PCA Newsletter 90 - September 2015

In This Issue

The Great British High Street - PitshangerThe Great British High Street is a government funded organisation that “supports those working to revive, adapt and diversify high streets”.  They run an annual competition by the same name, and this year the Pitshanger traders have entered the Lane in the local centre category.  You probably know this already as there are posters up and down the Lane plus plenty of exposure on Facebook and Twitter.  The judges have now retired to consider the entries, and it’s fingers crossed for a puff of white smoke at the end of the month to signal the inclusion of Pitshanger Lane among the shortlisted finalists.

John Martin, Chairman of the Pitshanger Village Traders’ Association said “Our entry focuses on the fact that Pitshanger Lane is at the heart of this community and I am personally proud to have been part of that for 20 years and to know that the traders and community all pull together and collaborate in social events and also in issues that affect us all”.

The traders’ campaign is supported by local MP Steve Pound and has even been endorsed in the House of Commons by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, who said “I note that Pitshanger Lane in Ealing has been entered into the great British high street competition, which I welcome. I wish its supporters well in their efforts”.

So how can we help?  Although there’s no public voting at this stage, a strong profile should keep the Lane in the judges’ minds.  Two specific things you can do are to “like” the Lane’s entry on Facebook and use the hashtags #Pitshanger and  #GBHighSt liberally on Twitter.  On Facebook, you need to go to “The GB High St” and scroll down to the Lane’s entry dated 7th September.  It’s a lot of scrolling, but if you’re a Facebook user please take the trouble to “like” the Lane, and even better leave a comment.  Let’s make the Lane the most liked entry!

Your Chairman John Bird fancies himself as a dab hand in the kitchen, but has always regarded the job of growing fruit and vegetables as a job for others.  It was thus with some trepidation that he accepted the Pitshanger Allotment Conservation Association (PACA)’s invitation to serve as one of the judges at their annual show on 6th September.  Fortunately the other judge was former PACA Chairman Brian Field, who knows his onions.  Horticultural expert Chantelle Ludski was also on hand with the RHS rule book to ensure fair play.  John said “I felt a little daunted at first sight of the serried ranks of fruit and veg, but with Brian and Chantelle’s help I soon got into the swing of judging the entries.  Even to a complete non-expert it was obvious that a great deal of effort and enthusiasm had gone into growing produce of such a high standard.  But the highlight for me was meeting a mangel-wurzel for the first time”.  Now, back to the kitchen.

Local author Sue Elliott has written a biography of Elaine Madden, an SOE agent from Belgium who was recruited in London and parachuted back to the country of her birth to undertake a top secret mission and speed its liberation from Nazi oppression. Entitled “I Heard my Country Calling”, the book will be published at the end of October and The Pitshanger Bookshop will be hosting an evening with Sue on Wednesday 4th November from 7pm.  Sue will be talking about the book, reading passages from it and answering questions. If you are interested in attending what will be a fascinating evening, please do book a place by contacting the Bookshop on 020 8991 8131 or info [at] pitshangerbooks [dot] co [dot] uk (subject: I%20Heard%20My%20Country%20Calling) .

It’s a comfort to know that the northbound queues on Argyle Road for the A40 are managed and minimised in real time by a clever adaptive system called SCOOT (Split, Cycle and Offset Optimisation Technique).  Except that SCOOT has been out of action for the last few months.  Persistent detective work by PCA Secretary Linda Rivans and Cleveland Ward Councillor Lynne Murray has revealed that SCOOT stopped working when someone in TfL forgot to pay BT for an essential communications circuit.  There’s no luck yet in getting TfL to have the circuit reinstated, but we’ll keep you posted with progress in future editions of the PCA Newsletter.

Happy Birthday Pitshanger Junior Parkrun!It seems barely possible, but the Pitshanger junior parkrun, set up by volunteers and underwritten by the PCA has been going for nearly a year.  The junior parkrun celebrates its first birthday on Sunday 4th October, when the junior parkrun will start as usual at 9.30am, then at 10am adults will get a rare chance to run the same course.  Finally at 10.30am there will be a charity bake sale.

The junior parkrun is a free 2km run for children aged four to 14, and takes place in Pitshanger Park at 9.30 every Sunday, rain or shine.  All are welcome.  Although it’s not obligatory, junior runners should ideally pre-register here and bring along their printed barcode.

