PCA Newsletter 84 - January 2015

In This Issue

The clans of Pitshanger gathered at the Brentham Club on Saturday 17th January to do battle in the PCA’s annual Street Wars quiz.  Pencils were chewed and heads scratched over ten tough rounds of questions set by quiz masters John and Steph Bottom, with just a brief pause at half-time for bangers and mash from the club’s kitchens.  The biggest surprise of the evening was last year’s winners Kenmure Mansions bombing to 9th place, which prompted a stewards’ enquiry into doping.  The top three at the end were 1st Sandgate House (pictured), 2nd Meadvale Road and 3rd Selby Road.

PCA Chairman Karen Jacks, also a member of the Meadvale team, said through gritted teeth “Our warm congratulations go to Sandgate House, even though they’re not a street.  The Meadvale team will be back in training for Street Wars 2016, and we hope for a return to the kind of highbrow topics at which we excel”.  Street Wars 2016.  Bring it on.

The PCA’s afternoon tea club for older residents resumed after the Christmas break on Monday 12th January, and will run from 2pm to 4pm each Monday up to and including 30th March.  If you are 65+ and would like to meet friends for afternoon tea and cake for just £2 per week, the club meets in the foyer at the Methodist Church.  As space is limited please book with Lynda Pullman (our Director of Tea Urns) at lynda [dot] pullman [at] pitshanger [dot] org [dot] uk (subject: PCA%20Tea%20Club) ( lynda [dot] pullman [at] pitshanger [dot] org [dot] uk) or 020 8991 5813.  We would like to thank the Pitshanger Methodist Church for continuing to provide the foyer free of charge for the tea club, and for chipping in to help with the cost of provisions.

We’re pleased to see that the club car that lives in Harrow View Road has been joined by a sibling in the dedicated space in Princes Gardens.  (Your editor had the pleasure of driving the new arrival, a Vauxhall Corsa, when it had only eight miles on the clock).  The PCA committee continues to be interested in club cars for their potential to relieve parking pressure by taking personally owned cars off the road.  The club cars are operated by City Car Club (www.citycarclub.co.uk) and are of particular interest as an alternative to under-used second (or third) cars.

The governing body of North Ealing Primary School is looking to appoint three co-opted governors for a four-year term of office.  To fill these roles, the governing body is seeking enthusiastic individuals who live or work in the school’s local community and who can bring a local perspective and interest in the school’s continued success.  An interest and experience in any aspect of finance, personnel, project management, PR or media would be particularly welcome, though not essential.  Further information on the school web site here.

OK, we own up, it wasn’t Barack Obama but John Quincy Adams, who served as sixth president of the United States from 1825 to 1829, and who prior to that showed excellent taste by living in Ealing from 1815 to 1817.  While living in Ealing, Adams kept a detailed diary of his daily life, as well as his observations on society in Ealing at the time. The Little Ealing History Group has produced a book based on Adams’s writings together with other background research, and the book is available from the Pitshanger Bookshop for £10.  (That’s where he was spotted, see).  According to the Little Ealing History Group “The book is packed with historical information and illustrations. Whether you are interested in local history, or in British or American history generally, we are sure you will enjoy reading this book as much as we enjoyed writing it”.  There is further information on the Little Ealing History Group web site here.

PCA Fun Run 2015Prepare your best fancy dress and running shorts, the PCA Fun Run is back! Join us on Sunday the 3rd of May 2015 at 10am for the return of the Fun Run around Pitshanger Park, with a chip-timed and measured UKA affiliated 5km race of 2 laps, or a more relaxed 2.5km Fun Run of 1 lap for adults and children.

There are three categories of entry: 5km for over 17s, 2.5km for adults and 2.5km for children. Everyone who finishes will get a medal and an officially measured personal time. You can register for all categories of the fun run via the PCA web site (and please do that as registration on the day is very difficult to handle).  If you’re not planning to run yourself, we will need some help on the day (please) and you can register as a volunteer via the same web page.

 CrimefighterLast year we celebrated the crime fighting exploits of Belinda “bat girl” Harrison (here), but we’ve now learned that Belinda is not the only Pitshanger trader prepared to have a go.  One afternoon last November, John Martin was hanging upside down in the office, as he often does, when a police chase entered the Lane.  The fugitives, realising that the game was nearly up, leapt out of their still moving Mini, leaving it to crash into a post near Navarro’s, and set off on foot.

