PCA Newsletter 68 - December 2012

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In This Issue

Light Up The Lane 2012This year’s Light Up The Lane, the second to be held on a Sunday, is believed to be the best-attended ever, with an estimated 7,000 people visiting the Lane during the evening.  Spirits were high, despite a period of rain halfway through and a couple of late withdrawals from the evening’s entertainments.  New boy band ‘A-Typical’ pulled out of the stage show citing ‘contractual difficulties’ between their management and record label, not the sort of thing we get with the school choirs.  More noticeably the fireworks also failed to go off, the contractors being involved in an accident on the way to the event (“not the sort of bang we were expecting”, commented an organiser).

On stage musicians, singers and dancers from local schools gave well-received performances with the massed ranks of the Ealing Rock Choir closing the show in great voice.  North Ealing School choir bowled the stage crew a googly by turning up for their 20 minute slot with 30 minutes’ worth of material, and as the clock ticked down to 5 pm and the moment the lights were due to come on a panicking stage MC tried to usher the group off stage, much to the disapproval of the crowd.  A compromise was reached whereby they would return after the switch on, and our MP Steve Pound led the countdown and the pressing of the ‘magic mushroom’ in his inimitable way.  Your committee would like to thank the events team and volunteer helpers and marshals for their efforts before, during and after the event, and to the police team and St John ambulance crew whose assistance is always much appreciated.

Hopefully you’ll get this in time: on Saturday 15th December at 7.00 pm in St Barnabas Church, Ealing Choral Society is holding a carol concert in support of Contact a Family (for families with disabled children).  Tickets are £10 (adults) and £5 (5-18 and students).  Mince pies and refreshments will be available afterwards.  Sunday 16th December is a busy day: at 3 pm it’s the St Mary’s Perivale Carol Service with Alan Gillett and Robin MacGibbon and at 7 pm Mozart’s ‘Marriage of Figaro’ from Paris Opera will be shown in St Barnabas church hall (food available from 6 pm).

On Thursday 20th December at 7.30 pm St Barnabas will be holding their service of Nine Lessons and Carols with the St Barnabas Choir, and on Saturday 22nd December at 7.30 pm Ealing Abbey have ‘Carols by Candlelight’ with the Ealing Abbey Choir and Orchestra.  On Christmas Eve, Monday 24th December, at 4 pm St Barnabas there’s the ever-popular ‘Christingle Crib Service’, “a magical service to inspire children and their families”.

Ealing Golf Club on the other side of the park has been recognised as a “junior and beginner friendly” club with the award of a prestigious ‘GolfMark’ by England Golf and is celebrating with three teaching offers for the festive season: an on-course 2 hour playing lesson at £80; a package of 7 golf lessons for the price of 6 at £150; and a Junior Christmas Camp (girls and boys aged 9 to 12) consisting of 2 hours of lessons on 2nd, 3rd and 4th January (6 hours in total) at £60.  These could make ideal Christmas presents for the budding golfer and can be booked by calling 8997 3959 or emailing ealinggolfshop [at] aol [dot] com (subject: Christmas%202012%20Offers) .

Advance notice of yet another of Hugh Mather’s marvellous musical weekends from Friday January 25th until Sunday 27th.  Look forward to 12 hours of Schubert’s “wonderful music” played by over 50 musicians at St Barnabas church.

Our item in the last newsletter elicited responses from a couple more local residents whose enjoyment of home life has been diminished since the introduction of double-decker buses and raised platforms along the Lane and adjacent roads.  If you’ve been in contact with Dave Wallis regarding this issue expect an email or call from him in the new year and an invitation to a meeting of this snappily-named group to look at the issues and what can be done about them.  If you’d like to become involved email dave [dot] wallis [at] pitshanger [dot] org [dot] uk (subject: Bus%20Action%20Group)  or look out for posters advertising the first meeting.

Most people would probably agree that colourful front-of-shop displays and outdoor café tables add to the ambience of the Lane, and the street scene has been further enlivened recently by the occasional wine and food tastings run by Harrisons.  Much to their surprise a local resident took photos of one of these and sent them to the Council, proving that one man’s meat is another man’s breach of street trading regulations.

Harrisons Pitshanger LaneThe Council had no option but to demand nearly £1300 for the required licence, but after negotiations with proprietor Belinda Harrison they have agreed a reasonable one-day street trading fee to cover occasional tastings outside the shop. Belinda commented, "I'm very grateful to the Council for the way they handled the situation and for working with us to help find a solution.  Now we'll be able to enjoy mulled wine on the pavement with our customers the weekend before Christmas!".

