The new Morrisons Local in West Ealing opens on Thursday


The old Blockbusters stood empty and forelorn for some months and then work on the new Morrisons Local started and  it’s progressed very quickly and will open at 9am on Thursday.  On the corner of St James Ave and the Uxbridge Road this supermarket should bring some much-needed footfall down this end of the high street and, hopefully, benefit the nearby shops.

What next for The Grosvenor – pub or housing?


The agent’s board is up on The Grosvenor pub. Tucked away in the dense pattern of residential streets, this pub is in need of some serious tlc if it to have any chance of surviving. Can it be revived and become a key part of the local community? The Forester has been transformed under new ownership. It was absolutely jam-packed a couple of weekends ago for the YUMW13 event, so it can be done with passion and imagination.

I know the monthly w7edge music nights bring plenty of people in to The Grosvenor and there is a big catchment area for it with very few other pubs in easy walking distance. If you have about £850,00 to spare it can be all yours then comes the cost of completely revamping it. I guess the question is whether someone sees it has potential as a business or whether its true value lies in its potential as a site for new homes.




Do we need so many betting shops in West Ealing? Time to say no.

I asked this exact same question the last time there was an application for a new betting shop – Betfred on the ground floor of where the new hotel is supposed to be going. Yet, here we are again with William Hill wanting to open a new betting shop at 70 Broadway:


I missed this licence application and the closing date for objections has passed but just how many betting shops do we need in West Ealing?  Can we keep leaving it to market forces to determine what happens in our high street or should local residents have a say?

There is an opportunity to have your say about betting shops and other forms of gambling by completing the Council’s online survey as part of its consultation on its gambling policy. Some of the questions are about clustering of betting shops so directly relevant to West Ealing. The online survey closes on September 27th so not much time left to complete it. You can find it here.

I don’t know how much effect these surveys have but if we don’t say anything then silence will be taken as consent to what’s happening. I for one think we should restrict betting shops and other similar establishments, especially those with ‘fruit machines’ and fixed odds betting terminals which are a major route in to problem gambling.  You can find out more about all the issues around gambling at the GamCare website.


My three music highlights from the West Ealing SoundBite Festival

We’ll put up more photos and feedback from SoundBite shortly. On a totally personal note, as I was helping organise the event on Saturday, I didn’t get to see many of the acts but of those few I did see three stand out for very different reasons:


Maria at SoundBite

Her father Romeo sang for us last year and this year his daughter Maria sang at the craft market in St James Ave. She stopped everyone in their tracks with her smooth, jazzy singing. Hers is the sort of voice and style of singing that I’d love to listen to late night in a small, intimate venue. A venue like Ronnie Scott’s or perhaps, locally, the Bush Hall in Shepherd’s Bush could work well for her.  Catch her  here on the video of clips from the music at St James Ave and remember this is where you first saw and heard her. She starts 6 minutes in to the video.

I’d been looking forward to the Bollywood Brass Band all day and was beginning to give up hope that I’d manage to get to Dean Gardens for them but i finally caught their last set at 6pm.

Bollywood Brass band

I really enjoy their combination of drumming and brass and their engagement with their audience. You can’t help but feel the energy and joy in their music and that got through to a group of children who got up and danced right in front of the band.

T J 'Holboy" Johnson

Photo copyright Vivien Boyes

My third highlight was TJ ‘Holyboy’ Johnson who I’d been told about so I made sure I got to Melbourne Ave to catch him closing the music there. I wasn’t disappointed and nor was the crowd who were drawn to his Hendrix-style blues guitar playing and driving voice.  I was struck by the cross section of people who, like me, just felt compelled to stand there, soak it up and not miss a minute of his set.





Here’s what’s happening when and where for Saturday’s SoundBite Festival

SoundBite map final 001

Here’s the latest running order of events for Saturday.


St James Church Gardens

A range of children’s entertainment from 10am -3pm including

-Relish Kids Cookery -showing how to making apple crumble (primary school age)

– Facepainting, table tennis and other games

St James Avenue

Craft market from 10am – 3pm with live music from 12noon – 3pm

Crafts include a wide range of hand-made, local goods raning from jewellery to soaps, gifts and much more.

The music line-up (subject to any last minute changes) is:

12.00- 12.20

Sophie and Anisha


Sophie D’Souza

12.40-13.00 Interval




King Ralph


The Mobile Clones




Andrea Richardson



Melbourne Avenue

Live music and hot food from 11am – 5pm.

