Friday 30 October 2020

Funky Friday - Top Ska and Reggae tunes to get you dancing - My Playlist from the Robert Elms show

 Today I had the honour of being asked to do the Funky Friday slot on The Robert Elms show. As I am more of a Punk and Reggae man than a Funker, I chose some rather old school Ska and Reggae tracks. I was a tad overwhelmed with the response. One listener emailed Robert to say that she'd been having an awful time and it had made her smile and made her realise she could get through her problems. There was a great response on Facebook and Twitter, so I put together a playlist of Ska and Reggae songs, starting with mine and Roberts choices. I am not entirely surprised that Roberts choices would have appeared on my list had he picked them or not, they were top choices. To me Ska music is part of the core DNA of London.  Here is my skanking playlist to get you dancing

If you want to listen again to the show, forward to 03:04:10 for my selections. I can recommend the slot on Style Council and Bananarama as well.


Wednesday 28 October 2020

Two days to save the Totteridge Valley - Please watch this video and make an objection

There is a planning proposal to destroy huge swathes of Green Belt land in Mill Hill. Please watch this video by Samuel Levy and if you feel that this is important, click here and lodge an objection to this proposal.

Objections have to be in by the 30th October


 You can follow Samuel on Twitter at - - If you want to learn more about why we are supporting Samuel, please read this blog

Tuesday 27 October 2020

Time for Twitter to be legally accountable for harrassment and libel by anonymous trolls

 I had a very disturbing conversation with one of my friends yesterday. They stood in the council elections in 2018 and have been the victim of a malicious campaign of trolling by an individual with multiple anonymous Twitter accounts ever since. The sad individual who is conducting the campaign of harrassment continually sets up new accounts to make wild accusations. They also continually post insults then lock down accounts after posting abuse. My friend has identified over 25 accounts associated with the individual and has hundreds of screen shots of the abuse. Often posts are made in the middle of the night, with the spelling indicating misuse of drugs or alcohol. Amongst the various things that the Troll has done, has been posting my friends address and inviting people to harrass them.

The Police have investigated and have confirmed that there is definite harrassment and that the individual would be prosecuted if identified. The problem is that, whilst it is clear who the individual is, the anonymous nature of the accounts make it relatively difficult to pin them down, with the police informing my friend that there is 'currently insufficient evidence to support a prosecution'.

If my friend was the only person in the country to suffer from such deranged individuals, then this would perhaps not be worthy of a blog, but this pattern is repeated up and down the country. Anonymous keyboard warriors mount long and rather unhinged campaigns of hatred. BAME people and females such as Diane Abbot have been particluarly targeted by such people. I am all for free speech, but people have to be accountable. Twitter makes a fortune from its services, but takes no responsibility. My friend has reported over a hundred tweets and many friends have done the same, disgusted by the behaviour, but Twitter does nothing, other than report that the post has been received. 

It is clear that such a platform should not be there for hateful individuals to post bile anonymously with no legal comeback at all. It is time that Twitter should bear the legal responsibilty for such tweets, if the person posting them cannot be identified. We need a social media ombudsman that such behaviour can be reported to, and organisations such as Twitter should be forced to compensate victims of such campaigns. We are not talking about reasonable, legal and fair comments. We are talking about persistent targetted harrasment and abuse, dishonest claims about individuals and threats. No one should have to suffer months or years of anonymous abuse from Trolls. If social media firms are happy to have such people on their platforms and not do anything about it, then there should be a simple and free source of remedy, run by independent and objective authorities. We believe that if the social media giants were hit in the pocket, they would not be quite so lax in their policing of the platforms they run.

Monday 26 October 2020

My manifesto to stand as Mayor of London

 No, I'm not standing for Mayor. Much as I think I could do a far better job than this Mayor or the previous one (That wouldn't be hard would it), I am not insane enough to spend a year of my life campaigning. But I've lived in London almost all of my life, apart from six months in Stockholm in 1981. I spent decades commuting into town, have played at most of the best small music venues in London and have run a small business since 1979. I'm the chair of a charity that funds a local school and I spent many years volunteering for The Passage, a charity for the homeless, giving the homeless of London a cooked breakfast, clothing and showers. I think I understand the problems of London as well as anyone. 

I am putting this out there to start a discussion. These are my own personal views and represent no other parties or manifesto.


1. Work to secure a commitment from the government to electrify all railways in London to reduce harmful diesel emmisions, starting with the Chiltern Line from Marylebone.

2. Start a London wide consultation on cycling, to provide safe corridors for cycling in all London Boroughs, with a budget for small scale local schemes for dedicated cycleways. A local example of one such scheme would be to install a dedicated cycleway on the old disused Rail tracks from Mill Hill Broadway to Edgware and from Mill Hill East to Alliance Park. 

3. Provide exemptions for Congestion Charge and Low Emission Zone for musicians, artists and performers who require vans etc to work in London for five years. Whilst the zones are vital, many musiciansand artists cannot afford new transport in the current climate.

4. Bring forward the West London Orbital Railway scheme as a priority. The business case for this is strong and it would allow for significant regeneration.

5. Recognise the licenced cab trade and work to restore the financial viability of the business. 

6. Work with central government to ensure that congestion charging is working to do what it is supposed to do, rather than be a tax on motorists on empty roads.

7. Establish a long term funding solution for TFL, removoving the punitive charges that the Govt have imposed.

8. Put all London Suburban rail services under TFL. 

9. Ensure that parking is based on the real life, on the ground requirments of areas.


1. Establish a housing policy that puts Londoners first. Too many luxury flat properties are being buit to be sold to offshore investors, whilst London has a housing crisis. Insist that in all housing schemes, the social housing element is the first phase to be built and ensure that it is a minimum of 50% of any scheme for more than 10 dwellings.

2. Work with central government to increase community charge to six times the standard level for all properties standing empty for more than six months, unless the property is part of a probate, in which case allow 18 months.

3. Offer grants to bring properties back into use or to convert large houses to flats. This could be finances by extra charges for empty properties.

4. Ensure that people not profits are at the heart of any large scale schemes. Set up a London Housing commission with representatives from charities, local councils and other important stakeholders, with final say on major schemes. Have full transparancy for all decisions. 

5. Work with govenrment to free up all suitable state owned land for development where applicable.

6. Ensure that green technology is a part of all new developments (solar panels, wind turbines, battery power).

7. Pass legislation that ensures that 10% of any development of over 10 dwellings is made available at low rent for key workers. 

