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Historic Buildings Group and HF ArtsFest host two walks


You're invited to Hammersmith riverside and Shepherds Bush film history walks

As part of this year's HF ArtsFest , the Historic Buildings Group  in Hammersmith & Fulham is organising two walks:

Walk 1 
Hammersmith Riverside 
2 June
230pm

This walk from Putney Bridge to Furnivall Gardens will look at the buildings and the art works along the Thames. Leader is John Goodier.

Walk 2 
Television and Film History 
9 June
2.30pm

Starting at Shepherds Bush Green, this walk will look at the many buildings in the area that have been used in the many processes in the production of TV programmes. Leader is Adrian Bray.

ArtsFest runs from June 1-9. Tickets on the door at £5. To book either of the Historic Buildings Group walks, e-mail: john.goodier7421@btinternet.com

For more details, click here

St Peter’s Church hosts Eighties inspired sing-a-long for charity


SingWest invites you to sing and raise money for Duchenne UK

Enjoy the music of the Eighties? Look no further! Join the fun at a special night in Hammersmith's St Peter's Church to sing the classic Simple Minds tune 'Don’t You Forget About Me'. It's all for a very good cause. 

The song was memorably featured in 1985 cult classic John Hughes film, The Breakfast Club

The SingWest evening will help raise money for Duchenne UK, the charity that is doing everything it can to fund and accelerate treatments and a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy within the next decade. DMD is a devastating muscle wasting disease and is the most common genetic killer of children worldwide. 

SingWest is two informal choirs in west London that meet weekly to sing contemporary, gospel and choral music. Both choirs are open, inclusive and relaxed. No members are especially talented vocalists, some are genuinely awful they tell us.

That's why absolutely no singing talent is required. And once you've wet your whistle, join your fellow singers for a few drinks afterwards at The Cross Keys pub in South Black Lion Lane. Tickets are £15 and all proceeds go to Duchenne UK.

Click here to book your place

Two-day food festival comes to Hammersmith’s Lyric Square


Eat your way through a tasty melting pot of cuisines at this year's Hammersmith Feastival

The international food 'Feastival' kicks off on Friday May 17 from 11am to 9pm with a huge street food market in Lyric Square running alongside an impressive line-up of live music acts.

The following day (Saturday), King Street is shut to cars from 10am to 6pm, with more than 150 stalls full of food, drink and gifts. There will also be a jam-packed schedule of singers, bands, street entertainment and cookery demonstrations.

The event is hosted by Hammersmith & Fulham Council, which said: “The two-day event is part of our efforts to invest in and improve our town centres. We want to make H&F a great place to work, live and socialise.”

Tieyan Eweka’s Nigerian eatery Jollof Mama
White City resident Tieyan Eweka’s Nigerian eatery Jollof Mama
 
Food market

You will be able to have your brunch, lunch and supper all in one place in the outdoor seating area at the extended Lyric Square Food Market on Friday from 11am.

The mouth-watering array of street food on offer from across the globe includes White City resident Tieyan Eweka’s Nigerian eatery Jollof Mama and the Marrakech Kitchen to name a few.

There will also be live music acts from noon on the day with the likes of Jazz Mino, one of British most exciting new pop artists with more than 6,000,000 streams on Spotify alone, as well as Ky Lewis.

Traffic-free King Street

King Street will be pedestrianised on Saturday for the pop-up market, which runs from 10am to 6pm. There will be everything from crafts, jewellery, home accessories, boutique fashion and art on offer plus cookery demonstrations and food tasting. You will be able to sample cuisines from Greece to South Korea and beyond.

While your music taste will be satisfied with the wealth of music talent performing jazz, soul, funk, classical, rock, pop and more across four busking pods down King Street, as well as on stage in Lyric Square. Children’s workshops, stilt walking chefs, comedy and more are all on tap at the pedestrian-friendly market, which also includes the Queen of Hearts on roller skates as well as Bridie, and her seven-foot-tall tea trolley.

Stilt walkers at Hammersmith Market
Street entertainers are all on tap at the pedestrian-friendly market
 
One-day traffic restrictions

To allow for the Spring Feastival Market, King Street will be closed to traffic between the Hammersmith Gyratory and Leamore Street from 5am to 9pm on Saturday May 18.

