THE HILLS ECHO

Spring 2003

CHAIRMAN’ REPORT

HARROW CINE & VIDEO SOCIETY

HOSPITAL VOLUNTEERS

GRANTS

WEB SITE

WHAT’S ON AT St. EDMUND’S

NORTHWOOD LIVE AT HOME

CONSTITUTION

NORTHWOOD LIONS CLUB

CONTACT WITH THE CIVIC CENTRE

GOING PLACES

A CRY FROM THE HEART

GUYS & DOLLS at HAYDON SCHOOL

JUDGE DEEDS COMES TO NORTHWOOD HILLS

A FEW COMPUTER TIPS TO SHARE

NORTHWOOD HILLS IN EARLIER DAYS

POLICING IN NORTHWOOD HILLS

PAT’s

FURTHER MEMORIES OF HALF MILE LANE AND OLD NORTHWOOD

THAT’S USEFUL

PLANNING REPORT

HOW ABOUT HELPING

SMILE FOR YOU

NORTHWOOD SCHOOL

COMMUNITY LINKS WITH NORTHWOOD SCHOOL

CONTROLLED PARKING ZONE MEETING

TEMPLETON ALZHEIMER CENTRE

CONSERVATION NEWS FROM SHEILA LIBERTY

LIFE AT FAIRFIELD

A LINK WITH THE PAST

CPZ, A RESIDENT’S VIEW

ARRIVAL OF NEW COMMUNITY INSPECTOR

NORTHWOOD HILLS UNITED REFORMED CHURCH

WHAT’S BEST?

GEORGE DALE, RIP

RECYCLING

CHANGES TO MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT and LOCAL COUNCILLORS SURGERY

THE FOLLOWING ROADS NEED STEWARDS – CAN YOU HELP?

FROM THE (NEW) EDITOR

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CHAIRMAN’ REPORT

This year is the first chairman’s report I have not had an initial problem of what to write.

The local council, the London Borough of Hillingdon, has just subjected us, in Northwood Hills, to an exercise, which has been disastrous. In an apparent effort to obtain reaction from local people the Council embarked on an exercise of consultation. Regrettably, the consultation paper was flawed and the distribution was abysmal. I communicated my concerns to the Council as soon as I saw the papers, and these were repeated as I became aware of the distribution failures. I called upon the Council to accept their failings and declare the WHOLE MATTER ‘NULL AND VOID’. Regrettably this did not happen. Some residents raised concerns that this Association did not announce publicly our position on the proposals in the Consultation Paper. This association, at that time, did not have a mandate, either for or against the proposals, and so could not publicly commit the association to a particular course of action. Soundings were obviously made of committee members, road stewards and members with whom we were in touch, but these were varied and not sufficient to commit the Association.

A number of local people were sufficiently aroused and feelings ran high. Ward Councillors call a public meeting at Fairfield in an effort to explain to local people details of the proposals. The meeting was very well supported by local people with upwards of 600 people attending. A very noisy meeting took place, with the vast majority of people present objecting to the Councils proposals. Feelings ran high, with Councillors and Council Officers having difficulty in speaking. Many in the audience were shouting and waving banners. One man was even offering to ‘fight’.

In my opinion it was a rowdy meeting that did nothing to help or explain anything. Any person who attended hoping for information or clarification went away disappointed. People who were anti or opposed to the Councils proposals held the day. There was not a debate on the subject. However, all is not lost, today, March 6th I read in the ‘Gazette’ that Councillor Heywood, on behalf of Hillingdon Council, has announced that the proposals have been ‘WITHDRAWN’ and council officers will consult with residents in certain roads. This is exactly what I, and this Association, have argued should take place and I look forward to a speedy resolution to this matter.

I would encourage those people, who were actively involved in this matter, not to forget that this Association continues, as ever, to look after the concerns of local residents. There are other issues within the Ward that would benefit from the assistance of committed residents. DO NOT DISAPPEAR.

One matter, which we can say has achieved some success, is our campaigning for better visible policing. Over the past year concern has been expressed by us and ignored or refuted by Senior Police Officers that levels were too low. However, recently it has been announced that and extra 50% (1 officer) has been appointed to our area (shared with Northwood). Northwood Police Station is reopening shortly, albeit with local residents volunteering to man the desk but with officers resuming operational duties. All this must show that the efforts of local residents can, and sometimes do, achieve good results from officialdom. This Association continues to lobby for more and improved visible policing in this neighbourhood.

I appeal, yet again, for people to assist us in the running of this Association. Road Stewards are the arteries by which we obtain and distribute information to our residents. I cannot speak highly enough of these people. Delivering our ‘Echo’, collecting subscriptions, talking to neighbours, all things that are our life-blood. Road Stewards allow us to function, it’s not possible for me or your committee to contact each and every member, Road Stewards can, and do, bridge the gap. However, we require more people to give more help. Please volunteer.

We are soon to have our Annual General Meeting at ‘Fairfield’ on April 29th when members elect officers and committee members. Nominations of anyone wishing to stand should be sent to the Hon. Sec., Margot Barnikel.

I urge you to consider what you can do for your local community. With help the Association can attend meetings on a variety of subjects and assist in policies and plans for our future. It is far better to try to influence coming decisions rather than react to decisions already made.

I will briefly comment on several ongoing matters.

  1. Tesco / Shell Planning application for the Tolcarne Drive / Joel Street site. As I write I understand this has gone to appeal for the second time at the Environment Planning Inspectorate. Plans apparently now have moved the proposed building and road access points.

  2. We still await details of the housing development at St. Vincent’s Hospital site.

  3. Northwood Health Centre. Proposals are in hand for the Steven Shackman Practice, which comprises approximately half the total number of patients to be accommodated at new premises, to be built, at Mount Vernon Hospital site. Decisions are awaited regarding the planning application. The Health Centre will then be adapted to supply extra services.

  4. Joel Street Farm. No news at all. The owners fail to respond to enquiries. This Association will continue to monitor both the site and the situation.

I look forward to seeing many members at the Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 29th April when your local concerns can be aired.

Michael Thatcher

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HARROW CINE & VIDEO SOCIETY

Friday 16th May 2003 - SPRING FILM and VIDEO SHOW - Victoria Hall, Sheepcote Road, Harrow. Doors open 7.30pm for 8pm start. Tickets at the door £ 3.50 include interval refreshments.

Wednesday 29th October 2003 - AUTUMN MOVIE SHOW - Pinner Village Hall, Chapel Lane, Pinner. Doors open 7.30pm for 8pm start. Programme will include newsreel of local events filmed during the last twelve months. Come and possibly see yourselves on the big screen ! Tickets at the door £ 3.50 include interval refreshments.

Further information: Heather Lee 020-8863 7628

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HOSPITAL VOLUNTEERS

Voluntary Services Department located at The Hillingdon Hospital has now gone live on the net. To access information about becoming a volunteer at Hillingdon or Mount Vernon Hospitals, download an application form or to see the latest voluntary vacancies list the address is http://www.thh.nhs.uk please click on recruitment and then Voluntary.

The site also includes

Up to date information about the Trust including directions of how to get here Waiting times and referral information

Recent press releases issues by the hospital

Visitors can download important publications, e.g. Trust Annual Reports Current vacancies and on-line applications.

The Trust’s site has been developed at the same time as a community-wide site (http://www.hillingdoncommunity.com), which links the Hillingdon Hospital, Hillingdon PCT, Hillingdon Social Services and Hillingdon Association of Voluntary Services (HAVS) together.

Tina Dinch, Voluntary Service Officer 01895 279856 or 01923 844264

If anyone is interested in looking at this, or any other site who doesn’t have a computer, can I remind you that computers are available for use in the Borough’s libraries. Failing that, or if you need help to access please contact the Assn. Hon. Sec. Margot Barnikel who will be pleased to help.

