PCA Newsletter 35 - February 2009

Word Document:

In This Issue

 

Snow

Attempted Child Abductions

North Ealing School Expansion

Membership Campaign

Is It A Bird? Is It A Drain?

Use It Or Lose It

Members’ Dinner

Solar House

Rotary Quiz Night

No Hoodies

Pitshanger Versus The Aussies

Pitshanger 100

Beethoven Piano Sonata Festival

Teaser

Snow

Pitshanger Park Snow

Childhood memories of snowy days off school mingled with adult anxieties about getting to work as the first Monday in February brought the heaviest snows for nearly 20 years. Today’s kids – and a suspiciously large number of off-work adults – took themselves down to the park to see it

Pitshanger Park Snow

transformed into a Christmas card winter wonderland and to roll unfeasibly large snowballs. Many thanks to Maggie Stevens for the photos.

Solar House

Take a stroll down Bellevue Road and on the left you’ll find the des res of members Doig and Ruth Simmonds, made even more des by having a solar heating installation on its roof. Doig explained how and why.

“Worried about the rising cost of energy bills? You might consider an investment in solar panels for heating water (does not do central heating). The system I have installed is not likely to pay for itself in my life time – I'm too old to worry about that. (It does raise the value of the house or you can take it with you when you move). What it has already done is reduce the activity of the boiler during any sunny or near sunny periods, winter or summer. There is a lot of calculation to consider: how big is your hot water demand? It is not likely to cope with using a washing machine every day unless you have double the panels I have (I have two, about 8 feet square in total and no washing machine). There are a lot of cowboys out there offering cheaper systems. I used Solar Home Energy who supply state-of-the-art German equipment. Mine cost around £3500. A lot depends on the orientation of your roof and where your storage tank is placed – you have to have one. Anybody wishing to come and see our system is welcome. Just contact me at [email protected].”

Attempted Child Abductions

Rotary Quiz Night

We have been told by the Council of at least two attempted abductions of toddler-age children in central Ealing. A 16-19 year-old girl approaches the children as if she knows them and encourages them to go with her. One of the children was with her childminder at the time who reported the incident to the police. Please spread the word.

Haven’t they got homes to go to? Hanwell & Northfields Rotary are holding yet another event at the Brentham Club. This time it’s a Quiz Night, scheduled for Friday 27th February starting at 7.15pm. Tickets, which include a bangers’n’mash supper, are £11, and the winning team will receive a cheque for £200 in favour of their preferred charity. Details and tickets from Rod Prangnell on 8579 4541 or 07958 930877.

North Ealing School Expansion

Previous newsletters have charted the progress of the school’s plan for a 50% increase in its annual intake, from 60 to 90 pupils. Despite the disapproval of 59% of the 328 respondents to its public consultation exercise, the school’s governing body accepted the Council’s statistics on local population growth and approved the proposals. Particularly compelling among the statistics are the 102 children already living within the school’s catchment area who will be reception age in September 2010. The Council has now published the required statutory notices,

North Ealing School Expansion

and outline plans (including the accompanying ‘artist’s impression’) were unveiled at a sparsely attended public meeting on 21st January. The next stage will be a planning application submitted through the usual Council channels.  As well as keeping you informed of progress with the school expansion, the PCA Committee will be keeping a close eye on the proposed temporary adoption of part of Pitshanger Park as part of the construction site, and on the arrangements for access to the site for construction traffic.

No Hoodies

Membership Campaign

Sometimes this job is just too easy. Among the items sent in for this edition is the news that Ealing Trailfinders Rugby Club (at the end of Vallis Way) are looking for “social rugby players”. You might well feel this is a contradiction in terms, but just in case you’re the sort of person who says “Awfully sorry!” after gouging an eye in a scrum or “Do excuse me, old chap!” when scraping ears with your studs, contact Bill on 07939 552566 or Brendan on 07958 433220.

Yep, it’s that time of year again and the annual round of stuffing envelopes and sticking them through doors looms on the horizon. Previous volunteers are requested to confirm (or otherwise) their availability this year whilst new recruits are always welcome. Whichever, you have the choice of two fantastic opportunities – a) sticking membership materials into envelopes, or b) delivering them in a particular road. Please email membership secretary Barbara Boyle on [email protected] and let her know what you’d like to do.

