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    PCA Newsletter Issue 35 February 2009

    Childhood memories of snowy days off school mingled

    with adult anxieties about getting to work as the first

    Monday in February brought the heaviest snows for nearly

    20 years. Today‟s kids and a suspiciously large number

    of off-work adults took themselves down to the park to

    see it transformed into a Christmas card winter

    wonderland and to roll unfeasibly large snowballs. Many thanks to Maggie Stevens for the photos.

Take a stroll down Bellevue Road and on the left you‟ll find the des res of members Doig and Ruth Simmonds, made even

    more des by having a solar heating installation on its roof. Doig explained how and why. “Worried about the rising cost of energy bills? You might consider an investment in solar panels for heating water (does not

    do central heating). The system I have installed is not likely to pay for itself in my life time I'm too old to worry about that. (It does raise the value of the house or you can take it with you when you move). What it has already done is reduce the activity

    of the boiler during any sunny or near sunny periods, winter or summer. There is a lot of calculation to consider: how big is

    your hot water demand? It is not likely to cope with using a washing machine every day unless you have double the panels I

    have (I have two, about 8 feet square in total and no washing machine). There are a lot of cowboys out there offering

    cheaper systems. I used Solar Home Energy who supply state-of-the-art German equipment. Mine cost around ?3500. A lot depends on the orientation of your roof and where your storage tank is placed you have to have one. Anybody wishing to come and see our system is welcome. Just contact me at” We have been told by the Council of at least two Haven‟t they got homes to go to? Hanwell & Northfields Rotary are

    attempted abductions of toddler-age children in holding yet another event at the Brentham Club. This time it‟s a central Ealing. A 16-19 year-old girl approaches the Quiz Night, scheduled for Friday 27th February starting at 7.15pm.

    children as if she knows them and encourages them Tickets, which include a bangers‟n‟mash supper, are ?11, and the

    to go with her. One of the children was with her winning team will receive a cheque for ?200 in favour of their

    childminder at the time who reported the incident to preferred charity. Details and tickets from Rod Prangnell on 8579 the police. Please spread the word. 4541 or 07958 930877. Previous newsletters have charted the progress of the school‟s plan for a 50% increase in

    its annual intake, from 60 to 90 pupils. Despite the disapproval of 59% of the 328

    respondents to its public consultation exercise, the school‟s governing body accepted the

    Council‟s statistics on local population growth and approved the proposals. Particularly

    compelling among the statistics are the 102 children already living within the school‟s

    catchment area who will be reception age in September 2010. The Council has now

    published the required statutory notices, and outline plans (including the accompanying

    „artist‟s impression‟) were unveiled at a sparsely attended public meeting on 21st January. The next stage will be a planning application submitted through the usual Council channels.

    As well as keeping you informed of progress with the school expansion, the PCA Committee will be keeping a close eye on

    the proposed temporary adoption of part of Pitshanger Park as part of the construction site, and on the arrangements for access to the site for construction traffic.

    Sometimes this job is just too easy. Among the items Yep, it‟s that time of year again and the annual round of stuffing

    sent in for this edition is the news that Ealing envelopes and sticking them through doors looms on the horizon. Trailfinders Rugby Club (at the end of Vallis Way) are Previous volunteers are requested to confirm (or otherwise) their

looking for “social rugby players”. You might well feel availability this year whilst new recruits are always welcome.

    this is a contradiction in terms, but just in case you‟re Whichever, you have the choice of two fantastic opportunities a) the sort of person who says “Awfully sorry!” after sticking membership materials into envelopes, or b) delivering gouging an eye in a scrum or “Do excuse me, old them in a particular road. Please email membership secretary

    chap!” when scraping ears with your studs, contact Bill Barbara Boyle on and let her on 07939 552566 or Brendan on 07958 433220. know what you‟d like to do.

