THE HILLS ECHO

Autumn 2008

CHAIRMAN'S REPORT

PARKING MANAGEMENT SCHEME

A HAPPY AND BUSY RETIREMENT 1984-2008

TRANSPORT IN NORTHWOOD HILLS

HILLSIDE JUNIOR CANAL TRIP

FUNDRAISING EVENTS FOR MICHAEL SOBELL HOUSE

FAIRFIELD

TOLCARNE DRIVE / JOEL STREET

THE SHOPS IN NORTHWOOD HILLS

NORTHWOOD AND DISTRICT COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION

 WORDS FAIL... BUT PAR FOR THE COURSE?

CENTRAL MIDDLESEX SKILLS CENTRE NEWS

CHILDREN TODAY

LIONS INTERNATIONAL

GOOD NEWS - SATURDAY MARKET

VANISHED PUBS AND CINEMAS

PINNER ROAD SCHOOL

CHILDREN'S SCIENCE EXAM

ROAD STEWARDS NEEDED

CHAIRMAN'S REPORT

Summer is over, well, one wonders if it had even begun before autumn came knocking at ones door, but life has not left Northwood Hills alone.

Having just come back from islands off the UK, where motor vehicles are banned, and in fact there are no public roads, leads me to reflect on the current situation of "Commuter Parking" and resident parking in and around Joel Street and Northwood Hills underground station. There is an article in this edition of the Echo explaining the stance that the Residents Association is taking, but, just to clarify, the Residents Association is against a blanket parking zone covering all of Northwood Hills, as many roads are not affected by "Commuter Parking". However, that does not resolve the problems that the residents who live within a 5 minute walk of the tube station have to suffer on a daily basis. Hence it is being proposed by the conservative councillors and the Residents Association, that perhaps a parking management scheme should cover those roads within a 5 minute walk of the tube station, where the residents vote in favour of the scheme, and that the management scheme should only be operative for just 1 hour a day, say between 11:00 and 12:00, thus avoiding residents requiring permits for visitors to their homes.

Wiltshire Lane and Hillside have had a number of road enhancements, making it safer for those who attend the relevant schools. A pedestrian crossing will be built across Joel Street, between Tolcarne Drive and Colchester Road to help people to be able to cross the road by Tesco in safety.

We have all heard about the Credit Crunch, but did you know that The Nationwide Building Society in Joel Street is due to close on 28th November ? If this does go ahead, then Northwood Hills will have NO financial organisation that can serve the residents of Northwood Hills. Please help those residents who rely on this branch, by writing or emailing Nationwide asking them to re-consider their decision to close this branch. It is strange that there are nearby villages with lower populations than Northwood Hills, with better transport links, banks, and building societies. I’m sure this move will not help the local residents who already queue outside the branch on a Saturday morning. Write to Nationwide today!
On a more positive note plans are now in full swing with regards to the refurbishment of the play area for children, just off Wiltshire Lane. We will be looking for help to clean the area, watch this space – if you would like to offer to help with this or any other initiatives please email any of the committee.

Finally, I would like to thank everyone involved with the Residents Association for all their contributions and hard work.

Thank you!

John Morgan

PARKING MANAGEMENT SCHEME

I feel that it is time that you hear from the Northwood Hills Residents Association, not only to quash some rumours going around, but also to clarify the Association’s position with regards to a Parking Management Scheme ("PMS") in Northwood Hills.

In 2003/4 Hillingdon Council wanted to bring in a blanket Controlled Parking Zone ("CPZ") for the whole of Northwood Hills. This parking zone would operate between the hours of 8 am to 6 pm, 5 days a week. All residents inside the scheme would be entitled to apply for a chargeable permit without an upper limit on the number issued.

There was a public debate held at Fairfield, in which the residents announced in no uncertain terms that this "CPZ" was not wanted in Northwood Hills. The result, the council stated that they would not impose a "CPZ" in Northwood Hills. Furthermore, the Council gave an undertaking, that they would not consider any such scheme for the next 5 years.

This year, following the receipt of a petition signed by 465 residents, a scheme was put forward to the Council, where there would again be a blanket management scheme within a mile radius of Northwood Hills tube station. This management scheme the Residents Association is against for the following reasons:-

1. The Management Scheme would affect those roads that do NOT wish to have a management scheme.
2. Not all those roads that would be affected by such a scheme have been consulted.
3. The scheme does not benefit the local residents.

The scheme that was presented to the council, not only covered Northwood Hills, but stretched into the London Borough of Harrow, Eastcote and Northwood. It also included roads, like Hillside Road, Alandale Drive, Wiltshire Lane, that are not affected by commuter parking.

The scheme would allow each resident in the roads within the management scheme to apply for as many permits as they wish. However, it will NOT guarantee that they can park their vehicle in their road, never mind outside their own house. If a road has 20 houses, with enough space for parking 15 cars, yet each house has 1 car, where do the other 5 cars go?
Cost – Yes, the first permit that a household applies for would be free, but all subsequent permits will cost £40.00 per year.

What happens when, say, a doctor, plumber, builder, Meals on Wheels, friends (who live outside the zone), funeral director, or any non blue emergency vehicles call at houses within the management scheme, but they do not have a valid parking permit? They will all require a day parking permit at a cost of £5.00. Not only that, the period covered would be from 08:00 to 18:30, so any service provider, family or friends calling who do not live in the area would require a day permit, or run the risk of a £80.00 parking fine.

