Georgia Graham defects to the Camden New Journal. Two of her H&H colleages, are apparently also leaving the paper. Tough times for owner Archant, which is merging the long-standing Kilburn Times into the “Kilburn & Brent Times”.

Cllr Mike Katz announced that Kilburn Grange Park adventure playground has been invited to join the OpenHouse project on the weekend of Sep 16/17. The newish apartment block on Fortune Green Rd is also part of the scheme.

Spiga, West Hampstead’s newest restaurant, opened during the week. I reviewed it, and so did Tom.

New Kilburn bar 366 also opened.

As did Cocoa Bijoux.

There were a couple of small fires on Priory Road, and a larger one the same night on Kingsgate Road.

The H&H covered last week’s Sherriff Rd story.

The Odeon Imax at Swiss Cottage is due to open on Sep 16th. 

It was steam train time again.

Coming up this week:
The third and final Camden summit to look at the riots takes place this Tuesday evening at Kingsgate Community Centre.

Whampgather is on Thursday – if your name’s not on the door, etc. etc.

And on Friday, La Brocca celebrates its 20th anniversary! (This week, the Good Ship celebrated its 6th).

Tweet of the Week
A few good ones this week and as always the decision to be made between reinforcing West Hampstead’s middle-class stereotype or reinforcing Kilburn’s reputation for being odd. Have sided with West Hampstead this time.

What have I missed since August 22nd?

This week the world said goodbye Gadaffi and Goodnight Irene, but what were the comings and goings in West Hampstead?

On Tuesday night there was a major police incident on Sherriff Rd.

Jobs are at risk at Netherwood day care centre.

Sgt Timms from the West Hampstead Safer Neighbourhood Team will now also be leading the Fortune Green team.

On the blog we took a trip down memory lane, discussed the Jubilee Line, and are giving you a chance to win a book on London buildings with a local buildings competition.

We’ve had lots of photos of rainbows and amazing sunsets. This was one of the best.

There’s a Kilburn Priory ghost.

West Hampstead councillor John Bryant got married this week.

The chocolate shop on Broadhurst Gardens opened. Ladudu will now be opening from 10am not 7am, and The Wet Fish Café will open from midday on Mondays (previously it was 6pm).

Meanwhile, Powers has a new website.

Tom’s Diner had tea at Lena’s.

What was Bombay Bicycle Club is now to be Costellos – a “funky chamelon concept“.

Tweet of the Week

Want to promote your business here? Read how.

What have I missed since August 15th?

It’s been a week that started with more hand-wringing and has ended with major world news. But has it been silly season in West Hampstead?

There was finally a report on the stabbing in Kilburn from the week before.

The local Somali asylum seeker family got a lot of coverage.

The man who attacked someone by the Tricycle back in February was sentenced to 8 years.

Agents from Greene and Co. were found guilty of parking fraud.

Café Bon is taking over Wood Grill as well as Caffè West.

Two chocolate shops have moved into the area. The Cocoa Exchange on Belsize Rd, and a yet-to-be-named placed on Broadhurst Gardens.

The report of June’s place shaping workshop for West Hampstead was published.

The blog launched a new section: Tom’s Diner.

West Hampstead Wanderers won the league.

Can you help drive some old people to social events?

David Miliband came to LoveFood.

The New End Theatre in Hampstead has been forced to close – whether temporarily or permanently isn’t clear.

West End Lane Books has launched a crime writing readers’ group.

The Green Room has become Spiga – but is yet to open.

Whampgather sold out rather quicker than anticipated. If you have a ticket you know you can’t use, please release it back or let me know – the waiting list is lengthy!

Tweet of the Week
More of a sort of public service announcement this week in a double-header ToTW:

What have I missed since August 8th?

Not sure whether you heard about this, but there was some rioting and a lot of looting on the streets of England this week. There may have been other news in places like… ooh, I don’t know, Syria and East Africa, for example. But mostly the news was about stolen PS3s and a “visible police presence”. But what happened in and around West Hampstead this week?

Monday night saw some damage in Kilburn and West Hampstead.

On Tuesday night, there was trouble in St John’s Wood, although arrests were later made.

Reactions came from the leader of Camden council, local MPs, and Paul Perkins of youth charity The Winch. And from local (apparently) Camila Batmanghelidjh of Kids Company on Question Time.

And, on Monday morning before things really deteriorated across London, from me on the Londonist Out Loud podcast. I also penned a few words about the experience.

Away from the riots and general tension, there was other news. The Jewish Community Centre on Finchley Road is starting to take shape.

There was a “Brooms and Lollipops Protest” planned for Saturday in Kilburn.

The planning application to knock down the historic Ebenezer Chapel on Kilburn Vale was withdrawn.
A steam train stopped at West Hampstead overground.

An inquest heard how a West Hampstead man fell to his death from a flat window.

There was a car accident outside The Priory Tavern on Sunday evening. No-one was hurt.

The horses from St John’s Wood barracks caused some disruption on West End Lane.

Mill Lane store Dass has started Sunday morning bread/pain au chocolat deliveries.

Tweet of the Week
Almost impossible to choose this week, especially given the volume of tweets on Monday and Tuesday. In the end I liked this one from SJ, sent on Tuesday around the time I think we all realised we would probably have a calmer night than many had feared.

What have I missed since July 31st?

It’s August – traditionally the quiet news month. So we’ve just had the US’s credit rating downgraded, financial market meltdown, and riots in north London. Wake me up when there’s some real news. Have things been livelier in West Hampstead and surrounding areas? Well, actually it’s been extremely quiet in the ‘hood this week

The Ham & High reported a spate of muggings of teenage boys, notably on Mill Lane and around the O2 centre.

Meanwhile, the Camden New Journal tried hard to dig up a less positive take on the Billy Fury mural.

Lewis Hamilton apparently popped into West Hampstead (not just a sighting, someone spoke to him!).

Kingsgate Community Centre’s popular Cafe Mangobajito has closed.

The Tricycle is launching a Sunday Music Series featuring string chamber music and starting on Sunday 14th August.

Despite being the national “team of the season”, West Hampstead Hockey Club might need a new ground before the season starts again in October.

Talking of great local sports teams, West Hampstead Wanderers won its 5-a-side league, just pipping West Hampstaed Athletic on goal difference. Athletic spun off from the Wanderers’ underperforming 7-a-side team of earlier in the year.

And er… that’s all folks.

Except of course for Tweet of the Week.

(want to see your business promoted here?)

What have I missed since July 24th?

As the US teeters towards financial doom, are things any less partisan in NW6?

West Hampstead’s community centre (yes, we have one) is in jeopardy after substantial council funding was withdrawn. 

The play service for Camden kids is also being scaled back

There was a good turnout for the opening of Billy Fury Way.

The local police also got stuck in to a local hostel’s garden.

A Kilburn fast food owner has been fined for dumping waste on the street.

As of Monday, the Jubilee Line will be up from 21 to 27 trains per hour

Local foxes attacked and injured some dogs in a West Hampstead back garden.

Feng Sushi is set to open in West Hampstead in the autumn.

There was a fire at Wood Grill on Saturday night.

West Hampstead Wanderers are top of their league with one match to go.

St John’s Wood tube station has been awarded Grade II listed status.

Tweet of the Week

What have I missed since July 18th?

It’s been a strange week, starting with farcical scenes of the Murdochs under mild interrogation and ending with tragedy. And it rained a lot. And I was on holiday. And it rained a lot on my holiday.

Local councillor Andrew Marshall has been single-handedly cleaning up the mean streets of South Hampstead. First there was rubbish in Greencroft Gardens, then there were the plans to improve the open land, and finally there was the mysterious case of the oil trailer on Goldhurst Terrace.

There were also reports of overflowing rubbish in Gascony Avenue, and a request has been made for a bin at the junction of Crediton Hill and West End Lane.

West Hampstead’s Beckford school celebrated 125 years with a reunion of pupils from half a century ago.

An alteration/tailoring shop is opening on Finchley Rd roughly opposite the O2 centre.

Estate agents Brian Lack finally closed on West End Lane, to be replaced by Goldschmidt & Howland (as reported here some weeks ago).

The Alice House has applied for longer opening hours: until midnight Mon-Wed & Sun, and until 1am on Thursday.

Camden libraries have a new online borrowing system and e-books have been launched at Swiss Cottage library.

What did we think of the PrioryTavern when we went to roadtest the menu?

A woman was found in a distressed state by garages in Fairhazel Gardens late Saturday night. The police are investigating the circumstances.

On Wednesday a Kilburn Safer Neighbourhood meeting set two priorities: Rowley Way/Abbey estate and anti-social behaviour on the Kingsgate Estate.

On Tuesday, there was a large public meeting about the Abbey estate regeneration plans. Formal plans will be submitted in the next couple of weeks.

Tweet of the Week
Something non-derogatory about Kilburn for once:

Want to see your company’s name here?
You can now sponsor the weekly news blog post
Click for details of this and other commercial opportunities.

What have I missed since July 11th?

So, the Euromillions winner may not have lived in West Hampstead but did we have other winners in NW6this week?

Well, West Hampstead men’s first team won England Hockey’s Club Team of the year.

Kilburn’s hurling team won an international tournament back in Ireland.

Adrian Hall – the Iverson Road garden centre – is closing [read the comments for more detail].There was also a report today that Wilton & Noble, the giftshop on Goldhurst Terrace, has closed.

There was a meeting to report back on the latest plans for 187-199 West End Lane.

The Kilburn Times reported on last weekend’s Kilburn festival.

In crime news – the EUR 50 note scammer who’d targeted people on the streets of West Hampstead has moved to door knocking now. Don’t give strangers £20 in exchange for EUR 50 – it’s a fake note.

There have been more plant thefts after the Wet Fish Cafe had a tree stolen – Achillea Flowers and the Bulgarian food shop on Mill Lane have both suffered.

A new 60-bed hostel is being built in Kilburn to help vulnerable people.

TKMaxx opened in Kilburn – the queues on opening day were long, but there wasn’t much Twitter trafficabout it afterwards.

Read my review of Loyalty at Hampstead Theatre.

Coming up
Abbey Road area public meeting on Wednesday.

Tweet of the Week
Monday was flying ant day. In case you didn’t notice….

What have I missed since July 3rd?

We may have lost one Sunday paper this week, but fear not – WhampNews lives on thanks to its fearless strategy of listening to people’s conversations on Twitter. So what scurrilous scandals have we unearthed and what litigious licence have we taken with the truth this week?

Nicholas Kent, the Tricycle’s highly regarded Artistic Director, has announced he will step down after 27 years in the job, citing funding cuts as the main reason.

Camden’s chief executive Moira Gibb has also resigned. 

In another bad week for First Capital Connect, its Twitter presence has improved and it’s eager to learn how it could do better.

Green-fingered thieves have targeted a West Hampstead pathway.

Kilburn-produced honey is just around the corner.

The Railway announced that two people have been arrested and charged following its recent break-ins

Café Bon is set to take over Caffé West in a couple of weeks, and the Mill Lane Bistro has been sold as a going concern.

Kingsgate School won an inclusion award.

The Winch has secured funding for a second full-time youthworker for three years from September!

Sunday was the Kilburn Festival. And, rarely, the Gaumont State building was open briefly.

Oh, and update your bookmarks – the blog has a new domain name:

Whampzombie film of the week
You may recognise many of the locations in this short film.

Tweet of the Week
A double header of strange tweet and the proof of strange tweet via Abbey Road Studios!

What have I missed since June 26th?

While Wimbledon drew to an inevitable conclusion and people went on strike – but they weren’t French – what happened in West Hampstead?

It was actually a fairly quiet week. The Railway had a second break-in within a month – turned out to be the same guy both times.

One of The Wet Fish Cafe’s outisde plants was nicked – there’s a reward for its return.

There was a meeting on Saturday about the plans for 187-199 West End Lane. There’ll be a report back in the evening of July 13th.

On Wednesday, Camden convened a “place shaping” meeting as part of determining a vision for West Hampstead.

Here’s more on the Gondar Gardens plans that were rejected.

Camden Cycling Campaign investigated cycle provision around South Hampstead.

Movers & Shapers’ instructor Siobhan won gold and silver medals at a senior international Judo event.

Transition Town West Hampstead joined Twitter.

Want to live on the site of music history? The Railway’s owners have applied to create 14 flats upstairs.

The Jester Festival benefitted from good weather and was a great success.

Some good photos of last Sunday’s Secret BBQ were posted.

