Spring 2002

































It has never before been more vital that democracy should work and be seen to work. Democracy is not the be all of life, but I believe it is the best of all the options we have. Fundamentally, democracy means having the vote and using it. It means standing up to be counted. There are many issues that confront us these days, but for democracy to work, we, either as citizens or subjects, must make our voices heard. It is all too easy to let things slide, to let someone else make the decisions. However, this often means that individuals or groups, who may be working to a secret hidden agenda, can influence or direct policies that concern us all, often not to the common good. I urge all residents to ensure that they cast their votes in the coming Council Elections, on May 2nd. Who you vote for is your concern, but do vote.

I also urge all members of this Association to attend and cast a vote to our election. May 7th is the date of our Annual General Meeting. It is YOUR Association, in existence to deal with your concerns, so make sure that the people you wish to deal with those concerns are the ones elected. It would be good to see more nominations coming in for the seats on the committee. We need people to assist the Association. Life and conditions become ever more complex and that means the Association has more work to do. Your committee tries to monitor the services that should be here for the well being of all. This includes The National Health Service (Hospitals, Health Centre and staff for each), Emergency Services, Police, Fire Brigade, Council Activities, Housing, Planning, Waste Collections, Street Cleaning, Parks and Open Spaces and Libraries. We try to maintain good communications with Education, Schools etc. Will YOU help? We need help. Please make yourself known to us; a little help will go a long way. It is only by involving local people that we, as a community, can successfully lobby, or campaign on your behalf, for a better way of life. It is only by being active that resources will be directed towards our neighbourhood and not elsewhere. We do not wish to lose the things we already enjoy. If we do not nurture them, they will wither and be lost forever. This Association, unlike others in the Borough, is here for the good of all residents locally. We do not make a distinction between tenants and others, all are equal with us.

Recently the Association has been active on two serious planning matters. The Esso / Tesco site in Joel Street and the St. Vincent’s Hospital site on Haste Hill. We did not actively oppose either of these applications but we did submit to the Council our strong views and concerns on various aspects of both. The Council in coming to their decisions apparently upheld these views. Our actions were not entirely supported by some members who held differing views, but after a good debate your committee made a decision. If you are involved you can put a case forward, if you are not involved, how can you be heard?

On the Association’s behalf I have attend numerous meetings concerning the National Health Service, over the future of Mount Vernon Hospital and the services that still exist there, Northwood and Pinner Community Hospital and the Joel Street Farm site is another potential problem. We have no news or information whatsoever. The owners of the site decline to communicate with us. The uncertain situation causes local residents great concern, mainly, I think, due to lack of confidence in property values. As soon as we receive any information we will circulate it. I request that should local residents have relevant information that they communicate with us.

Make a note of YOUR Annual General Meeting. Not only so that you cast your votes, but come to hear, and possibly question, our guest speaker, the recently appointed, Chief Superintendent Andrew Bamber, Commander of Hillingdon Police who has accepted our invitation to attend and speak. This Association has long lobbied for the senior police officer locally, to attend and justify the apparent lack of police presence in our part of Hillingdon. At last we are successful. If you are a member and have a problem to air or a concern to be voiced this is your opportunity to get an answer from the man in charge. I will not guarantee the answer will be to your satisfaction but you will get a hearing. If the local members do not take this opportunity, how will they be able to comment at a later time?

Come and support your Association.

I end this account by thanking again our loyal band of Road Stewards, without whose help and assistance we could not exist. We need more like them to deliver the ‘Echo’ and collect the subscriptions. Come and help.

On a personal note, I thank all those who have assisted me over the past year.

Michael Thatcher

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Following the modest success of the first Community conference held in the Civic Centre on Saturday 9th February, the message which came across repeatedly, loud and clear, from the full attendance; was that the Council as a whole, should connect more closely, with the local community, at local level.

The Council is represented by the staff and elected Councillors, and in many ways probably may seem to be remote; but in today’s society, where the use of the telephone is so common, it is an impersonal and unsatisfactory way of communicating. You cannot beat asking your local Councillor first, for assistance.

In order to address the problem of distance, between Community and Council, particularly with a failure to engage with the local youths in our society, could I suggest that Residents Association meetings and Councillors public meetings are held in the daytime occasionally, preferably in association with our local secondary schools? Because the question most frequently asked was ‘Why are the young people not present with us at this conference’? Most elderly people prefer to slump in front of the television, complaining that it is dangerous to be out alone at night, and yet they are creating the ideal conditions for vandalism and disruptive behaviour to occur.

For all the talk and heat generated at such a conference, it will be interesting to see, what type of action is applied, towards working closer together with all strands of our society. We will watch with interest. HOW ARE WE GOING TO DO IT!

Cllr. David Bishop

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Most of the planning applications submitted to the Council Planning Department since my last report have been for minor house extensions. Normally we do not investigate these, which are numerous, unless a resident requests our assistance. No final decision however has yet been made on two important applications. St Vincent’s Hospital site and Tolcarne Service Station, both of which I reported on in the Autumn Issue of the Hills Echo.

Tolcarne Service Station - The applicant, Esso Petroleum Company, submitted two identical applications, the first to the Council Planning Department and the second to the Secretary of State in the form of an appeal that Hillingdon Council had not dealt with it in the prescribed time. The Northwood/Ruislip Planning sub-Committee would have refused the application had it not gone to appeal.

The main reasons for which the Council would have refused are as follows.

