PCA Newsletter 46 - May 2010

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In This Issue

 

We Love You, Pitshanger!

Members’ Dinner

Young Musicians

Stop And Shop ‘Til You Drop

St Barnabas Schumann Festival

Helping Haiti

Boards Sweep The Board

Pitshanger Festival Weekend

PCA Quiz

Two For The Price Of One

Sovereign Territory

Polio Eradication

Mamma Mia! It’s St Barnabas Summer Fete!

...and a special Party In The Park Supplement

We Love You, Pitshanger!

Love Pitshanger Poster

You’ve probably noticed a red heart appearing on shops and trees along the Lane. It’s the brainchild of Walter Wyeth, co-owner of the Pitshanger Bookshop, whose response to the dramatic turn-down in trade along the Lane since the roadworks began has been to get the traders and other members of the local community together to promote Pitshanger Lane and bring people back. He asks that you support the shops displaying the heart in their window, pointing out that six shops have closed in the last 6 months and that “something has to be done”.

Walter has helped launch the traders’ campaign to increase the number of Stop and Shop places along the Lane [detailed elsewhere in this issue] and extend the proposed time limit from one hour to two which would enable visitors to enjoy a meal or have their hair done. He also notes the increase in ‘park and ride’ commuter parking in which people from outside the area park here, get a bus to the Broadway, and then a train into town. Walter’s next step is an online directory of our shops and the goods and services they offer. There’s already a web site set up – www.mypitshanger.co.uk – and if you’d like to get in touch with Walter you can contact him at [email protected]. You’ll also be able to buy a range of Pitshanger-branded products, including re-cycled shopping bags, mugs and greetings cards.

Recognising the traders’ plight, the PCA is launching its own publicity campaign for the Lane, targeting both local residents and others from outside the area. Watch out for the poster, which we’ll also be using to target potential shoppers in other areas. At least one committee member favours a night-time commando raid on the trees in Northfield Avenue but more prosaically we’re considering such things as door-to-door leaflet distribution and insertions in the local press. Meanwhile….

Pitshanger Festival Weekend

….The Pitshanger traders are celebrating the renewal of the Lane by holding ‘Pitshanger Lane Day’ on Saturday, 19th June, which, together with Party In The Park the very next day makes for a vibrant weekend of fun and festivities. Saturday’s events along the Lane will include a fancy dress competition, a photographic competition, balloons, ‘Love Pitshanger’ products, face painting, subsidised massage, heart-shaped cakes, and offers and tastings at participating shops.

There's much more on Party In The Park 2010 in a special newsletter supplement below.

Members’ Dinner

PCA Quiz

Thanks to the Duke of Kent for hosting the PCA members’ dinner last month. There was a great turnout and the atmosphere, food and company created a fun evening. Manager Tim and his staff helped make it an enjoyable event with high quality food and attentive service. Rumour has it that a fabulous new head chef has just started at the Duke of Kent so look out for more gastronomic delights from the west end of Pitshanger Lane.

Well over 100 people took part in this year’s quiz, the winners being North Ealing School parents. The evening raised about £300 for the new Christmas tree lights, and quizmaster David Jacks’ relaxed approach to his duties helped create an informal atmosphere. Thanks to the Brentham Club and to John Waters for his help with setting up and marking.

Young Musicians

Member Ursula Malewski writes to tell us about Mehr Clef, a local jazz education organisation, who run a residential summer school for instrumentalists and singers at Roehampton University. The course is led by some of the very best jazz professors in the UK and is specifically designed for students aged 14-23 years. It’s suitable for all instruments and all levels, from beginners to advanced. Contact [email protected] for more information.

Two For The Price Of One

Steve Pound, MP

This proves it – Pitshanger’s so important we need two MPs. Those in the south-east corner of the area are now in the new constituency of Ealing Central and Acton which returned Angie Bray (Con) at the election, while the rest of us welcome back Steve Pound (Lab) as MP for Ealing North.  Meanwhile, in the local elections both Cleveland and Hanger Hill Wards survived a general swing to Labour, returning three Conservative Councillors each.

Angie Bray, MP

In Cleveland Ward, we welcome back John Popham and Greg Stafford, who are joined for the first time by Isobel Grant. Isobel replaces Ian Gibb, who stood down from the Council to contest the Ealing North parliamentary seat.  A vote of thanks goes to Ian, who was a staunch ally of the PCA during his time as a Ward Councillor and Deputy Leader of Ealing Council. In Hanger Hill Ward, we welcome back Diana Pagan and Nigel Sumner, who are joined by Benjamin Dennehy in place of Barbara Yerolemou.