Map showing the King Street closure, other nearby street names and the start of the traffic diversion at the eastern end of King Street

The following signed diversion route will be in place during the closure:

  • Hammersmith Gyratory
  • Shepherds Bush Road
  • Goldhawk Road
  • Paddenswick Road
  • Dalling Road
  • Glenthorne Road
  • Leamore Street
  • King Street.

Buses will be on diversion. Buses affected are the 27, 190, 266, 267, 391, H91, N9 and N11.

Freshly cooked pizza at Hammersmith Market
Feastival kicks off on Friday May 17 from 11am to 9pm

New events explore the rich history of Kelmscott House and historic Fulham


Want to learn more about the rich history of Hammersmith and Fulham? Look no further

A new exhibition from the William Morris Society and a guided walk of historic Fulham should do the trick.

Kelmscott House

Kelmscott House in Upper Mall, Hammersmith, was the home of legendary Victorian designer, poet and writer William Morris for the last 18 years of his life.

The new exhibition from the William Morris Society shows off a house bursting with creative energy and artistic activity – a must for anyone interesting in interior design.

It features original Morris & Co. designs, textiles and wallpapers, complemented by beautiful photographic prints. Hammersmith residents who inhabited the house before and after Morris will also be featured including poet and novelist George MacDonald, Sir Francis Ronalds who invented the electric telegraph and the actress Athene Seyler.

William Morris reported to his wife Jane that he had found a house in London that ‘might be made very beautiful with a touch of my art’ when he leased Kelmscott House in 1878. It was here that he began carpet weaving, wove his first tapestry and continued his innovating approach to design.

Many well-known Morris & Co. designs are associated with the house. In 1878 Morris designed the Bird woven wool textile to hang in the drawing room of the property and Peacock and Dragon curtains adorned the room. Pimpernel wallpaper hung in the dining room and Trellis in Morris’s ground floor bedroom. 

The exhibition runs until October 26. Open Thursdays and Saturdays 2-5pm. Free entry. For more details, click here

Fulham walk

Take a guided walk around the centre of historic Fulham on Saturday, May 11.

Starting at 2pm, the walk begins at Putney Bridge tube station and will be led by Keith Whitehouse, Chairman of Fulham & Hammersmith Historical Society.

The historic walking tour includes:

-Fulham Bridge and the ferry crossing to Putney

-Fulham House – where the first Mercedes cars were built in Britain under the railway arches

-The Temperance Billiard Hall (now a pub), Fulham War Memorial Garden and its plaques to Victoria Cross winners

-The road that gave its name to a lavatory cistern

-The outer earthworks of Fulham Palace

-The surviving kiln and buildings of Fulham Pottery

-The Eight Bells pub first recorded in 1609, an ideal venue to end the walk.

For more details and to book, email Keith at fulhammoat@gmail.com

Going once, going twice, sold at St Peter’s fundraising auction!


St Peter’s Church W6 raises more than £14,000 for new catering facility at auction

Churchgoers at St Peter's agree: the kitchen is the heart of the building. And it's the hub from which various groups and events can be catered for, coffees and teas can be served and vicars, curates and volunteers can be fuelled.

Following a successful Promises Auction in 2015, and with the kitchen requiring significant refurbishment, church members decided it was time to take action. Putting the two together, long time church member Bridget Stevenson masterminded the 2019 Promises Auction.

Hosted by parishioner Philip Hook of Sotheby’s, Bridget called upon church members to donate what they could – everything from dog walking services and homemade pavlovas to holiday homes in Venice.

The 2015 auction raised £6,000. So Bridget was hoping, four years later, the congregation could do even better. She approached John Horton, Horton and Garton’s Director and Founder, for support. John immediately agreed to incur the cost of creating and printing publicity materials, including the auction catalogues, and provide some complimentary prosecco. Support was also provided by our friends from Chiswick's Hogarth Health Club who generously supplied complimentary guest passes to the club.

John said: “I was chuffed to be approached by Bridget. We love supporting our local churches, especially St Peter’s, as my two boys were christened here and I have first-hand experience as to the many ways the church is still backbone of our local community.

"Anything we can do to support St Peter's, such as the new church catering facility, are always an honour and sincere pleasure. Supporting the Hammersmith community that has supported my business for over a decade is a great joy.”