Compared to the rest of the London Borough of Hillingdon, Northwood Hills has a higher than average proportion of elderly and infirm living within this proposed zone. Some of these residents rely on organisations such as Hillingdon Homes, Meals on Wheels, district nurses etc. In the present economic climate, do we wish to make their lives harder by stating that they must apply for a day permit for their day help?

Additionally, the proposed scheme would mean double yellow lines, from Tesco stores down to Joel Street Farm, on both sides of the road, thus making it easier for traffic to speed along Joel Street – an idea that the police are not in favour of.

What does the Residents Association propose?

Within 5 minute walking distance from Northwood Hills tube station, a "PMS" to be implemented, where the first permit is free, and all subsequent permits would be chargeable. However, the period that this would be effective would be limited to 1 hour per day, such as 11:00 – 12:00. This would then mean that those resources to do things which others take for granted are not being penalised.

Joel Street, from Tesco down to Joel Street Farm, should remain as it currently is, allowing cars, motorbikes or small heavy goods vehicles to park on 1 side of the road, without a time limit.

However, before any management scheme is proposed or implemented, a full and clear consultation should take place not only for those roads immediately affected by any management scheme, but also those roads that could be affected after a management scheme is implemented.

Should the majority of any road vote against the scheme, then they do not join the scheme, but should be given the chance to opt into the scheme should they wish to do so at a later date.

John Morgan

A HAPPY AND BUSY RETIREMENT 1984-2008

In the last issue of "The Hills Echo" I appealed for someone to take over the role of Planning Officer, a post I had held for about twenty-four years. Unfortunately, due to my handicap, I am unable to continue. I was very pleased when Anila Hashim agreed to take on the job. I was sorry to give up, but I am confident it is in very capable hands, and I hope it will give Anila the pleasure it has given me. At present a lot of changes are taking place regarding policy, objectives and procedure, which makes it an ideal time for a takeover. I still hope to maintain contact, and will attend committee meetings as long as I can. I hope I might still be able to make some minor contribution.

My connection with our Association started in 1969, when my wife and I became members. The subscription then was three shillings (15p) per annum. I did not take an active interest, however, until I retired in 1984, which incidentally was our Association's golden jubilee year, it having been founded by Harry Peachey in 1934. I attended the AGM, and volunteered to join the committee. A large hall was hired at St Edmund's Church, but only twelve people turned up. The following year we hired a smaller room at the same venue, but this time a large number attended, and the room was too small. It was a warm evening, and a number, unable to get into the room, stood outside the open windows and followed the meeting. We never made the same mistake again.

In 1987 I was elected Chairman, a post I held for about thirteen years. Apart from my duties as Chairman, I found myself deeply involved in other matters. These included Planning, which was my main duty in addition to being Chairman. I was also involved in liaising with schools, and I had a lot of co-operation from Robert Waddy, Head Teacher of Hillside Junior School. He was very keen on building up a relationship with the community of Northwood Hills. I also frequently visited Harlyn School, and talked to the Head Teacher, Kath Meyrick.

Traffic was a major problem, and we acted together to try to get a zebra crossing on Joel Street, near the top of Tolcarne Drive. Council representatives spent some time observing the situation, but rejected the proposal. This was brought up again by our committee more recently, and I understand it has now been approved. We also tried to get a voluntary one-way system around the school, in Harlyn Drive and Tolcarne Drive, but could not get the co-operation of parents. Traffic and parking problems tended to dominate our meetings, and still often do. I also visited Haydon and Northwood Schools, and enjoyed their co-operation.

Vandalism was a great problem, and it is still with us, but I do not think it is quite as bad today. I am thinking mainly of the area around the Health Centre, and the Middlesex Skills Centre in Wiltshire Lane. The situation got very bad, particularly around the Health Centre, where a gang of youths and children were active, breaking into the building and damaging expensive equipment. The leader of the gang was the main culprit, but certain youths and children regarded him as a hero, and followed him everywhere. I visited the site, but of course there was nothing to see. PC Malcolm Ruddock kept a close watch on the site, but the vandals were quick to vanish.

I visited several houses overlooking the Health Centre and, with police permission, asked residents to keep watch, dialling 999 at the first sign of trouble. Fortunately the family of the gang leader moved away from the Addison Way area, and the trouble subsided. In the meantime the Health Centre was encircled by a high metal fence, which helped a lot. A similar, but higher, fence was built around the Skills Centre, which I called a stockade. It was very expensive, and I asked the Manager (Mrs Morris) whether it was worth the expense. She replied that they had lost far more due to vandalism. Of course vandalism is a national problem, and fifty years ago Councillor Peter Cary wrote an article on the problem in Northwood Hills, in "The Resident", the forerunner of "The Hills Echo". Anyway, the police currently have the situation in hand, and I believe they are winning.

A few years ago a teenager, Louise Robertson, wrote an article for "The Hills Echo", complaining about the fact there was nothing for young people to do in Northwood Hills. We agreed with her, and tried to rectify the situation. I attended a meeting at St John's Church, Northwood, along with representatives of neighbouring Residents Associations, Robert Waddy (Hillside School), Barry Twigg (Youth Officer, Council) and others. We did not though meet with any success. Our hopes rose on one occasion, when the use of the old cinema in Northwood High Street seemed a possibility, but people living nearby objected. A club in Hallowell Road has been running for many years, and used to be a Boys Club, but now admits girls as well. Malcolm Ruddock plays a big part there.