Stop And Shop ‘Til You Drop

In the April Newsletter we reported that the PCA Committee was supporting a proposal by the Cleveland Ward Councillors to increase the initial allocation of Stop and Shop spaces along Pitshanger Lane from seven to 13 or 14. We also said we would press the Council to base the eventual Stop and Shop allocation on a proper survey of parking use in and around Pitshanger Lane to try to ensure the best use of our local scarce resource and to achieve a fair result for traders, shoppers and residents. Since then traders along the Lane have launched a petition asking for 50% of the parking spaces to be designated as Stop and Shop, with a reported 1,700 signatures so far.

However, the basis for calculating the 50% is the subject of some confusion: we’ve pored over the Council’s plans and can find about 50 car parking spaces in the Lane between Curzon Road and Lindfield Road, but some traders are quoting 75 or 80 spaces. Further confusion arises from an email circulated by one PCA member claiming that the PCA Committee leant on the Cleveland Ward Councillors to reduce the Stop and Shop allocation from a higher initial figure of 25. We categorically refute this version of events. The reality is that we asked the Councillors for details of their latest plans: they told us there was no offer of 25 spaces on the table, the current proposal is still 13 or 14 Stop and Shop spaces, and we lent our support to that.

The PCA Committee supports the traders’ call for Stop and Shop parking in Pitshanger Lane. We’re just a little more cautious than they are about the initial number of spaces, and we think there should be a parking survey to determine a final number that’s as fair as possible for everyone. But we’d like to know what you think. Please send your views on Stop and Shop parking for Pitshanger Lane by email to [email protected], by post to 12 Sovereign Close W5 1DE, or contribute to the discussion on our Pitshanger Voice message board.

Sovereign Territory

Sovereign Close

There's a little-known spot of green and pleasant land on the corner of Castlebar Park and Sovereign Close, complete with four sycamore trees, shrubs and spring bulbs. Eagle-eyed resident Neil Robson, spotting a sign pinned to one of the trees, quickly learned that the Council had had an enquiry about selling the plot. An email campaign by local residents followed and we’re happy to report that our local Councillors say they will fight any proposal to sell the land.

St Barnabas Schumann Festival

This major festival, celebrating the composer’s 200th anniversary, comprises evening concerts on Friday, Saturday and Sunday 4th – 6th June, each starting at 7 pm, and a Sunday afternoon concert at 2 pm. In all there will be 10 hours of music – piano, chamber music and lieder – with about 45 musicians participating. See the line-up of musicians and pieces at http://www.barnabites.org.

Polio Eradication

Helping Haiti

It’s not so long ago that Polio was one of the dangers of growing up in this country. Gone from the UK since 1982, it is still a major problem in many parts of the world, and our friends in the Rotary Club of Hanwell & Northfields have been raising awareness of the continuing fight to eradicate it by visiting local schools, including North Ealing and St Gregory’s. Through the generosity of the pupils, and the ‘green token’ collecting box at Waitrose, Rotary managed to raise over £2200 for the cause.

Pitshanger Popstars are doing something different this year with a benefit concert showcasing the talent of our young people in aid of the Haitian crisis. The event, generously hosted by the Brentham Club, is on Saturday, 26th June and all proceeds will go to Haiti via the charity TEARFUND. Email [email protected] for tickets, priced at £10 for adults and £5 for under 18s, or click here for more details. They’ll still be performing at Party In The Park however.

Mamma Mia! It’s St Barnabas Summer Fete!

One of our local harbingers of Summer, this year’s fete will be on Saturday 12th June from 10 am to 2.30 pm. Grand opening by Steve Pound MP is at 11 am and attractions include a bouncy castle, children's activities, barbecue, full lunch, Tommy McQuater jazz trio, raffle, books and plants.

Following the fete Pitshanger Pictures have a special showing of Mamma Mia! at 6.30 pm following a Greek mezes (from Atlantis) at 5.30. Tickets are available at the fete priced £10 or £25 for a family ticket (two adults and two children under 15).  Details here.

Boards Sweep The Board

There was a record entry for this year’s Fun Run with 345 people taking part, raising about £1000 for the PCA’s ‘Fast Forward’ youth initiative. In the 5k race Sebastian Zajackowski was the first male home and Alison Cox the first female. In the junior 2.5k race Nicholas Frost was the fastest under 7 whilst George Loffhagen repeated his triumph of last year in the under 10s. The first of three members of the Board family – Rowan – won the under 13s, while brother Christopher came second in the 5k seniors.

