Chris Gilson talks about his winning idea, begun in West Ealing, to help make London a better place to live.
Last week, the Book Swaps for London campaign, that I run, was selected to be the winner of the Centre for London’s #ideas4Mayor Twitter competition. On Monday, at the the London Policy Conference I presented the Book Swaps for London campaign plan to Boris Johnson, the London Mayor. I explained the vision to have book swaps in tube and train stations (as we’ve done in West Ealing station) all over London by the Olympics, and how it could involve community groups and make London a ‘capital of reading as well as sporting achievement’.
Boris agreed to look into the possibility of getting book swaps established, though he did warn that TfL often receives requests for ventures on station premises.
On Tuesday 6 December 2011 some 50 people attended a public meeting to discuss Ealing Council’s proposals to make the Lido Junction safe for pedestrians – for the first time in living memory. West Ealing Neighbours (WEN) organised the meeting and it was WEN (along with Five Roads and Kingsdown Residents’ groups) who researched and published its findings and recommendations on the junction in 2009. This report in fact stimulated the Council and Transport (TfL) for London into action.
We are in the middle of a public consultation on the proposals and Councillor Mahfouz, the Council’s Transport Czar, answered questions posed by the audience on the proposals.
It’s that time of year where Abundance goes into hibernation for the winter after a season that started in August and stretched all the way to November! This year we picked around 1.5 tonnes of fruit – apples and pears were by far the most popular, however we saw a bumper crop of quinces too. We mainly picked in West Ealing, Ealing and Hanwell, but also took a trip down to Kent and managed to pick around 400kilos over a weekend.
Our apple juice has been sold by Cheddar Deli as well as The Little Art Room and they have taken the last of our apple and pear juice to sell at Xmas fairs. We have also developed 3 new chutneys this year so look out for them next year, along with yours and our favourites.
We covered more fairs this year, with the addition of Pitshanger Party in the Park. Our second West Ealing Family Day was a great success and it was lovely to see some of the tree owners popping by at the stall for a chat to find out what we had done with the fruit we picked. Talking of which we managed to pick at every location we were requested at – There were quite a few new trees from private back gardens as word of mouth spreads about our project.
We have also now taken over Walmer Gardens Orchard with Ealing Council’s permission and had a very positive response to the consultation of the local area for the renovation of this small Orchard starting in January 2012.
Of course we couldn’t have done any of this if it wasn’t for a small team of very dedicated individuals that devote an inordinate amount of their free time to this project – a big thank you to you all.
So in summary a very successful year for us – and we have plans to expand in 2012, more of which in the next Newsletter after a well deserved rest.
Signing off for a few weeks, a very shattered WEN Abundance Team!
Have a great Xmas and New Year and see you in 2012.
OPEN has a coffee bar with comfy sofas and bookshelves – the perfect place to talk about books. So, we’re starting a morning book group with our first meeting on Wednesday 7th December 10.30am- 12noon. We’re at 113 Uxbridge Road (opposite the fire station)
Everyone is welcome: bring along your baby, if you like; come in after you’ve dropped the children at school or during your shopping trip; or just come along to get out of the house for a bit. And bring your friends too.
In the first meeting we’ll just have coffee and cakes and talk about the kind of books we like to read. And we’ll draw up a list of books for future discussion.
Today saw an absolutely herculean effort by a team made up of amazing volunteers. Together, we unloaded 14,000 books in 14 pallets from an 18tonne truck – each pallet weighing over 550kg! In all they weighed 8000kg, which is more than an elephant. Check out some of the action – (click each picture to enlarge):
We put the call out on Twitter and on Ealing Today for volunteers, and we had a great response. Loads of people came and helped out! Without them we would never have been completely stuck. Props also to the team at OPEN Ealing which were cashiered into moving some boxes as well. West Ealing Waitrose stepped up and loaned us a pallet truck, without which we would have been pretty stuck.
