send the Dame your information, discretion assured.
Comments are welcome but do not necessarily reflect the view of the Dame.
Offensive/inappropriate comments will be deleted and the poster banned.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015



Marlborough School Demolition Update

Public “Sham” Consultation begins – Private Eye criticises Council

  • The 6-week public consultation to gather parents', teachers, governors and residents' views over the 40,000 sq ft commercial block the Council will build on Marlborough school playground has begun. See flyer attached
  • Residents, parents and local shop-keepers, angered that demolition works were NOT halted while the consultation takes place, threaten to stage a protest outside Kensington & Chelsea Town hall at what they call a “sham consultation”, since the new school has already been designed with rooftop play areas to make space for the commercial block and the Victorian school will be demolished before the consultation ends on November 6th.
  • RBKC Council ploughs ahead with the development, ignoring the Department for Education warning that they continue works “at their risk” since they do not have the required S77 disposal consent from the Secretary of State.
  • Private Eye criticises John Lewis for pressuring English Heritage (of which they are Corporate Members) NOT to list Marlborough School.
  • Marlborough School children, who can see the whole demolition process from the windows of the interim school opposite, stand in front of the Victorian school building with a placard to ask for public support in saving the beloved 1878 Chelsea landmark. 


Click to Enlarge

Monday, 28 September 2015


To rub salt in the wounds of the thousands of residents wanting to save Marlborough Primary School some idiot, devoid of compassion, has set up a real time camera to record this senseless demolition.

But there is still time to stop these barbarians at the school gate....
Please take a minute to sign the new petition to Save Marlborough School PLAYGROUND.
The petition can be found here:  HERE!
The Council want to build 40,000 sq ft of offices & shops and a walkway on the children's playground but they do NOT yet have permission from the Department for Education!
This is so important because the children will otherwise have to play on rooftop play areas so that the Council can make money out of their playground!!

Please also take a minute or two to send your objection and reasons to: 
This needs to be done by the 6th November when the public consultation ends. 
You need to say "I object" for your email to count as an objection.
You can view the consultation material HERE

Saturday, 26 September 2015


Scooter Boy
The other day, polo playing international wannabe playboy, come part time councillor, Quent Marshall raged against foreign owners of Knightsbridge property.
His gripe? They hardly spent any time there. 
Here's the irony...
Until recently, 'Scooter Boy' was Head of Asset Allocation at Coutts. He 'exited' in April and no one can tell the Dame why. 
Ironically, Marshall's job was to advise the international super rich on where to stash their cash.
Would he have advised them Prime Central London was a great place to buy property? Obviously; after all K&C is a safe haven for these people. 
So his comment to the Standard is really rather odd....

“The combined effect of overseas investment into property within the Royal Borough is to increase prices while decreasing the number of households who reside here,” complained Quentin Marshall, chairman of the council’s housing and property scrutiny committee."

Imagine the conversation with one of Quent's Russky clients, the obese and greedy Mr Grabalucansky, " Boy, I have a spare billion and I wanna buy some of your K&C real estate just in case I need to make a runner. Good idea?". 
Quent: "Oh, yes sir, an excellent idea. Around Harrods is a very good bet".


This is an extract from a letter sent out to local movers and shakers begging them to support the Council's belated attempt to put themselves on the right side of the law.
It is your chance, as one of the many thousands of residents who petioned to save the school, to make you feeling felt over this wanton and greed driven destruction of the playing fields.
Please email and tell them to leave our playing fields alone

............."the Council is applying to the Secretary of State for Education under Section 77 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 to dispose of 559 square metres of former playground, which for the purpose of the Act is described as a playing field, and as part of this process is consulting residents, parentsteachers and yourself for their views.

To see the location of the proposed new commercial building and public footpath visit

To give your views on this proposal email by Friday 6 November 2015.

Yours faithfully

Guy Parks
Project Manager
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Monday, 21 September 2015


Now here is someone who really does work hard for us all.
The Dame makes no apologies for singing the praises of Victoria Borwick.
She will prove to be an outstanding MP, just as she proved to be an excellent, hardworking and independently minded councillor.

Dear Resident,

Would you like to raise any issues with your MP and Local Councillors?

There is a Ward Forum for Residents in Brompton & Hans Town Ward taking place from 6pm to 8pm on Thursday 24th of September at St. Columba's Church on Pont Street (SW1X 0BD).

I will be there to take your questions and hear your concerns along with Local Councillors Nick Paget-Brown, Tim Coleridge and Mary Weale. We are here to help with anything we can.

Click here or reply to this email if you would like to attend.You can find full details about the event and some local news by clicking here or on the images below to display the event flyer.

I look forward to meeting you.