8. Ensure that green technology is a part of all new developments (solar panels, wind turbines, battery power).

Night Time Economy.

1. Strengthen 'Agent of Change' legislation to prevent conversion of important night time venues to flats. 

2. Establish a London recovery fund, to promote post covid recovery.

3. Work with the banks and Central Government to provide 'recovery loans' at competetive rates for viable businesses who have suffered due to covid. 

4. Establish a "London Festival" (along the lines of The Edinburgh Festival) to help rebuild London's night time economy following the Covid crisis.

5. Provide assistance for small, independent micro breweries, that are part of Londons rich night time heritage.

Local High Streets.

1. Establish a High Street Task force to promote High St regeneration and promote independent retailers. 

2. Set up a fund for seeding grants and loans to help under 25's start thier own businesses.


1. Put a ban on Fireworks across London after 10pm, apart from New Years Eve.

Education and young people.

1. Fully fund holiday meal vouchers for young people from less well off households

2. Work with local schools to achieve a  funding settlement from Central Government that recognises the higher costs of London schools.

Waste and recycling.

1. Ensure that recycling is a central part of the way Londoners live their lives. Lobby for the power to fine local authorities that miss targets for waste recycyling and waste reduction.

2. Ensure that all TFL sites and shop franchises rented out use recycleable materials wherever possible as conditions of letting.

 The Environment.

1. Strengthen Green Belt legislation in London.

2. Ban all harmful weed killers and pesticides from use where the Mayor of London's juresdiction allows.

3. Create a London Wildlife commission, to preserve and protect London's wildlife and ensure that habitats are preserved. Have a full cross London audit of wildlife, and ask schools to participate to raise awareness of the local flora and fauna.


1. London generates huge amounts of wealth. Much of this is controlled by a small section of society. Lobby central government for powers to ensure that all new schemes are part of a solution to make London a more equal society. These would include

   * Ensure that all major schemes include a proportion of the profits are invested back into the community

   * Ensure that punitive taxes are lobbied on unoccupied homes.

   * Lobby Central Government for additional bands of community charge for the most expensive homes.

   * Seek to cut bureacracy from London and a cut to the number of GLA members

   * Support for businesses that reinvest in the community


1. The Met has been run into the ground. We would offer the public the chance to  vote on a small surcharge on the Mayors levy to support dedicated, ring fenced officers for local areas. We would also employ back room support staff, to allow highly trained officers to be released from the chains of their desks. Admin staff are cheaper and would free up thousands of officers from menial tasks.

2. Improve accountability and require local police chiefs to engage with local communities with regular open format meetings in all areas.

 Local Democracy

1. Most local people do not know who their GLA reps are or what they do. We would work to require them to engage properly with local people and spend less time in their offices. We would place caps on expenses to prevent flagrant extravance.

2. We would ensure that GLA members use public transport in all cases, except where physically impossible. If members choose to use cabs or their own car, they should pay for it themselves (including parking charges).

Equality and diversity

1. We passionately beleive all Londoners are equal and all should be treated with dignity and respect. London has a rich heritage and that is something we believe all should be proud of . There are also less savoury aspects of our past.  We need to address these in a grown up and sensitive manner that recognises the wider issues involved. We would set up a proper mechanism for review of any contentious statues, street names, etc.

2. There will be a zero tolerance for hate crimes and discrimination.

Safety of Children

1. We passionately believe that London should be a safe space for children and young people. We believe that the current DBS system does not provide sufficient protection for young people. We believe that its should be easier for parents and carers to identify whether people offering services for children have criminal convictions.Whilst we understand that there are privacy and safety issues, we do not believe that people on the sex offenders register should ever be involved with the teaching, training or provision of activities for young people. We would make it far easier for Londoners to ensure that this cannot happen.


Whilst I will not be standing, I'd urge you to ask those who seek your votes what they intend to do about the issues I've raised

Sunday 25 October 2020

The Tweets of the week in the London Borough of Barnet 25 October 2020

 As ever, we have a tasty and delectable selection of goodies from the esteemed tweeters living in the London Borough of Barnet. We do hope you enjoy the rather interesting content that these truly marvellous peep's have tweeted.

1. We started this feature to help the local community and that is exactly how we will start this installment. Can you help?

2. Can you help Ian solve the puzzle of the Tone Bender of Edgware?

3. A much loved character has left West Hendon, we wish her well. A stalwart of the campaign to save The Midland hotel

4. Ever wondered why your Thameslink Train was terminated at Mill Hill for a problem south of the river, thanks to Paul Barber for the explanation

5. Want a copy of Black History month magazine for free?

6. Don't mess with the security team at the Mitre if you know what's good for you! But if you play the game they will make you most welcome!

7. Samuel is a friend of the this blog and we support his campaign

8. A magnificent gesture of local community leadership

9. This is a fascinating Tweet. One of the few world class scientific institutes still in the Borough of Barnet following the departure of the NIMR

10. We do hope everyone is supporting the work of our local foodbank. Here is one way you can contribute

Thats all folks!

Saturday 24 October 2020

The Saturday List #284 - 10 long forgotten medicines, treatments and home cures

Like many people, I am always looking for remedies for ailments. I've had a few.  When I was a kid growing up in the 1960's, I was a sickly child. I'd been born six weeks premature and required three blood transfusions at birth. I spent my first three weeks in an incubator. My mum told me that she had been convinced that I would die, but as she had five older children, she rationalised that this wasn't too much of a disaster.  Somehow I managed to pull through. I seem to have spent the rest of my life having all manner of ailments. I had all of the normal ones as a child, chicken pox, measles, etc. I had my tonsils removed aged four, the first of many operations. I was diagnosed, aged 10, as having IBS. I've had all manner of problems with my ears, needing two operations to remove polyps and mastoids. I had a mallory-weiss bleed in my stomach when I was 24, a hiatus hernia. Following a car accident in 1988, I have a damaged spine, which causes sciatica and numbness. I've got arthritic knees and in 2011 I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Other than that, I'm in rude good health for a 58 year old. I still play football and still play music in a rock and roll band. I made a decision early on, not to let poor health stop me doing anything. I was thinking about this and my mum's home remedies. I was recalling all of the strange and wonderful medicines, treatments and home cures that seem to have disappeared. I thought these warranted a Saturday list. 

1. Disprin. 

As a kid, when I had a headache, I was given a disprin. It was dissolvable asprin. Then one day they invented panadol and we never had disprin again.