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GRANTS

Northwood Hills residents may, or may not, be aware that there are two types of Capital grants available, both of which could improve our local environment. The first is a Government grant available from the Department of Transport, called ‘Road Safety Challenge Fund’. The grant is for a project that could cost between £3,000, and £20,000. It cannot be given to individuals or the Local Authority; therefore, residents would have to organise themselves into a community groups to make a suitable bid. When applying for the grant, the project would have to be concerned with road safety, and for a point of explanation, it might be better if I described the criteria. Quote:- *Grant funding is expected to support the Government’s road safety strategy and casualty reduction targets for 2010. Targets include:

  1. Novice driver safety,

  2. Child safety, especially that of child pedestrians.

  3. Drivers’ attitude to speed.

  4. Improving safety of vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists & horse-riders.

  5. Fleet driver safety and Driver Impairment.

  6. The Department will also consider projects, which tackle other problem areas.

  7. Applications for grants will therefore need to promote casualty reduction and reflect the priorities of the Road Safety Strategy.

The other grant available is called ‘Chrysalis Fund’ and comes from the London Borough of Hillingdon’s Environment budget. Bids are invited, to use Capital available from an annual fund of £250,000 in the Ruislip / Northwood Constituency. The idea is to invite proposals, which are not part of the Council’s routine maintenance programme, but will be a project, which will improve our local environment. I have already applied for two, and hopefully they will be considered at the next meeting. They are, suitable barrier fencing on the common land at the corner of Cuckoo Hill and Chamberlain Way, bordering Raisins Hill (to prevent fly tipping) and a clean up of the area surrounding the tributary in to River Pinn, behind the flats in Haydon Drive. If anyone has some good ideas, along these lines to improve Northwood Hills, then your local Councillor will be supportive in putting the bid together and submitting it to the right department. If we don’t ask, we don’t get! Other Residents Association have been successful in getting their voices heard and their area has improved in appearance as a result.

Cllr. David Bishop

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WEB SITE

Don’t forget to look at our web-site www.northwoodhills.co.uk 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.

Ray Krystofiak

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WHAT’S ON AT St. EDMUND’S

Spring is always a busy time of the year - and nowhere is that more true than in the life of the Christian Church. Easter is of course one of the major festivals of the Christian year, where we mark the trial and execution of Jesus Christ, and celebrate His subsequent glorious resurrection. Elsewhere a similar story of re-birth is seen in the natural world, as plants and animals emerge from their winter dormancy, and in our own lives and homes, as our thoughts turn to spring cleaning, unearthing the lawn mower from its entombment in the recesses of the shed, and stocking up at the garden centre.

Naturally, the most important events at St. Edmund’s Church are the services, where the public worship of God is conducted according to the pattern of the Church of England. The Easter season starts on Sunday 30 March, halfway through Lent, when we celebrate Mothering Sunday. The children of ‘Spectrum on Sunday’ (our Sunday School) are all given flowers to present to their Mothers. The service is also Church Parade for our very active Scouts, Cubs, Beavers, Brownies and Rainbows.

The following Sunday is called Passion Sunday. It is from this day that the Church concentrates of the suffering through which Christ passed - hence ‘passion’ - before His crucifixion. From this day until Easter, all decorations in the Church are veiled in purple (the colour of the penitential season of Lent), as a sign of the solemnity of the season. In recent years, the St. Edmund’s Choir have provided a service of music for Passiontide, and this year’s service, at 6.30 pm on Sunday 6 April, will feature music by Fauré, including his ‘Requiem’.

On Sunday 13 April, Holy Week starts with Palm Sunday. It is on this day that we celebrate Christ’s entry into Jerusalem, which was greeted with great joy by the ordinary people of that city, waving palm branches and laying them in his path as a sort of ‘red carpet’. To mark that occasion, at the start of the 10 am service we have the traditional procession carrying palms around the Church grounds.

The Maundy Thursday service commemorates the Last Supper, where Christ broke bread with His disciples for the last time. On Good Friday there is a series of services, starting at 12 noon, during which we give thanks for Christ’s sacrifice upon the Cross. The following day, Holy Saturday, is a day of preparation. The Church is re-decorated, flowers are prepared, silver is polished, and in the evening at 8 pm there is a service that is the beginning of the celebration of the resurrection of Christ. It includes the lighting of the Paschal Candle, renewal of Baptismal vows, and the first Thanksgiving (‘Eucharist’) of Easter.

On Easter Sunday, 20 April, the 10 am service is the confirmation that Christ is indeed risen - there is a procession to the Easter Garden, the Church is filled with flowers, the Paschal Candle is in its place atop a pillar of Easter lilies. The Easter season continues through to Ascension Day (29 May) and Pentecost (8 June0, when there are also special services.

Apart from worship, our regular programme of Classic Concerts continues - on Sunday 11 May at 3.30 pm there will be piano music, including works by Ravel and Dvorak, played by Isabel Beyer and Harvey Dagul, and on Sunday 29 June at 7.30 pm there will be a Supper Concert of music by Schubert, played by Vivien Banfield (piano) and the Caspian String Quartet. Tickets for both these concerts are available from 020 8866 4610 (see also the green handbill enclosed).

And on June 5, 6 and 7, the Church’s Drama Group, Arrow Players, will be presenting a hilarious farce called "Post Horn Gallop", by Derek Benfield. Tickets from 020 8868 7785, or see the yellow handbill enclosed.

The Church will hold its Spring Fair on Saturday 17 May, from 11.30 am - Plants, Cakes, Needlework, Sideshows, Books, Tombola, Bouncy Castle, and of course Refreshments - it’s all there!

How do you find St. Edmund’s? Well, start from Northwood Hills circus and go towards Pinner Green. The Church is about 500 yards along the main road, on the left.

For more details, and to keep up to date with everything at St. Edmund’s, check out www.saintedmundschurch.org.uk, or call into the Church and pick up a copy of the Church Magazine - it’s all there!

Mike Godden

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NORTHWOOD LIVE AT HOME

Northwood Live at Home Scheme and Healthy Hillingdon have joined forces to offer a healthy supplement to Tea and Chat.

Northwood Live at Home uses the Oasis Lounge in Oaklands Gate Methodist Church every second Tuesday of the month to host a Tea and Chat afternoon. Teas begin at 3 pm with homemade refreshments and an opportunity to catch up with old and new friends. As the popularity of this activity grows and in response to consultation with Scheme members a further dimension has been added…. A chance to learn more about health and healthy lifestyles.

Health Events are a joint venture involving Healthy Hillingdon. To date we have had Handy Hints on Crime Awareness, learning from the Community Safety Officer how to make homes more secure, prevent distraction burglary and see a range of equipment available to do this. Carry on Gardening…not a film, but still fun. A speaker from Groundwork and Healing Gardens encouraged us to carry on enjoying gardening, if only on the windowsill. Elsie put us through our paces from her wheelchair, showing us how to ‘get fit while you sit’. Babs entertained us with songs and laughter as she shared her love of music during a sing-a-long afternoon.

Feedback from these events has been very positive, so keep an eye out for posters advertising future events or just come along to one of our teas.

To mark our fifth anniversary on Tuesday 13th May 10am – 1pm. Northwood Live At Home is holding a Hands On Fair with a variety of stalls and workshops, which help contribute to a happy and healthy lifestyle. We hope to display an overview of the Scheme’s development over the last five years, our current contribution to the lives of older people in this community and our plans for the future. Please do come along.

Our A.G.M. with guest speaker Bishop Pete Broadbent will be held at 3pm on Tuesday 13th May, followed by a celebratory tea with entertainment.

If you would like to know more about our Scheme and the role we play in helping older people in the Northwood area please contact Elizabeth Balfre – Co-ordinator at the Northwood Live At Home Scheme Oaklands Gate Library, 12 Oaklands Gate, Northwood, HA6 3AA. Telephone 01923 842494.

Elizabeth Balfre

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CONSTITUTION

It is proposed that members have the opportunity to consider the following amendment to the Association’s Constitution.

Currently worded

Membership shall be open to residents and occupants of premises of 18 years of age and upwards in Northwood Hills. The Boundary of Northwood Hills shall be as agreed at the Annual General Meeting held in May 1992 subject to any amendment agreed at a subsequent Annual General Meeting.

Proposal

Membership shall be open to residents and occupants of premises of 18 years of age and upwards in Northwood Hills Ward. This to be subject to any amendment agreed at a subsequent Annual General Meeting.

