West Ealing Arts Project ‘OPEN’ is well worth a look

Chris Gilson checks out the new arts centre on the Uxbridge Road.

Last week I popped into the new West Ealing Arts Centre, OPEN. From the outside, 113 Uxbridge Road is a relatively unassuming red brick office building, but inside it’s packed with workshop spaces, art installations and galleries, spaces for musical performances, and there are even plans for there to be a community cafe on the third floor soon. WEN have also installed a Book Swap in the first floor.

Here’s a taster of what’s on offer:

OPEN will be open from 10am-6pm from this Wednesday to Friday, and there are plans to be open Tuesday-Friday from the week after next.

Check out OPEN’S new website.


Ealing short of police on royal wedding day?

Ealing will be sending 150 police officers up to town on Friday to help with the Royal Wedding. As a result local policing will tend to concentrate on emergencies and there will be little, if any, resource available for preventive patrolling. It is probable that burglars are aware of these pressures on the police.

The police have therefore asked that residents do everything they can to minimise burglary opportunities, especially while the street parties are in progress and doors and windows might be left open.

Fast food rubbish littering our streets

Chair of WEN, David Highton, reports on the growing problem of street rubbish in West Ealing.

There’s no doubt that our streets are much cleaner than they were, say, 5 years ago. The last Conservative council put cleaner streets as one of its top priorities and the new Labour Council has done the same. I think almost everyone recognises the considerable improvements that have been made. Yet, one problem still remains which I see almost every day and find very annoying – fast food debris littering our streets. The above photo is one of three lots of fast food rubbish I saw this morning within 50 metres of my front door. Maybe I’m imagining it but it has got worse over the last couple of years. This makes me sound like a grumpy old man and in this case I think I am!

One of three lots of fast food rubbish on my local streets this Monday morning

I live within 150 metres of the Uxbridge Road and West Ealing’s main shopping centre and it seems that there’s the fast food equivalent of a high tide mark whereby fast food rubbish and drink cans left on walls are a regular feature of streets within fast food eating distance of the local fast food shops. Get 200 metres or so away from the high street and the problem fades away.

One aspect of this problem seems fairly new. I keep noticing fast food rubbish left in street gutters rather than on the pavement. I’ve been wondering why this is? My personal theory is that it’s left by people who eat it in their cars and then just leave the rubbish behind in the gutter. Mind you, I’ve never seen anyone do this so I could be completely wrong.

Whatever the reason, it’s a problem. The streets are swept regularly so this rubbish is soon cleaned away ( and the three lots I saw this morning have already been swept up) but that makes no difference to the fact that fast food rubbish litters our streets. What can we do about it? Anyone any ideas?

David Highton

PS One thing I’ve done, some years ago, is become a volunteer Streetwatcher who, for want of a better term, act as the ‘eyes’ for the Council with flytipping and graffiti etc.  We can help clean up the rubbish but not prevent it in the first place.

Free Royal Wedding Community Celebration at St James Church Friday 29th April

St James Church is hosting a free Royal Wedding Community Celebration from 10.15am on Friday 29th April. You can watch the wedding on a big screen, enjoy a shared meal – please bring a plate of food to add to the buffet. There’s a Fun Family Disco from 1-3pm and a kids fancy dress competition on the Prince/Princess theme.

All welcome and if it’s raining the event will be inside. Tea, coffee and soft drinks available – donations welcome.

David Highton

West Ealing is in dire need of a cinema: a pop up cinema would be a great addition to our community

Allison Franklin and Chris Gilson look at the possibilities of having a pop up cinema in West Ealing.

Pop up shops and restaurant are common in London nowadays: an empty retail unit is taken over for a few weeks with minimal fittings and then it’s gone. This concept has now extended to cinemas; films are being shown in places as diverse as old railway tunnels, under motorway flyovers and even abandoned petrol stations.

There are thousands of square feet of unused office space along the Uxbridge Road. This space could be easily used as a pop up cinema. A pop up cinema would need:

  • empty available indoor space. There’s plenty of that locally
  • a licence to show films
  • some comfy furniture (sourced via Freecycle) or people could bring their own
  • basic catering
  • tickets (Rymans. Sorted.)

Pop up cinemas are very attractive as they will provide a way for people to get together and meet their neighbours and other locals, and not break the bank going to the pictures.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.

If you’re interested in helping out with starting a pop up cinema in West Ealing, pop us an email.

West Ealing Family Day 23 October

West Ealing Neighbours, local businesses and traders and the Council have joined together to put on the first ever West Ealing Family Day. Across the centre of West Ealing in Leeland Road, Melbourne Avenue and St James Avenue we will be putting on a series of events and activities for all the family.  The three streets will be differently themed:

Leeland Road will have a specially extended farmers’ market with apples as a theme (it’s Apple Day on October 21st). There will be an exhibition of over 100 rare and different varieties of apple, cider tasting, apple and spoon racing and an apple juicing demonstration

Melbourne Avenue will be for food and entertainment with a stage set up for a variety of local music and dance events as well as children’s entertainment and food stalls

St James Avenue is all about what people local people are producing, whether its crafts or artworks, and will play host to the first ever street craft market in West Ealing.  WEN’s Abundance team will be busy making apple and pear juice all pressed from locally picked fruit and St James Church will house an art exhibition by the Brent Lodge Park Arts Collective  – a collective of artists with and without learning difficulties.  The church will also open its cafe where you can put your feet up and try locally made cakes and sandwiches.

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