CHALLENGE: HANDS RESPONSE
Twickenham Challenge Appraisal
London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
Room 1.11 Civic Centre
Twickenham TW1 3BZ
3rd March 2006
I am glad to contribute to discussion of this unique opportunity
to create something useful and visually attractive on our long-neglected
Unlike others taking part, I see the matter not only as a Twickenham
resident of many years but as the leader of an organisation which
has, by courtesy of the RuT Council, worked for more than half its
thirty years of existence from the former caretaker's house on the
site to be developed.
The role of 'HANDS' in improving the quality of life for those needing
help in Twickenham, in particular the elderly, infirm, housebound
and lonely, is agreed by all and in the past year has been recognised
by two public awards. It is our earnest desire to continue to operate
from this central riverside position.
We strongly support The Environment Trust's plans for a River Centre
on the pool site because it makes provision for HANDS and the RNLI,
two of several local voluntary organisations under threat from shortage
of appropriate accommodation; HANDS has lived in a state of uncertainty
for several years, defending our lonely site by the derelict pool
from vandals and patching up our decaying premises.
The arrival of a café and children's playground has transformed
the scene, and we see this as a first promising step. My support
for the River Centre is not merely self-interested: I agree with
those who have pointed out how much more suitable this is, because
of its river-relatedness, than the alternative plans.
The riverside cries out for such a development, and I see it as the
best answer to years of agonising indecision.
It will attract visitors and residents of all age groups to the riverside
and facilitate river-related activities in harmony with the aims
of the Thames Landscape Strategy and of Arcadia in the City. The
display and museum part will complement the nearby local studies
We must not lose this opportunity. It will not recur.