The Continuing Potential of Chiswick and its Public Spaces

Chiswick Homefields councillor Gerald McGregor reports back

Cllr Gerald McGregor

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September 10, 2023

August is the time of year when Council business comes to a halt with the suspension of most formal meetings during the holiday period, so there was a sense of anticipation as we turned into September.

The local parish church in Bedford Park is St Michael and All Angels Church which sponsors and organises two summer events. The first is Green Days in June and the subsequent Bedford Park Festival of music and the arts.

The second key event is the Chiswick Book Festival, now on and in the calendar of authors, publishers and critics across Britain and beyond.

The Chiswick Book Festival opened on Wednesday 6 th with the Local Authors' Showcase at a packed George IV.

It was a terrific start to the Festival !

Every year, the Local Authors' Showcase offers a wide range of books from authors of all ages and backgrounds.

Well-established authors this year include the former BBC journalist  Alex Gerlis (Agent in the Shadows), who has published eleven spy thrillers and sold more than half a million copies, and  Mary Chamberlain, who was the first author to be published by Virago: she is Emeritus Professor of History at Oxford Brookes University and her latest novel is The Lie.

Joining them are:  Elizabeth Loudon, who has just published her first novel, A Stranger in Baghdad, after a career as a teacher and charity development consultant;  Louise Burfitt-Dons, who returns with her fourth thriller, Our Man in Kuwait; and several authors of historical fiction.

Brian Clewly Johnson’s fifth book is Everything Goes, a novel set in the Far East in World War II;  Annette (AR) Duckworth’s The Napoleon of Egypt, about the Pharoah Tutmose III, is a follow-up to her novel The King and her Children; and  Chris Lethbridge, a writer and TV documentary maker, has written The Redemption of William Wynne, based on the real-life story of the Royal Engraver to King George III, a historical novel set in the louche art world of 18th Century London and Paris with scenes in Chiswick, Hammersmith and Feltham. 
In non-fiction, BBC journalist  Dougal Shaw’s CEO Secrets is based on interviews he conducted for BBC Business;  Stein Ringen has written The Story of Scandinavia: from Vikings to the Welfare State;  Bob Osborne’s book is Zennor Spirit of Place; and  James Thellusson has gathered lots of school stories in School’s Out: Truants, Troublemakers and Teachers’ Pets. There are several ‘how to’ books: former BBC News presenter  Rachel Schofield has written The Career Change Guide: Five Steps to Finding Your Dream Job;  Patrick Tucker has published the latest edition of Secrets of Screen Acting; Alan Kelly has tips for publishing your own books in Books To Be Written; and  Sara Ward is Living the Good Life in the City.

Photograph by Roger Green.  It was a terrific start to the Festival !
Photograph by Roger Green. It was a terrific start to the Festival !



Cally & Jimmy




Our Man in Kuwait




The Lie

Historical fiction



Everything Goes


Annette (A.R.)


The Napoleon of Egypt

Historical fiction



Murder by Natural Causes

crime fiction



Duplicity: My Mother’s Secrets

Crime / Memoir



Agent in the Shadows




What Football Job Can You Do?

Careers advice/children’s



Books to be Written

How to write



The King’s Engraver – A tale of art, espionage and forgery

Historical fiction



A Stranger in Baghdad




Zennor Spirit of Place




The Story of Scandinavia: From Vikings to the Welfare State




The Career Change Guide: Five Steps to Finding Your Dream Job




CEO Secrets




Rawry’s Missing Tooth




School’s Out – Truants, Troublemakers + Teachers pets




Secrets of Screen Acting




Living the Good Life in the City

Food & Drink



What’s New Harper Drew?


Another outstanding Chiswick event drawing in visitors, customers, and tradespeople:

Chiswick Flower Market

Chiswick Flower Market has attracted a wide range of traders, including established market traders, specialist UK growers, RHS Chelsea Gold medal winning nurseries, florists, garden designers plus many local independent businesses.

Selling a wonderful selection of cut flowers, bouquets, dried flowers, houseplants, terrariums, succulents, herbs, bulbs, perennials, ferns, grasses, bedding plants, shrubs and small trees. Plus, other items with an horticultural theme ranging from plant pots to flower pot shaped cakes! 

On Flower Market days the area is festooned with colourful bunting and is buzzing to the sounds of the talented street entertainers invited by the organisers. 

The next Chiswick Flower Markets are on Sundays:

  • 1st October
  • 6th November
  • 3rd December

Cycling or not in Chiswick

Another example of tin eared incapacity, Labour in charge of Hounslow and Ealing again damaging the interests and disregarding the consulted opinion of Chiswick Residents at the recent Hounslow Cabinet Meeting.