Photo of the Week
@MaloufTeabaggy snapped this lovely scene:
“Tesco donut anyone? Good to know someone is tasting them so they aren’t poisoned”

What have I missed since June 20th?

There’s been whimsical weather at Wimbledon, and whooping or whingeing over Olympic tickets. But what’s been happening in and around West Hampstead this week?

The plans to develop Gondar Gardens have been rejected.
As have the plans to convet The Luminaire on Kilburn High Rd into flats.

The Finchley Road branch of Habitat looks likely to be retained as the rest of the company is sold off.

There was a bad car accident on Finchley Road opposite Waitrose on Saturday morning.

Monday’s Area Action Group discussed development, retail, libraries and We Are Camden.

Kinsgate Community Centre launched its summer playscheme and has some job vacancies.

Ed Fordham guest blogged about the latest passenger user group meeting of London Overground.

There’ll be some more outdoor gym equipment at Swiss Cottage.

Walnut on West End Lane is up for rent.

The all-conquering West Hampstead men’s hockey team are nominated for Team of the Season.

The Kilburn Film Festival line-up was announced.

La Brocca, The Alice House and an account dedicated to local wildlife all launched on Twitter.

And finally, Morrisey mentioned West Hampstead when he introduced guitarist and local resident Boz Boorer during his Glastonbury set.

Coming up
This weekend is the Jester Festival.

Tweet of the week
A very late Sunday night entry

What have I missed since June 12th

More crap weather in the run up to Wimbledon and Glastonbury, but aside from dodging showers what else have we been up to in this part of London?

Crime is still big news. There was a well-attended meeting in Kilburn ward on Monday that focused on crime and safety. There were assurances about the local impact of cuts to Safer Neighbourhood Teams.

Meanwhile, police in Fortune Green have been taking an unusual approach to tackling burglaries in Operation Poppins.

Those sniffer dogs at Kilburn station find some cocaine – on a Police Community Support Officer.

Over in the South Hampstead conservation area, a currency scammer has struck twice.

Acol Childrens Centre has not been saved by a parents’ campaign but will apparently be “reborn” as a community nursery.

The libraries debate continues as some Camden Conservative councillors “call-in” Labour’s libraries proposals.

West Hampstead & Fortune Green wards have their next joint Area Forum this Monday (20th). Local shops are top of the agenda, so why not come along and have your say? Separately, the local ward councillors are changing their surgery arrangements.

Surprise, surprise, more problems are expected on the Jubilee Line.

In local restaurant news: Lena’s salad bar opened on Friday (where Gustoso used to be). The sudden popularity of Café Bon‘s coconut cake prompted it to join Twitter. Love Food has started a Tots & Toast morning on Mondays. And, finally, Yoo Moo (frozen yoghurt) has opened
at the O2 centre.

The paparazzi were at the Alice House on Tuesday morning as Imogen Thomas was there – allegedly on a house-hunting mission.

The Jester Festival – West Hampstead’s summer jamboree – has a website!

The Winchester Project is looking for a Chief Operating Officer.

The two West Hampstead 5-a-side teams that split from the original 6-a-side Wanderers squad are 1 and 2 in the league.

September 8th – Whampgather VII – Four Worlds Collide

Tweet of the Week

What have I missed since June 5th?

What West Hampstead news have you missed while you were sheltering from the rubbish weather?

There was a triple bomb scare on Finchley Road, with the O2 centre, Waitrose, and Marks & Spencer all targeted.

A spectacularly local thunderstorm struck on Friday morning causing an electrical surge as everyone tweeted about it. It had more serious implications, knocking out the electrics at Sidney Boyd Ct and damaging Virgin’s local internet service.

Kilburn Boots had £1,000 worth of No.7 stock lifted on Saturday while the security guard took his lunch break.

There’s more detail on the Crime and Community Safety meeting on June 13th in Camden’s Kilburn ward.

Ladudu is getting closer to full service, and is offering a launch deal on June 20 & 21: two courses and a drink for £10 6:30pm-9:30pm.

West End Lane’s Maya has become Scampa and has applied for an alcohol licence.

Sri Lankan restaurant Elephant Walk is for sale.

The Gallery has joined Twitter (for the second time – but think it might stick around this time). 

Gerrymandering or sensible redrawing of constituency boundaries? Hampstead & Kilburn could be split (p10).

West Hampstead Transition Town kicked off on Monday.

Coming up
On July 7th Michael Simkins discusses his latest light hearted travel-lit-cum-biographical work, The Last Flannelled Fool at West End Lane Books.

Tweet of Week

What have I missed since May 30th?

The world news this week has mostly been depressing, so is there anything a bit more light-hearted in West Hampstead to report?

Well, not really. If you’re concerned about crime in the South Hampstead / Mortimer Rd / Abbey Estate area, there’s a meeting on June 13 to put in your diary.

Most burglaries in the South hampstead conservation area occur between 8am-11am, and they’re on the rise.

Several crimes were reported on Twitter this week: a bag snatch on Crediton Hill, an assault on Canfield Gardens, a bike and wallet stolen, and a door kicked in on Mortimer Crescent.

There was a mystery high-pitched sound around South Hampstead that lasted several days. Turned out to be an alarm in the pump room at the Abbey Estate.

Most of us will be moving to once-a-week rubbish collections as of next week.

Update on Camden’s plans for open space on Broadhurst Gardens.

Caffè Nero opened on West End Lane on Monday to mixed reactions – and apparently the WiFi will be free very soon. Peacocks opened on Finchley Road to very little reaction.

Kingsgate Community Centre has a new IT facility offering free courses and workshops.

Transition Town Kilburn planted the flower beds at Kilburn tube station (help water them if you’re there – there’s a watering can & tap on the platform). You can get involved in the Transition Town idea as it’s coming to West Hampstead with a meeting on Monday.

Ever wondered about the giant mural by Kilburn tube?

Read about the inspiration behind the RIBA winning Kilburn Grange Park adventure playground.:

Plans are coming together for the Kilburn Festival. There’s a kick-off event also on Monday at 5.30pm at the North London Tavern – head over if you’re interested.

The line-up has been announced for the Kilburn Film Festival (which runs for a few days up to the main festival).

The next West Hampstead/Fortune Green area forum is on June 20. There’s a session on West End Lane retail – so why not come along and have your say (and lower the average age a bit).

Tweet of the Week
The opening day of Caffè Nero prompted this pithy review from local stand-up star Simon

What have I missed since May 23rd?

It’s been a funny old week. President Obama came for a visit, Cheryl Cole came home, and Lionel Messi came to show us how to play football. But what about the comings and goings in West Hampstead?

Much of this week’s local news has revolved around the neighbourhood shops. Gustoso is turning into Lena’s restaurant and café. The shop half of the Kitchen Table & Stores is closing. Caffé Nero is opening. Estate agent Brian Lack & Co. (West Hampstead’s original agent) is closing but Goldschmidt & Howland is taking its place.

Cllr Keith Moffitt pointed out that people missing Atlanta (now Caffe Nero) can visit its mini-branch on Finchley Road,

Camden released its report on libraries. There are three proposals under consideration, the most extreme of which would see West Hampstead library close, but the most likely option would see library provision at Belsize, Heath and Chalk Farm move to an alternative provider. 

Following a community meeting, the Swiss Cottage/Kilburn dispersal zone has been extended for 6 months.

There was a crash on Thursday involving a C11 and two cars at the junction of West End Lane and Broadhurst Gardens.

A West End Lane man has been living in his car to avoid clamping.

Whampstyle was a big hit on Thursday.

There was a sizeable police presence on the Kilburn High Road before Saturday’s Champions League Final.

A new mapping project shows West Hampstead in the 1880s.

West End Lane Books has launched a book group.

The Swiss Cottage Odeon is going to have an IMAX screen AND a fancy bar when it reopens.

Interested in a more sustainable future? Head to St James’ Church on June 6 for a West Hampstead Transition Town kick-off meeting.

Tweet of the Week
Finishing where we began with the presidential visit:

What have I missed since May 15th?

Things happened this week, but I can’t tell you what they were or to whom they happened. I can tell you that the consequence is that everyone’s very bored about footballers’ affairs. No superinjunctions preventing full disclosure of this week’s West Hampstead news though.

Another weekend of Jubilee closures caught a few people out, although it was announced a couple of weeks ago. This press release from London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon has links to lots more background information.

There was a large-scale police drugs raid in South Kilburn on Wednesday morning.

Former Hampstead & Kilburn candidate Tamsin Omond admitted to criminal damage of HM Treasury during the protests back in March.

A new Cricklewood medical centre won’t take Fortune Green residents on its books, but will accept walk-ins.

There’s a community meeting at lunchtime on May 24th regarding the re-invoked dispersal zone.

The large-scale National Grid works on Finchley Road will kick off very soon

We went to the new Burrito joint on the Kilburn High Road last Monday. Fast food it wasn’t.

Locals can get a 50% discount off their first order at Red Apple.

West Hampstead was in the media this week: it featured on a BBC London news item about property prices, The Winch’s recent trip to Harlem was also featured on BBC London, and even the FT mentioned the area in a piece on listed buildings.

Coming up
Whampstyle is on Thursday – it’s sold out, but look out for the report next weekend.

Secret BBQ sign-ups have been brisk, but still plenty of places left. You do need to put your name down for this though.

West End Lane books is hosting an Oliver Harris event on Thursday.

On June 11th, Queen’s Park book festival promises a great line up, including local twitterati Robert Webb, Edwyn Collins, Anthony McGowan and Hugh Pym.

Tweet of the Week

What have I missed since May 8th?

While Jedward and Blue slugged it out in Düsseldorf and Stoke and Manchester City slugged it out at Wembley what was happening in West Hampstead?

Fortune Green councillor Flick Rea celebrated 25 years in office.

Councillor Abdul Quadir has taken over from Jonathan Simpson as Mayor of Camden.

Here’s an architect drawing of the plans for Cambridge Avenue in Kilburn.

The details of Kilburn’s History Festival were announced.

There was literally a daylight robbery at St Johns Wood Barclays.

The dispersal zone in South Hampstead/Swiss Cottage has been reinstated for 28 days following the fatal stabbing.

A local man unearthed a nuclear bunker while doing some gardening.

West Hampstead neo-natal charity Best Beginnings has received £170,000 from the Department of Health.

Our very own Bake-a-boo popped up on the radio (from 13’30”).

The Kilburn Times wrote about the local Womens Institute who meet in the NLT.

We went to Afghan restaurant Ariana II in Kilburn.

In the West Hampstead 5-a-side derby, the Wanderers aka Soliders of Fortune (Green) just pipped WHamp Athletic 5-4.

Interested in the Secret BBQ?

Coming Up
Next Sunday, celebrate 30 years of the Tricycle Theatre.

Tweet of the Week

What have I missed since May 1st?

As superinjunctions rained down, and Scottish Salmond rejoiced, what was happening in good ol’ West Hampstead?

Camden was one of just 10 places in the UK to buck the trend and vote Yes to AV.

Across the Kilburn High Road some historic licence was taken with polling cards.

Talking of history, Ed and Dick dug up a tale of a Kilburn watchseller.

Was it really a great surprise that we are in fact going to see more weekend Jubilee Line closures?

Not that last month’s steam train fared much better.

West End News and Karahi Master are the latest two casualties on West End Lane.

The Lower Ground Bar is revamping its website.

Gastronomia La Delizia, a new restaurant on Fairfax Rd was granted a drinks licence but with shorter hours than requested. Its change-of-use application is still to be decided.

Camden’s borough commander referred to the Abbey estate stabbings in an interview with the Kilburn Times.

And NW6’s favourite race horse Kilburn won by a huge margin in his first race over hurdles at Plumpton.

Coming up
Parking suspensions this week in Compayne Gdns and Broadhurst Gdns for drains and lighting work.

Tweet of the Week

What have I missed since April 24th?

Really very hard to think of anything at all that happened this week – either domestically or abroad. No. I got nothing. Luckily, there’s plenty of local news to keep everyone occupied.

Local resident and travel writer Peter Moss was killed in the Marrakesh café bomb. Many tributes were paid to him.

A 16-year-old appeared in court in connection with last week’s fatal knife attack last week on the Abbey estate.

At an extraordinary council meeting, it seemed that none of Camden’s libraries might have to close.

On the same night, Camden’s only hustings on the AV referendum took place at St Mary’s Church.

Two West Hampstead police horses took part in the royal wedding.

There were several street parties, including this one in Glenbrook Road.