Pitshanger Fun Run 2010

Meanwhile father Mick came third in the Veterans’ race, just pipping your editor to the line. Alan Lloyd made off with the Silver Zimmer, your editor’s demand for drugs testing being quietly dropped when it was pointed out that he would have to be included.

There are further details on the PCA web site here.

Party In The Park Supplement

Party In The Park – 1 pm, Sunday 20th June 2010

Pitshanger Party In The Park

Only a month to go and the PCA Events Team are entering that period of anticipation and anxiety that long-serving members know only so well. As always we need your help and this year we’re trying a bit of bribery to encourage you. On the day the old-style Arena will be back with kids’ races and some special Father’s Day fun, and there’s a competition for dads on the stage. All your favourites will be there – the craft village, dancing and music on the stage, the gastrodome with a range of food from our local restaurants, and of course the Dog Show at 4.15.

The big beer tent attraction this year is The Commandments who’ll be hitting the stage at 5.30 with a nine-piece line-up blasting out Soul and R&B classics.

This year we don’t have a main sponsor and to cover the £22,000 cost of putting on the event we have to increase our takings on the day. To this end we’ll be running our own bar this year and volunteers are wanted to help staff that. If we do make a surplus it will go towards the cost of the replacement Christmas tree lights along Pitshanger Lane.

…And A Fruit-Based Drink For The Ladies!

Only kidding! Women are as welcome as men at our informal Helpers’ Meeting on Thursday, 27th May at 8 pm in the Duke Of Kent and everyone will receive a free drink of their choice, courtesy of the PCA Events Team. If you’d like to help with the myriad things that need to be done before, during or after the big day – even if it’s just for an hour or two – come along for a chat. We’ll be in the room on the right at the rear of the pub. Further information from Karen Jacks on 07711 014331 or email her at [email protected].

Embarrassing

Not Embarrassing

This year’s event falls on Fathers' Day and evil minds have been at work to come up with our ‘Daddy Cool’ competition. We want fathers on the main stage showing off their best dad-style dance moves in a ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ style atmosphere. Children will be judging the contest and it should be a whole lot of fun. Sign up on the day.

Get your kids to take part in the races in the Arena, starting at 2 pm. There’ll be some old favourites plus a twist or two. We’ll arrange children into age groups and overall winners will get medals with sweets for everyone else. Sign up on the day.

Poster Competition

We’re looking for local kids to help design some posters this year. We have a poster template with a blank space for children of all ages to add their own artwork depicting Party in the Park. We aim to put up all posters received around the Pitshanger area so your children can see their work on public display. Get a blank poster from Beth Gregory by calling 07949 081183 or by email to [email protected].

Tug Of War

Waitrose Box

Family Fun

We’re hoping to bring back an old favourite – the tug of war which will start at 3.30 pm in the Arena. If you’d like to enter a team get in touch with Dave Wallis on 8998 2203 or email him here.

Have you seen our ‘green token’ box at Waitrose? Shoppers have got until the end of the month to drop their tokens into the box, after which £1000 will be shared between ourselves and the other two organisations in proportion to each box’s weight.

Also in the Arena, we want families to take part in some silly games, starting at 3 pm. For more details call Dave Wallis on 8998 2203 or email him here .

Bar Staff Needed

We’ll need plenty of help to run our own bar. Not that it’s complicated – it’ll be beer by the can and wine only – but we need six people in each of four two-hour shifts, i.e. 24 in total. It’s a lot of fun – contact [email protected].

Raffle

Book Of Light

Is this our best raffle yet? Apart from the usual £500 cash runner-up prizes include a free Renault car for the weekend, gift tokens for local shops, restaurant tokens, and a voucher for Fit For Sport summer camps. You’ll be receiving your tickets shortly. Please sell all you can – we really need the money this year!

Look out for the Book of Light which will be in the PCA tent. To remind you, it’s to help pay for the new tree lights along the Lane. You can make a dedication in the book - £1 for children and £5 for adults. When it’s not on the road the Book of Light is available at the Pitshanger Bookshop.

New Attraction

Now that Pitshanger has two MPs (see main section here) it’s only right – in the current climate of coalition – to offer newly elected Ealing Central and Acton MP Angie Bray the chance to show the same spirit as her counterpart for Ealing North, Steve Pound, who demonstrated his true grit at last year’s Party In The Park by continuing with our ‘Pound Pound For A Pound’ attraction even after losing a tooth to a high-velocity wet sponge. Therefore, in the spirit of coalition, we proposed a counterpart attraction with a working title of ‘Pay To Slay Bray’ but for some reason the PCA Committee has told us that it is “not appropriate”, even though we assured them the bullets were made of rubber.

And Finally - Let's Hope for Good Weather!