    Now, we know he likes his privacy so we won‟t even mention he lives in Lindfield Road when he‟s not touring, but after

    England have beaten the West Indies and retaken the Ashes this summer we‟re going to claim it‟s all down to the new

    England cricket captain, Andrew Strauss, and the mental serenity he has achieved since moving to Pitshanger. Not that he needs luck, but we‟re going to wish him the best of it all the same.

    The River Brent drain or wildlife habitat? What are Ealing Council's legal obligations

    regarding river maintenance? To what extent do Ealing and Brent Councils co-operate

    over clearing rubbish from the river? These were among the questions posed by the PCA

    and discussed at a meeting of the Council's Transport and Environment Scrutiny Panel on

    4th February. Having heard the report by Head of Leisure and Green Space, Steve

    Marshall, Councillors at the panel meeting agreed with the PCA that more work is required, and the report will be re-submitted in September.

    Among a number of interesting snippets that emerged was the revelation that the Council is currently spending only ?15k per year on managing the river corridor, compared to the ?80k per year budget of the river maintenance team disbanded in 2006. What happened to that ?80k remains a mystery for now, as does the fate of the current administration's manifesto pledge to set up steering groups for the Borough's open

    spaces. Along with our friends at the Brent River and Canal Society we will be pressing these and other points between now and September.

    Planning for the Pitshanger centenary celebrations is moving on apace. The PCA has taken on a „steering‟ role, helping a

    range of local organisations put on events to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the naming of Pitshanger Lane. There‟s now a Centenary area on the website with details of events in the pipeline and the organisations involved. Go to

    Included in the celebrations will be a photo exhibition, to be held at St Mary‟s Perivale in August. We‟d be grateful for all

    contributions, including video and film: please contact the PCA‟s Pitshanger 100 co-ordinator, John Waters, on 8997 5200 or

    at Why not ask your long-time resident neighbours? It‟s a great way for older people to

    make a valuable contribution and show the rest of us what it used to be like. John also wants to hear from people willing to act as Street Co-ordinators to help with the proposed street party on Pitshanger Lane and the “Street Wars” quiz competition which will be going on later this year.

    Our campaign in support of local shops might have an unlikely ally in the new Westfield

    shopping centre at Shepherds Bush. As Ealing Broadway is forced down-market our shops

    are in an excellent position to provide a quality local alternative. Traders are beginning to

    recognise the opportunity and, many years after the demise of its predecessor, there‟s talk of the Pitshanger Traders‟ Association being resurrected.

    Meanwhile, McCreadies the butchers have noted a marked increase in demand for pork

    belly following Jamie Oliver‟s TV programme on pig farming. All their pork is English (raised

    to higher animal welfare standards than in many other countries) but don‟t bother asking on Mondays they‟ll be closed that day from now on.

    Coming to St Barnabas on Saturday 28th February and Sunday 1st March is a classical spectacular all 32 Beethoven piano sonatas played by 32 different pianists (and following a substantial contribution to the Editor‟s Beer Fund no mention will be made of the PCA committee member who was under the misapprehension that they‟d all be playing at the same time!). The festival will be in four sessions over the two days, each costing ?10 (or ?25 for all four). Pay at the door no tickets will be issued beforehand but with over 300 seats admission is “effectively guaranteed”, according to organiser (and Sunday evening recitalist) Dr Hugh Mather, who can be contacted on 8997 7691 or at Most years about this time we organise a dinner for We‟re hoping to have a Celeb to start the next Pitshanger Fun

    members at one of our local restaurants and this year Run (sometime in May TBC) so, to get you guessing, he‟s an ex-we‟re planning an evening at the Village Inn on England football star and TV presenter, and is said to be counting

    Saturday 21st March. We‟re not sure of the price as yet the days as the world holds its breath until we discover will your but pre-booking enquiries can be made to Michelle Editor break last year‟s World Record for a PCA Newsletter Editor Scupholme at of 22 minutes and 41 seconds?

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