It was in 1989 that Melanie Whitlock came up with the great idea for our Environment Awards scheme and they have been awarded at every AGM since. Nominations are invited in April and the Executive Committee visit all the nominated schemes and decide on the Awards in mid-May.
This year we had rather a disappointing crop of suitable nominations for the main award so your Committee decided that there would be no award. This seemed surprising in view of the constant barrage of development schemes that we have had to comment upon : Interestingly it appears that not many of the recent major ones have actually got under way. Having said that there will be a lot of schemes coming through over the next two years – so let us hope for a bumper crop of Awards.
Two of the schemes put forward this year were disqualified on the basis that they were incomplete at the time of our visit : One of them 10 Hammersmith Grove, the new shiny, stripey office building, is clearly loved and hated in equal measure and was nominated for both an Award and Wooden Spoon!
However, there was competition for the Nancye Goulden Award, thus named in honour of one of our founding members, and usually presented to smaller projects or gardens. The Committee decided in favour of two shop fronts. The Ginger Pig in Askew Road has had a large part to play in the renaissance of the street and its shopfront is a worthy attempt at a traditional interpretation and echoes back to the road in its heyday at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The Nicholas Mee Aston Martin showroom in Goldhawk Road, opposite the Majestic Wine Warehouse, is a stylish minimalist modern frontage. The Committee felt that both premises had contributed to their local environments. One dissenting voice wondered whether we were just endorsing branding of retail outlets for the wealthy. You may judge for yourselves.
The Conservation Award went to the refurbishment of the Olympia frontage on Hammersmith Road. There are many projects afoot at Olympia and this was part of the first stage which also included the additions and alterations to the West Hall which not everyone on the Committee liked.
Other Wooden Spoons were proposed for : The inconsistent standards within the Borough relating to Tree Pits, which range from ‘resin bound gravel’ to ‘earth and weeds’, the overpainting of the original brickwork on the former Seven Stars Pub (now re-opened as ‘The Oak’, and for the horrid security arrangements involving razor wire and the like to the LT ‘Contol Centre’ in Trussley Road.
Awards were presented to the winners present by the Mayor Councillor Frances Stainton and Past Chairman Melanie Whitlock. The winners can display our stainless steel or polished brass plaque.