Tough times on the high street as Blockbuster goes in to administration

Craft Market Family Day 2012

Craft market in St James Ave with Blockbuster on the right corner

Hot on the heels of Jessops and HMV the next high street chain to go in to administration is Blockbuster UK, though it appears it will keep trading whilst a buyer is sought. Blockbuster has a shop in West Ealing on the corner of the Uxbridge Road and St James Ave. This spot is a key one for WEN and others who are working on ideas to reclaim the dead space at the top end of St James Avenue. WEN has run a monthly craft market here since April and OPEN Ealing may move its arts centre to the building above Blockbuster. In addition, there may be TfL money to improve this pedestrianised area at the top of St James Avenue and the Council is putting in a bid for ‘pocket park’ funds to add to the Tfl ones. What happens to Blockbuster on this corner could have an impact on these plans.  So we’ll be watching events carefully to see what happens.

Traders and residents invited to hear about plans for West Ealing centre

On Tuesday 22 January 2013 at 5:30pm at SiLVA Cafe, 148 Broadway, West Ealing local traders are being invited to hear about plans to re-invigorate our High Street.

Anyone can attend – just turn up. The more the merrier. We all need to hear and discuss everyone’s views.

David Highton, Chair of WEN, will be discussing current and future WEN initiatives as well as outlining some London Borough of Ealing (LBE) proposals, which WEN and other local stakeholders have been working on. These include vacant shop initiatives, a business hub, pop up businesses, events and markets.

Eric Leach, Chair of West Ealing Centre Neighbourhood Forum (WECNF), will be discussing the forum’s programme to create a detailed, 15 year spatial plan for the centre of West Ealing. These include policies for social provision, movement, Crossrail, housing and of course the High Street. LBE has a set of movement proposals; WECNF has its own plans; and local businesses have their own ideas too! Initiatives to be discussed include increased car parking, pedestrian improvements, accommodating cyclists, improved bus services, taking full advantage of the arrival of West Ealing Crossrail and better traffic flows.

Matthew McMillan Chief Executive of Ealing Broadway Business Improvement District (EBBID) will explain what a BID is all about. West Ealing Traders’  Association (WETA), WEN. WECNF and LBE are all keen for local traders to form a West Ealing Centre BID organisation.

Stabbing at West Ealing bus stop

According to a story on the Ealing Today website, a fight this morning at the bus stop outside The Gym (old Daniels building) led to one man being stabbed. It doesn’t sound life threatening fortunately. The police have increased foot patrols in the area. Unfortunately, there has been a run of serious incidents in West Ealing over the past months with the most recent – a fight between two gangs – just before Christmas. The whole question of local law and order will be looked at in WEN’s January newsletter which will be published on Friday and will be on our website from then.

‘Under her skin’ – great show at the Drayton in January

singingLaurel Swift (the one with the double bass) teaches her long-running folk workshop to local folkies at the Drayton on Monday nights, and now offers to West Ealing:

‘Under Her Skin’

Directed by John Wright

The Drayton Court, The Avenue, West Ealing  **   15-17 January 2013  **  7:45pm  **  £5

An epic tale, a modern twist, two voices, four feet and eight strings.

Debs Newbold and Laurel Swift bring a rich and innovative collision of forms to their first full-length collaboration – a story of loss and regret that is also funny, irreverent, moving and dripping with streetwise credibility. Combining dynamic performance storytelling with the effusive energy of traditional dance and music, Under Her Skin sweeps audiences into a rich imaginative landscape.

 “…a glorious, raucous, joyful show which manages seamlessly to combine the raw energy of dance, the earthiness of social realism and the magic and wonder of myth into an entirely integrated, expertly realised evening’s entertainment.”


This is storytelling crafted especially for adults. Based on an ancient British Selkie (seal people) folktale and set firmly in the here and now, it is an integrated show, inventive and theatrical yet with no fourth wall to get in the way of any mischief!  Debs Newbold’s highly acclaimed and charismatic storytelling voice joins the double bass, fiddle and clog dynamism of Laurel Swift to create an explosion of joy.  Under Her Skin plays freely with the conventions of storytelling and gives an ancient British folktale a strong contemporary retelling.


Laurel Swift is an Associate Artist of the English Folk Dance and Song Society


Anyone else having problems with waste collection?

Hi, I’ve phoned Ealing Council about 20 times since April to report missed collections and have had 4 letters acknowledging my complaints but nothing improves. About 25% of the time all the recycling and black bag rubbish goes on the right day. About 50% of the time, one or two categories (varies which ones) are not picked up; when I report it to the call centre the next day, whatever didn’t get collected is then collected. About 25% of the time, two categories are missed and the recollection only picks up one of the missed categories and the other one stays till I ring again or the next collection day.

I spoke to one of the recollection gang today and they said it was because the new contractors, Enterprise, had reduced the number of waste vehicles available by 16, and increased the size of the remaining ones – and this means they can’t get round some of the street corners.

Thinks: if that’s the case, why don’t the operatives move the rubbish up to the nearest accessible street corner and collect from there?

The recollecters said that they had hundreds of tasks on their log-sheets – and they think it’s more expensive to recollect than collect correctly the first time.

I asked the call centre at Ealing council how I can escalate my complaint but have heard nothing yet (only rang yesterday).

Is anyone else having problems?


Had enough of cooking over Christmas? Give yourself a break and come along to Sally and Steff’s Supper Club on Saturday

If you’ve seen enough of your kitchen stove and sink this Christmas and New Year then give yourself a break and come along to Sally and Steph’s Supper Club at the W7Emporium in Hanwell on Saturday. Sally and Steff met at OPEN Ealing and out of this was born the supper club. It’s a chance to get out and enjoy someone else’s cooking in good company and accompanied by music from two musicians from one of  West Ealing’s best bands – Blushing Bones.

Their three course menu is based on the recipes of Yotam Ottolenghi with live acoustic folk-based music from singer Tess and guitarist Jibs, of the Blushing Bones. 

Date: Saturday  January 5th  2013 

Time:  7.30p.m. for 8.00p.m.–11.30p.m.

Place:  W7 Emporium, 60b,Boston Rd,Hanwell,London W7 3TR (Opposite Wickes)

Price: £30 per head for welcome glass of Prosecco and nibbles, 3 courses + coffee.

Wine and cheese at an additional charge will be provided by the local W7 cheesemonger Claire.

Booking: Please contact Sally on Stephanie on or book through the W7 Emporium directly. Please mention when booking if you have special dietary requirements (e.g. vegetarian or allergies) so that we can take this into consideration. N.B Some recipes contain nuts, and will be present in the food preparation areas.

Menu available shortly from W7 Emporium Facebook page.