We managed to put about 3/4 of the boxes onto the 6th floor of OPEN Ealing, and the rest are in the corner of a ground floor room. They can’t stay there, so we’re going to go back again on Saturday morning at 11am to finish off the job – more volunteers would be great! Let us know if you can make it by tweeting @weneighbours
So what’s next? We’re putting together the list of books that we have, and we’re going to start offering them to various community groups and charities across London. We’re also going to work with the Book Swaps for London campaign to try and get this whole city swapping books!
THURSDAY DECEMBER 1st. 2011, 6.00 – 9.30pm. Cost: £25
At OPEN Ealing Arts Project, 113 Uxbridge Road, London, W5 5TL
Refreshments and course materials will be provided. Numbers are limited so please reserve a place by emailing chrissie.kravchenko (AT) btinternet.com with your contact details.
Find your VOICE and make your CHOICE
Estelle Lovatt is a freelance art critic for broadcast and print including BBC Radio 2’s flagship arts programme `The New Arts Show With Claudia Winkleman’ and `Art of England’ magazine. In this workshop she will coach budding art critics how to write art reviews specifically for radio. Art criticism for radio involves a specific way of both looking at and describing a work of art. The workshop will look at how the spoken (versus the written) critique is presented, script layout and writing for the programme host. The venue for the workshop is the OPEN community art gallery, where there will be an exhibition to inspire you.
To criticize art properly on air, you need to understand the work and its importance and relay that to the listener, who cannot see it. This involves description, analysis and interpretation of the artwork.
We will also look at how critics decide what they really think about the artwork. Do you like or dislike it? Why? And how do YOU feel about whether the artist was successful in conveying an idea? You will present your own style arts programme review, where you’ll talk about whether an artwork is successful. This will involve looking at the use of formal compositional elements and principles of design and how these interact. The feelings invoked by each work of art will be based on your own personal experiences and judgement! The aim is that listeners will follow and trust your opinions and you can build up a following.
West Ealing Neighbours is holding a public meeting on Tuesday 6th December at OPEN Ealing as part of the public consultation about the Council’s planned changes to the Lido Junction. The changes include an all-red stop phase to allow pedestrians to cross all four arms in safety.
This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make crucial pedestrian safety changes at this notorious junction. Please do come along to hear the details of the Council’s plans and why there are some concerns about the possible impact on north-south traffic flow. Stopping parking on the eastern side of Drayton Green Road makes sense and is as we suggested but the proposed introduction of a loading bay and five stop-and-shop parking bays on the west side of Drayton Green Road seems entirely counter-productive and likely to cause delays for northbound traffic. Whatismore, the shops in Drayton Green Road do not want a loading bay so it’s not at all clear why one is proposed. We can ask why at our meeting but if you are unable to make it on the 6th do please think carefully about these two elements and object if you feel they are likley to cause delays to traffic in Drayton Green Road.
The meeting is at OPEN Ealing, 113 Uxbridge Road – opposite the fire station and on the corner with Culmington Road.
As part of an ongoing series, Eric Leach reports from the Independent Examination of Ealing Council’s 2026 Local Development Framework Core Strategy (LDF CS).
Elizabeth Fieldhouse, the Government appointed Planning Inspector, today concluded her examination of Ealing Council’s 15 year land use plans. Her public examination hearings, which lasted eight and a half days, have considered Ealing Council’s Local Development Framework Core Strategy (LDF CS).
Hard copies of the latest batch (200+!) of the Inspector’s suggested changes and the Council’s responses were handed out to attendees. There were many queries on the detailed Council responses and none more so than on heritage issues. Representatives from the Ealing Cricket Ground Area Panel (CGAP), Ealing Civic Society (ECS) and the LibDems all made various attempts to make the LDF CS more heritage friendly but met stout resistance from Ealing Council. ECS strongly questioned why there was no explicit protection for Ealing centre’s heritage assets.