For many years I represented our Association as a member of the Ruislip Woods Management Advisory Group. I did not play a big part, as a lot of the discussions were to some extent technical, and needed a greater knowledge of the Woods than I possessed. However there were a few matters where I could intervene. We became involved in problems regarding Ruislip Lido, as the Council at one time considered selling or leasing it to a private firm, who even contemplated organising war games in the Woods. We were horrified, and they quickly withdrew the suggestion. It all went on for a while, but ended well when the Council decided to retain the Lido, much to our relief.

During all my time with our Association, the parking of cars has always been a problem, and still is today. It was difficult even when we had a public car park, but is worse now. Losing our car park was a great blow. I wrote objecting at the time, but to no avail. At one time, before we lost our car park, I carried out a survey, checking the number of cars and spaces available at different times of the day. On one occasion I was almost arrested. After spending some time in the car park, I set off to walk home, when I was overtaken by a police officer, CID, who asked me what I was doing in the car park. I immediately went into a detailed explanation of our car parking problem, but he was not interested. He told me a woman had been molested in the car park, and I was seen there at the time. At that moment a second officer arrived, accompanied by the lady, who confirmed that I was not the culprit, so I was able to continue my journey home.

Many other duties fell my way, including the battle to retain retail shops, the fight to stop the incursion of an excessive number of restaurants, the retention of Green Belt land in our area, and a number of other activities. We all joined the battle to prevent the building of a cemetery on Joel Street Farm. In this we enjoyed the help and support of our members, councillors, neighbouring Associations etc, all of whom combined to win the day. I spent a lot of time at St Vincent's Hospital, where I experienced an abortive attempt to modernise the existing hospital which, due to financial difficulties, had to be abandoned. They did however achieve a splendid nursing home instead.

In this survey I have concentrated mainly on work with which I have been involved during my period of office. There was however much other work, in which I played no part. One that comes to mind is Mount Vernon Hospital, which most certainly would have disappeared, had it not been for the supreme efforts of our and neighbouring Associations. During my time I have seen many committee members come and go. I am now the longest serving member, but close behind me is Erika Kimber, who was Chief Road Steward for many years. We could not exist without our Road Stewards, and Erika has worked hard for our Association. Margot Barnikel was with us for many years, and worked very hard as our Secretary. Years ago Phrynette Dickens acted as both Chairman and Secretary. She left the district many years ago, but still maintains an interest, and likes to be kept informed. Our present Councillors were elected during my term of office, and have been a great help. David Bishop and Andrew Retter attend our meetings, and are very helpful. Our Association goes from strength to strength. I believe it has had a useful and highly successful past, and I feel proud to have been part of it. I am confident that it has a great future, and I finish with an expression of gratitude to all I have worked with and met whilst in office. I feel I have been highly rewarded.

Lishman Easby

TRANSPORT IN NORTHWOOD HILLS

As is well documented, Northwood Hills arose as a suburb in the 1930s, following the building of a new underground station on the Metropolitan Line, between Pinner and Northwood. This was named Northwood Hills as the result of a competition, for which the winner received the sum of £5.00. The new station opened on 13th November 1933, so its seventy-fifth anniversary is due later this year. For the last forty-eight of those years, I have been commuting towards London each weekday, and I have seen a number of changes during that time. 
Until 1962, the trains serving Northwood Hills were of the old “slam door” type, with numerous individual compartments, each seating around twelve passengers, the Metropolitan Line being the last underground line to use such trains. Trains ran from both Aylesbury, to either Marylebone or Baker Street, and from Watford, to Baker Street and Aldgate, through Northwood Hills, and some of the fast services provided a very quick journey into London. As well as the usual “Smoking” and “No Smoking”, there was a "Ladies Only" compartment, situated at the rear of the trains, and if a mere male jumped in at the last second, to ensure he did not miss a train, he was inevitably met with frosty stares by the occupants!

The new rolling stock was introduced during 1962, and is still in use today, although I believe new trains are due to come into service within the next couple of years. Whilst the service has generally been very good during the long period I have been using it, the Metropolitan Line has been fraught with problems and delays in the last few years, so the service is certainly no better now than it was in the early 1960s.

Although the residents of the new suburb were provided with a train service from the outset, it was quite a few years, despite lobbying from around the mid 1930s, before a bus service was introduced. Quite unusually, the first bus route serving Northwood Hills, which ran from the roundabout to Woodlands Avenue, just past Eastcote Station, began operating during wartime, in January 1944. The first buses, on the new 225 route, were single-deckers, and ran only until 8.00 pm, with no service on Sundays. They catered primarily for people going to and from work, and there was a break of an hour or so in the service during the morning and afternoon.

In April 1946, however, the service was much improved, and extended from Northwood Station to the “Eastcote Arms”. Double-decker buses were brought into service, the last buses ran around 11.00 pm, and a Sunday service was introduced, although the buses only ran at half-hour intervals. I was amused to find a letter in the local newspaper, written soon afterwards, from a Northwood Hills resident who complained about a bus-stop being situated outside his property, from which passengers on the top deck could see directly into his flat, and that the hooligan element of the neighbourhood were causing uproar around local bus-stops!

Other than being extended to Mount Vernon Hospital on Sunday afternoons, to assist people visiting there, the 225 route continued virtually unchanged until 1963. In the mid 1950s a group of regular travellers on the route formed their own social club, the “225 Club” which ran for several years. Also for a short time, from 1954, the 220 bus route, which had previously operated between Uxbridge and Pinner, via Ruislip, was altered to run between Uxbridge and Ruislip only, except during peak times when the service was extended to Northwood Station, thus supplementing the 225 service. However this service was very short-lived, and was withdrawn in 1957.

