That Was The Year That Was..

A month by month review of Chiswick news stories from 2012

Year Summary

The big issues for Chiswick residents in 2012 were the Diamond Jubilee, the Olympics, property prices, restaurants, and the activities of local celebrities. Parking problems, planning applications, and traffic accidents were also popular local reads throughout the year.

In January, carried a story that bankers were looking at Chiswick as a cheaper alternative to Notting Hill or Chelsea and favouring the streets around Bedford Park. And though W4 experienced some of the turbulence of the housing market, the year ended with the highest ever price paid for a Bedford Park corner property, a Grade II-listed 6 bedroom property in Woodstock Road which sold for £4.4 million, the highest ever price paid outside of Chiswick Mall.

The police launched several large operations throughout the year, starting with ' Operation Trident' in January,and continuing with sporadic crackdowns on motor tax evasion,and criminals activity. A cocaine stash of over £1 million was found in Grove Park Gardens. Police also upped publicity campaigns for safer neighbourhoods and gave residents and retailers advice on thwarting criminals.

The problem of young people and drugs was highlighted with the death of 15-year old Issy Reilly. She was a pupil at Chiswick Community School and became ill and died following an unsupervised teenage party.

Parking in the Grove Park and Strand on the Green area aroused strong feelings, and there was an unholy row over the proposed conversion of the St. Alban's Church into flats, which is ongoing. The controversial 'Octopus' development at Chiswick roundabout was given the go-ahead by councillors.

Chiswick restaurants rose to the challenge of the recession with express lunches and 2 for 1 deals. It was the year that Chiswick 'went Japanese' with the arrival of three Japanese restaurants to the area. The upmarket Hedone caused a splash, whilst Cafe Rouge, Villandry and Frankies announced closures. The Adamou brothers left their shop on the High Road after fifty years trading. This year Jamie Oliver is set to arrive in Chiswick on the former Villandry site.

Chiswick celebrity Colin Firth continue to win awards for his acting, Ant and Dec won Best Entertainment Performances at the Royal TV Awards for' I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here' and 'Britain's Got Talent' whilst Cameron Diaz was spotted having drinks in Carvossos. Hollywood star Keanu Reeves was also seen in High Road House.

The Royal Wedding brought people out of recession gloom to have street parties and Chiswick pubs put up big screens. Hogarth House was reopened after a huge renovation project, Schools in W4 closed for a day as part of the public sector strike against pension changes, and well-known GP, Dr. Ruth Heinsheimer retired. Chiswick Day Centre closed, despite a campaign by elderly users and local councillors.

Local MP Mary Macleod had a busy year, from making smoothies by pedalling a bicycle at Abundance Day to campaigning on behalf of victims of domestic violence and ex-servicemen. Local schools also brought in above average results in national league exams.


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The year's top ten stories


Chiswick to Get Sunday Parking Restrictions
Council implement emergency measures this weekend due to Hammersmith Flyover closure

Chiswick High Road Hit By Spate of Closures
Speculation grows about the fate of other local establishments

Chiswick Community School Gets Academy Go Ahead
Set to change name and uniform for 'seamless transition' to new status


Chiswick Under a Blanket of Snow
Heavy fall transforms W4 into a winter wonderland

Average Chiswick Property Price Tumbles
Buyers' interest switches to smaller properties

Le Pain Quotidien Takes Over Balans Site
Company has acquired the lease and applied for planning permission


Colin Firth in Airplane Drama
Calmly reassures family as fight breaks out on plane.

Massive Development Plan for Centre of Chiswick
Sainsbury's relocation and high-rise development on car park proposed

Latest Chiswick Property Sales
Barrowgate Road house sells for over £4 million the fourth most expensive in W4


Swimmer Stops Boat Race at Chiswick Eyot
Trenton Oldfield says 'elitism' of Chiswick House was one of the reasons for his stunt

Hounslow Council Can't Afford to Plant Trees
Admits cutbacks will affect replacing trees cut down this year

Sam Wants Al Fresco Dining In Chiswick
Launches petition to pedestrianise Barley Mow Passage


Boris Wins But Labour Gains At Local Level
Deputy Mayor Richard Barnes loses local London Assembly seat

Protest Against Colonial Drive Development
Rula Lenska joins demo as Ealing officials visit the controversial site

Accidental Death 'Only Verdict' in Tommy Hollis Case
Criminal charges seem unlikely after Coroner directs jury


Shopping Channel QVC Moves to Chiswick
First broadcast made from new base in Chiswick Park

Jubilee Brings Trip Down Memory Lane
Neighbours return to childhood street and tell of war years

Chiswick Property Latest Sales
Spring sees fall in prices and volumes in W4


Grove Park CPZ Row Continues
Councillor Ed Mayne fails to turn up to discuss issue

Livia Firth Becomes Oxfam Global Ambassador
Joins actor husband Colin in campaigning for the charity

Chiswick People Greet Olympic Torch
Hundreds gather at Kew Bridge as flame enters borough


Chiswick Games Makers At The Olympics
Local people give up their free time to be involved in London 2012

Olympic Torch Raises Money For Charity
Local people got the chance to experience holding the Flame

Chiswick Property Sales See Sharp Fall
Transactions down by a fifth as sellers stay put


Paralympics Star Ellie Simmonds Visits Chiswick School
She speaks to students about her experience and the plans for the Games 'legacy'

Missing Chiswick Shop Owner Found Alive
Dan Hunt found in a gorge in Swiss Alps after being missing for three days

Trenton Oldfield Found Guilty
Court hears how he was pulled from water during Boat Race


Photos Reunited In Chiswick
Happy ending as our readers trace mystery woman

Chiswick Business Park Up For Sale
Blackstone group put it on market for £800 million pounds

Call For Fight To Save Local Hospitals
Conservatives say closing Charing Cross A&E ' flawed' option


Trenton Oldfield Gets Six Months In Prison
For causing a public nuisance during the Boat Race

27 Bus Extends To Chiswick Business Park
Long-awaited route change will benefit workers

Injured Schoolboy Goes Home From Hospital
His mother thanks the public for good wishes and support


Feather & Black To Open In Chiswick
Bedroom shop moves into former Adamou greengrocers site

Parking Charges For Chiswick House Visitors
From Monday, motorists will have to pay to use the car park

Public Inquiry Into St. Alban's Church
A date has now been set for a hearing in January


December 31, 2012