Fortnum and Mason Tight-lipped on Its Plans for TW8

Brentford West councillor Guy Lambert reports back

Cllr Guy Lambert
Cllr Guy Lambert

January 5, 2024


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Well, a week off for me, and for you lot who had nothing to keep you occupied over the last couple of weeks apart from chomping turkeys and prosecco and lager and admiring the new socks you were bought by your loving ones. Or other people who bought you a present. Apparently 78% of people think a pair of socks is a good Christmas present. To be fair, socks don’t last like they used to and the ones I bought in 1976 are definitely nearly worn out.

For my Christmas present to myself I went out with the head of Hounslow Highways and our key officer to inspect the state of roads and pavements in Brentford and Chiswick (primarily). This is part of what I do to check we are making progress with the issues, which are particularly challenging at present and at this time of year. General litter etc are performing well by national standards and according to our very long and complicated PFI contract but there are things I (and the public!) are not happy with, so we concentrate on these matters.

Christmas Eve was on us so I had a rare injection of culture by going to a Holbein exhibition in the Queen’s Gallery – new territory for me. Should it be the King’s Gallery now, or is it Camilla’s? Then a meal in a rather horrible restaurant near Victoria with a horrendous bill – Brentford is a lot better and cheaper! Of course my actual Christmas day involved cooking the traditional massive meal at home for members of my family. The chef skills were outstanding, obviously and it was relatively cheap as chips.

On Boxing day I was in the centre of the big smoke for a Chinese feast in Lisle Street.

The food was excellent (I like the restaurant because it’s the only one I’ve seen in Soho that you enter via a bridge over a lake) . There was an intriguing message on the wall in the Gents toilet that I feared might translate as something filthy. It really must be Christmas because Google insist it means “ May you be very successful and achieve all your goals ❤ la xete” Perhaps a coded message or perhaps I’ve been watching too many war films.

Also wandered around the area and was disappointed that Fortnum’s made no reference to their impending opening in Brentford.


Anyway it’s all far too gaudy for my taste and I hope the Brentford branch is more conservative (small c of course).

I checked out various things locally – in particular I have been promised that lights on the Brook Lane Railway bridge are imminent so I took a look. A few have appeared (praise the lord of Hounslow) and the rest I am told are coming on Monday, but it seemed someone was keen to have an opening party and had moved in the furniture and a bag of goodies at the foot of the bridge. I found some addresses amongst this fly tipping so I expect somebody will get a bit of a shock (normally a £300 bill).

I watched too much football on the TV over Christmas. It’s bad enough having Gary Neville pontificating but he suggesting that Aston Villa are werewolves was frankly a bit scary.

So I went to Dukes Meadow for a bit of R&R and just before being drenched I enjoyed this scary sky.

A body of water with buildings in the background  Description automatically generated

After all this excitement I decided to have a very quiet New Years Eve, alone with my TV and Jools Holland and his many chums and I was preparing for a visit to the Steam Museum on New Years Day, which was lovely. They had the steam up and many of the machines going, plus the toy trains for the children, some of whom were younger than me.

Still can’t get stills from videos but you might be able to use this if you’re bovvered.

Very few meetings and in truth I’m taking it easy. But I did have a Teams call with the Exec Director of Housing and various other things about a few issues I raised with him, which was encouraging.

I’ve also been liaising with Hounslow Highways and the traffic team about issues that have come largely out of the weather (though inevitably also out of Cadent digging holes everywhere with no apparent thought to the chaos they cause).

One trip took me to Teesdale Avenue in Isleworth, just by the hospital. A tree was down, blocking the road for a while. The road recovered but I don’t think a visit to West Middlesex will save this car. The pavement will need a bit of work too.

No more to say today. I’ll be back next week.

Councillor Guy Lambert


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