In my early days of work, I was often given a lift to the “Eastcote Arms”, from where I would catch a 225 bus home to the stop at the top of the road where I live, Middleton Drive. The “down” bus-stop was easily visible from the pub, so I always knew, when a bus from Northwood terminated there, that I had a good ten minutes in which to finish a pint! In May 1963, the 225 service was withdrawn entirely, and replaced by the 232 service, which operated between Northwood Station and Hounslow Bus Station, via Northolt, ie still passing the “Eastcote Arms”. In November 1968, this route was shortened, to operate between Northolt and Hounslow, with a new 282 service, of single-decker, one-man buses, running between Greenford and Northwood Station, with extensions to Mount Vernon Hospital at visiting times, now serving Northwood Hills. This 282 route is still running today, now extended to Ealing Hospital, and of course double-decker buses now operate the route.

In much more recent times two “Hoppa” bus services, Hll and H13, have also been introduced to serve Northwood Hills residents, and their routes cover a number of roads not previously included on bus routes, such as Northwood Way and Norwich Road.
Most of the bus-stops in Northwood Hills have been moved several times over the years, although not the two at the top of Middleton Drive! For many years there was a bus-stop virtually on the corner of Norwich Road, but it has been moved twice now, until it is now almost in the shopping parade, most inconvenient for those living in Norwich Road, or any of the roads off it. There also used to be a stop almost exactly opposite it, situated right on the bend by Lander Brothers, but that was moved a short distance towards Eastcote, for more obvious safety reasons.

The stop in Northwood Hills, which the 1946 correspondent complained most bitterly about, is now in Pinner Road, in front of where the "Rex Cinema" once stood, and the one just over the railway bridge, travelling towards Northwood, was moved there from its original place exactly opposite the underground station. The stops near Haydon Drive were added to the route to save residents of that estate from lengthy walks from either Middleton Drive or “The Woodman”. Nowadays all stops are announced by name as one travels on the 282 bus!

If anyone has any interesting memories about local transport, or can add anything to the above, I shall be very pleased to hear from them at 24 Middleton Drive, Pinner HA5 2PG, or if telephoning, on 020 8866 3343.

Alan Carter

HILLSIDE JUNIOR CANAL TRIP

In May year 5 at Hillside Junior School went on a canal trip on the Grand Union Canal in Northamptonshire. I was in the second of two groups. We travelled through woodland and picturesque countryside ending at a historical landmark, the Blisworth Tunnel. It is the ninth longest tunnel in the world. 
Safety was extremely important and we were made to wear our life jackets all the time whilst outside. The experience was brilliant and I learnt many life skills such as:

Cooking

Teamwork

Independence

Responsibility

What was particularly memorable was the evening that was held afterwards, when we were able to view our trip in the form of a movie and laugh with our friends.

I would like to thank all the staff that made the trip possible and hope that many more children are given the same opportunity for years to come.

Benjamin Retter (Aged 10)

FUNDRAISING EVENTS FOR MICHAEL SOBELL HOUSE

 Fri 17 Oct 08 - Art Sale
A selection of mixed works including water colour and limited edition prints mounted and framed. The sale will take place in the MSH Centre. 
Pre-View Evening Friday 17 8.00pm-10.00pm. 
Sale & Viewing Saturday 18 11.00am - 3.00pm 
Final viewing & close of sale Sunday 19 10.00am –12.30pm.
Entry is free of charge and wine will be available. A collection of visuals will be available to view on the MSH website from 17 September.

Wed 5 Nov 08 - The Alternative to Guy Fawkes Night!
An evening of sheer fun and frolics. Test your skill on quiz rounds ranging from 20th Century history, film starts, Latin, plus a round which tests your ability to identify objects by touch & smell! £15 per ticket which includes a fish & chip supper. Teams of eight max & individuals welcome. Alcoholic & non-alcoholic refreshments will be available. 7.30pm start MSH Centre Hall.

Sat 15 Nov 08 - The Christmas Gift Fayre
Come and buy lovely NEW gifts from the various gift stalls that will be showing. Leather accessories, decoupage, jewellery, seasonal cards, home-made cakes and much more. Venue: MSH Centre, Mount Vernon Hospital, via gate 3, off White Hill. Entry will be £2.00 & refreshments will be available. Opening hours: 10.00am - 2.30pm. See our website for updates on this event.

Sun 30 Nov 08 - Light Up A Life
A season of remembrance. Remember a loved one, a friend or celebrate a new life at our service this year. Dedication forms are on our main notice board or you can pick one up from the fundraising office. The event starts at 4.00pm. Part of the event will be outside, so please dress accordingly.

Thu 4 Dec 08 - Glitzy Glamour Evening at Elstree Studios
Come to our pre-Christmas party with friends, sisters, mums, husbands and boyfriends. Chic designer eveningwear, trendy sports clothing, and catwalk fashion for a variety of shapes & sizes, along with current creations from fashion students. There will be a chance to buy selected lines after the show, and branded cosmetic giveaways. Hot & cold canapés will be served and there is a licensed bar. Tickets are only £20.00 and space is limited, so reserve your ‘fashionista’ place early.  Arrive 7.30pm for 8.00pm start Elstree Film Studio, Shenley Road, Borehamwood, Herts, WD6 1JG. There is no parking on site, but parking is available locally.

GIFT WRAPPING HELP NEEDED
If you enjoy gift wrapping, MSH fundraising will have the opportunity to wrap for two whole days in the Chimes & Mall Pavilions Shopping Centres, Uxbridge. Mid Dec - watch our website for the confirmed date. Contact Ophelia Chambers-Henry for further information on any of the listed events.

