St Peter's Church Christmas Tree appeal: The joy of giving

The Christmas present tree appeal at St Peter’s Church helps collect new gifts for local children in need. Please help us

Can you help give a Christmas present for a local child in need? If so, it’s as simple as taking a tag (with gender/age of child) from the tree in the Hammersmith church. Then, return it to the church with a suitable wrapped present with the tag attached.

The deadline for returned presents is Sunday, December 8.

“Christmas is all about children,” said John Horton, founder of Horton and Garton. “So, I’m asking for your help. If you can give a gift to a child in need this holiday season, you will help make a young person’s Christmas day special.

“We’re long-time sponsors of St Peter’s and it’s a place that is very close to my heart. It’s my local church, I am also a parishioner and it’s where I had my two sons were christened.”

Here are some suggestions for presents:

0-3 years
Dolls, teddy bears, cot mobiles, baby clothes, bath toys, CDs of suitable music and nursery rhymes and puzzles.

3-5 years
Dolls and action figures, cars, lorries, DVDs and CDs (music and nursery rhymes), colouring sets, pencils, crayons, books and puzzles.

5-9 years
Educational games and toys, stationery (colouring sets, pencils, crayons, school sets), CDs and family friendly DVDs, books, puzzles, wordsearches and crosswords.

9-12 years
Games and toys, stationery, CDs, DVDs, books, t-shirts, hair accessories, gloves, scarves and hats.

13-16 years
CDs, DVDs, books, make-up and toiletries (try to ensure non-allergic ingredients), gloves, scarves, hats, t-shirts and hair accessories.

St Peter’s Church is located in Black Lion Lane, Hammersmith. For more details, call 020 8741 4848, email office@stpetersw6.org or visit www.stpetersw6.org/christmas-presents-appeal-2019


Diary of an Estate Agent: We're Number 1 at selling and renting houses. Not pub quizzes!

The Horton and Garton team were tripped up in a Hard Day’s Night at the Brackenbury Residents’ Association pub quiz

It was a packed house at The Thatched House on Thursday night when the brains of Hammersmith met up for the bi-annual Brackenbury Residents’ Association pub quiz. 

The seven-strong team from Horton and Garton ate dinner and dessert and were impressed with the hearty meals. We recommend the pies and fish. Our compliments to the chef!

The competitive, yet neighbourly, vibe was crackling as teams whispered answers, stretched their brains and delved deep into their memory banks to be first to answer the questions.

Local resident and quiz master Heather rolled out the questions and – well, what can I say – some were more challenging for us than for others. It was a very close result. The ‘Village People’ team, captained by Sharon Isaac Upton, took home the bubbles and the bragging rights. 

While Team HG was looking at a top three finish – until the music and literature round struck! We scored a measly 5 out of 21 in the musical mastermind round. My young team said they were just not the generation to remember The Beatles’ top singles, which kept us off the podium. 

However, if we’re going to be Number 1 for anything then I’d prefer it be for our sterling service to Hammersmith. We are already well-known for being the local market-leading selling and renting agent in W6 0 postcode, which includes Brackenbury Village.

Next week, I’ve challenged our team to compete in the Crucial Cafe quiz and curry night at the Hogarth Health Club in Chiswick. Let’s hope for more luck with the musical history. Watch this space!


Town Hall to be transformed into new ‘civic campus’ for King Street

Wave goodbye to the ugly Hammersmith Town Hall Extension as demolition work is set to begin

Finally! Work has begun to demolish the ugly town hall extension and revitalise central Hammersmith.

We've got a ringside seat to watch the progress as the new Horton and Garton office is directly opposite the town hall site. So watch this space for all the updates on the exciting new project.

According to plans from Hammersmith & Fulham Council, the scheme will include a new four-screen cinema (to replace the old Cineworld – may it rest in peace!), new shops and cafes, new affordable homes and a ‘civic campus’ that includes homework space for children, start-up space for local entrepreneurs, a new public rooftop bar and facilities for weekend art exhibitions.

The demolition of the 1970s town hall extension should be under way by Christmas, the council reports. While the historic Grade II*-listed town hall building will begin to be transformed into an energy-efficient campus.

A new public square will sit at the centre of the new facilities.

You can view the architect’s images here.

Cllr Stephen Cowan, Leader of H&F Council, said: “Once built, the civic campus will play a key part in our mission to cut costs, modernise the council’s culture and improve services to residents and local businesses.

“I’m particularly grateful to the local volunteers who took part, along with all the local people who took the trouble to come to the many design exhibitions. The design took on board many of the suggestions which helped improve the look and function of the scheme.”

