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Thursday, 4 November 2010


For anyone living in Twickenham (Richmond Upon Thames) I recommend this blog 

News, comment and ill-informed opinion on local issues for Twickenham residents, aka the twickerati

I was reading the sum-up of the Future in Twickenham conference last weekend (I would have loved to have gone but don't imagine Leon would have enjoyed it as much). It seems that these groups don't talk much to each other.  Council, Residents, Solum construction, Rugby guys, and others all need a compromise about planning issues and development for areas of Twickenham (Kings St, Riverside, Station)

Nothing's really happening and they don't want to change much because of the Rugby World Cup or Olympics or something...

Now, Twickenham - It's a nice town but, unless it's sunny it is very grey, hard and has a huge ugly road going through it. There are stunning parts and I love walking through the old part winding under the bridge, by the lampost to Orleans House Gallery, or past the cemetery, or Sion Road, the trees, so many trees, and gazing from the station bridge across the rooftops of a time before.  Then there are the people in the street, the church street shopkeepers, the charity shop workers, grocers, people you know, the man who draws buildings outside Boots, The dry cleaners and even poundland! (God is that how I use my town?) There is character there and I love it, but it just seems so disconnected. Even Church street could glow a lot more. I feel like I see people go from one thing to the next and no one is stopping to enjoy things properly on the street or the buildings. Not like in other parts of London like Dalston where people chat in the streets and take their time - there's a better vibe. though it's going awry. Yes a lot of towns have lost their identity but i suppose it's moving with it's natural course. But couldn't we just steer it a bit better and help make it a nice place to live?

In the comments Twickerati asks" "what do people want & expect rather than just “not want”. A pleasant residential suburb? A shopping location? A riverside tourist destination? A commercial hub? All have merits but they’re not all complementary. This still needs some thought to help shape what exactly is “Twickenham: the brand”.

Twickenham the brand - will be intriguing to see what comes of it. You can read a town by the vibe. that's all

I want to get involved with making this town a bit better as I know there are lots of groups trying to do things (like FSS, and a bunch of other acronyms POTR PORTT TRAG) but you don't hear about real improvements. Perhaps I'm ill-informed as much of the public is about what can be done and how to approve it or not. Does anyone else know about plans in their towns or do you not really care? I suppose if it's going to happen it will, but I grew up around here and have already seen lots of changes - some great, some not but sure we all just want to have what we need, live well, and live in a harmony with everyone else. Will check out some plans to The Fox pub at the library - gosh is this what motherhood does to you or is it just growing up?

In any case, I feel a community saved through improved community awareness with interesting blogs like Twickerati is a marvelous thing. Localised and specialised social networks like For Sanity's Sake and Netmums (for parents) are bridging gaps between people meeting each other and knowing what's happening in the area. Twitter is linking these event/info organisers and users and slowly people can get on board. People just need to say what they think. I suppose we're all discovering this new world together and I'm pleased to be listening to these conversations and possibly participate.

1 comment:

  1. Hello and thanks for the positive review. It's much appreciated. And now a rare excursion to writing in the first person.... I set up the site in May partly for my own amusement and partly as I genuinely felt there wasn't a site which focused exclusively on Twickenham, the things to do, the issues it faces, the pockets of real character in the town, the good and bad decisions of the council, etc. Sure, directory sites and the local papers have their place but operate with different goals to blogs and real community sites. As you say, there are lots of single issue groups doing their thing but it's very hard to get a sense of some over-arching plan or direction. However I do think community sites can be one area where the online world can help initiate change in the real world, even if it's only through getting people talking to each other a bit more and taking an interest in their surroundings. Every bit of local blogging helps with that so keep up the good work.

    (And P.S. TRAG does really exist. PORTT may exist despite no online presence. As for POTR - People's Organisation for a Twickenham Republic - that's not real! At least not yet.)