PCA Newsletter 28 - April 2008

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In This Issue

 

Tweaks for People

The Bike Whisperer

Ann Khoshaba

Brentham Club Open Day

Fun Run

(Just A Little) Bit Of A Kerfuffle

Handy Help

Golf Club Fights Litter

Duke of Kent

What Makes Pink Gin Pink?

New Ideas, Please

Hoggin The Path

Here’s Looking At You, Kid!

Pam Says Thank You

Tweaks for People

The long awaited “Streets for People” improvements to Pitshanger Lane moved a step closer following a recent meeting involving the PCA, Cleveland Ward councillors, Council officers and their consultants, MVA Consultancy. The meeting had been called as a result of the earlier decision by the Ealing Area Committee to approve the scheme in outline while recognising that a number of important details still needed fine tuning. The main design tweaks that have now been agree are (a) inclusion of proper loading arrangements for the two Co-op stores, (b)

Congestion in Pitshanger Lane

separation of the two bus stops and (c) addition of a dedicated disabled parking space. Other features of the proposals, including the road safety improvements near North Ealing Primary School, remain unchanged. But that’s not the endof the story: the Council still has to take the design to the final level of detail with its highways contractor. Needless to say, the PCA will be keeping a close eye on progress and will keep members informed via the Newsletter. Once the revised plans become available, we will post them on the PCA Streets for People resource page, here.

Golf Club Fights Litter

The Bike Whisperer

Anyone who uses the paths through Ealing Golf Club on their way towards the A40 will have noticed the litter collected in the trees and fences that line them. Our friends at the club tell us they’ve managed to persuade the Council that the problem is caused by the public and not by them, and consequently three teams from the Council have been clearing up the mess. They may need to return for a final sweep but the result so far is good, and the club’s next step is to help the Council tackle the never-ending problem of cleaning up the River Brent which runs through the golf course. The PCA appreciates the club’s efforts to keep the area tidy and looks forward to future co-operation on the thorny issue of the Brent.

It never ceases to amaze us as to how many things go on around here. Members Scherrit and Corinne Knoesen started their “Bike Whisperer” business last September and are “dedicated to providing excellent service for you and your bike”. Both are City & Guilds qualified mechanics and British Cycling coaches, and between them have over 20 years experience of working on bikes, bike fitting and competing.

Their service is comprehensive, from servicing and fitting to advice on what bike to buy or how to start bicycle commuting, and they’ll meet you in the evening or at weekends if you wish. For more information or a chat call Corinne or Scherrit on web 8998 7271.  Other contact details are:

web: www.thebikewhisperer.co.uk

e-mail: [email protected]

Duke of Kent

Fullers have withdrawn their application for extended opening hours for the pub. No reason has been given but undoubtedly the intensive campaign waged by member Tony Purton was a factor. His complaint was not so much against longer opening as such, but more about how Fullers (the pub’s owners) and the Council conducted the application process, especially with regard to publicity. Once again Tony reminds us that one person can challenge the big boys, and win.

Ann Khoshaba

What Makes Pink Gin Pink?

Your committee is delighted to welcome Ann, the owner of Cinnamon café, as its new Trader Representative. A well-known personality in the area, Ann has been an enthusiastic supporter of the PCA for many years, and since becoming a trader has been a great help in running events, hosting Santa’s Grotto at last year’s Light Up The Lane for example. She will act as the point of contact between the PCA and the traders, helping to sort out problems and drumming up trader support for PCA activities.

Tina Moonen was the first to answer “Angustura Bitters” in the tie break and thus secure first place for her team at the PCA’s recent Quiz Night. A capacity crowd at the Brentham Club enjoyed a great night out as chairman David Jacks, ably assisted by his wife Karen (or was it the other way round?), brought his unique brand of quizzicality to the proceedings. The event raised £300 for the PCA’s local projects fund.

Brentham Club Open Day

Brentham Club Coffee Lounge

The building work at the Brentham is now complete, and you can see what amounts to a transformation of the ground floor of the club on Sunday April 27th, from 12 until 6 pm. The main hall has been refurbished to a high standard and now offers an excellent venue for wedding receptions and similar events. The entrance hall and toilets have been completely rebuilt, but the big attraction is the new coffee lounge. Open to non-members, you can escape the bustle of the Lane and sit and sip your coffee to the background sound of racket on ball. Call the club on 8997 2624 or go to www.brenthamclub.co.uk for more information.