2. Whitfield Ointment.

This was a strange and smelly concotion that was allegedly a cure for athletes foot. My Dad swore by it.  I've not seen it in a chemist ever. My Dad reckoned it was the only thing that worked. He said chemists wouldn't sell it as it cured the problem and they'd lose cash.

3. Milk of Magnesia.

If you had a tummy ache, this was what you were given. It was a chalky white liquid. I don't know if it actually worked, but it seemed to.

4. Dettol baths.

My Dad used to encourage me to have a bath in dettol (a disinfectant added to the bath water) quite regularly. He assured me this would kill all the germs in my skin (apart from the athletes foot). I guess it worked, as I didn't have too many diseases caused by germs on my skin.

5. Vicks Rub.

If we had a chesty cough, mum would make us rub Vicks on our chests. It was smelly and opened up the sinuses. I'm not sure if it actually helped. 

6.  Eggy Soldiers.

If we were ill, mum would make us eggy soldiers. This was a soft boiled egg and toast sliced into thin slices to be dipped in the egg. It was wonderful, but we only had it when we were ill.

7. Mumps parties.

If a local kid got mumps, parents would hold mumps parties. The idea was that it was far better to get mumps when you were a kid than an adult. I suppose that with the MMR injection, that was rendered obsolete.

8. Tincture of cannabis.

My Dad had a vial of tincture of cannabis for treating tooth ache. I think my brother added it to a cigarette and smoked it, much to my father's annoyance. I don't believe that this can be bought anymore. I have no idea where he used to get it from.

9. Witch Hazel.

My mum had a bottle of witch hazel. I assumed it was some sort of antiseptic wash. A quick google explained it was used for vaginal itches, which is possibly why I never knew what it was used for.

10. Gentian Violet.

This is another medicine that we had in the medicine cupboard. Again I have no recollection of what it did or what it was used to treat. Apparently it is a treatment for ringworm and athletes foot. 

Wednesday 21 October 2020

The Wednesday Poem - The edge of despair

Better Times

The edge of despair.

Please eyelids, don't open today.

Spare me the light of the morning sun.

How can I face another day?

How can I try and smile?

Please legs, don't lift me from my bed.

Spare me the effort of raising myself.

How can I fool the world again?

How can I push back the tears?

Have a sip of tea and maybe, just maybe I'll try,

I can see the precipice but I know I can't fly,

I can hear the wolves behind me howling, cry,

But in the darkness, there is still a light. 

I stare into the abyss, feeling guilty,

I feel that there is already a part of me within it,

but it hasn't consumed me,

Apart from a voyeuristic guilt for daring to look.

Copyright 2020 Roger Tichborne

I am by nature a very up person. I have always managed to 'get through' by having something to do, a project to work on, a goal, a mission. Maybe I get one day a month where I feel a bit low, but I have great friends that I can always call on, always have a beer with, always go to football with, and without even knowing, they lift my spirits. I play music in a great rock and roll band and I write blogs, which helps straighten my thought process out. I play football, which gives my mind a total reset once or twice a week.

But the current covid world situation, with great nations run by clowns, liars and brigands is one that is totally alien to me. I cannot sit in a pub chatting with friends, I can't go and see live music in small clubs. Whereas in March and April, we could sit in the warm sun, the autumn has brought chill and despair. Worries mount. I could pretend its all Ok, but it's not. But then again, I could pretend it's all terrible, but strangely it's not that either. 

I feel like I'm on the edge of a precipice of despair, but it is not my despair, it is everyone else's. I have been having trouble getting my head around the situation, but I've realised that it is not me that is the problem. It is everyone else that worries me. Over the twelve years that I've written this blog, I've chronicled things that are simply not right. It always seems to be those at the very bottom that suffer. I'm not at the bottom, far from it, but as someone with a sense of humanity and compassion (or so I like to think), I cannot stand idly by and watch the great and the good sacrifice the elderly, the vulnerable and the financially impoverished on the alter of incompetence and heartlessness. 

There is nothing I can do. As a country we set ourselves on a journey, It is not one I wanted to take, where the destination has been sold as the promised land, but I suspect that like Moses most of us will have 40 years in the wilderness and perish long before we arrive. I no longer enjoy reading newspapers, as the days when we read well written articles penned by people who genuinely wanted to inform rather than opine has long gone. Almost the only thing I watch on TV is football (much to the despair of most of the rest of the family). When I watch the news I simply become agitated. Even the solace I would seek at Mass has been deprived as usually by the time I remember to book, all the seats in the covid restricted environment are taken. I am not a deeply religious person, but I've always found an hour or so in meditative contemplation is of huge benefit for my mental health. 

But, my wife and children are healthy, we have our dogs, we have our walks. I still play football on a Thursday. I am actually fine. I feel I shouldn't be. I feel like a fraud. But there are still plenty of good things. I learned a new song last night on the guitar. It felt good playing it. Tonight I will watch Manchester City, have a beer and maybe a glass of wine. The world may not be what we want at the moment, but it is still spinning. We may feel at the edge of despair, but there is a world of difference between being at the edge of despair and falling into the abyss. 

I have spoken to many friends who seem to have similar feelings, feelings of deep unease, but also detachment. Maybe I now know how people in far flung parts of England felt during the great plague, where they would see no effects but here tales of hell for travellers. As they drank their beer and carried on with their lives, wondering of the worst would arrive. But for most, it didn't.

Keep holding on. 

Monday 19 October 2020

Why we must oppose this eyesore battery storage plant on Partingdale Lane Mill Hill green belt land

The site
The Totteridge Valley and Mill Hill has an amazing natural habitat, with all manner of rare, threatened and unusual species. The area sees many migratory birds pass through and has a unique biodiversity for London. 

We are most disturbed to learn of plans to destroy a huge swathe of this green belt nature reserve area to build a 'Battery Storage facility' on land to the North of Partingdale Lane. There is an existing eyesore transmission substation adjacent to this sit, but this is a massive increase in scale and potential destruction of the area. 

It is vital that we preserve our local nature reserves for future generations. Schemes like this should be located on Brownfield sites, not in important nature reserves of great natural beauty. 
It is vital that as many local residents oppose these plans as possible, so that such developers know that local residents will not allow such schemes to despoil our local beauty spots. 

Location plan
This is the second such plan in recent months. If we can defeat this one, it is far less likely that there will be further attempts to add to what is already a large blot on the landscape. 

Our objection is based on solid planning reasons for opposing the scheme. Whilst we may feel quite emotional about such plans, solid planning grounds are the best way to secure a rejection. Please object. Please get the other members of your household to object. The more people who object, the more likely the council are to listen. 