Best wishes,

Victoria Borwick MP

Sunday, 20 September 2015


Ex Cllr Holt
Ex Cllr Holt is a delightful old cove but his flabby attempt to justify Pooter's greed, at the expense of taxpayers,is risible. (His comment is at the base of this piece)
In reality, the Majority Group had to have their arms well and truly twisted by Pooter to agree the vulgar Bentley.
Creamers, the local Jaguar dealer were very upset the Council did not buy a long wheel base Jaguar at half the price. But then Westminster had a new Bentley so it was a case of keeping up with Jones.
Tony, you once said you never read the dreadful Hornet so the Dame is delighted you have, at last, succumbed to her charms.
And you think spending $450 on a dinner with the convict Ian Clement is justifiable, or that Pooter should need a suite in one of the flashiest hotels in New York? If you do, you are totally out of touch with the real world.

This, from the Evening Standard tells us more about Pooter's luxury lifestyle

"A senior London councillor made two lavish trips to New York at local taxpayers' expense, it emerged today....
Merrick Cockell, Conservative leader of Kensington and Chelsea, flew first class, ate at one of the most prestigious restaurants in the city and stayed in a five-star hotel.
He was also entertained in London by a series of property developers, including being lunched at the Ritz.
The disclosure comes after Mayor Boris Johnson's deputy, Ian Clement, had his corporate credit card confiscated for using it to pay for supermarket shopping and upgrades to business-class flights.
Mr Cockell made two trips to New York. During the first, in January 2007, he dined at The Four Seasons, one of the city's most famous restaurants. It has hosted John F Kennedy and wife Jackie, American Vogue editor Anna Wintour and Henry Kissinger. New York magazine describes it as where "members of the town's power menagerie gather".
The dinner cost $185 (£98.68 at the exchange rate at the time). Mr Cockell did not declare who he ate with-(and refused to do so....even though we taxpayers were paying!)
He was in New York for a conference called Governing A Diverse City In A Democratic Society, and to study how the city manages a single public services telephone number. Mr Johnson has since dropped plans for a similar scheme. The conference lasted three days, but Mr Cockell stayed an extra two nights at the Sofitel hotel, which charged $359.25 a night. The total bill for the four-star hotel, including laundry charges, room service and a $7.75 beer from the minibar, came to $2,072 - equivalent to £1,151 at the time.
The upper class flight on Virgin Atlantic cost £2,109.70 return. Limousine hire from the hotel to JFK airport was $124. The journey by subway would have cost less than £1. The first trip was on behalf of London Councils, but Kensington and Chelsea picked up the tab. (And Pooter ordered the Bentley to drop him off at Heathrow)
The visit was repeated in January this year, but this time paid for by London Councils and organised by City Hall. On this occasion, Mr Cockell stayed three nights at the five-star Bryant Park Hotel, at a cost of £1,636.56. Its rooms have Tibetan rugs and marble baths, and beds are covered with cashmere throws.
Mr Clement was at the same conference. On the first night, Mr Cockell treated him to dinner at Keens Steakhouse, where the two men dined on steaks at $45 each, crabcakes, pints of beer and a gin martini. The next night Mr Clement repaid the favour using his City Hall credit card, including Mr Cockell in a £700 dinner for one of New York mayor Michael Bloomberg's deputies.
Mr Cockell has also accepted hospitality from developers who own land in Kensington and Chelsea. These included Christian Candy, one of the Candy brothers who at the time were developing the Kensington Park Hotel but later sold it for a £250million profit. He also accepted hospitality from Stuart Corbyn of Cadogan Estates, and lunch at the Ritz with its owner, Sir Frederick Barclay."
Tony Holt20 September 2015 at 20:29
Once more, dear Dame, you have allowed your columns to be infiltrated by unfair comment. Merrick Cockell went to New York to represent the Council. It would not have gone down well there if he was staying in the NY equivalent of Travelodge or Premier Inn, and was eating in Macdonalds. And, frankly, if you are 'working' in your own time, then you can expect to be looked after.

As to the Bentley, first it did not cost £120,000 but less than £100,000. This was because the council shopped round to get the best deal. Unlike another Council which, at about the same time, bought a new Rolls Royce for much more. And, of course, the Bentley replaced a mid-Thirties Rolls Phantom V which was becoming unreliable.

What fun it is to criticise without responsibility.

Instead of criticising, we do not see the critics in your columns standing for office as councillors to change the evil which they see on the council at the present time.

I write under my own name and without the protection of 'anonymous'. I have served as a councillor for twenty years and have now stood down. I resent the motives of bad faith which so many of your correspondents assert against councillors.

Tony Holt

Saturday, 19 September 2015


Click on image to enlarge
Thanks to the admirable campaigners-and the Dame, the Evening Standard has picked up on the gross conflict of interest arising out of a letter from John Lewis 'partners'(!) pushing the useless English Heritage not to list the magnificent Marlborough Primary School! 
Click on image to enlarge

Friday, 18 September 2015


The FOI has been a great success as a check on our council. It has given us the ability to dig out information the Council prefers to keep mum about. 

In the case of the frightful Cockell we were able to get a handle on his vast expenses.
Justin Downes was particularly assiduous in harrying Cockell over his First Class flights and $500 dinners for two in smart NY eateries.....with all of us picking up the bill!
Downes even hopes that he halted Cockell's advance to the Lords.