Ladudu finally opened, albeit in soft launch mode until the gas gets connected.

West End Lane Oddbins will remain a wine shop.

Fancy working in the West Hampstead signal box and raising money for charity?

Author Marina Lewycka (A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian) will visit West End Lane Books on Wednesday at 7.30.

You can sign up now for Whampstyle – a free night of fashion, wine and local mingling on May 26th.

Tweet of the Week
Stiff competition this week, but this harking back for a simpler time takes the prize:

What have I missed since April 17th?

As people gorged themselves on chocolate and temperatures and referendum rhetoric soared, what was happening in West Hampstead?

Kilburn features prominently in this short film promoting the Yes to AV campaign.

It also features in this film that launches the South Kilburn Studios.

On Wednesday night two young men were stabbed on the West Hampstead/Kilburn borders, one fatally. Police have arrested a 17 year-old.

A Kilburn High Road shop  that’s had a few run-ins with the police has applied for a 24hr alcohol licence.

West Hampstead’s churches got some good pre-Easter press coverage – including mentions of their use of Twitter.

Remember the NW5 signpost cock-up? Well, it’s been rectified!

After a bad week on the Jubilee Line, this Easter’s closures should (*cough) be the last
of the planned engineering works.

West End Lane take-away the Bombay Bicycle Club has shut up shop and moved to Maida Vale. Pizza Hut is allegedly interested in the site. The Green Room in Broadhurst Gardens also appears to have closed (unless the owners are just on holiday). STOP PRESS: The Green Room has closed – it will become an Italian restaurant.

The two 5-a-side teams started the season with wins: 11-5 for the @WHampWanderers and 9-7 for @WhampAthletic.

West Hampstead’s men’s hockey team remain on course for the double after they won the
cup last weekend.

Coming up this week
The Glo sign was finally replaced by the Ladudu sign as the Vietnamese restaurant prepares for its soft launch this week.

Next Saturday, the Priory Tavern hosts a jazz and soul “Music in the Raw” event, starting at 7pm.

Tweet of the week
Tough one this week – three great contenders, but the winner was Kate with this heavily re-tweeted scatological offering:

What have I missed since April 10th?

As the country began to go a little bit Royal Wedding crazy, what was happening in West Hampstead this week?

We found out that US daytime TV programme The Rachael Ray Show will be filming at Bake-a-boo next week. About the Royal Wedding.

Lymington Road residents association is holding a street party. Indoors. For the Royal Wedding.

Talking of parties – the sixth edition of #whampgather was another great success and we raised over £130 for The Winch.

The CNJ reported on the impending arrival of Caffé Nero. 

Armed robbers struck in Belsize Park.

Kingsgate Community Centre announced its spring/summer term programme.

There was confirmation of Peacocks moving into the Finchley Road Woolworths site.

The engineering works on the Jubilee Line were supposed to move us from 24 to 33 trains an hour. That’s been revised down to just 27. Just three trains more for all that work?

Perhaps steam is the way forward? This train pulled into West Hampstead on Wednesday. But never made it back after breaking down on its return journey.

New on Twitter: @kilburn_ward for Brent Kilburn ward news

Camden’s only AV referendum hustings will be held in St Mary’s Church on April 27th. Andrew Marshall and David Aaronovitch will be arguing for Yes, and Chris Philp + a.n.other for No.

The West Hampstead Wanderers salvaged some pride in the last match of the season.

Hampstead Cricket Club kicked off its season with a home draw against Cambridge.

Tweet of the Week
For once not a cheeky dig at the eccentrics of Kilburn but something more positive about our own neighbourhood:

What have I missed since April 3rd?

It’s been a relatively quiet week in NW6 but, as always, here’s some of the local news you might have missed.

It’s been a bad week for the Cock Tavern Theatre: right after it received some great publicity  from the BBC, it was forced to close down.

Mark Riley gave @WHampstead a shout out on his BBC6 programme (sadly getting my name wrong) (from 1h 7′ 14″)

Last year’s Hampstead & Kilburn PPC Tamsin Omond had a magistrate’s hearing adjourned.

West Hampstead Conservation Area is looking for a secretary (unpaid).

The ever-popular Spicy Basil on the High Road has closed for a refurb, but customers are eager for its reopening.

Talking of Basil (segue of the week), here’s a website devoted to Basil Spence who designed Swiss Cottage Library.

There’s some positive news about improvements to the western West Hampstead borders (aka Cricklewood).

Kilburn author Robert Hudson came across a Kilburn tragedy.

Coming up
The sixth local get-together aka #whampgather, takes place at The Lion on West End Lane from 8pm on Thursday.

On Wednesday, a steam train will pass through West Hampstead in the morning and again in the evening.

Tweet of the Week
Tough competition this week but the winner goes to this myth-busting missive.

What have I missed since March 27th?

While protests gathered momentum in Yemen and India beat first Pakistan and then Sri Lanka to clinch the Cricket World Cup, what was happening closer to home?

The PC who tackled last summer’s knife wielding man in West Hampstead received a bravery award. Sadly, due an off-duty stabbing, he was unable to attend the ceremony.

BBC London reported on the attempts to save Charteris Sports Centre, but by the end of the week, Brent announced it would close

In better news, the West Hampstead Alzheimers care centre has been saved.

Kilburn’s Queen of the Supper Club @MsMarmitelover published her first cookbook.

Arts Council England funding was announced. The Tricycle had funding cut by 11%, while Camden Arts Centre had funding raised by 15.6%

If you’re 18-25, living in Brent and have a creative streak this trainee programme might be for you.

Between 2007 and 2010, Camden overall became less deprived, but Kilburn still has a child poverty problem.

Ninety years ago, last Monday, the magnificently named Derek Jules Gaspard Ulric Niven van den Bogaerde was born in Hemstal Road. He’s better known as Dirk Bogarde.

Oddbins went into administration this week. There was a lot of speculation on Twitter as to what might take the place of the West End Lane branch should it close.

I went to the Cock Theatre for the first time.

On April 1st there were a couple of bits of breaking news.

The West Hampstead Wanderers couldn’t play their penultimate match of the season due to
failed floodlights.

Tweet of the Week

What have I missed since March 20th?

While people marched in London and we bombed Libya, what was happening in leafy NW6?

New arrivals on West End Lane included Rock Men’s Salon and the almost-open West End Charcoal Grill.

New arrivals on Twitter included The Alexandra & Ainsworth Estate, Nail Suite and (after advertising it for months) LoveFood.

On April 13th, a steam train will chug into West Hampstead on a public service. Timetable here.

More info on the Fortune Green work.

Ricky Gervais spoke out about the planned closure of Netherwood Alzheimers Centre.

Sunday was the Friends of West Hampstead Library relaunch / “use your library” day.
Meanwhile there was a nice photo posted of John, who sells books by Thameslink.

In South Kilburn, some allotments were rediscovered, and details on the new masterplan published.

We reviewed Gung-Ho on West End Lane.

The Wanderers lost, sadly confirming their place at the foot of the table.

Photo of the Week
A bit early still, but this photo by Chris captures the most attractive shop window on West End Lane at the moment – Gustoso.

What have I missed since March 13th?

Obviously a lot of very major international news this week, but I was in the US all week where the media seemed concerned largely with the potential radiation fallout in the Tri-State area. And St Patrick’s Day. So what was happening closer to home?

After all the hullabaloo over Sainsbury’s opening, you turned out to be disappointed with the range on offer and the bad stock levels. Meanwhile, Costcutter by the tube station has closed for a 2-week refit.

A consultation process began for cuts to childrens’ centres, including Acol, while, the Netherwood Alzheimers centre received some heavyweight backing.

Caffé Nero confirmed it was looking to open in West Hampstead by May, and Cllr Keith Moffitt said that it would not need permission for a change-of-use to take over Atlanta Food & Wine.

A new graffiti fox popped up by Thameslink , while Mona Lisa appeared by Oddbins.

The troublesome Legacy nightclub on Finchley Road was given permission to open until midnight on Mondays but not on Sundays.

On Monday 21st, there’s a meeting about the Kilburn Festival at 7.30pm in the Kingsgate Community Centre. If you’re interested then go along.

At the Olivier Awards, La Bohème at the Cock Tavern was the surprise winner of best new opera production. 

The air ambulance was called to a car accident late Sunday afternoon on Finchley Road.

People struggled to get good photos of the supermoon, but the next day saw a classic sunset and yours truly snapped this pic.

It was another disappointing result for the Wanderers after a really strong performance.

No Tweet of the Week this week, instead it’s time to “spot the mistake” on this photo of Mill Lane taken by Andrea.

What have I missed since March 6th?

Although most of the world’s attention was focused overseas this week, here in NW London Arsenal were losers and Spurs were winners. But what happened in West Hampstead?

There are still only fairly limited details being released about last weekend’s sword attack (which came exactly a year after a man was arrested with swords on Finchley Road)

The Sainsbury’s Local finally opened. You all had lots to say about it on Twitter.
Atlanta Food & Wine is closing however, with a strong rumour that Caffé Nero will take its place. How much pressure will that put on Sirous’s daytime trade and Moment?

Lite (formerly known as Le Petit Coin) has closed its doors.

I blogged about library closures.

The Iverson Road pavement by the new Thameslink station is going to be really wide.

There’s a new West Hamsptead Gardens residents association covering Hemstal, Hilltop, Kylemore, Gladys, Sherriff, Lowfield and bits of West End Lane.

The Swiss Cottage Odeon is closing for a refit on March 17th and reopening in the summer. Should you go to the New End Theatre to see 74 Georgia Avenue instead?

Kingsgate Communirty Centre is offering ballet classes over Easter  and is definitely not closing.

Explore Learning has opened a new tuition centre in West Hampstead.

West Hampstead women’s centre needs a manager.

And the Wanderers lost to the Wizards.

Tweet of the Week
There can be only one contender in what was, frankly, a slow week. Up your game people!

What have I missed since February 27th?

While Charlie Sheen was “winning” and everyone gave books away (a bit like a library), what were the good folk of West Hampstead up to?

Charlotte Louis De Canonville was made Camden’s PCSO of the year for her work in transforming West Hampstead’s neighbourhood watch.

The West Hampstead safer neighbourhoods base is the most expensive in the borough.

There was high drama on Saturday night with armed police and the area around Sumatra Road/West End Lane closed to pedestrians. Still no confirmation as to the cause, but one report talks of a man on the loose with two swords.

There was good news and bad news for local services:
A West Hampstead nursery had its hopes for reprieval dashed.
The campaign to save Netherwood Alzheimers care centre got celebrity backing and even made it on to ITV’s coverage of Camden’s budget protests.
The Acol children’s centre still looks set to close despite protests.

We’ve got two years (yes, years) of roadworks on Finchley Rd to look forward to.

TfL had updated its network upgrade webpages. Here’s the Jubilee page and calendar of closures.

Karahi Master could be yours for £50,000.
Hampstead Food Mart has had a 24hr alcohol licence application refused.
Sainsbury’s on West End Lane (with its insanely bright sign) opens at 7am on Friday.

Some 139 bus love with a time-lapse video and a blog.

The West Hampstead Wanderers struggled to get off the bottom of the table with another defeat.

Final reminder for #whampreview at Gung Ho on March 23rd. Names drawn from all those who want their name in the hat at midday on Monday 7th.

And advance notice that the next #whampgather (the big local get-together held every 3-4 months) will be on April 14th. Venue to be decided.

Tweet of the Week

What have I missed since February 20th?

While the Irish kicked their government and the Libyan ‘government’ kicked its people, what was happening in the leafy lanes of NW6?

There was shop news aplenty. Atlanta Food & Wine on West End Lane is for sale.
TKMaxx is coming to Kilburn.
And Peacocks may be moving in to the old Woolworths’ site on Finchley Road.

A man was charged over the previous week’s nasty assault in Kilburn.

There were vocal campaigns to save Kilburn’s Charteris sports centre in Brent and play centres in Camden.

There are still problems with building site traffic on Priory Road.

I went to see Still Life at Pentameters Theatre.

As Oscar fever built, our own statuette winner went for a pescatorial pedicure.

The Brondes Age and Elephant Walk opened new Twitter accounts.

The Wanderers suffered their worst defeat of the season. Nothing to say but “ouch”.

Tweet of the week

What have I missed since February 13th?

While you were all receiving a dozen red roses and gambolling in the still public forests, what did West Hampstead have to say for itself?

Local actress Jessica Hynes joined the campaign to save Charteris Sports Centre.