The proposed Tesco shop would be the predominant use of the site and not simply ancillary to the sale of petrol. It would be detrimental to the viability of our minor town centre and there are plenty of vacant shops, which could be used. It would also be detrimental to attractiveness of Northwood Hills, which is already vulnerable due to the Tesco shop at Pinner Green.
Because of the nearness of the site to the junction of Tolcarne Drive with Joel Street it is likely that it would be detrimental to highway and pedestrian safety.
The building would appear intrusive because of the nearness of Green Belt land considering that there is no space for the landscaping.

These points and others were put forward by this Association in our letter to the Council’s Head of Planning and also by local residents and retailers. The Headteacher of Harlyn School also wrote expressing concern for children crossing the road on the way to and from school. The Council Planning sub-Committee have included information that if the proposed sales building is reduced in size and pulled away from the Green Belt to allow for landscaping a proposal to provide a new sales building would be more likely to be approved. The decision now rests with the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol. Should they uphold the Council recommendation for refusal we shall look very carefully at any revised proposal bearing in mind any possible threat to the viability of Joel Street.

St. Vincent’s Hospital Site -  As previously reported the proposals are to provide a 60-bed nursing home on the western side of Wiltshire Lane at the highest point. A further application proposes a residential development on the same side but lower down the slope. It is hoped that the sale of this land for housing will finance the nursing home.

As I previously reported whilst we fully supported the provision of a nursing home we were apprehensive lest the housing development should appear without providing adequate funds for the nursing home. The Northwood / Ruislip Planning sub-Committee have now approved the outline proposals for the housing with certain conditions, the main one being that the residential development does not proceed independently of the nursing home. There are also points for negotiation including

Landscaping, percentage of ‘affordable’ houses, (not less than 25%) and money to be made available under Section 106 of the Town & Country Planning Act, for extra school places etc. Progress is very slow due to the number of outstanding points for discussion or negotiation. We hope that the proposals will go ahead and we shall see the sad loss of a hospital replaced by a 60-bed nursing home.

Once the conditions etc. relating to the residential site are resolved the way will be clear to consider the application for the proposed nursing home. This, I expect, will be followed by a detailed application for the residential development. The present application is only in outline.

Ex-Barclays Bank - As previously reported an application was made to convert these premises for use as a private club. We objected to this but before the application could be considered it was changed for conversion to a wine bar. We considered this carefully and decided not to object. The ex bank has been empty for a long time, most likely due to its limitation of use. We have been told that parking problems are not regarded as a valid reason for objecting. The application has now been approved for A3 use, which means it can be used for a wine bar, restaurant, public house, café or similar. I notice that there is now a ‘To Let’ sign outside the building.

The retails frontage on that side of Joel Street now stands at 67%, this is still higher than the minimum of 50% laid down in the Council Unitary Development Plan for a secondary shopping parade. Had the building been more suitable for retail we would, of course, have objected to this application.

General - Time moves on and by the time you read this report much of it may be out of date. However, I hope that some of the events and background leading to any future decision may be of interest.

Civic Centre – Planning Department - Some time ago it was reported in the Gazette that a survey had shown that only 49% of residents contacted had found Council staff friendly and polite. As this was contrary to my own experience over the last 15years I wrote a letter on 14th November 2001, which was published in the Gazette, saying that I had always found the staff in the Planning Department both friendly and helpful. I could not have done my job effectively without constant contact with the Planning Department, mostly by telephone. In my letter I expressed my thanks to the staff of the Planning Department for their help and co-operation, which I express once again here.

Lishman Easby – Planning Officer

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On Wednesday 5th December 2001 the Chairman Michael Thatcher and I were privileged to be invited to the annual Christmas Pantomime performed so ably by the pupils, aided by a few of the staff, of Haydon School. For sheer enthusiasm and enjoyment no professional production could compete. We both thoroughly enjoyed the production of ‘Aladdin’ and the evening of light-hearted entertainment and were fully appreciative of the weeks of hard work by all the pupils and staff involved. We thank them all for the invitation.

Margot Barnikel

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In 1912 a Northwood resident, Alice Cowan, recognised the need for young men to have the services of a club to develop their personal and social skills and give them opportunities to grow in a youth work environment. She set up the Northwood Boy’s Club at 54, Hallowell Road. Local businesses funded it and local people volunteered to work with young people. Although this was aimed at boys many girls also attended, even way back at the beginning of the last century. The club flourished in its early days, as some older residents will remember, and has continued to be popular to the present day. There are Clubs For Young people throughout the country today. All provide opportunities for adventure, sport, leisure and personal fulfilment. The Northwood Club is managed and run by volunteers from the community. It opens on a Monday and Wednesday evenings. The London Borough of Hillingdon supports it with paid workers on Monday and volunteers run it on Wednesdays. It caters for young people aged from 13 to 18 and encourages mature members to take responsible roles in management. Activities include pool, table tennis, badminton, five-a-side-football, canoeing, camping and numerous other hobbies and sports to meet it’s members needs. The club welcomes all young people and always seeks the support of adults to help to run and manage it. Parents, if you think your children need this service, please bring them along and, even better, come and help us support the young people of Northwood and Northwood Hills.

Malcolm Ruddock PC163XH

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Unfortunately, your ‘scribe’ has been unable to do as much strolling as he would have liked, but things seem to be looking up in Northwood Hills with many of the empty shops due to open as outlets for food and drink or offices.

When granting planning permission the Council have to operate within certain defined guidelines, which seldom take into consideration the wishes of the local residents. Hence permission has been granted for the former Barclays Bank premises at the top of Briarwood Drive and Joel Street to open as a Wine Bar / Restaurant, in spite of the additional congestion this will create with parked cars.