Tel: 01923 844 829 or Email: ochambers@michaelsobellhouse.co.uk Website: www.michaelsobellhouse.co.uk

FAIRFIELD

This autumn, a group of Christians at Northwood Hills Evangelical Church are celebrating 60 years of meeting in Windsor Close, Northwood Hills. Now in their third building, usually known as Fairfield, this independent evangelical church has been meeting on or close to its current location since 1948. To celebrate the 60th anniversary, many former members of the church have been invited back to the area for a day of celebration on 1st November.

 Whilst Northwood Hills and the church have developed in that time, the aim of the church has changed little. It was established as an ‘evangelical’ church - which means it takes the Bible as central to the thinking and direction of the church, and regards it as inspired by God. Activities at Fairfield throughout each week have three aims. To assist those who attend the church to grow and develop in their knowledge and love of God; to provide opportunities for others to hear the gospel of Christ and to put their faith in the Lord Jesus; and to serve the community around us.

Many children (and now adults) from the area will have been to the Tiddlywinks toddler group, which has been running for more than 20 years. A weekly coffee-shop on Friday mornings provides an opportunity to drop in and have a chat. Vision - a group for teenagers - has its own programme of activities. An International Group meet to share experiences and study the Bible. Fortnightly home groups take the activities of the church into more comfortable surroundings, whilst other groups, such as the Ramblers and Keep Fit, require more exertion! During the week, several local groups are welcomed to Fairfield, including the Residents’ Association, as part of our service to the community.
This range of activities seeks to meet needs of different groups of people, and early in October this autumn is being extended to include a new short course on Parenting. This will aim to offer practical advice on raising children, and making the most of the years when they are at home and is open to parents of children aged up to 12.

The Church’s Minister, Alistair Hornal, said "NHEC has sought to share God’s love with those around Northwood Hills for the last 60 years, and we believe the message of Jesus and the teachings of the Bible are as relevant as ever. As well as our Bible-based Sunday programme and other ongoing activities, we’re excited to be embarking on some new projects to help people in their approach to family life. We also hope that they will see something of God through some of the time we’re able to share with them."

TOLCARNE DRIVE / JOEL STREET

I am writing to inform the Northwood Hills Residents Association of a proposed Local Safety Scheme at the above location. Hillingdon Council’s monitoring programme of road accidents has highlighted a high number of personal injury accidents that have taken place at the junction between Joel Street and Tolcarne Drive, Northwood Hills. To mitigate these accidents a Local Safety Scheme has been developed for the junction, which proposes the following measures:The scheme will include a kerb build-out on the north-eastern corner of the junction, outside numbers 87 to 91 Joel Street. This will ensure that motorists have greater visibility when exiting Tolcarne Drive, as the build-out will prevent motorists from parking up to the junction. Waiting restrictions are proposed at the junction, prohibiting waiting "At any time" to prevent parking on the build-out which would obstruct access and visibility.

The pedestrian refuge to the north of the junction will be widened to 2 metres, and a kerb build-out on the western side of Joel Street provided to access the pedestrian refuge and ensure pedestrians are not crossing from between parked vehicles. The wider refuge will provide more protection to pedestrians, and will help to influence motorists’ speeds when approaching the junction, by reducing the carriageway width.
A pedestrian refuge is proposed on Tolcarne Drive. This will reduce the likelihood of pedestrian accidents by protecting pedestrians from oncoming vehicles. The northern kerbline of Tolcarne Drive will be cut back to help motorists to overtake stationary vehicles queuing to access the petrol garage, and reduce the likelihood that queuing will take place back on to Joel Street. Bollards are proposed for the footway to prevent motorists from mounting the kerb.

The proposed scheme will also include amendments to the existing waiting restrictions on the eastern side of Joel Street, outside numbers 85 and 89 Joel Street. These restrictions currently operate between "8am to 6.30pm Monday to Saturday" and will be changed to restrictions operating "11am to 12 noon Monday to Friday". These restrictions will become a continuation of existing "11am to 12 noon Monday to Friday" restrictions on the east side, and will maintain parking spaces that would be lost with the provision of a kerb build out on the western side of Joel Street.

A new Zebra crossing will also be introduced approximately 15 metres south of the junction, across Joel Street, as part of an adjacent scheme.

I have attached a plan of the proposed scheme (Page 27) for your information. Implementation of the scheme is planned to begin in late 2008.

Borough Officer

THE SHOPS IN NORTHWOOD HILLS

We are all outsiders and insiders when it comes down to it. Nearly all of us know nothing about running a shop so we are outsiders yet we all use them and many of us would like to be able to buy from the shops in the Hills much more often . We have our own ideas about how a shop should be run. As soon as you look in the window, step over the doorway and pass your first words with the owner or assistant you make an opinion about a shop and that very often is a lasting one.

Shop owners usually have to sign a long lease with regular rent reviews (normally upwards) and this means they have to commit money up front over the long term and then also have the added burden of paying business rates, which ridiculously match the rent they are paying for the premises! The traffic in Northwood Hills appears only able to bear low-margin everyday goods and here a small shopkeeper is really up against the pile-it-high-sell-it-cheap chain stores. We read now that in these parlous economic times there is even a general move from the major chain stores towards the discounters like Lidl and Aldi and people driving several miles to fill up with groceries and other wares from such stores. Good for them, bad for nearly all the shops in the Hills!