The reason for this proposed amendment is that following the Parliamentary Boundary’s ruling, certain ward boundaries within the London Borough of Hillingdon were changed. Basically this meant that certain parts of Northwood Ward, (eg Gatehill Estate, Northwood Way, Hillside Road) and parts of Eastcote Ward (eg Coniston Gardens, Arden Mhor, Haydon Drive), would, in future, be incorporated into Northwood Hills Ward. The intention of the proposed amendment, if passed, would enable ALL residents of the Northwood Hills Ward to be eligible for membership of this Association. It is not the intention to move Northwood and Eastcote residents into Northwood Hills and away from their traditional liaisons. It has been decreed that these areas are now within Northwood Hills Ward for parliamentary purposes only and will NOT affect postal addresses. It is hoped that local residents will respond to our invitation and join us in deliberations for the Ward they are now members of. Historical association with other local voluntary associations are understood, but residents will be voting for Ward Councillors in the Northwood Hills Ward and might consider joining a second association. The committee believes that all residents and persons working in Northwood Hills should be allowed to be members of this Association.

Mike Thatcher

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NORTHWOOD LIONS CLUB

The Ruislip and Northwood Lions club Message in a Bottle is now up and running with over 8000 bottles distributed in the Hillingdon Borough area. For those who are not aware of the scheme the bottle is a small plastic pot placed in the door of the refrigerator. It contains details of medication, name of doctor, next of kin and other essential information that the emergency services need if they are called to deal with somebody who is unconscious or unable to communicate. These bottles are free and should be available in all the local Chemist shops. If you know of anybody who is vulnerable and would benefit from this scheme do not hesitate to obtain one. All emergency services are aware of the scheme and know where to look for this container.

Now comes the "soft sell" part of the article. We are beginning to plan this year’s Northwood Carnival, which will be at the Recreation Ground, Chestnut Avenue, Northwood, on Bank Holiday Monday, 25th August. Please support us and if you wish to have a stall please contact us for further details. Our nominated Charity this year is Michael Sobell House.

During the next few months we will be actively fund-raising at Waitrose and Tesco’s Supermarkets in order to support the various charitable functions, such as sending deprived children on a day out to Chessington Zoo, so if you see us there at least give us a friendly smile!

Eric Holland

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CONTACT WITH THE CIVIC CENTRE

If you have as much trouble as I have been experiencing getting through, on the telephone, to the Civic Centre you also need a little help. Recently I spent three days, phoning at regular intervals and all I got was music which was interrupted every 30 seconds or so by a voice telling me that all the customer service officers were currently engaged with other people and I would be answered as soon as possible. I never did get through but discovered that there is a different method if you have, or can get access to, a computer.

All enquiries and / or problems can be sent by email, where they will be redirected to the relevant person or department.

contactcentre1@hillingdon.gov.uk

The other useful number to note, most particularly if you are not sure who it is you wish to speak to, is civic.centre@hillingdon.gov.uk This address will go through to the main IT department and will be redirected to the relevant department.

If you wish to contact a specific person by email the general rule is the persons first initial and then their surname as follows-

Mary Smetherton would translate to msmetherton@hillingdon.gov.uk This can only be a generalisation, of course, as common names such as Smith may have several people with the same initial and will therefore have a variation but it will get you the vast majority of officers.

Margot Barnikel

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GOING PLACES

Going underground. Some of you may be aware that there are a number of disused chalk mines in this area. The best example, Pinner Chalk mine, is found in the Dingles. Although it is closed to the public by means of a lockable manhole cover enclosed within a metal cage, we occasionally run visits to this fine example of early underground mining.

Access is gained by climbing down the 50-foot vertical shaft using a free hanging caving ladder. Once at the bottom visitors can explore the large well preserved galleries. The alternate stratified layers of chalk and flint are the remains of billions of sea creatures dating back to the Cretaceous period (136 - 65 million years ago) when tropical seas once covered this area. In more recent times the chalk was used to enhance the fertility of the soil and as a building material additive, whilst the flint was a useful building material. The oldest part of the mine dates back to 1840.

There are a number of other similar local sites, Montesole Allotments Mine, Aldury Drive Mine, Northwood High Street Mine and Pinner Hill Farm Mine which at 100 foot deep is the deepest chalk mine in SE England.

We are currently excavating a shaft in the Oxhey area, which was filled with a number of lorry tyres, old water tanks and years of debris. Progress had been fairly rapid until the onslaught of the autumn rains but the site looks very promising and we hope to open up a labyrinth of new workings by mid spring.

If anybody is aware of a chalk mine or if a hole appears in yours or a neighbour's garden (usually approx 5 feet in diameter), please contact me on 020 8866 3241.

If you would like to visit Pinner Chalk Mines, and are fit enough to climb up the 50 feet caving ladder, please contact me on the number above. For the faint hearted, a colleague has written an interesting guide book "Pinner Chalk Mines" to give you an insight into the background of some local history.

Going underwater. I have a keen interest in Scuba diving but am often unable to get a group of experienced people together to take part in dive trips. I prefer to be amongst like-minded enthusiasts planning our dives to a beer or two rather than a formal member of a club. 2002 was a good year for me, having dived with seals in 25m vis in the Farne Islands, explored a number of Second World War wrecks around Cherbourg and Omar Beach as well as the usual wreck diving trips to Brighton, Eastbourne, Bognor (0.2m vis), and Dover (12m vis). If you are into diving around the UK and/or abroad please contact me on 020 8866 3241.

Going about our local environment. I am sure that many of you have walked/driven/gazed at Northwood Hills High Street and thought that certain areas look like they need some TLC. A number of committee members and myself have often talked about how to enhance the image of our High Street but can never seem to get to grips with moving this problem forward. We considered installing a clock but thought nobody would take the time to look at it, a memorial but could not remember whom we wanted to commemorate. Planting boxes and/or hanging baskets would add a bit of colour and dimension but although capital funds are available to purchase and set up these items, their ongoing maintenance and potential for vandalism deterred us from proceeding any further with this idea.

At this point I consulted Paul Upwood, an expert from Ground work Thames Valley Trust whose head office is located in Denham Country Park. Paul carried out a site survey and has promised to come up with a few ideas. In the meantime, if anyone has any suggestions of their own please contact me on 020 8866 3241.

Parents whose children attend Harlyn School may or may not be aware that located within the grounds is a small nature reserve plus pond. Towards the end of last year, Mrs Jane George, who works for the School Governors and myself carried out a site visit to assess the current state of the reserve and found it to be in a sad state of neglect. The pond was leaking due to a faulty liner and the whole area was covered in brambles. We wanted to clear the site, replace and enlarge the pond liner, erect fencing, set up some bird boxes and plant new shrubs. The pupils would then be able to use the reserve as a platform for their environmental studies. To finance this project we applied for a Fast Forward Grant, which is funded by a number of organisations. Unfortunately our application was turned down in favour of a number of other alleged 'Good causes' but I will be applying for the Grant again later this year. I will keep you updated with progress on this worthwhile educational/environmental project.

Many local residents and I frequently comment on the poor state of the approaches to the railway bridge at Cuckoo Hill. The area is overgrown with brambles, is used as a dumping ground and is generally a bit of an eye sore. Requests to our good friends at Hillingdon Council to clean up the site have proved fruitless as they claim that this is not Council owned land. Just as I was about to put up my hands in despair, along came Councillor David Bishop and one of his colleagues from Harrow Council who accompanied me on a site visit. They have since written to Mr Bob Kennett of Hillingdon Council requesting that they determine ownership. As soon as we have a reply, we will request that the owners landscape the area. Watch this space or better still watch the space by the bridge.

Ray Krystofiak

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A CRY FROM THE HEART

Eating and drinking "on the hoof" is unfortunately part of the disgusting culture seen among a certain element of the present generation. Having purchased their food and drink in one or other of the various takeaway outlets in Joel Street, they consume it on their way home, beyond Briarwood Drive or on the corners of Ferndown and Oakdale Avenue. Instead of placing their empty cartons in a rubbish bin, or taking them home for disposal, they simply throw them on the pavement or in the road, and in the front gardens of the residents of Briarwood Drive. This results in Briarwood Drive developing into a rubbish tip.

