Islamic art show explores William Morris’s inspiration

A new online exhibition examines the influence of Islamic art on the British Arts & Crafts movement, and one of Hammersmith’s most famous sons, William Morris.

Entitled ‘A Place in Pattern: Islamic Art and its Influence in British Arts & Crafts’, the show runs until 4 January at The William Morris Society in Upper Mall, Hammersmith. It is curated by researcher and artist Sara Choudhrey.

Using papers and objects from the William Morris Society’s archive and the Emery Walker Trust collection, Dr Choudhrey explores themes of nature, locality and cultural interaction.

Light and shadow

In 1882, Morris wrote: “To us pattern designers, Persia has become a holy land, for there in the process of time our art was perfected, and thence above all places it spread to cover for a while the world, east and west.”

The Walker family were friends and neighbours of the Morrises, and greatly admired Islamic art. They collected pieces on their travels in North Africa, the Middle East and Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The show plays with the effects of light and shadow, textures and form, mixing digital technologies and traditional techniques to bring together three different styles of Islamic art.

There is also an accompanying events programme, which includes online talks and virtual workshops.

The William Morris Society is based in the coach house and basement of Kelmscott House, Morris’s Hammersmith home for the last 18 years of his life.

Get full details of the exhibition here.

It follows the William Morris Society’s first foray into virtual exhibitions, ‘Highlights from the William Morris Society’s Collection’, which helped introduce a broader worldwide online public to the talents of the textile and wallpaper designer, artist, writer and political activist.

Morris lived by the river in Hammersmith from April 1879 until his death in 1896.

Help save Hammersmith's Lyric Theatre

Hammersmith’s Lyric Theatre is turning to its supporters to ask for help to ensure its survival as a top-tier drama centre

The Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith has launched a £50,000 crowdfunding appeal as it wrestles with the effects of the pandemic and works to find a way of safely reopening. 

At stake is not just the flow of award-winning, innovative shows at the restored 600-seat theatre in Lyric Square, but also the community programmes that have introduced many borough youngsters to theatre and provided career openings. 

Director Sian Alexander explained: “The Lyric is a charity, and we rely on ticket sales, bar sales, events, hires and classes for 75 per cent of our income.” 

Artistic director Rachel O’Riordan added: “Our safety curtain is down and the stalls are empty. But we can see this theatre full again, with your help.” 

Critical time

She described the coronavirus suspension as ‘a critical time’, likening it to the challenge of surviving two world wars, and said the Lyric was under financial pressure like never before having been dark for six months. 

The duo have recorded a short video to underline the magnitude of the theatre’s plight in its 125th anniversary year after a successful decade in which nearly two million people have attended shows. 

While emergency Government funding has helped, theatre management had to begin consulting on redundancies last month as it simply can’t afford to keep all staff on when the furlough payment scheme tapers away. Horton and Garton has also helped fundraising for the theatre over the years.

“We’re devastated that our closure has led to some of our talented team being made redundant,” said Sian Alexander.

The crowdfunding drive will help support youth activities at the theatre complex in King Street. The opening of the building’s Reuben foundation wing five years ago has enabled 180,000 teenagers to take part in classes and projects. 

The pandemic is threatening the survival of theatres throughout the country. “Without urgent support we could lose our nation’s amazing theatres,” added the artistic director. 

A series of rewards is on offer for donors to the crowdfunding drive, including golden commemorative pins, posters, backstage tours, tickets, hampers and – when normality returns – hosted parties for groups of friends. 

For more details or to donate, click here

Free cycle training sessions ready to get you pedalling

A range of new free cycle training sessions have been launched to help get people pedalling across Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush

The sessions cater for all levels of rider, from those who’ve never cycled before, to those who ride regularly, but want more confidence for riding on local roads. And they are all provided by qualified instructors, with some including one-to-one lessons and others have bicycles provided for those who don’t have their own.

What sessions are on offer?

A range of hour-long, one-to-one sessions is being offered by Bikeworks, Hanmmersmith & Fulham Council’s established cycle training provider.

The sessions cater for complete beginners through to regular cyclists looking to learn advanced skills.

All instructors are fully trained and follow the nationally recognised Bikeability syllabus. Sessions can also include supporting and planning riding a route to school, or work. So far, more than 40 young members of the Sulgrave Youth Club in Goldhawk Road have been trained via the scheme.

COVID-19 precautions will be in place throughout. Riders will need to have been free of symptoms for two weeks, and to supply their own masks and gloves. Social distancing will be required throughout the session.

