THE HILLS ECHO

Spring 2005

CHAIRMAN’S REPORT

THOUGHTS ON THE EVE OF RETIREMENT BY JOHN WILKINSON MP

MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT and LOCAL COUNCILLORS SURGERY

CCTV

LESLIE HODSON

MUSIC AT MY SCHOOL

THE AIMS AND PURPOSES OF THE NORTHWOOD HILLS RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION

SPRING SEEMS TO BE HERE

NOTICE BOARD

NORTHWOOD SCHOOL

WEB SITE

PLANNING REPORT

NORTHWOOD’S GRACE

SANTA COMES TO NORTHWOOD HILLS

THE ONE FLAW IN WOMEN

SHOPMOBILITY

JOEL STREET FARM – THEN & NOW

QUIZ

CHURCHES TOGETHER IN NORTHWOOD

NORTHWOOD LIONS

HARLYN SCHOOL

A PROFILE OF MY ROAD - HIGHLAND ROAD, A ROAD WITH VIEWS

WANTED – TO RENT

THE LOST CINEMAS FROM AROUND NORTHWOOD HILLS

NORTHWOOD LIVE AT HOME SCHEME

WHAT’S ON AT St. EDMUND’S

WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED IN THE LAST 6 MONTHS

HAYDON SCHOOL THEATRICAL PRODUCTION

HARROW CINE & VIDEO SOCIETY

PUBLIC TRANSPORT A FUTURISTIC VIEW

SAFETY HAZARD AT TESCO EXPRESS/ESSO – AN UPDATE

ARE YOU STILL AT IT?

A DAILY DOSE OF VOLUNTEERING IS GOOD FOR YOU!

TESCO & ESSO MAKE A TOTAL MESSO

  CHAIRMAN’S REPORT

Almost another year over, and our thoughts start looking towards our AGM, and onto the, hopefully, glorious summer to come. But I think that at this time, it is only right that we take a review of the past twelve months to detail what our Association has achieved, and what are still the issues for us, the residents.
I do not intend to write comments on every issue that the committee has dealt with over the past 12 months, but instead will concentrate on just a few.
We have all seen, and perhaps been affected by, the fiasco on Northwood Hills Circus. The road markings, that were pretty good BEFORE the initial works, being repainted again during the year, are still at best rather confusing, ‘should I be in the left lane or right lane if I want to go onto the Pinner Road?’ I have even seen driving instructors looking confused.
At least the congestion has eased, I hear you say. Yes, it has, but why? Well the mini roundabout at the junction of Green Lane, Northwood Way and Gate Hill is responsible for that. Generally, I think that this junction is now much safer than before, but I am sure that the residents who live near the mini roundabout are not happy with the increase in traffic coming from Pinner Green.
The future of Argyll House is still unknown; however, with Lishman Easby on the case, I am sure that whatever happens, we will know about it first.
Christmas came to Northwood Hills this year. Many thanks must go to Ray Krystofiak and others for all their hard work in giving us that Christmas feeling, all but two street lamps being decorated, and we are hoping that by next Christmas we will be able to further increase the decorations. Let’s hope that our local retailers will join in the Christmas spirit!
St Vincent’s hospital is no more. After the fire that left the majority of the buildings in ruins, the site has been cleared, and the footings for the foundations are currently being dug. The two small wards, and the house on the right hand side of Wiltshire Lane, are due to be cleared by July 2006, and the ground will revert to ‘Green Belt’. We understand that negotiations over a new home for St Vincent’s Nursery are in progress and hope the Nursery is soon looking forward to a new and permanent home.
Talking of Green Belt, you may have noticed in the papers recently that we are currently campaigning against the proposal to turn Joel Street Farm into a cemetery. The last plans that we saw contained a parking area for over 50 cars, and even an apartment for the groundsman to live in. Do you wish to see more green fields being replaced by marble, and stone etc? If you wish to get involved in the campaign please contact a member of the Committee.
As I write this report, news is coming to me of a road accident outside Tesco’s, involving a motorbike. I hear the cries almost every day about parking in Tolcarne Drive, and congestion outside Tesco's Express. We are currently in discussions with Esso and Tesco concerning the traffic headaches that I am sure we have all experienced. 
I have a particular thank you to Councillors Andrew Retter and David Bishop who are always interested in Northwood Hills, they respond readily to any request for help and / or information and work unceasingly for the good of the area. Whenever their workload allows they attend our committee meetings and we value their input.
Finally, I would like to thank everyone involved with the Residents Association for all their contributions and hard work.

Thank you

John Morgan

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THOUGHTS ON THE EVE OF RETIREMENT BY JOHN WILKINSON MP (RUISLIP-NORTHWOOD)

I would like to thank the Editor of the Hills Echo for allowing me the opportunity to express my thanks and appreciation to the officers and members of the Northwood Hills Residents Association for all their encouragement and many kindnesses over the twenty six odd years that I have been privileged to serve as MP for Ruislip-Northwood.

I have always found the interventions of the Northwood Hills Residents Association helpful and constructive. The Echo itself provides a highly readable and informative account of local issues and events.

From the early days when I used to hold a monthly surgery in the Potter Street Library to more recent times when it has been combined with Northwood’s in the Methodist Church Hall, Northwood Hills residents have never failed to come up with an incredible range of cases and causes for me to take up. 

Ranging from the future of the Northwood and Pinner Cottage Hospital, of the Health Centre, the development of Northwood and Haydon schools, the Green Belt, the use of the St Vincent’s site, to constituency-wide, questions such as what is to become of Harefield and Mount Vernon Hospitals and the reorganisation of the Post Office network. In the latter case we won the battle to keep open the sub office in Joel Street but the disappointing outcome over the one at Salisbury Road was sadly perhaps a virtually foregone conclusion.

My greatest satisfaction is that the inclusion of the Croxley Link in the GLA’s Transport Plan for 2009 should enable the residents of Northwood Hills to take the Metropolitan Line all the way through to Watford Junction main railway station via central Watford. This makes up for disappointments over building a direct tube link to Heathrow and a Crossrail spur for our area which I hope will come eventually.

I shall be thinking of you all at the General Election. However, electioneering has changed with fewer public meetings and much direct personal contact on the doorstep replaced by more emailing of electors and more presidential style campaign TV broadcasts by the Party Leaders. For me the chatter and banter of the hustings and the individual arguments nearly always without rancour were what made electioneering really worthwhile and rewarding.

It is time to move on. I have few regrets and countless happy memories of many battles fought and sometimes won against the odds. But whatever the outcome the people of Northwood Hills were always understanding and supportive. I could not have asked for more.

John Wilkinson M.P.

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MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT and LOCAL COUNCILLORS SURGERY

Currently the surgeries are held monthly on the 3rd Tuesday of the month, at Oaklands Gate. The room used is the Oasis room of the Methodist Church. Surgeries are from 8pm to 9pm, with our M.P. John Wilkinson (retiring).

To keep you informed of the most important issues affecting our community, we have dedicated this page to current “HOT TOPICS”. See our web site for ongoing “HOT TOPICS”. We have a greater influence on these issues as a group of people rather than a few individuals, so come and join us, we would love to hear from you.

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CCTV

From now on, dress smartly and smile when walking along The Broadway because by the time you receive this magazine I would hope that the CCTV cameras are up and running. Although we do not have a high crime rate at present, there have been a few minor incidents. The CCTV should act as deterrent and help towards solving any future crime or anti-social behaviour problems.

My thanks to Mark Hankins, Community Safety Officer at London Borough of Hillingdon, for arranging the provision of the camera systems.

Ray Krystofiak

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LESLIE HODSON

"Stroller" died December 21st 2004

Leslie was a much-valued member of the community and is sadly missed by family, friends and colleagues in the Residents Association. In 1992 Leslie was the prime mover in restarting the Hills Echo after many years of not having a newsletter. Even after retirement from heading The Echo, Leslie retained an active involvement by proof reading and writing articles under the heading of ‘Stroller’. He was a Road Steward right up until the time of his death. Our thoughts are with Maureen, his widow.

