I am amazed to find the Bath Street resurfacing finished today [5th April]. In under 10 hours the whole top surface was all removed, fresh Tarmac laid, new lines and signs repainted on the new surface and the evening rush-hour traffic storming around it at 5-30pm. Compare that with the recent excessive disruption that took place last year on the Seven Dials round-about which went on for weeks.
Jeff Blyth



John Constable, R.A. (1776-1837), Seascape Study: Boat and Stormy Sky, ca. 1824-1828

Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of the West Hill Community Association, at which the accounts will be adopted and committee elected, will be held on Tuesday 25 April 2017 at the West Hill Hall at 7.15pm.

The aims of WHCA are to keep the Hall available for community use and to publish The Whistler to maintain and improve communication in the local area. West Hill Hall has thrived as a space for community activities ever since we bought it in 1996 and it is the Association’s intention to keep the Hall available and maintained. Regular activities can be seen in the timetable (right) and we also hire it  out for ad hoc activities, kids’ parties and selected music gigs. The Association runs a monthly Quiz and Spring and Autumn local history talks, to which all residents are welcome. See details of the next talk on May 9 below, ‘Herstories: Women, Popular Culture 7 History’ with Dr Louise Fitzgerald.

The business of the AGM will be followed by our perennial favourite, the Quiz. All are welcome. Go on, give it a try. It’s a great way to meet new people in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and get involved with local activities. 2016 saw record numbers of people attending the Quiz and having none-too-serious fun.

2016 was also The Whistler’s 40th birthday and as we continue along our 41st year, we’d love to hear from our readers whether you want us to keep going as we are, change direction, go digital only, include new themes for the articles. We rely on contributions from you, our readers, so please help us steer the content in the direction with subjects that you want to read. We love reading your letters so do keep them coming.


Dear Editor

Now that the Seven Dials area has been greatly improved with the new road layout and the removal of railings etc, there is one building that spoils the effect and that is the Co-op on the corner of Dyke Road and Buckingham Place, where the ground floor windows are blocked up, giving a run-down, derelict look to that part of the road. I wonder if the Association in its official capacity could perhaps try and persuade the Co-op to fit some dummy windows here. The cost would be very little to a company of that size but I think it would surely have a great improving effect on the look of the area. Yours sincerely, Continue Reading »

Paul Scotcher is the LOCAL PAINTER & DECORATOR whose advert appears below. When we asked him to write a short advertorial to accompany his ad, he solved a local mystery instead . . . Continue Reading »

We asked the owners of local businesses what they think about being part of the community in the Seven Dials / West Hill area. Unsurprisingly, most of them yearn for an improvement in the parking situation and an overwhelming percentage think that business rates could be much fairer. Every one of the businesses love the community in which they are based. Part 1 below, Parts 2 and 3 follow in future issues. Meanwhile, please write to The Whistler and let us know what you like most about the businesses in this area and your improvement suggestions.

The Almond Tree Michela and Claudio are a couple and they run the café together. They have been here since 2013 and they like the area because “it’s quite lively but not as chaotic and busy as the North Laine” where Claudio worked before. “You get to know pretty much all your neighbours and people working in the area”. What they like most about the Dials is the “nice variety of independent businesses, finding many things here and being a quick walk from the town centre.” Improvement suggestion: traffic-free days and street events could bring more people up the hill. Continue Reading »

Peter Batten writes about poetry . . .

When World War 2 began I was just six years old. When it finished I was twelve. I spent those years living in, or very close to London. So I was part of a generation whose earliest memories were of a nightmare of bombing and destruction. That experience has left me with a firm conviction that the world is a cruel, spiteful place and that to live in it is to take part in a meaningless lottery of suffering or happiness. Shortly after the end of the war our local vicar called on my mother to make arrangements for my confirmation. “I’m sorry”, she told him, “He doesn’t believe a word of it.” Continue Reading »