PCA Newsletter 78 - April 2014

In This Issue

It’s that time of year again; PCA memberships were up for renewal on 1st April.  All members should by now have received their renewal letter.  The letters go out mostly by hand, courtesy of a small army of posties organised by Lynda Pullman, and Lynda extends her thanks to those who helped this year.  For anyone without a membership form, you can download one via the PCA web site here, or request one from PCA Membership Secretary, 42 Lindfield Road, W5 1QR.

Our Membership Secretary John Waters has already processed quite a few renewals and new membership applications, but as usual there are also quite a few to go.  For those who haven’t renewed/joined yet, John would like to draw your attention to the Gift Aid tick-box on the membership form.  Now we’re a registered charity, the Chancellor kindly tops up our membership subscriptions via Gift Aid, but we can only claim it if you tick the box.

Regular visitors to Pitshanger Park will have observed that the planting in the redeveloped bowling green didn't quite work out as planned last year.  So we were pleased to hear recently that the Council had managed to source 2,000 wildflower plugs to give the desired meadow effect a kick-start this year.  And we were even more pleased when ten PCA volunteers stepped forward to help plant the plugs on 2nd April, alongside members of the Park Ranger team.  Our thanks go to the volunteers, two of whom turned out subsequently to water the new planting with the bowling green hose. The Council have subsequently seeded the raised mounds with a wildflower mix, so after a damp Easter weekend, it’s fingers crossed for a better outcome this year.

A reminder that the Pitshanger Fun Run is back. Join us on Sunday the 4th of May at 10am for the return of the Fun Run around Pitshanger Park, with an officially timed and measured UKA affiliated 5km race, or a more relaxed 2.5km Fun Run for adults and children.  The route is almost entirely within the park (with 100m along the pavement down Scotch Common) and will be on the tarmac and stone paths. For all runners there will be chip timing, medals and prizes for the top runners.  Full details and on-line registration on the PCA web site  here.

Following the success of the six pilot sessions we are delighted to report that the PCA Tea Club will continue until the end of July when we will close for the summer break. The club meets on Mondays from 2-4pm in the Foyer of the Methodist Church, and is open to all 65+ residents, not just PCA members, and is an opportunity to meet friends and enjoy afternoon tea for only £2 per person.  We do ask you to reserve in advance, so we can get the catering right.  If you have older neighbours who might not see this email, please feel free to let them know about the Tea Club and pass on the reservations details.  Contact Lynda Pullman on 8991 5813 or email lynda [dot] pullman [at] pitshanger [dot] org [dot] uk (subject: Tea%20Club) ( lynda [dot] pullman [at] pitshanger [dot] org [dot] uk) to make your reservation or volunteer as a helper.

Two dates to note at the Pitshanger Bookshop.  Thursday 8th May sees a celebration of the launch of 'The Sword of Kuromori', the first in a trilogy by the talented Ealing-born author Jason Rohan.  The trilogy is aimed at 9 to12 year olds, and is set in modern hi-tech Japan.  The evening starts at 6.30 pm with an author reading at 7pm. If you would like to have a drink, try some Japanese treats and games, and hear Jason read an excerpt from the story, please contact The Pitshanger Bookshop on 8991 8131 or info [at] pitshangerbooks [dot] co [dot] uk (subject: Bookshop%20Events) ( info [at] pitshangerbooks [dot] co [dot] uk).  Then on Wednesday 21st May, Lewis Hill and friends will be reading from his latest book of poetry 'Keepin' the Beat and all that Jazz' and his book of short stories 'Clasped in Prayer'.  The evening starts at 7pm.  If you would like to attend, please contact the Pitshanger Bookshop as above.

We have been reporting the problem of bus-linked vibration felt in houses along the E2/E9 route in Woodfield Road and Pitshanger Lane for some time now – in fact ever since the topic was first raised by the late Dave Wallis.  Dave canvassed local residents and formed a pressure group of those affected by vibrations due to passing buses.  Factors contributing to the problem are thought to include the large and heavy E2 double deckers, the poor road surface in Woodfield Road and the profile of the speed humps in Pitshanger Lane.

None of those is particularly easy to tackle, but we are pleased to report that Woodfield Road has made it onto the Council’s list of streets to be resurfaced during the 2014-15 financial year, which should help.  The Council have not yet agreed to re-profile the speed bumps in Pitshanger Lane, but the traffic calming group that Dave Wallis set up continues to plug away, with PCA backing.  Watch this space for further progress updates.

PCA member Andrew Dixon relays a big thank-you from Katete, East Zambia to the kind people of Pitshanger.  Andrew organised the collection and shipment of 600 pairs of children’s shoes, many of them donated via the Pitshanger Bookshop and North Ealing Primary School.  The shoes are needed by children who would otherwise have to walk barefoot and risk serious infection by parasites. Even with the assistance of free shipment by DHL, Andrew found it was quite a logistical challenge to get the shoes delivered to Katete. It took six months, but they’re there now, and are being auctioned for a few pennies, with the money collected to be used to buy seed and other basic provisions for future investment.