By the time this edition of ‘The Echo’ drops through your letterbox it will probably be too late for you to obtain permission from the Council to hold a street party (for the children) to celebrate the Golden Jubilee. As you are aware the Council require ten to twelve weeks notice for any street parties you may have planned. Why all this amount of time to put up a bit of bunting, wave a few flags and have a ‘knees up’, only the boys and girls at the Civic Centre will know. I certainly cannot remember all this fuss and bother when, as a teenager, we had a wonderful street party for the Silver Jubilee celebrations of King George V and Queen Mary in June 1936 (Happy Days).

If you want to have a bit of fun over the Bank Holiday weekend throw open your windows, play your music, have a few drinks with your friends and neighbours, the authorities, I hope, will be unable to stop you from doing this.

During the Golden Jubilee Bank Holiday I hope ‘Northwood Hills will be alive to the Sound of Music’ so have fun, it won’t happen again in our lifetime.

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What is a Stroke? There is a whole range of effects caused by a Stroke. Around 100,000 people every year in England suffer Strokes resulting in disabilities that can range from mild to severe.

When we hear of somebody having a Stroke we cannot assume how the person will be affected. We know that a Stroke can strike anybody, at any time whether young or old.

Stroke is an illness in which part of the brain is suddenly damaged or destroyed. Damage to the brain is caused by a blood clot or haemorrhage. It is natural to think of stroke and stress being related but this is not so, however, there is a relationship between stress and high blood pressure it is hard to take all the stress out of life but it is possible to reduce high blood pressure.

There is an excellent network of support available through the Stroke Association that can help patients and families cope with the after effects.

I myself have been a Volunteer for the Watford Dysphasic Support Group since 1995. This only calls for one morning a week, which is so little to give when you see the results in the Stroke sufferers.

We offer advice, information, help with communication through reading and writing, but aim to have some fun as well with games and quiz sheets.

Patients and families who come to us tell of a sense of community and an end to the feeling of isolation.

Patients with Strokes and their families, should never abandon hope, recovery is a continuous process.

If you feel I could help you in any way please give me a ring, I am always happy to talk.

Rose Hallet – 020 8866 7672

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Some time ago I wrote of a favourite walk of mine. I would now like to write about another.

The starting point is in Cannon Lane, to the south of the junction with Eastern Avenue/Village Way. It is convenient to travel there by car, but buses do stop close to that junction. Just beyond where the gasometers used to be, pass through a gate to a small car park in front of two cottages originally built for sewage workers in the 1880s. Turn sharp right to follow a gravelled path that marks the perimeter of the open space to your left. A little way to your right is a chain link fence backed by a wooden fence. As the path bears to the left, strike out diagonally right, parallel with the wooden fence and walk through some beautiful trees. You will come to a signpost directing you further round to the right, marked "Nature Reserve". You will soon come to the gate into the Roxbourne Rough Local Nature Reserve.

There is an information board that provides much interesting detail about the site and explains how this comparatively small area of some 13 acres can be extremely significant for a variety of wild life. Despite the railway line that marks the further boundary of the reserve, there is a wonderful sense of peace here.

Having walked around the perimeter, retrace your steps as far as the little car park and turn right onto a concrete path, which soon turns into a grass track, with hedges on your right and the high bank of Roxbourne Park to your left. The ground rises and you will soon see the miniature railway track that is owned and operated by the Harrow and Wembley Society of Model Engineers. This part of the open space is actually in the Borough of Hillingdon but is owned by the Borough of Harrow and was once used for dumping.

Pass to the left of the track and, as you get close to the gate onto Field End Road, bear sharp left, virtually to double back, and take the left bank of the Yeading Brook, which is on your right. The streamside is rich in hawthorns, willows, wild flowers and birds. Turn right over the first footbridge and continue with the brook now to your left. The culverted Smart Brook will flow into the stream from the right, but you may well not notice! Just beyond this point, turn left over the red brick footbridge into Roxbourne Park.

Follow the asphalt path straight ahead to a gate into Cannon Lane. You can now turn left if you have left a car in the car park and wish to return to it. I usually turn right, go down to the traffic lights, cross over and walk along Village Way past Southbourne Close, to meet the Brook again. There are two gates that lead into the open space either side of the Brook. The area is an elongated oval shape with a footbridge at the end to cross the stream, so it does not matter which gate you take. Although there are the garden fences of houses not far to your left or right, you still have the feeling of being remote from the bustle of everyday life.

Having walked both banks of the stream, retrace your steps to the car or the bus stop.

Alan Kimber

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I am very pleased to have an opportunity to write about Classic Concerts at St. Edmund’s and the community ‘Artsreach’ projects that we fund. The story so far…..

In the Beginning

It is difficult to believe that it is seven years since our first Classic Concert. Although there have always been excellent concerts in this little corner of ‘Metroland’, sadly, they were rarely well supported. Even a beautiful venue like St. Edmund’s Church, often failed to attract an audience. I conceived the idea of a series of music recitals, which would give people an opportunity to listen to an hour of great music (followed by free tea and cakes!) and still be home before dark.

The first concert was given in the Lady Chapel of the Church. A sell out success, encouraged us to move into the Church for our second concert – something of a relief to the stalwart chaps who moved the grand piano! Our audiences have continued to grow, and enthusiasm for one composer in particular, has meant that the annual Mozart concert in January regularly fills the Church to capacity.

St. Edmunds’s ‘Artsreach’

From our very first days, it was decided that any profit made on the concerts should be dedicated to promoting arts events, for and with, young people in St. Edmund’s and the neighbouring community.

