2016 June Newsletter

Street drinkers in West Ealing

It sometimes feels that West Ealing is caught in a ‘perfect storm’ of reasons to attract street drinkers. West Ealing is home to Ealing Magistrates Court in Green Man Lane, the Probation Service in Leeland Road, RISE (drug and alcohol recovery service) in St James Ave and, at least what was, a  24-hour off licence at International Broadway. Finally, near all of these is Dean Gardens which offers a very accessible venue for street drinkers with excellent public transport links. The situation with International Broadway may have changed for the better as it has now got a new name, Istanbul Gate, and no longer appears to sell alcohol. International  Broadway lost its licence at a recent review but appealed and the appeal hearing was due to be heard in August. How this now stands with the change of name and withdrawal of alcohol is not yet clear.

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West Ealing Folk class restarts at Drayton Court, Mon Sept 12

If you’re a late bloomer, returner, beginner or just curious – and you have some kind of musical instrument (guitars, ukes, whistles, harmonicas, fiddles, accordions, flutes, and anything else you can think of, all welcome) – consider coming to learn some lovely simple old trad tunes at your local pub/hotel on Monday nights. You don’t need to be able to read music. These term-time classes restart on Mon Sept 12, 7-9pm but you can join any time. We learn new tunes every week. More here: http://ealingsessions.wordpress.com/about/

Ways to respond to riots in Ealing and West Ealing

1. There’s a vigil tonight at 6pm on Ealing Green organised by Ealing Churches

2. Healing service at St James’s (back of Sainsbury’s) West Ealing Sunday (Aug 14, tomorrow) at 10.30. Come whatever your beliefs or religion to show solidarity with West Ealing community.

3. Special meeting at Council (Ealing Town Hall) to discuss riots plus minute’s silence for Richard Mannington Bowes.

Note, also this page on council website about how people can access support post-riots (well done, Ealing Council).

West Ealing – bloodied but unbowed

Plainly we need a miracle. One man stood in West Ealing Broadway all night and witnessed what happened. He described a scene of random violence and looting. Police cars sped through, presumably too outnumbered to dare to stop, as 2-300 young people, masked and hooded, went on a frenzied spree hurling paving stones into shop windows. The shop that sells fancy trainers was the first to go. Blockbusters was smashed open and emptied; Play Stations walked out and became currency on the street. Seba Electronics was emptied – one of the few remaining independent electronics shops owned by a gentle man who writes inspiring sayings on the wall outside. What will he do now? The Bargain Store – rugs, mobile phones, luggage – was broken into. Cash Converters put up a brave label, saying they’d be back.

The man who bore witness, Mike Sylvester, who runs Sylvester’s Hair and Beauty, just stood outside his plate glass window all night – and he’s planning to do the same tonight. ‘Weren’t you frightened?’ I asked him. ‘Not really,’ he said. ‘I just kept saying “don’t set fires”. You have to be careful. One young guy tried to stop them trashing Blockbusters and his face ended up covered in blood.’  Mike worries that young people are simply very angry and don’t care what they do.

Mike, and people like him, are a ray of light. One person said that Southall shops remained safe because the families that own them came out in force to stand guard.

We asked the people at the Bargain Store what help they needed, as they rushed to board up their shop – still wide open to the world at 7pm. They said it was enough we thought about them. We asked the Afghani veg and fruit shop, as they brought down the shutters early, what we could do for them. They said prayer was the only answer and gave us free bananas to thank us. All we could do was walk and talk. Mike said that things like Family Day on 24 September (a ‘new’ West Ealing tradition that started last year) are more crucial than ever. Meanwhile, he’s performing his vigil tonight again. I can’t help feeling it would have been worse last night without him standing there, an almost silent witness – a symbol of patient sanity, of adulthood.  I hope he stays safe. I wish I was brave enough to take him a cup of tea.

All we keep asking is ‘What can we do?’

Rural Ealing in July + blackberries nearly there

I just went to check the blackberries in the bunny park – and got some lovely photos of rural Ealing – the blackberries aren’t far off ready (another couple of weeks till the Big Pick -if you’re interested in getting involved  in this community activity and maybe subsequent cooking, email  wenabundance@gmail.com). Anyway, thought you might like the pix (click images to enlarge).


Next up – Blackberry Picking

West Ealing Pickers – you know who you are! (And, if you aren’t in the know, would you like to know more? See below). Blackberries are next on the picking calendar – could be as early as mid-July (but we’re checking out the picking fields shortly).

To stay in touch, there are many ways:

Come to the Star and Anchor, Uxbridge Rd on Weds eve for social eve.

The West Ealing Abundance Blog: http://westealingabundancew13.wordpress.com/

Email: wenabundance@gmail.com

Twitter: @WENeighbours

Facebook: West Ealing Neighbours