Our objection is as follows below.

The proposed facility would be a "major development" under the Development Management Procedure (England) Order 2015 because the sum of the total number of units would exceed 1,000 sq m. The area a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation. Granting the planning application would also violate BS 42020, NPPF, the London Plan and the Barnet Local Plan according to the Wildlife Trust. Section 5 mentions that the closest nature reserve is Totteridge Fields which is 2.2 km away. Darlands Nature Reserve has been omitted. It is only 700m away. Further paragraph 5.2.4 reads 'No aquatic habitat is present within the Site or surrounding land, and no ponds are present within 250m of the Site', yet Folly Brook is 150m away and Darlands Lake is 750m away. This proposal will result in the loss of 0.49 ha of grassland habitat equal to 6% of the nature reserve area (not 0.28% as the ecologist has stated) .The proposed security fencing will connect to the existing substation compound & proposed power facility to the east creating a barrier across much of the nature reserve, fragmenting habitats, damaging ecological networks and hindering terrestrial wildlife movements so vital to their feeding and breeding. The ecological survey fails to identify the importance of this habitat. The secluded habitat attracts over wintering birds such as Woodcock (Red List), Snipe (Amber list), Jack Snipe, Common Gull (Amber list) and flocks of Fieldfare & Redwing (both red list). Noise, heat & light disturbance from the plant and auxiliary equipment will result in the loss of these threatened species. Grass snake, adders & slow worms are found here but no measures are proposed to protect them from harm. Proposed ecological mitigations are inadequate & will not address the likely impacts on the reserve or the wider Folly Brook valley. There will be significant biodiversity net loss contrary to NPPF & Barnet Policy DM16.

Please click here to register your objection and feel free to use any text above. Please pass this on to your friends and family and ask them to add their voice. 

***** Update 

I was given this information by my brother, who is a chartered electrical engineer. I would suggest that further research is urgently needed

Roger, Large battery storage is normally put away from brownfield urban areas because of the large concentrated energy stored which can cause toxic fumes, or even explosions if it catches fire. The best place is near wind farms as they are mainly used to smooth their energy flow. Generally battery storage is quiet though, so the noise argument is thin. I agree it seems an odd place to put it, a much better place would be on one of the coastal decommissioned nuclear plants where power connections already exist. Good luck with the campaign. 

Sunday 18 October 2020

The tweets of the week in the London Borough of Barnet - 18/10/2020

 Another week, another set of restrictions. It's a good time to be alive! 

But what have the esteemed tweeters of the London Borough of Barnet made of it all? What has been happening in our little corner of heaven?

1. We always support our young people doing great things

2.A very interesting thread here

3. We are big fans of former Mill Hill resident Patrick McGooghan and this is a lovely tweet

4. Colindale used to be the home of the National Newspaper library. Sadly this is now just a distant memory

5. Halloween will be different this year. Make it good different!

6. This is beyond sad. A true institution

7. This is a lovely tweet. I didn't know of this, but I will check it out. This is why I love putting this collection together

8. Rosie is a longstanding friend of this blog. Check this out

9. This is a rather nice autumnal picture of Mill Hill

10. We all need some inspiration in these troubled times.

That's all folks!

Saturday 17 October 2020

The Saturday List #283 - My top ten football grounds of all time

 I can't really believe it has taken a previous 282 lists to get here. I've spent the best part of my life watching football. Along with music, it is something that keeps me sane and happy. Today, I should have been going to Brickfield Lane to watch Hadley FC, but a team member has tested positive for corona virus, so the game was cancelled. I had to think long and hard about this list. My team is Manchester City FC, so clearly I have a bias, but we all have grounds we love, grounds that you get a little pang of excitement when you go there. Here's my grounds and why.

1. Maine Road, Manchester City FC.

I first went to Maine Road in 1975, with my best mate Brian. He was a Spurs fan and we'd agreed to get a football special to Manchester to watch City play Spurs. We sat in the main Stand. At the time hooliganism and violence was part of the football experience. I'd only ever seen Maine Road on the TV and it seemed glamourous, especially under the floodlights. I was initially shocked at how run down and ramshackle it seemed. However once the football started, I really started to appreciate the ground. Unlike just about every other stadium, the main standing area was not behind the goal, but in the huge Kippax Street terrace. When I started going out with Clare, who was at Manchester Uni and lived in Platt Lane, adjacent to the ground, I started to attend just about every home game for a couple of years. I then started playing football regularly on a Saturday, so I rarely got a chance to go. To me, the ground was the most atmospheric of all football stadiums. It always seemed to be raining and bathed in a glow of gallows humour. If you are not a football fan, it is probably hard to explain, but it just felt right to watch football in such a place. 

2. Brickfield Lane, Hadley FC.

Over the last three years, I've adopted Hadley FC as my local team. I've had a long standing love of non league football, since the 1960's when my Dad was a sponsor of Edgware Town. Although Hadley get crowds of around 100, it is a proper football club and the atmosphere is second to none. In these strange time, it is one of the things that has kept me sane, going to matches there. There is a great clubhouse and a good selection of beers. Many fans were formerly Barnet FC fans, who changed allegiance when Underhill closed and the club moved out. There is always great banter and much terrace wit, which for me is what makes football so special.

3. The Old Wembley stadium.

As an England fan, for most of the 1970's I'd never miss a home match. My Dad had a mate who worked at the FA, so we'd get tickets for hard to see games, such as England v Scotland and England v Brazil. The Old Wembley, where you could stand on the terraces was a very special place. Sadly for me, my fanatical support of England coincided with their worst period. They failed to qualify for world cups and seemed unable to string two passes together. I was devastated when Wembley was redeveloped. I find the new stadium to be rather soulless. I've seen some of Man CIty's  greatest moments there, but it never quite feels the same. 

4. Craven Cottage, Fulham FC.

Back in the 1970's, Bobby Moore, Rodney Marsh and George Best were playing for Fulham. They were in what was then the second division. I decided to nip along to see these legends and loved it. I never felt at home in Highbury or White Hart Lane. To me, there was a lack of humour and a sense of arrogance at these grounds. At Fulham, it was a different cup of tea. It is probably the only ground with a little house in the corner. It is also the coldest ground in the UK. I well remember watching Fulham play Swindon in the FA Cup. A 3-3 draw, which started in brilliant sunshine and ended with a blizzard, an evil wind blowing snow off the River Thames. I've never been so cold in my life. I loved it and would get down there as often as I could.

