PCA Newsletter 93 - February 2016

In This Issue

It’s been a while since the last full PCA newsletter last November, and the gap was punctuated by the shock announcement that the PCA Committee was running dangerously close to empty; a number of long-serving members have stood down, and with no replacements in sight there is a danger that the PCA might have to shut up shop.  The committee announcement prompted an encouraging number of offers of help, and follow-up meetings are taking place at the moment.  Against that, there is one more departure to announce as our IT guru and fun run director George Hazelwood will be moving away from the area soon.  It’s not too late to step forward and offer to help on the committee.  The post of treasurer is one we need to fill urgently but there are many other ways to get involved.  If you think you might be interested in helping the PCA in any way please let us know via pca [at] pitshanger [dot] org [dot] uk  The PCA will only be sustainable in the long term if more people are prepared to get actively involved.

One thing we are determined to go ahead with this year is Party In The Park, and we have a date in the diary for that – Sunday 26th June.  We also still have money in the bank that has to be administered in accordance with our charitable constitution.  To that end, we will be inviting applications for discretionary grants this year, just as we have done for the last several years.  Please see the separate news item on that.

But to return to the main point: all this can only continue if more people are prepared to get involved.  Please step forward and help if you possibly can.

The Church of St Barnabas in Pitshanger Lane was consecrated on 3rd June 1916, so the parish reaches its centenary this year.  A year of celebrations kicked off on 30th January with a sold-out gala ball in the church, and there’s plenty more to come during 2016, with details available on the church web site here.  Our warm congratulations go to St B on this big birthday, and we’ll bring you further centenary updates during the year.

We heard a while ago that the Cleveland Ward Councillors were proposing a new yellow line down the entire West side of Woodfield Road – filling in the gaps between existing yellow lines - as a way of easing congestion.  While being sympathetic to the aim of this proposal, we also had some concerns about loss of parking spaces and the consequential displacement of parked cars to the East side of Woodfield Road and to other nearby streets.  We made three recommendations to Ealing Council: (a) Include an option for minimum yellow lining (just enough to ease congestion) and let residents vote on it, (b) widen the consultation area to include nearby streets, and (c) liaise with Planning to mitigate the parking impact of the proposed conversion into flats of 58 Woodfield Road.  Of these, it looks as though (a) and (b) have been ignored, and (c) has become academic for now as the most recent planning application for 58 Woodfield Road has been rejected.  The consultation material should become available on the Council web site sometime soon.  We’ll keep you posted.

The next meeting of the Cleveland Ward Forum will take place on Tuesday 1st March at Hathaway Primary School, Hathaway Gardens, W13 0DH from 7pm to 9pm.  This is your chance to hear from the Cleveland ward councillors about local issues and plans.  There are several agenda items of interest for the Pitshanger area this time, including a speed survey in Kent Avenue, the redevelopment of Gurnell, the proposed Kent Gardens CPZ and the Woodfield Road consultation mentioned above.  Further details here.

It’s nice to have traditional playground equipment available, but everything wears out in the end and the roundabout in the Pitshanger Park playground has now reached the end of its maintainable life.  That’s the bad news.  The good news is that the Council will be installing a new roundabout soon, and the even better news is that the new model will be wheelchair accessible.  That part of the playground will be fenced off for about two weeks while the work is carried out.

There was a bit of a kerfuffle recently when Ealing Council announced plans to change the way Stop and Shop parking would work across the borough.  Although periods of free parking would still have been available, the Council’s proposal controversially included top-up payments using a pay-by-phone mechanism.  The parking arrangements in the Lane have been a sensitive topic ever since stop and shop was first introduced soon after the Streets for People improvements were completed several years ago, and we were relieved when it emerged that the Council had withdrawn the proposal.  At least for now...

Clean for the QueenAs part of the “Clean for the Queen” initiative linked to Her Majesty’s 90th birthday, our friends at the environmental charity Thames21 have organised a volunteer clean-up day for the section of the River Brent running through Pitshanger Park on Saturday 5th March from 11am to 3pm.  All ages and abilities are welcome (with under-16s to be accompanied by an adult).  Thames21 will provide all the necessary equipment and just ask that you wear warm, comfortable clothing. To register for the clean-up day please contact Julia Makin via 07827 240457 or julia [dot] makin [at] thames21 [dot] org [dot] uk (subject: Clean%20for%20the%20Queen%20-%20Pitshanger) ( julia [dot] makin [at] thames21 [dot] org [dot] uk).  There are some further details on the Thames21 web site here.