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MUSIC AT MY SCHOOL

There is an orchestra at my school, lots of people play in it, the main instruments are cello and violin. Once a year the choir and the orchestra get together to do a performance, at that time the recorder-playing people get together to play a few pieces.

The choir get together every Monday to do some singing sometimes on Wednesdays before performances.

The choir and the orchestra also get to go on outings for different reasons. The choir goes out to sing and the orchestra goes out for inspiration, to do that they watch other musicians play.

Fleur Noriego-Constable – Hillside Junior School

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THE AIMS AND PURPOSES OF THE NORTHWOOD HILLS RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION

The Northwood Hills Residents Association Committee is elected at the A.G.M. held annually to work for the benefit of the community within the ward of Northwood Hills. The Association held its inaugural meeting in the 1930s, getting its first, known, Constitution in 1949. The committee comprises Officers and committee members. Road Stewards are also invited to attend the monthly meetings to present ideas and comments from members. We act as an interface between us the residents and the council. Everyone within the association carries out their tasks on a voluntary basis.

The Committee comprises 17 officers and committee members and meets from 19:30 to 21:30 on the 4th Wednesday of every month at Fairfield Church Hall. The current committee structure comprises Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer and lead members responsible for Environment, Health and Transport. Our local councillors also attend and take back concerns or brief us on what they are aware of.

The Road Stewards are responsible for delivering the bi annual publication “The Hills Echo” to homes within their designated area and collecting the annual £2 membership fee. There is no set quota of homes that each steward covers; it is entirely up to them. At present we have about 50 Road Stewards, many of whom are also committee members.

We hold an annual Road Stewards Gathering at the beginning of the year to thank the Road Stewards for their hard work. The evening is an enjoyable occasion and an opportunity to meet and discuss relevant issues. Committee members provide catering.

We hold an Annual General Meeting usually about May. New committee members are voted in and we invite a guest speaker to talk and answer questions about local issues. Most recent speakers have been Dorian Leatham - Chief Executive London Borough of Hillingdon and Ken Kirkman - Local Historian. All members of the Association are invited to come along to the AGM and raise their concerns.

Members of The Residents Association are the people that reside or work in the Ward of Northwood Hills. Members of the association are welcome to pass on any concerns to their Road Steward who can raise the issue at monthly meetings.

Local issues that are discussed and acted upon vary, but include health care, traffic problems, planning issues, crime, public transport, roads and parking etc. Ward councillors and representatives from the police also attend these meetings.

Now you know what we do, here are the people that make up the Northwood Hills Residents Association. Why not join us? It will look good in your CV.

Who is who   (Spring 2005)

President

- Roger Pearce V. Pres – Erika Kimber & Lishman Easby

Chairman

- John Morgan

Vice Chairman

- Betty Walley

Secretary

- Margot Barnikel

Treasurer 

- Joyce Cooper

Chief Road Stewards

- Erika Kimber and Robert Symes

Planning

- Lishman Easby

Environment

- Ray Krystofiak

Transport

- Lynne Halse

Health

- Doreen Ravenscroft

Jay Kumbhani

-

Stephanie Leven

-

David Austin

-

Leo Mindel

-

Herbert Levinger

- (Representing Gatehill Assn. – part of Northwood Hills Ward)

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

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SPRING SEEMS TO BE HERE

Well, Spring seems to be here, and it looks like I will soon not be able to run muddy paw prints through the house. I enjoy that, making a dash for clean bed linen before my owners can grab me. I think of myself as a sort of Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen, adding a nice extra designer pattern to the plain duvets.

For the last few weeks I have been enjoying my favourite pursuit, squirrel chasing. I know I am never going to catch one, and they know that too, so they come like buses, in threes, running across the back fence, tempting me with their twitching tails. I have tried working on a deeper bark, but they aren’t fooled. I found one on the doorstep this morning, I could only press my snout up against the closed French windows, giving them that look my owners give me, when a chicken leg has gone missing from the Sunday roast. I have wondered if foxes might be an easier catch, and I did chase one down the garden the other night, but it turned on me and chased me right back into the house. Gosh, that was so embarrassing, I lost all my street cred.

I especially love the wooded area of the Hog’s Back, and it has been quite entertaining dragging my owner on a lead through the mud, watching her trying not to slip at every moment. Why don’t humans realise that they should have a tail to keep themselves balanced…sheesh! I found a new trick the other evening, and that is to lie on my owner’s legs all night, and then when she wakes up, she thinks she’s suffering from some sort of paralysis, before realising it was just me getting comfy.

I’m not too hot on walking around the Joel Street roundabout, the traffic is too noisy for me, and I haven’t discovered car chasing yet, but I know I’m on the way to the pet shop, so I tolerate it. The dried sausages they sell there are divine, not quite Harrods Food Hall, but not bad. In fact I do have a recipe for one that includes mint Bonios, I’d be happy to pass that one on to you.

This morning I have hidden the owner’s slipper, at the bottom of the cherry tree, she’s still wearing one, and hoping the other will turn up. I may, when I am ready, put her out of her misery, especially as I noticed a rib roast of beef put in the fridge yesterday. If only she could get her Yorkshire Puddings to rise, life would be perfect. You wouldn’t believe she spends hours watching ‘Can’t Cook, Won’t Cook ’ and has learnt nothing. Humans…can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em!
Love

Barney Hillside Gardens. Collie cross, age 6 and a half.

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NOTICE BOARD

I would like to thank Mr Shaun Lopez of London Underground Ltd who is about to kindly donate and install a notice board for our use in the ticket foyer at Northwood Hills Underground Station. Keep an eye on the board to see what’s happening in Northwood Hills.

All the projects we undertake do very often take a lot of time and effort. If you could spare just a little time to help out with some projects we would appreciate it.

Ray Krystofiak

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NORTHWOOD SCHOOL

The beginning of the current academic year was marked by the school’s having obtained Business and Enterprise College status. This has seen many changes for the better in the school environment, with much refurbishment and upgrading to facilitate delivery of new courses. Two further status levels were reached with the award of Investors in Careers and Investors in People.
The public examination results for 2003-2004 were most pleasing. Year 13 students attained a 98% A Level pass rate, with 62% of those being As, Bs and Cs. Year 11 pupils achieved the best-ever GCSE results for 5 A*-C passes – 55%.
The NSA 70th Anniversary Fun Run in July raised sponsorship cash of £2131, a much needed boost to the purchase of items not covered by the school budget.
On 13 October a Rhythm and Blues evening hosted by Ricky Purcell, ex-member of the Fortunes, raised a further £243 for NSA funds.
Two successful theatre trips took place in the autumn. Year 10 and 12 saw Blood Brothers at the Phoenix Theatre, while a group of Year 10 students visited the Soho Theatre to see Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful, straight from the Edinburgh Fringe. This is a moving account of a soldier in the First World War.
The usual excellent sporting achievements of the school continued. The Year 9 netball team took part in the Borough Rally, winning 4/6 matches and drawing with Bishopshalt for a place in the semi-final, just being pipped by them on goal average.
The senior netball tournament in October saw the team win through to the final, going down at last to Vyners in a hard-fought match.
The Year 9 rugby team started the season spectacularly by knocking Bow School out of the Middlesex Cup and demolishing Vyners at their own ground. Four boys attended a first trial for the Middlesex Schools team, with two being called for a second trial.
Both boys and girls took part in various cross-country championships with many creditable personal performances. One student from Year 8 qualified for the Hillingdon team to compete in the Middlesex Championships.
The school’s traditional strong social concern was reflected in the autumn term charities week collection, this year in aid of Multiple Sclerosis, which raised the magnificent sum of £3,441.
Perhaps the most eye-catching achievement of the year was that of Year 13 student Louise Kerr who won the Saatchi Gallery competition. Many excellent entries were submitted within the school, with students, governors and staff voting during a one-week period. Louise’s piece, an 8ft high sculpture of a chihuahua called Jordan, was acclaimed the winner and submitted to the gallery. A distinguished panel then awarded her the prize of £10,000, she herself gaining a £2,500 computer and the Art Department receiving £7,500. A truly wonderful outcome.
As a specialist Business and Enterprise college the school is very involved in the local Primary Programme, an initiative to help primary school students develop skills relative to, and understanding of, the ‘World of Work’.
The Primary Programme involves students from Years 12 and 13 attending a training session and then going to teach year-related modules at a primary school. This year’s teaching day, at Hillside Primary School, took place on 28 February and proved of great benefit to the students of both schools.
The material covered included ‘Our Community’ for 7/8-year-olds, ‘Our City’ for 8/9-year-olds, ‘Our Nation’ for 9/10-year-olds and ‘Our World’ for 10/11-year-olds.