Entertainment for the day is:


James Perryman


Zumba by Karen Freeman Dance


Vienna Spring


Vanita and the Exit Factor


Madhurang Bollywood Dance


Nev Hawkins


Performers from Westside Youth Centre Connexions


Irish Dancers




Sumeet Bellara


Westbound Piccadilly




TJ ‘Holyboy’ Johnson and the Preachers

 Leeland Road

Farmers market from 9am -1pm as usual

Punch and Judy show

Punch and Judy shows at 10.30am and 12noon

Dean Gardens

A range of food and comunity information stalls including our own Abundance stall along with vegan food, Gifty’s Chilli, Cheddar Deli, Clare’s Garden Honey, West Ealing Centre Neighbourhood Forum and more.

Donkey rides for children from 12noon

There will also be hot food stalls and a beer tent. Hot food includes:

  • Silva Cafe with jerk chicken
  • Karaam with Lebanese food
  • Sumo with a range of Far Eastern foods
  • Sunjam and Caribbean food
  • German Sausage stall

The running order for the live music is:


Gypsy Dynamite followed by The Onironauts


The Chairs


Bollywood Brass Band


Dorance Lorza & Sexteto Cafe


Bollywood Brass Band


Ramon Goose


Bollywood Brass Band


Tankus the Henge


St John’s Church in Mattock Lane

Tours of the church tower from 10am -4.30pm

Cooking a meal for a Fiver from 10am – 3pm including:

11am – Everything you ever wanted to know about preparing chicken and meat preparation

12noon – Chicken Tikka Masala by award winning chef Dipna Anand from Southall’s famous Brilliant restaurant

2pm – Caribbean cooking including jerk chicken and goat curry

There will also be ask the expert sessions with local restaurant owners, local greengrocer George Puddle and more.


The Apex 32-38 Uxbridge Road (corner with Craven Road)

Crane Rescue exercise Goodmana 076

Emergency services training to rescue a crane driver from the top of the tall cranes on this site  from 11.30am -3.30pm

There is a safe viewing area for the public to watch this drama unfold.




Donkey rides in Dean Gardens for SoundBite on Saturday

Photo: Little donkey, little donkey...</p><br /><br />
<p>Ok, it might be a little early for that, but we are delighted to announce that we will be offering donkey rides for little ones at the SoundBite Festival on Saturday. The kids will love it!

Not these donkeys as they look happy on the beach!  However, we have a friendly donkey coming to Dean Gardens to take children for a ride on Saturday for the SoundBite Festival. Actually, Dean Gardens used to be known as Jackass Common in the 1800s due to it being used for donkey races. No racing on Saturday but nice to be reuniting a donkey with Dean Gardens after more than 100 years.

More information on eveything at SoundBite here.



Come and watch the emergency services at work – crane driver rescue event for SoundBite Festival on Saturday 21st September

Crane Rescue exercise Goodmana 076

Bring the family to watch this special SoundBite event at The Apex site at 32-38 Uxbridge Road  W5 (corner with Craven Road).  The emergency services are opening up their crane driver rescue training event for the public to come and watch as the rescuers climb the tall cranes to lower the stricken crane drivers to safety many feet below.  The event runs from 11.30am – 3.30pm and there will be a special secure viewing area set up by Galliard Homes.

Crane Rescue exercise Goodmana 100

More details about all the children’s activities, craft market, food stalls, cooking demos and live music on the SoundBite Facebook page.


A history of West Ealing on apples!


It’s well worth your while taking a detour next time you’re near the Green Man Lane Estate. Look carefully at the hoardings surrounding part of the site and you’ll see a series of apples ‘hanging’ on the painted trees. Each one has a montage of fascinating photos of the estate and surrounding area over the past 100 years. Photos include the opening of the estate in the 1970s and the Autotype factory . Built in what at the time was descibed by Autotype as quite a rural area the factory was ‘neatly fenced along Brownlow Road and the boiler house became a local landmark’. The factory occupied what is now the western part of the Green Man Lane Estate (the old multi-storey car park and the land to its north).  You can read more about the history of this area, known in Victorian times at Stevens Town, here.

Punch and Judy, cooking for kids, facepainting and more at SoundBite Festival on Sat 21st Sept

Punch and Judy show

Punch and Judy Show in Leeland Road for last year’s Family Day

There’s plenty of children’s entertainment at the SoundBite Festival on Saturday 21st September.  Hugely popular at last year’s Family Day, Punch and Judy are back again for the SoundBite Festival. Catch them at 10.30am and midday at the farmers’ market in Leeland Road.

In the garden at St James Church (or inside if it’s wet) will be Relish Kids Cookery running cookery activities for primary school age children, alongside facepainting, table tennis and more. There’s also going to be a special community dance event for children to take part in. More news of that to follow.

To keep up to date with everything that will be happening at SoundBite on our Facebook page