There once was a spinster of Ealing

There once was a spinster of Ealing illustration

There once was a spinster of Ealing….

There once was a spinster of Ealing

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library. There once was a spinster of Ealing…. Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/7c939136-5ffd-72dc-e040-e00a180634fd

A fun bit of social commentary even if Ealing was probably used just to fit the rhyme.

New York public library is digitising its material and making it easier for people to search and view. The site is a ‘living database’ featuring prints, photographs, maps, manuscripts, streaming video, and is a pleasure to explore.

Posted in Ealing, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , , ,

Ealing notes NP76: Cuts, conservation concerns and (not) all that Jazz

Ealing Notes by Judy Breens

Parking, Stop and Shop and RingGo
Is RingGo another Council fundraiser? New road-side notices have appeared around the borough and in car parks requesting that parkers phone RingGo. This requires you to register membership and bank details and when you wish to park, pay by phone for the parking place. As this rolls out across the borough coin meters would gradually disappear. Do we want the security risk of exposing our bank details on a permanent basis to this company? Or be forced to use mobile phones? Do we own mobile phones? Worse, it was proposed to extend this to popular stop and shop areas where we stop freely for 30 minutes, shop, move on and leave the space for next shopper. This rotation keeps small traders in business in the many Borough parades. The proposal reached Pitshanger, Northfields and South Ealing with payment available for 3 hours after the free period. Non-Ealing residents were to pay for their whole stay. An outcry from traders and residents followed. Fortunately, Ealing Council have listened and dropped this for now. But watch this space.

RingGo logo

RingGo logo


Cuts to Local Councils

Ealing Council, in addition to Council Tax money, receives grants from Central Government. Since 2010 Government discretionary payments to Councils have been seriously cut. Much Government money is for essential services like schools to be directly passed over. It is the discretionary payment to fund Council issues of choice that is so drastically cut. The Council is in a difficult position. They’re freezing the Council Tax so perhaps other fund raising is needed. They’ve already sold half Dean Gardens car park from 4.00PM to 8.00AM daily to the nearby Holiday Inn.

Heller House


We wrote about Heller House a year ago. On February 16th Council Cabinet agreed to close this Council owned respite centre for children with complex needs because of the cuts. The Council has no legal obligation to fund respite care for disabled children although it proposes to continue a service using centres in other boroughs. Parents are distressed. The building needs updating but with its generous grounds it’s a much-loved lifeline. Would out borough places always be available and how far would children have to travel to use them? They propose a cost neutral third option and vow to fight on. Please see Petition at www.hellerthirdoption.co.uk


Ealing Jazz Festival

Over 30 years this has attracted huge numbers to Ealing, at one time running for 8 days and producing 34 concerts on its main stage. It was run by Ealing Council’s Events Team and received major corporate sponsors. Currently outsourced to a private contractor, the sponsorships ended
and admission charges introduced. It is now proposed to reduce the Festival to two days despite top jazz artist participation and high audience levels. The outsourced company will remain. Adding insult to injury Council proposes to drop the services of Dick Esmond, co-founder and Artistic Director of the Festival giving his role to the private company. Dick’s irreplaceable programming and compere skills throughout the entire Festival’s existence are legendary. The proposal has devastated Ealing music lovers and supporters from all over the country. For more information and Petition, see: www.change.org/en-GB/organisations/save_ealing_jazz_festival

Dick Esmond.

Dick Esmond. There’ll be a new host for the Ealing Jazz festival for 2016

Ealing Save our NHS

Do people realise that in June 2016 it is proposed that Ealing Hospital loses all services to children? No Children’s A&E admission. No Children’s Ward, No Paediatrics. Last June it lost it’s Maternity Services. This all springs from North West London NHS’s “Shaping a Healthier Future” plan to reduce both Charing Cross and Ealing Hospitals to cottage hospitals for rehabilitation and recovery only with a loss of 600+ acute beds. ESONHS held a packed meeting in Ealing Town Hall on February 2nd when the main speaker was campaigner John Lister. Ealing and other Councils funded an independent Healthcare Commission for N.W.London chaired by Michael Mansfield QC. This found these “deeply flawed hospital plans must be halted immediately” and that cost estimates to implement SaHF have risen to £1.3bn. It seems unlikely the plan will be implemented yet the deeply damaging cuts continue. More at: www.ealingsaveournhs.org.uk and www.saveourhospitals.net.