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WEB SITE

Don’t forget that our web site www.northwoodhills.co.uk is just that – it’s your website as well. You may want to put an item on the site or just keep up to date. All contributions or comments to Ray Krystofiak on 020 8866 3241 or NWHRA.webmaster@yahoo.com

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PLANNING REPORT

I think it might be useful if I start by explaining the policy I follow in dealing with planning applications.
I regard them in one of three categories as follows:-

  1. Applications, which may be of interest or concern to many of our residents. Past examples are, the proposed new Health Centre, Tesco Express, Housing estates, and development at St. Vincent’s. These I examine and normally include a site visit to consider the impact it might have on our community, whether it would be useful or not, would it cause any problems, has car parking been taken into consideration etc.

  2. Extensions to private houses. These are numerous but I only investigate when a neighbour objects to the proposal. The main points are, does it affect a neighbour’s light, privacy and general well being. Also is it acceptable environmentally.

  3. Change of Use. This often refers to a proposed change from retail to restaurant or office. In particular, we oppose extra restaurants. We feel that we have enough restaurants, cafes and similar in Joel Street and cannot afford to lose any more retail outlets.

The U.D.P. (Unitary Development Plan) for Hillingdon classes the station side of Joel Street as a secondary shopping area where the retail frontage should not be less than 50%. The opposite side is called primary and retail should not be less than 70%. The loss of retail over the years has been a problem in Joel Street and has threatened the continued viability of our shopping street. It is not easy for small shops to compete with supermarkets and shopping malls. Supermarkets no longer restrict themselves to the sale of groceries but extend to books, newspapers, stationery and pharmaceuticals etc. Some local shopkeepers have said that, considering heavy overheads, they cannot exist on just selling the things we have forgotten to get at the supermarket. So perhaps we should remember this when shopping. Perhaps spending an extra copper in a local shop might benefit us in the future.
I would like to report on some of the applications I have dealt with over the past few months.

  1. Joel Street Farmland. This area of what was once Joel Street Farm extends to 28 acres and is scheduled as Green Belt. It ceased to be a farm in 1998 but as green belt the land proved difficult to sell. However, after abortive attempts to sell, the owner sold it to the Federation of Synagogues, who bought it to create a cemetery. Mr Finlay, now President of the Federation, attended our A.G.M. in 1998 to explain their proposals. Most of those attending were opposed to the idea so we held an Extraordinary General Meeting to allow residents to express their views. We took a paper vote, one vote per household of those attending, which showed a big majority opposing the proposal. I wrote to the Head of Planning at the Civic Centre, expressing our opposition but of course they could not take any action until an application was submitted. The Federation has now been in touch with us and it is most likely that a planning proposal will have been submitted by the time you read this report. We shall, most certainly, object as we have a clear mandate from the Extraordinary General Meeting to do so. Our main objections will be a) As the cemetery will be restricted to serving only Federation members from North-West London, it would not be a local amenity and our members believe it to be an imposition on our community. b) The size of it would dwarf our small community. I am sure it would be a long-term venture starting in a small way but extending over many years. Consequently, we must take a long-term view and consider future residents of our area. c) We are concerned about possible pollution, considering that a tributary of the River Pinn flows across the fields. d) People living in Joel Street will be subjected to successive funerals estimated at 4 or 5 a week. We also fear that the proposal will reduce the value of houses facing or bordering the site. These are probably the main objections but there will be others. We met representatives from the Federation on the 8th March 2005. I attended along with our chairman John Morgan, Secretary, Margot Barnikel and Ray Krystofiak who deals with environmental matters. We saw four representatives from the Federation who explained their proposals and showed us pictures giving an artist’s impression of the landscaping and a plan of the layout, which would cover the area between Joel Street and the stream. The design was excellent but the general feeling of our members is that it would be in the wrong place. We now await the submission of an application. As this is a major development, I understand that the Council will allow a thirteen-week period for consultation. During this time the Federation will hold a display showing plans and an artist’s impression of what the completed cemetery would look like. This will take place in a convenient location in Northwood Hills. We hope that as many residents as possible will visit the display, then write to the Head of Planning and Transportation at the Civic Centre, Uxbridge, UB8 1UW, expressing their views. It would helpful if you could let me have a copy of any letter you write. My address is 28, Middleton Drive, Pinner. HA5 2PG. Tel. 020 8866 9674.

  2. Primary Care Centre. In the autumn 2004 issue I reported the proposal to demolish the existing Health Centre in Acre Way and build a Primary Care Centre. This would be designed to cover extra facilities and should prove a great asset to our communities in Northwood and Northwood Hills. At that time I wrote giving our support but expressed concern about parking. This, I believe, to be extremely important in any proposal and we should try to eliminate parking in residential streets. It is an inconvenience to those visiting and an unfair imposition on residents in the area. As you know, the Council refused the application on the grounds that (a) it did not conform to the Unitary Development Plan for Hillingdon and (b) that parking spaces will be inadequate. An appeal has been made and a 2-day Public Inquiry will be held at the Civic Centre, Uxbridge starting at 10.30am on Tuesday 28th June. Anyone can attend and / or write giving their views. As previously reported, it is intended to move the Steven Shackman practice to Mount Vernon. An application to build a surgery there to accommodate the practice has been approved.

  3. Argyle House. In the last issue of the Hills Echo I reported a proposal to convert this building from office accommodation to flats. This application was withdrawn in August last year and so far we have heard nothing further.

  4. Change of Use. Retail to restaurant – Peter’s Barbers Shop / Miracles Ladies Hairdressing. An application was submitted to change the classification of Miracles to supplying hot food, which is the same class as a restaurant. We objected but it was approved. We are now dealing with a further application which provides for the two shops to be joined together and form one shop for provision of hot food which could be a café or similar. We objected and now await the outcome.
    St Vincent’s Hospital Site. Construction of a nursing home is proceeding and should be completed by the end of the year. The eastern side of the site is to be cleared by July 2006 giving an open green vista onto Haste Hill. The original date in the planning approval was July 2004 but the two occupiers of the site, a day nursery / play school and an Autistic Centre, had difficulty finding alternative accommodation and requested an extension. We sympathised with their problem and supported the extension of time. I am please to say that the problem has been resolved. Both are excellent establishments, providing a great service to the community. I understand that the Nursery is likely to remain in Northwood Hills where I am pleased to say it will continue to serve our residents. I understand that the Autistic Centre will move to Uxbridge.
    In gratitude. Our present M.P. John Wilkinson will retire before the next election and I would like to express my gratitude for his help and support over the years. I have had many contacts with him in my role of Planning Officer. He has always shown a keen interest in our Association and helped whenever possible. We wish him a happy retirement, although I doubt whether retirement is the correct word as I am sure he will have many other activities. Thank you, John.
    I should also like to extend my thanks to both Councillors Andrew Retter and David Bishop. They both attend our committee meetings whenever possible. I have found them both very helpful and am grateful for their interest in all planning matters.
    I must, of course, emphasise that our association is non-party and non-sectarian. We look on our M.P. and Councillors as democratically elected people to represent us and are not in any way concerned with party politics.