Sessions take place at two locations:

  • Westway Sports & Fitness Centre, Crowthorne Road, W10 6RP
  • St Augustine’s Primary School, Disbrowe Road, Hammersmith, W6 8QE (Bicycles available to borrow at this location only - outside of school hours)

Get on your bike!

Some new sessions have also been set up with Walk and Cycle London CIC to make riding as inclusive as possible.

On offer are two adult sessions each day, from Tuesday to Friday, from 10.30am to 12.30pm, then 1pm till 3pm. Six places are available on each session.

Saturdays are reserved for family sessions to get children and parents riding together, to help enable more children to ride to school.

You can learn to ride for the first time (morning sessions), or enjoy sessions getting more confident riding around the borough (afternoon sessions). Weekday sessions take place at four locations across the borough, with six adult bikes available to borrow.

The locations are:

  • Wednesday (women only): Bridge Joyce Square, Australia Road, White City, W12 7PH
  • Thursday: Old Oak Community Centre, Braybrook Street, W12 0AP
  • Friday: Ravenscourt Park (Outside W6 Garden Centre), Ravenscourt Avenue, W6 0SL

On Saturday, four adult bikes are available. Children’s bikes need to be provided by attendees. These sessions take place at: Fulham Pools, Normand Park, Lillie Road, Fulham, W6 7ST.

To find out more, or book a session, email:

Want to save money on your energy bills? Get up to £10,000 to make your home warm this Winter

The government is offering up to £10,000 to make your home warmer and more energy efficient.

The new Green Homes Grant goes live at the end of September, so make sure you’re ready to apply and secure your share.

If you qualify and are successful, you could get a voucher worth up to £10,000 to make improvements that will:

  • save money on your bills
  • make your home more comfortable
  • help tackle climate change.

How does it work?

Homeowners and landlords can apply for up to two-thirds of the costs, receiving up to £5,000.

For example, if you’re not on a low income and you install insulation costing £4,000, you will only pay £1,320. The government would pay the remaining £2,680.

Not only could this save you hundreds of pounds per year on your energy bills, it will reduce your carbon footprint too and help in our efforts to combat the climate and ecological emergency.

(If your household is on a low income you can apply for 100 per cent of the cost of improvements, up to £10,000)

If you rent your home

Energy efficiency improvements to your rented home could save you money on your bills. Please get in touch with your landlord about this opportunity.

What’s included?

Energy improvements for your home can include:

  • insulation for walls (solid or cavity), floors, and roofs
  • low-carbon, sustainable heating including heat pumps and solar thermal.

Once you’ve used part of your voucher on these improvements, you can use any left over for upgrading single glazed windows, energy efficient doors, or hot water tank thermostats and heating controls.

How do I apply?

Demand will be high, so you need to act fast once the scheme goes live at the end of September. More details will become available then, but in the meantime, find out more about applying by visiting the Simple Energy Advice website or calling 0800 444 202.

Why does it matter?

More than 20 per cent of carbon emissions in Hammersmith & Fulham alone come from domestic heating. We can help stop this simply by making our homes better insulated and replacing gas boilers with sustainable alternatives.

More help to keep bills down and your home warm

You can also get free advice on how to make your home warmer and save money on energy bills from H&F’s partners Green Doctors. Visit the Green Doctors London website or call 0300 365 3005.

Here are the 13 schools in Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush and Fulham getting a car-free 'school street'

As back-to-class youngsters are waved off again at the school gates, 13 streets will soon have new rules for drop-off and pick-up time. But which ones?

School Streets began operating this month outside many schools in Hammersmith & Fulham, to improve air quality, reduce congestion and make the area safer for pupils. 

The aim, according to Cllr Wesley Harcourt, the town hall councillor in charge of environment policy, is “to make it safer for schoolchildren to navigate the borough by bike or on foot”. 

The changes are in answer to pleas from local communities to restrict motor traffic at the start and finish of the school day, and improve the quality of the air we breathe. 

Basically, School Streets are temporary pedestrian and cycle streets, backed by the council. 

The aim is to improve health as well as safety, making walking to school a viable option. 

During term time, access to streets outside 13 borough schools will be restricted by cameras and bollards. 

