PCA Newsletter 86 - March 2015

In This Issue

PCA Online MembershipPCA membership is set for a change this year.  Out go the traditional renewal forms and payment by cheque and in come on-line payment and membership management.  We’ve had it in mind to move in this direction for a few years, and this year our web guru George Hazlewood and membership secretary John Waters have been hard at work behind the scenes to get the bits, bytes and URLs in line to enable you to renew your membership via a simple web form.

This year we’ll be running traditional renewal letters and e-mail reminders in parallel, and – don’t worry – we will keep going with paper forms and cheque payment for those members not hooked up to the internet.

If you receive this newsletter via e-mail, you are on our e-mail list so please look out for a membership e-mail sometime in the next few weeks, which will include a personalised link direct to your membership details.  A few clicks and it’s done.  It’s goodbye to the days of losing the form behind the sofa or having it eaten by the dog!

Registrations have been coming in for this year’s PCA Fun Run, which will take place on Sunday 3rd May.  The format will be a chip-timed and measured UKA affiliated 5km race of two laps for adults (start time 10am), and a more relaxed 2.5km Fun Run of one lap for adults and children (now with an earlier start time of 9.30am).  If you’re planning to take part this year – go on, you know you want to – please register on-line.  If you’re not running, you can still be part of the event and soak up the atmosphere as a volunteer helper, with registration via the same link.

Since we reported on bus-linked vibration in houses along the E2/E9 route last November, Woodfield Road has been resurfaced between Fairlea Place and Pitshanger Lane, and the raised pedestrian crossing outside North Ealing Primary School has been given a gentler profile in an attempt to reduce jolting.  Based on limited feedback so far, we’re cautiously optimistic about the beneficial effects of both changes.  Ealing Council agreed to re-profile the raised crossing in Pitshanger Lane as an experiment, and if feedback from nearby residents confirms that it has had the desired effect we will be pushing to have all the other raised tables in the Lane given a similar makeover.

The Pitshanger junior parkrun has reached its quarter century of weekly runs, and despite minimal publicity has attracted fields of between 55 and 75 young runners in recent weeks.  The parkrun, which is free of charge, takes place over a 2km course each Sunday starting at 9.30am, and is for young people aged from 4 to 14.  There are full details on the parkrun web site here.  The parkrun is managed by volunteers, and there’s always room for a few more.  The last runner usually crosses the line with a time of about 20 minutes, so it won’t make too much of a dent in your Sunday morning.  You can volunteer via the same link.

Park UpdateWe’re pleased to report that work has started on the footpath running along the south side of the allotments in Pitshanger Park.  As well as being in a very poor state of repair, the path was prone to flooding in two places: near the main allotments gate and near the south west corner of the allotments where water was surfacing from an inadequate football pitch soakaway.  The work currently underway involves raising the level of the path and adding drainage channels.

Much of the funding for this work came from the Cleveland ward forum.  We’re grateful for that, but there was a time when park maintenance came out of the parks budget.  As the Council budget cuts start to bite deeper, we may see further raids on ward forum budgets for routine maintenance…

We will be talking to Ealing Council about the inadequate football pitch soakaway, which should really have been sorted out as part of the recent pitch works.

The butterfly garden (ex bowling green) has now been prepared and re-seeded, and we have our fingers crossed for an improved and better balanced show of wild flowers this year.  We do expect, though, that a few more years of fine tuning may be needed before the garden reaches its full potential.

In a bizarre inversion of the age old theme, a dog has complained about humans pooing in the park.  This happened at a recent meeting of the Cleveland Ward Forum, and to be fair it was a dog walker speaking on behalf of her pet pooch.  We rather doubt that PCA members are implicated, but if there are any backwoods survivalists or cavemen out there, perhaps you could go equipped with a plastic bag, as dog walkers do?

North Ealing School Road SafetyPermanent measures to deter the unsafe manoeuvring of cars near the entrance to North Ealing Primary School in Summerfield Road have moved a stage closer with the release by the Council’s traffic planners of preliminary designs for new signage and a pavement build-out.  The idea is to reinforce the message that the end of Meadvale Road is a cul-de-sac rather than a rat run, and to discourage school drop-offs and pick-ups by car, while at the same time minimising any inconvenience to residents in the vicinity.  There is likely to be a local consultation on this once the plans are more advanced.