In June this year, for the fourth consecutive year, crocodiles of Year 5 pupils from Harlyn, Hillside and Pinner Wood Schools, will converge on St. Edmund’s for a music workshop given by the wonderfully gifted brass quintet, Chaconne Brass. Workshop is a totally inadequate word to describe these ‘happenings’, which are preceded by a commendably orderly ‘bunfight’ in the hall. As they inter the Church, the children are delighted to see a display of artwork – some of it, their own, which we are always very pleased to receive from the three schools.


Three years ago, following suggestions from members of the audience, we set up a Friends of Classic Concerts organisation. In addition to supporting fees for the larger ensembles required for some concerts ‘Friends’ have contributed generously to Chaconne Brass events. In February, they funded our latest venture. This was pilot project, undertaken at the request of teachers from Hillside Infants School. A versatile young musician called Janet Beale was invited to the school. In two performances, she educated and entertained 210 mixed infants between the ages of 3 and 7 years. The audience participation was a joy to behold and from the teacher’s letter and children’s ‘thank you’ drawings received, the event was deemed a great success.

Our next Classic Concert will be the ‘Midsummer Concert’ on Sunday 23rd June at 7pm. The music, Poulenc’s ‘Babar the Elephant’ and Faure’s C Minor Piano Quartet will last for a little under an hour. Refreshments are not included in this concert as it precedes the annual ‘Friends Supper’. Tickets are £3 and available from 020 8866 4610

Vivien Banfield – Administrator, Classic Concerts at St. Edmund’s.

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The Society exists to encourage interest in the history and conservation of the area, by which we mean the area of the modern Ruislip, Northwood & Eastcote. We also promote the study of local history generally through our Research Group. Meetings are held on the third Monday of each month from September to April at St. Martin’s Church Hall, Ruislip at 8.15pm.

During the summer break we organise coach trips and other visits to places of historical interests.

For further information about the Society please contact the Membership Secretary Delia Montlake on 01895 676663.

We are taking the opportunity during the national event of Local History Week to organise a series of walks and exhibitions to publicise our Society and further the cause of local history. We will be staging local history displays throughout the week in the following libraries: Eastcote, Manor Farm, Ruislip Manor, South Ruislip and Oaklands Gate.

We have also arranged a series of walks as follows:

Sunday 5th May. ‘Victorian & Edwardian Northwood’. Leader – Colleen Cox. Meet Green Lane Car Park at 2.30pm.

Monday 6th May. ‘Ruislip’s Domesday Park & Medieval Woodland’ Leader – Colin Bowlt. Meet Manor Farm Library at 2pm.

Tuesday 7th May. ‘Old Eastcote’ Leaders – Karen Spink & Susan Toms. Meet Eastcote House Grounds in the car parking area at 7.15pm.

Thursday 9th May. ‘Beating the Bounds between Harefield & Ruislip’ Meet Bayhurst Wood Car Park at 7.15pm. This is a joint walk between the two local history societies of Harefield and Ruislip, Northwood & Eastcote.

Saturday 11th May. ‘Manor Farm & its Surrounds’ Leader Eileen Bowlt. Meet Manor Farm Library at 2pm.

Sunday 12th May. ‘The Grand Union Canal Feeder’. Leader – Denise Shackell. Meet Ruislip Lido Car Park entrance at 2pm. Please note this walk is not suitable for children in push chairs.

All the above walks will last approximately 2 hours.

For further information see our web-site

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Don’t forget to look at our web-site from time to time, it is updated regularly and we would welcome suggestions about content. If you have any contributions or comments please contact Ray Krystofiak on 020 8866 3241 who will be pleased to hear from you.

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Overall burglaries have continued to decline in Hillingdon. Having said that there has been a recent increase in Eastcote, which includes some streets in Northwood Hills.

There has been a notable increase in street crimes, like "mugging", a euphemism for robbery of the person. In this respect the best advice is to be vigilant and aware of who is around you. It is always preferable to have a small amount of cash to sacrifice and keep the bulk of it hidden and realise that "muggers" are hyped up and potentially dangerous in the face of physical resistance. Be especially vigilant when making withdrawals from cash point machines (ATMs) by noting who is watching you.

Mobile phones can be so useful and children often want to own them. The theft of these phones, by borrowing and then running off, snatching or taking them from unattended bags or jackets/trousers is now such a common occurrence that precautions need to be taken. Thefts at schools are particularly prevalent. Theft can be countered by a) noting the serial number (inside the back cover), b) having them property marked (ultra violet pen or engraving), c) keeping the children’s phones at home during school time, d) keeping them concealed rather than showing them off, e) giving your child an old model which lacks the appeal of the elaborate new models so sought by thieves. The old ones still do the job, i.e., make calls but are not sought by thieves.

Antisocial behaviour can be tackled more easily than in the past. Anti Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) can be taken out against persistent offenders without the usual burden of proof. That means that the "proving beyond all reasonable doubt" that a person is antisocial in behaviour is reduced to the Civil Courts’ level of proof, i.e., reasonable proof. It does not require witnesses to disclose their identity in a way that allows the defendant to know who they are. The issuing of an order places leverage upon changing the behaviour. Borough tenants are subject to adhering to a code of conduct to avoid eviction. The application of ASBOs is a new idea and the process could be easier. Having said that, as the process is used the system will become more fluent and effective.

Public House Car parks have experienced an increase in thefts from parked cars. Stolen property includes laptop computers and other goods, like quality coats and anything portable. Take portables in with you. Have alarms, which detect movement inside as well as doors being opened. Have deadlocks fitted to your car. These can only be opened with a key which means a thief might break the window (hopefully setting off the alarm you already realised you must fit) but, also, having to conduct the theft through a broken window without being able to open the door. A broken window, whilst a nuisance is minor compared to the loss of property, which would have happened, anyway, had you not taken it with you.

