PCA Newsletter 87 - May 2015

In This Issue

This year’s Pitshanger Fun Run took place on Sunday 3rd May and despite it being what some people call a “soft” day – alternating between light drizzle and heavy drizzle – there were very few no-shows and very nearly 300 runners completed either the 2.5k or the 5k course.  Perennial 5k winner Chris Dettmar led the field home yet again, and showed how seriously he takes the event by using the London Marathon the previous weekend as a training run. Other winners in the 5k race were: first woman Lynn Wilson and first veteran Alasdair Combe.

In the 2.5k race, the category winners were Jack Whittaker (11+ boys), Cerys Edwards (11+ girls), Dylan Rice (U11 boys) and Sadie Lawrence (U11 girls).  The best fancy dress award went to Hitesh & Mylla Makan (easy decision - pictured).  But the story of the day was a young boy who turned up, ran the 2.5k, was cheered home, collected his finisher’s medal and thought all the time he was in the junior parkrun (which would normally have taken place at the same time).  We hope to see him back in the parkrun in a normal week!

If you crossed the finishing line, there's a fair chance we have a photo of your moment of triumph.  For a free electronic copy of your finish line photo just drop a line to pca [at] pitshanger [dot] org [dot] uk (subject: Fun%20Run%20Photos) ( pca [at] pitshanger [dot] org [dot] uk).  There are details of the 1/2/3 finishers in each category on the PCA web site here and full results with chip times on the Shoot4Goal site here.

Finally, we'd just like to say thank you to Charlie's Fruit Bowl for providing bananas for all the finishers, and to Health In Motion for providing free sports massages for those with sore limbs.

In our March edition we reported that the raised crossing outside North Ealing School had been re-profiled as an experiment to see whether the gentler slopes would reduce the vibration felt in nearby houses.  Since then, the PCA has asked the residents living nearest to the crossing to rate the level of disturbance experienced before and after the crossing was re-profiled, on a scale from one to ten.  The response rate was disappointingly low, but the results we did receive were very clear cut, with the reported level of disturbance going down from 10/10 before to 1.33/10 after, on average.  We have presented these results to Ealing Council to support the case for re-profiling all the remaining raised tables in the Lane.  We’re pleased to say our consultation results were received sympathetically, but the Council will need to apply to TfL for funding to do the work.  We’ll stay on the case and keep you informed of progress.

What’s a Jumble Trail?  Well, it’s like a car boot sale outside your own front door, or perhaps a community-wide coordinated yard sale.  16th Ealing Scouts are bringing this exciting new concept to Pitshanger on Sunday 14th June.  How does it work?  If you’ve got bits to sell, you simply register your stall on the Jumble Trail site here and set it up outside your house on the day.  You can sell clothes, toys, furniture, cakes, crafts, plants – in fact almost anything (within reason).  The stall fee is a snip at £10.  If you’re in the hunt for a bargain just look at the same web site to see a map of all the registered stalls and plan your retail ramble accordingly.  And while you’re out and about, why not drop into Jazz On The Lane at St Barnabas (see below)?  Can we make it to 100 stalls?  Empty your loft or shed and help to make it so!

Following the success of “Back in Time for Dinner” on BBC2, Wall to Wall Media are looking for a family who will immerse themselves in the leisure and entertainment habits of decades past – “a hugely educational adventure for the whole family”. They are looking for families with a minimum of two children aged 10+ who are available to film over the summer holidays of July and August 2015.  Can you, and more particularly your children, survive without modern media?  Are you up for the challenge?  You can find out more or express interest via e-mail to leisure [at] walltowall [dot] co [dot] uk ( leisure [at] walltowall [dot] co [dot] uk).

The Council’s proposed new rubbish collection arrangements – set to start in Spring 2016 - have been a talking point for a while now, but what are the facts?  We’ve had a sneak preview of a “frequently asked questions” document being compiled by the Council, telling us that:

-  Food waste will continue to be collected weekly;

- Waste for recycling and non-recyclable waste will be collected in alternate weeks (i.e. each one will be collected every two weeks);

-  Each household will be issued with two wheelie bins – one for mixed recycling and the other for non-recyclable waste, to be put out for collection in alternate weeks.

It’s the wheelie bins that seem to be the most controversial element of the new arrangements, especially among the residents of the Brentham Estate.  We asked some more questions about the bins and found that the standard size for the recycling bin will be 240 litres, or 107cm (h) x 58cm (w) x 74 cm (d), albeit  the Council will offer a smaller version, and the non-recyclable bin is likely to be smaller anyway at 180 litres (dimensions not yet available).