5. Underhill, Barnet FC.

I used to love Underhill. It was a ramshackle ground, but it was friendly and watching Barnet in the Barry Fry era was a hoot. We'd nip up the hill after for a pint in the Mitre, then a curry. You'd see the same faces at all three. Often I'd bump into old school mates etc in the ground. It was a great way to while away a Saturday.

6. Loftus Road, QPR FC.

QPR's Loftus Road is a brilliant ground to watch football in. You are close to the pitch and although small, it is a very enclosed space, so it is noisy and there is great banter. In the 1970's QPR had an amazing, stylish team. There home game against Manchester City was one of the best games of football I can remember. I dug out the program and remembered every player in both teams. In recent years, we'd have an annual pilgrimage to the Loft for a mates Birthday day out. A few years ago, we watched them play Reading. It was the worst game I've ever seen. Neither side had a shot on goal and passed to the opposition more than they passed to each other. What non footballing fans don't understand is that it simply meant the banter was better. My best memory was a few years ago, when I was queueing for the beers and pies for our group at half time. The queue took ages, and when I got to the front, the guy behind me said "Well at least I'll get a pie now". When I ordered fourteen, which was for our group and was every single one, I've never seem such misery on anyone's face. The match was against Mansfield Town, it was pretty dire. That was the highlight. 

7. The Old White Lion Ground, Edgware Town.

As I mentioned above, my Dad's firm sponsored Edgware Town. He hated football, but a couple of the guys who worked for him played for the team. He'd take me up, I'd stand on the terraces with the kids of his friends and he'd go and have a drink in the bar. I used to love the ground in the middle of winter, watching the football by floodlight, watching people abusing their mates who were playing. At the time, I didn't really think it was 'proper football' in the way that watching Fulham or Man City was, but in hindsight, it was brilliant. It seemed like everyone in the crowd was a mate, mum, dad, brother or sister of a player. After the game they'd all end up in the bar, ribbing and riling each other. I was always amused by my Dad asking me at the end "who won?". I was never quite sure what he was up to in the clubhouse, but I got a lemonade and a bag of Smiths cheese and onion crisps, or a Bovril when it was cold, and it seemed like heaven. 

8. Upton Park, West Ham.

The first time I went to see Man City play on my own was at Upton Park in 1975. I was thirteen. I hooked up with a bunch of Mancunian dockers, who took me under their wing and bought me several pints of bitter. I thought it was great. Upton Park was quite a claustrophobic ground for me. The stands seemed to be far lower then other grounds. But the team was cultured, played good football and the East Enders who packed the stadium were worth the admission fee to watch. For reasons I couldn't quite fathom at the time, they were always well disposed towards City and their fans. I have always liked to think it was because they thought Manchester United were a team like Arsenal or Spurs, a bit arrogant, whereas City were not cut from the same cloth. I've seen City play West Ham a couple of times at the new stadium and there is no atmosphere at all. It really is the worst place to watch football and my heat goes out to the Hammers fans. Now City are an elite club, the welcome is not as warm either. I can't say I blame them.

9. Vicarage Road, Watford.

When my son was born, he soon developed a love of football. Watford seemed the easiest ground to get to and to get tickets for, so I would regularly take him. At one point he seriously considered becoming a  Watford fan. The ground has been noticably improved over the years. It is a great place to watch football and quite a friendly atmosphere. I've quite a few friends who are Watford fans, so I'll often go along with them. The banter is never quite as harsh or as cruel as most of the equally ranked clubs, but it is always fun. The pies are rather good.

10. The Etihad Stadium, Manchester City.

The first time I went to the Etihad, I hated it. It seemed cavernous and soulless compared to Maine Road. At the time, the team was not great and I simply didn't enjoy the experience. They'd just been promoted the season before. I didn't go back for a few years, until my son nagged me to take him. City were laying Wolves, Carlos Teves scored a winner, the match finished 4-3 to City. Unlike the previous trip, it seemed like the team had grown into the stadium. I realised that the stadium is actually a great place to watch football. It is funny, I've been to the Emirates a few times to watch Arsenal and it is a horrible place to watch football, compared to Highbury. But the Etihad feels different. The club has put a huge amount of effort into making the ground feel like home. City and their owners come in for a lot of stick, but they really do care about their support. A couple of years ago, I went to Old Trafford with a mate, and sat amongst the United fans to watch the Derby. The seats were cramped and uncomfortable and I realised just how good the Etihad really is. I know I'm rather biased, but to me, it is the only new ground I enjoy visiting. I went to Anfield a few years ago to watch City play Liverpool and Anfield has a certain soul that to me Old Trafford was completely devoid of. If I'd allowed myself twelve choices, Anfield and Brisbane Road, the home of Leyton Orient would be in there. Both are well worth a trip.

Sadly though, all of these palaces will be closed to the people who really matter today. It is beyond my comprehension how much contempt the rich owners of most clubs have for their supporters. I do not include City's owners in this, as I genuinely believe they have demonstrated that they care. The proposals from United and Liverpools owners this week were diabolical. My recent support of Hadley has restored a degree of love in football. I can only applaud the fans of clubs like Arsenal who persist in going, despite the fact that they are being charged an arm and a leg for an experience that is far inferior to standing on the terraces at Highbury, watching a George Graham team grind out a 1-0. Us football fans are a funny lot. 

Friday 16 October 2020

The Friday Joke - The English and foreign languages

 The English are notoriously bad at foreign languages, this little tale gives some clue why

 A Swiss man, looking for directions, pulls up at a bus stop where two Englishmen are waiting.
"Entschuldigung, koennen Sie Deutsch sprechen?" he says.
The two Englishmen just stare at him.
"Excusez-moi, parlez vous Francais?" The two continue to stare.
"Parlare Italiano?" No response.
"Hablan ustedes Espanol?" Still nothing.
The Swiss guy drives off, extremely disgusted.
The first Englishman turns to the second and says, "Maybe we should learn a foreign language...."
"Why?" says the other, "That bloke knew four languages, and it didn't do him any good."

 Pic courtesy of


Thursday 15 October 2020

A second lockdown is pointless with these clowns in charge

This may be the blog where I lose ALL of my friends. But the bottom line is that if I can't tell the truth, then I am as nothing. I've always felt that you can't judge a government on a single decision or a single day. To really get some perspective of them, you need to look at how they deal with something over a period of months. In an unprecedented crisis such as covid, where not even the worlds best scientists knew anything in January, a bit of leeway needs to be given. It is now October. They've known about all of this for six months. We have more than enough information to objectively judge the performance of the Government. 

