PCA Newsletter 59 - December 2011

Word Document:

In This Issue

 

Light Up The Lane

Pride In Pitshanger

Annual General Meeting

Follow The Pitshanger Christmas Star

Jubilee Lunch

Appeal To Youth

And Finally…

Grants And Donations

High Seven Thirty

Countdown

Roll Over ERNIE!

Anyone For Tennis?

Christmas Fun With The PCA

Light Up The Lane

Dancers at Light Up The Lane 2011

As one organiser put it, “I looked along the Lane at four o’clock and saw barely a hundred people. By five it was jammed”. If any doubts persisted about the move from Saturday to Sunday (by request of the Pitshanger traders) they were swiftly dispelled.

A mild autumn evening encouraged visitors, as did the array of entertainment, food and drink on offer. On stage we were entertained by local school choirs, bands and dance troupes, many of whose members had gone to great trouble with their costumes, and roaming performers plied their trades to the

passing crowds. The traditional switch on had three hands on the magic red button this year: Mayor of Ealing Councillor John Gallagher, local London assembly member Richard Barnes, and of course our irrepressible MP Steve Pound raising the crowd to a pitch of excitement. Unfortunately the light timers – “set to the atomic clock in Frankfurt!” – proved to be slightly out of sync with Frankfurt, “probably because it’s a long way away”, explained the MC helpfully. The evening concluded with a double blast: on earth by the 50-strong Ealing Rock Choir, and from above by an aerial bombardment of fireworks.

Your committee would like to thank event manager John Waters and the events team for a job very well done, and to express their gratitude to the Pitshanger traders for financing a large part of the cost and getting much more involved in the event than they have in recent years. Your editor’s award for “Making An Effort Even When The Pub’s Open” goes jointly to John Martin of John Martin Estates who rallied the traders and raided their piggy banks, and Mark Scupholme, who has tapped into a rich seam of volunteers that allowed the old hands to get to the pub before last orders for a change.

Grants And Donations

Your committee recently appealed for applications for funding and is pleased to announce that all who applied received support.

Pitshanger Playcentre has been given £1000 to fund dance classes during the winter. St Barnabas receives £1000 to reduce the six-figure sum they still owe for their magnificent new organ. £575 was made available to cover the travel expenses of the performers at the recent Liszt Festival, and St David’s Home for the elderly and physically disabled, which gives priority to ex-service personnel, gets £2000 to fund a multi-gym and garden furniture for residents. Finally, an application that had our secretary in tears with its personal account of a life changed: we gave £2000 to Home-Start Ealing towards the costs of a Family Group that helps families under stress through post-natal depression, poor housing, domestic violence, financial worries, isolation and disability.

Pride In Pitshanger

High Seven Thirty

Four excellent nominations but unfortunately only two winners, so our Pride in Pitshanger awards this year went to Doug Winter – long-time chief steward at PCA events – for his work in the community and assistance to individuals in need, and to Hugh Mather for his indefatigable work putting Pitshanger on the international music map.

St Barnabas church hall will be the venue for Pitshanger’s answer to High Noon, in which the area’s best brains go head to head for the title of Street Wars Champions of 2011 (ok, it’s at 7.30 pm on Saturday 14th January 2012 but it’s a long story). Teams can have up to 10 members, and the cost is only £5 per person with nibbles provided and soft drinks, wine and beer available on the night. Organiser Tina Moonen is still missing teams from Curzon Road, Bellevue Road and Queen's Walk. Contact her on 8810 6497 or [email protected], or she’ll start banging on doors.

Annual General Meeting

November’s AGM attracted a modest turn-out at the Brentham Club. Chair Karen Jacks recounted another successful year for the PCA and was duly re-elected along with secretary Debbie Edwards and treasurer Kelvin Walker. Committee members are John Bird (planning and environment), Beth Gregory (publicity), Lynda Pullman (fundraising and distribution), Jan Vaughan (membership secretary), Dave Wallis (newsletter editor) and John Waters (technical and events). The committee can co-opt up to three additional members and currently Michelle Scupholme is co-opted to help with events administration. Anwen Roberts of Roberts&co is the trader representative.

Countdown

Some patient detective work by PCA member Kathy Clutterbuck has revealed that Transport for London intend to reinstate the much-lamented countdown timer at the Pitshanger Library (Ealing Broadway bound) bus stop in the Lane, but no news as yet about their plans for the west-bound stop. In the meantime, smartphone users can get live countdown information for any bus stop in London via apps such as Bus Checker and Bus Guru.