Parklets

Ealing, famous for its extensive parks and vibrant pedestrian shopping areas, has become the first London borough to launch an idea borrowed from San Francisco’s concrete jungle – a PARKLET ‘to provide interest and stimulate activity along a street which currently does not have too many
places to stop and linger. It should also provide a small oasis of green in quite a busy thoroughfare and encourage people to stop and enjoy some of the shops and eateries.” This grandiose-sounding idea translates as an 8ft x 10ft box containing some white ‘contiboard’ furniture, a few sad looking plant pots and many explanatory notices. Delivered into Pitshanger Lane shortly after the Lane was nominated as the best High Street in London, it takes up a free parking space and has attracted much ribald comment. Pitshanger Lane won the accolade because of its strong community atmosphere, vibrant shopping facilities, wide pedestrian pavements, four street cafes, plentiful public benches, cycle racks and free stop-n-shop parking – in other words, many places to stop, linger and enjoy the shops and eateries. Not only that, Pitshanger Lane is surrounded by green open spaces, Pitshanger Park, Cleveland Park, Scotch Common, Ealing Golf Course and Brentham Club’s sports grounds. Official explanations are to be found here: https://www.ealing.gov.uk/news/article/1310/west_london_s_first_parklet_opens_in_ealing

Parklet

From parking space to parklet

Bike storage

On road storage for bikes in West Ealing

Turkey Cages & Wheelie Bins

Before Christmas “turkey cage”/cycle storage facilities appeared around West Ealing interestingly bearing no reflectors or lights. In LBE cars require reflectors and skips lights during the hours of darkness. Why is the turkey cage different? It’s a Council service of course and they’re always right. It probably provides a useful service, providing lockable storage at a £30 annual charge for those unable to store their bikes. However, like the advancing wheelie bins, these cages diminish the streetscape appearance. They could also be hazardous to traffic. There was no consultation. On searching we found there was no risk assessment. Sadly there is no Road Safety Officer in Ealing.

Bike storage

In the wrong place?


Is Conservation dead in Ealing Broadway?

The Council created the Ealing Broadway Centre Conservation Area to preserve the original Victorian and Edwardian heritage. In 2009 one plan to rebuild the area was thrown out on appeal to Government. Now we have another inappropriate redevelopment plan for new flats with scant regard to the character of the area. Historic England, the Government’s advisors on the nation’s heritage are highly critical and may remove the CA status. The developers responded by retaining one of the fine Edwardian building and the facades of two others, incongruously plonked in front of high-rise glass and steel replacement blocks. It cannot be acceptable that the
heritage of a whole conservation area is swept away and a wholly alien character imposed. Corinne Templer, who has worked for many years to restore Ealing to its days of glory said grimly “This isn’t localism. This is vandalism”. Sadly, the Planning Committee passed the new plans on February 24th. An appeal is in process.

More information at: www.saveealingscentre.com

Posted in Campaign, Charity, Ealing, Music, Perivale, Uncategorized, West Ealing Tagged with: ,

Will the council break a promise about Gurnell pool?

via @ianrich_med

Posted in Uncategorized

No Colour Bar exhibition: last day today!

Exhibition intro

Intro to the bookshop and exhibition

Check out the exhibition No Colour Bar: Black British Art in Action @ Guildhall Art gallery, it includes Michael McMillan’s recreation of the Huntley’s Ealing based Walter Rodney bookshop. The installation has lots of fascinating archive footage and material from the Friends of Huntley Archives at London Metropolitan Archives (FHALMA) and is a fascinating insight into a cultural and campaign hub.

Admission Free
Guildhall Art Gallery, Guildhall Yard, London EC2V 5AE
Sunday 12 noon – 4pm

Bookshop from above

Installation from above in the Guildhall gallery

Hopefully the installation will be shown somewhere in Ealing.

Further info:
No Colour Bar website.
Eric and Jessica Huntley website http://huntleysonline.com/about-the-huntleys/
More about the bookshop
Article on Bogle L’Ouverture publishing house founded by the Huntleys

Posted in Ealing, Education Tagged with: ,

NP72: News on Haven Green and Ealing Day Centres under threat

Haven Green

Photo by Nigel Cox


Haven Green

In the last edition Will French described the history of Haven Green and the pressure it’s under. Here he describes how two recent decisions by the Planning Inspectorate look likely to up the stakes.

The first stems from last September’s public inquiry into planned changes to the Green ahead of Crossrail. These would have widened the pavements, and created a counter-flow cycle lane on the east side of the Green. Objectors said the Green is protected by national legislation as Common Land for future generations to enjoy as open space. The Government inspector agreed and refused to approve the Council’s proposals. Only existing footpaths can be resurfaced.