The big debate at the moment is whether there should be a second "circuit breaker" lockdown. Under any normal circumstances and any normal government, I would agree with Sir Keir Starmer, but we are not in normal circumstances and we do not have a normal government. We have one that is beyond incompetent. Let us look at the reason why the infection rate is currently going through the roof in the UK. Given that there is an increase across Europe, it might be tempting to say "well we are just following the global pattern and we always knew there would be a second spike in the Autumn".

This ignores the evidence of what our government has done. The key moment in the UK was when Dominic Cummings was given a free pass to ignore the rules. This sent a signal to the country that it is OK to ignore the rules if you have powerful friends. For people suffering financial and mental hardship, this was a complete insult. The concept that a rich and powerful man can flout the law, when ordinary citizens can't was the moment the government lost our trust and people decided that it was up to them to 'interpret the rules'. The fact we are still mentioning Cummings shows the damage done. Whereas prior to that, we'd all been responsible, Cummings gave us the excuse to flout the law. What could a Police Officer say to anyone breaking the law, when it was clear that for the rich and entitled, it didn't matter. A lockdown in the UK needs the support and consent of the people and it is clear to me that with this administration, it will destroy businesses, without changing the behaviour that spreads covid. For covid to be beaten, we need people to take the decision to not meet friends and family and the sad truth is that for many, they will simply ignore those rules.

Back in July, the UK was finally getting on top of covid. All we really needed was a functional track and trace system to keep it under control. The country spent £12 billion on trying to make this work. It still doesn't. Without such a system, the "Eat out to help out" scheme was an act of criminal negligence by Chancellor Rishi Sunak. Had he waited until the App worked, and said that installing the App and using it in restaurants was how you got the tenner off, it may have worked, but he sent us flooding back to restaurants, without any mitigation whatsoever. 

Then there was the decision to send students back to college. Only a fool would think that student accommodation would not be a fertile breeding ground for covid infections. We have a friend who's daughter is in Liverpool at Uni. She has tested positive for covid, thankfully she's asymptomatic, but reports that everyone in her student block has the virus. Liverpool council have sent food parcels. I cannot believe that this was anything other than entirely predictable.

We have a Conservative government with a huge majority. There is no prospect of a change of party running the country for at least four years. But we desperately need a change of regime. I am not a fan of the man, but at least someone like Jeremy Hunt would not have the baggage and may be able to rebuild trust. Until we have a Prime Minister who people believe in and can trust, all a lockdown will do is damage the economy. When we had the first lockdown, the government bought time. They should have had a coherent plan to lead us out of lockdown and to restart the economy. They should have been cautious and they should have been able to give clear guidance. They should have anticipated a spike when Universities reopened and students left the relative safety of homes, to mix with dozens of strangers from across the country. 

Surely students should have been tested before being allowed access to student accommodation?  Surely people entering the country should be tested? Surely there should be fines for breaches of self isolation? Surely there should be support for people self isolating, so that they have no reason to breach?

Under the Boris Johnson/Rishi Sunak regime, if there is a second lockdown, it will devastate businesses, but as the police lack the resources to enforce any rules, the population will flout it. If you don't believe me, simply stand outside Tesco's in Mill Hill and see how many people are wearing masks in the shop. I would absolutely support a second lockdown, if we had a competent government, but we don't. We have one that long ago lost the trust of the people. The Rishi Sunak bung in August (Eat out to help out), was a hugely expensive PR stunt for Boris that has gone horribly wrong. 

The only way out of this that I can see, is for the Conservatives to act poste haste and find a new PM with a degree of integrity and trust and for Keir Starmer to work with him to sort this awful mess out. Anything else will just end in a cycle of chaos, where people die needlessly and the economy is trashed. 

Tuesday 13 October 2020

Open letter to Rishi Sunak about how the music support sector has been thrown to the wolves by the Government during the Covid crisis

Dear Mr Sunak, 

My main job is running Mill Hill Music Complex, a music services and support company. Our main business is running rehearsal and recording studios and hiring musical equipment for events. We employ 13 people. I believe we are a socially responsible company. Over the past ten years we've donated well over £50,000 worth of equpiment hire, studio space and logistical support to local charities, festivals, youth projects and charities.We give large discounts for charities and local groups who need to hire space and sound equipment. For those charities and community groups that we have formal associations with, we provide equipment at cost or free of charge, where possible. Amongst the things we've sponsored, supported and assisted in the last ten years, we can include The Mill Hill Music Festival, The Sound Skool youth project, The North Finchley Festival, The Mill Hill Broadway Festival, The Save London Music Campaign, MacMillan Cancer relief, the Mayor of Barnets charity Appeal, The Sacred Heart Church Mill Hill, The Mill Hill Synagogue, The Colindale Foodbank and the Horn of Africa Mosque in Grahame Park. 

We are not unique. Every independent music services company I know does exactly the same thing. Anyone working in the music industry does it primarily for love. Musicians love making music, but we also need a constant stream of new ideas and influences to progress. We all have a mission to share the love. I passionately believe that music enriches peoples lives. Whether it was your first snog, the first dance at your wedding, or your grannies funeral, there was music in the background as a soundtrack. It may be Mrs Beans from the church on the organ, Van Morrison on the sound system, or the Ramones at The Roundhouse, music is what makes us tick.

Since our studios reopened on the 15th June, we've broken even or made a small profit on only 9 days. Seven of our 13 staff have no prospect of returning to works as our business is operating at 50% of the capacity we were doing at this time last year. We are lucky in as much as we have a plan in place to manage the situation, but we talk to dozens of musicians every day and what we hear is an armageddon sitiation for our sector. The utter disdain for the creative sector displayed by the govt was yet again displayed yesterday. An advert showing a ballerina, advising her to retrain was released. It seems that they didn't even bother to get a real ballerina, who presumably would have appreciated the work.

 If you think of it logically, the governments position is ridiculous. To get to the position where you can earn a living as either a performer or part of a backup/logistics team takes years, sometimes decades. When we employ a trainee sound engineer at the studio, they often have done a three year degree in sound engineering. Even with this, we usually find it takes six months to a year working in a commercial environment before we trust them to manage a recording or live session on their own. We make a huge investment in them. 

Once they are ready to manage sessions, it will generally take them 18 months to build up their own client list to the point where they can get by. During this period, they will work on reception, empty bins, lug gear on hires, nip around to the garage to get teabags and milk etc. This tops up the cash so that they can survive as they build their career. They will often work on minimum wage at festivals or for free for friends as they skill up.