There’s a Kilburn Book Club launching: first meeting is March 3rd at the Black Lion.

Initial reports of a body found by the Brondesbury Medical Centre on the Kilburn High Road turned out to be a serious assault.

The north-west London graffiti fox story makes the Ham & High.

Admin and gas installation problems will delay the opening of Ladudu, the new Vietnamese restaurant on West End Lane.Now looking at April or May. Sainsbury’s Local meanwhile looks like it’s less than a week away from opening. The sign is very bright.

West Hampstead gets one of its fire engines back.

Camden published its budget and council tax report. [pdf]

Cllr Mike Katz argues that Camden is wrong to propose closure of Acol’s children’s centre

In Sport, Hampstead Cricket Club’s indoor team have made the South East England Regional final, beating Merrow from Surrey by 93 runs.

West Hampstead Wanderers lost to the impressive Kilburn Wizards.

Coming up this week:
Friends of West Hampstead Library has been reinvigorated in light of the threat to local libraries. There’s a meeting for restarting FOWHL on February 22nd at 7.30 at the library of course.
Swiss Cottage Safer Neighbourhoods public meeting on February 22nd 7-8.30pm at Crossfield Centre, Fairhazel Gardens.
Swiss Cottage Safer Neighbourhoods drop-in surgery on February 23rd 11am-1pm at the Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre.
West Hampstead Safer Neighbourhoods street briefing on February 27th 2-4pm outside O2 Sainsburys.

Tweet of the Week
Tough choice this week, we had some classics, but the winner is this public service announcement from Moya

What have I missed since February 6th?

While Egypt revolted and Rooney revolved, what was happening closer to home?

The West Hampstead & Fortune Green area forum took place on Monday.

Netherwood daycare centre could be a victim of the cuts.

Camden’s library consultation document was published – let them know what you think.

A Free School in Hampstead could affect the proposed school in West Hampstead.

Want to speak to Glenda Jackson about anything? Here are her surgery dates. [pdf]

The Luminaire announced its Wake Week gigs.

The Alliance on Mill Lane is going to undergo a major refurb/facelift

Brioche on West End Lane is starting evening opening hours, including cocktails!

The Wet Fish Café featured in a kids’ TV show.

Ed’s written about the history of Emmanuel Church history.

The next batch of Jubilee & Metropolitan Line closures was announced.

The Overground is going to be severely disrupted from Feb 19th to 27th.

The Black Path (along the Thameslink tracks) is being relaid and will be shut until the 17th.

Londonist is mapping the stencil foxes that have cropped up in NW London, including on the side of West Hampstead Tesco’s.

West Hampstead Wanderers took a point against Abacus Althetic.

Tweet of the Week

What have I missed since January 30th?

While Torres headed down the M6, checking the new police crime map (hint: the circles will be smaller in Chelsea, Fernando), what was happening in NW6?

The week got off to a great start with the West Hampstead Wanderers recording their first win.

Much of the rest of the week was marred by tube disruptions. The latest update on when the upgrade work will be over is now April/May (or even June). 

Meanwhile, there are new ticket office opening hours as of Monday at many local tube stations including West Hampstead.

Camden’s draft transport strategy is out for consultation.

Plans are in for the development of Kilburn market. Also on the High Road, the big unit next to McDonalds is to become a Halfords.

On West End Lane, yet another men’s salon is opening where Matrix failed (next to Café Bon). It will apparently offer men’s hand shaving.

Over on Fincley Road, salad bar Freshloopz is opening next to the Woolworths’ site.

There are concerns over police response times in West Hampstead if 999 teams are centralised.

Legacy nighclub on Finchley Rd seems unlikely to have its hours extended.

The Luminaire will be back for one final week in early March.

The Kitchen Table is hosting a supper club this Thursday. Pop in to reserve (or DM on Twitter).

Coming up:
The West Hampstead/Fortune Green area forum is Monday night (7th). Do go along if you’re interested in what’s happening in the area.

Tweet of the Week

What have I missed since January 23rd?

While Egyptians rioted because Andy Gray asked Richard Keys to “tap his phone”, what comical misunderstandings were happening in West Hampstead?

The Ham & High reported that neighbourhood watch is alive and twitching in West Hampstead.

Twitter, of course, is a sort of real-time neighbourhood watch, and reported an attempted break-in at the rear of a house opposite the park in Iverson Road.

There were also reports of conmen trying to convince people to part with their gold for pennies.

And of course something in Kilburn caught fire – this time it was the building works around Peacocks on the High Road.

Last week you may remember the link to a Kilburn poem. There’s much more on the Kilburn poetry project here.

Also in Kilburn, a planning application was posted to fundamentally change a large part of Cambridge Avenue.

Two more bits of planning on Mill Lane – one to turn No. 60 (the former site of West Hampstead Community Centre) into flats and a shop and another to change the London Heath Clinic to residential use.

Did you enjoy the West Hampstead Christmas market. Find out how you can get involved with more local markets.

There’s also news on Tesco’s deliveries at the Fortune Green branch and a chance for you to have your say.

More Asian food action than you can shake a chopstick at: Vietnamese restaurant ladudu, due to open where Glo was on West End Lane, is recruiting, while a new sushi restaurant opened in Swiss Cottage.

If you REALLY like West Hampstead’s train stations, this seven (count them) minute video is for you – it actually has a slightly amusing end.

The campaign to save Charteris Sports Centre continues apace. Keep up to date or get involved here (and follow @save_charteris &/or @11streets).

In sports news, once again the West Hampstead Wanderers were beaten, this time 6-3 by the Kilburn Wizards. The scores are getting closer boys.

And racehorse Kilburn finished third in Saturday’s race at Lingfield.

Tweet of the Week

What have I missed since January 16th?

While the media obsessed over political resignations, what was happening in West Hampstead this week?

MISSING PERSON: Daisy has been missing from Kilburn, London since January 10th.

The battle over the development of Gondar Gardens continues.
At the same end of town, there are some changes to the proposed development at No.1 Mill Lane.

Further down Mill Lane, newcomer The Private Space has popped up on Facebook, and is also offering 20% off an initial hair appointment. 

At the other end of West Hamsptead, roads and pavements in the Swiss Cottage conservation (soon to be officially renamed South Hampstead) and West End Lane area are going to have maintenance work this year.

Two local community centres are upping their online game. Kingsgate is on Twitter, while the West Hampstead Community Centre has a website.

The local women’s centre received more than £340,000 in lottery funding, while the children’s centre in Acol Road looks set to be a victim of local cuts.

Also at risk of being cut is our local 999 police response unit.

Here’s a postcard and a bit of backstory of a major fire that happened by Kilburn station in 1910.

Astonishingly, one of the screenshots promoting Google Places on the iPhone worldwide shows our very own Lately.

Culture news
The run of small hours at Hampstead Theatre has been extended to Feb 19th. I reviewed it.
On Wednesday, Kilburn was on Homes under the Hammer and then West Hampstead was on Will My Crash Diet Kill Me?
The hunt is on for Camden’s unsung musical heroes.

Sports news
The local men’s hockey team is aiming to remain unbeaten this season – they’ve won 12 on the trot so far.
West Hampstead Wanderers meanwhile lost on Monday, but the season is young.

Coming up
This Wednesday is the Swiss Cottage Area Action Group

Tweet of the Week

What have I missed since January 9th

While waters rose around the world, what were the good people of NW6 getting up to?

Locals’ sporting prowess was put to the challenge in the first match of the season for the new West Hampstead Wanderers. Unfortunately it was a 10-4 defeat.
Fortunately, the league system was completely changed at the end of the week and that result was wiped.
Hampstead cricket club announced its winter indoor nets training.

Rachel’s hand-drawn map of West Hampstead (and its tweeters) was a big hit with locals.

The Tricycle Theatre’s political play The Great Game will be performed for (but not at) the Pentagon.

In crime news, a local described as “violent and dangerous” was jailed for six years.
While the man charged with the stabbing last week has been remanded in custody following his court hearing.

Cuts news
Read preliminary details of Camden’s formal consultations on its cuts.
(the next local area action group meetings are Jan 26 for Swiss Cottage and Feb 7 for the combined West Hampstead & Fortune Green meeting).
Here’s an update on the (non-development of) Fortune Green community services.
And some longer-term local planning issues.
Across the border in Brent, you can discuss the cuts at Brent area forums.

Here’s a poem by Aoife Mannix about Peel precinct.
And in other literature news, West End Lane Books has free Story Time sessions for kids 3-7 every Thursday at 4pm with the recently retired assistant head of Beckford School

And finally, The Railway announced that all its deliveries will take place after 8am

Tweet of the Week
Some astute observation on the challenges of modern life in West Hampstead by Tim

What have I missed since January 2nd

While everyone was heading back to work, and breaking New Year’s resolutions as fast as possible, how did 2011 start in West Hampstead?

The major local news of the week was the stabbing of a 24 year-old woman in broad daylight. A man has been charged.

The local sport of Ken-spotting was made much easier when he protested outside the tube station.

Talking of local luminaries, two West Hampstead residents received New Year’s Honours: Gerard Oppeheimer OBE, chair of Camden Society and Bert Kwouk OBE, actor.

Cllr Andrew Marshall discussed pedestrian crossing issues on Greencroft Gardens.

There was a fire above the T-Mobile shop on Kilburn High Road.

Racehorse Kilburn won the 3.10 at Lingfield on Friday at 15/2. @Cyburn was smart enough to have placed a bet.

Talking of races, a West Hampstead teacher broke the consecutive marathons world record.

Two art courses for kids were announced at Kingsgate Community Centre. One on animation and one with clay.

The Daily Telegraph reviewed the Czech Restaurant. Unfavourably.

Mill Lane Vets had a website overhaul.

The Google Street Car was in West Hampstead yesterday. Did no-one get a photo?

For those of you on Twitter, a new hashtag started – #whampflat – for people with rooms in search of rooms/or with rooms to let. 

Photos of the Week
Two photos this week – firstly, these hyperlocal inspired cupcakes made by Lauren and Sarah:

And then this treat, snapped off the TV (is it legal to post this?) by Jess:

Tweet of the Week
For once, the Tweet of the Week also contains actual local news about a new men’s hairdressers on West End Lane.

What have I missed in the past two weeks?

Yes, it’s catch-up time. While you were all gorging yourselves on mince pies, feeling like death warmed up while forcing yourself to be nice to elderly relatives, and then seeing in the New Year, what was happening in West Hampstead and surrounds?

There was snow of course. Lots of you commented on Camden’s response on the blog.
Cllr Andrew Marshall wrote his own thoughtful reaction.

Andrew also commented on the cuts in Camden, and on the alterations to the High Speed trainline route out of Euston, including a detailed map of the proposed route through the area.
Talking of things coming up this year, I collated everyone’s local predictions for 2011, and also set a quiz based on 2010’s news

Not a lot happened over Christmas, although Kilburn’s St Augustine’s Church featured on Sacred Music on BBC4 on Christmas Eve. Sadly, the concert doesn’t appear to be on iPlayer.

Down in that part of Kilburn, there’s been a pop-up art project underway for a few weeks.
Back up the High Road, there’s a planning application in to turn the Luminaire and King’s Head into flats and a shop.

Remember Conservative PPC Chris Philp? He has a new role in the AV referendum. It also turns out he was the highest spending PPC in England!
The Private Space – the new stylist on Mill Lane – is offering a 25% discount to people from local businesses starting from January.

With the Jubilee Line closed for much of the holidays, it was delays on the Met Line that made the news
And finally, Belsize Road’s popular cheap restaurant Little Bay is on Twitter.

Tweets of the Week
As we’re covering a fortnight’s worth of news, two tweets today. First up, this observation from Bill Glover:

And then a New Year’s exchange between former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan and Atiq Ghafoor:

What have I missed since December 12th?

While you were waiting for your deliveries from Amazon and kissing your colleague on the photocopier, what was happening in West Hampstead?

It was another quiet week, dominated of course by snow.
The closure of Brent Cross was big news on Twitter – it was even briefly a global trending topic. Otherwise there was the usual combination of photos of snowmen and complaints about the lack of grit. If you’ve got something to say about how the local area has coped with the sudden snowfall, add your comments on the blog.

If you’re looking for some seasonal entertainment, read my review of The Nutcracker at Pentameters Theatre.

