PCA Newsletter 43 - February 2010

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In This Issue

 

Widening The Lane

…I.S.E.D.F.N.U.D.!

Chopin Festival

“So The Big Red Mushroom Does Nothing?”

Raffle Winner – It Could Be You!

The Light Stuff

I.W.D.M.O.M.S.I.P.L.I.O…

Abundance

Honours

Crackers

Pitshanger Pictures

PCA Events

Widening The Lane

Streets for People Parking Bay

Implementation of the Streets for People scheme for Pitshanger Lane continues and should conclude with carriageway resurfacing in April. Traders along the renovated section between Curzon and Harrow View Roads are pleased with the smart new look, and the four-foot indentation for a parking bay appears a mere nibble from the existing wide pavement. The majority of the work is planned for March, when we will see the overall effect of the new layout as the indents to the southern pavement are put in place.

Critics of the scheme continue to press the Council for changes even at this late stage, believing that the whole of the pavement loss should be taken from the wider northern pavement rather than shared between the two. Whether they are proved right will be evident in a few months, although it may take longer to gauge whether buses are getting past each other more easily, one of the reasons why Transport for London has funded the work.

I.W.D.M.O.M.S.I.P.L.I.O…

…I.S.E.D.F.N.U.D.!

“I would do more of my shopping in Pitshanger Lane if only…” How often have we said, heard or thought that? Well now’s your chance to make suggestions for those crucial ingredients, goods or services that might persuade you. A quick poll of the PCA committee revealed that fresh chicken/vegetable stocks, a better selection of dried herbs, herb plants, greater variety of fruit and veg, well-priced wrapping paper and cards, fruit bars, and fresh fish-cakes are among the things that would make a difference. But we would like to know what you think.

Please send your suggestions by e-mail to [email protected], by post to 12 Sovereign Close W5 1DE, or join the discussion on our Pitshanger Voice message board. We’ll collate the responses and circulate them among the Pitshanger Traders. In the meantime, the PCA committee member who insists on a weekly fix of smoked boar and aduki bean paté has been packed off to Fortnum and Mason’s.

…it snowed every day from now until December! It’s an ill-wind (or snow flurry) that blows nobody any good, and while some traders saw hardly a customer during the January freeze, others – particularly food shops – benefitted from people swapping Tesco and Waitrose for the Lane.

Meanwhile, do not celebrate another birthday without the Most Wonderful Thing, which your editor discovered in that treasure trove known as Pagoda newsagents. The M.W.T. is a beautifully tacky cake adornment that, when lit, will have guests and candle-blowers wide-eyed in amazement. We’re not going to spoil it, but a mere candle it ain’t, and although ‘build-quality’ at £4.99 is not in the Aston Martin class, performance certainly is. Ask for a ‘birthday fountain’.

Abundance

Your editor is among many in the area who suffer regular autumnal bouts of guilt as fruit falls from ancient garden trees and rots on the ground. Our cousins across the Argyle Road – West Ealing Residents – have established a scheme (Abundance) which aims to collect and process this fruit into chutneys, juices and similar, and sell it for the benefit of their members and charities.

It’s part of a wider push for ‘sustainability’, led by the Transition movement, encouraging us to change our ways in preparation for a world in which we’re forced to limit our use of oil-based fuels because of scarcity and exorbitant prices. If this interests you, have a look at the country’s most developed abundance scheme in Sheffield at www.growsheffield.com. You might also like to look at the local Transition initiatives starting to blossom at www.ealingtransition.org.uk.

Chopin Festival

One can only marvel at the wonderful work Hugh Mather is doing to make Pitshanger a centre of musical excellence. His latest spectacular is the St Barnabas Chopin Piano Festival which takes place over the weekend of 27th and 28th February at St Barnabas church. Celebrating the 200th anniversary of Chopin's birth, 38 pianists will play nearly all of his solo piano works. Afternoon sessions are 1 pm until 6, evenings from 7 pm till 10, with frequent breaks and a hot supper between sessions on both days. Admission is £10 per session, students and young

Chopin Festival at St Barnabas

people half price. The church is, of course, very large and entry is guaranteed.  Details are available here. All proceeds will go towards the £300,000 the church needs to buy a historic “Hill” organ.

Honours

As if receiving our ‘Pride of Pitshanger’ award a couple of years ago for her work with local Brownies and the Brentham May Day Parade wasn’t enough, Pat Chapman has been given an MBE in the New Year honours “for services to children and young people”. She works across the borough helping children who have been victims of domestic violence. St Barnabas churchgoers will know Gordon Couch, who gets an MBE “for services to disabled people”.

“So The Big Red Mushroom Does Nothing?”

