‘Loveliest of trees, the cherry now…’ wrote A.E. Housman about cherry blossoms and in the springtime it is hard to disagree.
Strolling up to Notting Hill Gate the other day I decide to go the back way by which I mean I went up Vicarage Gate rather than Kensington Church Street. Continue reading
I was concerned, but not surprised, to read reports in the media that the Crossrail 2 project could be derailed or side-lined because of cost and competing infrastructure demands.
Residents will know that the Council is a staunch supporter of a Crossrail 2 Station on the King’s Road. We believe there is an overwhelming case for a station in an area that many people visit but is poorly served by public transport. Continue reading
We all share the view that Kensington and Chelsea is a special place to live. It’s a fantastic borough in the world’s best city. From beautiful squares in sought-after residential areas to our wonderful markets, parks and schools there are many reasons why people want to be Royal Borough residents.
An awful lot of work goes into maintaining the quality of life in the borough and, where necessary, bringing people to book when their actions disturb the peace and quiet of a street or create a veritable eyesore.
This week I learned of two cases where action by enforcement officers, from two different departments, tackled a blight on the landscape and a noisy builder who paid no heed to warnings. Continue reading
Sloane Street has an international reputation as a high-end retail destination. It is also a thriving residential area.
It’s a fabulous street boasting some fine architecture and it also has the wonderful Cadogan Place Gardens which are much loved by residents and the many visitors attracted to the area each day.
Despite this praise of Sloane Street’s virtues, the Council thinks the street has drawbacks and could, with some alterations, be improved. It competes with some of the finest shopping streets in Europe and needs to present an attractive face to both shoppers and residents. This could be done by reducing the dominance of traffic and improving what some refer to as the public realm but many people might recognise as the pavements and street furniture. Continue reading
As regular readers will know, I’m not backward in coming forward about the problems caused by noisy supercars. You know the ones: the exotic-looking speed machines which swish and roar around Knightsbridge. Particularly in the summer.
Here at the Council we’re continuing to crack down on inconsiderate drivers and encourage residents to report any issues to us. But, problems aside, I think it’s only fair to say that some of these bling’d-out cars are simply stunning. Beautiful, even. The other day, however, I must admit my head was turned, not by a Lamborghini but by another stylish road machine: the electric Renault Twizy.
Coming a long way from the Sinclair C5s of the 80s, today’s electric vehicles are better looking, more practical and, more importantly, come with top-notch environmental credentials. And here’s the science bit: driving an electric vehicle means reduced air pollution due to no NOx or particulates, plus no CO2 emissions. Continue reading
There is a lot to enjoy about The Blue Lamp, the 1950 crime drama made by Ealing Studios. There’s the cast for one thing. The excellent Jack Warner plays PC George Dixon, a wise and respected veteran bobby. Although he is shot dead during the film, his character had such appeal to the British public that he was resurrected for the TV series Dixon of Dock Green Dixon of Dock Green which ran for 21 years.
As indicated, poor old PC Dixon is cruelly gunned down, when he happens upon a robbery at a local cinema. As you would expect, he tries to convince the villain to ‘come along quietly now lad’ but unfortunately he is up against a twitchy psychopath played by a young Dirk Bogarde. The Blue Lamp is supposed to be ‘social realism’ but its insights into the 1950s criminal underworld seem to have been provided by RADA’s cockney research department – ‘cor blimey guv’nor, and no mistake.’
What is very real, and the real star of the show, is west London circa 1950. Paddington Green, Edgware Road, Westbourne Park, Harrow Road, Little Venice, the obligatory shot of Piccadilly Circus at night – all of them feature and are fascinating to see. Continue reading