Lishman Y. Easby

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NORTHWOOD’S GRACE

Northwood , what a graceful place
At Northwood people can go to shops. .Kindly the shopkeeper will give them what they want then the customer will leave satisfied.

Hillside , what a graceful school
At Hillside children can learn nicely. With good behaviour children can play in the playground and take turns on equipment.

Environment , what graceful plants and creatures
At Northwood you should be taking care of the environment. You should not rip leaves or pick flowers with their seeds and buds. You should not trap ants and step on little helpless worms.

 You should keep Northwood's grace content.

 Fleur Noriego-Constable aged 8 years

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SANTA COMES TO NORTHWOOD HILLS

At long last, Santa finally arrived with illuminated garlands to brighten up The Broadway, Northwood Hills. After many telephone calls, completing of forms and discussion, all the components finally came together to produce our display. We thought it was very effective and we received a lot of positive comments from shopkeepers and local people.

For Christmas 2005 we are aiming to complete the capital part of the project by modifying the remaining lamppost, and purchasing another two garlands and 20 light bulbs.

Unfortunately nothing in life is free and the annual £1000 cost of installing, removing, insurance, licence and electricity will have to be funded by the Residents Association. This level of spending is unsustainable with our present income so please volunteer to be a Road Steward to draw in new members and help us make Northwood Hills sparkle even brighter this Christmas.

In case you are wondering how the project was funded, here is a breakdown of the costs:

Item

Out In

Purchase of 10 garlands

£820.69

Installation & removal

£587.50

Modify 10 lamp posts

£2097.48

Public liability insurance

£195.00

Licence

£100.00

Electricity

£25.00

100 heavy duty light bulbs

£100.00

Total cost 

£3905.67

Grant from LBH 

£3000.00

NHRA donation 

905.67

Our thanks go to:
• Nigel Cramb and his team, Community Resources Manager at London Borough of Hillingdon, for the £3000 grant.
• Tim Edwards and his team, Lighting Section at London Borough of Hillingdon, for modifying the lamp posts.
• Andy Marcham and his team, SEC Lighting Services for installing and removing the decorations.
• Jemma Glasspool, Zurich Insurance, for providing public liability insurance within 1 hour of my request.
• Joyce and Keith, our partners, for their help in making this happen.

Ray Krystofiak. & Lynne Halse

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THE ONE FLAW IN WOMEN

By the time the Lord made woman, he was into his sixth day of working overtime. An angel appeared and said, "Why are you spending so much time on this one?" And the Lord answered, "Have you seen my spec sheet on her? She has to be completely washable, but not plastic, have over 200 movable parts, all replaceable and able to run on diet coke and leftovers, have a lap that can hold four children at one time, have a kiss that can cure anything from a scraped knee to a broken heart-and she will do everything with only two hands." The angel was astounded at the requirements. "Only two hands!? No way! And that's just on the standard model? That's too much work for one day. Wait until tomorrow to finish. " But I won't," the Lord protested. "I am so close to finishing this creation that is so close to my own heart.

She already heals herself when she is sick AND can work 18 hour days." The angel moved closer and touched the woman. "But you have made her so soft, Lord." "She is soft," the Lord agreed, " but I have also made her tough. You have no idea what she can endure or accomplish."

"Will she be able to think?", asked the angel. The Lord replied, "Not only will she be able to think, she will be able to reason and negotiate." The angel then noticed something, and reaching out, touched the woman's cheek. "Oops, it looks like you have a leak in this model. I told you that you were trying to put too much into this one." "That's not a leak," the Lord corrected, "that's a tear!" "What's the tear for?" the angel asked. The Lord said, "the tear is her way of expressing her joy, her sorrow, her pain, her disappointment, her love, her loneliness, her grief and her pride." The angel was impressed. "You are a genius, Lord. You thought of everything! Woman is truly amazing."

And she is! Women have strengths that amaze men. They bear hardships and they carry burdens, but they hold happiness, love and joy. They smile when they want to scream. They sing when they want to cry. They cry when they are happy and laugh when they are nervous. They fight for what they believe in. They stand up to injustice. They don't take "no" for an answer when they believe there is a better solution. They go without so their family can have. They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.

They love unconditionally. They cry when their children excel and cheer when their friends get awards. They are happy when they hear about a birth or a wedding. Their hearts break when a friend dies. They grieve at the loss of a family member, yet they are strong when they think there is no strength left. They know that a hug and a kiss can heal a broken heart.

Women come in all shapes, sizes and colours. They'll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you to show how much they care about you.

The heart of a woman is what makes the world keep turning. They bring joy, hope and love. They have compassion and ideals. They give moral support to their family and friends. Women have vital things to say and everything to give.

HOWEVER, IF THERE IS ONE FLAW IN WOMEN, IT IS THAT THEY FORGET THEIR WORTH.

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SHOPMOBILITY

Brent Cross:- 020 8202 1702. Operates 7 days a week as follows:-
Mon – Fri. 10am – 5.45pm. Sat. 9am – 5.45pm Sun. 11am – 5pm.
Watford Church Street:- 01923 211020. Operates 7 days a week from the
Church Car Park (separate car-park on the ground floor) as follows:- Mon. – Sat. 10am – 5pm Sun. 11am – 5pm. Telephone to book at busy times.
One problem experienced here is that the Shopmobility Car Park, which nearly always has spaces available , is accessed from Church Car Park, which is frequently full. You may need to drive alongside the front of the queue and persuade someone to let you into the queue and convince them that you are not ‘queue jumping’.
Watford Asda Superstore:- 01923 800590. Operates 5 days a week from the store car-park as follows:- Mon. – Fri. 10am – 5pm
Uxbridge:- 01895 271510. Now operating 5 days a week from the new ‘Chimes’ Building:- Mon. – Fri. 9am – 5pm. From early April it will also be opening on Saturdays.

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JOEL STREET FARM – THEN & NOW

It was a sad day in 1998 when we learned that the last of the Northwood Hills farms was to cease functioning. Many years ago this was a farming area; to mention just a few, there was ‘100 Acre Farm’, where the Health Centre is now, only remembered perhaps by the street – Acre Way; Myrtle Farm, on the site of Middleton Drive; and Haydon Hall Farm. All now just names and Joel Street Farm has joined them.
The name of the farm, no doubt, was taken from Joel Street, but it is a much older name in our area. W.A.G. Kemp, in his book ‘The Story of Northwood and Northwood Hills’ tells us that Joel is an old Eastcote family and mentions a Jason Joel 1886 in Eastcote and Henry Joel of Wiltshire Lane. Going further back he mentions William Jolle in 1349, so spelt then, who was convicted of the theft of oats. However, I do not wish to delve further into history as it has already been well covered in previous editions of the ‘Hills Echo’ by Eileen Bowlt, our local historian (Autumn 1998), Marjorie Rackley (Spring 1998) and Alan Carter (Spring 2004).
I, with my wife and family, formerly lived in rural Yorkshire, North Riding, often referred to as ‘Herriott Country’. We moved here in 1965 and I was delighted to find that our rear windows looked on to a thriving dairy farm. The farmer, Mr Robarts, ran an excellent herd of Shorthorn cows, helped by his popular foreman Arthur Mason., Providing kosher milk to the Jewish residents in Golders Green. It was a pleasant sight to all passing the farm. He also kept a bull and I can recall Arthur Mason taking it for a walk down Middleton Drive. Mr Robarts did not mind residents crossing his land and, in fact, there was a right-of-way across the fields connecting Chamberlain Lane with Chamberlain Way.
Eventually Mr Robarts retired and sold the farm to Mr Thompson, a retired builder, who was very interested in farming, and for some time tended a beef herd of Murray Greys, an Australian breed. These belonged to a friend and he and Mr Mason continued for sometime. One day however, to our surprise the herd disappeared; his friend had decided to withdraw them. Mr Mason was extremely distressed, looking after cattle had been his life. Mr Thompson refused to be defeated and started to build up his own herd. It was an uphill battle but he refused to give up and did succeed in establishing a herd. All went well until bad luck struck. The cattle disease B.S.E. resulted in a reduction in beef prices and eventually he had to give up.
During Mr Thompson’s occupation we still enjoyed the farming sight but he was restrictive on anyone crossing his land. I believe he had trouble with vandals so enclosed part of his farm with a high wire fence. Unfortunately, this prevented access to the right of way. I took this up with Mr Thompson, on behalf of our Association. Eventually, after some negotiation, he agreed to construct a much better path along the boundary from Chamberlain Lane to Chamberlain Way. The Council agreed that once made up to their satisfaction they would maintain it. The path provided is quite wide and well used as a shortcut to Chamberlain Way, Pinner Green and Harlyn School.
Finally, Mr Thompson had extreme difficulty in selling the land. The buildings were sold to the excellent Veterinary Practice, which is very popular. The land itself is green belt and could not be sold for building and a 28-acre farm, surrounded by houses, would not be regarded as viable. I had several discussions with him and he thought maybe a riding school or similar would be appropriate but there were no takers. Mr Thompson, I am sure, did have the interests of residents in mind but eventually felt he had no alternative but to sell to the present occupiers. So it is goodbye to Joel Street Farm as we look to the future with some apprehension.