Pitshanger Light Up The Lane 2015It was very wet and very windy but the hardy people of Pitshanger turned up to Light Up The Lane in numbers to support the local schools and dancers performing on stage, to compare varieties of mulled wine, to try some of the eclectic range of food on offer, or simply to promenade, meet and greet.  Perhaps people didn’t linger as they sometimes do, but given the weather that’s not too surprising.  Of course our volunteers braved the elements to set the event up, marshal it and clear away at the end long after everyone else was indoors warming up, so it’s a big pat on the back to them.
A pat on the back, too, for our lighting Director Andrew Dixon and his volunteers for the new ice-white tree lights, which seem to have been very well received.

One thing we like about the cold months after Christmas is that it’s time for us to start thinking about recycling some of the money we raise at our major events in support of local not-for-profit causes.  A few recent examples of PCA support are the St Barnabas summer proms, Pitshanger Playcentre, local scouts groups, Julian Light Operatic Society, the Brentham Ladies Choir, Ealing Music Therapy and the Pitshanger Methodist Church. We’re pleased to announce that we are again looking for applications from local groups and charities for PCA discretionary grants this year. The application form, with guidance and criteria, can be downloaded here, or from Debbie Edwards, debbie [dot] edwards [at] pitshanger [dot] org [dot] uk (subject: PCA%20Discretionary%20Grant%20Scheme%202016) ( debbie [dot] edwards [at] pitshanger [dot] org [dot] uk) (or 12 Sovereign Close, W5 1DE) and must be returned no later than Friday 8th April. Any questions, just ask Debbie.

In January we e-mailed PCA members with news that Ealing Council were considering moving Guyatt’s funfair from their usual site at Elthorne Park to either Scotch Common or Cleveland Park sometime between July and September 2016.  Although there was some sympathy for having funfairs in Ealing, the responses from PCA members stacked up strongly against siting one on Scotch Common or Cleveland Park.  The playing field adjacent to Gurnell pool was mentioned by many as an alternative and we have passed that recommendation on to the Council.  We’ll let you know when we hear anything more.

As usual there’s plenty going on at the Brentham Club, including regular Friday evening quizzes and food available in the top bar every Friday from 7pm to 9pm.  You can also watch Six Nations rugby on the big screen, including England v Ireland on Saturday 27th February, England v Wales on Saturday 12th March and France v England on Saturday 19th March.  Two other dates for your diary are a Mothers’ Day carvery on Sunday 6th March and a St Patrick’s Day celebration with live music on Thursday 17th March.  There are further details on the club web site www.brenthamclub.co.uk, and remember that non-members are welcome.

Since we last went to press, Pitshanger Lane won the London category in the 2015 Great British High Street awards.  We all knew that Pitshanger Lane is the best high street in London, but it’s fantastic to have that recognised with a prestigious award.  Our congratulations go to all the traders, but especially to John Martin who led a spirited and relentless campaign.   And the celebrations aren’t over yet, as pupils at North Ealing Primary School picked up the theme and made a model Pitshanger Lane.  You can now see photos of the models printed as posters in businesses along the Lane – do have a look.  Stop Press: there will also be a public exhibition of the models at St Barnabas on Thursday 10th March from 3.30pm to 7.30pm.

Segolen at Stems Flower Gallery and Belinda at Harrisons will be running another Wine and Design evening in the run up to Easter.  It will be on Wednesday 23rd March and will cost £40 per person.  Customers will get the chance to create an Easter themed arrangement whilst sipping wine and snacking on nibbles.  All equipment is included in the price and you get to keep your arrangement.  More details and reservations via belinda [at] harrisonswines [dot] co [dot] uk (subject: Wine%20and%20Design%20March%202016) ( belinda [at] harrisonswines [dot] co [dot] uk) or just pop into either shop and ask.

Bye bye Parklet!A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, the President of Tharg contemplated the imminent loss of her planet’s last open space.  Summoning her finest scientists and engineers, she decreed that 1,000 “parklets” should be manufactured and launched into space, in the hope that one day other civilisations could appreciate something of the lost sylvan beauty of Tharg.

And so it was that after countless millennia traversing the lonely wastes of outer space, one of the parklets felt the gravitational tug of planet Earth, and it duly landed in Pitshanger Lane.

Overcoming their initial amazement, the earthlings of Pitshanger soon realised that the parklet compared poorly with their own real park only 250m away.  They also wondered at the Thargians spending so much on interplanetary parklets rather than preserving their remaining open spaces.  Perhaps sensing that it had not made the most opportune landing, the parklet beamed itself up after a few weeks to resume its interplanetary quest.  We wish it bon voyage.