I hear from a reliable source – the doyen of the Richmond town pub trade – that both the Marble Hill (Rising Sun as was) and the Old Anchor have been bought from Young’s by Sainsburys supermarket, with the intention, we must presume, of turning a one or both of them into mini supermarkets, perhaps of keeping the other out of the hands of a rival. No planning permission is required for this, I believe.

A mini supermarket is also part of the scheme for the Ryde House site (391 Richmond Road 12/1001/FUL ) with the rest as a budget hotel. Bad news for East Twickenham’s convenience stores, which are already too numerous for the custom to be had, but it may lead to a relaxation of the bar on opening restaurants in this ‘protected shopping frontage’, which is what many of the local proprietors have long yearned to do and are in fact already doing more or less covertly.

Let us hope that Richmond Road will be allowed to become a rival to Kew Road as a centre for Richmond’s restaurant trade: what could be pleasanter than to meet for a drink on the Riverside and then stroll across the bridge to dine in one of the newly fashionable East Twickenham eateries? We already have Acena acena.co.uk and Brula www.brula.co.uk : what we need is more of the same and soon, please.

Christopher J Squire