Having spent five years investing in themselves, if you can take it, you will then find that you can earn a living wage and the work is fulfilling. It is also hard work and you constantly have to keep your knowledge up to date. Technology means that every five years, you would need to learn a completely new set of software. 

That is what you have to do to earn a living. Now lets look at the situation. Having invested all of this time and effort, the government has decided that the sector you work in, does not deserve proper financial support through a period estimated to be a year to eighteen months. They advise you to retrain. For arguments sake, suppose you decide to take the advice in the advert and train as a  cyber expert. It is now October. You can't even enrol in a University course until next September. By then, Boris seems confident we'll have vaccines and treatments. By then the live music sector will hopefully be back in full flow. 

The realistic option for creative people is to sit this out. I was interested that they chose a ballerina as there example. To become a ballerina earning a living, you will probably have been having lessons since the age of 4 or 5. I know all about this, as we have a ballet school at our studios. To get to the stage where it is your career, you will have probably had 20 years of incredibly hard work. To suggest that this is binned and you retrain is highly insulting and a huge waste of a resource that makes the UK economy a destination of choice for tourists and businesses.

Think for a second why people visit the UK and companies set up their HQ in London. They do it because London is somewhere with an amazing diversity of art and nightlife. No one visits London for the weather or to swim in the Thames with Dolphins. If the chancellor gets his wish and the arts and music sector retrains, there will be no one to run our theatres, music venues, Opera Houses and Ballet when things return to normal. No one in there right mind would want to live in our cities without this. I have no idea what you, as chancellor do to enjoy yourself, but clearly you do not really understand how much value the Arts sector adds to the economy, either directly, or through the revenue generated for TFL, rail, restaurants, pubs, sandwich bars, hotels and anything else that benefits from people enjoying the arts and creative sector in our cities.

We urge you to make protecting venues, musicians, artists and support staff an absolute priority. Please review and  adopted the proposals of the Save London Music Campaign.

Only a fool would ask people to throw away years or decades of hard earned expertise, to tide yourself through a temporary crisis. What the UK needs is a coherent plan and a pathway to recovery. The centrepiece to this must be a revivial of our creative sector. Throwing the music support sector, venues, musicians, artists and other people in the sector to the wolves will damage the UK economy in a way that it may never recover from. 


Roger Tichborne

Founder The Save London Music Campaign

Monday 12 October 2020

The lessons we can learn from Madeira and New Zealand about beating Covid

 I've just returned from a two week holiday in Madeiria. We chose Madeira because it is just about the only place that you can enjoy the sun and not have to self isolate. It is only when you see how other nations do things, that you realise that we have a lot to learn. I spoke to a friend in New Zealand over the weekend and it is clear that some nations have got it right and some have got it wrong. 

You may say "well they are only small nations, it is easier for them to control an outbreak". This misses the point that the many of the measures they have done are so obvious and so straightforward that there is no earthly reason that we couldn't do the same thing. It is worth noting that China, despite having the first outbreak, got to grips with it very quickly once it was clear what they were facing. China has a registered death count of 4,634 around one tenth of the count we've had with one hundred times the population. 

I am not an epidemiologist, but having been to a place that has got the disease under control it really isn't rocket science to see why. All along there has been strong directiona and leadership, with clear rules, which everyone stuck to. They locked down harder initially, which allowed them to get rid of the virus. They put measures in place to keep it out. New Zealand has done remarkably similar things.

Here is what they do in Madeira

1. Testing on arrival. When you arrive in Madeira, you either have to have a certificate stating that you've had a clear Covid test within the last 72 hours, or you have to have a free test at the airport. Getting registered and having the test takes around 30 minutes. You then have to make your way to where you are staying until you get your result, which takes approx six hours.

2. If you are clear, you get regular texts to update your status, if you are well, you simply say you are OK. If you show symptoms, you have to report for another test and self isolate until the result is forthcoming. 

3. If you fail, you either stay where you are until you are clear, or the Madeira govt put you up in a hotel and pay for your board and lodgings. 

4. Everyone respects the protocol of wearing masks and sanitising hands. We saw no cases of people refusing. It seems strange that so many people in the UK have conditions that prevent them from wearing masks, but no one in Madeira has the same issue?

The Maderia Web site says

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Since the beginning of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic no fatalities have been reported and Madeira Island has one of the lowest infection rates in Europe. Wearing a mask is compulsory only in shopping centres, shops, public transport or enclosed areas. There is no need to wear a mask if you’re walking the streets, beaches, or any outside activity. Restaurants and Bars with open air esplanades are also mask free.

When it was clear what was happening, Madeira closed their airport to all flights and put new arrivals under quarantine. The timeline of the outbreak and measures is summarised below. I felt quite ashamed when I thought about the chaotic mess we have. There night time and leisure industries are recovering. Ours are in chaos and turmoil.The root cause of the outbreak in the UK was unrestricted travel. This still hasn't been addressed. Personally I think no one should board a plane without being tested. I would also state that people arriving in the UK should not attend any mass gatherings of people for 14 days (conferences, sporting events, religious services etc). We need far better testing and tracing and we need mandatory fines for people who break quarantine. 

Anyway, this is the timeline of how Madeira dealt with the problems and reopened their tourist business.

16th March The President of the Regional Government of Madeira announced today, March 16, that there is no case of coronavirus or covid-19 reported on the Island of Madeira. To try to maintain Madeira virus free, all passengers arriving at Cristiano Ronaldo Madeira Airport will be under mandatory quarantine for 14 days, until further notice. This means that all Tour Operators are cancelling their flights to Madeira and Porto Santo except for return flights for tourists already on the Island. Hopefully soon things will returns to normal and Madeira will maintain it corona free status and welcome visitors to Madeira’s always Summer Climate. We will keep you updated in the coming days.

19th March Madeira registers two new positive cases of coronavirus. No deaths have been recorded. In total 3 positive cases are confirmed. A tourist arriving from Holland 5 days ago and a Madeiran resident arriving from Dubai, both quarantined immediately. The Government of the Portuguese Republic declares state of emergency as of 00.00 today 19 March, for 15 days. We hope that with this measure, we are able to contain the spread of the virus on Madeira Island.