This is unlikely to be the end of the matter. The Inspector declined to rule on the legitimacy of the cycle hub and racks that stand on the Common Land. We believe objectors are looking at other routes to resolve this. In addition, Ealing looks sure to have to do something to accommodate the 40% increase in passengers passing through the Green once Crossrail opens. Their consultants predict that if nothing happens overcrowding will be unacceptable. The second decision concerns the electricity substation which has stood largely unused for over 5 years on the Green. The Inspector said, ‘the substation obstructs the views of the common and is an alien feature within the landscape’. He added ‘it is an urbanising feature in an essentially open setting’. The substation must now be removed and the grass restored to its previous condition.

More on www.friendsofhavengreen.com

Day Centres under Threat

Ealing Council, facing a huge budget cut from central government are considering closing the Day Centres for Disabled and Elderly people. Last time we reported on Heller House Respite Centre for Disabled Children. On that Centre a Consultation is still in process.

But Councillors have voted to close, in May, Carlton Road Day Centre on the borders of Acton and Chiswick that serves more than 30 users with profound and multiple learning disabilities. It provides a full day care service allowing parents and carers time and respite from the rigours of day to day caring for a profoundly disabled son or daughter, thereby preserving their health and wellbeing and allowing them to care longer and better in the long term; (thereby saving the state the expense).

This centre is uniquely equipped to offer space to socialise with friends and peers plus individually tailored sessions including Physiotherapy, Art, Music and Dance Therapy. All staff are now facing redundancy. Ealing Council are assessing each user and propose to offer an individual budget to the carers to provide alternatives, ‘signposting’ them towards “suitable alternatives” to the Carlton Road day service. These services are mainly non-existent within the borough for people of such a profound level of disability. Couldn’t the Council be a little more creative by helping the experienced longstanding and professional staff team to continue their service somehow? Are Ealing’s most vulnerable residents to be sacrificed by officers’lack of creative thinking and a chance to make a few £millions by selling property in Chiswick? The answer so far, seems to be yes.

Concerned? Contact Ealing Contact Ealing Carers’ Centre 020 8840 1566

Posted in Campaign, Ealing Tagged with: ,

Are day care services for disabled adults and children under attack in Ealing?

The latest edition of the Neighbours Paper features news about the threat of closure of Heller House in Southall due to Ealing Council budget cuts. Carlton Road Day Centre is facing the same fate, as SAD Ealing explains:

Carlton Road Day Centre is a day service located in Carlton Road (W4 5DY), on the borders of Acton and Chiswick. It serves more than 30 users with profound and multiple learning disabilities and a complex diagnosis (many who also have epilepsy and are wheelchair users with little or no mobility) with a full day care service, giving them the chance to undertake a variety of therapeutic and physical activities as well as providing a suitable space to socialise and spend time with friends and peers outside of the home environment.

It also allows the phenomenally hard working parents & carers a little time (and respite) from the rigours of day to day caring for a learning and physically disabled son or daughter, thereby preserving their health and wellbeing and allowing them as parents to care for their offspring for longer and for the better in the long term; (thereby saving the state the expense).

As the users are so very disabled, it is fully fitted out with hoists and changing areas for suitable and dignified toileting which is undertaken by an experienced, longstanding and professional staff team, all who are now facing redundancy. The staff team also have strong advocacy skills for their users and review, report and monitor users regularly and liaise with health teams and families to ensure the users are given the best chances in life and retain their dignity and independence at all times.

Ealing Council, facing a huge budget cut from central government has decided that the centre will close in May 2015, before which each user will be re-assessed and parents & carers handed an individual budget to themselves provide for their son or daughter’s care. Parents and carers will be ‘signposted’ towards what Ealing Council regards as suitable alternatives to the Carlton Road day service. These services are mainly non-existent within the borough for people of such a profound level of disability. It is all very rushed and poorly thought out.

For more information visit: sadealing.blogspot.com

http://sadealing.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/more-on-plan-to-close-carlton-road-day.html

Posted in Acton, Campaign, Charity Tagged with: , ,

Save the Starlite for the community and remember its Rock roots

Facade of the Starlite

Threatened with demolition – the Starlite could have a new lease of life as a community hub

NP speak to Albertina McNeill about the Save the Starlite campaign

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how and why got involved with/started save the Starlite?