It is, of course, only the "yob" element in our community who do this kind of thing and if you reprimand them for their actions they will tell you to "F*** off". If they behave like this at home, God only knows what their homes must be like.

Education and pride in the community is the only answer, but until this happens the residents will have to continue clearing up their front gardens and driveways and the council arrange a daily clearance of the roads and pavements. Perhaps the takeaway food outlets could help by providing a rubbish bin outside their premises. After all, it is their litter.

A Resident

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GUYS & DOLLS at HAYDON SCHOOL

Are these really the same teenagers that we see in Northwood Hills? On 20th March Mike Thatcher and I had the pleasure of attending Haydon Schools latest production, Guys and Dolls. The ability, self-confidence and pleasure that emanated from all the young people made it a joy for us to be there. Congratulations to all those involved in the production, the huge amount of work involved, over many months, by both staff and pupils, was well worth the effort. These young people are a credit to themselves, the staff and their families. It would be impossible to pick out any one person for praise, that belongs to the whole team.

  Margot Barnikel

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JUDGE DEEDS COMES TO NORTHWOOD HILLS

The popular T.V. programme, Judge Deeds had a location shoot in Hilliard Road, Northwood Hills recently.

The B.B.C. producers contacted local residents, by means of a leaflet drop, announcing their proposals and requested that any concerned people contact him. They made appointments to communicate with our local Road Steward, Reg Inkersole, and a Miss Hilary Greenwood to help facilitate the arrangements. We understand that the film sequences were shot very speedily indeed, and the crews and equipment left the scene during the morning. Neither we, nor the B.B.C. received any adverse comments or complaints. It is not known, at this time, when the sequences filmed will be shown on T.V. If possible we will circulate the date later.

On behalf of the Residents Association I was very pleased to receive a thank you letter from the series arrangers, which included a donation of £75 to our funds. It is intended to place this in our Millennium Fund.

Michael Thatcher

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A FEW COMPUTER TIPS TO SHARE

Do you have any to share with others?

  1. Don’t have a fax machine? Never mind you can receive on the computer. Follow the instructions on www.yac.com to register.

  2. Worry about security on the web? Concerned about giving your credit card details? Some answers are *always look for the TrustUK symbol, endorsed by the government, it indicates that they subscribe to a strict code of conduct. * when filling in payment details look for a padlock symbol at the bottom of your screen

  3. Unsolicited mail? Unsuitable mail for children? Install a filter. There is a free one www.getnetwise.org/tools

  4. Unsolicited mail? Never tick a box to say that you don’t want to receive more. It tells the ‘spammer’ that they have found a real person.

  5. If you do find anything worrying contact the Internet Watch Foundation at www.iwf.org.uk

  6. There are special search engines for children that filter out the wrong kind of material that general search engines might pick up. Try www.safekids.com or www.yahooligans.com

  7. Check where your child has ‘been’ under the History tag. On Outlook Express for example it’s under Window on the menu bar.

  8. Good homework sites include www.bbc.co.uk/education/schools

  9. www.homeworkelephant.co.uk www.classbrain.com www.thehomeworkmachine.com www.infoplease.com/homework/index.html www.homeworkhelp.com

  10. Some for the animals. www.mypetstop.co.uk is all encompassing, it even has a function to locate a vet in your area. www.Coasttocoast.co.uk is for koi carp, fish or reptile owners. www.animal.rescuers.co.uk is your gateway to hundreds of animal welfare site covering a diversity of problems including lost pets, and unwanted farm animal, it also has a ‘lost and found’ notice-board. The site called www.pets-on-holiday.com just speaks for itself.

Margot Barnikel

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NORTHWOOD HILLS IN EARLIER DAYS

In 1930, as a young boy, I moved with my family to North Harrow, part of the fast developing area called Metroland, the station just a wooden structure (part of it still is today) as were most of the stations in the vicinity, i.e. West Harrow, Rayners Lane and Eastcote. Pinner station opened, in 1887, retains much of its original platforms and buildings.

What an opportunity this presented to us young lads to explore across fields destined to be marked out for roads and houses and further on to the unmade track called Rayners Lane, where on one occasion a haystack caught fire (combustion, not arson) and Pinner Fire Brigade turned out. In those days the Fire Station was situated alongside the ‘Red Lion’ public house. This site, now called Red Lion Parade is opposite Woolworth’.

Venturing further afield to Pinner Green ‘The Bell’ (now renamed ‘The Orange Tree’), the terminus of the 183 bus from Golders Green, we continued on over the railway bridge in Cuckoo Hill, where stood the Nurseries of Woodman & Sons on Pinner. Beyond, stretched more fields with some houses and cottages. Northwood Hills was beginning to develop.

During the past 18 months residents have been treated to a fine display of old photographs in the window of our local Estate Agent, Douglas Banks, showing how our area developed in its earliest days, including the site for the station, incidentally the last to be built by the Metropolitan Railway and opened in 1933, and shortly to be incorporated into London Transport. One can see the growing shopping centre; the surrounding fields being transformed with roads and houses; the very popular Rex Cinema which lasted until its closure in the 1970 to be replaced by a supermarket (now Somerfield); the schools to cater for the younger generation.

I have always been attracted to this area, I moved here with my own family in the late 1960s, finding the shops much as they were since those early days, no supermarkets then – though I do recall a small Tesco self service shop in Eastcote. Joel Street Farm supplied milk from its Dairy Herd and adjoining that was the ‘Pig Compound’ whose fragrance often wafted across on the wind. The thriving shopping centre catered for most needs. We had Sainsbury’s were you pound of butter was cut from a large block and patted to shape by two wooden paddles and your bacon was cut to whatever thickness you required. We had the bookshop of W.H.Smith, the grocers of International and The UK Tea Co., MacFisheries (wet fish), Boot’s the Chemist, Bata Shoes, Mansfield (Ladies dress shop), Express Dairy (they had a double shop near the roundabout), two banks, NatWest and Barclays, W.S.Greengrocers, The Northwood Hills Motor Co. with their showrooms (now Tolcarne Service Station).

Many older residents will have happy memories of The One Nine Café run by Mr and Mrs Rodgers. It was a regular meeting place to chat over a cup of coffee or a delightful meal. They will also remember the little half shop nearby stacked full of a wondrous selection of items from pet food to reels of cotton and known as the ‘Pin to an Elephant Shop’.

Bakers (now Wenzel’s), Paterson and Son (Butchers), Allen Bros, Reliance Hardware (now Nik Hardware), John Terry, Mario’s Café and finally The Northwood Hills Public house where Sir Elton John played the piano in his early days.

Gordon Pitt (Road Steward)

Editors note: Douglas Banks wants to continue its ongoing display of photographs but is running out of fresh examples. If anyone has photographs of Northwood Hills in the old days, please take them into the shop. They will be scanned onto the computer while you wait and will only take about two minutes of your time.

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POLICING IN NORTHWOOD HILLS

Over the past four years viable policing in the Northwood Hills Ward (and indeed Northwood Ward) has been steadily run down.

Police used to be based in the Murray Road Police Station and cars and officers on foot would patrol our communities. Sadly the police station was closed and our patrolling officers were reduced in number. Community policing was introduced, with two officers to each Ward; however, this was then reduced to one Community Officer per Ward.

I, on behalf of this Association, and also as Chairman of the Northwood & Northwood Hills Police Liaison Group, lobbied Senior Officers of the Metropolitan Police in an effort to restore police manpower to our streets. We were told that due to Policing Policies Beat Officers were required elsewhere and that the Police Station would never reopen and that our police officers were sufficient for our needs. Months of pressure from us continued and our pleas were utterly rejected. Indeed, I was made subject of a very strong verbal comment by a member of the Uxbridge Senior Management that no matter how much comment, pleas or ‘shouting about’ for increased visible policing, Northwood Hills and Northwood Wards would not be getting any increase in personnel.

Pressure was continued, by this association, and the Liaison Group, which culminated in several meetings being held in Northwood Hills and Northwood, where Senior Police Officers heard the arguments and the concerns of residents, they then agreed to a number of our requests.

Firstly that Northwood Police Station would reopen, staffed by resident volunteers on a rota basis. These volunteers, after training will be on duty, we hope, some time around Easter.

