Flying visit to West Ealing by Boris Johnson this morning

I’ve just had a phone call from my wife Elizabeth to say she just came out of Wilkinson’s with some shopping and she walked straight into Boris Johnson who was doing a walkabout. I think Boris’s main reason for coming here was to visit the Lido Centre and hear about their London Ambassadors Recruitment project. The volunteer Ambassadors will be welcoming visitors to the Olympics and Paralympics.

David Highton

Well attended WEN meeting last night on tackling drug dealing

Just a brief report back on last night’s meeting for the moment. We had about 30+ residents come along and we heard from the police and Council’s Community Safety team.

Some useful ideas came up about the importance of high-visibility policing, the need to document local hot spots for various anti-social behaviour (such as the bus stop by Dean Gardens on Friday nights and weekends) and an offer by the Community Safety team to walk round some of these problem spots with local residents so they get a good feel for why people feel able to deal drugs etc in certain places.

As ever, the question is will any of this happen?  WEN wants to keep a close eye on this so we plan to include a progress report on these ideas and initiatives at our next public meeting in the autumn.

We’ll publish fuller notes of this meeting soon.

David Highton



Tackling drug dealing in West Ealing – WEN public meeting on Monday 11th July

We have some good speakers for our meeting on Monday so please do come along and find out not only what’s being done to deal with the local drug dealing problem but also what part the local community can play.

Our speakers are:

  • An overview from Superintendent Ian Jenkins
  • What’s happening locally – Sergeant Pinder Chana of Walpole
    Safer Neighbourhood Team
  • Getting the local community involved – Paul Dunn of Ealing
    Council’s Community Safety Team
  • How councillors can help – Councillor Nigel Bakhai

The meeting is at St John’s Church in Mattock Lane and starts at 7.30pm

David Highton



Hitting the high notes – opera comes to West Ealing

Sitting quietly at the reception desk at OPEN Ealing this morning I heard wafting down two flights of stairs the unmistakeable sound of an opera singer practising her scales. She is the lead singer with Opera Viscera, a group of graduate musicians who have moved into OPEN Ealing for three weeks to compose, rehearse and then perform their brand new opera Narcissus and Echo in preparation for the company’s performances at this year’s Secret Garden Party.

Based on the classic Greek myth about love, vanity and decay this new young opera company is throwing open its inner workings and running a series of free opera related events culminating in the first ever performance of their opera on Wednesday 20th July at OPEN Ealing (this is £8 a ticket). The events are:

  • Friday 15th July Opera screening and discussion from 1-3pm  Free
  • Saturday 16th July Costume workshop for adults 1-4.30pm  Free
  • Sunday 17th July  Opera workshop for children 1-4.30pm  Free
  • Wednesday 20th July Performance of Narcissus and Echo 7.30pm £8 adults and concessions apply

For more details and to book your places for any of these online visit

OPEN Ealing is at 113 Uxbridge Road Ealing W5 5TL (opposite the fire station) Tel: 020 8579 5558.

David Highton

Local listing can help save West Ealing’s heritage

As part of conceiving Ealing’s Local Development Framework (LDF), Ealing Council has the opportunity to review its designated Local Listed buildings and open spaces. Local listing status does not guarantee protection from demolition or new development but it affords the lowest level of protection against it. (Much greater protection is provided by Conservation Area status and National Listing status). If St Helena’s Home at 51 Drayton Green, for example, had been Locally Listed it would have been much more difficult for Notting Hill Housing Trust to demolish it.

These local buildings and open spaces we want preserved need to be identified and reasons given as to why we like them and if there is a relevant historical associations to state what these are. Ealing Civic Society has taken on the role of collecting what they call ‘Local Gems’. WEN has agreed to collect details on West Ealing local gems and then pass them on to ECS, who will then merge them with gems from all over the borough and then submit them all to Ealing Council by 21 July, 2011. This is the date of the inaugural Ealing Council LDF Advisory Committee.

West Ealing Neighbours has published at the list of existing locally listed buildings and open spaces. Select the ‘Heritage’ button on the left hand Home Page menu. We have begun the process of identifying these buildings and open spaces and we’ve listed them below. If you would like to add to this list please email details ideally before 14 July to

You might live in a locally listed building! Click here to check our list.

Identified below are some new candidates for Local Listing:

1. The Foresters Public House, 2, Leighton Road, W13 9EP

A fine example of suburban pub building erected in 1909 to designs by T.H. Nowell Parr for the Royal Brewery of Brentford. Parr was a famous Brentford architect who also designed The Kent pub, Brentford Public Library and Brentford Fire Station. The Foresters boasts notable columned porticos, green-glazed brickwork and prominent gables. Internally are a number of Tudor arches, original fireplaces, and delightful floral Art Nouveau-style stained glass panels in the windows. CAMRA claim that the pub’s historic bell-pushes for waiter service are the only remaining ones to be found in any pub in London.


2.  156 Broadway W13

This Art Deco building is one of two remaining such buildings in West Ealing centre.

3.  96 to 100 Broadway W13

This second remaining Art Deco building in the centre of West Ealing and was for many decades the site of Woolworths.

4.  Northfield Avenue Allotments W13

These allotments are well used and were first established in 1832.

5.  14 Sutherland Road W13

This is the only remaining unaltered residential building of a group of four, four-storey, slim, elegant  Victorian Villas on Sutherland Road.

6.  91 to 97 Broadway W13

An elegent Victorian residential terrace with shops at ground level. Attractive Cape Dutch style gables, original stained glass windows and handsome chimneys.




Our first tweetup and meetup was a great success!

Last Wednesday night West Ealing Neighbours had our first Tweetup and Meetup, generously hosted at the Star and Anchor pub.

There was a fantastic turnout considering that it was our very first meetup, with 25 people coming, including three Councillors.

We talked about everything from local recycling, our Abundance project, the impact of High Speed 2 in Ealing, and about designing a peddle-powered apple presser! We kept it going online too, with the #wentweetup hashtag.

Thanks are also to Ash and Kev at the Star and Anchor who put on a whole bunch of bread, olives and deep fried squid – it really helped the night along.

We’ll definitely be planning another event, probably in late September. We’ll keep you posted.

Here’s a gallery of some of the best photos from the night (click to enlarge):


Tackling drug dealing in West Ealing – WEN public meeting Monday 11th July at St John’s Church in Mattock Lane from 7.30pm

I hope you will be able to join us at 7.30pm on Monday 11th July at St John’s Church in Mattock Lane to hear what the police and the Council’s Community Safety team are doing to tackle the problem of drug dealing in West Ealing.

For a while now we have been worried about reports of increased drug dealing on the side streets of West Ealing. The feeling is that the CCTV cameras along the Uxbridge Road have pushed it on to the side streets. We have been speaking to the police about this and feel it is important that they get an opportunity to let residents know what they are doing to tackle the drug dealing and in turn residents get the chance to ask questions.

We will have Supt Ian Jenkins along with the sergeants from the Walpole and Elthorne Safer Neighbourhood Teams as well as a member of the Council’s Community Safety Team. In addition to letting us know about tackling drug dealing we will also hear about the police’s work on street drinking problems and, in particular, their project with the soup kitchen at St John’s.

David Highton