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Tuesday 23rd October
Twickenham's News

THE TWICKENHAM TRIBUNE

The Twickenham Times was founded as a local online newspaper for and by local people to help keep local democracy alive in Twickenham and the surrounding towns. A place where local people can have their letters published, have their say and where their articles can be published online.

In 1965 the Municipal Borough of Twickenham joined with Richmond becoming the London Borough of Richmond. The River Thames divides Twickenham and Richmond and their surrounding towns. Today the political power resides with councillors on the Richmond side of the river and people in Twickenham and the surrounding “villages” want to make sure their views are known.

In November 2016 it was becoming more and more obvious that “local” news in Twickenham needed an outlet. A few years ago The Informer closed causing concern that there was no longer a choice of newspapers. At this time people spoke about producing a newspaper to take its place.

The only commercial newspaper in the borough is The Richmond and Twickenham Times which covers the towns on both sides of the River Thames.

The Richmond and Twickenham Times has been in existence since 1873. From 1896 until 2001 the newspaper was owned by the Dimbleby family and was sold to Newsquest in 2001. At the end of last year The Richmond and Twickenham Times Ltd was dissolved. The newspaper is part of the Newsquest Media Group which is a Gannet company.

Since the contributors to the community online newspaper are on the Twickenham side of the river Twickenham was obviously chosen as part of the name - it is where we live. There are a variety of newspaper titles which are used generally: News, Post, Gazette, Telegraph, Tribune, Herald, Times, etc. There are many newspapers which are called “the Times”: The New York Times and The Sunday Times to name just two. The use of Twickenham Times seemed simple and unobtrusive. However, there was an objection to the name of our community newspaper so we changed it to The Twickenham Tribune.

The community newspaper aims to allow local people the opportunity to showcase Twickenham, a very special area on the outskirts of London. Not just the home of rugby and ice skating but the place where many of the legends of popular music played in their early years; a town with an intriguing history, where London’s literati of the eighteenth century, such as Pope and Walpole, escaped to riverside homes. Twickenham and the surrounding “villages” need a voice to keep the special character and unique charm of this side of the river.

... And as well as local news the Tribune also aims to bring people into contact with the wider world, just as those in a number of countries enjoy the Tribune. World InfoZone, produced by one of the Tribune team, is a useful international resource which tries to bring a global dimension to the online newspaper.


The Twickenham Tribune Goes Global

Edition 51 of the Twickenham Tribune, published on 28 October 2017, was produced in Rome as the Tribune took part in the Global Junior Challenge (GJC), organised by Fondazione Mondo Digitale, under the high patronage of the Italian Presidency. The Tribune was invited to attend as a Finalist in the Challenge.

The aim of the biannual event is to promote the innovative use of ICT in the social inclusion area, education for life, training and intercultural cooperation and to encourage young generations to share in some of the best practice in the use of ICT.

The Tribune was pleased to take the opportunity, not only to interact with those at the event, but to showcase the towns in the Twickenham constituency as well as exhibit some of the Tribune’s work.


About Us - from The Twickenham Tribune

We founded the Twickenham Tribune in November 2016 publishing the online newspaper weekly. As well as news items and editorial the Tribune has a core of dedicated contributors who bring variety to the popular publication. (Teresa Read and Berkley Driscoll).

Previously we had organised quite a few community events and as trustees of a local charity (REIC) had worked extensively on Heritage Lottery history projects (Memories of Twickenham Riverside, IceRinx and Lidos Alive).

Our first community event coincided with the Great River Race in 2011. We were awarded the first Civic Pride grant and organised the Twickenham Alive Riverside Regatta - a two-day event. The focus of the weekend was the recreation of the historic Charlie Shore Regatta for Boys and Girls which saw racing organised by Twickenham Rowing Club and a specially commissioned Charlie Shore dance on the Embankment.

There was live music on Champion's Wharf, a children's fun fair, Shetland ponies in the statue gardens and a market along the whole of the Embankment. We also organised photographic and video competitions of the event with a prize giving at a later date in Clarendon Hall.

At that weekend we introduced Stand Up Paddleboarding to Twickenham and eventually formed the first SUP club on the Thames.

Diamond Jubilee Gardens opened in 2012 and as trustees of the REIC we exhibited our photographs from the HLF Memories of Twickenham Riverside project. On the following day we arranged a day of events including live music. For the Christmas festivities in Diamond Jubilee Gardens we organised a live music stage, children's entertainment, festive stalls and break dancing!

During the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations we organised a two week Twickenham Riverside Jubilee Festival which included water zorbing, live music, children's fairground attractions, Shetland ponies in the statue garden, markets, a craft fair, a D-Day Dance and the Twickenham Alive Blue Mile (a national Stand Up Paddleboarding charitable event).The Twickenham Riverside Festival continued annually until 2017 with all the usual attractions including the exciting spectacle of DragonBoat racing.

2012 had seen the launch of the Twickenham Film Festival with an outdoor screening of the premiere of a UK comedy “Borrowed Time”. From 2013 our annual Twickenham Film Festival gave the opportunity for people of all ages to have their short films screened. As well as people from the Borough films came from as far away as Hong Kong, the USA, Italy, Portugal and Gibraltar.

In 2012 and 2013 we became co-organisers with the RFU of the Strawberry Hill Music and Fun Day (SHMFD). In 2014 the RFU withdrew from the organization of the SHMFD so it became the Twickenham Alive Music and Fun Day - raising money for Strawberry Hill House - which we ran successfully for two years.

Around this time we were preparing to embark on a two year HLF project about the ice rink in East Twickenham and at Christmas 2013 were able to bring a temporary ice rink to York House. 2014 saw a very successful festive ice rink at Strawberry Hill House which returned again the following year. In 2017 the Planning Inspectorate granted Twickenham Alive planning permission for an ice rink in Radnor Gardens.

As well as bringing an ice rink back to Twickenham we also took part in a competition for plans for Twickenham Riverside. Our proposals included a small lido with health spa, community café and restaurant. This idea was entered in a Council architecture competition partnering with Atkins Global.

A Change.org petition for a lido attracted over 4,100 supporters. During this time we published various history books including one about the about the history of lidos “Lidos Alive” and another about healthy eating “Eating the WIZ Way”. We also produced two permanent history plaques for Warren Gardens telling the stories of the ice rink and the Belgian Village in Twickenham during World War One.

In 2017 the Twickenham Tribune was invited by Fondazione Mondo Digitale to exhibit the Twickenham Tribune in Rome.

Note: My involvement in the local area started with supporting St Catherine's School when it was threatened with closure, then much later working on a suitable plan for Gifford House and arranging the ERS Referendum which saved Twickenham Riverside. Before delving into community politics I spent ten years producing a world history www.worldinfozone.com, with people in over 150 countries, the content totalling in excess of 1,000 web pages. From 2002 I have taken part in international conferences with educators from around the world.

Teresa Read, Content Editor, Twickenham Tribune
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