Remember, the saga of the disappearing Kilburn Christmas tree? Well, its final resting place has been revealed – it hasn’t moved far – just to the permanent market on the High Road next to Argos.
Away from seasonal excitement, there are changes afoot to the way Camden consults locals on planning applications. Read more here and here

Read the report of the Kilburn area action group meeting.
What’s new?
LoveFood on West End Lane finally IS on Twitter @WeAllLoveFood (although hasn’t tweeted yet)
The idiosyncratic Penguin boutique is becoming a hairdresser

Only two weeks until New Year’s Eve. Where are you going to be?

The snow of course means that there’s a photo of the week as well as Tweet of the Week. Photo of the week is this from @Lady_Pennyworth who sadly may not be a West Hampstead resident for much longer. There were many snowmen, but this was one of the cutest.

Now, Tweet of the Week, which does in fact include a photo (confusingly).

What have I missed since December 5th?

While you were throwing paint at the Royal Rolls and wishing Wagner was still in X Factor, what was happening “in da hood” (as we never refer to it)?

Well, not a lot in fact. It was a very quiet week in West Hampstead.

The saga of Kilburn’s Christmas tree continued. The Kilburn Times covered it (obviously), but even the Daily Mail picked up the story (scroll down) although both for the “Glenda no-show” angle rather than the “where is the tree now?” question.

West Hampstead’s inaugural Christmas market was a success.

There was a sighting of the local graffiti fox on the side of Tescos.

The Railway has installed 3DTV and showed its first match this Sunday.

This week sees the Kilburn area Action Group (that’s for those of you in Camden’s Kilburn ward) on Wednesday 15th at the Abbey Hive Community Centre at 7pm
Next Sunday there’s panto at Kingsgate Community Centre. Oh no there isn’t. etc. etc. Details here.

And that’s it… for this week. Told you it was quiet… apart from Tweet of the Week of course.

What have I missed since November 28th?

It’s been a busy week of snowy excitement – but while you were reading Wikileaks, what whampleaks did you miss?

On Monday, local residents got together for an area action group meeting to discuss transport, shops and the budget cuts. Sadly, it wasn’t the most representative group of West Hampstead residents.
On Thursday, a different group of locals (with three overlaps) got together at Whampgather V.
One of those overlaps was Lib Dem councillor Keith Moffitt, who gets the first Tweet(s) of the Week:

@KeithMoffitt: Just pondering what utterly different occasions #whampgather and #whampareaforum were!

In the bleak midwinter, why not go to The Tricycle to see the astonishingly good Midsummer.
Kilburn’s Christmas tree was switched on by the Mayor of Brent on Friday evening – by Saturday morning it had disappeared. Apparently Kilburn Business Friends could afford only one night’s insurance.
Will Kilburn’s “Sports & Arts” bar get a licence. It seems unlikely. Here’s the licence application, and two background articles.
A woman on a very late tube was intimidated and assaulted by a girl gang at Kilburn station – for just 50p.
Back in West Hampstead, the West End Green Christmas tree underwhelmed.
But there are plenty of exciting Christmas shopping opportunities in the area.

There’s some disagreement about whether to extend the West End Green conservation area.
Camden and Islington will not be sharing a chief executive, as was mooted earlier in the year.
Cuts were debated in the council chamber. Local councillor Nancy Jirira had strong words in advance for Labour – and for her own Lib Dem party nationally.
Library cuts are inevitable. Cllr Tulip Siddiq posted the annual cost of each Camden library, but told me (in the second of our Tweet(s) of the Week:

@TulipSiddiq no decisions on individual libraries will be made until we complete an extensive consultation with library users

Pizza Lupa has won a pizza award.
The Railway reacted positively to some complaints about early morning noise.
Explore Learning is opening in Fortune Green and is on Twitter.

So, yes, it snowed, and that means there’s a Photo of the Week, this from (and copyright) @antjebormann

Was tough to pick a final tweet of the week this week, but here’s the winner

What have I missed since November 21st?

While you were watching events in North Korea and waiting for snow, what news did you miss in West Hampstead?

Open and shut case
The biggest local news even became a UK trending topic on Twitter for a while. The Luminaire, Kilburn’s premier live music venue, announced it will close at the end of the year.
Another Kilburn venue, The Good Ship, launched a blog.
There’s also a new blog for Kentish Town.
I launched a comprehensive local business directory. It includes West Hampstead’s newest arrival, stylish stylist The Private Space.
The Gym Group finally received its 24hr licence.
Karahi Master, however, was refused a 5am extension.

Lets get political
Hampstead & Kilburn Tory PPC Chris Philp was on Radio 5 telling Kate Silverton that the Royal Family was “stony broke“.
Brian Coleman was reselected as the Conservative candidate to represent Barnet & Camden on the London Assembly.
Camden council has been tweeting about budget savings all week.
After my interview with Camden mayor Jonathan Simpson, the Evening Standard profiled him and mayoress Amy Lamé.
There is dispute about the siting of a new primary school in West Hampstead.
Local students attended the midweek demo against changes to higher education funding.
All three of West Hampstead’s councillors are now on Twitter as Gillian Risso-Gill joins Keith and John.

Thameslink to go ahead, but delayed to 2019.
A PCSO gained an ASBO for a persistent beggar.
More on the previous week’s story about parking fees on red routes.
Local charity The Winch is looking for a part-time voluntary comms manager.

Coming up
Thursday 2nd is the fifth edition of local tweet-up Whampgather. Everyone’s welcome.
Tonight (Monday) is the West Hampstead & Fortune Green Area Forum.
Kilburn’s Christmas lights are switched on on Friday 3rd.
Saturday Dec 4th is Beckford Primary School’s Winter Fair from 2pm to 4.30.

Tweet of the week

What have I missed since November 14th?

Between royal wedding plans and Irish bailouts, what has been happening in the ‘hood

Big news first: The big local tweet-up/hyperlocal get together is on December 2nd at The Lion on West End Lane. We have an area reserved at the back of the bar. If you could let me know if you can make it, that would be lovely although by all means feel free to just turn up. Read about previous #whampgathers.

Upgrading your laptop? Why not donate your old one to The Winch

You may recall commuters getting stuck between St Johns Wood and Baker St a few weeks ago. This starts to explain what happened.
The regular update here on the progress on the Jubilee Line engineering works.
Plans to charge for parking on red routes (where it’s allowed – usually only for short-term parking) would affect Finchley Road.
In yet another tubemap mashup, West Hampstead & Finchley Road were omitted. Travesty.

A man was found dead in a house in Kilburn this week.
Men were jailed after a house attack in West Hampstead, mistaking it for a brothel.
A house fire in Maida Vale triggered a brave response from the West Hampstead fire brigade.

Christmas is coming
Yes, I know it’s still only November, but Christmas lights and fayres are starting up.
Kilburn’s big night is December 3rd.
Belsize Park is having eco-lights.
Gary & Danielle Lineker turn on the St Johns Wood lights on November 28th.
And don’t forget the West Hampstead Christmas market.

Cuts again
Libraries again – Brent invests cash, now plans to close libraries.
The Kilburn ward newsletter discusses cuts as well as many many other topics.
Look who’s on Twitter:

Coming up this week
There’s an exhibition all this week on the Abbey Road regeneration proposals. If you live in the area, then go and see it.
Tuesday sees a one-off return of wordPLAY to the Good Ship in aid of Cystic Fibrosis.
A week on Monday (the 29th), the West Hampstead & Fortune Green area forum starts at 7pm in the Synagogue Hall on Dennington Park Road. Read about last February’s forum.

Tweet of the week
Two parts to this: a surprisingly positive review of the Czech restaurant
And then the tweet of the week from Richard Lander who appeared to have a good time at the much mocked (not least by me) Lite.

What have I missed since November 7th?

While you were rioting on Millbank and watching landmark events in Burma, what was the news closer to home?

The Guardian ran a gloomy piece on the impact of cuts based on an unnamed inner London borough. Could it have been Camden?
There’s already talk of libraries being closed in Brent.
And library resources in Camden seemed to cause a spat between councillors.
Councillors both sides of the Kilburn High Road complained about a college campus closing.
And (they said it would never happen), Glenda‘s on Twitter. Sort of.

Bakeaboo celebrated its 4th birthday.
But Beatties Sweeties looks like it’s closing.
We reviewed Barraco and The Wood Grill.
I cooked macaroons at Waitrose Cookery School.
The X-Burger House’s website finally went live.
Roni’s Bagel Bakery and Atari-ya were feeling the love

Some details emerged about the fatal scooter crash at Lymington Rd.
Network Rail issued a press release on the new Thameslink station.
The West Hampstead Christmas market has been given the all-clear.
I reviewed the excellent .45 at Hampstead Theatre.
A photo tour of Hampstead Cemetery was posted.
An internet café is for sale in Kilburn.

Coming up
There’s a pub quiz at the North London Tavern on Wednesday evening in aid of Cancer Research

Tweet of the Week

What have I missed since October 31st?

So we had tube strikes, media strikes and fireworks, but what’s got you excited this week (apart from the fully functioning Jubilee Line this weekend of course)?

There was a bank robbery in Willesden Green.
A Kilburn councillor discussed how housing benefit changes might affect the local area.
There’s yet another film-based tube map; this time we’re West Hampstead Side Story.
More updates on the Jubilee Line progress.
Mr Pink’s Grill House is now “Wood Grill House”.

Midwinter singles night for Midsummer at the Tricycle (money back if you get married).
There’s an album named after Fortune Green, @Tangentical reviewed it.
Talking of music, I interviewed Camden’s mayor Jonathan Simpson.

Coming up
Next Saturday – a Fortune Green kickabout.

Photo of the week
Tough one this week, with mauve skies aplenty. But this local topiary treat from @NW6Lady had to be the winner.

Tweet of the week

What have I missed since October 24th?

It’s been a relatively quiet week in West Hampstead while you were carving pumpkins and dodging exploding toner cartridges.

The West Hampstead community Christmas market has been given the green light.
I got caught up in a CBBC candid camera style prank at The Wet Fish Café.
The fire brigade union strikes continue, with one planned for Nov 1st and one for Bonfire Night.
The next 24hr tube strike is due to start at 9pm on November 2nd.
Kilburn’s Tin Tabernacle is in need of help.
Some locals may have noticed Royal Mail trolleys on the street.
There was a Labour hold in the Kentish Town by-election, so no change to Camden council’s composition.
The Winch launched its new and improved website.
Update on the Thameslink station development.
A local community group donated final funds to charity as it closes.

Coming up
Fireworks at Roundwood Park on Nov 6th, meeting at West Hamsptead tube at 7pm (RSVP).

Carving of the week
Ok – it’s a butternut squash, not a pumpkin, but this effort from @mermayden‘s flatmate is fantastic.

Tweet of the week

What have I missed since October 17th?

What happened in West Hampstead while George Osborne was giving all our money to Wayne Rooney?

The first cut is the deepest
Last Monday, a rush hour power failure left Jubilee tube trains stuck between St Johns Wood and Baker Street and people (including many #whampers) had to be evacuated.
On Wednesday, when attention was on the government’s spending review, TfL announced ticket prices and changes to some travelcards for 2011.
TfL are apparently “not playing ball” according to Cllr @KeithMoffitt when it comes to switching off the West End Lane traffic lights at Iverson Road, which are redundant while Iverson is closed.
STOP PRESS: another accident by West End Lane Tesco Express witnessed by @bubela: “Just saw yet another accident at corner Lymington/WELane! Car drove into the large bollard base, tyre blew. Driver shocked but OK.”

A close shave

On Friday morning, there was a house fire in Gondar Gardens.
The FBU went on strike on Saturday.

But despite a general work-to-rule, West Hampstead fire officers saved a toddler’s birthday.

A cut above the rest?
Camden released details of the “average” resident of the borough.

Cut crime
Swiss Cottage ward has seen a fall in robberies and burglaries over recent months.

Directors cut
Yet another customised tube map – this one renames stations based on film connections. West Hampstead is “Scenes of a Sexual Nature”.

Cuts like a knife
The Waitrose cookery school at Finchley Road is open for bookings.

Paper cuts
Local paper, Camden New Journal, won at the regional press awards.

Cutting remarks
Bought a Groupon voucher for The Alice House? If you’ve not reserved already, you won’t be allowed a table until the new year now. @ZoeUm was “furious”, but Groupon have offered her a full refund.

Square cut
Plans are afoot for some big changes at the Grove End Road end of Lord’s.

Cut to the chase
When are the next opportunities to meet up?
Nov 6th, Fireworks at Roundwood Park. Plan is to meet at WH tube at 7pm. Drinks in Willesden after.
Nov 12th, Broken Glass at Tricycle Theatre. If we can get 11 people we get a 10% discount. Oct 25th is cut-off date to let me know.