Click here for more details about the new civic campus.


Diary of an Estate Agent: Family trip to the Rugby World Cup ended with a typhoon finish

John Horton flew thousands of miles to Japan to watch rugby with his two sons and have a few pints of Asahi. Was that too much to ask? The weather said yes…

A holiday is (or should be) a good time to recharge the batteries, rest, relax and recuperate. But throw the Rugby World Cup in Japan into the mix and the well-earned time away from the day job was shaping up to be a real family adventure for this Dad. 

Our family trip to Japan proved to be an epic holiday with my two boys as we watched three games of rugby - England vs Argentina, New Zealand vs Namibia and Scotland vs Russia, soaked up the remarkable culture and the history of Japan. And what you read was true – the Japanese rugby team “The Blossoms” had the country bubbling over with world cup fever. They did their country proud.

My two boys were almost blown over meeting their hero and England captain Owen Farrell. My boys also made up making the big screen pre match entertainment at rugby stadium and being interviewed by the local Japanese TV crews. There was never a quiet match day moment.

My fear of getting lost in Shinjuku station or in the Shibuya Crossing crowds – or even the boys not eating the sushi I ordered – did enter my mind. But thanks to smartphone maps, a translator and the pedigree of being a seasoned London commuter we had nothing to fear in the busiest city in the world. 

The beauty of travelling somewhere, home or away, is about the new experiences.  The differences in the language, the people, cuisine and scenery... finding yourself outside the usual comfort zone is all part of the fun. 

And for us, two weeks and thousands of air miles flashed by in a blink of an eye.

After all, it’s not every day you find yourself in the eye of deadly typhoon Hagibis. Not only did the storm cause a significant amount of damage and the tragic loss of life, it also had the knock-on effect of creating a logistical nightmare for the family. Thankfully, we emerged unscathed and only missed one rugby match and a few days of tourism. I’m so happy to be back in west London, but I admit that my love of Japanese food has also blossomed!

With Horton and Garton's imminent office move in Hammermsith to distract me, as well as back-to-back half marathon weekends, the holiday is already feeling like a distant memory. So, let’s hope we see England in the final on Sunday November 2! 

BUT first there is a big match this Saturday morning (October 26) at 9am. So if you are at The Cross Keys or The Black Lion in Hammersmith, or the George IV in Chiswick High Road, I may see you there… Swing low sweet chariot!

Onwards and upwards.


Horton and Garton wear it pink on Friday

Our Hammersmith office will be stocked with cupcakes, games and prizes to raise funds for breast cancer awareness charity

We’re throwing a party on Friday to raise awareness of breast cancer. And you’re invited!

We'll be wearing pink in support of charity Breast Cancer Now.  They aim to get as many people as possible involved in raising awareness and funds to help support life-saving research and life-changing support.

Stop by the office to enjoy some excellent homemade cupcakes, courtesy of staff member and expert baker Dominika Sielawa. We’ll also be playing our favourite board game – guess the price of the house – with bubbly prizes for the closest guesses!

“We meet a huge number of people in our business,” says Lettings Manager Ashley Clements, “who are moving home for a variety reasons. Usually, it’s a positive and happy story.

“But on occasion we meet people who are affected by personal health problems – and those experiences affect us all. It means a lot to help those clients in our role as the estate agent. So, we just wanted to do a little something extra and raise some money for this very important charity.”

The event takes place from 9am to 6pm on Friday. And you can make a small donation in our King Street office.

 

But did we mention the cupcakes? Dominika’s legendary baking needs no introduction to her fellow colleagues. Now it’s time for us to share with the world.

Baking is not just an occasional necessity. It’s a serious passion. “My mum and I bake as a hobby, everything from cakes to cupcakes to cookies,” Dominika (pictured above) says.

“It started with me sprinkling a few cupcakes at Christmas. And now we’re baking every weekend. We like to experiment with different flavours and decorations… and of course, we enjoy the tasting everything at the end!”

Some of Dominika’s creations are pictured here. Enough said! We hope to see you on Friday.


Diary of an Estate Agent: How a new love of running changed my life

As John Horton gears up for the half marathon season, he explains how he learned to love running and shed a few pounds as well.

About six years ago I decided I was out of shape and I was carrying too much ‘timber’.

I needed a wake-up call. And it came in the form of my new love of running. It all started with the Gunnersbury 5k parkrun. Week after week, I noticed an improvement on my running times and my overall stamina. My health also noticeably improved and within the year I was taking on the 10K challenge.

Today, the half marathon is now my preferred distance. And it’s that time of the year when the half marathon season is upon us. For the last five years, my medal collection of 10k and half marathons are clinking away nicely on the back of my wardrobe door.