Lishman Y. Easby

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QUIZ

Well, here are the answers – how many did you get? Our winner got 22 correct answers out of the 25 and received his £20 gift voucher.

1 All four return

VILLA

2 Yearned about

DEANERY

3 Regulate mutter in dome (2)

TERMITE MOUND

4 Six vehicle time

VICARAGE

5 Built by Shah Jehan for his wife (2)

TAJ MAJAL

6 An expressed unknown

ANNEXE

7 Almost an eye complaint

 STY

8 It sounds as though fish & chips could be produced here

FRIARY

9 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. (3)

THE WHITE HOUSE

10 Static

STABLE

11 Attendant goes around fire-raising

PARSONAGE

12 Record taxi at home

LOG CABIN

13 Initially tent peg sounds – appropriately

TEEPEE

14 Archer or fiddler perhaps?

BOWER

15 Sugar magnate arcade (2)

TATE GALLERY

16 On in complete control

MONASTERY

17 Wind around a gun fuse 

BUNGALOW

18 Posh fashion 

SHOP

19 Rail reorganisation 

LAIR

20 Rat largely in disorder (2)

ART GALLERY

21 Vehicle, a vehicle 

CARAVAN

22 KG exchanged with flying goblin

KREMLIN

23 South East male?

MANSE

24 By the sound of it I tripped on tug-boat (2)

EIFFEL TOWER

25 Cast off

SHED

 

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CHURCHES TOGETHER IN NORTHWOOD

If you observe a huddle of people with their eyes downcast round the War Memorial in Northwood on Easter Saturday, do not be fooled into thinking they are studying the flora and fauna of paving stones. Between 10.30 and 11.30am, they will be praying for peace in the trouble spots of the world today. Please join us for ‘More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of’ (Tennyson).
Christian Aid Week begins on 16th May. This organisation not only contributes to disasters like the tsunami, but daily works to bring food, water, basic health care and education to places where the need is greatest. Please give generously into envelopes placed through your letter-boxes or Churches and help Make Poverty History.
Oasis. 
CTN is considering opening a place to step off the world and be still. The Methodist Church in Oaklands Gate has offered their coffee lounge on a Friday, following their own Oasis coffee morning, between 12.45 and 2pm. Tea, coffee and soup would be served so that people could eat their sandwiches in a place with a friendly feel. Then the vestibule of the church would be open for a time of quiet reflection and prayer.
Do you feel you could spare some time to help this to happen? Everyone has something to offer whether it is making soup, or being a friendly, listening sort of person, and we would be grateful for any help. Phone Hazel Gammage on 01923 824235.
Fairfield Ramblers. Calling all walkers! If you fancy a four-mile walk on Bank Holiday Monday, 2nd May, along with families and folk of all ages, do join us at Fairfield Church at 9.30am, with stout footwear and maybe a drink and snack. However, we will all meet up for a Pub lunch if you can last that long. For further information contact James Belmour on 0787 659 3232.

Hazel Gammage

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NORTHWOOD LIONS

Well, I’m sure you all wonder what happens to all those pennies you put into our tins. So, let me update you.
We’ve held several tin shakes at Waitrose in Northwood, and for the first time at Tesco in Rickmansworth. The proceeds of these have gone towards our annual fish and chip supper for those living on their own, to the Lion’s Christmas party for the elderly, to the tsunami appeal and to the Northwood Live at Home Scheme. Many thanks to all of you who contributed.
At the end of October we hosted a Murder Mystery Night which was very well attended and as well as being an enjoyable evening raised money for our service projects. A Ceilidh night in February was also successful and we hope to repeat the event next year. We also run monthly Bingo sessions at James Court.
Well, guess what – now we are starting to think about the Carnival, which will be on Bank Holiday Monday – August 29th – hope to see you there.
If you are interested in what we do and would like to know more, please contact Andrew on 020 8863 4626.

Gyl Webb

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HARLYN SCHOOL

Harlyn after-school Gardening Club started this week. The school has been very fortunate with parents donating gardening equipment. One particular parent has taken a keen interest and with his help the Gardening Club has had a brilliant start, which has resulted in a wonderful fenced garden plot. Thank you Mr Perkins.
Children from Year 1 and 2 had lots of fun this week planting vegetable and flower seeds. Over the coming weeks the children will be planting out their seedlings and watching them grow. They will also be decorating pots, painting stones, making mobiles and planting up hanging baskets.

Miss Tester and Mrs Coleman (Year 1 teachers)

The fenced garden can be seen on the top right of the photograph.
This is what the children have written about their new project.

  1. “The garding club is fantastcic because we go too plunt a sunflaw”

  2. “I liked planting a sunflower. I am looking forward to trying the tomatoes that we plant”. – Esme Year 1

  3. “I like Garden Club. I like coloering the seed labels. I am looking forward to planting some seeds in the soil”.

  4. “We have planted a sunflower and some pepper seeds”.

  5. “We all planted a sunflower seed. We are going to put our rubbish in the compost bin. I am looking forward to seeing the sunflowers grow. I will be excited when the fruit skins rot”. – Simran Year 1

  6. “I really like going to gardening club. I can’t wait for the sunflowers to grow”. – Skye Year 1.

  7. “We like gardening very much planting and watering. We are planting sunflowers now. We change clothes because we might get our school uniform dirty. When we go outside we wear wellies. We used tools for getting all the soil out. We have a shed for all the tools to go in. We are leaving them to grow. It will take a few weeks for them to grow. It is very fun at gardening club. The best thing will always be planting”.

  8. “At gardening Club we grow sunflowers and vegetables and it is quite fun growing things. We’v got a shed and gardening equipment and we have Percy the park keeper tools. I like growing sunflowers. We grow lots of things and we enjoy gardening club. We grow a few herbs”.

  9. “We like gardening club because we can get mudy and I like it because we can plant seeds and all sots of things but my best things of all is planting. We even have Percy the Park Keeper Tools. And we can even where our home clothes and our muddy wellies. All of uss plunted sunflowers this week. We all love gardening club and we all have fun”.

After the disappointments with the failure to rebuild the school pond (see article under achievements) it is so nice to see the children able to enjoy the pleasures of rural activities. I am sure they will enjoy nurturing their products throughout the summer months.

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A PROFILE OF MY ROAD - HIGHLAND ROAD, A ROAD WITH VIEWS

Let’s walk along it together from the beginning. Join me on a guided tour. It has been well named - as you will see in a moment. Sadly, the road sign is missing, which is very misleading because it simply appears as part of York Road – which it isn’t! We Highlanders are very proud of our bit of asphalt and pavement! Is that sign now gracing some souvenir hunter’s mantelpiece? (Hillingdon Council - can we please have another road sign?). Let’s walk round the bend where it picks up from York Road. Can you see all those Dutch-style houses on the right? How appropriate it is that they are built on the flat because they would just look all wrong up the hill! They are the only series of houses in Northwood Hills, to my knowledge, all built with upstairs shutters. Was the sun really hotter in the 1930s or had the builder just come back from a holiday in Sorrento?