I don’t want too much attention focused on me as I feel it’s the stars who played the venue that deserve the attention, not those behind the campaign. I moved to Greenford in 1991. In 2012 I had a daily photo blog about the area called Greenford 365 which showed some of the good and bad things about it. I’ve just started posting on a new blog called Positive Greenford. I’d been told about the Starlite by a neighbour who remembered seeing Geno Washington and Stevie Wonder play there, and heard from someone else that Pink Floyd had gigged in Greenford but had thought it was wishful thinking. In 2012 the Greenford and Northolt Gazette carried a story about plans to demolish an old cinema so I went to take photos of it for the blog because I realised that it must be the place. I began to discover the famous names that played there and couldn’t believe that we were losing such an asset without a fight. I tried writing to the Gazette but failed to attract any support until one letter was published followed soon after by an article. I set up the Facebook page and Twitter account. In the last few months I’ve been joined by Frank Kilduff of the North Greenford Residents’ Association, David Flack of the Sudbury Town Residents’ Association (with a particular interest in the Starlite’s time as an Odeon), Erol Direkoglu, a former planning officer who has the Starlite on his doorstep and Bob Little, an Acton based community activist with an interest in music and popular culture.

What are the main aims of the campaign?

Prevent the demolition and save the building for community use because of its significance to our music heritage and potential as a focus for regeneration. Make Allendale Road a destination rather than somewhere you drive through.

What will the benefits be of saving the Starlite?

Once I got to Allendale Road I can honestly say I was shocked at how quiet the street is, in fact my first thought was “How can we use the Starlite to attract people with money to spend to the area and increase footfall for these traders?” The idea of saving local music heritage and regenerating the streets around it developed simultaneously. I wondered whether the building could be used for exhibitions (compare with the Fashion and Textile Museum http://ftmlondon.org/), it’s close to Sudbury Town Underground station which would bring tourists from central London but I also felt it had potential as a community or arts centre. I could see from the parking restrictions that there were already problems so felt that it would need to appeal to those who either lived within walking distance or did not have access to their cars. That meant local residents and tourists. We need them to come to Allendale Road, spend some money and go away again! The tourists would be drawn by the music heritage (I’d become aware of the Abbey Road phenomenon where people from around the world have their photos taken as they cross the road in the same way that the Beatles did for their album cover). At the time I was unaware that UK Music had published a report about the value of music heritage tourism to the UK. I realised that saving the Starlite could mean jobs and increased prosperity for Greenford, causing the homes around it to increase in value.
Read more ›

Posted in Campaign, Ealing, Greenford, Music Tagged with: , , ,

Ealing Choral Society Annual Charity Carol Concert Saturday December 13th 2014 at 7pm St. Barnabas Church, Pitshanger Lane, W5

Ealing’s popular local choir, Ealing Choral Society, is presenting an evening of well-loved carols and Christmas readings followed by mince pies and wine – the perfect way to kick off the festive season!

Each year, Ealing Choral Society donates all proceeds from the event to a charity, and this year has chosen Save the Children.

Clayton Ricketts, Regional Fundraising Manager, Save the Children, said, ”We are delighted to be supported by Ealing Choral Society’s Carol Concert this year. It will be a wonderful event and the money raised will make a real difference to the lives of children both in the UK and abroad. ”

Tickets cost £12 for adults and £6 for those aged 16 and under. Tickets go fast, so it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment at the door.

Book on 0208 993 6465, via www.ealingchoralsociety.org.uk

or at www.wegottickets.com/event/287754

Posted in Uncategorized

NP71: Heller House Respite centre in danger? Are Walpole Park and Pitshanger Manor our top priorities? Plus NHS and Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre news

Heller House, Respite Care home

Heller House, Respite Care home offers an essential service but may be being closed

Ealing Council says Government cuts mean its spending must reduce by £96m. Inevitably services in the Borough will suffer. Even so, it’s shocking that a Respite Centre for children with complex disability needs called Heller House is due to close. The centre, at 124 Norwood Road Southall, was bequeathed to Ealing way back and the Council has invested much in it since. For many the service is a lifeline. Hundreds of children have enjoyed the specialist facilities which allow parents a much-needed break. It’s claimed the care can be purchased outside the borough but parents are justifiably dubious. Of course, costs are high for the number of children involved, but who can imagine the heroic daily struggle for parents and carers of very disabled children? Costs would be far higher if parents gave up, leaving entire care to the State. Couldn’t parents or charities help keep the centre going? Has Ealing Council tried? In Spring 2013 NP reported on the loss of two day centres for people with learning disabilities (following other disability day centre closures). So will another service be lost?