New Ideas, Please

Fun Run

The PCA Events Team is looking for new ideas for this year’s Party In The Park, the suggestions raised at the last meeting having been discarded on the grounds of breaching health and safety rules and/or public decency. So whether it’s a ‘big idea’ such as Pitshanger Popstar or suggestions for vegan food alternatives, get in touch with Beth Gregory on 8933 3509 or email [email protected].

This year’s run is on Sunday May 18th. Further details will be available shortly but it will be the same format as in previous years: a 2.5 km course for kids, walkers, dogs and buggies, and a 5 km run for the more ambitious. Organised by Fit For Sport, there will be goodies for all competitors, prizes for the winners, and a good laugh for spectators – they don’t call it a ‘Fun Run’ for nothing!

Hoggin The Path

The £20,000 allocated by the Council for repairs to the paths in the park has now been spent. The most noticeable result is the new path replacing the one that was soon to collapse into the river at the north-east corner of the park. This is made of ‘Hoggin’, a mixture of gravel, sand and clay which is, apparently, better suited to the park’s other role as a flood plain for the River Brent. Also in the park, a ‘litter pick’ in the river is due to begin shortly.

New hoggin path in Pitshanger Park

(Just A Little) Bit Of A Kerfuffle

If you haven’t logged on to ‘Pitshanger Voice’ recently you’ve been missing a treat: a dialogue between Anna Wood, who’s recently moved into the area from Acton, and others who patently don’t share her ‘modernist’ views. Anna found the area “a little quiet and creepy” when she arrived but has come to “really like Pitshanger Lane”. However, “for it to move into the 21st century without losing its olde worlde charm” it would benefit from a gastropub, licensed café, modern european restaurant, tesco metro (or similar), a cafe in the park, and a day nursery that isn’t open term-time only. Anna concludes, “If I wanted to live in the Cotswolds, I’d move there.”

Amjad Malik opens the batting for the opposition: “Oh dear! The last thing we need is a Tesco or Sainsbury on our door-step. This would be disastrous for our local grocers.”

Trevor Keane is simultaneously not amused and amusing, suggesting that “we need proper shops to modernise Pitshanger Lane, e.g. McDonalds or Burger King (preferably McDonalds because I like their Egg McMuffin), Pizza Hut, Subway, Tesco (open 24 hours), WH Smith, Iceland, Carphone Warehouse and something like Claire's Accessories for the Kids.”

And on it goes. We’re not going to spoil the story, but after Victoria Hayward joins the fray things get, shall we say, ‘pointed’. However, all’s well that ends well and PCA Events Director Martin Kelly brings everything to a nice conclusion by pointing out that “the Lane looks after itself, bad shops, poor service, incorrect product ranges soon disappear. I have lived around here for 30 odd years and have seen almost every type of shop come and go.” He thinks that Anna “should get out more” and suggests getting involved with the PCA to find out what Pitshanger is really about. [I agree: changed my view of the area – Ed.]

Except, for once, Martin doesn’t get the last word. “Lucy” has some sympathy with Anna’s point of view: “I think Pitshanger Lane is basically more aimed at and catering for middle aged people which might be why you're having a bit of trouble adjusting, Anna!” Great stuff.

Got a view on this?  Have your say on Pitshanger Voice here.

Here’s Looking At You, Kid!

Council CCTV van in Pitshanger Lane

Following complaints about speeding along Kent Avenue at the recent Safer Neighbourhoods meeting our local ward Police Team arranged for a radar check. As a result two motorists will find their wallets lighter and their licences three points heavier after being clocked at over 40 mph.

Meanwhile, a CCTV van has been keeping an eye on parking in the bus bays. We don’t know the results but it certainly kept the bays free while it was around. Unfortunately it also raised the ire of some shopkeepers who view the availability of parking as key to their business success.

Handy Help

If you are over 60, Age Concern Ealing offers a ‘Handyperson’ scheme (in conjunction with Ealing Council's own scheme) that provides someone to undertake safety checks and small tasks such as changing a lightbulb, unblocking a sink, or putting up curtains. Labour costs are free but materials are charged. For more information call 8567 8017.

Pam Says Thank You

Membership Secretary Pam Walker would like to say thanks to everyone who helped with the recent membership campaign. Some 3,500 letters have now been delivered, the vast majority by hand. She’s now engaged on the second stage of the operation, processing the returns, and reports that numbers are looking very good already. If by any chance you haven't received your renewal invitation please let Pam know on 8177 9999 or by e-mail to [email protected], stating your address.