Photo of the week
No Tweet of the Week this week. Instead this fantastic photo from a set of three by @rcsoar.

Twitter / Facebook / Mailing List

What have I missed since October 10?

While you were trying to get to sleep by counting rescued Chilean miners, and following a day in the life of the Greater Manchester Police, what was happening in NW6?

Two road accidents in two days – in the same place? A Domino’s delivery guy was lying in the road on Friday night after apparently having been knocked off his scooter by a taxi outside Tesco’s on West End Lane. Then on Saturday night a car collided with a pedestrian at the same spot. It seems no-one was seriously hurt.

Talking of Domino’s, Tuesday night was Pizza Tasting night.
There was more food reviewing when we visited Small & Beautiful in Kilburn.

Talking of Kilburn, You can sign up for circuit training in Kilburn every Thursday (off Willesden Lane).
The fantastic kids adventure playground in Kilburn Grange Park has won an award.

Talking of awards, the first Kilburn Historic Plaque was unveiled on Monday in honour of A.A.Milne.

Talking of Pooh… A revised planning application has been submitted for the new Thameslink station, dashing hopes that this will be built any time soon.
Jubilee Line closures are now expected to run until March 2011. I’m proposing a day-long pub crawl along the length of the line to celebrate.

Talking of drinking, problem bar 3one7 has received a one-month licence suspension.
Meanwhile, the Legacy Club in Swiss Cottage continues to cause headaches for local residents.

Talking of Swiss Cottage, here’s my review of Enlightenment, the play at the Hampstead Theatre.
And my review of The Saloon Singer at New End Theatre in Hampstead.

Talking of enlightening, sadly it looks like no Alexandra Palace fireworks this year.
We’ll have to go to Roundwood Park instead.

Talking of fire, West Hampstead had a fire engine removed in anticipation of the forthcoming strike over shift changes.

Talking of changing hours, Karahi Master wants to extend its closing time from 2am to 5am.

Talking of late night revelry, the opening night of OxjamKilburn’s four-day comedy festival was, er, interesting.

Talking of comedy, is anyone really going to pay £1.5m for one of the houses in Gondar Gardens?
That is, if they ever get built.

Talking of terrible headlines, fancy volunteering for a West Hampstead Christmas Fair?

And finally, talking of things in the future, what’s coming up this week?
Art-Boutique-Café SenseS opens on Monday.
There’s a great Amnesty event at The Good Ship on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, the LJCC hosts a talk on Securing the State.
It’s Get Online Week in Camden, with a wide range of workshops.
And on Saturday, OxjamKilburn Takeover hits Kilburn.

Tweet of the week

Unashamed local boosterism from @ClaytonTFord.

What have I missed since October 3rd?

So, you’ve been following Chilean mine rescues while whistling John Lennon tunes, but what’s been happening closer to home?

The former reservoir at Gondar Gardens could become houses. Locals aren’t happy. Photos of the plans and the objections, and ten things objectors think you should know.
Proposals for accommodation for 350 students in Blackburn Road were approved on appeal.

Ticket to ride
So the Jubilee Line does have some benefits.
A tube strike on Monday wasn’t enough; Thameslink was crippled as well.

I wrote a blog about West Hampstead during WW2.
A campaign starts to name the footbridge over the railway lines after a former flower-seller.
Info from here and here crops up on BBC 6Music (1h15 in).
A plaque commemorating AA Milne will go up in Kilburn on Monday.

There was a fracas in The Lion on Thursday.
Work-to-rule meant West Hampstead lacked fire brigade cover for a few days

Can’t buy me love
Mr Pink’s new shop is going to be green.
Mail Boxes Etc is opening soon in Kilburn.
Sainsburys (whenever it opens) will have an ATM.

The End
I’m on Facebook now, and don’t forget the mailing list.

Tweet of the week

What have I missed since September 26?

All the local news that’s happened while you were wondering whether Ed or David would lead Labour, and why Wales in October was ever a good idea for golf.

Brotherly Love
Talking of the Milibands – they are local boys of course.
Why did Glenda vote under her married name of Hodges?

Kilburn Love
Blog postings by me on the opening night of The Betsy Smith and on Kilburn’s music scene past and present.
OxjamKilburn is coming very soon with a comedy festival from Oct10-13, and the music happening on Oct 23rd.
Kilburn’s status as a world city was confirmed.
Kilburn library (in Queens Park) will host writers workshops.

Camden Love
Details on Camden pop-up shops.
Share your views on the local voluntary sector.
Free swimming for U16s and over-60s.
Grants for cavity wall insulation.
And more on recycling.
Camden is getting 2,000 street shovels for residents’ use in snow, plus more grit.

Celebrity Love
Local celeb Robert Webb announced he was moving, but thankfully not too far.

Love exercise?
The Gym Group FINALLY opened this week. People seem to like it.
Could there be a 2012 gold medal for a whamper?

Shop Love
Whamp-based online gift shop Funky Honey went live. *Whampers can get 10% discount until the end of the year using code FUNKYNW6 at checkout*
Achillea Flowers opened this week.
So did patisserie/café Chez Chantal (although the refit’s not finished).
SenseS (replacing Seagull Travels) bills itself as an Art-Boutique-Café.
Rings is being ripped out from the inside.

WHampstead Love
You can sign up to a mailing list to receive this weekly round-up via e-mail, as well as reminders of upcoming meet-ups (max. 6 mails a month).

I’m Outta Love
The next tube strike starts Sunday evening and runs through Monday.
A tunnel fire on Friday afternoon shut down the Met Line.

Story of the week
The big story of the week was the fatal accident in Belsize Park in the early hours of Thursday morning. Details remain unclear, but it seems that the Singaporean Cambridge medical student was killed by a bus – the driver may not have know he had hit her.

Police, Twitter, Action
A second Hampstead jeweller’s was targeted by thieves.
£10,000 was swiped from a security guard in Belsize Park.
Should the police be more visible on Twitter? You can follow @metpoliceuk and @CO11MetPolice (the Event Planning Team) but no separate boroughs have accounts. 
Here is a list of all police officers and forces on Twitter.

Tweet of the week

What have I missed since September 18th

What has happened in NW6 while Ken was winning Labour’s mayoral nomination and Delhi tried to keep the Commonwealth Games on track?

Kicking off in Kilburn
Much midweek hullabaloo at the announcement of a new bar in Kilburn. Friday’s launch party for The Betsy Smith launch party saw many #whampers in attendance. Some of the cocktails are a little unusual.
On the other side of the road, retailer Peacock is set to open on Tuesday.
The Kilburn Times website gets its makeover.

The (ahem) rise and fall of West End Lane shops
Two interesting West Hampstead charity shop offerings this week. West Hampstead Life cannot be held responsible for the consequences of buying both together:

(car clamp via @gitfinger and book via @mariagoltyakova)

Best-One finally closed its doors, but optimistically suggested the nearest alternative shop.
Rings pizza & kebab shop also shut down, but a re-opening looks imminent

A little more highbrow
Hampstead Theatre has joined Facebook.
On Wednesday, there’s a heady mix of psychoanalysis and cabaret (sadly now sold out) at the Freud Museum.
The Hampstead & Highgate Festival is happening right now

Tweet(s) of the week
West End Lane roadworks and the arrival of the new Kilburn bar prompt this week’s winners

What have I missed since September 11th?

The summer is over, and everyone’s back at work and tweeting about the Pope. So you might have missed some of this week’s highlights.

Food & flowers

Achillea Flowers opens this month on Mill Lane
Guglee is the newest arrival on Finchley Road
Chicken chain Nandos is buying burger boy GBK

Crime & punishment

The Ham&High (with its shiny new website) reported on virgin trafficking in West Hampstead
George Michael was imprisoned after his Snappy Snaps encounter
The mounted police make an arrest on West End Lane

The Hand of God (including Tweet of the Week)

Labour were as victorious on the football pitch as they were in Camden’s council elections

What have I missed since September 5th?

Welcome to a new blog feature. As Twitter gets bigger and busier, I know its hard for people to stay on top of the volume of messages they receive. This means you miss stuff. So, (almost) every week I’ll post a selection of the West Hampstead news and tweets you might have missed. Long-standing #whampers may recall the weekly Digest that ran for a couple of months until it became too time-consuming. This is a sort of no-frills version. Comments on the idea very welcome.

Camden announced rubbish collections would be reduced to once-a-week [pdf].
So you may need to buy more kitchen caddy liners.
It was also revealed that Camden & Islington would be sharing a chief executive as of next year.
Cllr Mike Katz reflected on the implications for the Kilburn area which straddles Camden & Brent.

My blog on West End Lane shops became the most viewed ever on the site, and the comments keep on coming.
It prompted an article in the Camden New Journal.
The Ham & High meanwhile picked up a twitter-originated story about problems at 3one7 on Finchley Road, which then found its way into the Mirror, Metro and Evening Standard. Nearby nightclub Secrets is under investigation too.

Culture & Entertainment
There was a launch party for bake-a-boo’s cookbook.
West End Lane Books posted a video of its appearance on SkyArts.
OxjamKilburn is holding a series of battle of the bands nights – contact them for details.
The Luminaire has a podcast that runs through its September highlights.
We went to The Arches on Wednesday for #whampreview

New arrivals
Two local eateries joined Twitter. Kilburn’s new X Burger House and Abbey Road’s marginally more established Poem Bar & Grill.
The Priory Tavern on Belsize Road has re-opened; its website is a work in progress

Tweet of the week
Tuesday was tube strike day, which meant many people turned to the buses. It turned out to be not as bad as some might have thought.

West Hampstead Digest No.12 – Review of the (er…) “Year”

Back in October, when @WHampstead had already been around for a good few months, it seemed like a good idea to take some of your messages and photos and aggregate them into a weekly round-up of the week’s whampevents. Encouraged by some excitement that week, Digest 1 went to press on October 11, the week that the leafy streets of West Hampstead were rocked by gun crime. Choosing the lead story for Week 1 was as easy as bumping into Ken Livingstone on the morning commute into work.

Week 2 was momentous thanks to the inaugural whampgather. I won’t lie. I was a wee bit nervous as I walked up to The Alice House. I didn’t think that nobody would come, but I wasn’t at all sure it was going to be a hit. My fears were swiftly allayed. A real big thank you to those of you that turned up that night and made it such a success. Of course one notable West Hampstead tweeter was absent but delightfully made up for it with a message that evening.

One of the long-running stories of the year was the power cuts that knocked out large chunks of the area with alarming frequency. EDF claims it is working on the problem, which involves a local substation, but the problem is big enough that it has its own hashtag now.

The billboards around the tube and train stations have prompted an unusual flurry of comments. Most recently, Tory PPC Chris Philp’s cherubic face has beamed down on us, but earlier in the year it was the typos in the adverts for Alfred Court that caught the eye. After getting it wrong first time, one might have thought that all efforts would be made to get the replacement sign right. One might have thought.

Whampers once again found that there was no local fireworks display – the Primrose Hill display having been cancelled many years ago due to health and safety concerns. Somehow the message hasn’t sunk in.

Travel problems have been the cause of most of the gnashing of teeth among Whamp tweeters. And it’s not just been the Jubilee Line. Thameslink commuters, already coping with the long-running line improvement works encountered a whole new problem in mid-November.

Week 6 also saw whampers undertake the first whampreview at the Czech Restaurant. Perhaps the less said about it the better.

Later in November there was a major breakthrough for tweeters living around Willesden Green when Brent MP Sarah Teather’s lobbying bore fruit and the Metropolitan Line stopped at the tube station when the Jubilee Line was closed. Hurrah.

A topic that always generates a surprising amount of interest is the opening and closing of new shops. Broadhurst Gardens was a veritable hub of retail comings and goings at the end of the month, with an eclectic mix of shops opening.

December brought the second whampgather – another roaring success, with a three-fold increase in attendees. Sadly, not all loyal whampers were able to make it. Their loss, some might say!

Bursting the bubble of whampeuphoria was news of the farcical Jubilee Line engineering works. TfL and its contractor Tube Lines played the blame game while passengers look like suffering.

In the run-up to the holiday season, we were all dreaming of a whamp Christmas and lo and behold, the white stuff began to fall. One short simple message captured everyone’s ambivalence to snow: yes, we love to wake up to a blanket of white; no, we don’t like to have to actually deal with it on a workday.