Secondly, the police presence in the area will be increased by 50%. This sounds a lot but in truth it means one extra officer, to patrol our streets and be available to give us some advice and help but it is a good step in the right direction.

The point of this article is to try to illustrate the need for an active community association that campaigns long and hard for the residents and does not give up on initial rejections. Senior Management of the Metropolitan Police, after long rejecting our observations and comments, finally agreed to 180º turnaround. People power can and will work.

Michael Thatcher

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PAT’s

No, it’s not your friend’s name that I have just put at the top of an article. It’s the acronym for ‘Pets as Therapy’. Many elderly and disabled people who have shared a lifelong association with their pets are now, due to age or disability, unable to have this therapeutic association. PATs does, to a great extent fill this gap. Owners of calm friendly pets take their animals into hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, residential homes, day care centres, special needs schools and even prisons. It is proven that stroking an animal reduces stress levels and blood pressure and can be used to take a child’s mind off an impending operation. It has been shown that an evening visit can mean a lower dosage of sleeping tablets is needed to settle a patient. Before an animal is accepted into the scheme they are tested for temperament and also have to be fully wormed and vaccinated. Owners join the charity; so that they are covered by its £5million insurance policy and they will also be expected to provide two character references.

To be accepted into the scheme all animals must be aged over six months and must have lived with their owners for six months. After acceptance members are supported by a local co-ordinator.

For more information about this wonderful scheme contact PATs head office 17, Ambrook Road, Reading
Berks. RG2 8SL. Tel 01189 212467

Margot Barnikel

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FURTHER MEMORIES OF HALF MILE LANE AND OLD NORTHWOOD

I’d like to start again at the cinema in Half Mile Lane (Northwood High Street today –what a dreary change of name!) where my father became manager and many of the family were involved in putting on the films before the 1st World War. When my father joined up early in the war and fought with the Middlesex Regiment my mother carried on showing films to local people and soldiers billeted in the area. We lived in a terrace house directly opposite the cinema and my brother and I used to collect the films from Northwood Station in a handcart made by my father.

When you have a moment, walk up the High Street towards Green Lane and you’ll come to the Old Folks Dining Club on your right. If you go round the side it looks roughly the same as when it was the Picture Theatre but the front is very different – I suppose appearance can be everything and then the façade was an invitation to enter a world of magic. The steps were a grand entry, there was a wonderful archway above lit with bulbs and a kind of mock balcony on each side with wooden paling. The roofline went up in tiers of pointed gables – this has all been flattened out in the modern façade so although the building remains basically the same structure, both style and magic have gone. If you are interested, there is a short piece about the cinema – my cinema! - in the book "Hillingdon Cinemas" by James Skinner with some photographs, which are so, revealing.

Northwood was a little heaven, a quiet country village with everywhere fields, woods and lanes. There were bluebell woods around what is Davenham Avenue today and when I think back to the shops in Half Mile Lane there was an incredible array of both craft shops like Mr Mitchell the saddler and those that supplied all the usual household needs – chemists, grocers, greengrocers, umbrellas, paraffin oil and lamps, papers, a dairy, clothes, ladies’ clothes, watches. I remember a Mr Watts who was a German (did he use his wife’s maiden name?) and would cut your hair in his front room.

 Our terrace house in Half Mile Lane, which was rented, had the front door leading straight into the front room – it was rare for a small cottage to boast a hallway. My mother had her piano there. The kitchen, the other ground floor room, had the usual coal-fired range with a black hob for which we would again use the handcart to collect coal from Northwood Station. There was an outside toilet but no bathroom. We did have a long garden and at the end was my father’s pigeon loft. He bred pigeons for show and later built me a loft and I then bred racing pigeons, having some success with a very special champion Red Checker. We had 3 bedrooms upstairs but one was really only a box room.

 We were certainly quite poor but always managed because of my parents efforts to maintain a reasonable standard of living. Many of you will not know of the "tally man" who came to Northwood from Watford, where he had a clothes shop. He would collect 6d. a week (2 1/2p. in today’s money) and you could then buy from the shop

by signing for items. He would know you personally and could gauge how reliable you were by the regularity of your payments. Obviously this was a service the working class used and as far as I know it was something which benefited both sides. It was a long way from what you hear about loan sharks today. I don’t want to pretend that everything was perfect but relationships among us folk were all on a small scale and personal contact was much closer.

Dr Cheese was the local doctor – and a superb one. He lived in Chester Road, where the houses were rather grander but you see it was only a short walk from where we lived. My legs were in irons and I needed special treatment in London but that was beyond my father’s means. Two brothers in Eastbury Avenue, the Atkinsons, knew my father and generously paid the 100 guineas my medical bill came to at a hospital in Great Portland Street – perhaps in today’s money some £27,000. Unbelievable, but as I said personal contact and local bonding counted for a lot. They may have hoped I would become their gardener – which I never did – but this was never pressed and anyway the brothers probably felt it was something, which would be to my benefit.

 May I end this second episode of reminiscences of old Northwood by talking about Pinner Road School? I went there in 1914 when Mr Fendick was the headmaster, who lived two doors away, helped by his wife Jessie who also taught there. If I remember aright there were 7 teachers and of course the school had a Boys and Girls (separate) entrance. There was a great field at the back leading down to the railway line. Dinners were cooked at the school. There was Assembly every morning with a hymn. If you were naughty Mrs Fendick would tap you on the head with a thimbled finger! Curly Kemp, who lived in Manor Cottages in Chestnut Avenue, would instead throw chalk at misbehavers. I remember it as a very happy time even though I was crippled and away from school for long periods. Empire Day was one of the biggest annual occasions (who has heard of it today?) All dressed up, we would line up in the playground and then march to Northwood College. All schools went there. We would gather in a big field and a band played. In hot weather a lot of children fainted because we were kept standing. Today, children’s needs are better understood, then we were just young adults.

 Perhaps you would like me to write about a particular aspect of life in old Northwood as I remember it. Please do let the Editor know.

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THAT’S USEFUL

Many of us have had trouble and / or expenses disposing of old fridges and freezers. Hillingdon Council will now dispose of these free. There is a web-site application form at www.hillingdon.gov.uk Look under Home and Environment, rubbish collection and recycling, frequently asked questions, how do I dispose of my fridge / freezer, there is then a ‘click’ box to down load the form. This form is also used for all special collections including the ‘four free items’ for OAP’s. Failing a computer ring the Civic Centre and explain your need.

Margot Barnikel

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PLANNING REPORT

Proposed nursing home etc. at St Vincent's Hospital Site- These proposals are not yet finalised. As you know, the construction of a nursing home and the development of an adjoining site for houses have been approved. There are a number of outstanding points to be resolved to but I hope that the construction of the nursing home may start fairly soon. We also expect at the sale of the land designated for housing will be concluded soon. It will then be up to the new owner to submit detailed proposals to the council.

Due to the failure of the council to determine the application within the prescribed time; the applicant has lodged an appeal with the Secretary of State. The appeal procedure started on 18 February. It will take about six weeks. All letters of objection made to the council will be passed to the planning inspectorate. Perhaps by the time you read this a decision may have been reached.

Number 32 Norwich Road - demolition of a bungalow and erection of a block of four two-bedroom flats- Some of the residents living nearby were unhappy about the proposals. Consequently, your chairman and I met them on the site to discuss the proposals. After careful consideration we decided not to object, on the grounds that the appearance would be identical to that of a pair of semi-detached houses. We felt that the design would not be obtrusive and would fit in with the surrounding dwellings. We will, however, ask the council to consider points raised by the residents.

In considering applications we look at any impact on residents living near by, balancing this with the local environment and the need for extra housing. Our policy is to resist any development of green belt land, and, in doing so, try to be reasonable as regards infilling of vacant plots or other proposals designed to increase the number of dwellings.

Ryefield Crescent - We decided not to object to proposal to build a warehouse on the site formerly used to store skips. However, in the interests of those residents of Tolcarne Drive who back onto this site, we asked the council to include a condition in any approval to ensure a high degree of cleanliness and a protection against excessive noise.

Ex-Victoria Wine Shop, Joel Street - change of use- We objected to a proposal to change from A1 (retail) to A3 (restaurant, or similar). This was in accordance with our policy to object to any loss of retail facilities.