But the biggest question is probably whether residents can opt out of having wheelie bins at all.  The basic answer is no, but the Council is surveying properties street by street, and “where there is adequate space for the storage of bins away from the highway the resident will be expected to use the new system”.  This appears to leave a bit of wriggle room for those with small front gardens, but we predict plenty of arguments to come on that point.  Please let us know what you think about this via pca [at] pitshanger [dot] org [dot] uk.

The excitement mounts as we head towards Party In The Park, the highlight of summer in Pitshanger, which will take place this year on Sunday 28th June.  We have a packed programme of dance and drama lined up for the Northfields stage and the Gastrodome will feature the biggest ever choice of food stalls.  The 16th Ealing Scouts will be serving tea and cakes, and the PCA pub will be open all day with live music until 9pm.  Other attractions will include go karting, climbing wall, carousel, arena events, dog show, soft tennis and the list goes on.

This is a big event that relies on an army of volunteers, and we’re always looking for people willing to spare an hour or two to step up and help.  Volunteering is easier than ever this year.  You can register on line - go the the PCA web site here then click on "volunteer form here" - and the form allows you to choose a whole variety of roles at times to suit your availability.  Please help if you can – the event can’t go ahead without volunteers, and it’s fun too!

Two updates from the tennis section at the Brentham Club: each Saturday from 12pm to 1pm is family fun hour – bring the whole family for £5, and there is coaching for adults and children.  Then in June a new playing surface will appear – tiger turf (a form of synthetic grass).  The club is also offering two for one membership at the moment, details at www.brenthamclub.co.uk.

We reported in our March edition on the various ways Lucas Schmidt (nearly six years old) and his family were planning to raise money for the Down Syndrome Association.  Since then, there have been two curry nights, a raffle, a barn dance, and an auction.  Added to that dad Alex completed the London Marathon with an injured foot and beat his fundraising target of £1,800 by a huge margin.  The total raised will be over £11,000 and the Schmidt family have expressed their thanks to the Pitshanger community, North Ealing School, Brendons Estate Agents, Oscar’s Café, Charlie’s Fruit Bowl, Harrison's, The Village Inn and Love Handmade (Northfields) for all the support.  Mum Samantha said “We all feel humbled and overwhelmed by the kindness shown to our son”.  Well done to the Schmidts and all those who supported their fundraising efforts.

PCA members have e-mailed in with favourable comments about the newly planted trees on Scotch Common, something that will doubtless help when the park comes up for its green flag assessment in June.  (We hope it passes, or we’ll need to find a different flag to fly from the mast next to the play centre.  Ideas anyone?)  Elsewhere in the park, the rangers have noticed that the recently resurfaced path running across the south side of the allotments, which is as flat as a snooker table, should actually have a slight crown on it to shed water.  So the contractors will be back to fix that in the next few weeks.

There are two big announcements from St Barnabas this month.  The first is for a concert in support of the Nepal earthquake disaster appeal at 7.30pm on Friday 29th May.  Local cellist Corrinne Morris has organised the concert and has gathered together a group of classical musicians to perform in it.  You can see the poster here and buy tickets on-line here.

Then fast forward to Sunday 14th June when St Barnabas is host to the second Jazz On The Lane event.  The day will start at 10.30am with a “jazz mass”, and after that the afternoon will be given over to an open mike session, with a hog roast and salad lunch available from 1.30pm.  In the evening the church will be transformed into a  JAZZ CAFE with three terrific bands each playing sets of latin/jazz, gypsy /swing and blues/soul music. A cocktail bar and hot food will also be available.  For further details and bookings contact victoriadale [at] hotmail [dot] com Tickets are also  available on the door - banner and posters are on the lane. Further details on the St Barnabas website

The Cleveland ward councillors have alerted us to a change in the way planning applications will be publicised.  Starting in June there will be no more letters sent to nearby residents.  Instead, we’ll need to rely on site notices displayed near the property in question, or trawl through the public notices section at the back of the Gazette (the bit just before “adult services”).  Details of all planning applications are also held on the Council web site, but of course that’s not the same as a notification.  So from now on it’s a matter of keeping your eyes peeled for those notices on trees and lamp posts.

The Pitshanger Play Centre celebrated its 20th birthday on Saturday 16th May with a party supported by the PCA.  Denise Wicksteed originally rescued the building and established the Play Centre with the reins being taken up more recently by Marion Doheny.  PCA chairman Karen Jacks attended the party and reported “it was great to see so many current families plus parents from the early days whose children have now grown up – and it was a lovely sunny day to boot”. 20 years is a big milestone, but of course it means that next year will be the 21st birthday for the Play Centre.  That sounds to us like a reason for another party.