But the Dame and her other persistent readers have also deployed this tool to great effect.
The Government now plans to charge for FOI's and there is much celebrating in Hornton St. 
The prospect that residents will no longer have access to sensitive information is a thrilling one!

Please sign the petition. The Freedom of Information Act is a great boon to democracy....leave it well alone.

Sunday, 13 September 2015


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"Silly Lizzy" Campbell creates chaos wherever she blunders. The cock up of transport for the vulnerable was one of her more famous idiocies. 
But sadly, when you have a malfuctioning democracy, airheads like Campbell are given powers that well exceed their mental capacity...
Little wonder officers snigger behind her back at her antics! In this letter she describes Marlborough(in a letter sent out by John Lewis) as 'much loved'. Obviously so 'much loved' it could not be spared the wrecking ball.
And whilst having a bit of a clear out the Dame came across a letter from Cllr Tim Coleridge and his old mucker, the head of Property at John Lewis, a Mr Collins.

In the course of inviting residents to a public exhibition, the letter casually mentions  an "empty annexe building" on an "unused part of the site" which the Council will turn into "commercial and retail space"

It now transpires this is Council-speak for a gargantuan block comprising 40,000 sq ft of offices and shops to be built over the school nursery and playground! 
Not surprisingly, the Department for Education are investigating the matter and a Public Consultation is expected.

Saturday, 12 September 2015


The Dame's Plaything
August is the time when the Dame works from her luxurious Art Deco steam yacht, the SS Hornet.
She expects most followers, like her, to be 'vacationing' so was astonished to be telegraphed by her technical team and told that the site saw a record number of August page views...22,650!

On one day alone, the Finborough Theatre article generated an astonishing 2,500 views from around the world.

The dear old Dame hopes you have all had a wonderful rest.

Friday, 11 September 2015



Were a resident to start tearing down a historically and architecturally significant dwelling, in blatant disregard of the law, the Council would be down on him like a ton of cast terracotta Victorian bricks....similar to those from the Marlborough Primary School piled up here.
Here, in the picture, you can see that the Council have started knocking the hell out of the school.... against the advice of the Dept of Education. 
The Dept have told the Council this vandalism is 'AT THEIR RISK'
 A six-week public consultation regarding the disposal of playground (playing fields, S77 School Act 1998) is expected to start soon.

Thursday, 10 September 2015


Tomorrow, Jamie Ritblat plans to tear down the Odeon Kensington. 
It will happen despite the protests of 27,000 people begging for it to be saved for posterity and not sacrificed for more multi million pound flats for shady international types looking to hide their ill gotten gains.

Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government, is the only man who can save our wonderful Art Deco cinema from these greedy developers.
Everybody should email Greg at
and beg him to call this in....
It is the only chance to save the cinema from this man on the left...

Wednesday, 9 September 2015


A reader who knows writes.....

"I was informed that the last post "A Happy Day for Developers" was blocked from computers accessed via the council server(!)
Censorship of the Hornet blog seems to be going on..."

This sits uncomfortably with Nick Paget-Brown's listening mode.
The Dame does not believe Nick would condone such petty North Korean tendencies.

Thursday, 3 September 2015


On Monday clouds of dust will roll over Chelsea as the demolition of the beautiful and much loved Marlborough Primary School begins.
Ironically, it will come within just days of the same fate as that of the Art Deco Odeon Cinema in Kensington.
The beneficiaries of both these acts of pure vandalism will be international developers and offshore investors: for residents there will be no return.
Tim Coleridge, who is behind this shocking action, should hang his head in shame. He is no better than Nicholas Freeman who, quite illegally, destroyed the old Victorian Town Hall.

We have a council, in the main, made up of little people. Their lives have not been particularly successful so
they revel in the power sitting on a local council gives them. More than that, like Pooter, they love to be courted by the powerful and the rich! 
Truly pathetic.....
For those who forget, Cockell liked to equate his position as that of Prime Minister and Lightfoot, Chancellor of the Exchequer! 
Talk about pretension!
What particularly these types enjoy is knowing that they can pretty well ignore residents.
It would be the same were the council to be dominated by Labour or Lib Dem.

There is a solution: we need to encourage independent candidates to stand: people with a true love of K&C and willing to vote for the good of our community....not the good of developers.
Ian Henderson, Andrew Barshall and Heinz Schumi made a good showing standing in Stanley Ward.
Now we need a more organised approach with proper funding in place to send a message to a deaf council.

It is a waste of time residents Independent locally, in no way precludes you from voting for whom you wish at General Elections- and in the case of our MP we have someone we can be proud of.

You can at least express your disgust with those hypocrites, John Lewis HERE

Tuesday, 1 September 2015


Click to Enlarge
This pushy letter from those paragons of retail virtue, John Lewis, needs reading between the lines....
John Lewis is a very valuable corporate member of English Heritage so it seems odd that the writer did not 'declare a very important interest': after all, Mr Garrard, a lowly member of the EH team might have felt just a bit pressured...
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