If economic rules prevail, rents should fall in Northwood Hills to such a level that attracts shopkeepers to start up in the area. But rents are sticky and involve long term contracts. So they fall by much less than they should. We must also remember that for the small shopkeeper it is ( and if he is to survive he must regard it as) a lifetime enterprise and he depends on the income to feed his family. If the shop is faltering it creates the wrong impression and makes it very difficult to sell the lease on to even a different kind of shop. Landlords should be much more flexible in adjusting rents both ways and not just upwards.

Rents must fall and will fall in the Hills if new shops are to open. Who could ever imagine that we could have two piano shops (yes two!) in Northwood Hills when to be honest there must be many more customers for such expensive and once-in-a-lifetime products in Northwood or Pinner or Ickenham? Why not therefore an Audi dealer, a luxury delicatessen or a Swiss watch shop too? People would travel from outside to the Hills for something special and not available elsewhere.

Sadly, the shops in the Hills lack any sort of Trade Association to work for their interests and present a more united front when it comes to dealing with landlords and the Council, both of whose interests are served, quite obviously, by having a vigorous, healthy and prosperous shopping centre. Short-termism is a curse of the British economy and a longer term view would see all the advantages of such an Association with its own Standing Committee able to offer or even buy in support for its members in both legal and economic fields; draw in advice on window display, customer relations and all the legal requirements a sole trader has to deal with and so on. I am sure Hillingdon Council, the Residents Association, the local police would give it every support they could. A problem, I know, is that many of the shops are in direct competition with each other and may well resist working together even if for their mutual benefit. We all know how eateries and small food-and-drink shops proliferate in the Hills. Yet to paraphrase Dr Johnson: if they don’t hang together they may well all hang separately.

Of course, the news on the shop front (and it does all have a bit of a war footing!) is not all bleak – although we have recently heard that Nationwide are folding its tent in November and directing customers to Northwood! There are some small speciality shops that sell curtains and linens, provide equipment for computers, repair and update your computer, do dry cleaning and laundaretting, cut and titivate your hair, offer all kinds of bread and cakes, install your insulated windows and cut your glass, sell and fit a wide range of carpets, buy or sell you a house, give you a tan or tattoo, put together a bouquet or provide flowers for an occasion – and also incredibly there is a boutique, which in my book puts it up with Audi dealer! We also have the Post Office where you can withdraw money from your bank account gratis just as at Nationwide now. There are others too. And we do have the best curries and tempura in the borough! They all of them need our patronage – especially now and always.

So finally what can be done to turn things around? A lot! Here are just a few suggestions:

  1.  The shops must – just MUST – start a Trade Association. This among many things will create an awareness of the Hills as a viable and attractive place to shop. It will give strength to all negotiations with the Council and landlords. It can then build links with our own Residents Association, which, especially thanks to one of its members, initiated the Christmas lights in Joel Street.

  2. Parking: because the shops have no corporate unity their voice is fragmented into a hundred different opinions. The present system in Joel Street works well enough in keeping all-day London office commuters at bay. We need to hear a clear voice from the shops on what would be the kind of parking they favour, where customers do not have to pay and yet there is some turnover with the cars that park.

  3.  Some more initiatives are needed besides the Christmas lights to make Joel Street more attractive. Remember the old days with the shops and their coloured awnings? The Residents Association is planning to put up a special landmark clock on the roundabout, which will draw attention to the Hills. The shops need to be involved themselves in promoting the area.

  4.  We must not forget the shops in the Pinner Road up to the Iron Bridge and those in Salisbury Road. Salisbury Road has been abandoned to itself and is gasping for a lifeline. Lower rents might bring in specialist shops such as the clock repairer there. I believe the council owns these. The Iron Bridge shops represent a surprising variety but customers have to park in Chestnut Avenue if they want to use them. The wide pavements we enjoy could perhaps be shared out for extra parking space.

  5. More food and drink shops and café/restaurants are of no use to the Hills. We have reached saturation point here! Landlords should have more interest in recruiting tenants who can offer greater variety: what about a party shop, a greengrocer’s, a stationer’s, a hardware shop…..

  6. Shops here can learn a lot from those that manage to flourish in equally difficult environments. Eastcote small shops manage to co-exist with Budgens and Woolworths. Kingsbury, up the line, has a multiplicity of ethnic shops. Why on earth did the “Value” shop by the roundabout in Joel Street fail when it seemed to be just right for the Hills? Lessons need to be learned and a blueprint developed for shopping otherwise the piecemeal opening and shutting down we have at the moment is what will continue. In the end the future of the shops here is in their keepers own hands [but we must use them! ED.], hands which will either grasp at opportunity or continue to drop the ball.

Robert Symes

NORTHWOOD AND DISTRICT COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION

On 19 August, 2008, Northwood and District Community Association reached its 60th anniversary and to mark the occasion 123 members celebrated by attending a luncheon held in a lovely marquee in the grounds of The Grange, Rickmansworth Road, Northwood. It was a chance for members from the different sections to meet and mingle – and in some cases to renew old acquaintances and make new friendships. The meal of traditional meats and accompaniments was served by smiling uniformed staff from a long buffet table – and then enjoyed by groups of ten sitting at round tables.