 It is no surprise at all that the houses begin on the left with number 1 and on the right with number 2 for that is the way it usually is, although as an ex- paper boy, I could tell you all about eccentric numbering! They then pursue their methodical, merry way to the end, which in the case of Highland Road, is a suspicious 100. Suspicious because it all seems a bit too tickety-boo. Actually, just like airplanes and hotels, there is, quite understandably, no number 13. But hold on! Number 57 is missing too! Either the original builder or purchaser had his or her own private superstitions or simply wanted to reach a satisfying century! A cricket fan? Perhaps - because the road flanks Northwood Hills Town cricket ground.

You will see we have the usual stock of housing, with detached and semi-detached houses, chalet houses and bungalows – but no flats. When the land was purchased for some of the houses it clearly stated in the schedule that “The trade of Innkeeper Victualler or Retailer of Wines Spirits or Beer …not to be carried out upon any plot.” Obviously a seller of land with a conscience - but it would have made a jolly addition to the road if we had had an inn with one of those creaking signs! I like to think it would have portrayed a Highlander in full rig.

 Much of the building was done between 1934 and 1937 but quite naturally with the improvements made, particularly recently, not many original features remain. You will see the most obvious are the large chimneys, whose purpose today is not to blow smoke into the sky but to support TV aerials or act as a roost for seagulls, pigeons, crows and magpies but which, occasionally, allow a blackbird or thrush to float their song across the road. We are all centrally heated now and in many cases the chimneys have been blocked up but happily they still remain. I like the art deco stained glass with a sun-burst which you can still see in one or two front doors or landing windows. I’ll show you them a little later on. As regards house names, we have no Dunroamings or Mon Abris; most of the cosy names of the 1930s have disappeared; but we do have “Piper’s Ash”, which conjures up images of a Lutyens country house and “Pen-y-Lan”, which was perhaps named by a family yearning for the Valleys! “Kerelaw” looks like one of those made up names, popular in the 1930s, to commemorate the union of two families. There is an example in Hillside Road –“Kahara” where the family’s surname was Hart, the mother’s name Katherine and the father’s Anthony. Fashions do change!

We’ve just come to the end of the Dutch-style houses and will round the bend. Notice how the biggest gardens in the road are given to the houses on that bend. Now we begin the slow climb up the hill with bungalows on the left and a series of semi-detached houses on the right. They back on to the cricket pitch and on summer afternoons sloggers find it easy to sky the ball into their gardens. As you might imagine, greenhouses are pretty rare here although our neighbour did recently erect one – but then he is a cricket umpire! We live in such a “semi” and only found out later that all the sewage from houses further up the road drains under our garage. Caveat emptor! Apparently the builder’s mother lived in the house just below ours and he did not want her inconvenienced by such a flow. Things may have been different (to our benefit) had it been his mother-in-law!

See the alleyway on the right? That provides access to the Cricket and Football Clubs and for all the walkers, many with dogs, who want to reach Haste Hill and the wonderful woodlands surrounding Ruislip Lido. Bare-kneed hikers, often from central London, with backpacks, sticks, boots and maps can regularly be seen in summer making their way along Highland Road to get to the great outdoors. It does make us feel that little bit countrified! Sometimes, when they ask where the alleyway is, for it is not obvious until you are level with it, I feel I should have a straw in my mouth and be leaning across a gate!

Oh, look at the steps needed to reach the front doors of the bungalows on our left! The postman must have some kind of qualification in mountaineering! You will perhaps notice that mainly the younger residents of the road live on the flat at the bottom. It is the older folk who live up the hill! They are the walkers and by far the fittest of us. Also notice that trees are growing along the edge of the road on the right, which gives it a country lane feel in summer. The “semis” and detached houses towards the top of the hill on the right have views! From their gardens you can see right across the golf course and woodland. While the houses on the left have views too! Right across to Harrow-on-the-Hill and London and the Post Office Tower. Are you puffing a bit? Don’t worry! We’re near the top. Have a quick gander at that house with the sunburst on your left. Pure art deco! Pure Clarice Cliff! Take a breather here. We’ve reached the junction with Winchester Road. There are some marvellous views across west London – just on your left. You can see as far as the North Downs. It’s an excellent place to watch all the fireworks on Guy Fawkes Night. I like the houses on the right because their back gardens are the quietest of all, nestling against the top angle of Haste Hill. Look! we’ve run out of road and Highland Road has ended at its junction with Cranbourne Road. That’s foreign territory! Let’s go back down the hill. Looking right across over Northwood Hills, notice the Hog’s Back and Pinner Hill in the distance. An intense experience of green in early summer.

Robert Symes

PS We would so much like you to write about YOUR ROAD and what makes it special.

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WANTED – TO RENT

One of our members is looking for a garage to rent. If anyone is able to help please call Lynne on 01923 825835 who will be pleased to hear from you.

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THE LOST CINEMAS FROM AROUND NORTHWOOD HILLS

Following on from the list of Public Houses in the previous issue of "The Echo" it is interesting to note the many cinemas that have vanished over this same period.
In their heyday the cinema was one of the main sources of entertainment, but as additional activities came along they went into decline though in recent times have made a comeback with the growth of the Multiplex cinemas.
Having lived in the Harrow area since a boy, I have put my little grey cells to work and come up with a list of these, many of which I patronised over the years. Amongst some of the favourites must be the REX and LANGHAM. Both had a cosy atmosphere about them, and who could forget the GRANADA in Harrow when it first opened in 1958 with its deep plush carpeting and very comfortable seating. In addition to the full film programme and the organ interlude played by many well known organists, Friday nights also included a Stage show - all this at no extra cost, you really had your money’s worth in those days. A highlight in the interval in virtually all cinemas was the girl standing in the spotlight with her tray of "LYONS MAID" ice cream tubs anticipating the rush to be served before the next film started.
The names of these, some long forgotten, will no doubt bring to mind many happy visits in the past - even of having a cuddle in the back row?
Here is a list of all those that I can recall.....