Keep Safe

Malcolm Ruddock, PC163XH, tel: ans. 02082461941

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On the 3rd Monday of each month (excepting August), between 8pm and 9pm in Northwood Hills Library Annexe, you can meet with our Member of Parliament and one or other of our Local Councillors.

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Being of more advanced years now I remember, with a lump in my throat, all the Christmas concerts I attended so many years ago when my children were at this young and delightful age, the age of innocence. I miss those days and I am very fortunate to have a young friend who attends Hillside Infant School and wanted me to ‘watch her perform’. How enjoyable to watch these little people enjoying their hour when they were proud and delighted as soon as they spotted their mother, grandmother or whoever was there for them and how anxious they were until they did see them. The surreptitious little waves to Mum all brought back memories. The concert and the mince pies were enjoyable and great fun.

Margot Barnikel

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How many people do you meet every day? How many do you have some sort of contact with? Be it your partner over breakfast, your children, other parents in the playground, other passengers on the tube, colleagues, co-workers, friends, shop assistants, to name but a few.

I did a quick calculation one day and came up with an average of twenty to thirty people per day. Time spent on my own? About thirty minutes.

In stark comparison the older people of our community can have very little contact with others.

One lady I have visited usually has contact with three people per day, totalling about an hour. That’s a good day!

Thirty minutes of this time is from people paid to be there. People who are over-worked and stretched for time, who, while kind hearted have little opportunity to stop and chat.

Think of the difference an hour-long visit from a Live at Home volunteer could make in the day of that older person. It would provide not only the opportunity to share a cuppa and chat, but perhaps a walk to shops or the park. Or imagine the enjoyment of having lunch out with other people secure in the knowledge of a lift home and an arm to lean on back to your lounge.

Northwood Live at Home supports over 90 older people in the Northwood area. We provide one to one friendship and links to a network of older people involved in a multitude of social activities and day trips. We are actively seeking committed volunteers to join our team.

Could you help brighten some-one’s day? Could you help with transporting people to various events? Would you like to accompany us as a helper on a day out? Would you like to join our group of minibus drivers (training provided)?

Don’t wait for the day when you will have more time on your hands. It will never happen! Make time now and help someone else enjoy their time.

Contact us at Oaklands Gate Library, Northwood. Tel: 01923 842 494

Or come along to our to our AGM on Monday 20th May at 8pm in the

Oasis Lounge, Oaklands Gate Methodist Church.

with Bob Holness of ‘Call my Bluff’

Speaking on ‘ Broadcasting: Now and Then’

Linda Thelin – N.L.A.H. Secretary

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We have all read recently many articles about the dangers of deep-vein thrombosis when flying long distance, or even on medium haul flights. I am also sure that many people like me religiously take their Aspirin before the flight, but how many bother to eat a bar of chocolate!!!!!!

At the Festival of Science that was held in Glasgow in the summer of 2001 experts gathered evidence that chocolate, like red wine contains polyphenols that act as antioxidants, which, amongst other, all good, effects delay the onset of blood clotting. Way back into the Middle Ages chocolate and cocoa have been used to benefit health and now we know why. So eat your bar of high quality chocolate and enjoy, but beware of the low quality brands as they contain high levels of fat and sugar.

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2002 marks the 80th Anniversary of the founding of Pinner and Hatch End Operatic Society. It all started in 1922, when the late Frederick J. Jenkins wrote a letter which was duly published in the then Harrow Observer and Gazette, regretting the absence of a body to co-ordinate the many musical talents in the district and inviting a response from those interested.

The response to that article was such that the Pinner Operatic Society was formed and gave its first performance, that of ‘The Pirates of Penzance’, under his baton, in the Free Church Hall, Paines Lane, Pinner, in April 1923. Frederic Jenkins would also continue as the Society’s Musical Director for 39 years until his death in 1962.

As the Society grew in stature over the years larger halls had to be found. The move in 1931 to St Anselm’s Church Hall in Hatch End justified a change of name and the Society became ‘The Pinner and Hatch End Operatic Society’, now better known as PHEOS, its acronym brought into use in the late seventies.

With the exception of the war years, the Society staged its annual productions at St Anselm’s until 1954 when it was at last able to move to a larger and better equipped, purpose designed, performance venue with seating to accommodate a much larger audience than they had enjoyed hitherto – the then new Great Hall of Blackwell School (now Hatch End High School in Headstone Lane.

By 1985 Hatch End High School was undergoing a much-needed refurbishment and was no longer available for the Society’s use. There being no other suitable premises in the Borough of Harrow, PHEOS needed a proper theatre for their next production, and were fortunate in securing a place at the Watersmeet Theatre, Rickmansworth.

PHEOS’s first performance at the new venue was Gilbert and Sullivan’s ‘Ruddigore’, and will long be remembered by those who took part – there were almost as many people on stage as there were in the audience – but what an enthusiastic audience!

On the second night, there was a tremendous thunderstorm outside, which could easily be heard in the theatre. During Act Two, while Roderic was singing, ‘When the night wind howls’, the rain poured down onto the roof of the theatre, drowned out the orchestra and certainly added atmosphere to the performance.

Over these last sixteen years, PHEOS has become well established at Watersmeet and even our supporters from Pinner and Hatch End have found this venue accessible. Links with Pinner and Hatch End remain as strong today as in 1922, as the Society now regularly rehearses on a Wednesday at the Harrow Arts Centre in Hatch End and performs their Autumn / Winter concert to virtually packed houses in the Elliott Hall.