House extensions - I only investigate a proposal to extend a private dwelling when a neighbour objects on the grounds that a proposal will cause problems. It is important, therefore, that anyone who is concerned about such a proposal should first check the plans, and then contact me, preferably through his or her Road Steward. The plans can be seen at the Civic Centre planning department, so a journey is necessary unless the applicant is kind enough to let the neighbours see the plans.

Unfortunately, residents sometimes do not appreciate the problem until building works start. It is then too late, as we cannot object to an approval. The council notifies neighbours on each side of the proposal. A list of planning applications is also published in the Gazette.

Most proposals are, I'm pleased to say, very reasonable, but some others, unfortunately, are excessive. These reduce the quality of life for neighbours as they are often out of character for the neighbourhood and therefore are environmentally unacceptable.

Lishman Easby, Association Planning Officer

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HOW ABOUT HELPING

This Association has a number of points of interest relating to matters that concern local people. Time allowing we try to cover as many as possible. If you have a particular interest or concern you might be able to investigate on our behalf.

  1. National Health Service – National and Local

  2. Local Hospitals (Pinner & Northwood Community Hosp, Hillingdon, Mount Vernon and Watford Hospitals)

  3. General Practitioner Surgeries (access / ?)

  4. Council – Housing, Schools (Education), Roads/Traffic, Parking, Refuse Collection, Libraries, Open Spaces, Conservation, Planning Applications etc.

  5. Metropolitan Police – Liaison Group, Hillingdon Police and Community Consultative Group.

  6. Contact / representative with other Residents Associations / Groups.

All of these require someone to look into or oversee.

CAN YOU HELP, WILL YOU HELP

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SMILE FOR YOU

Smiling is infectious; you catch it like the flu

When someone smiled at me today, I started smiling too.

I passed around the corner and someone saw my grin

When he smiled I realized I’d passed it on to him.

I thought about that smile then I realized it’s worth,

A single smile, just like mine, could travel round the earth.

So, if you feel a smile begin, don’t leave it undetected

Let’s start an epidemic quick, and get the world infected.

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NORTHWOOD SCHOOL

Excerpts taken from the school newsletter

September 2002-January 2003 Exam results were pleasing. AS/A level pass rate was 98%. Three pupils in year 13 did very well indeed with results of 3 As at A level, 2 As at A level and 2 at AS level, 3 As at A level and 2 As at AS level. Four pupils in year 12 gained four As at AS level. At GCSE level 52% of entries gained A*-C.

Sporting achievements were also pleasing. One pupil gained a bronze award for the shot in the National Athletics (ACF cadets) Championship. Two pupils playing for cricket clubs helped their clubs to league championship status. A girl in year 11 was a member of the Under 18 Hockey XI representing Hillingdon at the London Heathrow Games, at which they gained 3rd place. The school also won the KS3 Girls’ Borough Football Tournament.

COMMUNITY LINKS WITH NORTHWOOD SCHOOL

Congratulations to Year 13 Art students at Northwood School who came to the rescue of Harlyn Primary by creating a huge mural for their new outdoor play area.   The work was exciting and of the highest standards.   Students at Harlyn Primary were delighted and presented students at Northwood with their own drawings inspired from the mural.   Photographs were also taken for the local Gazette.

Art work is also on exhibition at Northwood Hills Tube Station and Uxbridge Civic Centre.

Maxine Nichols - Head of Art

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CONTROLLED PARKING ZONE MEETING

For reasons of victimisation we will not be publishing any names of people writing on this subject providing that the names are known to the editor.

To the Editor

When I attended the meeting held in February at ‘Fairfield’ in Windsor Close, to discuss the proposed parking zone for Northwood Hills, it was with an open mind. I was horrified at the lack of thought, understanding and tolerance of some of the local people attending. There was to be no discussion, no listening to other points of view, indeed there was to be no other view than that of the vociferous few, some of whom followed an entirely NIMBY (not in my back yard) attitude. The language of the some of those making the most noise left a lot to be desired and in a supposedly grown up environment what is bad language supposed to achieve apart from a lack of vocabulary in the user.

I know that there were people at that meeting who held the view that some form of parking control is necessary in parts but not all of Northwood Hills but such was the aggression and intimidation they were unable to put their view. When you add that to a very flawed Consultation Paper from the Council, which, apparently, was only distributed to 2/3 of the local population it was a recipe for disaster only kept in check by an excellent Chairman in Mr Pearce. The lead Councillor, Mike Heywood, who attended to give information even informed those present that he had done us a favour by attending, I wonder why he is a Councillor and whether indeed he should be. I for one hoped for better.

Name and address supplied

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TEMPLETON ALZHEIMER CENTRE

After Six months in Millman’s Resource Centre, Pinner, we can scarcely wait to open our service in the new premises in the front of the United Reformed Church in Joel Street. Not that the interlude at Millman’s was a bad one. Being among two other Social Service day centres and the excellent Crossroads organisation was an enriching experience, but we are looking forward to settling into the security of our own home.

It has been fun seeing it all come together week by week, watching the architect’s plans convert into three-dimensional spaces and being part of small adjustments and decisions. It has been good working with members of the Church and Gullett’s the builders in such a co-operative way, and to wonder at the transformation from half a Church and a bit of grass into such an attractive centre.

We will open on 24th March assuring our clients that it will be their last move. The staff are their greatest source of continuity and security, creating an environment of fun, interest and encouragement wherever they are, while their carers enjoy some respite. One of the great assets of our service is the way paid workers and volunteers work together. All receive training and support and contribute different skills and attributes. But we can always use more. If anyone feels they can afford some time to help us, I feel sure we could find a niche that would suit you. There is such a variety of ways, from practical help in the kitchen at mealtimes, fund raising, help on our support line or in our centre playing the piano or becoming involved with our clients’ activities. We also support carers in the community in various ways, so do not be afraid to join our team of helpers but phone our volunteer co-coordinator, Phyllis Nash on 01895 476644.

I closing I wish to acknowledge our gratitude to the U.R.C. in its decision to include us in its plans and to make us feel so welcome. The Revd. Robin Pagan has invited everyone to come and take a look at the whole project on 5th April from 12 noon, so do come and take a look at what has been achieved.

Hazel Templeton

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CONSERVATION NEWS FROM SHEILA LIBERTY

The Old Barn House, High Road, Eastcote. There is an application to erect two semi-detached houses on land forming part of this property. This has been vigorously opposed on the grounds:

1. Despite the blanket Tree Preservation Order in force all trees and shrubs have been cut down on the application site.

2. The property is a listed building and the development would have an unacceptable visual impact on its setting.

3. Access to the proposed houses would be poor and at a point where there already is congestion.

4. The development would have an unacceptable impact on the houses in Azalea Walk.

A timber-frame building dating from the early 1500s, the Old Barn House has had a chequered life, its uses including a barn and a dwelling but a carpenter's workshop, restaurant, small shop containing the early Eastcote Post Office and a dancing school. The garden was devised by Mr David Duncan, an occupant of an office in the Old Barn, as a wild garden, along the lines recommended by the Victorian William Robinson and exemplified at Sissinghurst Castle. His planting included berried shrubs to attract birds, buddleias in a wide variety of colours to attract butterflies, tall flowers such as sunflowers, hollyhocks, lupins and delphiniums, and all-year-round leaf colour. Trees planted included a birch, two variegated maples, a copper beech and a eucalyptus gunii. Sadly, since the site for the proposed houses was cleared, little evidence remains of David Duncan's wild garden.

The Coach House, Eastcote House Grounds Following the arson attack earlier this year, which destroyed the front door, much thought has been given to protecting this Grade II-listed building and the grounds from further vandalism. Local councillors, LBH Principal Architect and Conservation Officer Jon Finney, members of the Conservation Council and the Eastcote CAAP made two site visits, as a result of which the following suggestions were made.

1.Bricking up the ground-floor windows but indicating the window areas by means of brick sills. As the interior of the building is already lit by the upper windows, this would not affect either the inside of the building or its use. The Conservation Panel has discussed this suggestion and considers it a sensible solution.

