For the love of Hammersmith


Joanna Gosling is in love with Brackenbury.

The BBC television presenter and author (pictured above), addressing the AGM of the Brackenbury Residents Association on Monday, spoke of searching for a house with garden (with the help of Horton and Garton, I might add) and near good schools.

Pregnant with her second child, I steered her towards Brackenbury and we found Joanna and her family just the right house – she even exchanged contracts while she was in labour!

What serendipity it was, she said.The first hint they’d landed in the right spot was seeing flowers in front gardens on a walk to Ravenscourt Park.

Then she found local businesses such as Stenton Family Butcher and Hepsibah Gallery and Sisi Hardware – and all of the other shops of Brackenbury. It doesn’t take long to come across a friendly face, Joanna said.

But she said that the biggest life lesson that she’s learned in Brackenbury is that you’re not alone – there’s always someone to mind the children, a butcher to give tips on a supper dish or an expert to advise on rewiring a dimmer switch.

For Joannna, engaging with the community seemed so much better than a gated community where she lived before.

In today’s world – where grandmothers die and their wisdom goes with them – she’s passionate about passing on tips for living. This inspired her first book, Simply Wonderwoman – a survival guide for women with too much to do (Kyle Books, 2011). Her next book about making things – celebrating the useful, as she calls it – will be published next March.

“Living here in Brackenbury is so much better than even the estate agent said,” Joanna added. “It really does feel like a village, a proper community.”

And here at Horton and Garton, that is music to our ears!