 Originally the association was mainly a Ladies Section of educational and recreational activities, meeting in local halls or churches. As night schools came into being, this side of the activities was not needed as much, so dwindled and began to be replaced by more recreational, sport and social pursuits. It is now a mixed association of gender and ages. A building fund was started in the hope that one day we would be able to build buy a building to house our association. There never seemed to be one available or suitable or affordable. Luckily in the 1980's we were leased our own space in Frithwood School, Carew Road, Northwood. This consisted of an office, a cloakroom, a small meeting room, kitchen and office. This housed our smaller groups, and we hired the main school hall for badminton, dances, quizzes etc. Unfortunately in the 1990's the school required these rooms for classrooms to meet the rise in the local school age children in the area and we had to leave. So now we are a nomadic association again, but membership has risen since and we are fortunate to be able to house our activities in our three local churches, United Reformed Church, Joel Street, Emmanuel in the High Street and the Methodist Church in Oaklands Gate, with all of whom we have happy relationships. So - here's to the next 60 years! Anyone interested in joining - please contact the secretary on 01923 836346

 WORDS FAIL... BUT PAR FOR THE COURSE?

An elderly Irish lady died this past January, and MBNA bank billed her for February and March for their annual service charges on her credit card, and then added late fees and interest on the monthly charge. The balance that had been €0.00 became somewhere around €60.00.
A Family Member placed a call to the MBNA Bank ...
Family Member: "I am calling to tell you that she died in January."
MBN: "The account was never closed and the late fees and charges still apply."
Family Member: "Maybe, you should turn it over to collections."
MBN: "Since it is two months past due, it already has been."
Family Member: "So, what will they do when they find out she is dead?"
MBN: "Either report her account to the frauds division or report her to the credit bureau, maybe both!"
Family Member: "Do you think God will be mad at her?"
MBN: "Excuse me?"
Family Member: "Did you just get what I was telling you . . . The part about her being dead?"
MBN: "Sir, you’ll have to speak to my supervisor."
Supervisor gets on the phone...
Family Member: "I’m calling to tell you, she died in January."
MBN: "The account was never closed and the late fees and charges still apply."
Family Member: "You mean you want to collect from her estate?"
MBN:(Stammer) ‘Are you her lawyer?"
Family Member: "No, I’m her great nephew." (Lawyer info given)
MBN: "Could you fax us a certificate of death?"
Family Member: "Sure." ( fax number is given )
After they get the fax:
MBN: "Our system just isn’t set up for death. I don’t know what more I can do to help."
Family Member: "Well, if you figure it out, great! If not, you could just keep billing her. I don’t think she will care."
MBN: "Well, the late fees and charges do still apply."
Family Member: "Would you like her new billing address?"
MBN: "That might help."
Family Member: " Glasnevin Cemetry, Finglas Road , Dublin 11, Ireland , Plot Number 1049."
MBN: "Sir, that’s a cemetery!"
Family Member: "Well, what the **** do you do with dead people on your planet?"

CENTRAL MIDDLESEX SKILLS CENTRE NEWS

This month is a exciting month for us at CMSS as we have launched 2 more community projects for our clients. This means that everyone who attends CMSS has an individualised timetable of activities which are held in and around their local communities.

For example, one day’s activities could include a money skills course at college, then lunch in a local sandwich bar. The afternoon could consist of a session in the local gym. This change in the way our service is run goes in line with government legislation.

We have had some disappointment as well this month. The collapse of the airline XL has meant that one of the holidays we arrange for our clients had to be cancelled. A group of 11 clients and volunteers were packed Friday ready to go to Lanzarote on the Monday when we heard the news. This was disheartening as our clients did not have their lovely holiday, but also their carers did not get the well-earned respite break they were looking forward to.

And now for something to look forward to.

CMSS are holding a Christmas Bazaar on the 29th November 2008 11am. There will be lots of gifts, raffle, tombola, mulled wine and mince pies, plus lots more, so put the date in your diary.

Jennie Alexander

CHILDREN TODAY

“Children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter in front of company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannise their teachers.”

Socrates, in about 400 BC

LIONS INTERNATIONAL

Serving the Community since 1987 
Our membership

Consists of men and women who genuinely wish to serve their community. There is no age barrier; in Northwood the age range is from 40's to 80 - we all have fun. working together for the good of others. 

Our wish 
To have more club members. like ourselves. so we can do more for the community. 

We fundraise by

Raffles and stalls at fetes

Tin shakes at local supermarkets

Benefactor donation

We undertake service activities like

Fish & Chip Suppers and Bingo for the elderly

Transporting the elderly to concerts & hospital

Outings to Theme Parks for deserving children

Donations of money/equipment to the needy

Provision of equipment to local hospitals

 Annual donation to Hillingdon Social Services Christmas ‘Lollipop Fund’ for the needy

 Meeting Days 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month at 8pm Venue Haste Hill Golf Club, The Drive, Northwood

GOOD NEWS - SATURDAY MARKET

 The British Red Cross has run a charity market at 195 Pinner Road, Northwood for over 37 years. The market sells second-hand goods, homemade cakes, tea and coffee, and is staffed entirely by volunteers.

 On the 15th March, the Red Cross cut its ties with Northwood, but the good news is that Olive Fairclough and her team will continue as before, under the umbrella of Northwood Lions, a charity which donates every penny to local good causes. The volunteers are very happy with this new arrangement, and hope that they will continue to receive your support. We have been happy to serve the community and look forward to seeing you all on Saturday mornings, 9.45 - 11.45, at "The Lions’ Den", 195 Pinner Road, Northwood (the small brick building, formerly known as the Red Cross – almost next to the Sorting Office, near the Iron Bridge). Everyone is welcome.

Why not take the opportunity to clear out any unwanted items for us to sell at the market.