Finally, the Christmas edition of Digest threw a crossword at readers. Some attempted but only one succeeded. Congratulations to @bubela, who will be getting a free cappuccino. Here’s the solution.

So that was @WHampstead in 2009. Roll on 2010. The Year of the Whamp.

West Hampstead Digest No.11 Christmas Special

Puzzle time

A change for this special Christmas edition of Digest. Rather than regurgitate everyone’s tweets about Monday’s snow or Friday’s over-eating, Digest is following in the best tradition of Christmas publishing and giving you a crossword!

You can either download a printable version, which might be easier, or the clues and grid are below. All the answers to clues in italics are to do with the area (that’s most of the down words and a couple of the across ones). Then rearrange the letters in the shaded squares to find a phrase associated with the neighbourhood in 2009.

Answers will be printed in next Sunday’s Digest Review of the Year. If you’d like to send in your solution, contact @WHampstead for an e-mail address. There might even be a prize.

1. Girl in chains meets locals here (3,5,5)
7. I don’t go north-east in old London bus (5)
8. A judge decrees you can call me (5)
10. Caesar spends second millennium in Norwegian town (4)
12. Only time will tell of Clannad split (4)
13. Fish’s raw greeting (2)
14. Abbreviated sum of online chat (2)
17. Breathe in album from the classical/modernist tradition (5)
19. Need one of Titmuss’s 51 excuses for 4 down (5)
20. Heading in that direction (2)
22. A millionth of the Greeks can’t be wrong (2)
24. Slow birds get confused at night (4)
27. Sediment pressure reshapes list of soils (4)
28. Amid the wailing sir, enchanting music (5)
29. Puzzled goat on South Island (5)
30. Habito, ergo sum (4,9)

1. Staging Wagner’s Ring three times (8)
2. Walk slower than Pele (8)
3. Johnnys come to the bar after hours (7)
4. Blackberry maker falsely claims it falls within European standard (5)
5. Go lightly this season to avoid prick (5)
6. Kilburn icon’s condition (5)
9. Posting bits long before Twitter (5)
11. Separates Frognal from Thatcher’s thoroughfare (3)
15. Grind out the pathway (4,4)
16. Dwarves’ Hi-Ho drags us to Kilburn panto (4.4)
18. Step up to the dining table this Xmas (5)
19. Fry et al. tell of Norse God down under (7)
21. Initially preceding Silverlink (3)
23. Route in front of Spanish square (5)
25. Tool raises money for #whampforgood (5)
26. Mates power early Met Line trains (5)

West Hampstead Digest No.10 Local news where you set the agenda

(Click here for one-page PDF version)
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow There’s been one big story all week. Twitter went a bit snow crazy at the first sign of flakes on Wednesday morning. Just after 9am the first reports of NW6 snow appeared although it was 20 minutes before West Hampstead had its first snowflakes. The localised nature of the snowfall meant that some were seeing snow while others were only reading about it. It was almost 10am before Digest confirmed a snowflake sighting. Of course snow evokes many different emotions. More snow fell on Thursday evening – this time more impressively triggering reports of flickering lights and a dodgy TV reception for whampers.There was some hope of a snow day on Friday, but ’twas not to be. Of course the puppy-dog excitement of snow soon turned to discussion and complaints about gritting roads and transport headaches. #whampsnowElectioneering begins in earnest
Emerge from West Hampstead tube station and you are confronted by a large billboard declaring Tory PPC Chris Philp‘s battling credentials. No sooner had Chris joined Twitter than his alter-ego @notchrisphilp popped up.Thoughts as to who was behind the @not.. account flew around but as yet no obvious candidate has appeared. #whampvote

Whampcarol success despite the cold
See the blog for full write-up of #whampcarol

Photo of the week
This treat from @emprom, of a snowball in Kilburn Sainsbury’s, captured everyone’s imagination.

West Hampstead Digest No.9 Local news where you set the agenda

(one-page PDF version available)
Jubilee farce continues
Confusion reigns over exactly how many more closures Tube Lines needs to finish work on the Jubilee Line. Is it six weekends? Is it 28? Depressingly, no-one seems to know, and the prospect of more disruption looms large. Surely the time has come for clarity and for leadership. Sadly, both seem lacking.
Whampers, unsurprisingly, were not impressed. Reactions ranged from the sarcastic
to fingers-in-ears,
to the comically resigned,
to the angry.
Despite both TfL and Tube Lines maintaining that their working relationship has improved, there is still no coordinated message. All parties were called before the House of Commons Transport committee during the week. Not that the results were especially enlightening or positive.
An unscientific WHampstead poll asked what form people would like any additional closures to take. Weekend closures were marginally the least popular option. Of course whampers may not be representative of all users.

Many people said they would prefer a total shutdown until the work was complete. Although of course this is not a straightforward option from everyone’s perspective. For many people it seems that clear communication around what work is being done when, and WHY it’s taking so long would all help ease the animosity towards TfL. As @sam_elliot says above “we need some sort of elected mayor to sort this out.”
Whampgather II: Tremendous turnout
See full write-up on blog.Darker Shores: Panto for grown-ups?
Full review on blog.

West Hampstead Digest No.8 Local news where you set the agenda

For a one-page PDF version, click here

Supper Club trend hits West End Lane

West Hampstead’s discerning diners were at The Wet Fish Café on Monday night for the restaurant’s first supper club. A few tweeters were present to sample the food including @mayfield22: “Andre the owner explained how he wanted to bring together local residents who enjoy food and wine in a more sociable atmosphere than usual. It worked; six of us at my end of the table quickly introduced ourselves and got on with setting West Hampstead and the world to rights.”

Each course was paired with a wine. The fish stew was outstanding – and a little too robust for the Spanish white from Monterrei. The main course of duck confit was paired with a Bordeaux-style red introduced by a wine specialist who surprised everyone by announcing it was an Israeli wine. Service was friendly and efficient, and the kitchen coped remarkably well with delivering great food to 35 of us simultaneously.

@lulupho also raved about the evening, “I had a fantastic time,” she said. “I’ve asked Andre to put a bottle of the Israeli wine aside for my next boozy lunch there.“ The community spirit is flourishing in West Hampstead. Read more about the event on the blog.
Jubilee Line delays continue to 2010
Inevitably, we learned that the Jubilee Line engineering works were going to overrun. Tube Lines (the contractor) and TfL argued the toss over who is to blame, but residents are forced to face 10 more weekends of disruption. The Bakerloo Line is the next to have long-term work, and we can only hope that we never get the Jubilee, Bakerloo and Metropolitan lines all down on the same day. LibDem PPC @edfordham was forthright in his view, while @dasilvajums mused as to how the rail replacement services affected TfL’s carbon footprint.
Tuesday’s West Hampstead ward meeting presented another opportunity for FCC and Network Rail to hear locals’ concerns about the new ticket office although apparently the session did not cover the topic. Instead, rail representatives were available for discussion before the meeting started.

Belsize ward, meanwhile, focused on more crucial matters. #whamptravel
Changing rooms
Tweeters are concerned about Karahi Master on West End Lane. If anyone has the lowdown, do let us know. The racing green empty property at 149 Broadhurst Gardens is being refitted. This quickly triggered the usual reaction to any possible new retail operation. A call to the agents revealed the truth.

That news didn’t sit well with everyone. A reminder that there’s also a whisky & cigar shop opening in Broadwell Parade, raising the prospect of a fragrant walk to the tube for local residents.
The new supermarket at 194 Broadhurst Gardens is yet to open, but signs have gone up revealing some of the treats that wait in store. #whampshop

First Whamplunch finds the mark
For locals around during the day, the first #whamplunch took place at David’s Deli on Thursday. @bubela gives us the lowdown: “Whamplunch was a great success. Meeting people I had only imagined when reading their tweets was fun, and the group of six gelled very well. The food couldn’t be faulted and the friendly owner kindly donated freebie felafels (+dip), which were much appreciated.” The next #whamplunch is December 16th at The Alice House. Please let @WHampstead know if you’d like to come. #whamplunch
Bizarre tweets from Elephant Walk
Hit-and-miss Sri Lankan restaurant Elephant Walk has joined Twitter. Rather than alerting followers to special offers or tempting them with photos of the food, it seems to talk the area down and focus on berating Stephen Fry. A highly individual approach to microblogging. #whampnewExciting tie-up with The Winch
We announced this week that The Winch will be our official 2010 charity. There’s much more about this on the blog, and please think about how you can get involved. #whampforgood

West Hampstead Digest No.7 Local news where you set the agenda

(Click here for the one-page PDF version)

Accidents, Algerians and aggrieved locals… It must be #whamptravel

The challenges of getting to, from and around this part of London have once again dominated the local chat. Digest came out too early last week to catch the news of another traffic accident involving a bus on West End Lane.

Calls to change the traffic system came in, with suggestions of zebra crossings near Tesco’s. Perhaps, however, West Hampstead should be more cutting edge and take the approach that is gaining traction across Europe of Shared Space. The idea is to de-segregate road and pavement users. This might seem counter-intuitive but, where the idea has been implemented, the statistics show that there are fewer accidents because everyone (and especially drivers) tends to be more cautious. It is not a scheme that will work everywhere of course but perhaps West End Lane, which already has slowish traffic, could be a good testing ground. Already there is a campaign to bring the idea to Hampstead.

The other excitement of last weekend was that the Metropolitan Line made its inaugural stop at Willesden Green (which it will now do on weekends when Jubilee Line is shut ). Thanks to @PkerUNO for the photograph. Of course this weekend both lines were down. Plus ça change.

Wednesday evening was football evening, and demonstrated neatly the evolving nature of Kilburn’s population. Early on in the evening, Algeria beat Egypt to qualify for the World Cup, and immediately messages began to appear about honking horns on the Edgware Road and Kilburn High Road. A few hours later when Ireland were denied the chance of a penalty shootout by the hand of Thierry Henry, there was nothing but silence from the traditional Irish enclave, once affectionately known as County Kilburn.First Capital Connect is never far from the news at the moment. Its timetable continues to be a work of fiction as staff work to rule. It has got to the stage where questions are being asked in Parliament.

To add to FCC’s woes, there is now a late-stage minor revolt about the proposed new station on Iverson Road. @joe_sayegh spotted this article in the Ham & High about residents arguing that the plans will remove parking bays and destroy the embankment. There will be a meeting on Tuesday, but Digest’s readers were largely unsympathetic.

The plans are exempt from requiring planning permission, and the company will argue that it has made efforts to liaise with the local community using measures such as the drop-in meeting at the library a few weeks ago. Is this going to run and run? It seems a certainty that there will be a station on Iverson Road, but will residents manage to gain any further concessions? #whamptravel

Remembering the place of politics
Electioneering at public ceremonies of remembrance is frowned upon. Both Brown and Cameron have apologised for the photographers at Westminster Abbey to capture their appearances at what should be an apolitical event.

Old news for Camdenites. A council hoo-ha kicked up after Lib Dem PPC Jo Shaw was accused of muscling in on the borough’s Remembrance Sunday event and filming it. She issued a statement saying she would not be using the film for party political purposes and emphasizing her per-sonal connection to the armed forces.

Adding fuel to the fire, Lib Dem PPC (Hampstead & Kilburn) @edfordham posted footage of himself at an Armistice Day ceremony in West Hampstead on his You Tube channel. This incurred the ire of both Tory and Labour representatives alike.

Ed replied, but never explained what the facts to be checked were. See @RichardOsley’s blog for more.

Other news. @CamdenGP confirmed that H&K Green candidate Beatrix Campbell is on Twitter (albeit quietly). #whampvote

West Hampstead Digest No.6 Local news where you set the agenda

This week’s digest consists of the review of the Czech restaurant and a couple of other short pieces, including our first contributed piece. Thanks to @bubela. If you would like to write for Digest, drop me a line or DM me on Twitter. Access the one-page PDF here.

Literati on the Lane
by @bubela
Most of West Hampstead seemed to be squeezed into West End Lane Books on Thursday evening for Phyllida Law’s reading from her new book Notes to My Mother-in-Law. Several local actors were present along with the author of some people’s book of the year, Me Cheeta.

As well as some lovely back-chat with daughter Emma Thompson, Phyllida shared her views on living in the area for many decades, regretting the loss of fresh fish shops and butchers, but of course happy with the excellent book shop. #whampculture

Every which way but home
For once the tube was in everyone’s good books this week following the announcement that the Metropolitan Line would stop at Willesden Green when the Jubilee Line was closed for engineering works. A victory for Lib Dem MP Sarah Teather.