In a flash, John donned his cape and went in pursuit down Selby Road, heedless of his wife Rhian’s warning “You shouldn’t be doing this, John, not with your knee”. While one fugitive was apprehended by the chasing Police in the Lane, the other sought refuge in various gardens and alleyways, much to the surprise of a number of residents, and was eventually run to earth in Pitshanger Park with the help of the Met Police helicopter.

Back in the office, with his knee nicely rested, John handed over a cheque for £1,135.38 to the British Heart Foundation, this being the sum raised by John’s team with their “£1 challenge” in last year’s Ealing Half Marathon.  Well done to all involved in the £1 challenge, which was carried out in memory of Dave Wallis, who died a year ago this month.

Calling all parents of children in Year 5 and below: the options for high school places should expand in September 2016 with the opening of a new school.  The school will be run by the Twyford CofE Academies Trust, and will be their third, the other two being the original Twyford CofE High School and the recently opened William Perkin CofE High School.  The new school has the working title “North Twyford CofE High School” and will be sited somewhere (to be determined) in the Central Ealing or Acton areas.  Although the new school will have “a distinctly Christian” character, the current indication is that the admissions policy will be open (i.e. non-faith), a detail that will be of interest to many.  There is more information on the trust’s web site www.twyfordacademies.org.uk.

We’ve covered the road safety issues at North Ealing School in past editions and are pleased to report we’re making slow but steady progress towards a sustainable solution.  We had a very positive meeting with parents, ward councillors and council officers earlier in January, and the Council are considering further measures to deter anti-social and dangerous driving.  In the meantime, the PCA committee has put up £250 to buy some A boards to reinforce the message to errant drivers.

Anyone who gazes nervously at the River Brent during heavy rain might be interested to know that the Environment Agency is currently running a consultation on draft Draft Flood Risk Management Plans and related Environmental Reports covering river basins throughout England.  The Flood Risk Management Plan for the Thames River Basin District alone runs to 448 pages, so there's a fair amount to wade through before you even get to the River Brent.  But there's a wealth of information in there for anyone with leanings towards hydrology and the aquatic environment, and anyone with a more casual interest can always just dip a toe in here and there.  You can access the documents and respond to the consultation here - the closing date is 31st January.

A couple of very worthy local charity efforts to mention this month.  First of all Meadow House Hospice are holding a pamper evening on Thursday 5th March from 6pm to 9.30pm, tickets £5.00 in advance or £7.00 on the day to include a glass of fizz and nibbles, with treatments available for a suggested donation, a raffle and a lucky dip.  Tickets and further details from Meadow House Hospice, 0208 967 5040, www.meadowhousehospice.org.uk.

Secondly, local dad Alex Schmidt, whose son Lucas was born with Down’s Syndrome in 2009, is running the 2015 London Marathon in aid of the Down's Syndrome Association, details and sponsorship on the Virgin Money Giving web site here.  Good luck on 25th April!

We’re very pleased to announce that PCA treasurer Kelvin Walker was chosen as the “Run England Group Leader of the Year” at the London Athletics Regional Volunteer Awards in November 2014, for his work with Ealing Eagles Running Club.  In between working with the Ealing Eagles, directing the Ealing Half Marathon and looking after the PCA accounts (busy boy), Kelvin also set up the Ealing junior parkrun, which continues to prosper with between 40 and 70 young people aged 4-14 completing the timed 2km course every Sunday at 9.30am.  Full details here.

The social calendar at the Brentham Club is looking strong for the new year, and includes a Burns Night supper on Friday 23rd January (details from John Capps 07402711982 or events [at] brenthamclub [dot] co [dot] uk ( events [at] brenthamclub [dot] co [dot] uk)), a quiz night on Friday 30th January, a dinner concert featuring cellist Corrinne Morris accompanied by Hugh Mather on Friday 6th February and a Rotary race night on Friday 27th February (details from John Capps 07402711982 or events [at] brenthamclub [dot] co [dot] uk ( events [at] brenthamclub [dot] co [dot] uk)).   Further details from the club web site here.

Light Up The LaneHow much tartiflette can the people of Pitshanger devour in one evening?  We got the answer to that little conundrum at Light Up The Lane on 30th November 2014 when Harrisons shifted 100kg of the Savoyard speciality!  And that was just one of many food options available up and down the Lane to feed the huge crowd that turned out to enjoy the entertainment, food, drink and general craic on offer on a mild and dry evening.

We were very pleased with the new event layout, and would like to thank everyone involved in helping to make the event happen.

We run Light Up The Lane in close cooperation with the Pitshanger Traders, and credit to them both for generous sponsorship of the event and for putting on a great range of stalls and hospitality.