PCA Mad Hatters' Tea PartyThe PCA again hosted the annual free tea party for the senior members of the community, this year with a “mad hatter” theme.  The party, once again run by our Director of Tea Urns Lynda Pullman, was held at the Brentham Club on Thursday 10th September.  Around 80 guests, including some from St David's home, enjoyed a welcome glass of Prosecco, delicate finger sandwiches, scones with cream and jam, and scrummy little cakes.  There was a free raffle with lots of prizes, and a themed cake that was sliced up for everyone to take home.

Generous thanks to the Brentham Club for the donation of the hall and to all the volunteers carrying laden vintage cake stands and teapots to refill the bottomless cups!

On a similar theme, our weekly tea club for 65+ residents has restarted for the Autumn term.  The club is held each Monday afternoon from 2-4pm in the foyer of the Methodist Church.  Guests can meet their friends for a chat and enjoy finger sandwiches, cake and beverages for £2 per person.  Please book in advance with Lynda Pullman via 020 8991 5813 or lynda [dot] pullman [at] pitshanger [dot] org [dot] uk (and any prospective volunteer helpers please use the same contact details).

The ever popular Friday night quizzes at the Brentham Club continue through the Autumn on 23rd October, 27th November and the Christmas Quiz on 18th December.  All the quizzes include money prizes, food and an accumulator.   Firework Night at the Brentham Club – firmly established as a key date in the community calendar – will take place this year on Saturday 7th November.  Look out for further details on the club web site www.brenthamclub.co.uk, and don’t forget that every Friday is food night at Brentham, with a different menu every week.

In addition to the traders’ Great British High Street bid reported elsewhere in the newsletter, Harrison’s have also entered the delicatessen category in the 2016 farm shop and deli awards. You can support their bid on-line here.  There’s further cooperation with Chez l'Ami David to report too, with a French Regional Dinner on Tuesday 13th October and a Burgundy Dinner on Tuesday 24th November, both @ £57.50 per head.  For further details and reservations contact Belinda Harrison at belinda [at] harrisonswines [dot] co [dot] uk (subject: Chez%20l%27Ami%20David%20Dinners) ( belinda [at] harrisonswines [dot] co [dot] uk).  Finally Note that Chez l'Ami David have started doing Sunday roasts – details on their Facebook page.

The ever popular St Barnabas general knowledge quiz will take place this year on Saturday 10th October starting at 7.30pm in the church hall, hosted by the irrepressible Steve Pound MP.  There are tables for 8-10 people and the admission price of £12.50 per head includes a fish & chips or vegetarian supper.  A bar will be available too.  For reservations and enquiries please contact Vicky Dale via victoriadale [at] hotmail [dot] com (subject: St%20Barnabas%20Quiz) ( victoriadale [at] hotmail [dot] com), 020 8997 9012 or 07979 888449.  Vicky will be happy to combine smaller groups to make up a table.

We were pleased to hear that Pitshanger Park has again been awarded a green flag this year, one of 16 parks in the borough to achieve the distinction.  Fortunately the judges managed to avoid the two days recently when the River Brent flooded all the way up to the ridge just below the Playcentre!

Where will you be on Rugby World Cup final day, Saturday 31st October?  You may be heading out to watch the final at a favourite pub, or settling down to watch at home, or (perish the thought) looking to avoid the television coverage altogether.  But for anyone looking to watch the coverage in company there are a couple of options that may not have sprung to mind.  First the Brentham Club will be showing the final (and indeed all RWC matches) on their big screen.  And Pitshanger Pictures, based at St Barnabas, will be showing the final on their very big screen – the one that’s usually devoted to high quality cinema and opera – and entry will be free on this occasion.  To get in the mood for the final, why not take in Invictus, showing on Monday 26th October, details here.

Many Hands Make Lights WorkThe tree lights in Pitshanger Lane that come on at Light Up The Lane each year and then each evening until twelfth night, have a hard life.  Facing increased unreliability and with the Council’s tree loppers waiting in the wings, your committee took the decision to replace the lights this year.  So, one Monday in August, a volunteer working party equipped with ladders and wire cutters scaled the trees and removed the old lights.  We know that the blue LED stars that have served for the last few years had a “love them or hate them” aspect so we’ve returned to white for the new design.  As for further details, you’ll just have to come along to Light Up The Lane on Sunday 29th November.