Anger shifted to the rail network with First Capital Connect’s timetable collapsing into disarray as staff worked to rule. First Capital Connect has agreed to compensate some affected passengers. Details on the website.

Saturday saw traffic chaos outside the O2 centre as a combination of lane closures and a broken-down car led to lengthy delays. @allaboutcarl kept us all updated.

West Hampstead Digest No.5 Local news where you set the agenda

(for a one-page PDF version: click here)

Whampagne Supernova

Photo (c) Jerry Barnett. See more of Jerry’s work at

Ever since Camden council closed the Primrose Hill fireworks, locals have had to make more effort to go and see a decent organized display (although some people still just keep coming to Primrose Hill armed only with ignorance and the phone number of the New Journal).

Clearly your experience of Bonfire Night rather depended on where you were. These two tweets were just 3 minutes apart:

Two hours later, the sporadic distribution of fireworks hadn’t changed. In just 8 minutes Digest received these three:

Digest went to Roundwood Park in Willesden for Brent’s firework display on the day itself, even getting the treat of a Bonfire Night sausage. The display was great, although the much advertised sound system didn’t seem to carry to where Digest was standing. Friday was a fairly quiet fireworks night although maybe they could be heard but not seen.

Come Saturday and the north London action was at Alexandra Palace. The crowds thronged, the fireworks did their whizz-bang thing, and this time the obligatory Star Wars theme music was clearly audible. A sizeable West Hampstead posse fought its way through accident-delayed traffic and walked up hill and down dale to get a good view of the pyrotechnics.
Despite grumbles and moans, there doesn’t seem to be any likelihood of organised fireworks returning to Primrose Hill anytime soon. Where do you think Camden could host a fireworks display without risking a crowd crush?
Commercial aspirations
Glo’s temporary closure has become permanent. The West Hampstead branch has been dropped from the company’s website and then a To Let sign went up in the window a couple of days later. Glo always seems to have struggled with its confused menu and slightly odd location. It was rarely full, and must have competed with the ever-popular and good value Banana Tree just up the road.
The local Twitterverse got all excited at the prospect of a new shop replacing the convenience store opposite the Thameslink entrance.
@Gitfinger spotted the sign and followed up to find out precisely what sort of staff experience the mysterious company wanted (one might argue they missed a trick with their recruiting poster: “Kitchener – your country needs you” etc.). Eventually though it was @bubela who was first to solve the (not very cryptic) puzzle:

The saga of the commercial units in Alfred Court continued. An agent explained to Digest that it neither the restaurant nor the retail space were likely to be a typical high-street chain. More about this on the blog.
Accident black spot
Wednesday morning got off to a bad start.

The stretch of West End Lane from Iverson Road to Broadhurst Gardens is particularly narrow, with three different buses ploughing down it and pedestrians frequently crossing at any opportunity. Accidents here are too frequent:

There was even an accident on the night of the first whampgather at the same Iverson Road/West End Lane junction. One cycle commuter’s views are clear:
Cycle accidents in London are on the rise, as more of us turn to two wheels in the wake of high public transport ticket prices. Ride carefully! #whamptravel
Good news/Bad news
The Jubilee Line was open south of West Hampstead this Sunday. Digest urged readers to make the most of it.
But Councillor Keith Moffitt quietly dropped a bombshell earlier in the week. Details were not forthcoming. I think we all dread to imagine. #whamptravel

West Hampstead Digest No.4 Local news where you set the agenda

Bit of a change for this week’s digest. Have summarized and updated the blog posts below into one article on new retail developments in West Hampstead. Access the one-page PDF here.

Updates to Newcommers [sic]

The unit next to the florists may not be empty for long. There’s an application in for it to become a whisky and cigar shop. It’s seeking a license to open until 10pm even on Sundays.

More alcohol in West Hampstead? Perhaps a good thing that the Camden housing advice centre by the tube station (currently unused) is destined to be a Metropolitan Police Safer Neighbourhoods unit. This is intended to be a base for PCSOs rather than a place to charge/hold members of the public.

West Hampstead Digest No.3 Local news where you set the agenda

(for a one-page PDF version: click here)

Twitter Unplugged
Parts of West Hampstead were plunged into darkness on Monday evening when an EDF substation failed. The CNJ reported on the impact on businesses following the 10-hour outage. Being off the grid didn’t mean being offline though. Some residents had to change their cooking plans for the evening. @Gitfinger (below) also dug out the candles.

Later that evening David announced there was some left in the pan for any hungry locals. Perceptions of the impact varied depending on your love of the dark.It wasn’t long, however, before the novelty of life in the dark began to wear off.
Power was restored the following morning but dropped out again later that day. Let’s hope Cllr Keith Moffitt delivers on his tweeted promise. #whampower
A platform for change
West Hampstead’s library turned into a railway platform of a different kind on Wednesday. First Capital Connect and Network Rail were using the space to display their plans for the revamped Thameslink station. Digest went along to investigate.

Architecturally, the plans look attractive. The new station will be on Iverson Road, linking up to the new footbridge. An entrance “probably” with ticket gates, will be retained near the existing entrance, so pedestrian traffic over the road bridge should be reduced substantially. Of course it will make no difference to the pedestrian crush between the tube, the Overground, and Iverson Road. Broadly the plans make sense: as well as the new station, the platforms are being extended to accommodate 12-carriage trains, which will increase capacity substantially. Residents (and councillors) are concerned, however, about the impact of the work.
It’s not a positive result for everyone. Joule the jewellers has to move, as Network Rail owns its property and it will fall victim to the pavement widening scheme. Joule has notices of protestation in its window. Full details of the overall Thameslink programme here, but precise details on the West Hampstead programme are not online yet. #whamptravel

Social media emphasizes the social
West Hampstead’s social networking took another step forward this week. First, the date and venue were confirmed for the second #whampgather. Followers were encouraged to vote for their preferred dates, and the most favoured date was Thursday December 10.

The Alice House agreed to give us the same space again. Negotiations over any free drinks will take place nearer the time, but the signs are encouraging. The immediate reaction was positive, and numbers should be good. For any confused readers:
The Wet Fish Café has generously agreed to donate a prize of a meal for two. The winner will be drawn from a list of attendees on Dec 10. #whampgather

Whampreview launched this week. The concept marries the social side of whampgather with requests for eating and drinking recommendations. Eight of us will be going for dinner at the Czech & Slovak National House in mid-November (that may include dumplings) and to generate a review of this long-established local restaurant. At least that’s what the idea was. #whampreview
Spinning a new tale
In The Rooms Above, (West Heath Yard, opposite The Emmanuel School), a gym has opened where you pay only when you use it. Most of the world operates on similar lines, but gyms have traditionally made money on apathy. My Fitness Boutique has joined Twitter, so go and say hello. #whampnew

Whither Whifi?
Tell us your fave local WiFi outlets. #whifi

Photo of the week
Christmas creep from Camden

West Hampstead Digest No.2 Local news where you set the agenda

(for a one-page PDF version: click here)

“Whampgather” tweet-up makes the news The first ever whampgather took place on Monday 12th at The Alice House. An early glitch, when the staff were unaware that free drinks had been arranged, was soon rectified. There was a terrific turnout, despite tube and bus delays doing their best to slow people down. Sixteen people, the vast majority of whom had never met each other before, all chatted about their experiences of the area, and were able to draw all sorts of connections.

Having bombarded Stephen Fry with invitations, we were delighted when he finally saw one from @JudeStone and sent a reply.No awkward silences meant no time for the “Rename whampgather” competition, and the consensus was that we should stick to whampgather. Therefore, the draw to win an NW6 t-shirt from @ilovemypostcode took place on Tuesday – the winner seemed pleased.Whampgather excitement lingered late into the week as @SarahReardon worked some PR magic on the Camden New Journal. The article appeared in Thursday’s edition (although the paper is not readily available in West Hampstead) and online on Friday. The CNJ has said that it may even attend the next one. So, put on your best frocks and, again, doctors notes are the only acceptable excuses, although this one from @Choppsicle comes very close.

Music venues overlooked
Camden council listed 10 of the best live music venues in the borough but of local places, only The Good Ship made the cut. Readers had other ideas. There’s also professional music at The Railway, Lately, and even Pizza Express. Talking of which, @bubela had heard from local shopkeepers that West End Lane’s Pizza Express was going to be closed and turned into a Sainsbury’s. Digest contacted Pizza Express who categorically denied that the branch was closing, “West Hampstead is a really popular PizzaExpress,” according to spokesperson Alex Whitelaw.
On the campaign Twail
The general election has yet to be called, but unofficial electioneering has started. West Hampstead is in the new constituency of Hampstead & Kilburn and with redrawn boundaries, the Tories and LibDems are already arguing over which of them is the true challenger to Labour.
The three candidates are existing Hampstead & Highgate MP Glenda Jackson (Lab), Chris Philp (Con) and Ed Fordham (LibDem). Only Fordham is on Twitter, where he directs followers to blog entries about local architecture as well as to political material.
All three were at the Tricycle this week for hustings. Fordham posted extracts of the event – focused on his performance – on his YouTube channel, including a robust defence of Kilburn in the face of those who talk it down. Digest is more than happy to direct its readers to similar links from the other candidates. We will follow the progress of the main three parties up to the election, keep you up to date with the other candidates, and run some very unscientific polls to gauge your thoughts.
This will be the first general election where Twitter will play a part and, in the aftermath of Obama’s well-orchestrated online campaign, we can expect all the parties and candidates to up their digital game. #whampvote
Tube fares rise. What tube?
Another weekend of tube closures barely got a reaction from resigned locals. The midweek announcement of TfL price rises, in order to pay for improvement works, didn’t pass unnoticed however. #whamptravel
Photo of the week – Read closelyMaybe that was the spelling in King Alfred’s time. Thanks to @PkerUNO for spotting this West End Lane billboard.

West Hampstead Digest No.1 Local news where you set the agenda

(for a one-page PDF version: click here)

Live coverage of Hemstal handgun drama
Crime was the big story of the week, following Tuesday’s gun drama on the streets of West Hampstead. Tweeting from the scene were @medcabnath (whose photo is below) and @2muchcoffeekate.
BBC Travel confirmed the road closure but, as the excitement wound down, residents still weren’t entirely sure what had happened. It wasn’t until later in the week that we got updates from BBC News, the Camden New Journal, and the Ham & High.
All the drama led to an exchange the next morning over the crime rate in West Hampstead. @WHConservatives said crime in the area was on the rise. When @Whampstead challenged this stance (which one person had criticized as “spreading fear“), the local Tories pointed out that burglary and theft from cars were both higher in West Hampstead than in neighbouring areas.

The Met’s statistics, available here, show that they are right. However, it seems misleading to suggest that West Hampstead is a “high-crime” area, relative to this part of London. This blog entry looks into the issue in more detail. The text of the police’s appeal is here.

Being the urbane bunch we are, not everyone was too fazed by the developments and quips about bulletproof vests for the commute home abounded. The pick of the bunch, however, was from @2muchcoffeeforkate, one of the on-site tweeters. #whampcrime

West Hampstead Whinges
A burst water main on the Kilburn High Road wreaked havoc on travel plans.

Of course the flooding was a problem for local businesses too, but not all handled it as well as some of you might have hoped for.

None of this is new, as this article from 2005 reminds us. Mind you, given that the word “Kilburn” derives from the name of the stream that runs beneath it (now the River Westbourne), flooding in these parts probably dates back to the days before there were even water mains to burst. #whamptravel

We’ve got the Ex-Factor
NW6 was left reeling by the news that X-Factor finalists are no longer housed in the area. They were here: But no longer will they slurp their coffee in Caffé West as the news broke that the house this year is in Golders Green. @emma_marion used that terrible few hours when twitter froze to do some sleuthing.
Fans had already tracked down the property and there were photos in the press the next day of the place being beseiged by fans. The police now have to spend resources controlling people like this person who fruitlessly begged @WHampstead for the location.

However, @KateTheIrish1 told us that contestants used to drink in the Railway. Perhaps the wannabees have come home to roost. #whexfactor

Whampgather in Whonderland
The Alice House is the venue for the first ever local tweetup, which takes place on Monday evening. With a competition and free drinks, it promises to be a social event to rival Henley or Ascot. See you all there.

New to the neighbourhood
It‘s not new to West Hampstead, but popular restaurant The Wet Fish Café is new to Twitter. You can keep up to date by following @TheWetFishCafe. #whampnew

Photo of the week
@gitfinger claims he was “having an Elton John moment