At the time of writing, an incredible £14,000 (and growing!) was raised from the generosity of the congregation, church supporters and west London locals meaning the creation of a new catering facility will soon be underway.

Bridget thanked Horton and Garton for their support of the event and said: “I cannot thank you enough for all your wonderful support for our auction. We all loved the publicity cards and the catalogue was a masterpiece, everyone was seriously impressed and it made it all so thoroughly professional! Also, your generosity with the prosecco was wonderful. It was so great to be able to go round filling everyone’s glasses and nice for them not to have a paying bar! We loved your heads and tails game which got us off to a great start. The success of the auction is going to mean we should be able to go ahead with the kitchen facilities as soon as all the plans are agreed which is very exciting. You are a star, we are immensely indebted to you.”

If our team can support one of your charitable endeavours, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Hammersmith Bridge is shut – and it’s been happening for years


H&F Council calls time on Hammersmith Bridge. But don't say you haven't been warned...

If you've spent any time driving in west London you'll have experienced the various warnings about the state of Hammersmith Bridge. The frequent school holiday closures, the random repairs and the cue of buses waiting to cross as TfL belatedly tried to lessen the crippling weight loads on the bridge. And if you've walked under the creaking bridge along the Thames Path, you'll have wondered how the iconic bridge is still standing.

Well, Hammersmith & Fulham Council has finally called time on the bridge after finding a 'critical' structural fault. It's presumably critical enough to potentially endanger the public. Now it's up to TfL to finally raise the money to repair it once and for all - estimated to be a cool £40million.

The 132-year-old Hammersmith Bridge is part of TfL’s strategic road network which they have responsibility for maintaining. The council says: "Unfortunately, up until 2015, TfL were sending 100 buses an hour over the bridge which is something it was never designed for and which was the most important contributing factor in causing this level of damage."

The council rightly points to the £43million which was wasted on the failed Garden Bridge folly. And also points out that TfL has suffered an £800million cut to its budget from central government and has had to pay for the refurbishment of Albert Bridge and Putney Bridge in recent years.

Motorists are hoping the works can be funded and sorted as soon as possible. While cyclists, runners and walkers alike are hoping it becomes the 'green' bridge that the garden could never produce.

Pictures by John Horton - April 2019

Horton and Garton call for an end to agents overvaluing homes to dupe sellers


Newspaper investigation finds repeated ‘deception’ from estate agents as sellers pay inflated fees to hit false promise of unachievable asking prices.

Horton and Garton is calling for fellow estate agents to end their unscrupulous practice of overvaluing homes in order to bank commissions.

A recent investigation by The Times [paywall] of more than 200,000 properties listed online revealed that some estate agent chains are ‘overvaluing properties by up to a fifth in a practice that can mislead sellers into paying higher rates of commission’.

The research uncovered that overvaluations are rife, with the biggest chains being ‘the worst offenders’.

John Horton, founder of Horton and Garton, said: “In my 20 years of working in west London I’ve come up against the same set of agents who time after time are overvaluing homes in the hope of securing an instruction and lock owners in to a long exclusivity period. Take every one of these high valuations of your property with a fist full – not a pinch – of salt.”

John added: “And when it comes to the fee, expensive doesn’t mean better. On the flipside, low fees don’t necessarily mean a great savings. If your agent folds like a deck of cards when you ask them to lower their fee, how hard do you think they’ll negotiate for you when it comes to the sale of your home?”

The data

In their investigation, The Times reported: “The data suggests agents with the highest commissions are overvaluing properties the most to attract homeowners. The properties then sell at lower prices, but the agents take big fees.

“Nearly two-thirds of homes listed by Foxtons, the biggest agent in London, have to be reduced from their initial price before they can be sold, almost double the national average. Foxtons charges a commission of three percent, which is more than twice the national average.

“When properties marketed by Foxtons had their asking prices cut, the average reduction was 10 per cent, or £56,000. Land Registry data on a sample of these homes shows that the sale price was lower still, falling 16 per cent or £85,000 from the original asking price. The research shows that the agents that overvalue the most, including Hamptons International, charge twice as much on average as the ten agents who overvalue the least.”

Paul Cooney, Horton and Garton’s Chiswick Sales Director, reacted to the investigation by saying: “Ultimately, sellers need to know that inflating an asking price means eventually devaluing the property and achieving less than its true worth. Our advice would be to avoid the big chains altogether and secure valuations exclusively from local independent agencies.”