Pitshanger Versus The Aussies – No Contest!

Now, we know he likes his privacy so we won’t even mention he lives in Lindfield Road when he’s not touring, but after England have beaten the West Indies and retaken the Ashes this summer we’re going to claim it’s all down to the new England cricket captain, Andrew Strauss, and the mental serenity he has achieved since moving to Pitshanger. Not that he needs luck, but we’re going to wish him the best of it all the same.

Is It A Bird? Is It A Drain?

Rubbish in the River Brent

The River Brent – drain or wildlife habitat? What are Ealing Council's legal obligations regarding river maintenance? To what extent do Ealing and Brent Councils co-operate over clearing rubbish from the river? These were among the questions posed by the PCA and discussed at a meeting of the Council's Transport and Environment Scrutiny Panel on 4th February. Having heard the report by Head of Leisure and Green Space, Steve Marshall, Councillors at the panel meeting agreed with the PCA that more work is required, and the report will be re-

-submitted in September. Among a number of interesting snippets that emerged was the revelation that the Council is currently spending only £15k per year on managing the river corridor, compared to the £80k per year budget of the river maintenance team disbanded in 2006. What happened to that £80k remains a mystery for now, as does the fate of the current administration's manifesto pledge to set up steering groups for the Borough's open spaces. Along with our friends at the Brent River and Canal Society we will be pressing these and other points between now and September.

Pitshanger 100

Planning for the Pitshanger centenary celebrations is moving on apace. The PCA has taken on a ‘steering’ role, helping a range of local organisations put on events to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the naming of Pitshanger Lane. There’s now a Centenary area on the website with details of events in the pipeline and the organisations involved. Click here.

Included in the celebrations will be a photo exhibition, to be held at St Mary’s Perivale in August. We’d be grateful for all contributions, including video and film: please contact the PCA’s Pitshanger 100 co-ordinator, John Waters, at [email protected] or on 8997 5200. Why not ask your long-time resident neighbours? It’s a great way for older people to make a valuable contribution and show the rest of us what it used to be like. John also wants to hear from people willing to act as Street Co-ordinators to help with the proposed street party on Pitshanger Lane and the “Street Wars” quiz competition which will be going on later this year.

Use It Or Lose It

Our campaign in support of local shops might have an unlikely ally in the new Westfield shopping centre at Shepherds Bush. As Ealing Broadway is forced down-market our shops are in an excellent position to provide a quality local alternative. Traders are beginning to recognise the opportunity and, many years after the demise of its predecessor, there’s talk of the Pitshanger Traders’ Association being resurrected.

Meanwhile, McCreadies the butchers have noted a marked increase in demand for pork belly following Jamie Oliver’s TV

The Village Pantry, Pitshanger Lane

programme on pig farming. All their pork is English (raised to higher animal welfare standards than in many other countries) but don’t bother asking on Mondays – they’ll be closed that day from now on.

Beethoven Piano Sonata Festival

Coming to St Barnabas on Saturday 28th February and Sunday 1st March is a classical spectacular – all 32 Beethoven piano sonatas played by 32 different pianists (and following a substantial contribution to the Editor’s Beer Fund no mention will be made of the PCA committee member who was under the misapprehension that they’d all be playing at the same time!).

The festival will be in four sessions over the two days, each costing £10 (or £25 for all four). Pay at the door – no tickets will be issued beforehand – but with over 300 seats admission is “effectively guaranteed”, according to organiser (and Sunday evening recitalist) Dr Hugh Mather, who can be contacted on 8997 7691 or at [email protected].

Members’ Dinner

Teaser

Most years about this time we organise a dinner for members at one of our local restaurants and this year we’re planning an evening at the Village Inn on Saturday 21st March. We’re not sure of the price as yet but pre-booking enquiries can be made to Michelle Scupholme at [email protected].

We’re hoping to have a Celeb to start the next Pitshanger Fun Run (sometime in May – TBC) so, to get you guessing, he’s an ex-England football star and TV presenter, and is said to be counting the days as the world holds its breath until we discover – will your Editor break last year’s World Record for a PCA Newsletter Editor of 22 minutes and 41 seconds?