Market information - Robert on 07860 324395            Lions information - Louvain 020 8863 4626, or Martin 01895 676518

VANISHED PUBS AND CINEMAS

I can add a several more to those listed by Ray Krystofiak in his article which appeared in the Autumn 2004 issue f “The Hills Echo”:

 The Northwood Hotel, Green Lane, Northwood - the site is now occupied by Bowleys shoe shop. The hotel closed in 1962, and was effectively replaced by “The Reindeer”, which opened around the same time, just a short distance away. This closed last year and there is local objection to redevelopment.

The “Red Lion” in Pinner closed around 1963. This was formerly the terminus for several local bus routes and was replaced by shops, in what is now called “Red Lion Parade”.

 Since the original article appeared, “The Bell” at Pinner Green, which later became the “Orange Tree” has also gone, and been replaced by a block of flats, and the “Hand in Hand”, in Pinner High Street, has closed as well. If the area covered by the article was extended, there were a few pubs in Harefield which have closed in reasonably recent times. “The Mines Royal”, “The Plough” and the “Vernon Arms” all spring to mind. When I was growing up, Harefield was "famous" for having no less than thirteen pubs!

 I can correct and expand on some of the cinema information included in the article by Gordon Pitt, which appeared in the Spring 2005 issue of “The Hills Echo”, partly from my old recollections, and partly from the excellent book “Hillingdon Cinemas”, written by James Skinner, which was published in 2002.

1. The Rex in Northwood Hills closed in September 1973, not 1975 - I remember it well! 
2. The Picture House in High Street, Northwood was certainly never open as a cinema after World War II, and was used as a "British Restaurant" during that war. The building, which of course still exists today, apparently ceased to operate as a cinema around 1936, when The Rex opened, only a short distance away. 
3. The Embassy in North Harrow, which became a tenpin bowling centre, last operated as a cinema in May 1963. 
4. The Ideal, in Field End Road, Eastcote, had its last performance in May 1956. I used to visit it frequently during my youth, and it was unusual in not having an "upstairs". 
5. The Coliseum, in Station Road, Harrow, operated as a theatre only in its latter years and I recall visiting it. It closed in June 1956, not 1959. 
There used to be several cinemas in Uxbridge - The Savoy, The Regal and The Odeon, and I recall visiting them all. Now of course there is a multiplex cinema in Uxbridge. Also there were two Essoldo cinemas, one in Belmont and one in Queensbury. Most reasonably sized town centres had a cinema in their High Streets in the immediate post-war years, including two in Ruislip until 1966, and other cinemas not far away from Northwood Hills, and not mentioned in the original article, were situated in Kingsbury, Sudbury.

PINNER ROAD SCHOOL

In the Autumn 2003 issue of "The Hills Echo", I wrote an article outlining the history of my former primary school, which used to be in Pinner Road, where Waller Drive now stands, and I advised of my intention to write a full history of the school. Somewhat belatedly, this project is now well advanced, although not yet complete. Thus I am still interested in hearing from former pupils of the school, with their memories of those days. Any photographs or other memorabilia which could be loaned to me for copying purposes will be particularly appreciated, and I will take great care of everything sent to me. All contact made will be acknowledged, and I will endeavour to include as many of your anecdotes as possible in the book. Please get in touch with me at 24 Middleton Drive, Pinner HA5 2PG, or by telephone on 020 8866 3343. 
One other matter I have previously raised in these pages remains outstanding. I am still looking for the name of the cafe which operated on one corner of Windsor Close from the mid 1940s until the early 1950s, when it became a shop selling electrical goods. The site I am referring to is currently operating as "Pizza on the Hill". Does anyone recall the name "Alpine Cafe", which is one suggestion made to me?

Alan Carter

CHILDREN'S SCIENCE EXAM

If you need a laugh, then read through these children's science exam answers.

Q:

 Name the four seasons.

A: 

Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar.

Q:

Explain one of the processes by which water can be made safe to drink.

A: 

Flirtation makes water safe to drink because it removes large pollutants like grit, sand, dead sheep and canoeists.

Q:

How is dew formed?

A: 

The sun shines down on the leaves and makes them perspire.

Q:

How can you delay milk turning sour? 

A: 

Keep it in the cow.

Q:

What causes the tides in the oceans?

A: 

The tides are a fight between the Earth and the Moon. All water tends to flow towards the moon, because there is no water on the moon, and nature hates a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins in this fight.

Q:

What are steroids?

A: 

Things for keeping carpets still on the stairs.

Q:

What happens to your body as you age?

A: 

When you get old, so do your bowels and you get intercontinental.

Q:

What happens to a boy when he reaches puberty? 

A:

He says good-bye to his boyhood and looks forward to his adultery.

Q:

Name a major disease associated with cigarettes. 

A: 

Premature death.

Q:

 How are the main parts of the body categorized? (e.g., abdomen.) 

A:

The body is consisted into three parts - the brainium, the borax and the abdominal cavity. The brainium contains the brain; the borax contains the heart and lungs, and the abdominal cavity contains the five bowels, A, E, I, O, and U.

Q:

 What is the fibula?

A:

A small lie.

Q:

 What does "varicose"mean? 

A:

Nearby.

ROAD STEWARDS NEEDED

We still have several roads not covered by a Road Steward. If you have only enough time to cover, say 10 homes near you, PLEASE call Robert Symes on 01923 821201. All you have to do is to collect the £2 annual fee and deliver our bi-annual publication "The Echo". Although we have many members already we desperately need to increase our income to cover the annual £1000.00 cost of providing Christmas lights in Joel Street.