And what should you do if you’ve been duped into an unrealistic asking price and long tie in period by a rogue agent? “Hang tight,” advises Paul. “Allow them to continue to market your home until the tie in period has expired, then pull the plug as quickly as possible: remove your home from the open market.

“Secure valuations with independent agencies who have your interests at heart then heed their advice. We develop different marketing strategies for each property we list for sale. One size definitely does not fit all.”

Shocking

Henry Pryor, a respected London buying agent, was interviewed by The Times. He noted: “The scale of overvaluations is shocking. Some sellers are clearly being misled into choosing more expensive agents, but we need to remember that an asking price is not a valuation, it is just a marketing gimmick.”

While John added: “My wise grandfather once told me to be careful of the people who will tell you what you want to hear… the people that tell you what you need to hear are the good folks!

“It’s our job to ensure our clients, locals living in Hammersmith, Chiswick and Shepherds Bush, are properly, intelligently advised and receive the finest service.”

If you would like to know how our hard working, professional teams can work in your best interests, give us a call or an email to arrange an honest and independent valuation - or if nothing else, a coffee and a conversation. We’re at your service.”

Doing the double – The darlings of Dalling Road


Lightning recently struck twice in Dalling Road as two double-fronted Victorian family houses hit the market at the same time.

Here are Horton and Garton, we were delighted to be asked to handle both sales. To find two of these coveted houses being listed at the same time, with the same agent, is quite unique.

See the ‘darlings of Dalling Road’ here and here

These much sought after homes in Brackenbury Village are very much a minority – they represent less than 1% of the period housing stock in the W6 0 postcode!

Needless to say, the interest and appetite in the Dalling Road properties was incredible. Both homes were snapped up and best prices were agreed as quickly as they were listed.

Having worked and lived in Brackenbury Village for more than 20 years there are not many houses which I have not seen within ‘our patch’ of Hammersmith. And it’s always our pleasure when we have an opportunity to work with the very best properties, clients and buyers.

If you are considering a move and you would like to hear an honest and accurate market review, please give me or my team a call.

Here at the Horton and Garton, we can guide, advise and explain how our experience and market strategies will maximise the selling price of your home.

For more information or a chat, call 020 8819 0510 or email: sales@hortonandgarton.co.uk

Tonight is the Crucial quiz as our local offices face off in battle of the brains


Get down to the Hogarth Health Club tonight to see which of the Horton and Garton offices will outsmart the other!

Most estate agents are the competitive types. But the best of the very best are simply the super, uber competitive types.

To help separate the wheat from the chaff, our two Horton and Garton offices will go nose to nose tonight in the Crucial Café’s quiz at the Hogarth Health Club.  

The pressure is already on. And there’s been some healthy office banter between the teams already picked and their self-appointed captains.

What’s surprising for me is that as a new W4 resident I’ve been told I’m on the W6 team and selected for my general quiz knowledge skills. Never thought that would happen!

Office bragging rights are at stake and I’ve heard some of the teams are ‘genning up’ already.

As long as there is an equal and level playing field and no influencing of the quiz master from the captains, let’s see who really command the brains of the Horton and Garton team and which office will triumph as champs – or fail as chumps.

Watch this space!

A fond farewell to our star photographer Scott Clark


Drinks were raised at the Lyric to celebrate Scott's purple patch as a snapper.

After eight years working with Horton and Garton as our number one photographer and floor planner, our Scotland expat Scott Clark is returning north of the border to Edinburgh.

Scott became an integral part of the Horton and Garton team and his excellent eye for detail and ability to showcase all our clients' homes became the stuff of legend. Scott always went above and beyond to provide what we like to call the 'purple carpet treatment'.

To send him off in style, we celebrated with a few drinks at the Lyric theatre's bar and roof garden. If you have not seen this amazing space at the Lyric, we can highly recommend it as an after work spot.

The bad news for Scott? We've all now joined his growing list of offers for a house swap for this year's Edinburgh Fringe festival!

On behalf of all of the team here at Horton and Garton, we wish Scott, his wife Maxine and family all the very best as they settle back into life ‘north of the border’. Scott will be continuing his successful business, Scott Clark Photography, which includes his wedding and property photography. If you're interested in a testimonial or a recommendation, please do contact me.