The Labour Council’s Transport Strategy, which is aligned to the Mayor’s Transport Strategy including ULEZ, sets out the Labour Council’s commitment to reducing the dominance of cars on our roads irrespective of the economic damage being done in chasing notional environmental targets that are subject to research abuse. The report with local responses in italics

This means that, where possible, the council is taking the necessary steps to provide amenities that support walking (but not the safety of people using the bus islands), cycling and public transport. Cycleway 9 (C9 known locally as FS9) is a high-quality cycle route that runs between Olympia and Brentford. The route already has a poor safety record and, based on the forecast increase in cycling, without the introduction of C9, collisions with cyclists are likely to increase. (The cycle way is not high quality in any design configuration, is not high quality in terms of build as the final design changes are still not done and sight lines at junctions are inadequate)

This report sets out objections and comments received in response to the experimental traffic management order (ETMO) which underlies the experimental Cycleway 9 (“C9E”) scheme implemented on Chiswick High Road, at Acton Lane and between Heathfield Terrace and Goldhawk Road in 2022 and 2023.

It provides background context on the following:

the justification for the initial decision to construct the Cycleway 9 scheme;

the subsequent decision to proceed with a trial scheme in 2020 (the ‘trial scheme’, “C9T”);

the decision in 2021 to implement a new experimental scheme and associated traffic order (the ‘experimental scheme’, ‘C9E’)

The report presents analysis of the impacts of the scheme on key indices: congestion, bus journey times, cycle patronage, air quality, road safety, parking, equalities and protected characteristics and consideration of any impacts on the surrounding road network. (The analytics fail in terms of pre covid benchmarking. Air quality issues in Chiswick are now subject to greater congestion partly because of the failure of Labour Controlled Hammersmith and Fulham to provide a crossing at Hammersmith (due 2030) and partly due to traffic being funnelled onto Chiswick High Road by schemes that limit access .. Incidentally the schemes in Chiswick having raised in excess of £10,000,000 in penalty charges and road traffic offences. Most of the assumptions in the analysis are subjective and not backed by a factual base. Being subjective they are generally flavoured politically)

On the basis of that analysis, the Labour council recommends that C9E is made permanent with a range of complementary and additional measures to be introduced to optimise scheme benefits for all road users. The consultation undertaken does not in any way or juncture show support from Chiswick residents who in a great majority dislike Cycleway 9 and its impact on the environment (including for example loss of trees, traffic lights that are generally disobeyed, buses unable to move, emergency vehicles unable to progress and traffic funnelled from Hammersmith into Chiswick blocking the junction at Goldhawk Road limiting access all the way to Chiswick Lane)

The permanent order is being made in accordance with the requirements of Regulation 23 of the 1996 Regulations.

Why, when common sense says that the Council are wrong in sitting the cycleway on Chiswick High Road and not the safer protected route on the A4 Great West Road, originally designed with space for cycle lanes. Why ruin the only town centre in Hounslow that is recognised as such. It is mere vandalism by the cabinet at Hounslow, who are happy to take Chiswick’s contribution to the overall council tax but give nothing back except interference and a desire to control residents activities and limit everybodys’ liberties with permits and restrictions.

Bedford Park Conservation Area

Taking a Liberty

The Hounslow part of the Conservation area is now festooned with ugly E Bike parking space and Bicycle Hangars. The pavements are strewn with E Bikes not being docked and the council washes its hands of all administrative responsibility for the danger to those who are partially sighted or otherwise infirm. Residents parking spaces have been arbitrarily withdrawn.

I have received a series of reports and complaints about the use of these alleged facilities which are unwanted by many of the residents I meet and speak to.

No conservation area should have its roadways used in this way. A revered 19 th Century model green suburb, unique to West London, is being spoiled by 21 st Century regressive behaviour and street furnishings that are out of step with the built environment…... a sorry mess. Undoubtedly property values will suffer.

PS The council are installing a bike hangar opposite my home!,



Chiswick: Every Saturday from 9.30am to 10.30am at Chiswick Library (the eight Conservative councillors take this surgery in turn).

Gunnersbury: First Saturday of the month from 10am to 11am at The Gunnersbury Triangle Club, Triangle Way, off The Ridgeway, W3 8LU (at least one of the Chiswick Gunnersbury ward councillors takes this surgery). 


Chiswick Gunnersbury (was Turnham Green) ward

Cllr Joanna Biddolph 07976 703446

Cllr Ranjit Gill 07976 702956

Cllr Ron Mushiso 07976 702887

Chiswick Homefields ward

Cllr Jack Emsley 07977 396017

Cllr Gerald McGregor 07866 784821

Cllr John Todd 07866 784651

Chiswick Riverside ward

Cllr Peter Thompson 07977 395810  

Cllr Gabriella Giles 07966 270823 

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