The Pitshanger Red Mushroom

Most reaction to the inaugural Christmas Fayre was positive, but many missed the excitement of the lights going on. Don’t worry – next year we’ll have new lights and a big switch-on to mark the occasion. But now it’s time to let you in on the secret of the big red button that Steve Pound pushed every year – it does nothing! Really! Instead, it was all done by a man whose privacy we will protect by calling him “The Lamplighter”. Here he lets us in on the tricks of his trade: “I can reveal that the lights were set by individual timers in the lamp standards (which provide the

power) to all come on at exactly 6.30 pm – the time that our MP Steve Pound was instructed to hit the red mushroom. Whether any members of the audience guessed what was actually happening, I don’t know.

“This year we've had a lot of problems keeping the lights on consistently. When they installed the new lighting columns the Council’s electricians used circuit breakers that couldn’t handle the load, so each day about a third of the lights tripped and we had to switch them on manually.

“Anyway, the present lights are coming to the end of their useful lives: winds and rain have lashed them, birds have nested in them, buses and other large vehicles have bashed them, and the trees have grown; one has even forgotten to be deciduous so its lights are almost hidden. Next year we will probably have quite different lights but what they will be you will just have to wait and see!” [Or will you? There’s a taster elsewhere in this Newsletter – Ed]. Your committee would like to thank “The Lamplighter” for his devotion to duty over the past eight years.

Crackers

Raffle Winner – It Could Be You!

We forgot our regular Yuletide request for your groaniest Christmas Cracker jokes, but that didn’t stop member John McCann getting his turkeys in. This year he wins both categories – the under 3s with “What did the policeman say to his stomach? You're under a vest!”, and this surprisingly sophisticated offering in the under 7s: A marshal asks a contestant at an athletics meeting: “Excuse me, are you a pole vaulter?” “No I am German but you have the right name”. All together now…aaaargh!

Congratulations to Ribaya Alloo who won £500 in the PCA Christmas Raffle. Another lucky person, who ticked the box for no publicity, won two prizes and would like to offer one of them, Fit for Sport holiday kids’ club vouchers, to PCA members. If you know a deserving recipient who wouldn’t otherwise be able to go to a holiday club please contact our secretary, Debbie Edwards, on 07976 577232 or email her at [email protected].

Pitshanger Pictures

Ian Hamerton tells us that January’s inaugural screenings at St Barnabas church hall went “really well”, and the group have planned three further dates there. The first of these is Saturday 13th February which will include two classics “which deserve to be rediscovered” – Disney's Bambi at 3 pm, and the 1960 classic A Bout de Soufflé (Breathless) at 6:45. This will be followed at 9 pm by 'The Hurt Locker'. Saturday 13th March has a 5 pm family film, Howl’s Moving Castle, and The Soloist as the evening feature at 7.30.

Bookings are not necessary, though those who want more information or to join the mailing list can email [email protected]. Afternoon ticket prices are £3.50 for children, £5 for adults (to include juice or coffee and popcorn), and evening showings are £7.50 (to include wine and nibbles).

The Light Stuff

It’s full steam ahead on fundraising and planning for the new tree lights. A modernised Lane will have a modernised design, and the PCA’s Lighting Director, Andrew Dixon, is keen to get someone, or even a school or college art department, actively involved with the development of the new look. Can’t say too much – top secret, old chap, committee yet to sign it off – but let’s just say, if the attached photo really did show one of the new colour-changing lights being tested, what would you put in the tree to enhance the effect? Contact Andrew via [email protected].

Pitshanger Christmas Lights Appeal

Meanwhile, Lynda Pullman’s brilliant idea “The Book Of Light” seems to have captured your imagination, having raised over £1000 so far. To remind you, you can buy one or more bulbs and write a dedication in the book.  It’s presently being hosted by the Pitshanger Bookshop, but will go ‘on tour’ to various PCA events throughout the year.

PCA Events

The New Year was only a few hours old when the PCA held its first event of the year, a quiz with mulled wine and mince pies in the Play Centre in the park. Malcolm and Anne Darvill walked away with a bottle of Champagne for their answers to a surprisingly challenging set of questions. We’re planning a members’ dinner shortly (details to be advised) which you’ll be able to run off in the Fun Run scheduled for Sunday 9th May. Before that Karen and David Jacks will host another of their quiz spectaculars – beware of low-flying bonus prizes – on Friday 30th April at the Brentham Club. Tickets are £11 a head including a bangers and mash supper, available from Karen on 8566 7383 or email [email protected]. Our big event of the summer, Party In The Park, has been moved forward a week to Sunday 20th June to avoid a probable clash with an England World Cup match. Needless to say there will be more events to come in the second half of the year.

You can keep abreast of these and other dates by checking the Pitshanger Community Calendar.