The latest chatter around the industry

Hansom new 2008

A spoke in the wheel

As a keen cyclist, I’m all for a bit of cycling infrastructure but I’m not sure how building a permanent cycle lane across Hammersmith Bridge is quite the game-changer for the reopening of a structure that closed to cars, vans and buses in 2019 because of cracks in the pedestals. Still, transport secretary Mark Harper seems to think it is, adding that the £2.9m cost is “another important step towards fully reopening the bridge for motorists”. One question: how? 

Estelle who?

My hack recently visited a new affordable housing scheme in east London, where each block in the development was named after a figure in the women’s suffrage movement, including one named after a Pankhurst. The building’s name? Estelle House. If you don’t remember an Estelle in the Pankhurst family, don’t write an angry letter to your GCSE history teacher – Estelle is in fact the middle name of Emmeline Pankhurst’s second daughter, Sylvia, who adopted the socialist cause and helped organise working-class women in the East End. The responsible housing association’s project director explained the trouble – all of the Pankhurst names were already taken. “If you’ve ever done block naming, it is a pain,” he complained. “You end up with 40 different options, because the fire brigade come back and say ‘no, we have got one of those in Hammersmith’.”  

The RSHP architect who designed the 122 Leadenhall Street landmark ‘hates’ the nickname Cheesegrater, he told my hack. It really grates on him, apparently


Just the ticket

A nice story, this, from Jamie Ratcliff, chief communities and sustainability officer at housing association Sovereign Network Group. He and his seven-year-old have been doing something called the FA Cup challenge. This involved starting at Wembley FC v Bearsted in the Extra Preliminary Round on 5 August and then following the winner of each match. “We’ve seen some great matches along the way, including Swindon 4 Aldershot 7, the Black Country derby and in the quarter-finals Coventry’s epic injury time comeback,” Jamie says in a post on LinkedIn. He took to the platform to make a plea for tickets for the semi-finals, which sees Coventry playing Manchester United at Wembley this Sunday. He was struggling to get tickets and so would have seen his and his son’s hopes of being the first people to complete the challenge from Wembley FC to Wembley stadium dashed. He needn’t have worried. His post got loads of support and he’s on his way to Wembley. Just needs Coventry to win now.

Tables turned

A former hack was celebrating two years as a City PR recently. Unfortunately, our lunch to mark the occasion was rather rudely interrupted by the sound of his mobile pinging to deal with story queries from the financial press. What’s the biggest pain with the new job, I wondered? “Dealing with people like you,” came the reply.

Hard cheese

Word of advice: if you meet Graham Stirk, do not mention the Cheesegrater. The RSHP architect who designed the 122 Leadenhall Street landmark “hates” the nickname, he recently told my hack. It really grates on him, apparently, although personally I would say its comparison to a kitchen utensil should be taken as a compliment. After all, it is a sign that the building at least has enough character to get a nickname in the first place, unlike others – I’m looking at you, 22 Bishopsgate. 


London Eye Spring Spruce Up 2

Safety products firm Arco was on hand to give the London Eye a fresh coat of paint live on BBC Breakfast last month. The work takes place every three years and sees eight painters working five nights a week for six months. “It was a pleasure to work with the team on this event,” Arco work at height manager Steve Dawson enthused. Given that he was dangling 68m up in the air, I’m not sure I would have said the same thing.



Send any juicy industry gossip to Mr Joseph Aloysius Hansom, who founded Building in 1843, at