I can’t wait to be back in action for the Chiswick half marathon on Sunday, October 20.

The race starts from Chiswick House and is a lovely excuse to run along the Thames. I’m very much hoping to beat my personal best of 1:49:22. Wish me luck!

It’s a quick turnaround for the Walton on Thames half marathon the following week. It’s known to be a flat, fast, scenic and largely traffic free race through Surrey.

If you want to learn more about joining your local running club, click here


Rare historic home in St Peter’s Square hits the market

Fancy having the historic St Peter’s Square as your front garden?

If so, look no further than this four-bedroom period house in Hammersmith. It’s just hit the market with Horton and Garton – and it represents a very rare chance to let this home in the St Peter’s Conservation Area.

With four bedrooms, three bathrooms and views of the square, the house boasts more than 2,400sqft of living and entertaining space. With a private rear garden to boot.

It has a stucco front, loving maintained and sympathetically modernised over the years, and it retains many beautiful period features. A well-equipped kitchen leads directly on to a dining room for excellent entertaining space.

It’s a fantastic family home in a rarely available location.

If you’d like to learn more or have a look, please call lettings manager Ashley Clements on 020 8819 0511 or email: lettings@hortonandgarton.co.uk or click here


Home of Hammersmith Arts & Crafts legend to open for candlelit tours

One of Hammersmith’s most historic homes is opening its doors to candlelit evening tours - giving an atmospheric perspective to a charming time capsule of a house

Artist Emery Walker’s house at 7 Hammersmith Terrace (near the Black Lion pub) is staging the exclusive tours on Halloween and 1 November, when the home of the Arts & Crafts movement visionary who mentored William Morris will transport visitors back in time, using the minimal lighting of yesteryear.

One of the most revered authentic interiors of its age will be candlelit for the 7pm guided tours, preceded by drinks in the garden, weather permitting.

Emery Walker’s House has one of the largest in-situ collections of Morris & Co wallpapers in the world, while many of the objects and possessions in the building were created for Walker by his close friends and colleagues in the Arts & Crafts movement.

They include mirrors, books, paintings, emphemera, chandeliers, textiles, rugs, Chinese and Moroccan ceramics, and hangings.

Online bookings for the candlelit tours are restricted to eight per evening, click here for tickets

Open House London

The house is also taking part in the Open House programme on Sunday (September 22), 2-5pm; one of a host of buildings of interest open for free visits over that weekend.

Others in Hammersmith & Fulham open on both Saturday and Sunday (September 21-22) are:

  • ArtWest Studios in Hythe Road, Old Oak, NW10 – a series of artists’ dens in a former Edwardian factory
  • Bridget Joyce Square, Australia Road, W12; a public park built by Hammersmith & Fulham Council to manage rainwater and reduce flood risk
  • The Bush Theatre, the former Victorian library at 7 Uxbridge Road, W12, with some backstage access
  • The former governor’s house at Wormwood Scrubs prison, in Du Cane Road, W12, now Koestler Arts, the prison arts charity
  • POSK, the brutalist Polish cultural centre at 238 King Street, W6
  • The Roca Gallery at Station Court, Townmead Road, SW6
  • St Augustine’s church, 55 Fulham Palace Road, W6
  • Kelmscott House, 26 Upper Mall, W6. The former home of fellow Arts & Crafts legend William Morris

Open on Saturday (September 21) only:

  • Colet House, the artists’ studio building at 151 Talgarth Road, W14
  • Jonathan Tuckey design studio, 58 Milson Road, W14
  • Kenneth Armitage Foundation, 22a Avonmore Road, W14; house of Arts & Crafts pioneer James MacLaren
  • Lamda, the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art, 155 Talgarth Road, W14
  • Studio McLeod, 32 Oaklands Grove, W12, a quirky family home built round an interlocking oak structure
  • St Paul’s Girls’ School, Brook Green, W6
  • Hurlingham Club, Ranelagh Gardens, SW6
  • The Round House, 188 Blythe Road, W14; a stylish modern-design home
  • Westworks, 195 Wood Lane, W12; the former BBC admin HQ
  • Tin House, Smugglers Yard, Devonport Road, W12; an unusual urban home
  • West Ken and Gibbs Green; meet on Mund Street Green, W14, for a resident-led guided tour of the estate
  • Chapel of St Francis, Wormwood Scrubs prison, Du Cane Road, W12; the finest prison chapel in England

Open on Sunday (September 22) only:

  • Fulham Palace, Bishop’s Avenue, SW6, the former residence of the Bishop of London
  • Greenside Primary School, 51 Westville Road, W12, designed by Erno Goldfinger

Click here for more details on Open House London.