2. Installing a suitable barrier at the entrance to Eastcote House Grounds (opposite Haydon Hall moat area), which will be locked at night. This should help stop the number of stolen cars that are regularly dumped in the grounds and often set on fire. It should also act as a deterrent to the rowdy youths who arrive by car to party in the Walled Garden and leave litter and bottles behind.

Green Flag Award. There have been discussions with local councillors and the LBH Head of Green Spaces Department, Mary Worrell, to see if Eastcote House Grounds could receive a Green Flag Award. This would have a number of benefits, including extra money to maintain the grounds. Coach House and Walled Garden, which is one of the three Gardens of Excellence in the Borough. As Eastcote residents and visitors must be aware, regular maintenance is sorely lacking at present. The Green Flag Award is government backed and run by The Civic Trust. Certain criteria must be met to attain the award, among them the provision of public toilets. For this reason, the demolition of the existing vandalised toilets at the Field End Road entrance has been put on hold.

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LIFE AT FAIRFIELD

The biggest public meeting ever in Northwood Hills? If anyone is unaware of Fairfield then the CPZ meeting in February introduced a huge number of the local population to its excellent facilities!

Fairfield is home to Northwood Hills Evangelical Church, a thriving 200-strong faith community. The building, put up in1992, stays open all through the week for the church’s own full programme and as a home for many Northwood Hills activities.

Townswomen’s Guild, Cruse counselling for the bereaved, Amiguitos parents and toddlers, the Allotments Society, WEA lectures, the Wrens, political parties, school groups, the Northwood & Pinner Community Hospital, Hillingdon Health Authority, Aid for Autism, the National Trust, Northwood Missionary Auctions are some of the many groups who hold meetings there, as well as Northwood Hills Residents Association with its regular monthly committee meetings, its social occasions, and the Annual General Meeting in May!

Local primary and secondary schools regularly bring classes to Fairfield on visits for Religious Education. Steve Edney, the full time youth worker, goes into schools to speak at Christian groups and to take RE classes.

The church runs a very big Parents & Toddlers activity on each of 3 days of the week - Monday to Wednesday - with around 60 different families present on each occasion. Keep Fit on Thursdays and the weekly Drop In Coffee morning on Fridays are regular occasions open to all to join in. There is a Wednesday fellowship for the older generation, and the monthly ‘Monday Night at 8’. There is a full youth and children’s programme and at Easter each year around 180 primary children have great fun at the Holiday Club. Sunday lunches welcome people who live on their own.

At the beginning of March 70 young people in their Gap year were staying with church members for 5 days and receiving orientation training for 4 months voluntary service in Latin America. The church has one of its families serving in Argentina, another in Sri Lanka, another in Mongolia, and three more in full time Christian service in the UK. The church cooperates with London Bible College in preparing young people for Christian leadership and two of its own members are now in church ministry.

On 5 Sunday afternoons through the year we welcome a great number of friends with learning difficulties for a time of singing, sharing news, storytelling, drama, and tea.

For the last two years teams from the church have helped to clean up the Northwood Hills environment, clearing great quantities of rubbish from service roads behind the shops and removing graffiti.

Across the area there are 11 groups meeting in homes fortnightly for study and prayer - grass-roots activity groups arranging their own programmes for outings, social evenings, family occasions, providing meals for parents with new babies, and giving support to people in difficulty, and always ready to link up for prayer and practical support.

Fairfield Ramblers organise regular Saturday outings with a variety of walks discovering the countryside around us. There is a football group & a table tennis group on Thursday evenings. Occasional men’s evenings with a meal and a speaker.

Fairfield often holds Alpha courses and we are always ready to fit anyone wanting to inquire about Christian belief, faith and practice into a group. Parenting Courses are being held at present for parents with young children.

On Sundays the main meeting of the church is at 10.30am and is suitable for all ages. After a time together the children and young people have their own programme.

For more information contact the office: 01923 827198, send an e-mail to: fairfield@nhec.org.uk or visit the web-site: www.nhec.org.uk

Roger Pearce

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A LINK WITH THE PAST

About two years ago, while walking up Pinner High Street, I was drawn to a display in the window of a shop, which was then called Artisan. Here I read about the plight of Karenni Refugees who had fled into Thailand from their homeland in Burma to escape persecution. I also read about the daughter of the shop proprietors, Stephanie Lee, who, at the age of 19, had visited a refugee camp in Thailand during her gap year from university.

Stephanie was so overcome by their plight that she set up a charity and devoted considerable time to helping them. She made many visits associated with the refuge families. She raised more than £5,000 towards building new accommodation and providing sports equipment and books for the camp school. At the same time, she continued to maintain direct contact and became engaged in teaching children and generally helping. She gained the affection of the refugees who looked forward to her visits. Her deep interest and concern prompted her to change her degree course at London University to ‘Burmese, Vietnamese and the Social Anthropology of S.E. Asia’.

Studying the details took me back more than half a century when to a lesser degree; I was involved in helping the unfortunate people of Burma whilst flying with the R.A.F. as a wireless operator. On that occasion it was mainly other Burmese states, including the Kachins, Karens and Nagas that we helped.

I joined the R.A.F. in 1941 and in 1943 completed a tour of 27 bombing operations with 100 Squadron (Lancaster’s). In 1945 I transferred to 298 Squadron of Transport Command (Halifax’s) where we underwent training in towing army gliders. The object, so we were told, was to make an airborne landing in Singapore. However, the atom bombs were dropped bringing the war to an end. We still went to India and Iran and from there to Burma to take part in Operation Hunger.

During the final stages of the war many of the people of the border states of Burma had been unable to obtain stocks of seed rice for the following year’s harvest, without which they would have faced starvation. With the monsoon only weeks away, the situation was desperate. Our squadron of Halifax’s, along with a squadron of Dakotas, took part in this relief work. A certain amount of rice could be delivered by road but an urgent supply to villages high up in the mountain regions could be delivered only by air.

The rice was put into sacks and each sack placed in a second sack to avoid spillage when it hit the ground. Our Halifax’s had been adapted to drop paratroopers and had a large hole in the floor for this purpose. The sacks were piled around the exit hole and we knelt around them. The pilot approached the dropping zone at not more than treetop height and at a given signal we quickly pushed all the sacks out, taking care not to push ourselves out with them since we had no safety straps.

I recall that one of our trips back to our base in Meiktila was the most enjoyable I have experienced. We flew very low down the Irrawaddy River, passing such sites as the golden-topped pagodas of Mandalay.

After a few weeks all the rice had been delivered and a tragedy averted. Unfortunately, a price had to be paid. During the operation three Dakotas crashed in the difficult terrain killing thirteen of the crew, with only one survivor. More than half a century later help came again to some of the unfortunate peoples of Burma, this time not from two squadrons of the R.A.F.. but from a 19-year-old girl from Pinner. Sadly, my story ends in tragedy. In November 2001 Stephanie was killed in a motorcycle accident in Thailand. The Daily Telegraph devoted half a page to her story, reporting that her funeral in Thailand was almost a state occasion attended by thousands who respected and loved her.

I can only conclude with this thought: what we did in 1946 would be remembered for a season but what Stephanie did half a century later will be remembered for a lifetime.

Lishman Easby

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CPZ, A RESIDENT’S VIEW

Several reasons have been given for the need to introduce a Controlled Parking Zone in Northwood Hills. None of them convince me. I cannot believe that many people complain that they are unable to park near their homes. I live nearer to the station than many and I have never heard such a complaint from my neighbours. I also cannot accept that the scheme is needed because parked cars trouble emergency vehicles, especially in narrow roads. There are few narrow roads within the proposed area and any badly parked vehicles can be individually dealt with. Where the Council have marked areas such as the junction of Highland Road/York Road, the restriction does not seem to be enforced.

The suggestion that the scheme is justified because residents in Windsor Close and Tolcarne Drive suffer from commuter parking is unacceptable. Such a large parking scheme is not needed to deal with a localised traffic problem. When I was looking to buy a maisonette nineteen years ago, properties in Windsor Close were priced about 10% lower than elsewhere in Northwood Hills, because of the difficulty of parking. In other words the problem was "priced in". This may mean that some people can afford to buy property in the area who would not otherwise be able to do so.