Traditionally, the main annual production has always been selected from the works of W.S.Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan. Indeed over the past eighty years, the Society has staged the whole canon of G & S comic operas, from the almost unknown ‘The Grand Duke’ and ‘Utopia Ltd’ to those regularly performed crowd pleasers such as ‘Mikado’, ‘Gondoliers’ and the ever-popular ‘Pirates of Penzance’.

In 1992, PHEOS broke with this long established tradition and decided that, in every third year, something other than G&S would be presented.

The fruits of this decision resulted in Jacques Offenbach’s ‘Orpheus in the Underworld’ in 1992, George Bizet’s ‘Carmen’ in 1996, Offenbach again with ‘La

Belle Helene’ in 1998 and Franz Lehar’s ‘The Merry Widow’ which played to critical acclaim and packed houses in 2001.

All these represented a challenge which was successfully met and which has set the trend for the future of PHEOS into the new millennium. Now in celebration of their 80th Anniversary, PHEOS proudly reprises its first show at the Watersmeet by putting on ‘Ruddigore’ (or Robin Oakapple and the Witches Curse!) in May 2002.

Family tradition has always been a feature of the Society and it has not been uncommon for two generations to appear on stage together, with perhaps a relative in the orchestra or in front of it! The Society has been fortunate over the years to attract many talented young people to become members. Some have stayed whilst others have gone on to a professional career, joining the chorus of the Royal Opera, for example.

Some members of PHEOS have, over the last 20 years, participated in the monthly dinners and teas at The Grimsdyke Hotel in Harrow Weald (the former home of W.S.Gilbert) with the English Heritage Singers and Grimsdyke Opera. While others have sung with the Malcolm Sargent Festival Choir not only at the Albert Hall, but also abroad in such diverse places as Singapore, Gothenburg, Melbourne, Rome and Jersey.

PHEOS have also filled The Royal Festival Hall for a concert and held two 24-hour marathons in which all 12 G&S operettas were performed back to back. The first was in 1983 and the second in 1995 – all 3 events were organised by Janette & Peter Henson to benefit the Imperial Cancer Research Fund and succeeded in raising a total of over £100,000.

A recent innovation has seen links with local schools strengthened, where pupils have been shown backstage, given a guided tour of the orchestra pit and the opportunity to learn how singers and orchestra combine to make music together. PHEOS is always on the lookout for talented young singers to ensure its future success. So, if you do like singing and can move with reasonable grace on stage – then perhaps you would like to come and join us – tenors and bases particularly welcome.

Apart from the annual stage show at the Watersmeet Theatre in May and the concert in November at the Elliott Hall, we have a varied social programme. This includes wine tasting, quiz suppers, Burns nights and barn dances, country / pub walks and a progressive dinner party. All these events and other happenings are publicised and reported on in PHEOS News.

This is a splendid thrice-yearly publication and circulated free to all our playing and non-playing members, as well as our valued Patrons. Articles from members and Patrons are always welcome and we even have our own foreign correspondent in Switzerland, who returns to Pinner every May with his wife to see our annual stage production.

If you have enjoyed reading this short history of the first 80 years of Pinner & Hatch End Operatic Society, with thanks to fellow members Chris Worrall and Brian Capper and you wish to join us. Then please telephone our Membership Secretary – Janet Pearson on 01923 825695 for further details.

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Another season has passed and to me Christmas is a fond but distant memory. During that period we have made a number of contributions to organisations dedicated to help families who struggle to make Christmas a special time, especially for their children.

In February Our Club took a party of 50 local residents to an early Jubilee party for elderly people at the Harrow Leisure Centre. In all there were over 1,000 people present from all over North West London.

We are well into the planning for this year’s activities. These include a float in The Lord Mayor of London’s parade in November, a number of collections at Tesco’s Pinner Green and Waitrose Northwood, Easter Egg Raffles at some local public houses, a trip to Chessington World of Adventure for deprived children, and most importantly of all, the Northwood Carnival in August. We are still looking for additional stalls for this event. So if you or your friends would like to raise money for your favourite charity, or have a business, and would like to have a stall at this event do please contact us.

In early April the Northwood and Ruislip Lions Clubs launched "A Message in a Bottle" scheme for vulnerable people living in Hillingdon. This scheme will provide vital, and potentially life saving, information to the emergency services if they have to attend a property where the inhabitant is unable to communicate, for whatever reason. Among the most vulnerable members of the community are elderly and handicapped people living alone. The emergency services personnel will know, from green labels placed inside the house, that a special container, "The Bottle", will be found in the refrigerator. This will contain medical and other vital information.

The scheme is supported by all the emergency services, Hillingdon Primary Care Trust, many of the local medical centres and the Hillingdon Council. Full details of this scheme will be published in the local press. If you, or a member of your family, could benefit from this scheme and you are unable to obtain the "Bottle" from your local pharmacy or medical centre please get in touch with us.

In an effort to keep this article short I have not mentioned the fun we have together. Northwood Lions are a lively group of men and women of all ages who enjoy a full and varied social life as well as serving the community. We are always looking for new members so if you would like to meet us and find out more please contact Eric on 020 8845 4287 or Doris 020 8868 0801.

Eric Holland

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The Minor Injuries Unit at Mount Vernon Hospital is open daily from 8am – 10pm and is able to deal with a whole range of conditions including cuts, sprains, bruises, burns, stings, broken bones and eye injuries.

There is rarely a queue for treatment of more than a few minutes, the service is excellent and the surroundings very pleasant. If your need fits into the criteria of the unit, do use it, it could well be a case of ‘use it or lose it’ and it is a very valuable amenity.

