Earns a deserved tongue lashing for not knowing about Thomas Layton
On Friday it was an evening at Mann’s Beijing Restaurant down in Old Isleworth for a leaving do for the Labour group’s political assistant at the council, Unsa Chaudri. Unsa was a great help to me especially as I made my first few faltering steps as a councillor, frequently toppling over. I only discovered Mann’s recently despite having a long-standing taste for Chinese food. It feels like you’re in a time warp back to the early 70s and that they should be serving Shepherds Pie rather than Chilli Beef. I like that – the 70s were a favourite time, must be my age.
Saturday was monthly surgery at Clayponds Gardens. The two traditional subjects – parking and housing – neither very easy to deal with, for different reasons.
Monday evening was my first as a trustee of the Thomas Layton Trust. I confess I knew nothing at all about Thomas Layton until I became a councillor but I’ve had a tongue-lashing from Councillor Savin for this omission and consequently I consider now that I’ve repaid my debt to society. Anyway, for those of you who risk the same fate, you can mug up on Brentford’s eminent Tommy here. Suffice to say he was an eclectic not to say eccentric collector of all manner of artefacts, books, prints, stone age archaeological finds and what have you, and that he bequeathed his vast collection to the people of Brentford when he died in 1911. The trust has the responsibility of preserving, cataloguing and as far as practicable displaying the collection. Not a straightforward matter and there are some very clever and cultured people on the committee including all three Brentford councillors (so not all clever or cultured then…)
Tuesday Mel and I met a man who is campaigning for London to become a National Park City. This is very loosely about preserving and enhancing green spaces and ‘corridors’ and they are trying to sign up councillors across London to the initiative. They already have us 3 Brentford types and several hundred in all, including both the Labour and Tory mayoral candidates. A passionate advocate, who is putting us in touch with others who are further along the track.
In the evening a social in the Watermans to meet a few of the Labour party’s flood of new members. We have 90 new members and 45 registered supporters just in little Brentford ward and it was a pleasure to meet a few of them on a wet and very traffic-congested Tuesday. People of all ages and backgrounds who want to put a bit of effort into improving our country and neighbourhood.
That aside it’s been a fairly quiet week though it’s ramping up again today with a full day and evening in prospect. But you’ll have to wait till next time for a blow- by- blow account of that (though anybody who’s paying attention may turn up at the Area Forum meeting at West Thames College tonight!)
October 9, 2015