Twickenham Riverside Terrace Group

A riverside in trust for the community

Diamond Jubilee Gardens Event – Words and Pictures

“This is a remarkable day because this place, as everybody knows, has been a tip for thirty-one years; and for thirty-one years there have been groups – in my case I think I’ve been around for twenty-eight years – struggling over this affair…

 “We thank [Lord True] and the Conservatives very much indeed for what has been done; but more than that we thank the thousands of people – ten thousand people – who supported us with a petition…  

“We won and here it is.” – John Reekie (Chairman TRTG) – Public Opening Day Speech

“Much better, a public space for little ones and children of all ages, than a private space for the few.  Thank you.”  – Mervyn

 “Really enjoyed the music and the gardens are very nice.”  –  Abby & Issy

 “Awesome gardens and a brilliant opening!”  – Jack

“How fantastic to see this site, after thity-two years of dereliction, transformed into something so beautiful.  Congratulations to everyone in bringing this to fruition.  Let’s enjoy it.”  – Lesley

“More use of space like this please – well done everyone.” – Sara 

“Before I leave office in 2014 I am determined that this piece of land will be given to the people of Twickenham for all time – to a Trust. So that never again can any Council come forward with a scheme of building on it, making profit from it, and taking it away from the people it belongs to.” – Lord True – Public Opening Day Speech (extract)

The public opening of the  gardens event was a joint venture by the Council, the RFU and the Twickenham Riverside Trust.


  1. While the planting on the Twickenham Riverside site is attractive, there is one aspect that is unsatisfactory. My first priority in the design of the planting would have been to create a screen to hide the backs of the buildings in King Street. A fast growing effective screen would completely transform the appearance of the site, but the plants chosen for the northern perimeter will not achieve this effect. The herbaceous plants are too low growing and most of the tree/shrubs are columnar in habit, i.e. they will grow tall but will not spread to form a screen. Will you be pressing the Council to rectify this in the winter planting season?

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    • Dear Mr. McEwen

      Thank you for your enquiry and interest in the Diamond Jubilee Gardens.

      The Council used planning permission we had obtained previously for the Diamond Jubilee Gardens project. However, these plans were modified by the Council and their design team.

      We believe that the intent was not to screen the Gardens from the back of the King Street shops and flats – to give an impression of space and air; and as a disincentive to anti-social behaviour on the site. We have no plans, at the present, to press the Council for increased screening.

      We are currently seeking planning permission to refurbish the buildings adjoining the Gardens. It is our hope that these building will be transformed into a fully functioning community hub for Twickenham. We welcome any support in this project. Details can be found on our website and on the Council’s on site. []

      If you take up your query with the Council, we would be very interested in any comments you receive.



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      • Totally agree Ron, I,ve just come back from a visit to kew where I was saddened to find the gardens being taken over by uncleared leaves , weeds in beds that wouldn’t have been tolerated when I worked there and silly lumps of wood pertaining to be art, kew is and should be about plants and not lumps of charcoal littering the place, spend the money on skilled gardeners not overpaid artists,

        The vast majority of landscape architects do not understand the long term growth structure of trees and shrubs, I have spent the last twenty years as gardener at parkleys estate in ham where various shrubs completely block out any space or light not to mention access for window cleaners, fire service etc. glad to be now self employed at Gloucester court in kew where the committee have some common sense. Nick glover.

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  2. The unsightly clutter at the back of the shops is certainly not my idea of “space and air”! As for anti-social behaviour, the Council could have chosen large spreading evergreen shrubs, such as Cherry Laurels, that could have quickly screened out all the clutter but would never grow tall enough to block out the top floor windows. I believe this would have been the best solution.

    Richmond Parks Department, in my experience, never admit to making any mistakes (although they often do), so it would be a waste of time for me to write to them without having the backing of a group such as yours. I believe you are missing a trick here, but the choice is yours.


    Ron McEwen

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