The 13 schools are: 

Hammersmith W6: 

-Brackenbury Primary 

-Earls Court Free School 

-Ecole Francaise de Londres Jacques Prevert 

-Melcome Primary 

-St Paul’s Primary 

-St Peter’s Primary 

-West London Free School 


Shepherds Bush W12: 

-Miles Coverdale Primary 

-St Stephen’s Primary 

-Wendell Park Primary 


Fulham SW6: 

Holy Cross Primary 

Queen’s Manor School and Special Needs Unit 

St John Lillie Primary 


Back to school safely

The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed back-to-school safety up the agenda, and follows H&F Council moves to reassign road space to pedestrians and cyclists with wider pavements for social distancing, and new cycle lanes. 

Segregated cycle lanes now operate around the Hammersmith Gyratory System, on Uxbridge Road, alongside Shepherds Bush Green and along King Street, Hammersmith. 

But the School Street programme, introduced at the start of September to coincide with the return to classes, feeds into initiatives by individual schools to make journeys safer and more sustainable by encouraging bikes, scooters… and legs! 

To support a growth in cycling, the council is also stepping up cycle training sessions for children and adults, including an online four-module cycle skills course run by Transport for London. If you finish it, you’re rewarded with a 24-hour access code to all Santander Cycles, with all half-hour journeys included. 

If you live in Hammersmith & Fulham, or Kensington & Chelsea, and you need to get that bike in the shed roadworthy again, book a free bike-fixing space (stands and tools provided). 

Group cycle training is also available in schools for Year 5 and 6 pupils, and secondary school students, while adult cycle training can also be booked. 


How schools are safely returning after the long break

Staff have done an amazing job to make sure everything is safe for pupils, staff and parents. Well done to them for their hard work putting safety measures in place so speedily. 

Schools in Hammersmith, Chiswick and Shepherds Bush went back this week after the longest summer break in history. 

As Rosie Peters, Deputy Head at Wendell Park Primary in Shepherds Bush, puts it: “It’s been a very long summer because we’ve had nearly six months off school!”

This year has been the strangest one many of us will ever live through, and the gap from March means that September’s usual back-to-school feeling has been more intense than ever. 

Some will be feeling very nervous about going back to school. Rosie describes the six-month lockdown as “really, really strange”, filled with remote learning at home. 

Wendell Park Primary’s other Deputy Head, Elena Hough, outlined some of the changes that students and parents will notice. 

“It has been a very strange time, but the teachers and staff at all the schools have been working hard before the summer, and during the summer, to make sure schools are ready for everyone to come back.” 

Desks may have been moved to face one direction, surfaces in classrooms are clear so it’s easier to keep them clean, thorough hand-washing is now a regular part of school life, and playgrounds and school entrances have new markings and signs to remind everyone about social distancing rules. 

Full risk assessments have been carried out at all schools and colleges throughout west London. 

Elena says: “I know when the children started to come back to Wendell Park, all of our children were absolutely fantastic at remembering that they needed to stay a little bit further apart than normal.” 

She even adds that the children have been so good about keeping their distance that it acts as a helpful reminder to the teachers too! 

“The teachers are looking forward to seeing you, and starting a new year seeing all the smiling faces,” she says. 

School is the place to be

The message from all schools in Hammersmith, Chiswick and Shepherds Bush is that – after the lockdown restrictions – it’s the most important place to be. 

That’s underlined by Dr Liz Whittaker, Paediatric Infectious Diseases Consultant at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, who says: “What’s really reassuring is that very, very few children have been affected by the Covid-19 disease. 

“Of the children who have been affected, most have had a very mild disease; in fact, just like having a little normal cold.”

She says that the risks to children’s futures are greater if they don’t return to school to “see their friends, get back into a routine and start learning again”. 

School is vital to support children’s social and emotional health and their mental health, and Dr Whittaker urges any parents who still have worries to talk to their doctor or to teachers. 

Some school start times have changed, to make entering and leaving school safer, while other schools have created bubbles of smaller school groups to reduce mixing between years. 

The important thing to remember, as schools return, is that if anyone in the family is feeling unwell to stay at home, call NHS 111 and find out if you’re eligible for a Covid-19 test and that you have that test before re-entering school or work. 

Dr Whittaker also reminds parents to make sure that children are up to date with their vaccinations. 

“School is a safe place for children to be… and it’s probably the best place for them to be,” says the consultant. 

Drive in to Gunnersbury Park and enjoy a film!

West London cinemagoers have a safe and exciting alternative to a traditional film outing… an all-singing, all-dancing drive-in 

>The film Drive is coming to Gunnersbury Park

The new drive-in at Gunnersbury Park - brought to you by The Luna Drive In Cinema - combines movies, food, drink (there’s a bar) and social distancing. 

