News & Events

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Brewery News

New planning applications have been submitted for (A) the housing/mixed use development and (B) the secondary school.  Application A shows a reduction in building heights near the heritage assets, namely the Maltings, the bottling plant and the backs of Thames Bank and a reduction in housing units from 1,250 to 1,085 (including 20% affordable).  Application B remains largely unchanged.  For more details, and other current issues, click here.

For forthcoming events and useful links regarding past events, please scroll down.

Jack Parker RIP

Jack died on Saturday 20 February of heart failure at the age of 94.  He was a founding member of MESS in 1969 and its second Chairman from 1971 to 1973.  Prior to this he had already risen to fame in the East Sheen community as an Olympic athlete in the high hurdles first at Helsinki in 1952 and then at Melbourne in 1956 – and he was at his peak in 1954 winning a silver medal at the European Championships at Bern.  Not surprisingly he became known to many as Jumping Jack Flash.

The competitive edge he showed as an athlete continued thereafter when he became a distinguished highway engineer on projects worldwide culminating as a director of WS Atkins and ultimately as Chief Highway Engineer in the Department of Transport and President of the Institute of Highway Engineers.

Jack could be described as the Godfather of MESS.  His contribution to the Society has been immense.  For 53 years he has given wise counsel to successive MESS Committees on all transport matters including the Government’s options for the streamlining or realignment of the South Circular Road in the 1980s, the Red Routeing of the same road in the 1990s and most recently the widening of Chalkers Corner associated with the Brewery redevelopment; not to mention Heathrow Terminals 4 and 5 and more recently the third runway including the traffic implications for the South Circular and the potential Southern Rail Access from Waterloo to Heathrow via Mortlake.

In our 50th anniversary year Jack, aged 91, made two memorable appearances – at the showing of Tom Stanier’s film about his athletic career in the 1950s and at the 50th anniversary lunch held at All Saints Church where our audience of 120 heard him make a short speech from his wheelchair.

Jack married Shirley in 1955 and our sincerest condolences go to her and to their family.

Peter Hames RIP

by Bridget (and Alastair) Grant

Peter Hames died on 5 December 2021.  He had been in hospital for about a week and pretty much unaware of what was going on.  Until a couple of days before his admittance, he was his usual energetic, remarkable self.  We last saw him on Remembrance Day when Alastair reported that he and Angela had ‘worked the room’ of the Home Guard Club, chatting to the cadets and assorted people who had been on parade.  When I spoke to him about this and how appreciated his and Angela’s attentions had been, his response was ‘Well that was what we were there for wasn’t it?’.

When Peter was in command of a RN warship (any naval officer’s finest time), he told me that his ambition had been ‘to make it the happiest ship in the Navy’.  I bet it was too.  His was a life of service, doing and enjoying.

Our community will be all the poorer for the loss of Peter (on left in photo above, with Shaun Lamplough, past Chair).  The MESS defibrillator was in large part down to his effort and will be a bit of a testament to him.  I will give it an appreciative and loving pat as I pass from now on.  He’d like that!

2020 “minefields”

Our area is caught between three minefields which emerged in mid August 2020, viz:

Thurs 13 Aug: Hammersmith Bridge closed to pedestrians and cyclists due to widening cracks.

Fri 14 Aug: Richmond Park Traffic Management Plan unveiled.

Sat 15 Aug: Revised plans for the Mortlake Brewery unveiled.

The three minefields are interlinked. The closure of Hammersmith Bridge to vehicular traffic in April 2019 had already caused the diversion of traffic to Chiswick Bridge through our area. The Richmond Park Traffic Management Plan prevents such traffic from entering East Sheen via Sheen Gate and the Brewery redevelopment can only be accessed from the A3003 (Lower Richmond Road/Mortlake High Street/ Barnes High Street) which is already heavily gridlocked.

Current Issues

For detailed news on these and other items please click here.

The Mortlake Brewery
Hammersmith Bridge
Richmond Park Traffic Management Plan
Aerial Masts
Other recent planning applications
East Sheen Parkside Low Traffic Neighbourhood Plan

Forthcoming events

Sunday 26 June: Patience Trevor will lead another walk (her third) around some of our historic walls.  If you wish to join the walk please contact info@mess.org.uk.  There is an entry charge of £5 for members, £10 for non-members.

Saturday 2 July: MESS will have a stall at the Mortlake Fair on the Brewery playing fields and will be publicising its activities such as visits to the air raid shelter and walks around our historic walls.

Sunday 4 September: MESS members’ garden party will have drinks and nibbles in the All Saints Church Hall garden.  After two years of lockdown and meetings on Zoom this will be an opportunity for MESS to meet socially for the first time since our 50th anniversary lunch in 2019.  Details to follow.

Sunday 11 September: The Air Raid Shelter at St Leonards Court will be open to the public again at another Open House Day. Details to follow.

Recent past events

On 21 March 2022, Colin Cooper, Head of Habitats and Heritage, gave a talk about the work of his charity which collaborates with local community groups in preserving and enhancing green urban spaces and biodiversity and also heritage assets including our air raid shelter, Burton’s tomb and several other assets in our part of London. This talk was followed by our AGM.

On 31 January 2022, our Air Raid Shelter team gave a presentation about the shelter comprising two Tom Stanier films and a slideshow which included maps of the local bombsites. For more information about the air raid shelter, or to arrange a visit, click here and scroll down the page.

In March 2021, our AGM was followed by a showing of Tom Stanier’s half-hour film about Dr John Dee, Mortlake’s most eminent resident to date, philosopher, astrologist and adviser to Queen Elizabeth I, with scenes of his life scripted by Tom and performed by members of the Barnes Community Players.  If you wish to see this film please click here :Please note that there are 17 secs of blank screen at the beginning, and you do not need to open a “OneDrive” account.

In February 2021, Sandra Hempel gave a talk about the history of Barnes Hospital. If you would like to read more about her book on the topic, or order a copy, please click here.

In October 2020, Patience Trevor gave a presentation about our Historic Walls, followed by two walks around some of the walls in 2021. If you would like to read more and see the maps which show the locations of our historic walls on today’s map base and also on Godfrey’s historic maps of 1893, please click here.