Even estate agents move home occasionally!

I’m coming home. Back to where I started decades ago – 172 King Street in Hammersmith

Roll back the years (or shhh, even the decades…) to my first day working at the Hammersmith office of a corporate estate agent. I was wearing my best blue blazer and grey trousers. But it didn’t take long until my manager gave me the fashion yellow card. He accompanied me to Moss Bros where I invested in my first pin stripe suit. He said to me: “You have to look the part now you’re working in Hammersmith.”

Wind the clock forward to 2019 and the previously ‘fashionably unmodernised’ office is still under a major refurbishment with a view that’s slightly changed – no more cinema. But with four years of building work starting to build a new Town Hall campus, things are finally changing for the better. The new branch of Horton and Garton opens later this year – watch this space for the invite!

New office, same values

We have built a robust business over the past 11 years and we’ve now outgrown our current premises. Likewise, our team has significantly grown and we’re making the big move two doors away.

I can genuinely and proudly state that Horton and Garton is the market-leading sales and lettings agency in W6 and W12. We have worked exceptionally hard to achieve this status and continue to extend our record in 2019 by working with the very best properties and clients.

Our 11 years of constant growth and expansion, breaking the mold and building relationships has resulted in our need for a new start. We’ve succeeded with our positive approach instead of resorting to the hard-sell tactics that appear so common in the industry these days.

We’ve studied every pocket of Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Chiswick, Brook Green and West Kensington to get to know the community and support many local groups and charities which form the fabric of West London.

Our goal is to provide a professional, dedicated and knowledgeable property service. What distinguishes us from other estate agencies is our ability to provide a bespoke level of customer and client service, plus our honest and ethical business ethic for the local community. And it’s this approach that has allowed us to continue to expand – we now employee 20 people at Horton and Garton.

Our wealth of experience, in-depth understanding of the property market and rock-solid work ethic makes us a force to be reckoned with when it comes to securing the best results for clients. We pride ourselves on our consistently outstanding service, while our integrity and client focus is part of everything we do. This ensures our clients receive a level of personal service not found at the corporate chains.

We’re returning home to an office that was previously an estate agent for 50+ years. So, if you’re considering selling or renting in West London, please continue to make Horton and Garton the first call and join our winning team.

And there’s Chiswick too…

Meanwhile, our Chiswick office is going from strength to strength in its third year. In Turnham Green Terrace, Paul Cooney and his team are officially the second highest selling agent in W4 this year. Onwards and upwards!

 


Street party in Turnham Green caps a novel weekend of fun in Chiswick

Have you ever fancied taking over Turnham Green Terrace? If so – look no further than Sunday’s street party in Chiswick

Scrap your plans for the weekend. Because Abundance London, who lead environmental and educational community projects in Chiswick, is teaming up with the annual Cookbook Festival for a day of live music, free cooking demos, art, yoga, cycling, football – and even chickens!

The ‘Together on the Terrace’ street party fun starts on Sunday (September 15) at 11am. A new art installation will be unveiled by Hammersmith artist Sir Peter Blake at 1pm. And you can also buy food from local traders and take part in the big street lunch. The celebration of all things W4 runs until 4pm.

It’s a busy time in Chiswick. The Cookbook Festival runs from Thursday (September 12) to Monday (September 16) and promises to be a way to learn more about food and cooking. And it's perfect for anyone who loves eating!

There are talks, demos, workshops and suppers at various locations in Chiswick, and includes foodies such as Lindsey Bareham, Asma Khan, Henry Harris, John Whaite and Matthew Fort.

Tickets from £10. All proceeds go to charity as the Cookbook Festival is a not-for-profit organisation. For more details, visit: www.cookbookfestival.org

Meanwhile, book lovers should also stop by the Chiswick Book Festival. The 11th annual festival runs from Thursday (September 12) to Monday (September 16) as author AN Wilson opens the festival at Chiswick House on Thursday with a talk about his forthcoming book on Prince Albert. Wilson’s new book marks the 200th anniversaries of both Victoria and Albert – and recalls when Albert visited Chiswick House 175 years ago.

On Friday (September 13) the festival celebrates the life of the actor Richard Briers, who lived in Bedford Park for more than 50 years. The paperback edition of his biography, More Than Just A Good Life, will be launched with a panel session featuring its author James Hogg, Richard’s daughter Lucy Briers and his friend Peter Egan, who co-starred with him in Ever Decreasing Circles.

See the full programme of events and book tickets here.