29th March As of today, Madeira has 39 positive cases of COVID-19. So far, 198 suspected cases have been identified of which 155 tested negative. Further statistics show that there are 766 people under ‘active surveillance’ with a further 1462 people in ‘self-surveillance.’ Only one (1) coronavirus patient remains hospitalized in Madeira, although without the need for intensive care. The other 38 patients remain in isolation, 34 in their homes and the four Dutch citizens at Quinta do Lorde. No deaths due to COVID-19 infection were recorded in Madeira. The President of Madeira, Miguel Albuquerque issued a new mandate with regards to restrictions on movement and social isolation to contain the spread of the coronavirus. From 00.00 on the 31st of March the following measures come into force: 1 - From the 31st of March only essential business may remain open. 2 - All Hotel suspicious cases must undergo compulsory 14-day isolation period. 3 - A reduction from 120 to 100 passengers to airports Madeira Cristiano Ronaldo and Porto Santo allowed per week. All passengers are directed to comply with mandatory 14-day quarantine 4 - Reorganisation of the health system. Cessation of mobility between existing health units to prevent cross-contamination. 5 - Reinforcement of circulation measures and social gatherings are strictly limited to two people.

30th April No New cases of COVID-19 for the sixth consecutive days and NO DEATHS recorded in Madeira Island. The total number of positive cases remains at 86, with 43 patients having recovered. The number of active cases is down to 43. 176 cases await laboratory results. The emergency state ends and the state of calamity begins in Madeira from 00:00 on Sunday night, for a period of 15 days. The president of the Regional Government of Madeira, Miguel Albuquerque declares the situation of calamity and announced the reopening of some economic activities, hairdressers (appointment only), services and shopping centres. The strict measures that come into force are: - The use of a mask will be mandatory in all commercial spaces where there is a greater concentration of people, such as public transport, shopping centres, schools. - Workers must take temperature twice a day and maintain social distance. - All establishments must operate at one third of the capacity. - Visits to care homes are not allowed. - Restaurants will continue to operate in take-away. - Beaches remain 'closed'. - The reopening of economic activities will be evaluated weekly.

4th May Madeira has reached it's tenth consecutive day without any new cases of COVID-19, maintaining the number of 86 positive cases, 48 people have recovered, thus making a total of 38 active cases of infection. At the moment, 71 suspected cases await laboratory results. No deaths have been recorded. The region reopens some economic activities, such as shops, hair salons, barbers, and shopping centres, with tight restrictions established by the Regional Government. The reopening immediately imposes the obligation for both businesses and individuals to social distancing regulations, the use of masks in all closed spaces, in public transport and temperature screening of workers twice a day. Clear safety rules regarding the hygiene of employees, customers, disinfection of spaces and trying on or exchange of clothes, footwear, accessories and jewellery are prohibited. Cristiano Ronaldo and Porto Santo Airports will continue to operate a reduced number of two weekly flights and a maximum of 100 passengers allowed to disembark per week, maintaining the mandatory14-day quarantine for all. The ports and marinas of the archipelago will remain closed.


8th May There are no new cases of coronavirus for the second consecutive day and no deaths recorded in Madeira. The total number of positive cases remains at 90 and the number of recovered patients has increased to 52, since the hospitalized patient is now recovered, making a total of 38 active cases of infection. The president of the Regional Government of Madeira, Miguel Albuquerque announces today that churches and all other places of worship in Madeira will reopen to the public on Saturday, May 9th, limiting the capacity to one third and with strict measures in place. People must comply with social distancing rules, alcohol-based hand disinfectant is required before entering the church and the use of a mask is mandatory. After service, people should return home and avoid gatherings in the churchyard or surrounding areas. Porto Santo beach reopens under strict rules from Sunday, May 10th. The social distancing between bathers is mandatory and group gatherings is prohibited. Facilities, bars, cafes and restaurants along the beach will remain closed. The mandatory quarantine for Porto Santo will be lifted on the 18th of May for all residents of the archipelago. The Madeira Private Hospital and Madeira Medical Centre will resume their normal services starting Monday, May 11th. Entry will be allowed after a questionnaire and Temperature screening, mask and hand disinfectant are mandatory. Safety distance is also signalled in all services areas. MMC will resume all its services: clinical analysis, permanent care (adults), face-to-face consultations, imaging exams, cardiology, gastroenterology and nursing care, from Monday to Friday from 7:30 am to 9 pm, and Saturdays from 7:30 am to 2 pm. As for HPM, all exams and face-to-face consultations for adults and children will be activated, as well as permanent paediatric care, from 9 am to 12 am. As of May 11th, a series of individual sports will be allowed, while always maintaining social distancing, such as sport and recreational fishing, surfing, bodyboard, canoeing, tennis, motor racing, etc. Public and Forest spaces, recommended walking routes and some public gardens, such as Quinta do Santo da Serra, Quinta Magnolia, Jardim das Madalenas, Jardim do Amparo e Jardim de Santa Luzia will also reopen on May 11th. Maintaining all Facilities, bars, cafes and restaurants closed. Gyms will resume limited activity starting Tuesday, May 12th. Group classes can only take place outdoors at the condition to respect social distancing. Spaces are limited to one third of its capacity, showers and changing rooms remained closed. Members are only allowed to stay inside the gym for one hour, each member will be required to clean and sanitize equipment after each use. Museums, libraries, galleries, cultural centres and archives reopens Thursday, May 14th, with mandatory use of masks, hand disinfectant for all employees and visitors. Routine cleaning and disinfecting of regularly touched surfaces must be frequent and recorded. Beaches, bathing complexes and sea access reopens Friday, May 15th, if the pandemic situation continues to evolve favorably. More information in regards to safety rules, social distancing and hygiene will be announced next Thursday. Restaurants, bars, cafes and terraces may reopen on Monday, May 18th. The operating conditions will be announced at the end of next week.


 31st May Madeira records no new COVID-19 cases in 26 days and no deaths. Cumulative total of confirmed cases remains at 90, with 76 recovered cases, bringing the total number of 14 active cases of infection. From June 1, 2020 until June 30, 2020 - In order to avoid mandatory quarantine for 14 days, all travellers entering Madeira and Porto Santo must present a PCR test, issued no more than 72 hours prior to their travel date, confirming that they do not have COVID-19. Madeira nightlife venues, clubs and bars with terraces and outdoor spaces reopen from Monday, June 1st, at 50% capacity with strict safety precautions. Clubs can only be open until 2 am. Most shopping centres and shops reopen to the public, restaurants and bars can reopen from the 18th of May. International tourist travel should begin around the end of June, and many hotels and resorts hope to open in July. The beaches, parks, gardens are now open to the public and all road travel restrictions have been lifted.