PCA Postbox at John Martin Estates, Pitshanger LaneFans of the 1980s rock and roll film spoof ‘This Is Spinal Tap’ will remember the scene when the ageing heavy metal band’s massive new stage set, based on Stonehenge, is unveiled.  Unfortunately somewhere in the design stage the symbols for feet and inches have been transposed leaving the band staring at a knee-high replica of the world-famous stones.   We wonder if a similar thing has happened to the PCA post box, newly installed in John Martin Estates.  Nothing wrong with the box itself – it’s one of those that you still find attached to telephone poles in rural villages – but the stand is somewhat vertically challenged.

One theory is that it’s to make sure PCA chief postie Lynda Pullman – who was once stolen by someone under the impression she was a garden ornament – can reach the keyhole, but another is that someone simply confused feet and metres on the order form.  Whatever, it’s for anyone to use for membership forms, raffle returns, death threats to the editor (if you want to stoop that low), etc. etc.

Congratulations all round at Old Oak Florists: Sandrie Pinçon has won the London heats of the “Florist of the Future” competition and will represent the capital in the national finals at Tatton Park next year.  Her colleague, Morgan-Douglas Nuth, has again been invited to design at the Chelsea Flower Show: next year he’s involved in two pavilion exhibits for National Farmers Union/Waitrose and Interflora.  As if this wasn’t enough they’re offering a 10% discount on all orders until 24th December, and if you spend more than £50 you’ll be given a bottle of wine.

Innovation Dance Boutique invites you to join them for a mince pie and glass of champagne at their Christmas Party on Saturday 22nd December.  They’re giving 15% off children’s wear and gift items all day so go and see them for your Christmas gifts.  Children and baby labels now in stock include ‘Angels Face’, ‘Hatley’, ‘Oh Baby’ and ‘No Added Sugar’.

Lisa’s Restaurant raised £466.50 at Light Up The Lane for the Ealing Churches Winter Night Shelter and the Dyspraxia Foundation.   Lisa and Milan would like to thank everyone for their generous donations in exchange for a glass of mulled wine.

Harrison's are offering their bespoke hampers again this year along with lots of other tempting Christmas treats including Irish Smoked Fish Platters, delicious Pannetone, Truffle Coulommiers and fantastic Champagne offers.  They are also holding a Cheese and Wine Tasting at The Forester in Northfields on Wednesday 19th December: call Belinda on 8998 7866 for details or email her atbelinda [at] harrisonswines [dot] co [dot] uk.

Paul at Charlie’s Fruit Bowl still has some Christmas trees priced from £20 and will deliver locally.

Body and Sole Day Spa is offering vouchers for a range of therapies and treatments which make ideal gifts.  Treat your other half to a pampering session – you can buy vouchers for any amount.

A professional dog walker with up to ten dogs is causing concern in the park.  Small children have been surrounded and frightened and it must be impossible to clear up all the mess.  The Park Ranger Service sees this as a possible breach of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and would welcome reports of this kind of activity from park users.  These days the much-reduced Park Ranger team has to rely on the eyes and ears of the public so if you see something you think they should be aware of please report it by email to parks [at] ealing [dot] gov [dot] uk (subject: Dangerous%20Dog%20Walker)  with a copy to our Safer Neighbourhoods police team at cleveland [dot] snt [at] met [dot] police [dot] uk (subject: Dangerous%20Dog%20Walker) .

As usual we’re looking for the best Christmas cracker jokes as well as the property in our area with the ‘most tasteful’ outside Christmas lights.  Simply reply to this newsletter with your nominations: winners will receive a bottle of something alcoholic, and as usual your committee’s decision will be final.  We appreciate that in these austere times it’s tempting to cut back on decorations, but “Snow White and the Three-is-all-we-can-afford Dwarves’ is inadmissible under any circumstances.

As is so often the case, the gods smiled kindly on the PCA this year, Party In The Park taking place on one of the better days of early summer and Light Up The Lane’s modest rain not enough to send the crowd home.

In many less obvious ways the PCA has been working hard to further our aim of making Pitshanger as good a place to live and work as we can, but much of your committee’s effort this year has been ‘internal’, the imminent achievement of charitable status being down to a lot of hard graft by – among others – our secretary, Debbie Edwards, and the launch of the Pitshanger Portal in a few weeks’ time will reveal the results of what John Bird and George Hazlewood have been up to for quite some time now.  We’ll see the benefits from their energies in the years to come.

We start the New Year with a challenge – the delayed CPZ consultation – and you can be sure that your committee will represent the interests of members and the wider Pitshanger community in our responses to that.  In the meantime it leaves us with one final task for 2012: to wish all of you a very merry Christmas and every success and happiness in 2013.  It’s already started for Mandy Cuttica of Meadvale Road who’ll be getting a crisp £50 note through her door as the winner of the latest PCA Members’ Lucky Dip.