PCA Newsletter 36 - March 2009

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In This Issue

 

PCA To Give £3,000 to Hospice

Fun Run

School Expansion

White Lies

Brentham Street Lamps

Street Wars

Neighbourhood Watch

Streets for People Scheme Delayed

Pitshanger Centenary

Down On The Street

PCA Annual Quiz

Cafe Culture Springs Into Life

News From The Front Line

What A Mess

PCA To Give £3,000 to Hospice

Your committee is pleased to announce a substantial donation to Meadow House Hospice. It’s in appreciation of the efforts of Pitshanger traders in raising money for the PCA at Light Up The Lane: individuals such as Aspet at Village Pantry and John and Maria at Aristocat each raise hundreds of pounds every year. Although the PCA has given money to Meadow House before, this is our largest donation yet. As the traders have long been associated with the hospice (attached to Ealing Hospital), and used to give them the proceeds of Light Up The Lane before the PCA took over running the event, we feel this is a suitable way of expressing our thanks.

Streets for People Scheme Delayed

Congestion in Pitshanger Lane

You may have noticed the absence of this story from the Newsletter recently. The plan to revamp Pitshanger Lane is very much alive and well, but the engineering design, expected in the autumn of 2008, is still not finished.

We heard recently that the Council’s Highways Department was considering a new variant of the design with a wider carriageway and consequently deeper insets to the pavements (particularly on the north pavement) than had been previously agreed.

However, the results of the PCA consultation exercise a year ago told us clearly that both the loss of pavement width and the potential increase in traffic speed from a widened carriageway are very sensitive issues for PCA members, so we’re relieved to be able to report that this design variant has now been abandoned, thanks to pressure from the Cleveland Ward Councillors and others.

Instead, a new set of engineering drawings is being produced that should be rather more faithful to the outline design agreed in March 2008. Councillor John Popham commented: “It is important that we remember this is Streets for People and not streets for buses. The aim is to widen the Lane so that buses can pass one another comfortably. We are not going to widen it so that they can pass each other at 30 mph”. The Councillors are proposing to hold an extra meeting of the Cleveland Ward Forum “before our next meeting on 9th July” at which the completed engineering drawings will be available for inspection by the general public. As ever, we will keep PCA members fully informed of progress.

The PCA Streets for People resource page can be found here.

Fun Run

Pitshanger Centenary

We now have a firm date for this year’s event – Sunday 10th May, starting at 11 a.m. – and can reveal the identity of the mystery footballer and TV presenter who’ll be firing the starting pistol: ex Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright. He’s a pal of Fit For Sport director (and Fun Run organiser) Dean Horridge, so expect the usual lively Fit For Sport atmosphere with added banter. Entry details will be available shortly.

A calendar of events is now available on the website. Look at what’s going on to celebrate one hundred years of Pitshanger Lane. It’s a moveable feast and events are being added to the calendar all the time – it’s not listed yet but we hear a loud whisper that the ferrets will be back in the autumn.

School Expansion

The formal planning application for the proposed expansion of North Ealing School has now been submitted to the Council, under reference P/2009/0576. The application covers “…demolition of reception, nursery and caretaker's store buildings and erection of part single and two storey building with canopies to provide 11 classrooms (2 for nursery), hall and ancillary accommodation, erection of single storey 2 classroom temporary building etc…”. Full details are available on the Council web site here,  together with an on-line form for submitting comments. The public consultation period runs until 10th April.

North Ealing School Expansion Plans

Down On The Street

White Lies

John Wilkinson, proprietor of Ray’s Fruit Bowl and one of the Lane’s true ‘characters’, is retiring and handing the business over to a member of the family that runs Blue Ocean. We wish John a long and happy retirement, and all success to the new owner. Meanwhile, Pizza Organic is under new ownership and hosted an opening event attended by several of your committee, local councillors, and our MP, Steve Pound, pursuing his other career as a raconteur and all-round bon viveur. The pizza was well cooked and your editor particularly liked the taramasalata.

No sooner do we discover that England cricket captain Andrew Strauss’s fine form is down to the Pitshanger Effect than we find it can also get you to number one in the music charts. Former North Ealing School pupils Jack Brown (drums) and Charles Cave (bass), whose families still live in the area, hit the top spot in January with their ‘alternative rock’ band White Lies and debut album ‘To Lose My Life’. Nominated as Best New Band of the year at the recent NME awards, they’ve been likened to 80’s cult favourites Joy Division. We wish them every success and a long and glittering career.