Bus Countdown App

Follow The Pitshanger Christmas Star

Christmas Lights in Pitshanger Lane

Wise men and women know they can help maintain Pitshanger’s diverse range of shops by doing their Christmas shopping locally, so follow the star, this time from west to east, as it casts light on some earthly delights before taking a more spiritual path. In the west, the Duke of Kent has a new menu. More imaginative than before, among a range of dishes to suit most tastes are pan-seared red mullet and turkish-style aubergine. Moving east, Old Oak Florist is offering 10% off their entire Christmas catalogue of floral products, or a free bottle of wine when you spend £40 or

more. Harrisons can make you up a hamper comprising anything in the shop – wine or food – and as long as it’s over £25 there’s no charge for the hamper packaging. Nearby, Village Vet is giving a hefty 25% discount on Vet Essentials cat and dog food. Over the road Charlie’s Fruit Bowl will have fresh food daily, right up until Christmas Eve. Further east, Body & Sole’s Christmas special offer is a one hour Moroccan Rose Body Polish treatment. The usual price is £55 but from 19th to 24th December it’s only £45. Temple Pharmacy reminds you not to let flu spoil your Christmas. Get a jab privately or on the NHS: no appointment necessary, just come and get stuck in! [Ouch – Ed.]

Finally, our star arrives in the east and hovers over St Barnabas church where on Wednesday 21st they hold their "Nine Lessons and Carols" service at 7.30 pm The popular ’Christingle’ service is on Christmas Eve at 4 pm, suitable for all the family but particularly children. Later, at 11.30 pm, is Midnight Mass, “surely the best possible way to see in Christmas morning”. The church will also have an 8 am service on Christmas Day for early risers and another family service at the 10.30 am Eucharist. This will be “particularly joyful” and “give the kids a chance to share their excitement with the rest of us”.

Roll Over ERNIE!

Jubilee Lunch

Our twice-yearly lucky dip to make a PCA member £50 better off has been won by Susie Stephenson of Neville Road. Hers was the first name to be drawn under our new PAWES system which has replaced the old method of cutting up a printed membership list and picking a name out of a hat. PAWES – “Pick A Winner Every Six (months)” – has been developed at no cost to the PCA and involves a printed membership list and a random number generator on a ‘smartphone’, thus saving on scissors and hats.

We had several responses to our item in the last newsletter about ways to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee next year, sufficient to make us think that a lunch party along the Lane and/or individual street parties would attract support. Your committee will talk to the Pitshanger traders about the possibility of ‘Lunch On The Lane’ and can offer the events team’s knowledge and expertise to street committees, so get planning!

Anyone For Tennis?

Bad news for those who like to play tennis for free on un-maintained and decaying courts, but good news for everyone else: the Council is just about to conclude a new lease for the tennis courts in the park. The prospective lessee is Will To Win, which already operates courts in Lammas Park and several other locations in the London area. Director Steve Riley has ambitious plans to refurbish the tennis house and courts to a high standard, and to have an open air café/lounge area on decking between the house and the courts. This will all be subject to planning permission – a proposal has yet to be submitted – as will the company’s plan to floodlight some of the courts to allow year-round operation up to 9 pm. Anyone interested in gaining an idea as to the likely ambience of the proposed new set-up in the park is encouraged to visit the Will To Win centre in Lammas Park.

Just along from the tennis courts, we’re pleased to announce that the PCA has received approval for our proposal to redevelop the disused bowling green as a landscaped garden, with the Council’s Parks Department, the Cleveland Ward Forum and the PCA all chipping in. Look out for further details in the New Year.

Appeal To Youth

Christmas Fun With The PCA

The PCA youth club, ‘The Hanger’, will be back in January – look out for publicity. It’s for young people in school years 7-11, on Thursdays from 7 pm until 9 at the Brentham Club. The cost is only £2 a session and for that members get table tennis, table football, pool and other games, music and a tuck shop. We will be looking to do other activities in the New Year and welcome your ideas. Email [email protected] with those and to get more details about the club. Needless to say we need volunteers to help supervise the sessions and provide activities. Get in touch if you’d like to help with this important work.

Your committee will be awarding a bottle of champagne (they’re paying) to the property with the most tasteful outside lights and decorations during the festive season. The committee’s decision will be final – no arguing whether your rocking Santa beats their break-dancing elves.

That gentle sobbing sound you’ll hear is your editor as he judges the annual Christmas cracker joke competition. Send them to the email at the end of this newsletter – bottle of Chateau Editor for the winner.

Finally, blow out the cobwebs on New Year’s Day with our traditional stroll around the park. Meet at the Playcentre from 1 pm until 4 for mulled wine, tea, coffee, juices for the kids and snacks, and of course a highly cerebral quiz for those with any brain cells still alive.

And Finally…

It’s been another good year for the PCA, and although we haven’t had the challenges of past years – Tesco, anti-social behaviour – we’ve put on some great events, both Party In The Park and Light Up The Lane being generally regarded as the best ever. Anyway, time for a break, so have a very happy Christmas and New Year, and see you in the park on New Year’s Day.