The two problem roads have an unusually high proportion of maisonettes (with, in Tolcarne Drive, some fairly recently erected on land previously occupied by garages!). This increased density of occupation has much, I believe, to do with the parking problem.

It has been stated that cars displaced from as far afield as Rickmansworth by their local restrictions are attracted to park free in our area. Our train service is far inferior to that from Rickmansworth and the extra journey time to get free parking is not, I believe, an option for a commuter. A friend of mine, who had moved to Rickmansworth, commuted backwards and forwards for some weeks in order to use his ticket from Northwood Hills and found it intolerable.

I myself take the car down to the station from Highland Road. Why? Because the requirements to take children to school and nursery would otherwise mean taking a later, slower train, thus lengthening my journey to work, with all its knock-on effects.

Finally, I think some people will avoid the need for a permit by concreting over their front gardens to make additional parking. This will be detrimental to the appearance of the area.

(A précis of a document emailed to the Council on 5 February and copied to the Hills Echo. Name and address supplied.)

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ARRIVAL OF NEW COMMUNITY INSPECTOR

I would like to take this opportunity of introducing myself to you all. I am the new Community Inspector for North Hillingdon. By way of introduction I think it's important that you know a bit about me and my vision for Northwood and Northwood Hills. My name is Dave Burgum, I am a married a man living in Pinner with my 2 children, and so have a vested interest in the policing of the area.

I started my career 24 years ago at Harrow Police Station and spent the next 5 years learning my trade as a police officer. Since then I have worked in many diverse Boroughs and many specialist Units in and around Central London. My pedigree is mainly one of Public Order Units, so I am well aware of Anti-social Behaviour and ways of dealing with offenders. I spent 3 years at Harlesden Police Station, part spent heading a Community Action Team to deal with the vast problems within the area. Not an easy task!

Anti-social behaviour take many forms, from kicking a football around in the street, to large groups congregating on street corners that can be quite intimidating, to assault and other crimes against the person. All of these contribute to the fear of crime that can be just as bad, if not worse, than actual crime itself.

You may have already read that from March 2003 there will be 24-hour coverage at Northwood Police Station. I am currently interviewing volunteers to open the station some time in the near future. It is my intention that you will see your local Bobbies on cycles. I have already started to introduce a return to this sort of High Visibility Policing in Uxbridge and it has been very well received and goes some way to addressing the fear of crime.

An extra Community Police Officer Dave Woods joins George Collins and Clare Ali in policing Northwood and Northwood Hills. Dave has a vast experience in Community policing having served as Community Officer at Hayes and West Drayton for a number of years and earned the respect of residents in that part of the Borough. He is very keen to do likewise in the Northwood area.

There is much to do and I am very committed to making Northwood and Northwood Hills a safe place to live, and to return to some of the old values of respect and decency within the community. I cannot do this without your help and assistance and hope that I can rely on your continued support in the future.

I am still looking for volunteers for Northwood Police Station. Persons will receive training and will be helping the local community and the police in reopening Northwood. I must stress it will only be a few hours a week and not a full time job. So come on, help your Police to help you in making the Northwood area a safe and friendly place to live.

Any enquires should be made to :–

Dave Burgum - Community Inspector North

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NORTHWOOD HILLS UNITED REFORMED CHURCH

What’s going on?

No doubt those who use Joel Street regularly will have noticed the building work that has been going on at the church over the past few months. All this came about following the church’s decision to provide accommodation for the Templeton Centre, which found itself homeless.

As ever with these things there have been some small delays but even so we feel fairly confident that the new plant, that is the front part of the church building, will be up and running by the middle of March. In the meantime the refurbished worship centre, comprising the rear part of the church with its new entrance on the south side, has been in use now for several months and we would like to invite our friends in the wider community to come and see just what has been going on at the church.

So, we are planning to have an Open Day on Saturday, 5th April to which everyone is invited. The doors will be open from 12.00 noon until 4.30 pm when there will be a service of thanksgiving.

Robin Pagan

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WHAT’S BEST?

Do you know the foods that will benefit you more than others that are similar? For instance, Savoy cabbage is better than white, green or red cabbage. Red onion are better that white ones. Red peppers are better than green. Pink grapefruit better than white. Tinned sardines and herrings are better than tinned tuna. Red wine is better than white and tinned olive oil is better than olive oil in clear glass or plastic bottles. Savoy cabbage contains more of the antioxidant indole-3-carbinol, which is thought to lower the risk of various cancers. In common with all onions the red variety are good for the circulation but the red ones also contain quercetin, an antioxidant, which inhibits malignant tumours and has anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. Whilst all peppers contain more vitamin C than citrus fruits the red ones have three times more vitamin C and nine times more betacarotene, which helps the immune system and helps slow the ageing process. Along with watermelon and tomatoes, pink grapefruits contain lypocene, which helps to lower the risk of prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease, they also contain more vitamin C and more betacarotene. All fresh oily fish contain omega-3 and 6, which is so good at helping to prevent a whole range of problems. Whilst the canning process destroys the fatty acids in tuna this doesn’t happen with sardines and herring. The vitamin E that is present in abundance in olive oil is destroyed when exposed to light, so tins or tinted glass bottles are better. Research shows that when olive oil is stored in plastic and then exposed to light it can develop unacceptable levels of peroxide in just 20 days. Oil kept in the dark retains its vitamins for up to 190 days. Cancer fighting antioxidants known as polyphenols are present in red wine and the recommended 2 glasses a day is purported to help prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s and protect against cardiovascular disease and it also is a source of iron. One last, and most bizarre, one is that the finest olive oil ‘virgin’ is not suitable for cooking, only for salads and using cold, high temperatures destroys its excellent properties. The later presses of olives are entirely suitable for cooking and enjoying. Margot Barnikel

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GEORGE DALE, RIP

It is with deep regret that we announce the death in January of George Dale, of Woodford Crescent. George had lived for many years in the area and had previously served the Residents’ Association as a Committee member and Vice President. We remember with gratitude the contribution he made.

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RECYCLING

There are still some households in this area that haven’t yet been included in the Borough’s recycling initiative. If, like me, you are committed to a recycling / reusing world take a look at this web-site. Just by putting in your postcode you get a map that pinpoints all the recycling centres locally and tells you what ‘rubbish’ (valuable commodity), can be deposited there. www.recycle-more.co.uk

Margot Barnikel

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CHANGES TO MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT and LOCAL COUNCILLORS SURGERY

Surgeries are now held at the Methodist Church at Oaklands Gate, Northwood, (beside the Nat. West. Bank) in the Oasis Lounge on the third Tuesday of each month excepting August starting at 8.15pm. Local Councillors will always be in attendance.

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THE FOLLOWING ROADS NEED STEWARDS – CAN YOU HELP?

Waller Drive, Addison Way, Baaycroft, Bramley Close

Salisbury Road, Townsend Way, Egerton Close, Wyevale Close

Somerford Close, Acre Wa,y Wiltshire Lane, Beatrice Close

Hawthorn Court, Neal Close, Fore Street, Reid Close

Ryefield Court, Sovereign Ct., Heatherfold Way, Farmlands

Northwood Way, Burlington Close, Theodora Way, Arden Mohr

Parts of Tolcarne Drive, Clovelly Close, Orchard Rise, Jasmin Close

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FROM THE (NEW) EDITOR

As the new editor of the Hills Echo I should like to welcome you to this Spring issue of the magazine. I hope that all our readers will find much to interest and inform them.

I wish to take this opportunity to thank the many members of the production and distribution team, without whose many hours of unpaid labour there would not be any magazine. I also wish to thank all those who have contributed some copy, whether it be a routine report of the work of the Committee or a more personal contribution. This leads me to ask you to remember that without copy we cannot continue to publish. Please try to find something that YOU could write about for the Autumn issue.

Finally, may I emphasise that I am now the editor and all copy should be sent to me in the first instance. It causes considerable inefficient confusion if material is sent to a number of different people. Any format of article is acceptable, though the most helpful is an email attachment, and a word-processed or typed document is preferable to a hand-written one.

Alan Kimber

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Issue 02 last updated 29th October 2006