PCA Newsletter 92 - November 2015

In This Issue

Pitshanger Lane - Installation of New Tree LightsIt was one week to go until Light Up The Lane 2015, and there was a strange sense of something missing.  What could it be?  Aha, it was the new lights, ordered a while ago by the PCA but not yet installed.  As of Saturday 21st November, the new lights were at pavement level, with the contractors lifting them and a tangle of wiring into the trees under the guidance of our lighting guru Andrew Dixon.

Will the contractors finish in time?  What will the new lights look like?  You can find out the answers to both those questions by coming along to Light Up The Lane at 4pm on Sunday 29th November.  The event is run in close cooperation with the Pitshanger Traders, many of whom will be open and selling mince pies, mulled wine, samosas and anything else that will raise money for charitable causes.

Light Up The Lane relies heavily on volunteers, and there are still vacancies for site setup/takedown, traffic marshalling and helping with the stage.  If you can possibly help, please register via the PCA web site, where you will be able to choose a preferred role and time-slot.  Time to step up – Your Lane Needs You.

There seems to be something about Pitshanger that encourages literary endeavours, and this month we can announce not one but two local authors who have gone into print.  First Ruth Flather, who strictly speaking is a former Pitshanger resident as she now lives in Norfolk, has written a collection of 12 stories for children entitled Fir Tree Farm.  The stories relate the adventures of the Hill family and their animals.  Fir Tree Farm looks like a good bet for Christmas, for children of all ages, and is available in the Pitshanger Bookshop at £9.99.

Jeff Pack, whose last book was a history of his house in Pitshanger, has penned a new title The Boy the Mystery and the Open Book.  Jeff describes the book as an autobiographical account in which he subjects himself to sessions of self-analysis, revisiting various events that shaped his life, and the people who influenced him.  The most important among these were his mother and father, whose contrasting personalities are, respectively, ‘the mystery’ and ‘the open book’ of the title, with Jeff himself cast as ‘the boy’.  Again you can pick up The Boy the Mystery and the Open Book at the Pitshanger Bookshop.

Ealing Council have for a while been considering whether to set up some kind of “friends of” organisation for Pitshanger Park.  There’s nothing decided yet, but the Council are keen to gauge interest before taking things further.  If you’re interested please contact Cllr Lynne Murray at MurrayLy [at] ealing [dot] gov [dot] uk (subject: Friends%20of%20Pitshanger%20Park) ( MurrayLy [at] ealing [dot] gov [dot] uk).  There’s no specific commitment required at this stage, beyond a willingness to take part in discussion on how this idea might be taken forward.

Also in the park, we’ll soon be conducting one of our periodic inspections with senior members of the Council’s parks team to agree priorities for maintenance work and improvements.  One of the things we’ll be discussing is the placement of new boot-scrapers, with the aim of keeping mud in the park rather than spread over nearby pavements.  We’ll bring you more news on this in future editions of the PCA newsletter.

This year Paul at Charlie’s Fruitbowl will again be stocking black truffles at Christmas.  The pungent fungi, described by the French gastronome Brillat-Savarin as the diamonds of the kitchen, are esteemed in haute cuisine but also known for the high price they command.  However, Paul is buying in quantity, which should reduce the hit on your wallet.  Paul tells us that the truffles will most likely come from Italy, but he will procure whatever looks best in the market.  There’s no need to order in advance this year, but it’s worth having a chat with Paul about your requirements as he has built up a good level of knowledge about storing and using truffles over the last couple of years.  Turkey and truffle sandwiches anyone?

Elsewhere in the Lane, Tony at Navarro Wines is offering Jamon Serrano Reserva, matured for a minimum of 12 months. The hams weigh in at 6.5kg and have a price tag of £59.00.  Order direct from Tony in advance to avoid disappointment.

Great British High Street - Pitshanger LaneSince our October edition, the Great British High Street judges have visited Pitshanger Lane to see for themselves what locals have been going on about for years, and to compare the Lane to its two rivals in the London category of the High Street of the Year Awards  - Raynes Park and Roman Road.  Public Voting has now closed, and it’s clear from chit-chat on social media that many people were making full use of the unusual voting system that allowed one vote per e-mail address per day throughout the entire voting period.

When the online polling stations closed, Pitshanger Lane led the London category, but the overall results will depend also on what the judges made of the Lane when they visited.  Fingers crossed!