If you have an query as to whether your particular problem can be dealt with at the unit there is a phone number available for enquiries – 01923 844332.

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extracted from the school newsletter February 2002

Two teams of Year 12 pupils who attended a Borough Wide Industry Conference took 1st and 3rd places with a recommendation that they were a credit to the school and that their success was due to ‘a combination of hard work, application and, most importantly, working together as a team’. The teams won £350 for the school.

Four pupils from Year 13 were nominated for Princess Diana Memorial Awards for Citizenship. These pupils have set up a peer listening service (PEPOS) in the school, operating on Monday and Wednesday lunchtimes in the School House. They have recently added an email service where emails are answered daily, dealing with pupils concerns. This group were presented with their awards by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown at 11, Downing Street.

A record 97 young poets are to have their work published as a result of their entries in the Young Writers’ Competition, this is double the figure of last year.

Request for Sponsorship

This year three teachers are running in the London Marathon and they are requesting sponsorship for their chosen charities which are ‘Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Association’ (Parkingson’s Disease and Alzheimers) and the ‘Lords Taverners’ who provide sporting equipment and minibuses for disadvantaged and disabled youngsters.

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Every few years the Local Government Commission for England look at the Hillingdon ward boundaries to equalize the number of electors to each councillor. There has been a significant change to the boundary of the Northwood Hills Ward.  Old Northwood High Street and all roads west (Chester Road, Hallowell Road etc) are now part of Northwood Ward however the Gatehill Estate has been incorporated into Northwood Hills Ward. Additionally some parts of Old Eastcote have been transferred from Eastcote Ward to Northwood Hills Ward (Wentworth Drive - even numbers, Haydon Drive, Pykes End etc).

Consequently, the local authority has looked at the polling districts within each ward.  There are now just three polling districts and polling stations RFA Northwood School Potter Street, RFB Haydon School and RFC Harlyn School.  Where you vote now is dependant on which side of Pinner Road and Joel Street you live, as they now represent the boundary lines for the polling districts within Northwood Hills.  North of Pinner Road (Alandale Drive, Addison Way etc) RFA vote at Northwood School, south of Pinner Road and west of Joel Street (Windsor Close, Norwich Road, Wentworth Drive (evens only) etc.) RFB vote at Haydon School and south of Pinner Road east of Joel Street (Briarwood Drive, Tolcarne Drive, Haydon Drive etc) RFC vote at Harlyn School.

Furthermore, if you are away on holiday or a business trip you can apply for a postal or proxy vote.  Application forms can be obtained via the Electoral department at the Civic Centre Uxbridge or through any of the political party offices within each ward.  Permanent postal or proxy vote forms for physical incapacity are also available on request. Additionally, the main political parties will assist you with a lift to the polling station on the day. Finally, if in doubt contact the Civic Centre 01895 250111 or refer to your polling card.

Cllr. Andrew Retter

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In spite of the London Borough of Hillingdon having passed a bye-law making it an offence to allow dogs to foul the pavements and public footpaths etc., I still see many dog owners not cleaning up after their pets have fouled the pavement.

Come on dog owners try and spare a little thought for your fellow humans, especially the children and clean up their mess, as the majority of you do.

Also will parents and teachers drum into the minds of their children and pupils not to throw their empty drink cans, bottles and wrappers on the pavement, in the road or into residents front gardens, but to place them in the rubbish bins provided by the Council.

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How many of us have enjoyed all the advantages of living in an area that offers so many conservation areas and vast amounts of woodland, all of which can be explored with so much enjoyment. Part of one of the more pleasurable local walks I have described here, perhaps some of you would like enjoy it this spring and continue with the second half from the Autumn edition of the Echo.

The total Celandine Route takes about 6 hours (Pinner to Cowley) to complete but this section runs from Pinner Station to Hillingdon.

Start at Pinner Station and turn right along Marsh Road. Cross the road at the zebra crossing; (you can see the River Pinn from the bridge. Turn right and then left into Chapel Lane. Walk under the bridge and into Pinner Memorial Park; the river disappears underground at this point. Walk along the path through the park and turn left at the play area and before the aviary to walk around the edge of the lake. Turn left in front of the Pavilion then right through the car park and follow the path to the gate passing the small dog cemetery dating from the 19th Century. Cross West End Lane and turn left past the school. On your right is Rose Cottage, continue along the road crossing two other road until Cranbourne Drive, then turn right and enter Cuckoo Hill allotments.

Here the walk rejoins the river. Walk straight ahead along a wide path through some woodland and on reaching the open grass area keep to the path on the left following the waymark posts. In spring a common yellow flower called Celandine can be seen here and also at many other places along the walk, hence the name. Cross Cheney Street and enter Long Meadow open space, walk along the meadow until you come to the wooden bridge where you can cross and visit the dovecote of Eastcote House and the walled garden. Return to the road and cross Eastcote High Road. Walk through Haydon Hall grounds and through the gate at the other side. Cross over Joel Street, turn left and walk to the bridge then turn left along the Eastcote Road. Walk through Forge Green Open Space, which used to be the site of a blacksmiths forge. Turn right over footbridge and then immediately left with the river on the left. Follow the riverside path as it crosses over two roads and enter King’s College Playing Fields. Continue to King’s College Road then turn left over the bridge, cross the road and enter the cricket field at the gate. Walk behind the pavilion and walk with the river on the right keeping to the riverside. Continue ahead crossing St. Martins Approach and Pinn Way, continue through Pinn Meadow until reaching the main road at Bury Street which you need to cross. Walk to the right and enter King’s Gardens through a gate. Walk with the river to the right until the footbridge and cross and continue with the river on the left. At the end of the open space turn left over footbridge into Westcote Rise, then take first right along Woodville Gardens, walk to the end of this road and enter another open space. Rejoin the river on the right; continue ahead along the edge of the golf course crossing the Hillingdon Trail. Do not cross the next footbridge but turn left under the railway line. Continue past the play area until you reach Swakeleys Road, cross and enter gate. Continue through open space past another play area and tennis courts. Follow the river and cross Swakeleys Drive. The walk now leads through more open space towards the A40. At the A40 ignore the exit space and turn left, follow the fence for 100 metres then turn right and walk up the ramp, turn left along the pavement on the A40 slip road and turn left down a slope which leads under the road and alongside the railway line (Hillingdon Station).