In the meantime, the message is being displayed on temporary A-boards funded by the PCA, that can be set out on street corners whenever needed.

We reported in January on the Twyford CofE Academies Trust’s plans to open a new high school in Ealing ready for admissions in September 2016.  Since then it has emerged that the picture is more complicated than that.  There will need to be more than one new high school to accommodate the expanded population of children currently at primary school, and Ark Schools are also in the hunt.  Added to that, there are no fewer than eight locations under consideration for the new high schools.  The sites are identified in the Council’s Planning for Schools Development Plan Document, which is up for public consultation until 3rd April on the Council web site here.

Frustratingly, the consultation isn’t about the choice of site, but instead merely sets out to establish that the document is legally compliant and sound.  Once that’s settled, the sites will need to be chosen, designs drawn up, planning permission sought and granted and the new schools built, which starts to make September 2016 look rather ambitious.  Temporary bulge classes on existing sites may be needed if the new buildings aren’t ready on time.  One of the sites under consideration is the former Barclay’s sports ground in Park View Road.  This would potentially be of interest for Pitshanger, where most properties are effectively out of catchment for Drayton Manor High School and far enough away from the increasingly popular Brentside High School for a place there to be uncertain at best.  The status of the Barclays site as metropolitan open land would present a planning challenge, though.  Watch this space for further news.

Twyford are seeking suggestions for the name of their new high school (wherever it eventually gets built) here.  Pitshanger High anyone?

The Brentham Club has announced that tennis will be free to visitors from 1pm on Saturdays and Sundays in April.  The tennis coaches will also be running “family flagship” sessions from 12 to 1pm starting on 18th April, details from tennis [at] brenthamclub [dot] co [dot] uk ( tennis [at] brenthamclub [dot] co [dot] uk).  The tennis section has also been busy raising money for Comic Relief, in an effort that involved a certain amount of cross-dressing.  We won’t pry any further into that!  Upcoming events at the Brentham Club include a quiz in the top bar on Friday 27th March and the Spring Bazaar from 10am to 2pm on Saturday 28th March.  Details on the club web site www.brenthamclub.co.uk.

This year St Barnabas Church in Pitshanger Lane is again recapturing the ancient practices of the early Christians at Easter.  Worshippers will gather in the garden at 8pm on Saturday 4th April to kindle the new fire. Then an ancient Easter hymn is chanted as the church is steadily filled by a wave of golden candlelight. Powerful readings from scripture and majestic sacred music from Handel’s “Messiah” and Bach’s “St John’s Passion” guide the journey from darkness to light.  All are very welcome to join the congregation one of the most moving acts of worship in the Christian calendar.

Local artist Rosanna Henderson was introduced to mosaic making by a friend in 2007 and has since undertaken mosaic projects in support of the Log Cabin Project in Ealing as well as producing work for sale in galleries and by commission.  Rosanna has now had the exciting news that her work will be on display in Richmond Open Studios in June and July, and then in a gallery in Newcastle.  The former will be a little more convenient for Pitshanger mosaic fans!  Rosanna has work permanently for sale in All Original shop in Ealing Green and if anyone is interested in mosaic lessons, she runs one day introductory courses.  See www.rosannasmosaics.com for further details.

Howdown with LucasLocal lad Lucas Schmidt aged five and three quarters invites you to his barn dance at the Brentham Club at 8pm on Saturday 25th April.  All proceeds will go to the Down Syndrome Association and his dad is also running the London Marathon in order to raise even more money!  You can follow all this on Lucas's Facebook page, and on virginmoneygiving.

Barn dance tickets can be purchased from Brendons Estate Agent or Oscar’s Cafe.  BK Fancy Dress shop in Northfields are stocking outfits especially, but if you can't make this fancy dress event please support the Schmidt family by buying raffle tickets from Charlie’s Fruit Bowl, Oscar’s and Harrison's in Pitshanger Lane, plus Love Handmade in Northfields.