Elder Press Cafe Wins Hammersmith Society's Environmental Award

But council given Wooden Spoons for neglecting trees and for King Street Cycleway

Lindsay Elder of Elder Press Cafe receiving the award
Lindsay Elder of Elder Press Cafe receiving the award

The Elder Press Cafe in South Black Lion Lane has been presented with a prestigious environmental award by the Hammersmith Society.

Lindsay and Andrew Elder received The Nancye Goulden Award, which is given annually to smaller local schemes which have benefited our environment, from H&F’s new Mayor, Cllr Emma Apthorp at the society’s 60th Anniversary Awards and AGM..

Chef Lindsay established the popular community cafe in 2019 on a site close to the Thames formerly used by building merchants to create “a hub for gatherings, chat, good coffee and tasty treats”.

The Hammersmith Society’s judges said, “ This conversion has been carried out with unusual care and sensitivity – the shop window is retained to bring life and light which animates this little street and the builder’s yard is brought back to life as an outside seating area with fine new timber gates thrown open during the day.

“This is a great asset to Black Lion Lane."

The Elder Press Cafe on South Black Lion Lane
The Elder Press Cafe on South Black Lion Lane

Lindsay Elder said, " ”We were extremely honoured to be given this award by The Hammersmith Society. We are constantly inspired by our local community and wanted to create a hub for gatherings, chat, good food and coffee that respected the rich creative history of our neighbourhood.

"We put a lot of time and effort into making sure our cafe only enhanced this little street by bringing it back to life whilst making sure we respected the local residents and heritage of this very special and unique part of London."

The outside area of the Elder Press Cafe
The outside area of the Elder Press Cafe

There was less welcome news for H&F Council at the awards, which were held at Latymer Upper School on 22 June. They were handed Wooden Spoons, given to eyesores or projects that just got it all wrong, for neglecting trees and for the way they have implemented Cycleway C9.

As we reported earlier, the society has criticised the King Street cycleway for a number of missteps, including:

  • Concrete instead of planting, unsafe design and lack of consultation
  • Bus lane removal, pollution & delays, exclusive use for cyclists who it is claimed make up less than 3% of the population
  • As if to emphasise pedestrian dangers, the council’s solution to public concerns is ugly signs strewn along King Street.

Handing out the awards, the judges said, “ Wooden spoons were awarded to the council for a failure to fully engage with their own green agenda by keeping new street trees alive and overseeing the generally inadequate tree pits partly responsible, which were similarly awarded in 2013, 2014, and 2015; and for an unfortunate lack of inclusivity afforded by the King Street Cycleway, C9, with everyone but cyclists losing out unnecessarily, some significantly.”

They added: “The Council advise that the current cycleway is an interim solution. A permanent design is currently in development, incorporating lessons learnt from the current scheme and taking account of the views of the borough residents. It seems to be a costly and inefficient way to progress a new cycleway. A programme for the testing of the interim scheme and the procedure for public consultation on the proposed permanent scheme are yet to be revealed.”

Two projects in Shepherd's Bush were also recognised at the ceremony. The society’s Jane Mercer Award was given to The Green Project, run by a group of independent residents with a love for gardening and community spirit.

The judges said: “The Jane Mercer Awards is for schemes where there has been local community collaboration and co-operation. Plants and trees can transform the sameness of a residential street – and this is happening in some of the streets around Wormholt Park. Left-over corners at road junctions on Sawley Road which had been subject to fly-tipping have been turned into little pocket parks through something called The Green Project, a remarkable community initiative set up by Shepherd’s Bush residents to make the neighbourhood greener and at the same time to bring the community together.”

The Environment Award, which The Hammersmith Society describes as its coveted award for the development which best meets its ideals was, as expected, given to The Palladium on Shepherd's Bush Green.

The judges said of the Palladium, a restored former cinema: “ We visited it earlier this year and were impressed with the design quality provided by the same architects, Flanagan Lawrence, who transformed the Dorsett next door, and to whom we also gave our Environment Award in 2015.

“ The building is a great contribution to the streetscape on this side of the Green and makes a confident but respectful companion to its distinguished neighbours, the Shepherd's Bush Empire and the Dorsett Hotel."

You can read more about the society and its awards on its website.


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July 1, 2022


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