The REX: Northwood Hills, closed 1975, now Somerfield Supermarket.
The PICTURE HOUSE: High Street Northwood, closed 1960's, now Old Folk’s Dining Club.
The LANGHAM: was next to Pinner Post Office, closed early 1980s, now Lidl Supermarket.
The EMBASSY: Pinner Road North Harrow, near traffic lights, closed 1980s, now Harrow Bowl.
The IDEAL: Field End Road Eastcote, closed late 1960s, was on a site adjoining The Manor Public House.
The ASTORIA: High Street Ruislip, closed 1980s, now Iceland Frozen Foods.
The RIVOLI: Ickenham Road near junction with High Street Ruislip, closed late 1970s, now flats.
The GROSVENOR: Alexandra Avenue Rayners Lane, near the station, later renamed the ODEON, closed late 1970s, now a Religious Centre. Both Cinema and Station are Listed Buildings of 1930s architecture.
The COLISEUM: Station Road Harrow, opened in 1920, converted to a theatre in the late 1930s by Sir Alfred Denville (the home for retired members of the acting profession in Ducks Hill Road, Northwood, “DENVILLE HALL”, is in his memory), then later alternated films with Drama and Variety. I remember only too well for when home on leave in 1945 went with my wife to see Roland Peachey and his Hawaiian Serenaders. At one point the dancers came down among the audience and selected a few men in uniform (me included), hauled us up on to the stage, dressed us in grass skirts and had us doing the Hula-Hula with them amongst great cheers from the audience. It finally closed in 1959, now Somerfield Supermarket.
The BROADWAY: Station Road Harrow, near St. Ann’s Precinct, closed 1950s demolished and replaced with shops.
The GRANADA: Station Road & junction of Sheepcote Road Harrow. This cinema is equipped with a Wurlitzer Organ, which is still played now on occasions for concerts. In the 1980s it was converted to a 5-Cinema Complex, finally closing when Warner Village opened, now part used as a Health and Fitness Centre,
The DOMINION: Station Road Harrow, besides showing films in the 1960/70s,
pop stars of that era, including Cliff Richard & the Shadows, Cilia Black and Tom Jones, performed on the stage. Also for many years it was home to the Harrow Light Opera Company who staged their productions twice a year. Films ceased being shown in the 1980s when it went over to Bingo, has again reverted to films as SAFAIRI (Asian) Cinema.
The ELITE : Up on Harrow-On-The-Hill, opposite “The Kings Head Hotel”, closed in the 1950s, converted to shops.
The ODEON: Junction of Palmerstone Road & High Street Wealdstone, closed 1980s, converted to shops.
The HERGA: High Street, Wealdstone, closed 1970s, now retail store.
The ODEON: Northolt Road, South Harrow, opposite Corbins Lane, closed 1970s, converted to shops.
The ODEON: Kenton Road, Kenton, closed early 1960s, now Waitrose.
The ODEON: North end of High Street, Watford, closed 1963, demolished for rebuilding as shops.
The GAUMONT: later renamed the ODEON, High Street Watford, closed in 1983, pulled down to make way for the flyover. The organ is installed in the Town Hall,
The CARLTON: Clarendon Road, Watford, adjoining the Palace Theatre, closed 1980, part of building now used by the Theatre.
The PLAZA: King Street, Watford, closed 1963 and demolished.
The EMPIRE: later renamed the CANNON, Merton Road, Watford, opposite Market Street, closed 1997, now offices.
So after a 100 years these great places of entertainment have succumbed to modern development, but not far away in Bushey back in 1912 Sir Hubert Von Herkomer, a film pioneer and also an artist, set up his studio for the making of moving pictures. It was designed with an opening roof to the top floor to give maximum daylight to film by (it is amongst the earliest known to exist in the country). His early films were shown in Watford at the ELECTRIC CINEMA in St. Albans Road (one of the originals) in 1913/14 - with even then a children’s matinee on Saturday mornings. It closed in 1954 when the area was being rebuilt.
The Studios remained largely unaltered and continued to produce films under different companies until 1985 when it was sold and converted to offices. Although added to over the years the original structure remains intact. It is now a listed building and can be seen on the corner of Melbourne Road' and High Street, Bushey opposite the Golf Course.

Gordon Pitt.

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NORTHWOOD LIVE AT HOME SCHEME

Volunteer Support Group Evening

This scheme only exists because of its volunteers. They are holding a Support Group Meeting on Tuesday 19th April at 7.30pm at the Oasis Lounge, Northwood Methodist Church, Oaklands Gate, Northwood. You are invited to join them, meet the volunteers and see how good it feels to make a difference.

R.S.V.P. Elizabeth / Belinda 01923 842494

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WHAT’S ON AT St. EDMUND’S

By the time you read this, because of the fact that Easter was quite early this year, the Easter festivities at St. Edmund’s Church will all be over, so attention is turning to our late Spring and Summer activities. Of course, the Easter season in the Church lasts for 40 days - as long after Easter Day as Lent is before - and culminates in the celebration of the Ascension, when our Lord Jesus Christ finally departed from amongst us, to reign with the Father in heaven. That celebration is on Thursday 5th May, and there are special services on that day, at 10 am and 8 pm.
Ascension is followed on Sunday 15th May by the feast of Pentecost (Whit Sunday), which celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit and the start of the great work of the Apostles in spreading the Gospel (or Good News) of the risen Christ. The next Sunday, 22nd May, is the celebration of the Trinity, the threefold nature of the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and then on Thursday 26th May we celebrate the day of Corpus Christi (Latin for the body of Christ), which is the day of thanksgiving for the institution of Holy Communion, the central act of worship in the Christian Church. Truly a season of great celebrations
And that’s not all we have to celebrate. When the permanent Church was built in 1963-4, the previous building became the full-time Church Hall, and that meant that there were opportunities for a greater variety of social activities than had been possible in the combined Church-cum-Hall. One activity that started fairly quickly was the formation of a drama group - on 19th February 1965, the Arrow Players was founded. Taking its name from the arrows in the crest of St. Edmund, the group rapidly built up a reputation for good quality productions of plays, largely comedies, farces or whodunnits, and also took on the production of the annual St. Edmund’s pantomime.
So this year, the group celebrates its 40th anniversary. The 40th anniversary pantomime, “Dick Whittington”, was produced earlier in the year. Over the 40 years, the pantomime has grown from just 2 performances to 9, and is enjoyed by large audiences who come back year after year - we must be doing something right! And at the end of April, there is the group’s 40th anniversary play. This production is a play called “Murdered to Death” - it’s a spoof of the Agatha Christie variety of whodunnit, so it’s a combination of a comedy and a whodunnit - a most suitable play with which to celebrate our first 40 years. The play is very funny, but it is also a proper murder mystery, so you get the best of both worlds.

“MURDERED TO DEATH” is on Thursday, Friday & Saturday 28th - 30th April

at 7.45 pm, in St. Edmund’s Hall, Pinner Road

Tickets are £6 - from 020 8868 7785


or see the enclosed handbill
Another activity at St. Edmund’s, Classic Concerts, is also celebrating - in this case its 10th anniversary season. This Summer’s special concert will be a Palm Court concert by Shelley Van Loen and the Palm Court Strings - there will be 2 performances, on Sunday 12th June, one in the afternoon, with afternoon tea, and one in the evening with a light buffet. Tickets are £10 - available from 020 8868 7785.
The Church will hold its Spring Fair on Saturday 14th May, from 11.30 am - Plants, Cakes, Needlework, Sideshows, Games, Books, Tombola, Bouncy Castle, and of course Refreshments - loads of fun for all the family!
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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WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED IN THE LAST 6 MONTHS

Okay so I’ve paid my £2.00 now what has The Northwood Hills Residents Association done in the last 6 months?

The positives + + + +

• We now have Christmas decorations in The Broadway, Northwood Hills. See article.

• Applied for a grant to improve the outlook of The Broadway.

• Litter pick days when members meet to improve the environment.

The negatives - - - - 
After successfully obtaining a grant of £3800 for the Harlyn Drive School pond project we have, unfortunately, had to return the grant, as we were unable to find any ethnic minority people that were willing to take part in this worthwhile project. The money was granted by the FastForwardGrant, an organisation set up to help only long term ethnic minority unemployed people gain new skills and experience in the workplace.
We advertised in The Echo, The Local Gazette published an article, the school mentioned it in their newsletter, and it was on our web site. The Connecting Communities Group from The London Borough of Hillingdon and The Hillingdon Refugee Council advertised it. Yet NO ONE replied – what a shame.

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HAYDON SCHOOL THEATRICAL PRODUCTION

Those who were lucky enough to be present recently at Haydon School’s latest theatrical production found themselves transported to Mushnik’s Skid Row Florist’s shop, aka the “Little Shop of Horrors”. 
A talented and lively cast kept the show moving at a good pace, displaying a creditable command of American accents, excellent singing and acting and, in some cases, multiple, quick-fire changes of costume.
For some, the star of the show was the monstrous, flesh-eating, ravenous, ever-expanding plant, Audrey II. What fun the construction team must have had building her...er, him...er, it.

Alan Kimber

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HARROW CINE & VIDEO SOCIETY

The Society enjoyed their Spring Movie Show on Thursday 7th April 2005 at the Blackwell Hall, Uxbridge Road, Harrow Weald.
The Autumn Movie Show will be held at Pinner Village Hall, Chapel Lane, Pinner. Doors open at 7.30pm for 8pm start. Programme to include newsreel of local events filmed during the last twelve months. Possibly see yourselves on the big screen. Tickets at the door £4 which includes interval refreshments. Further information from Heather Lee 020 8863 7628.

