Its a wonderful life movie posterOn 20 December, 20 The Barons celebrated its first birthday. So, how did The Baron and St Margaret mark the occasion? Well, they find nothing more festive than curling up with a glass of Champagne in front of the classic Christmas movie It’s A Wonderful Life, which shares our birthday, having premiered in New York on 20 December 1946. It is also showing at the Richmond Curzon on Water Lane on the 22nd, 24th and 26th December, a mere 20-minute walk across the Richmond Bridge. It’s A Wonderful Life tells the story of George Bailey (James Stewart), who contemplates jumping from a snowy bridge on Christmas Eve but is redeemed by his Guardian Angel, Second Class, Clarence Odbody, who shows him what life would have been like had he never existed. The screenplay was based on a 1943 short story ‘The Greatest Gift’ by Philip Van Doren Stern. Reminiscent of Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’, It’s A Wonderful Life first appeared as a Christmas card sent to 200 friends by the author after he had failed to find a publisher. Directed by Frank Capra, the film’s satirical take on the greed of bankers (which attracted the interest of the FBI in 1947) makes it very topical viewing for today’s London. It also features Capra’s trademark raven (the bird appears in all his movies after You Can’t Take It With You (1938)), a reminder of one of the local stories of 2013: the killing by foxes of two ravens at the Tower of London, where a 350-year-old myth prophecies the fall of the monarchy should the famous birds disappear. If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, you might note that It’s A Wonderful Life’s only Oscar was for Technical Achievement. This was won for the invention of a new form of artificial snow made from soap flakes, sugar and water. Previous films had used cornflakes painted white, which were so crunchy underfoot that the dialogue had to be dubbed! We’d like to thank all those guests and contributors who made our first year such a wonderful one, and recall the inscription written to George by his guardian angel: “Remember, no man is a failure who has friends.”


Photo of Hill View Loft

Hill View Loft

Hill View Loft has the wow factor. A studio loft apartment with a roof terrace for al fresco dining, it offers amazing views over St Margarets and leafy West London to historic Richmond Hill.

Photo of The Garden Suite

The Garden Suite

The Garden Suite is a beautiful 1-bedroom apartment on the lower ground floor of a Victorian mansion house. French windows lead out from the lounge onto a private garden terrace, offering a beautiful sense of light and space.