PCA Annual Quiz

Brentham Street Lamps

Following last year's exciting tie break final we’re all looking forward to this year’s event. It’s on Friday 8th May at 7:30pm in the Brentham Club. Tickets are £11 per head, including a sausage & mash supper, and there will be a full bar available. Tables of up to eight people, but if you can't get a full table, no problem: we will arrange smaller groups to be placed with like-minded participants. Tickets from Karen Jacks on 07711 014331 or [email protected]. Book early as last year was a sellout!

Fret ye not, Brentham residents! Those rather odd new streetlights currently being installed won’t stay a mixture of old and new – an old-style column topped by a new-style light – but will be updated with a more appropriate “swan-neck pendant fitting” when these become available.

Cafe Culture Springs Into Life

Cafe Culture at Oscars

To celebrate the arrival of better weather, Oscar's Coffee Lounge is the first cafe on the Lane to take advantage of the Council's new street trading policy which, after years of restricting street trading pitches to a single metre, has at last conceded 2 metre licences for cafes. The PCA committee lobbied actively for this relaxation in the street trading rules when it was under consideration by Council committees during 2007, and has always stressed the importance of café culture in the development of the Streets for People scheme (here).

Street Wars

As part of the Pitshanger 100 celebrations, Tina Moonen has organised a quiz series between local streets. All Pitshanger residents are eligible, whether or not they are PCA members. The quizzes will be held at St. Barnabas Church Hall later in the year and sixteen teams of eight people each are required. Teams will compete against each other twice (on Saturday 17th October and Saturday 24th October) and the ten teams with the highest aggregate scores will go through to the final to be held on Saturday 21st November where we’ll discover the most knowledgeable Pitshanger street. To cover the hire of the hall there will be a one-off charge of £8 per person for the whole series, and this will include nibbles. Bottles of wine, beer and soft drinks will be on sale. If you’d like to organise a team from your street, would like to be put in touch with other quizzers in your street or would simply like more information, please contact Tina on 8991 9824 or at [email protected].

Meanwhile, PCA representatives gave a good account of themselves in last month’s Rotary Quiz Night at the Brentham Club, the “Village Idiots” putting in an “inspired” performance to finish fifth out of thirteen, while “The Magnificent Seven (and Tim)”, although burdened with several PCA committee members, rode into the sunset in a glorious first place after donating their £200 prize to the night’s charity, Vinjeru, to promote education in Malawi.

News From The Front Line

Neighbourhood Watch

This year’s Membership Campaign is well and truly underway. From her underground bunker, membership secretary Barbara Boyle is once again leading the 1st Battalion of Envelope Stuffers and Deliverers into battle.

Despite the force for good that is the PCA – think Party In The Park, Light Up The Lane, Fun Run, Ferret Racing, Newsletter (no, don’t! – Ed.) – sometimes the dark forces win the occasional skirmish and membership applications don’t get through. If you haven’t had yours please contact Barbara at [email protected].

A new group has been set up for the eastern part of the Brentham Estate. It will meet three or four times a year to deal with local crime issues and to discuss concerns, and any resident is welcome to come along. For more details (or a sticker for your window) please email Andy, the co-ordinator, at [email protected], or call PCSO Geoff Fox from the Hanger Hill Ward Police Team on 8721 2947 or email [email protected].

What A Mess

Parents continue to complain about the state of the surface in the playground, which has caused several accidents to children. The February snows, meanwhile, caused flooding in the park and have led to further serious erosion of the tarmac paths and the loss of the top layer of the so-called ‘flood proof’ hoggin path. Our country affairs adviser, Old John, tells us the hoggin “bain’t be enough clay in ‘im!” and indications he might be right come in an email from the Council stating that the hoggin used is “the most effective to install and repair” because “it does not

Pitshanger Playground Surface

involve sourcing large amounts of funding”. Translation: it’s cheap. Repairs to the hoggin path will commence shortly and the old tarmac paths will probably be replaced by hoggin as well.

Now, we’ll give the Council a slap as soon as look at them, but some people are just more generous and member Lucy Baruch is one of those. It’s not the first time she’s emailed with a Council success story, and this time she tells us that after reporting that the new lampposts along the path through the golf course had been ‘tagged’, the graffiti clean-up team had it removed the very next day. The graffiti removal service can be reached on 8825 6000 or on the Council web site.