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As Northwood Football Club come to the end of the 2001/2 season manager, Tony Choules, can look back on the season with great pride, finishing in the top ten of the Ryman League Division One, with promotion just eluding the team. A place in the Middlesex Senior Cup Final, with a possible place in the League Cup Final, another successful run in the F.A.Cup, just losing out on a First Round Proper place, to the might of Kettering Town, Tony Choules has taken ‘The Woods’ to be the terror of many a team higher up in the Pyramid. With the Reserves, 3rd X1 and Veterans side all playing at a higher level, the future looks bright at Chestnut Avenue. On the Youth Team front, ‘The Woods’ run 14 sides, form U’8s to U’18s, the team spirit and comradeship within these younger age groups, prove that not all is lost within the local youth community.

It’s all action for the facilities at the Clubhouse too. With repair work to the fire damaged part of the building nearly completed, the new extension is now under way, with money raised by the club through various fund-raising activities and volunteer work being carried out by the member trades-people within the club.

It is hoped that we will be able to increase our membership side (playing & social) and continue to be real force in the local community by offering something for everyone. Season 2002/3 sees Northwood Football Club add a Ladies Team, or two, to our set-up here at Chestnut Avenue. So Ladies & Young Ladies, if you would like to play football, why not give us a call on 01923 827148.

On July 7th, Northwood F.C. hold their annual ‘Fun Day’ from 11am – 4pm. Besides mini-soccer, ladies football and fun games for all we have an added attraction this year of the F.A. Cup being on show. Members of the public will be able to have their photograph taken with the cup. All funds raised at the Fun Day will be channelled back into the club to improve facilities even further. For information on our football fixtures, posters are displayed in local shop windows, the local papers, on the club information line, or on our new website at: www.supportfootball/clubs/northwood.

The clubhouse facilities are available for the public to hire, for very reasonable rates, for weddings, birthdays or parties etc. For more information contact Betty Walley on 020 8866 2649.

Steve Cansdale

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On the week commencing 27th May the School are planning a week of events to celebrate the Jubilee, which will culminate in a big playground party on Friday 31st May when they finish for the half-term break.

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The Metropolitan Police is currently working with London Boroughs to provide a service for young people who have come to notice for offending behaviour to be diverted from crime. This service is known as the Youth Offending Team (YOT team). The YOT team in Hillingdon comprises of social workers, youth workers, a criminologist, other professionals and a Police Officer.

I have been studying counselling and psychotherapy for eight years and have concentrated on skills to work with young people, especially to change offending behaviour. I have developed a package to work with those young people who realise they can change their behaviour and wish to do so and, with the support of Hillingdon Police, am working with appropriate young people who come to the notice of the YOT team. Parents who have problems with their children’s offending or antisocial behaviour can contact the YOT team through the Civic Centre or myself at Northwood Police Station. This is not a soft option. It runs parallel with the judicial processes and offers a solution, which stops offending behaviour and saves the pain of continuing offending behaviour and cost of dealing with it.


Malcolm Ruddock PC 163XH tel. (answerphone 02082461941)

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On the 3rd Monday of each month (excepting August), between 8pm and 9pm in Northwood Hills Library Annexe, you can meet with our Member of Parliament and one or other of our Local Councillors.

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Don’t forget to use the yellow cards that are available from the Library. These are used to notify the Council of defects in roads and pavements, and inform them of excessive litter and abandoned cars etc. The Council promises to deal with any notifications urgently. If you have need to use this system don’t forget to keep a record of the incident.

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To all ‘Daily Product Tasters’

Chocolate is a Vegetable: Chocolate is derived from cocoa beans. Beans are vegetables.

Sugar is derived from either sugar CANE or sugar BEETS. Both are plants, which places them in the vegetable category. Thus, chocolate is a vegetable.

To go one step further, chocolate bars also contain milk, which is dairy. So chocolate bars are a health food.

Chocolate-covered raisins, cherries, orange slices and strawberries all count as fruit, so eat as many as you want.

If you’ve got melted chocolate all over your hands, you’re eating it too slowly.

The problem: How to get 2 pounds of chocolate home from the shop in a hot car. The solution: Eat it in the car park.

Diet Tip: Eat a chocolate bar before each meal. It’ll take the edge off your appetite, and you’ll eat less.

If I eat equal amounts of dark chocolate and white chocolate, is that a balanced diet? Don’t they actually counteract each other?

Chocolate has many preservatives. Preservatives make you look younger.

Put ‘eat chocolate’ at the top of your list of things to do today. That way, at least you’ll get one thing done.

A nice box of chocolates can provide your total daily intake of calories in one place. Now, isn’t that handy?

If not for chocolate, there would be no need for control top pantyhose. An entire garment industry would be devastated. You can’t let that happen, can you?

REMEMBER: ‘Stressed spelled backward is ‘desserts’

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Issue 02 last updated 29th October 2006