With a high-definition screen and digital projection, you park, perch the sanitised wireless sound speaker on the dashboard and settle back to watch. 

This afternoon (Tues September 1st) it’s Oscar-winning Parasite at 6.00pm, with Drive at 9.15pm.

Then tomorrow (September 2nd) the bill is Jurassic Park followed by the brilliant The Joker, and Grease, while Thursday (3rd) brings a Rocketman: Sing-along.

>Calling all Pink Ladies: Grease is coming to Gunnersbury Park

PPE-wearing waiters and waitresses on scooters and rollerskates deliver retro food, contactlessly ordered, direct to your car bonnet. 

There’s no need to leave the car… although there are loos on site. Vans and Chelsea tractors are treated like people wearing top hats; they park at the back, so they don’t block the view. 

The drive-in location at Gunnersbury Park (TW8 9QS) is close to Brentford FC’s new stadium, with tickets from £35 for two in a car. Book your tickets here

>The film Back to the Future is coming to Gunnersbury Park

Free dance classes pop up in Ravenscourt Park 

Need some air? Want to move to the beat?

Free pop-up dance classes are being organised in Ravenscourt Park by DanceWest, the community dance group based at the Lyric Hammersmith theatre, to boost mental and physical health and wellbeing. 

From 28 August to 19 September there will be hip-hop, jive, jazz, salsa, modern and vintage dance sessions in the open air in Hammersmith. 

There are also low-impact, gentler sessions for the over 55s (dubbed the ‘Bolder not Older’ category), in a full programme supported by the sports development team at Hammersmith & Fulham Council combining dance, yoga, ballet and pilates. 

Younger dancers are not forgotten; there are classes to allow parents to boogie with babies, and for carers to share their moves with pre-school and primary-age children. 

You have to pre-book and socially distance. Full details available here.

Be warned! Studland Street in Hammersmith is closed. Here's how to avoid it.

If you've visited Horton and Garton in King Street recently you'll have seen the roadworks affecting the area.

Cadent Gas is replacing the 18-inch gas main at the junction of Studland Street and King Street in Hammersmith. The works started on Monday 27 July and are anticipated to be completed within six weeks.

For the safety of Cadent Gas engineering staff and the public, Studland Street is now closed to traffic for the duration of the works. 

King Street remains open if you are travelling west. But if you wish to travel north from King Street there is a diversion around Hammersmith via Goldhawk Road.

Cadent Gas is working extended hours to help get the works completed promptly. The working times are Monday to Friday from 8am to 10pm, and Saturday from 8am to 4pm. No work will be carried out on Sundays.


>>Diversion map provided by Hammersmith & Fulham Council


Eastbound diversion
Goldhawk Road >> Paddenswick Road >> Dalling Road >> Glenthorne Road

Westbound diversion 
King Street >> Goldhawk Road >> Dalling Road >> Glenthorne Road

Have any questions?

The Cadent Gas community relations team can be contacted on 0800 389 8261 or email: For 24-hour operational enquiries, please call 0800 096 5678.

Westfield hosts free family film season outdoors

The movie programme runs Thursdays to Sundays until 13 September, with free showings at 3pm and 6pm

>>Moana is coming to Westfield


Westfield shopping centre in White City has become an outdoor cinema with free films for all the family. 

The entertainment space for the Bar W12 and Film Club is in Westfield Square, with free entry and the bar offering pizzas and summer drinks.  

You can buy cushions (proceeds go to Save the Children), and there are also picnic tables.  

This Friday (14 August) the evening film is The Incredibles 2. Saturday’s showings are Ratatouille and Captain America: Civil War, while Sunday’s films are Aladdin and Ratatouille.   

The space has been designed with social distancing in mind, with circles outlined on the lawn for groups to occupy safely.  

Upcoming films

Next week’s free open-air films include Moana, Cinderella, Finding Nemo and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Westfield London general manager Jacinta Rowsell said: “We have great food and a fantastic line-up of films, including some Disney favourites.

“With deck chairs and large lawns for lounging, this sunny space will allow visitors to enjoy themselves and have fun with friends and family in a safe environment.”  

The outdoor bar is also open Monday-Wednesdays, 4pm-11pm through August, to take advantage of the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ 50% discounts.   

Picnic tables are cleaned thoroughly after every use, and all returned deckchairs are disinfected at the end of each day.  

For more details, visit: