PCA Newsletter 45 - April 2010

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In This Issue

 

Fast Forward Youth Initiative

Pitshanger’s Got Talent

PCA Quiz

Haberdasher Ken

Dig Out Your Memories

The Silver Zimmer

Streets for People Nearly Done

Kelvin Climbs Aboard

Playground Focus Group

Pitshanger Pictures

Rosanna’s Mosaics

Membership Renewal

Fast Forward Youth Initiative – Your Community Needs You!

After five years, Dean Horridge’s idea to provide a youth club for local young people is finally coming to fruition. The problem has always been finding a suitable venue, but a new spirit at the Brentham Club has led to agreement to use the club two evenings a week for a three-month trial. This is being funded by the PCA to the tune of £3,000. Aimed at two separate age groups, 8 to 11s and 12 to 15s who live in the Pitshanger area, the club will offer multi-sports, arts and crafts, homework assistance, table tennis, drama and much more.

This whole saga makes Beowulf seem like a bed-time story, and your committee can only offer heartfelt thanks to Dean and Tim Sumpter, whose determination to succeed where lesser mortals would have given up long ago has kept the project alive in the face of a series of closed doors. Thanks also to the Brentham Club for joining in this important community initiative.

Initially the club will be staffed by professional youth workers but if the project is to succeed in the longer term we must have volunteers – the PCA cannot fund professionals. Full training will be given and the satisfaction of doing this important work will be immense. If you would like to help, or your son or daughter want to join the youth club, contact Dean at [email protected] or call him on 7471 8842.

Streets for People Nearly Done

Streets for People Construction

Since the last PCA Newsletter, there’s been a huge amount of noisy and disruptive Streets for People construction work in Pitshanger Lane. With the central section just about done, work has moved to the ends of the Lane: a raised crossing for North Ealing School has been put in, and near the Post Office work continues on the last raised table and pavement indent. Once they’ve been completed and the eastern half of the Lane resurfaced, that’s it, done and dusted.

Or is it?

With the tarmac still sticky, a couple of changes are already in the pipeline. The first of these will be to move the loading bay for the Co-op back round the corner into Albert Road, where it was in an earlier version of the design.

The second is an increase in the initial allocation of Stop & Shop spaces from nine to a total of 13 or 14, which the Cleveland Ward Councillors have agreed to in response to a request from a number of traders. Given the current trading situation on Pitshanger Lane, the PCA Committee is cautiously in favour of the Stop & Shop adjustment, but we are pressing Ealing Council to base the final allocation on a proper survey of parking use in Pitshanger Lane and the surrounding streets. We feel that’s the only way to ensure a fair result for traders, shoppers and residents, and we will be keeping PCA members informed of progress.

Meanwhile, Tony Purton, a PCA member and leading critic of the Streets for People scheme, comments: “Because the Council refused to conduct any experimental trials we cannot be sure how the new layout will work in reality. Much will depend on the understanding of motorists using the Lane and the Council’s vigilance in enforcing the new parking restrictions which will be subject to an enforcement ‘Blitz’ campaign when the scheme goes live. Whilst the disruption caused by the work has had a significant effect on the life of the Lane, the standard of workmanship and the materials used seems to have been of the highest quality. Let us hope that this £600,000 investment will meet its key design objectives to improve traffic flow and increase pedestrian access. A 20mph scheme would also help, but that is something we will have to fight for separately”.

Tony has elaborated on these views on the Pitshanger Voice message Board (here, then scroll down to 21 Apr 10).

Pitshanger’s Got Talent

Kelvin Climbs Aboard

Flushed with the success of last year’s Party In The Park, organisers are planning an even better event this year (on Sunday 20th June) with particular attention to the attractions and entertainments on offer.

The Pitshanger Popstars team are taking a well-earned break although they’ll be doing a charity special for Haiti soon. We’re keen to get some new talent on the stage so to book your fifteen minutes of fame please contact Dave Wallis on 8998 2203 or at [email protected]. So far we’ve got someone who reckons they can walk on water but you can do better than that, Pitshanger!

Also get in touch with Dave if you have any ideas you think would enhance the event, perhaps things you’ve seen at other shows or attractions you could offer yourself.

Kelvin Walker has agreed to take on the job of PCA treasurer. He’s a qualified accountant and has lived in the Pitshanger area for over 3 years after a seven-year stint in St Stephen’s.

Married to Claire, he’s got a daughter, 17 month-old Esme, and signed up for the job because “I love being part of the local community and want to try and help the PCA in some capacity. Playing with a spreadsheet and abacus is all I know so the role of treasurer seems perfect.” We suspect he understates his talents…

We've put a Kelvin's mug-shot on the PCA Committee Page.

PCA Quiz

Last call for the PCA quiz on Friday, 30th April at the Brentham Club, starting at 7.30 pm. Always a lively evening, tickets, price £11 each to include a bangers’n’mash supper, are available from Karen Jacks on 8566 7383 or email [email protected].

Playground Focus Group

The revamped playground is now finished. Committee member Beth Gregory, whose children are regular playground users, says it’s great, but thinks it a shame that the ground-in mud from construction and the chipped and peeling paint on the older equipment have the effect of making a newly renovated playground look old. She reckons that with a bit of a spruce up it would look as if it's worth what it cost.

Meanwhile, we asked committee members’ children what they thought about the ‘new’ playground:

Pitshanger Park Playground

Charlie Horridge, aged 7, said “I did not like the old park but the new one is great and I love the zip wire!”, whilst Lucy Jacks agreed: “Best thing is the zip wire, it’s really cool”.

However, new treasurer Kelvin Walker’s toddler Esme takes a more cerebral view. “The new playground is a wonderful improvement. The vibrant colouring mixed with the intellectual and physical stimulation of the additional apparatus is a joy to behold”. [That’s not really you, is it, Esme? – Ed.]

Elsewhere in the park, the Superloo is now fully operational.

Haberdasher Ken

We asked you to answer the question “I would do more of my shopping on the Lane if only…”, and at least one of you responded “I could buy haberdashery items”. Ken Goatham, proprietor of Ealing Dance Centre, writes to let us know he’s got quite a range including cottons, embroidery thread, ribbons, elastic, velcro [and about three million other things. – Ed.] For details see the Dance Centre and Studio web site.

Meanwhile member Sue Unwin commends Aristocat Flooring for their “helpful and efficient service” and “excellent workmanship” when providing her with a new stair carpet.

Pitshanger Pictures

Dig Out Your Memories

Next show for our local cinema will be on Saturday 22nd May at St Barnabas Church Hall. The family screening at 3 pm is ‘Babe’, the story of a “little pig with big dreams”. Ticket prices – including drinks and a snack – are £3.50 for kids and £5 for adults.

In the evening, the 6.45 show is ‘An Education’, an adaptation of Lynn Barber’s memoirs of a Twickenham schoolgirl “seduced by an older man”, followed by the “richly imagined and exquisitely violent fantasy” ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ at 9 pm. Tickets for each are £7.50 with wine and nibbles, and if you do ‘the double’ you get free slices of pizza during the interval. Email [email protected] to go on the mailing list.

Did you know that most of Pitshanger Park was turned into temporary allotments during World War Two? Meadvale Road resident Melvyn Buck does, and writes to tell us that Questors Theatre Group want reminiscences from older ‘allotmenteers’ as they’re creating a community play about allotments based on the memories of local people.

If, like Melvyn, you picked tobacco with your grandfather and remember the annual shows at North Ealing School with their friendly rivalry between the Pitshanger and Brentham allotment societies, or anything similar, the PlayBack team at Questors would love to hear from you. Call 8567 0011 and ask for Christine Drummond.

Rosanna’s Mosaics

Brentham resident Rosanna Henderson is holding an exhibition of her mosaics at the Garden Gallery in Osterley Park from Wednesday April 28th until Sunday May 9th, open from 1 pm until 4.30 except Tuesday. She invites us to view a varied and vibrant range of indoor and outdoor mosaics and a “unique collection of mosaic and mixed media abstracts”. For more information contact Rosanna at [email protected] or call 8998 6550.

The Silver Zimmer

The Silver Zimmer

Regular readers may remember the tired joke that limps across these pages at Fun Run time every year as your editor rattles on about yet another attempt on the record for the ‘Fastest PCA Newsletter Editor – Ever!’. Anyway, he’s even given up on that now, and in a desperate final bid to achieve some sort of athletic glory has commissioned a special prize for ‘veterans’, as he puts it. Created by Sheffield artist Gerald Unwin “in the style of Giacometti”, your editor was persuaded that an age criteria of 58 years and 354 days was too rigid and that the first person home in the 5km event aged 55 or over should take the prize.

If you want to see this farrago lived out then come along to the Fun Run on Sunday 9th May starting at 11 am outside North Ealing School. If you’d like to enter the race, or the more sedate 2.5 km route for kids, walkers, dogs and buggies, then contact the organisers, Fit For Sport, on 0845 456 3233, email [email protected], or visit the Fun Run page on the PCA web site (here) where you will find a downloadable entry form. All proceeds go to the PCA’s Fast Forward youth initiative.

Membership Renewal

By now you should have received your membership renewal form. If you haven’t or it’s got lost then contact membership secretary Jan Vaughan via [email protected]. Jan sends a big thank you to those who have already returned their forms, especially to those who took part in our recycling scheme. In turn your committee would like to thank Jan and Lynda Pullman and her loyal team of posties who undertake this mammoth task every year.