Pitshanger Lane Defibrillator John Martin Estates have celebrated their 20th birthday in the Lane in a very public spirited way by buying and installing a defibrillator unit outside the office at the junction of Pitshanger Lane and Selby Road.  Defibrillators in public places are relatively common in some other European countries, but not here (yet), and we salute this trailblazing endeavour by John and his colleagues.

The defibrillator unit was commissioned by Tim Chivers of the London Ambulance Service on 25th October and the first group of 18 traders and residents has already been trained in its use.  There will be further training sessions – if interested pop into the office where John or Rhian will be happy to give you further details.

Please note Street Wars has been moved from 6th February to the 27th February

The PCA Street Wars quiz, where the finest brains of Pitshanger do battle in street-based teams, will take place at the Brentham Club on Saturday 27th February, starting at 7.30pm.  We’re not too bothered about the exact definition of a “street” – after all someone let in Sandgate House last time and they had the cheek to win – and we’ll turn a blind eye to the odd ringer from another street.  The team size is up to ten people and the ticket price is £12.50 per person including nibbles and a sausage & mash meal (with veggie alternative).  There will be a cash bar available.  Our regular quizmaster John Bottom will be back and is already researching some devilish challenges for us.  For reservations and enquiries please contact Tina Moonen via email tina [dot] moonen [at] pitshanger [dot] org [dot] uk  or 020 8810 6497.  Tina will be happy to combine smaller groups or individuals into a team.

The St Barnabas Frost Fair will take place this year from 5.30pm to 8.30pm on Friday 27th November.  As usual there will be many gift and craft stalls along with children’s activities, Santa’s grotto, mulled wine, mince pies, hot food, tombola and a performance by Innovation Dance.  In the church itself, the build-up to Christmas will start at 8pm on Thursday 17th December with a festival of nine lessons and carols led by the St Barnabas choir and accompanied by a brass ensemble.  On Christmas Eve there will be a crib service at 4.30pm, at which children are invited to come dressed as characters from the Christmas story, and later on the traditional midnight mass will start at 11pm.  Then on Christmas Day there will be a low mass at 8am and a family high mass featuring a child-friendly sermon at 10.30am.

Are you taking two or more medicines on a regular basis?  If so, Temple Pharmacy are offering free advice, and for each person that seeks guidance on multiple medication they will donate £10.00 to MacMillan Cancer Support.  They will also donate £2.00 to MacMillan Cancer support for each flu jab administered.  [I assume this is one per person – just in case anyone is considering becoming a charitable pincushion - Ed].

Ealing Choral Society’s annual Carol Concert will take place on Saturday 12th December at St Barnabas Church, starting at 7pm.  All proceeds will go to Ealing Churches Winter Night Shelter, a local organisation that provides accommodation each night for up to 14 guests who would otherwise be sleeping on the streets during the winter months, and is hosted on a rota basis by local churches.  Tickets for the concert are priced at £12 and are available here or via 020 8993 6465, with further details at www.ealingchoralsociety.org.uk.

As usual, there is a packed programme of music at St Barnabas and St Mary’s Perivale, with details on the respective web sites here and here.  Top tip: apply early for the New Year’s Day Gala at St Mary’s as we hear it is always over-subscribed.

The Christmas line-up at the Brentham Club includes a light classical dinner concert on Friday 4th December, the renowned Christmas carvery from 1pm to 1.30pm on Sunday 13th December, a Christmas quiz on Friday 18th December and a New Year’s Eve Party on – you’ve guessed it – 31st December.  You can find details of these and other events, including the regular round of quiz nights, on the club web site www.brenthamclub.co.uk.

Proposed 20mph Speed Limit in ActonWe’ve had a 20mph speed limit in most of Pitshanger for a while, but now Ealing Council is looking to introduce a borough-wide 20mph speed limit, with the overall aim of creating “a better environment with a fairer balance between motor vehicles and people”.  According to Council plans, the only exceptions to the 20mph limit would be streets maintained by TfL, namely the A40, the A406 and the A312 Hayes bypass.

As a first stage, the Council is currently consulting on a trial 20mph limit in Acton, meaning all streets to the East of Hanger Lane.  The consultation closes on 18th December, and you can see the documents on the Council web site here.  If the 20mph limit goes OK in Acton, we’ll all be asked to join in sometime in late 2018 or 2019.  As usual watch this space for developments.