The St Barnabas social scene will be jazzed up this year – literally – by an exciting new event “Jazz on the Lane”, which will take place on Sunday 8th June.  The day will start with a special jazz service in the morning followed by a hog roast and lunch available (with bar) from 1.30pm, and local bands and 'open mike' in the afternoon.  After that there will be a “jazz café” from 6.30pm featuring talented London jazz artistes with an opportunity to relax, enjoy drinks and light refreshments.  Tickets for the evening event from victoriadale [at] hotmail [dot] com or at the door.  The poster for the event is available here.

Turning to classical music now, don’t forget the third St Barnabas Beethoven Sonata Festival, which will take place on 17th-18th May, details at www.barnabites.org/beethovenfestival

The Ealing Walking Book Club is steadily growing and continues to meet on Thursdays at 11am at the Meadvale/Barnfield gate of Pitshanger Park.  The discussions are lively and the hour is said to fly by.  The next meeting will take place on 22nd May  - reading "Wise Children" by Angela Carter.  Further information from Ann David at pullyblanks9 [at] gmail [dot] com (subject: Ealing%20Walking%20Book%20Club) ( pullyblanks9 [at] gmail [dot] com).

After winning promotion last year, the Ealing Trailfinders Rugby Club Senior 1st XV have had a tough season in the Greene King IPA Championship – the second tier of English Rugby Union just beneath the Aviva Premiership.  It’s a notoriously difficult step up, and as a part-time semi-professional outfit, they found themselves pitched against squads in full-time training, including some of near-Premiership standard.  With only a few weeks of the season remaining, and a number of “must-win” matches lost, Ealing found themselves 12 points adrift at the bottom of the table and facing certain relegation.  But then in late March Ealing started to win matches, and their nearest rival Jersey embarked on a losing streak.  In the end, relegation was decided on the last day of the season.  Either Ealing or Jersey could go down, and the momentum was with Ealing.  But in the end Ealing lost at home to Premiership contenders Rotherham while Jersey won at Bedford, and that was that.  We wish Ealing the best of luck in National One next season.

The PCA Annual General Meeting will take place on Tuesday 13th May at St Barnabas Millennium Hall, starting at 8.15 pm.  This is your chance to hear our report about the PCA’s achievements in the past year and our plans for next year and to tell us what you would like to see happen in the future.  We’ll also be electing the chairman, secretary, treasurer and up to ten representatives of the PCA membership to form the PCA Committee.

On the subject of Committee elections, our long serving secretary Debbie Edwards is standing down this year so we are looking to recruit her successor.  Admin skills will come in handy, but the main qualifications are a love for the Pitshanger area and willingness to get involved in the life of the local community.  To find out more or express interest, please contact our chairman Karen Jacks at karen [dot] jacks [at] pitshanger [dot] org [dot] uk (subject: PCA%20Committee) ( karen [dot] jacks [at] pitshanger [dot] org [dot] uk).

The Brentham Club has announced the completion of a makeover and is keen to show off the results.  The refurbishments include a bright and cosy café and an updated top bar.  Project manager Janeen Quentin organised the many volunteers from among the Club Members – to take carpets, fix electrics, refurbish furniture, take rubbish to the tip and thoroughly clean away the grime of a century!  The Club has a growing sports (tennis, football, cricket, bowls, darts and snooker) and social membership with guests and visitors always welcome to enjoy the wonderful surroundings and now the new facilities. “Please come and check us out” is the message from the Club.  Further information from www.brenthamclub.co.uk or secretary [at] brenthamclub [dot] co [dot] uk.

The Meadvale team approached the PCA Street Wars quiz, held on 25th January, with a certain swagger, and still aglow from their victory the year before.  But they had a rude awakening this year as the team from Kenmure Mansions cruised to victory, leaving everyone else in their wake and Meadvale in a dismal 5th position.  The Meadvale team tried to attribute their demise to not enough questions in the kind of brainy subjects at which they (claim to) excel, but generous intake of red wine was perhaps a more plausible culprit.  And there is no truth in the rumour that this item was initially suppressed by your editor, who was a member of the Meadvale team.  Well done to Kenmure Mansions!

News just in from Will to Win is that the first four redeveloped courts will be open for business from 28th April, and Adult and Junior tennis programme will start in 29th April.  Further details here.  Who will be the first to serve an ace on the new courts?  There is further good news for tennis-playing dogs, who will benefit from dog bowls and a specific dog friendly area when the cafe/clubhouse opens early in June.  Their owners can enjoy free wi-fi too.

We reported in our last edition that Rosie Wallis had launched a major fundraising drive for the British Heart Foundation in memory of her father Dave Wallis.  Rosie and four friends will be undertaking a gruelling 100km sponsored walk on 21st-22nd June, which you can support here.

The details for two further fundraising initiative are now available.  First, on Friday 9th May, there will be a Karaoke evening at the Village Inn, 7pm to 11.30pm.  Dress code "singing legends", tickets £5 available at the Village Inn.  Then, on Saturday 14th June, we are invited to Paint the Town Red at Ealing Golf Club from 7pm to 1am.  The evening will include a three-course meal, an auction of promises and a post-auction party.  Dress code: red tie.  The price is £35 per seat with special deals for tables of eight or ten, and the post-auction party is an additional £10.  Further details and reservations via rosiewallis [at] live [dot] co [dot] uk.  (Note for the ladies: Rosie is throwing out strong hints that she may be auctioning off some of the hunks from Ealing Rugby Club.  Make of that what you will!)

You can see the poster for both events here.