There is a Consultation – Contact details: Ealing Parent and Carer Forum: Matthew Jeatt 7740-461551
info@epcf.org.uk or Ealing Carers Centre: Jane Barnes 020 8840 1566

PESTS Ealing are based at Heller House

PESTS Ealing are based at Heller House http://www.pests-ealing.org.uk/history.html

More info on Heller House activities here: http://www.pests-ealing.org.uk/timetable.html

Walpole Park

Meanwhile the Council proudly exhibits Walpole Park, refurbished at a cost of £5.4m or so. Next, Pitshanger Manor gets a similar treatment. Yes, half of this comes from the Heritage Lottery Fund and yes, it is great these facilities are spruced up, but are they really our top priorities? Didn’t someone once say “A society is judged by the way it treats its weakest members”?

Haven Stables

There is huge local opposition to plans to demolish the 137 year-old former Stables Building – formerly the Haven Pub at 1a Haven Green and to replace it with a block of flats. Only this summer the Council designated the Stables a locally listed building. National planning policies require that permission should be refused for the loss of such a heritage asset.

There is a Petition to save the building. To sign E-mail name(s) & address (with postcode) to vmfree@madasafish.com.

Perceval House Redevelopment and moving Ealing Library

Still no progress to report in restoring a cinema to Ealing, but October’s Cabinet meeting announced a bolder plan in its desperate quest to ‘regenerate’ Ealing town centre. The Council now want to bulldoze Perceval House. Just 30 years old, the fortress-like building is fully occupied by Council staff delivering services to local people. But with service cuts and potential redundancies, the Council plans to downsize. And then, to help out the owners of Ealing Broadway shopping centre, Cabinet agreed in principle to relocate Ealing Central Library. The Library was only refurbished in 2008 at the cost of £4m and massive inconvenience for users. Easy come, easy go when library funds are concerned.

Ealing Broadway: Arcadia Phase 2

The refurbished Arcadia centre at 1-8 the Broadway has reopened for TK Maxx and McDonalds with Morrisons coming soon. Developers Benson Elliot, and their partners, Londonewcastle, are now unveiling ideas for the second phase of the old Glenkerrin site – the land north of Uxbridge Road between the Arcadia and Ealing Broadway station. Everything will go, including WH Smith, Sainsburys and Carphone Warehouse. In its place will be 200 homes and new
shops centred around a new pedestrian route, running from the station to Uxbridge Road opposite the Ealing Broadway centre. Separate blocks would rise along Uxbridge Road away from 1-8 the Broadway and a residential tower set back beside the railway. Resident parking would be accessed from an entrance on Station Broadway and shop servicing off the existing Springbridge Road entrance.

There was an exhibition at the end of November, you can see the plans and give your opinion here: www.ealingbroadwayshopping.co.uk/plans

Posted in Uncategorized

The Starlite – can it be saved? By Erol Direkoglou

Starlite Eastcote Allendale Junction

The Starlite from the corner, to be demolished and replaced by anonymous flats?

It’s sad to witness with the loss of the local library (Barham park), local public house (Sudbury Arms), the local rugby club (Wasps) and now possibly the former Odeon /Starlite) the gradual erosion of Sudbury’s neighbourhood identity as a 1930s suburb.

The Odeon on Alllendale road designed by local architect A. P Starkey , opened in 1935. This art deco building was one of the originals on the Odeon Circuit. In the early 1960s it became known as the Starlite, an iconic venue for up and coming popular music bands. Bands that played there included The Who, Cream, Pink Floyd and the Small Faces.
In its latter days it became a popular Snooker club with rumours that Neal Foulds played there.

Starlite snooker club - Albertina McNeill

The Starlite ballroom was a snooker club in later years

It is this musical heritage that warrants its preservation possibly as a community asset. A resource centre providing an indoor amenity for local residents and in particular for children and older youths. The Starlite could form part of a musical/local history trail.

Recent planning permission for its demolition, a replacement block of flats may temporarily, superficially improve the blighted appearance of the street facade. As can be seen by the recent the pig ugly cheap slab appearance of Bridge House this does last long.

Increased housing on this block on Odeon Parade will mean will exasperate the existing problems of: inadequate waste removal facilities, dumping and blocked water pipes.

A local councillor has supported the proposal by claiming that it will enhance the street. He has however not told me how it will be enhanced. The block of flats will attract childless couples and not a mix of tenants. It seems that we are with this proposal and recent examples like the massive development on the former B&Q site in Alperton repeating the planning disasters of Housing in the 1960/70s.

Local residents are in the meantime attempting to list the building as a community asset. I hope this article will encourage more to join the campaign, ensuring its success.

Erol Direkoglou

Posted in Campaign, Greenford, Music Tagged with: ,