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PUBLIC TRANSPORT A FUTURISTIC VIEW

As someone who has experienced a variety of public transport modes, from steam trains to bullet trains, and became strongly attached to the Underground system, because of daily travel to school for five years on the Piccadilly Line from Hillingdon to Acton Town; I am curious to know your views on proposed improvements to public transport in West London. For instance, the Uxbridge Road, West London Tram link; it could be a repetition of the 1920’s route; are we turning the clock back? It could be extended to Denham, with a depot under the A40 roundabout? It could have a branch going to Hayes Town, Harlington and London Airport, with a depot in Southall. I suppose it could be extended beyond Shepherds Bush up the Bayswater Road to Marble Arch, Oxford Street and High Holborn, the ideas are limitless.
The proposals for Crossrail are firming up, with a rail route intended to connect Maidenhead, Paddington (via Hayes & Harlington and Heathrow), Farringdon and Stratford, and onwards with existing branches to Ebbsfleet and Shenfield.
Further ideas being floated are the “Croxley Link” enabling old existing track to be utilised, with a link to Croxley Green, enabling the Metropolitan line to be diverted to serve a new Watford General Hospital, Watford Football Club, Watford Town, and terminating at Watford Junction on the main Euston to Birmingham line.
Also, a suggestion has been made, that the Central Line could be diverted and integrated at Ruislip Gardens (where they cross) to combine with the Metropolitan and Piccadilly Lines to serve Uxbridge.
A number of suggestions have been made to provide a “Light Railway” type of service from Uxbridge, through Cowley to Yiewsley and West Drayton into London Airport Heathrow, as well as a similar style of railway link from London Airport in to Staines and beyond. Terminal five has been designed to accommodate further rail links to the West Country.
Consultation exercises are always carried out, and for the wider community it is always useful to know about these proposals; but are they generally acceptable? Where is the money going to come from, for such ambitious plans? Is it all pie in the sky? Will the implications of global warming, under the Kyoto agreement to reduce air pollution, be a deciding factor? I am always curious to know about other people’s views.

Councillor David Bishop.

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SAFETY HAZARD AT TESCO EXPRESS/ESSO – AN UPDATE

Your Association has been aware of this potential hazard ever since Tesco/Esso applied for planning permission to build both an express store and combine this with a petrol station. Tolcarne Drive already presented serious problems with regard to traffic with parking on both sides of the road from Joel Street stretching down towards Harlyn School. Our concern has steadily mounted and we have tried to involve Tesco/Esso in discussions to improve safety. The local manager has been sympathetic but is unable to act without the backing of the senior management at Tesco/Esso. That backing has not been forthcoming.
We have the support of the local Councillors and Harlyn School to seek for ways to eliminate the dangers and at a meeting with the local manager just before Christmas certain initiatives were put forward for consideration. These were (1) to block any entry to the pumps from the Joel Street side (2) to widen the Tolcarne Drive entrance to the pumps (3) to introduce parking on one side only of Tolcarne Drive (4) to improve/extend the parking within the Esso/Tesco forecourt (5) to consider introducing a hatched box across Tolcarne Drive. So far we have had no opportunity to talk to Tesco/Esso about these proposals.
We must make it clear that any proposals that are agreed will require the active participation of Hillingdon Council and the Northwood Hills Councillors have been fully involved. 
Unfortunately, events seem to have overtaken us and we have just heard of a serious accident in this particular area. We must not jump to conclusions and will wait for details from the police but if it is connected with the traffic waiting to enter the Tesco/Esso forecourt or exiting from there, then the need for immediate action becomes paramount. Your Committee will be discussing this on Wednesday 23rd March 2005 at Fairfield Hall. In the meantime our thoughts are with the motorcyclist injured in the accident

Robert Symes

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ARE YOU STILL AT IT?

Smoking, that is. One of the main excuses that older people give for continuing to smoke is that they have been smoking for so long now that it would be pointless. Not so, even elderly people can get enormous benefits. About 20 minutes after quitting, your blood pressure and heart rate will return to normal. Within just eight hours, the levels of nicotine and carbon monoxide in your blood will have halved. The amount of oxygen in your blood will rise to normal levels. Within a day of giving up smoking, all the excess carbon monoxide in your system will be eliminated. Your lungs will begin to clear themselves of the mucus and debris that has accumulated over time. After a couple of days, all the nicotine should be out of your system. You will begin to notice an improvement in your senses of smell and taste. Three days after quitting, your breathing should be easier and you should feel as though you have more energy. Over the first three months, your circulation should improve. Over the first year, breathing problems such as cough, wheezing and shortness of breath should get better. The risk of having a heart attack falls to half of what it was when you were smoking. Ten years after quitting, the risk of lung cancer will have dropped to half of what it was when you were smoking. After 15 years, the risk of a heart attack will be the same as it would be if you’d never smoked in the first place. So go for it.

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A DAILY DOSE OF VOLUNTEERING IS GOOD FOR YOU!

That’s the prescription I was given by the staff that run the Michael Sobell Hospice shop in Northwood.
I had such a warm welcome I felt I’d know them all for ages, but in fact we had just met for the first time that afternoon. Two of the volunteers have been at Northwood since the shop opened 7 years ago, but over the years they have welcomed many others to join the ranks of what can best be described as a happy family. Most volunteers work a four-hour shift, morning or afternoon and without exception they told me how much they enjoyed the job; there is plenty to keep them occupied and the time just whizzes by.
They gave me a guided tour showing me the immaculate rails and boxes of stock ready for each different season, as well as the smart clothes and shelves of bric-a-brac, books and so on for sale in the shop.
The window was dressed beautifully to reflect the season, and is changed regularly to bring new stock to the notice of potential customers.
I was hugely impressed by the variety and quality of the items on offer, all of which are donated; I was told with some pride that they don’t sell ‘bought in’ goods. Even items unsuitable for sale in the shop are recycled; apparently shoe leather fetches a good price. 
Some of the volunteers are specialists, for example operating the steamer to freshen up the clothes, or behind the scenes, sorting and repairing where necessary so that the goods on sale are of the highest possible quality. Others turn their hand to whatever is required. Like any other shop the managers have extra responsibilities such as cashing up; so for anyone contemplating a career in retail management, this could be an ideal training ground.
I saw several customers enjoying browsing, chatting with the staff and making some excellent purchases. 
It was clear to me that this is a happy place to be, whether as a volunteer or a customer, so if you’d like to join the happy team of volunteers do call into the shop to browse the goods and have a chat with the staff. You can be assured of a warm welcome and you never know - you might come out with a new job! Don’t forget, a daily dose of volunteering is good for you!

Joanne Edwards – Volunteer Co-ordinator

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TESCO & ESSO MAKE A TOTAL MESSO

As a local resident you will have observed daily the chaos that Tesco express has brought to our community. Ok, it has always been difficult getting up and down Tolcarne Drive during peak times but now due to a total lack of foresight from Tesco’s and Esso, it is almost impossible to get into Tolcarne Drive from Joel Street throughout the day. Irate drivers are compromising the safety of residents and the children who attend Harlyn School. If you have ever sat waiting while yet another driver leaves their car at the pump and does their daily shop, you will know what I mean. 
You will be pleased to know that the Residents Association hasn’t been idle on this matter. For several months we have been monitoring the situation and liaising with the police and local councillors. The manager at Tesco’s / Esso knows there is a problem but as yet has been unable to persuade his line manager to visit us and observe the mess himself. He was unable to attend the meeting, which was convened in January, but we are ever hopeful that he will attend the next one.
YOUR SUPPORT IS NEEDED. PLEASE COME.
There will be protest outside Tesco’s on April 23rd from 10am – 12 noon. Please email Robert Symes at Erica.symes@virgin.net or Lynne Halse at halselynne@hotmail.com to offer your support. Children welcome with parents.

Robert Symes and Lynne Halse

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